Union face tough test against Sounders

Seattle, WA ( - The Philadelphia Union are in desperate need of a victory on Saturday when the club travels to CenturyLink Field to battle Seattle Sounders FC.

Since beating the New England Revolution, 1-0, on March 15, the Union's season has gone downhill as the club is riding a seven-match winless run.

The offense has run dry as the team has netted only nine goals all season and haven't scored from the run of play over the past three games.

Last time out, the Union gave up a goal in the 15th minute and could never get their offense in gear, losing to the previously winless Montreal Impact, 1-0, at Stade Saputo.

The only goal of the game came when. Impact captain Patrice Bernier intercepted Sheanon Williams' pass in midfield and continued forward before firing a powerful shot that Zac MacMath failed to control. The ball fell for the onrushing Felipe, who blasted it home from close range.

"My opinion is it's always a work in progress," Union manager John Hackworth said. "And that, in this case we have a team that's still playing the game very well and we're just going to have to be patient. I still believe that if we can play that way every single game, we're going to come out at the better end of it."

"I think we need to execute better and share the responsibilities a little bit more with our front five or six players [on the attack]. I think guys have been looking to provide that next to last pass more than they have to take it themselves," Hackworth continued. "We are still working on those things in training and we are trying to urge whoever gets that chance to take it. I think once we turn that corner you'll see some of those goals start to follow."

Seattle, by contrast, is in exceptional form, riding a three-game winning streak. The Sounders find themselves atop the Western Conference with 16 points.

Last time out, the Sounders strolled to a 4-1 rout of the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle opened the scoring just before halftime when Obafemi Martins sent Clint Dempsey alone and the U.S. international rounded goalkeeper Clint Irwin before getting a shot away that was blocked by Drew Moor. The rebound went straight to the feet of Lamar Neagle, who smashed it home.

Dempsey made it 2-0 in the 47th minute and finished his double five minutes later before the Sounders put the match away 13 minutes from time through a goal from Martins.

"Our fans are fantastic and we hadn't given them a lot to cheer about the last few home games the way the results went, but we don't think we played poorly in those games, so it was just a matter of getting the result and matching it with a performance," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "[Against Colorado] we got the result to match our performance and I think everybody that was here had an enjoyable time."

The Union will have their hands full with Dempsey, who has scored eight goals this season, one fewer than the entire Union squad.

"Last season I felt that I was getting in good positions and putting people in positions to get forward into the attack. I would say I have to compliment my teammates because they're getting in better positions in front of goal and I'm getting better looks right in front of goal," Dempsey said.

"When I first came, I felt like there weren't too many games I could look back and say, 'You know what, I had a lot of chances I should have scored.' I feel like in games now I'm getting good looks and looks that are allowing me to put the ball in the back of the net."

The clubs have split six games between them all-time, with each side winning twice to go with a pair of draws.