Union: Forget past, focus on present … DC United

They’re down … but not out.

It will be a long, uphill climb for the
Union to secure its second consecutive playoff berth. However, the trek
isn’t insurmountable.

The Union (7-12-2) are tied for next-to-last
with the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference. They’re 13
points behind DC United (11-8-3) for the fifth and final playoff spot in
the East.

Ironically, the Union travel to D.C. Sunday night. If
Philadelphia harbors any hope of competing in the postseason, a huge
victory, on the road, is a great place to start.

DC United defeated Philadelphia, 1-0, on June 16 in interim manager John Hackworth’s debut in place of Peter Nowak.

we go down and get three points at DC United, we are right back in the
playoff race, depending on what some other teams do,” Hackworth said. “I
said this a couple weeks ago, that when we didn’t gain points, our
other competitors didn’t gain points, either.

“This year in the
Eastern Conference, it’s a dogfight and a lot of that we can’t control
because of where we are. The only thing we can really do is try to get
three points at D.C. and see where that puts us.”

The Union have
dropped consecutive matches to Montreal and Chicago. The players are
keenly aware that picking up three points is vital.

“Of course, we
want to go to the playoffs, but we’ve dug ourselves a big hole and we
have to get out of it now,” said Brian Carroll, who has appeared in the
postseason in all nine previous MLS seasons. “It starts with this match
against DC United. We have to forget about the last two and focus in
here on getting three points.”

Soul coach steps down

Doug Plank, less than a week after leading the Philadelphia Soul to ArenaBowl XXV, has resigned from his post.

Plank cited a need for a break after a grueling season, according to a press release.

The Soul ranked No. 1 in the AFL in scoring (68.2), rushing offense (44.2), turnover margin (+23) under Plank last season. But the team dropped the title game to Arizona, 72-54.

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