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Troubled Philly might find change of venue beneficial
by Ridge Mahoney, May 13th, 2014 8:46PM

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TAGS:  mls

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[MLS: Week 11] The Philadelphia Union encounters one of the most hostile environments in MLS Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS DirectKick) when it visits Sporting Park, yet a change of venue might be beneficial.

Boos rained down upon the Philly players and coaches during a 1-0 home loss to D.C. United last weekend that extended its team-record winless streak to nine games.

“It’s Philly,” said defender Amobi Okugo when asked how the crowd’s reaction affected the players. “So if they’re not booing or making negative comments, it would feel like we’re in a different city.”

Kansas City is one MLS city where Philly has had some success. It beat SKC, 1-0, at Sporting Park last September during a season series in which the away team won each of the three games. Unfortunately, for the Union it lost both of its home games against the defending champion by combined scores of 5-2 and comes into this game struggling mightily.

A goalscoring drought -- three goals in the last five games -- has plagued the team recently, and the coaching staff is working its contacts to perhaps beef up the attacking corps. The transfer window closed Monday but a team that has already traded Jack McInerney probably wouldn’t hesitate to make another move if the right option could be found.

Philly’s poor recent record would be worse if not for the exploits of keeper Zak MacMath, who has saved three consecutive penalty kicks. He insists the team is intent on plugging away and not panicking.

“I don’t think anyone is putting too much pressure on each other,” MacMath said after the 1-0 loss to D.C. United. “We always tell each other to relax and have fun out there and compete; and for the most part we did that. We are going to get a quick turnaround here and we will start focusing on getting three points in [Kansas City].”

SKC has won three of the last four -- all by shutout -- with only a 2-0 loss to New England breaking up that streak. Defender Matt Besler and attacker Graham Zusi will play against Philly before joining the USA’s training camp in Northern California. Union midfielder Maurice Edu is likewise with his club team.

MLS WEEK 11, Schedule:
Wednesday, May 14
8:30 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE
Saturday, May 17
4:30 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. New York, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Montreal, MLS LIVE
Philadelphia vs. New England, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA, MLS LIVE
Houston vs. LA Galaxy, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
Portland vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
Sunday, May 18
3 pm ET
Chicago vs. Sporting KC, UniMas

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
17 Sporting KC 5-2-2 14/6
17 New England 5-3-2 14/10
14 D.C. United 4-3-2 13/11
14 Houston 4-5-2 17/19
14 New York 3-3-5 18/17
------------------------------------------------
12 Columbus 3-4-3 10/11
9 Toronto FC 3-4-0 7/9
9 Chicago 1-2-6 17/16
8 Philadelphia 1-5-5 10/14
6 Montreal 1-5-3 7/17

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
22 Seattle 7-3-1 22/19
20 Real Salt Lake 5-0-5 21/12
16 FC Dallas 5-5-1 20/19
16 Vancouver 4-2-4 16/12
15 Colorado 4-3-3 11/12
------------------------------------------------
10 San Jose 2-3-4 10/11
9 LA Galaxy 2-2-3 8/6
9 Chivas USA 2-5-3 12/19
9 Portland 1-3-6 13/156
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
9 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
8 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
8 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
6 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
6 Will Bruin
, Houston
6 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
5 Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago
5 Michel, FC Dallas
5 Joao Plata
, Real Salt Lake
5 Chris Wondolowski
, San Jose
5 Vicente Sanchez, Colorado

MLS WEEK 12, Schedule:
Wednesday, May 21
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Houston, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
Friday, May 23
8:30 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC, MLS LIVE, UDN
Saturday, May 24
7 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Seattle, MLS LIVE
New York vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Chicago, MLS LIVE
New England vs. D.C. United, MLS LIVE
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. Montreal, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
Sunday, May 25
8 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia, UDN
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Houston

MLS WEEK 13, Schedule:
Tuesday, May 27
8 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. New York, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Wednesday, May 28
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
Saturday, May 31, 2014
4 pm ET
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS LIVE
5 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
Montreal vs. New England, MLS LIVE
D.C. United vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE, UDN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE



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