Union coach sticking with goalie Seitz

Posted: August 05, 2010

Union team manager Peter Nowak has shown unwavering support for goalkeeper Chris Seitz all season and even a bad bounce won't change his stance.

Nowak stated that Seitz will be the starter in goal in Thursday's Major League Soccer matchup at PPL Park with Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew. The 8 p.m. game will be televised by ESPN2.

Seitz was victimized by a bad bounce on a 40-yard free kick by Marko Perovic in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the visiting New England Revolution.

"Chris has played very good games and has been very focused and concentrates during practice and games and one unfortunate bounce one way or another won't change the way we want to go," Nowak said after Wednesday's workout at PPL Park.

When asked if Seitz would be in goal against the 10-4-4 Crew, Nowak didn't hesitate when responding, "Yes."

Seitz has played every minute for the 4-8-3 Union.

Brad Knighton has appeared only in friendlies and he looked especially sharp in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United.

"Brad did well during the friendly games and it is good to have a confident goalkeeper as well," Nowak said. "But I don't think right now is the time for that [making a change]. We can always come back and evaluate if we need to."

The Union are in a difficult four-game stretch in a 10-day period. In addition to Columbus, the Union visit FC Dallas (6-2-9) on Sunday, and then plays host to defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake (10-4-4) on Aug. 11, and Colorado (6-5-6) on Aug. 14.

"The rest of the games won't matter if we don't put good performances in the stretch we have right now," Nowak said.

No matter who is in goal, the key to stopping Columbus is to bottle up all-star forward-midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who has five goals and six assists.

"We have to continue to try to do what we have done so far, which is to possess the ball and impose our rhythm on the game," Union central defender Danny Califf said. "The other focus will certainly be standard situations and getting a handle on where Schelotto is all the time."

Columbus is coming off Saturday's 3-1 loss at Chivas USA. It was the first time this season that the Crew allowed more than two goals in a game.

Meanwhile, Schelotto has gone six MLS games without a goal. He last scored in a 2-1 win over visiting D.C. United on June 26.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.

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