The latest came just before halftime on a goal initially disallowed, lifting the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory before 6,200 at Audi Field.
Since scoring on two wonder strikes from great distance in the opener, United (2-5-0) has pocketed three goals in losing five of six. Fine goalkeeping, several near-misses and squandered opportunities undermined Sunday’s superiority in shots (17-7), shots on goal (7-2) and corner kicks (8-5).
United played hard and played well. It took initiative and buzzed with activity most of the hot evening. But it came up empty again, extending a winless streak against Philadelphia (3-2-2) to 0-8-1.
“I can’t say anything wrong about the team,” Losada said. “They kept fighting until the end, but it’s the same old story. It’s frustrating. On the other hand, it’s only seven games. I’m sure sooner or later those opportunities will produce goals and points. I could be a lot more worried.”
Losada said he was pleased with the amount of possession and pressure. His defense was solid, except for one big slip-up in first-half stoppage time.
“Football, soccer, it’s about scoring goals, and once again when you create the chances, you always have opportunities to win games,” Losada said. “And we have the chances.”
Despite the early strides made in Losada’s system, the defeats are accumulating.
The encouraging performances are “something we can build on,” midfielder Russell Canouse said. However, “we can’t keep saying that because at some point it’s going to hurt us. We need to get results.”
Losada’s grand plans Sunday were scuttled one minute into the match when attacker Edison Flores hobbled off with a hamstring injury. The setback will jeopardize Flores’s extended assignment with the Peruvian national team starting next Sunday.
The first half crackled with bite and opportunity. Sure goals on both ends were blocked by defenders; Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made a diving save on captain Paul Arriola’s free kick; and Julian Gressel, Flores’s replacement, sent a teasing ball through the six-yard box.
A deflected bid by Philadephia’s Kai Wagner narrowly missed, and a fortuitous carom to D.C. goalkeeper Jon Kempin kept it scoreless.
A goal finally came in stoppage time. Kacper Przybylko collected Jamiro Monteiro’s pass in the box and slotted the ball past Kempin. The assistant referee signaled offside, but after video review, referee Timothy Ford correctly overruled the call and awarded the goal.
United has conceded the first goal in six of seven matches.
“Too many times we gave them time at the top of the box,” Canouse said. “They were able to capitalize on that one. It’s frustrating because we had a good first half and we actually created a lot.”
Facing another deficit, Losada adjusted at halftime by replacing a defensive midfielder (Moses Nyeman) with a forward (Ola Kamara). United wasn’t synchronized, though, wasting good buildup with misguided crosses and firing harmless shots from distance.
“It’s about the right timing,” Losada said. “It’s about the right decision. It’s about knowing you have that extra second in the box when the defenders are a little more stretched.”
Kevin Paredes, an exciting wing, entered in the 60th minute and, with a 23-yard effort, tested Blake, who made a leaping save. Andy Najar and Adrien Pérez missed headers from the heart of the penalty area, and other forays fizzled in and around the box.
“I would be worried if we don’t create opportunities,” Losada said. “I would be worried if we don’t shoot on target. I would be worried if I see players tired. I would be worried if the substitutions are not coming in with the right mentality. All these things, I am telling you, are affirmations of things going well.”
Notes: Bill Hamid, United’s starting keeper for most of the previous 10 years, seemed on schedule to rejoin the lineup after recovering from hernia and calf injuries. But because he has not played since last fall, Losada wanted to give him more time to improve sharpness. …
Defender Donovan Pines (Achilles’ tendinitis) made his first appearance of the season, entering in the 78th minute. …
United is not expected to make any roster moves before the first transfer deadline closes June 1. It will reopen July 7.
Read more on soccer: