Sitting last in the Eastern Conference, and last in all of MLS with the worst record this year, what is next for the (0-3-0) Union? These losses can be blamed on a few different, unlucky instances, but in reality, can the Union turn this season around when already so far behind?
Points are no easy thing to come by in the MLS. This is a league that has been developing and even with expansion clubs, there are no “easy wins” on any teams schedules. Including the Union. In soccer, a win counts as a rewarding 3 points, a draw 1 point, and a loss, 0. Unlike some sports, where there are scheduled games considered “winnable” that is not the case in the MLS. There are too many good teams with too much talent, which therefore provides the Union with a bumpy road ahead.
Without a doubt, the Union need to find a place for outliers in the team. This starts with Freddy Adu, who was the Captain of the USA team in trying to qualify for the Olympics, but still seems to find himself on the bench so often behind Peter Nowak and a struggling Philadelphia side. Also, Columbian Roger Torres express the same idea. He is a fast, smart, offensive soccer player who makes things happen, but is too often subbed into games in the mid-second half.
The Union need to find a formation or a type of offense, and build a team around those ideas. Recently, Peter Nowak has tried to buy random, well-known names such as Freddy Adu, but it has been quickly discovered that he does not have a place for them.
Among the things that have gone wrong for the Union, the backline is among the worst of them all. Each game there has been at least one goal where there was a defensive lapse. It seems as though this group, which has been incoestiant, seems to be very unlucky. Making too aggressive of a move at the wrong moment, or a turnover at the worst time. Whatever is to blame, someone in the back must step up and guide a group of talented players and an inexperienced goalkeeper in a positive direction.
You cannot get many wins when your offense averages a goal per game and your defense gives up one easy goal a game, and averagely allows at least one more on that.
Or have I looked over this, and is the true problem where so many think it is? Management. Yes, the Union did have a treacherous offseason, and yes the clubs main star and well know face was sold, but can this all be blamed on a decision that tried to bring a new team to Philadelphia?
The answer is two fold, or could go either way. It was a poor decision to sell Sebastian Le Toux and release goalkeeper and Captain Faryd Mondragon. But Peter Nowak has highlighted that he attempted to bring a new identity to the Union. There is the issue.
Why did a playoff team who placed third in the East with 48 points need a new identity?
The answer? They didn’t.