[nbcsports_video src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/C_ZQDC/OBXnIiiPouAX/embed/select/NMuy1wkrhmUn?params=zone%3Dunion&autoPlay=true width=620 height=339]
Well, that "maybe they can turn this around" feeling was fun while it lasted.
Coming off Wednesday's shocking win at Sporting Kansas City, the Union carried some hope onto the field with them on a beautiful night Saturday at PPL Park.
The hope was gone pretty quickly.
The Union lost, 5-3, to the New England Revolution in a game that wasn't NEARLY that close. Despite facing the red-hot Revolution, it was, without question, as embarrassing a loss as the Union have had in their 4-plus years of existence.
Defender Sheanon Williams provided a quote after the match that was as tone-deaf as it gets for a player whose team just got embarrassed at home.
"“Let’s face it…everything they shot was a goal and it was just simply one of those nights.”
It was a lot more than just "one of those nights."
Without Maurice Edu (U.S. National Team), Brian Carroll (injury) and Fabinho (yellow card accumulation), the Union stuck with Amobi Okugo in the midfield and started Austin Berry and converted striker Aaron Wheeler at center back. Somehow, the two players who combine for 12-and-a-half feet of height got beat on an A.J. Soares header to give New England a 1-0 lead and then watched Diego Fagundez put the Revs up 2-0 in the 26th minute.
Ten minutes later, Vincent Nogueria -- who is easily the Union MVP this season -- created the highlight of the night for the Union with a goal that is easily a top-fiver all-time for the Union. The best part was his non-smiling, "I'm a boss, high five me if you are worthy, let's keep playing" celebration.
[nbcsports_video src=http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=4bfc225f82bf46c48dfb065eda97f74f&ec=BuZXB4bTpvuXBFqjjGLWJs2IIRZFqf6T width=620 height=349]
Things really got out of hand after that, as the Revolution went up 5-1 and John Hackworth stared his future in the face from a seat on the bench.
Fans in The River End resorted to the following in their loopy, beer-fueled stupor:
- Singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
- Chanting "Ohhhh, Danny Mwanga," a player who hasn't been with the Union since 2012.
- Calling for 18-year-old Zach Pfeffer to come off the bench (he eventually did once the game was out of hand).
- Setting off what seemed like a season's worth of smoke bombs when Sebastien Le Toux converted a garbage time penalty kick.
According to reporters after the game, the locker room was quiet and somber, and the coaching staff and front office members -- who usually hang around, were nowhere to be found.
Nothing else to report. Usually I see Hack, Vartughian, Sakiewicz around the locker room and I didn't see any of them after the presser.
— Kevin Kinkead (@KevinKCBS3) May 18, 2014
Whether that means John Hackworth has held court for his last press conference as Union manager, I don't know. But know that LOTS of fans left early, and there were many many boos raining down as the team left the field.
The Union play in Los Angeles twice over the next two weeks -- next Sunday at LA Galaxy and the following Saturday at Chivas USA. They play one more game at home before the World Cup break, June 7 against Vancouver.
Hackworth is not the only one to blame -- the players need to stand up and be counted -- but he will end up taking the fall for the most disappointing season in Union history. I would be SHOCKED if Hackworth steps on the field at PPL Park again for a match.
Complete highlights below:
[nbcsports_video src=http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=4bfc225f82bf46c48dfb065eda97f74f&ec=Ryd3B4bToWewAGwpjWoTDMejcw0sgWOP width=620 height=349]