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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And the answer to the Union's problems is not...

The answers John Hackworth gave Wednesday as to his team’s potential late-season turnaround were a lot of the same: Emphasizing process, reassuring that the same players who have been there all year will be around to help them chase a playoff spot they not long ago had a solid grasp on.

Part of that affirmation of the status quo was eschewing the possibility that changes were on offer, in particular in a midfield where the talents of Roger Torres and Kleberson would seem to be in demand. They haven’t been, though, and they’re not expected to be anytime soon.

Here’s what Hackworth had to say on both.

On Torres:

“Sure, there’s a shot. But how many minutes did you say he played? In reality, I don’t think we’re in a desperate situation. And I think if you start to reach for straws and play guys who haven't really represented your team at this point in the year, then you’re getting to desperate times. Roger has done well in training the last couple of weeks – that’s why he was in the 18 against Houston. But I think it’s unrealistic to say that you’re going to go to a guy that has played under 40 minutes for you all year.”

On Kleberson:

“I think every guy on our roster has a very important role to play, but similar to the way I talked about Roger earlier, I wouldn’t expect us to go to desperate lengths and play guys that haven’t been a part of what we do all year. I would make the point to all of you that this is the first time the entire season that we’ve lost two games in a row. And saying that, probably shouldn’t have lost two games in a row. We’re a team that has bounced back and we’ve been a team that has, for the most part, when we’ve had a bad performance, we’ve come back and had a good one. And that’s consistency. I don’t know how you measure that. But the way I’m looking at it, we’ve been pretty good in those situations. Now it’s a tough challenge. It’s been two games that we haven’t gotten results, and we need to bounce back from it.

“I’m not trying to send any message to the fan base. I’m trying to put 11 players on the field that game-in and game-out, give us the best chance to win. And Kleberson has been a big part of that. But I would go back to the real reasons that he is here and what he has done for the club. And those are different for our coaching staff and for the players in the locker room.”

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