Readers poll: Philadelphia Union predictions

Another opening day is at hand for Philadelphia Union, and like every year, questions abound.

How good are they?

Will they make the playoffs?

How will the season go?

And so it goes.

This team could finish anywhere in the standings, and you have to admit, none of it would surprise you.

With that uncertainty in mind, we ask you to try answer these questions and see if, as a collective, you get any closer to the mark than we do. After all, you got it right last year with some of your predictions (place in table, MVP, etc.).

How about we try it again?

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  1. As for the question about Curtin keeping his job, I didn’t vote because none of the choices fit. I think he keeps his job as long as the team doesn’t poop the bed. If they do, and it’s perceived as being mostly because of injuries, I still think there’s a chance he keeps his job. This team is supposedly built as to what Jim wants this club to be. If he goes, will E.S. start to reshape again, or find a coach who prefers the 4-3-2-1?

    Also the question about who you want to watch this season shows up twice.

    • Thanks for noting that, All4U. That’s been corrected to show a question asking for your prediction of the Eastern Conference winner.

      Regarding the Curtin question … Vote for the last choice then. That was the purpose of that one. A none of the above type of thing. (Yeah, I guess I could have just written None of the Above, huh? Ah well. 😉 )

    • Paul Hanlin Jr says:

      The fact Ken Tribbett is still with this team tells you all you need to know how serious the Union are about winning. Why is Curtin still coaching this team? There is no solid foundation of major names, only players their families alone know about. Complete unknowns do not work in this league. We need to spend, spend, spend.

  2. My MVP for the Union is Ilsinho, Ilson Jr or anything else we’d like to call him.

    • Brasil dab says:

      An unconventional pick but I agree. He looks much fitter than last year. But if he’s our best guy I’m not sure that bodes well.

  3. My dark horse long shot vote was Fafa as the most significant new addition.

    While I am already confident Haris will be good for us, I think between injuries and lack of form Fafa will get minutes early at an attacking position, play well, and eventually supplant someone by the end of the year.

  4. Who the hell is Maurice Edu?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Does anyone know Ken Kweeder?
      I used to watch Ken Kweeder play his guitar all over and remember fondly seeing him one night in particular, both of us hammered at The Rocking Chair in Avalon… sing, “Alice? Alice? Who the Fuck is Alice!” from Smokie. Ken killed that song… still does I bet.
      ….Hey Mo?

  5. Oops. Answered the last question wrong. Said I’m a fan of the Steel. Can’t say that’s true. I’m really only interested in them insofar as it relates to the Union.

    • The polling is rigged! I blame the Russians.

    • For this question, aren’t they really more related to the Union than not?

      I said I’m a fan, only because as a mega-fan of the Union it feels “natural” to be a fan of the Steel. The Union OWN the Steel, and at this point it looks like the Steel will be made up more of Union Academy kids and First Time backups than anything “Steel”.

      This may be what all those fans of USL/NASL teams hate to hear, but the Steel exists to make the Union better, and to that end I am a fan of the Steel.

      • I think my point is that I don’t care even a little bit about the Steel’s results. I won’t spend much time following them week to week. If someone called me up and said, “Hey, want to go to a Steel game,” I’d definitely be up for it. I’m a fan of the Union evidenced by how much time I think about the club and spend time on this site. I would not do the same for the Steel.

      • Yeah. I agree about the results. I just think “following them week to week” is more or less the same as “following the Union week to week” because the vast majority of players in or out of the Steel each week are directly linked to the Union in some way.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        I used to live in Bethlehem. Love that town. If I still lived there, I would go to games regularly and follow them even if they were unrelated to the Union. That’s colored how I’ve viewed the team and, admittedly, how I framed the questions.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    My prediction?

    • Pardon me while I paraphrase a classic:
      You want a prediction? I’ll give you a prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.

  7. Am I really the only person who thought this offseason was worse than a C? Really?
    This was a team that finished 13th out of 20 last season. Get rid of the fancy “playoff team” moniker. They were a below average MLS team last year. They had massive holes at striker, defensive mid, CB, and with the loss of Barnetta, CAM. They filled those holes by signing a 4th Division player at ST, a 19 year old at CDM, a 34 year old who hasn’t played a meaningful game since 2014 at CB, and a CM who can’t really play CAM. Oh, and they retained a coach who has proven already that he can’t hack it at this level.
    Look at the starting lineup. Depth is good. Starting your depth is bad. We are bad at ST. We are bad at CDM. We are bad at CB. We still don’t know who’s starting at CAM and the season starts in a few days. These were glaring holes before the offseason. We brought in depth for these positions, but we already had depth. We needed starters. We still don’t have starters. Even considering Bedoya and Medunjanin replacements for Nogueira and Barnetta, this is a team that was 13/20 last year, that was 20/20 for the last third of the season, and at best, what we can say is…well, if our starters go down, at least their won’t be a drop off in quality? That’s a BAD thing! Not a GOOD thing! That means our starters aren’t good enough!
    We needed to improve. At best, we remained even while we watched many other teams improve. When you’re going into a season saying “well, I’m sure we’ll figure out some way to score goals” and “at least we have the best goalie in the league”, you’re in for a long season.

    • At the start of the season we identified all the areas we needed to get better at. ES agreed and got help at all those areas.

      Now of course, whether or not all those signings will work out is why we play the season.

      But that reason alone is enough for this offseason to be much higher than a C. Identifying your holes is half the battle, shoring them up is the other. That’s all you can do in the off season.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I admire your fortitude… all the while believing you are incorrect, save the commentary about the coach, which is still an enormous question mark for me.
      By midseason I see a healthy Edu.
      I hope to see a back four of: Wijnaldum, RM, JY, KR.
      I hope to see controlled possession. I hope to see aRegista in HM pulling strings. I hope to see Bedoya in NT form. I hope to see speed out side.
      For me striker is a question mark still but that’s because I don’t know how Simpson assimilates.
      Pretty solid from my POV…if the expectations come to fruition.
      Not sure it was an A offseason as they haven’t played but it certainly isn’t worse than a C… You however are ruthless in your opinion of Earnie Stewart while I tend to argue otherwise regarding Earnie Stewart… mine is long view.
      Know what intrigues me… believing your commentary will not disappear after the first game and reappear after the last– so no matter what– that’s win win sir.

      • I was hoping to get an article out that vaguely addressed that disappearance before the season started, but alas, it does not appear to be. I would prefer to write delayed quality than rushed garbage. I’m hoping to get it done some time in March at the very least. But rest assured, I will be around 🙂

    • “They were a below average MLS team last year.”
      My thinking is this: They were MUCH better than below average for half the season, then they lost Nogueira, and then they lost their way. So, with the addition of Medunjamin, and the exception of the RCB situation, there’s a lot of reason to hope for a much better overall result.
      However, for all the fantastic leadership and organizational focus qualities I see in Stewart and Curtin, the fact that practically nothing was done to adjust for that obvious, cascading, change in chemistry in the second half of last season gives me pause.
      A successful organization is going roll with the punches. We can debate about the “whys”, but this one didn’t.

  8. I selected other for: “Who is the Union player you’re most looking forward to watching this year?”. My Choice is Epps. I have a feeling he could be that 70th minute sub to come on and change the pace running at tired defenses. I think he showed well in pre-season and with roster sizes expanded he has a nice opportunity to continue to impress in training sessions to make that game day roster.

  9. I would suggest running this poll again — verbatim — after March 18th.
    we will have had three games’ worth of visual evidence to evaluate.
    Somethings will be obvious after Vancouver, as they were after Dallas last year, Conceicao, for example.
    More things will be obvious after playing a team we all assume is going to be one of the stronger ones we play all season. Toronto will expose the weaknesses in a way that Vancouver may not.
    And the reason to include Orlando is that it will not be your average expectation of Orlando. So we will learn more about how well they can adapt on the fly to something somewhat unknown.
    Of course a fourth reason is that there is a hole in their schedule after the 18th, so we need something to stimulate debate and discussion.

  10. for obvious reasons, I did not vote on the Bethlehem Steel question.
    I follow them quite closely, but am not supposed to be a fan in so doing.

  11. Bold prediction: This will be our year to win the Open Cup. Edu scores the game winner (2-1), earning redemption for his horrendous penalty kick attempt in 2015 against Kansas City.

  12. Section 114 (former) says:

    Missing questions:
    – Who gets to ride the Sun Rocket?
    – Who will mysteriously crap out at mid season?
    – To which European power will Andre the Blake be sold?

    • Sapong rides the sun rocket, Haris “mysteriously” craps out in mid-season (since the Israeli league is on the fall to spring calendar, he’ll run out of gas. Not such a mystery) and Andre the Blake stays until he sorts out his distribution then gets sold to a team in the Bundesliga.

  13. Two think the Union finish in first but one thinks they win the East. Huh…
    The o/u on Edu and games played is 18.5

  14. Knee Over the Ball says:

    I feel we may get off to a rocky start (defense and lack of offensive punch). My hope is that unlike last year this team gets better as the season goes on. I don’t think we are a top defensive team so we will need to score consistently to win. How many goals can we get from Pontius, Ill, Sapong, Sampson, Alberg and others?

  15. Does anyone remember where we put the gate keys for the Cliff of Union Despair after last season?
    That’s not the kind of thing you want to have to be searching for when there’s a big crowd waiting on a Monday morning…

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