History says Union stretch drive could be rough
Here are Hackworth’s words when posed the question:
“I think you can get into a little bit of a tough situation if players think that every week, it’s got to happen this week,” he said. “The reality is if you look at the last five games, and you’ve got Kansas City twice in that last five, going away to Kansas City certainly is going to be a huge, difficult game for us. But I don’t think it’s one that people are going to say, ‘Philly’s got to win this one to put themselves back in the race.’ You look at the home games in the rest of the schedule and think there’s better games to do that. My answer to you is that we’re probably learning as we go, but we have to keep things in check so we don’t let that pressure get to us.”
The rather arbitrary number set by Hackworth for the Union’s final five games is 10 points, i.e. three wins and a draw. That total would bring the Union (10-10-9, 39 points) to 49 points, which guarantees nothing in terms of the playoff race. We’ve seen that in the past, 52 has seemed a decent benchmark, but then things haven’t exactly gone to form in the Eastern Conference this season.
To use history as a guide, then, here’s a question that I posed in Friday’s paper: How many times in the Union’s four-year history have they managed some combination of results over five MLS games to earn 10 or more points (so at a minimum, three wins and one draw in five games)? The answer is eight (points in parentheses): Read more »