Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Orlando City SC

A brace from Cyle Larin handed Philadelphia Union their first loss of the 2017 season on Saturday night as they fell to Orlando City SC 2-1 in Orlando.

A discombobulated first half favored the home side, with Larin scoring on a tap-in after 40 minutes. The Union leveled the match on a sharp counterattack and fine finish by C.J. Sapong in the 55th minute. But the home side carved open the Union’s defense with some pretty play in the 71st minute, ending with a neat finish by Larin.

Union head coach Jim Curtin made only one change to the starting XI from the season’s first two matches. With Jay Simpson sidelined due to injury, Sapong made his first start of the year. Ilsinho returned from injury to make the 18 for the first time.

Orlando started the match on the front foot, harassing the Union out of possession and charging forward on the counterattack. Goalkeeper Andre Blake came off his line multiple times to clean up dangerous balls. The best early chance for Orlando actually came through Oguchi Onyewu, when his misplayed clearance looped over Blake and hit the crossbar, inches away from bouncing into the net.

With the Union unable to get so much as a foothold in the increasingly violent match, it would be the home side that struck first. A ball over the top found Carlos Rivas, kept onside by a lollygagging Fabinho, who held off a challenge from Keegan Rosenberry to put a low cross through Blake’s box. Waiting for it was Cyle Larin, unbothered by Fabinho, and the Canadian executed an easy tap-in to give Orlando the lead six minutes before halftime.

The shellshocked Union retreated to their locker room following a fruitless corner kick routine at the end of the half.

Curtin chose to send his thoroughly outplayed XI back out with no changes for the second half. Orlando started the half aggressively, getting the ball in dangerous places and testing Blake with a long-range strike by Matias Perez Garcia.

Against the run of play, though, the Union snatched a goal. In the 55th minute, Rosenberry pilfered the ball near midfield and sprung Fabian Herbers into space, who played a ball towards Alejandro Bedoya in the box. Bedoya got a half-touch and the ball bounced to Sapong, making a strong run down the center of the box. His cool headed finish beat Joe Bendik to equalize the scoreline. It marked Sapong’s second goal of the season.

Ilsinho (and his new goatee) replaced Herbers in the 61st minute, the first appearance of the season for the Brazilian winger. After the dire lack of possession in the first half, the Union began to move the ball with more fluency, sending Orlando chasing the game.

Out of nowhere, the Lions struck back. A flick from Rivas and through ball from Perez-Garcia sliced open the Union backline, and Larin made no mistake with his one-time finish. The purple masses rejoiced, seventeen minutes away from three points.

Roland Alberg replaced Derrick Jones, and Fafa Picault came on for Chris Pontius as the Union sought to snatch a valuable road point. It seemed like the Union would find that equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time. But a low, hard drive by Ilsinho found the outside of the post, and a free header by Bedoya fell victim to a marvelous starfish save by Joe Bendik. Failing to muster a second goal, the Union fell 2-1 in their first ever visit to Orlando City Stadium.

The Union are next back in action on Saturday, April 1, when they travel to RFK Stadium to face struggling DC United.

Three points
  • Malfunctioning midfield: The Union couldn’t generate any possession in the first half. With the wide players eschewing simple passing for the ambitious ball, the central pair of Medunjanin and Jones found themselves bypassed.
  • C.J. shows up: With first-choice striker Jay Simpson sidelined, Sapong scored his second goal in two games — a clever header to give the Union some hope.
  • Cyle Larin is very good: The young Canadian striker might not be long for MLS, as he was rewarded for sharp play all night long with his pair of goals.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Oguchi Onyewu, Keegan Rosenberry, Derrick Jones (Roland Alberg 77′), Haris Medunjanin, Fabian Herbers (Ilsinho 61′), Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Pontius (Fafa Picault 86′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Warren Creavalle

Orlando City SC
Joe Bendik, Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Will Johnson, Servando Carrasco (Cristian Higuita 71′), Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, Matias Perez Garcia (Hadji Barry 81′), Carlos Rivas (Pierre Da Silva 89′), Cyle Larin
Unused subs: Josh Saunders, Tommy Redding, Richie Laryea

Scoring summary

OC: Cyle Larin — 39′ (Carlos Rivas, Jonathan Spector)
PHI: C.J. Sapong — 55′
OC: Cyle Larin — 71′ (Matias Perez-Garcia)

Disciplinary summary

OC:  Carlos Rivas — 25′ (Not retreating)
PHI: Oguchi Onyewu — 28′ (Unsporting behavior)
PHI: Haris Medunjanin — 80′ (Unsporting behavior)
OC: Matias Perez Garcia — 80′ (Unsporting behavior)
OC: Jonathan Spector — 82′ (Dissent)

Orlando City Union
10 Shots 13
5 Shots on Target 2
3 Shots off Target 9
2 Blocked Shots 2
5 Corner Kicks 7
 8 Crosses 14
4 Offsides 3
13 Fouls 12
3 Yellow Cards 2
 0 Red Cards  0
 329 Total Passes 283
74% Passing Accuracy  75%
 51.5% Possession 48.5%
58 Duels Won 52
 52.7% Duels Won % 47.3%
 22 Tackles Won 13
 1 Saves 3
 31 Clearances  22


  1. Phil in Wilmington says:

    Paging Terrence Boyd….

  2. The giveaways by several of the Union in bad spots was frustrating. The second half was better, but speed is going to kill this team.

    • Lack of speed. Fafa looks good in spots.

      • Yeah, that’s what I was saying. OO gets burned by speed, so Rosenberry has to pinch in to cover which then exposes the outside more. I wonder if the focus for him to cover OO was why he misplayed so many balls out of the back.

  3. Pragmatist says:

    Play 2 complete halves and let’s see what happens. Please.

  4. Slowest team in MLS? Slowest team in MLS.

  5. My confidence in Curtin’s game management has waned. Pontious was absent for nearly the whole 2nd half and yet he subs Jones out when he was THE destroyer and still getting forward.
    My mind is looking for answers that just aren’t there.

    • The Little Fish says:

      Had the exact same thought when that substitution was made.

    • Alberg is a finisher. Jones isn’t (yet). I question a lot about Curtin, but I was okay with that substitution.

      • My thought was more along the lines of Picault for Pontius and why it took Curtain til the 86 min to make that change.
        But you’re right, I have no issue with Alberg coming on.

  6. Mark Butters says:

    It’s frustrating to watch a front 4 of square pegs in round holes. CJ does not do a decent job of holding the ball up. Ale is not a 10. Herbers and Pontius aren’t on the ball long enough, nor make intelligent enough runs to let either ob get over top of them. I wish someone would explain to Curtain. That he IS allowed to at least consider a formation that would suit his attacking players (sometimes) limited strengths!

  7. Joel Pterosaur says:

    Man what is it with Orlando games and the refs. I think I counted 8 points prior to this game the refs have given Orlando. Not saying the Union played particularly well but…that was pretty bad.

    • The ref had nothing to do with the outcome of this game

      • I realize the Union didn’t play well, but that first goal was obviously offside.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Fabinho played him on…then didn’t get back to cover his mess.
        KR & OO were highest,RM was just off OO shoulder and Fabihno was at least about two feet behind Richie. I watched it again and again and again to be sure.
        Still subjective though.

      • Joel Pterosaur says:

        Not sure about the pass to Rivas, but Larin was definitely offsides.

  8. Give me a brake. Old Union again.
    Give me a real owner and real coach please.
    And real players too.
    Just look at Atlanta and look at the Union.

    • Unfortunately, I think Sugarman is in it for the long haul. They’ll continue to flirt with mediocrity. Best we can hope for is lightening in a bottle like the ’93 Phils.


      Going winless in the last 11 games hasn’t been fun to watch.

      • The Chopper says:

        While we spent years bemoaning the reign of error, that was Sak, Sugarman has always been the issue. He is undercapitlzed to be effective in today’s marketplace. He does not wish to take on additional shareholders to avoid dilluting his stake in an asset that continually grows in value well beyond his investment. The value of MLS franchises continues to rise and Sugarman has no reason to part with club yet. He can stay mediocre and ride the rising tide.

  9. Fafa and ilsinho need to be a part of the starting rotation as well as Alberg based on the opponents. It’s silly to send out pontius and Herbers every game and I hope that is not the plan for the year.

  10. -Ilson and Alberg need to play more. Would love to see Alberg in there actually attacking, playing and passing around with Haris.

    -Bedoya just seems to run around a lot and recycle play, not much else. Not what a #10 is supposed to do.

    -Fafa can’t be much worse than Pontius was tonight, hope he starts

    – Most of the team couldn’t handle the press, just booting the ball forward aimlessly and losing possession. Hard to watch.

    I love this team but that sucked. Lucky it was only 1-2 and almost stole a point. Still have faith they can be a solid team.

  11. They had many things not go their way.
    They didn’t make much go their way.
    Jones is good again while still making mistakes. Which are easy to live with because he covers up so many others.
    Still not much in creation. Pontius looks like he may have lost a step or confidence or something. Herbers tries. C.J. used his head and got mauled as he mauled others.
    Defense is still shaky.
    Refs, they pay these guys?

  12. el Pachyderm says:

    WHAT A MESS that game was. So bad I can’t even organize my thoughts— which actually complements the game.
    Very David Bowie, Aladdin Sane like from Union and Co.
    I repeat. When your best and most skilled players sit the bench, this will be the repeatable mantra time again…especially on the road.
    Holy shit Fabinho–that was so bad- the Dutch kid can do no better?
    Paging Alejandro Bedoya Paging Alejandro Bedoya- your wanted on the field…

    • That was such an assault on the eyes I had to watch TWO Liga MX games immediately afterward to cleanse them and assure myself that sometimes a soccer ball can be played along the ground…To a teammate…More than once.
      After last week, that was a bit of a surprise. Looked the part for a little while opening the second half, but…Whew.
      48 points

  13. Why not start Ilson? What was the coaching strategy for coping with OC’s speed?

    The first half was unwatchable and only Superman’s heroics kept a rout at bay.

    Only 2 shots on goal against anew overhaul back 4? Sad!

    If Jim Curtin doesn’t begin to adjust personnel and tactics to match the opponent, find a coach who can.

  14. That sure wasn’t an advertisement for the league. Both teams looked pretty awful in stretches. The officials must have thought they were presiding over a rugby match. It did not cost the Union the game, but it sure made it worse for those of us watching. s for the U ion, I have no idea how they looked so clunky. They played scared for most of the first half. Just a poor performance all around. The only thing confirmed for me is that this team better pray every evening for the continued health and we’ll being of Andre Blake. Oh man. I can’t imagine this team without him right now.

  15. The Little Fish says:

    I really thought we could net 4 points from the first 3 games. Nope, not close. Too much Koolaid I guess. I feel like our offense is kind of toothless even with Simpson up top. Here’s the thing, we need Picault’s speed in our starting eleven in order to at least give our opponents something to think about. Speed kills (opponents) and I just don’t think our current lineup warrants much concern from opposing staffs. How long does it take to gameplan ‘against’ the Union?
    What was up with our passing in the middle third? It looked like the same old union duffing and shanking the damned ball without any purpose…sigh.

    • “How long does it take to gameplan ‘against’ the Union?” This is why I’m close to joining the “Curtin Out” club. If the Union got a result the last game, they’ll trot out the same XI and the same gameplan.

  16. Andy Muenz says:

    The Union were outhustled pure and simple. They spent much of the game just clearing the ball back to Orlando. Offense was basically nonexistent. On defense, they should have had one primary focus, stop Larin, and they failed miserably.

  17. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Jason Kreis evaluated the Union’s major weaknesses well and took advantage of them.
    He deliberately stretched the field from the get go to disrupt compact defensive spacing and he played directly out of the back to two strikers who are both physically strong and pacey.
    And he got an emotionally committed high intensity effort out of his side, in the first half especially. They possessed the ball in the midfield in the first half.
    To me, the winning goal is a direct consequence of Onyewu’s yellow card in the first half. He had to let Larin go because a professional foul against Larin would have meant a second yellow, a red and a suspension. That would mean either Jack Elliott starting at right center back in DC, or Richie shifting over and Auston Trusty starting at left center back in DC, because Yaro is out and Tribbett is hurt.
    To those calling for Ilsinho to start after a two week layoff from a hamstring injury, I call upon you to think about the impact on the season of a hamstring re-injury due to over fatiguing a not ideally conditioned muscle group.
    Coaching can do nothing about injuries. They impose limits. You have to work within those limits.

    • Great point on Onyewu. I was wondering how Larin got out of his grasp so easily.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      If Ilsinho could play 30 minutes one could argue he could play 60 minutes then get subbed out. Instead of other way around.

    • The Little Fish says:

      Fine. Give me Fafa Picault then, ok?

      • I agree in theory, but Herbers just had a really good game against Toronto and Fafa and Ilsinho are still both recovering fitness from injury. I don’t think you can fault the starting lineup for this game. Next week though, Ilsinho should be starting.

  18. The Little Fish says:

    I’m still trying hard to figure out Ale Bedoya’s best position. For argument sake putting aside our current roster, where is he most effective? As our Designated Player where on the field can Ale make the biggest IMPACT? I suspect it may be on the wing but we are already so thick out there. The Union remind me of those old Sixers teams with an over-abundance of G-F swingmen. They had legit talent but it never really fit because only one guy was playing in his best natural position and everyone else was adapting to new roles.
    OK. Blank slate, no roster, where do you pencil in Bedoya? Go.

    • He has to play wing. Any talent and ability he has, can be used best on the wing going at players. Put Ilson in the middle or Alberg. Then they can interchange or float where they want. Leave Jones and Haris alone and put Fafa on the left. C.J. or Simpson when he gets back, up top.

      • Eh, Bedoya has played more in a central position than on the wing. Plus Ilsinho looked much better on the wing than in the middle last year. I think getting Ilsinho back will solve a lot of those problems. Also, I think Sapong is a fault for stretching the formation too much. Simpson was able to keep us much more compact against Toronto and that helps everything. Sapong just wants to high press everything which is just asking your team to be spread too thin.

      • See I think Ale presses too high, at least in the first half or matches. He seems to settle by the second half and slots back under and provides better coverage.

      • Yeah, it could be on him as well. Maybe a little of both. I hate pressing into the other teams half when they recycle play. Just sit deep in your formation. They aren’t beating you over the top in that situation and if you do somehow intercept the ball, you’re all alone up there.

  19. Guys, guys, hold the toast!
    If you are just now,objectively,looking at this team and coach, I can see why you might be surprised they struggle. We as a fan base have tendencies to project our hope. We hope Curtin will adjust. We hope that players always improve. We hope MLS doesn’t figure it out.
    Our reality is different. Yes, the FO has made improvements. There has been investments. People point to these data items as Exhibits A,etc, of a club on the rise. They aren’t. These are table stakes. These points are the new baseline. You are required to have an academy. You are required to have training facilities. You must spend $M+ for talent. Or you will not compete.
    This isn’t 2010 anymore. It’s not cute we have our little club. ATL and OC have just demonstrated what investment in players and facilities looks like. Puff pieces about homegrowns do not alter the fact that we are deficient in talent and coaching to our competition. Most of us believe the U can snatch a playoff spot based solely on the thought that other teams have issues.
    Unfortunately, no one does issues like the U.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Orlando isn’t that good. Not saying we are light years ahead of them, but last night was a winnable game (if they would have played two halves, instead of 3/4 of one). I will give you Atlanta… as anyone with eyes could see they weren’t messing around when they built their roster.
      If you have a moneyball style team, you need a strong manager, to get the most out of the players – which, because of the whole moneyball thing, probably isn’t as talented as other squads.
      I have very little confidence that Curtin is that guy

      • I meant investment in OCs stadium. That thing is legit. Remember 15 year ago the Birds and Phils whinging about not having the stadium revenue streams to compete? OC has 7k more tickets to sell. If you use $30 an average seat, that’s $3.6M over a season, just gate. Let’s say each of those people spent $10 per on concessions and parking, that runs to $1.19M a year. Or one “Bedoya” as unit of measurement.
        Yes, today, they’re not much better. Better, but within sight. Extrapolating $4.8M extra a year conservatively means this may be the last time they are in sight. Seems to work for Seattle just fine.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        Spending $10 on concessions only gives you that figure in gross revenue but I’m sure they take the net with joy.

      • and as long as the salary cap exists teams won’t be able to really outspend others to an insane degree.

      • @ A. –

        There is no “salary cap”. There is a salary budget. As for not outspending by an insane degree, look at TFC/ ATL /NYC relative to the Union. Between TAM/GAM, deeper pocketed teams are already insanely outspending us. TFC / NYC have payrolls near $20M.

  20. I think it may be taboo since he is a local kid, but I have to say it. Rosenberry has played awful this year and he was no better in this game. The kid may show some interesting things going forward, but his defensive play has been horrendous. Orlando clearly game planned for this glaring weakness in the union by constantly attacking his flank and beating him. It didn’t help he could not connect passes and caused a ton of turnovers. This caused in part Herbers to be taken out of the match as well for long stretches because he was back defending with him. Fell asleep on Rivas (as did Fabinho) on one of the goals. Is this USNMT call up syndrome like it happened to Mckinerney? I hope he improves because if not, it’s looking like a long season. Oh and at least he was in the game, not sure where to even start with Bedoya…

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah he has been the exact opposite of last season

    • I think the problem is that there’s enough film on KR to find a weakness and exploit it. Now the coaching staff needs to help KR fix the holes in his game. Lots of promising young Union players have gotten lost at this point. Hope that doesn’t happen to KR.

  21. So I’m a little worried that it’s revealing that our defense is a bit sluggish when pressured by teams with pace uptop. Fab and Rosenberry didn’t have their best games passing wise. It seemed Fabinho was the man to mark Larin and we obviously needed Yaro for that matchup in my eyes. Bedoya needs to play 100% better. Unfortunately I thinks he’s played out of position. He’s not getting it done as the ACM. As of right now, I don’t see Bedoya filling any spot of this team……ugh devistating. They need to try Ilsinho as the #10. Honestly he looks like the only hope for getting the counter attacks and offense going. When healthy he needs to start every match period. Having said that, Sapong hasn’t been playing bad at all. He still needs all the support he can get up top since he is not a striker who can create his own chances on goal. I long for the day when we see two strikers up top. Simpson and Sapong ?? Could be a strong duo that could work off of each other very well.

    • I said above, but the formation is constantly stretched with Sapong in there. He’s always too far up the field which causes our 10 to be too far up the field. This was a major problem last year. Against Toronto with Simpson we were much mroe compact and unsurprisingly Bedoya looked much better.

      • agreed – if we ever go to 2 up top i’d like to see Simpson paired with either Alberg or Herbers (his natural position).

  22. OneManWolfpack says:

    This is where, I have a bad feeling, we will all begin to question Curtin, after he rolls out the same lineup again in 2 weeks. I’m not gonna freak out, but if he doesn’t acknowledge some changes are necessary, and then make them – we are going nowhere.

  23. I’m surprised how many people think Fafa and Ils were a major upgrade. The game had begun to shift before they came on, and though they put together some nice moments, they didn’t truly affect the outcome the way a sub needs to (particularly to upend a regular starter). Alberg seemed lost, too, which didn’t help. A really disjointed night, not much to take away that’s positive.

    • Well, it’s hard to make an impact when being subbed in the 85′. Curtin has struggled with this aspect the whole time he’s been a Union coach. Subs need to be made at least 15 min. Before the end of the match. Players need the time to get involved in the game and feel it out. I also disagree with your assessment on the subs. Fafa almost had an assist w his cross into the box where Bendik had to make a big save and ilsinho got unlucky hitting the post and unfortunately it rebounded out across the goal. He had the best chance of the night.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        One could argue Fafa Piccault generated more in 5 minutes than Pontius or Herbers in the entire game.

      • I was literally typing the “sub Herbers or CJ” tweet when he sent that seeing eye cross in. Bedoyas contribution of touching/not touching it was part and parcel of his evening. An assist without contact.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        A lovely ball.
        …one of the nicest pieces of skill so far.

  24. Curtin’s predictability makes it too easy for opposing coaches. If the lineup is so much slower, switch the field and one touch pass to compensate.
    At least Fifa has speed. At least Alberg can shoot on frame. That makes defenders defend.
    Plan to sub off Ilson at the half if he’s not fully fit.
    Kreis could bomb down the field because Union couldn’t string together passes or spring an attacker.

  25. I’ve been mostly a Curtin advocate, but I’m beginning to think he might really be the problem at the moment. It’s his refusal to change tactics. On the road in Orlando against a team that had last weekend off, he might have been better served by a sitting back and defending, looking for the counter. It reminds me of how Bob Bradley pushed Swansea to attack and got creamed in game after game. Bring in Paul Clement, who simplifies the game planning around what the team does well, and they’ve picked themselves off the bottom of the table.

    Whether or not Bedoya CAN play the 10 is irrelevant, because it appears he doesn’t even try. He plays as a second striker. Goes on run after run into the box. My feeling is that a 10 is the guy who collects the ball and distributes to a forward. The team is trying to use Medunjnanin in that capacity, pulling up the back line and exposing them to the counter. We’re lucky Orlando is quite honestly not a very good team. A sharp attacking team might have dropped 4 to 5 goals on us.

    I think most of us here, whether we were pro Curtin or wanted a change, agreed that this season was do or die time. If this team doesn’t start picking up points, we are likely going to be in for a manager change in the summer. This team can still turn it around before then. But the clock is ticking.

    • Looking back at my 2nd graph, it reads as if I think Bedoya doesn’t try. He does try, and I think he’s a good player. What I meant is that he doesn’t try to play as a traditional #10 because he’s doing what he’s being asked to do by the coach.

  26. OneManWolfpack says:

    ES set this team up with depth, which was a fairly legitimate issue last year. I’m not saying they have the best roster in the East, just saying there are actual options off the bench for the first time – maybe ever. Curtin has no more excuses. It’s on him to figure out how to get the most out of this team. I don’t think he will… and I do think he will be let go this summer.

  27. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And it’s sad to say, but it’s becoming boring. The same staid offense, the same vanilla Jim Curtin, running the same starting eleven for every game. Can you imagine the opposing teams’ coach game planning for the Union? “He don’t scare me, he’s not a threat. Not to worry guys, just don’t make a glaring mistake and we should earn at least a point.” We’re like the Miami Dolphins of the MLS. Decent enough to earn a playoff spot every once in a while, but not good enough to seriously contend for a title. All preseason, all I heard was about the Unions’ depth. If your not contributing or still making the same mistakes, have a seat on the bench. Whats the worst that can happen? You come out of the first three matches with 0 points instead of 2? What’s the point of adding depth if Jim Curtin refuses to use it?

  28. OSC rightly observes injury and fitness limits: losing 3 starters over 3 games with new teammates surely hurts.
    And Kaka played only 11 minutes but his team is on top of the table.
    I like Curtin’s deliberateness. I also can’t decipher last night’s game plan for slowing Larin, Rivas & Garcia nor for exploiting OC’s weak back 4.

  29. Curtin PLEASE change your tactics and your lineup.

  30. Good luck admonishing Curtin to change. He can’t even spell “tactics.” On this site I predicted 2 wins in the first ten games for this team. And that’s now looking optimistic. Let Earnie go be USMNT sporting director. He’s done nothing for this team except trade our best player ever for freakin nothing. Reboot. The players might be ok. But they need a leader and Curtin’s not that guy. Neither is Stewart. 4-2-3-1 without a 10 bc we’re too cheap to sign a #10.

  31. The Little Fish says:

    The Ilsinho to the 10, Bedoya and Fafa Picault to the wings plan sounds pretty good to me based on what we’ve (not) seen from Jimmy’s preferred starting eleven. I actually like it…..a lot. Though I agree that JC is far too stubborn to try it. Perhaps down the road if we are still at the bottom of the table. Then again, on second thought, that lineup could be gashed up the middle for 3 or 4 goals per game, no?

  32. Yuck. Wishing I didn’t watch the first half. Second half looked better. Unlucky at the end. The sky isn’t falling…yet. Three games, two points. No wins since August.

  33. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    Jack Mac gets called up to the USMNT camp and his career went south ever since. Pontius, Bedoya and Rosenberry have also now suffered in form….is this a Union curse of what? I won’t even mention Maurice Edu and Freddy Adu came here to get their USMNT careers back on track and….

    • Maybe it hurts players to have a short preseason with their teammates who they are actually going to be playing with?

    • I kind of think that the league Jack came into in 2010 vs where it is now is really the difference. He didn’t go south so much as the league went so north so fast. With more expansion and more money, more talent will flow in. The existing “talent” will be displaced as not good enough. Jack, Danny Cruz, Adu (heck even Edu soon enough) all fall away. As for Pontius/Rosenberger, CP13 may just be tired. We hit yahtzee on his deal last year. Now it may average out. Keegan may just be experiencing the downside to playing every minute last year, early preseason, and being called upon to put in more yeoman efforts.
      If we had metrics for soccer talent on when we came in as the 16th team to compare to what is on the field in 2017, I think we would all be shocked by the disparity. We see it even with this current roster, we’re mediocre to the league, but this team is a moon shot better than the Zolo one.
      I swam in college, was average, finished 12th in my conference in my event. My times from then wouldn’t get me on as equipment manager today. It’s the pace of improvement that is catching us by surprise.

      • +1. I think that we did improve our roster in the offseason – just not as much as most other teams did.

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