The Philadelphia Union are in desperate need of a bounce-back performance when the club hosts the Seattle Sounders on Saturday at PPL Park.
Philadelphia produced by far its worst performance of the season last Saturday against the New England Revolution, falling by a 2-0 count at Gillette Stadium in the Revs first home match since the Boston Marathon tragedy.
After a scoreless first half, Diego Fagundez got the Revs on the board in the 61st minute, and Lee Nguyen put the result away for New England 10 minutes later, securing the club's first-ever win over Philadelphia.
Union head coach John Hackworth was not pleased with his club's effort following the match:
"That was not reflective of the kind of game we are capable of playing," Hackworth said. "And it was probably our worst performance on the year so far. In a lot of ways, it's frustrating because we've been playing consistent and in the way we tried to plan tonight -- it just wasn't the same."
Philadelphia must turn the page and focus on a Seattle club that will be rested and ready to go after a bye week last week.
Seattle has struggled early in the season, with their only win coming in a 1-0 result on the road against Colorado on April 20, courtesy of Obafemi Martins' first goal of the season.
"It means a lot," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said of his team's first win. "To a certain extent we really don't care how we played because we really needed a win. We had a little bit of good fortune in the back, but it's about time we got some good fortune."
The Sounders, who entered the league a year before Philadelphia, have figured prominently in some key moments in Philadelphia's young history.
The Union played their first-ever match against Seattle at CenturyLink Field, a 2-0 loss, on March 25, 2010. Just months later, Seattle was the opponent on June 27, 2010 as Philadelphia opened PPL Park with a 3-1 win over the Sounders.
Union striker Sebastien Le Toux was originally selected by Philadelphia from Seattle in the 2010 expansion draft, and center back Jeff Parke spent three seasons with the Sounders, reaching the playoffs each year.
It will be the first time Parke will suit up against his former team.
"It does, for sure," Parke said of whether the match will feel special because of the circumstances. "It's always a bit of a challenge to play your old team, and when I was in Seattle and played against New York, it was a strange feeling. But you come out with a little bit of a different kind of energy. It's something that you know the team, obviously, but you want to get a win so you can walk away and have some bragging rights for a while or for the year because we only play them once, so it's definitely a different game."
In five all-time meetings between the clubs, each side has won twice along with one draw. In last season's only meeting, Seattle claimed a 1-0 win courtesy of a 63rd-minute strike from Mauro Rosales.