MLS Talking Points: Comeback kids rewarded again

For the seventh time this season, the Philadelphia Union rallied to earn points in MLS action. Sunday's 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls, which kept the Union in second place in the Eastern Conference, was the best yet as it came back from two goals down after 44 minutes.

C.J. Sapong and Chris Pontius scored goals in a span of 78 seconds to even the score and cancel out a pair of Sacha Kljestan  goals in the first half.

The seven comebacks have earned the Union five ties and two wins and amazingly, seven different players have scored the tying or go-ahead goal.

2016 Philadelphia Union Comebacks:
DATE SCORE OPPONENT
May 11
2-2 vs. LA Galaxy (1-2 down after 47 minutes)
Tying goal: Rosenberry, 63rd minute
May 14 1-1 at Montreal (0-1 down after 3 minutes)
Tying goal: Sapong, 24th minute
May 25 2-2 at Orlando City (1-2 down after 71 minutes)
Tying goal: Tribbett, 75th minute
May 28 1-1 at Colorado (0-1 after 87 minutes)
Tying goal: Carroll, 90+2th minute
June 1 3-2 vs. Columbus (0-1 down after 14 minutes)
Go-ahead goal: Nogueira, 57th minute
June 22 4-3 vs. Chicago (0-1 down after 2 minutes)
Go-ahead goal: Alberg, 15th minute
July 17 2-2 vs. NY Red Bulls (0-2 down after 44 minutes)
Tying goal: Pontius, 68th minute

"We’re at our best when we’re high-pressing, pushing the tempo of the game, we’re all on the same page," said Union coach Jim Curtin. "We did take risks, for sure, down two goal. You have to take some risks and I thought our guys did that today."

Four minutes after Pontius' tying goal, Ilsinho was sent off for a straight red card for striking Red Bulls defender Connor Lade. Curtin credited his players for hanging in the game after Ilsinho's red card and believing they can play with anyone in MLS.

"You’ve seen it now, whether you want to call it the Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New York City FC," he said. "We can go toe-to-toe with anybody, we are a confident team, but there is belief. If we go down a goal, we’re not worried, there’s no panic, we’re not scared. The guys just keep going, they keep pushing and they wind up getting rewarded."



Rookie defender Keegan Rosenberry, a Fan XI selection to the MLS All-Stars, said the comeback is an important confident boost for the Union, which must play two games this week on the road -- at the New England Revolution on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals and at the Montreal Impact, fourth in the Eastern Conference, on Saturday.

“I think against a team like New York, it’s good for us, just mentality-wise going into another tough week," said Rosenberry. "But, again, I think that you’ve seen it throughout the year -- just the resilience this group has. The best wins or ties are comeback wins. It’s good for the team and I think we have a good way about us going into this week."

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