Union aim for more consistent effort vs. D.C. United

The sliding Philadelphia Union hope almost a full week of preparation will make a difference Saturday in Chester, Pa., against a visiting D.C. United squad that snapped out of its own funk in its last match.

The Union (4-7-4) have lost three straight to cancel out nearly all the good done by a promising four-match winning streak that came before their skid.

Last Sunday, Derrick Jones’ ejection early in the second half reduced the Union to 10 men before the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips finally broke through in the 87th and 92nd minutes to send Philadelphia to a 2-0 defeat.

“We showed glimpses of what we needed,” Union coach Jim Curtin said of that game in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re just not consistent in that for 90 minutes. We can step up on Saturday night and put an end to it.”

Jones will be suspended Saturday, but the Union still may be favored to pull themselves back out of last place and above D.C. United (5-8-3), which defeated Atlanta 2-1 at home on Wednesday.

That victory included D.C.’s first goal from open play in a stretch of 688 minutes, more than seven full games. United had been 1-5-1 in its last seven before Wednesday’s win.

“The guys played really well today, and they should enjoy this, but there’s no way we should be satisfied,” game-winning goal scorer Patrick Nyarko said on mlssoccer.com. “We’ve got to go get more. We want to have this feeling that we’re feeling today, we want to feel it more and start climbing up the table.”

With D.C. facing a third league match in eight days, newly acquired Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown may get a chance to push his fitness limits after going 28 minutes as a sub on Wednesday.

Brown was acquired just Tuesday from the USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. He scored 10 goals in both the 2013 and 2014 MLS seasons with Colorado.

D.C. forwards Jose Ortiz and currently injured Patrick Mullins have combined for one goal this season.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia could see U.S. international midfielder Alejandro Bedoya return from a hamstring injury that kept him out against New York.

Bedoya was questionable in the leadup to Sunday’s game, but ultimately did not make Curtin’s seven-man substitute’s bench.