Union match reports

Match report: Atlanta United 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: 215pix

Philadelphia Union’s club-best season came to an end Thursday night, as goals from Julian Gressel and Josef Martinez powered Atlanta United to a 2-0 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Jim Curtin stuck with the 4-4-2 formation he used last week against New York Red Bulls, the only change being Fafa Picault replacing Andrew Wooten at striker.

Atlanta took the lead in just the 10th minute. Pity Martinez corraled the ball in the center of the park, 30 yards from goal. The Union defense got sucked into the dynamic Martinez, and he slid a ball to the right to Gressel. Andre Blake was quick off his line as Gressel was unmarked, but Gressel did well to get ball over the goalkeeper and his shot went in off the crossbar.

The Union had a great chance to equalize in the 15th minute. Jamiro Monteiro slid a fantastic pass down the seam to Sergio Santos, who centered for an open Brenden Aaronson, but Brad Guzan was out quickly to smother the shooting attempt.

Philly did well to contain Atlanta for the rest of the first half, primarily keeping the defending champions pinned in their own half. They were able to turn the ball over in the midfield a handful of times, but the Aaronson chance was the best they created.

Jim Curtin replaced Brenden Aaronson with Ilsinho shortly after halftime, but the Union struggled to find a foothold as they moved into a 4-2-3-1 and Atlanta moved the ball with ease. Marco Fabian’s introduction in the 66th minute did little to stem the tide.

Atlanta would find their second goal in the 80th minute. Mark McKenzie failed to deal with a ball over the top, and it fell to Martinez. The crafty striker opened just a sliver a space on the left side and rifled a shot into the upper 90 at the near post past Blake.

Andrew Wooten replaced a limping Kai Wagner after the goal, but the Union would create little down two goals.

Three points

  • Out of gas – The Union performed admirably in a difficult environment after 120 minutes on Sunday. But they looked tired, particularly in the second half.
  • Not enough offense – Sergio Santos and Fafa Picault couldn’t involve themselves enough in the first half when the Union saw more of the ball. Ilsinho was quiet after coming on and Fabian’s best two opportunities came from too deep to trouble Guzan. They missed Kacper Przybylko.
  • It’s been a hell of a ride – This has still been the best season of Union soccer in the history of the club, both in terms of results and style of play. It’s been a pleasure to cover it and we hope you all enjoyed it.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Kai Wagner (Andrew Wooten 82′), Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis, Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson (Ilsinho 52′), Fafa Picault, Sergio Santos (Marco Fabian 66′)
Unused Subs: Joe Bendik, Aurelien Collin, Matt Real, Warren Creavalle

Atlanta United

Brad Guzan, Franco Escobar, Mikey Ambrose (Mohammed Adams 84′), Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Floertin Pogba, Jeff Larentowicz, Pity Martinez (Eric Remedi 80′), Darlington Nagbe, Josef Martinez, Julian Gressel, Ezequeil Barco (Emerson Hyndman 73′)
Unused Subs: Alec Kann, Hector Villalba, Justin Meram, Brandon Vazquez

Scoring Summary
ATL: Julian Gressel – 10′ (Pity Martinez)
ATL: Josef Martinez – 80′ (Julian Gressel)

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya – 35′ (unsporting behavior)
ATL: Julian Gressel – 38′ (persistent infringment)
PHI: Kai Wagner – 74′ (unsporting behavior)
ATL: Franco Escobar – 84′ (unsporting behavior)

74 Comments

  1. Happy at how many times we lost our voices screaming with joy at Talen this season.

    Lots to consider for next year but by far the strongest team yet and some great pieces remain in place.

  2. Atlanta was just better. They had the pace to mark, to recover, and to counter. They looked good. MAYBE KP adds a dimension, but ATL was just better this evening. Good season and good group that I hope will be mostly together next year.

  3. I’m in agreement with the three points. Union clearly out of gas by minute 60. And man, we could have used Przbylko. Everyone else out there had made their monthly goal quotas on Sunday.

    I think Union’s best player might have been Gaddis.

    Sad to end the season, but there’s not a lot of shame in going out to Atlanta in their football stadium.

    Next year…

    • PRH Continuum says:

      Why wasn’t Pryz out there? You have all winter to rest and recouperate.

      • Przybylko has a stress reaction in his foot and was in a walking boot yesterday. There’s no way he could play under those circumstances.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Stress reactions are the precursor of stress fractures.
        .
        Stress fractures ended Maurice Edu’s time with Philly.
        .
        Przybylko has had a difficult history with them already, in the other foot I think.
        .
        Destroy an asset of skyrocketing value for the sake of one game, and that not any kind of championship?

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    Frustrating ending of course. I genuinely feel like this game was there for the taking. Union never took advantage of, what seemed like to me, Atlanta’s unwillingness or just poor defense. Montiero wasn’t good. Haris wasn’t good. Santos wasn’t good. They missed Kacper tonight, big time. For all the good work they did in the first half they never really threatened – other than Aaronson’s nice chance that was stopped. Atlanta doesn’t win against Toronto if they play the way they played against us and NE.
    .
    On to next year. Build on this. Sugarman if you read this… Now is not the time to be complicit. You are better than most of the East as constructed. Add better, more expensive players. You need to spend. We need a real 10. Make the playoffs… an annual event… not a one off.
    .
    And finally, thank you to the Union for finally giving us an enjoyable year. Talon was fun again. And when I get back to Lot A… it should be paved!! Can’t wait!

    • Spot on OneWolfPack regarding ownership. We need Sugerman to be Sugerdaddy and also spend wisely on deliverable talents rather than megahype draft busts, china dolls and meltdown M’Bholis.
      *
      Season Upside: As frustrating as the repeat backslide was into the playoffs that hurt playoff seeding and CCL chances (Seattle winning the MLS Cup is our only hope now given they did their homework in closing when we did not), Da U finished 3rd in the East and won its first playoff match for Philly. The team was also missing Kacper again tonight as a huge setback. Overall, the current team consists of serviceable, honorable, hard working journeyman that work well together as a team and it showed.
      *
      Season Downside: Same old story regarding ownership commitment to excellence. We need a Wawa not a Turkey Hill for an MLS team. We need as fans to put immense pressure on Sugarman not to get the idea he can coast for an easy dollar next year. He needs to invest in a trophy winning team for his return on investment and know that slumlording will hurt his bottom line.

      • The MLS Cup slot is the last one available, so we would have needed a team that is already in -or Canadian- to win the Cup (LAFC,NYCFC,Atlanta,Toronto).
        .
        Alas we threw that privilege away when we let Seattle overtake us on points. Winning MLS Cup was the only chance left for the Union to get into CCL.

      • You’re correct SilverRey on the CCL. Ugh…annoying we threw that away when it was virtually there for the taking before the backslide.

  5. Felt like they left it all on the field tonight.

    • Speaking of left and field … from the fourth paragraph:
      *
      “Jamiro Monteiro slid a fantastic pass down the seam on the right side to Sergio Santos….”
      *
      That pass — which was indeed fantastic — came down the LEFT side.

  6. Thankyou Union! All good…

  7. Thank you, Union.
    .
    It’s always disappointing when you are not the squad who ends the year with lifted hands.
    .
    Even so, keep your heads up. Get some rest. Clear your head. Enjoy life with family and friends.
    .
    Come back hungry.

  8. The Union did themselves an injustice not playing RJ Allen. He has big game playoff experience on the biggest stage NYC. RJ was the reason that David Villa always contended for the Golden Boot during his years with NYCFC. He is the best attacking right back in the league. Give him the minutes and the assists accumulate.

  9. Well that was one hell of a year! I’m already looking forward to next season! Off to watch my second favorite underdog team…come you Cherrys!

  10. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Dear 2019 Union,
    Thank you for a great ride. The opener against TFC was my first ever game in person, and I was able to go to several games this year. It’s just a different feel at the stadium. The fans are so incredible, supporting through the good and bad. Thank you for giving us the playoff win we were starved for. Special thanks to a few. Bedoya, who always set the example. Monteiro, who brought another element of passion and aggression. Ray, for putting up with doubters like myself and continuing to be a solid player but better person. Jim, for being flexible and growing as a coach. Tanner, for making mostly the right moves. And finally, Fafa. For adapting to the new formation. For not giving up when Accam was traded. For not giving up when Kacper emerged as the superior player. And most importantly, for inspiring the best comeback in Union history with a game to remember forever off the bench. Well done everyone, see most of you next year.

  11. el Pachyderm says:

    That game was there for the taking. I’m left wanting.
    .

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Totally agree El P. That’s what hurts the most

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Compare Gressel’s Chance on goal, that he took, to Aaronson’s.
      .
      They are in different places in the box, but both are undefended save for an on-rushing keeper. Gressel instinctively knew to try a chip because Blake was going to smother anything on the carpet. Aaronson kept on the carpet and got smothered.
      .
      Why did Gressel know to chip and Aaronson did not?
      .
      1. Gressel has had more game minutes of experience. He is older.
      .
      2. Gressel grew up in a culture that lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, and excretes soccer. Aaronson did not. Soccer metaphors do not saturate the USA version of English, baseball ones do.

      The instinct that told Gressel to put lift on his attempt won that match.
      .
      Brendan Aaronson may have learned that last night. So far in his life he has been successful beating the keeper by being a better athlete and beating him to the ball. He cares, a lot. He will be beating himself up about that play for a while An will learn.
      .
      And then he will have to go out into his backyard and practice making the move thousands of times until he’s got it down, like the push away pivot at second base on the double play.

      • I think Gressel had more control of the ball and was less rushed than Aaronson, just based on where the ball was placed. At first I wasn’t happy that Brendan didn’t chip it but when I saw the reply, I saw that it would have also been easy for him to miss the ball completely if he tried to get too fancy.

      • OSC……all’s Aaronson needed to do was get under that ball and pop it into the corner……I have ( and you probably have as well) seen kids do that, and done it personally…..all they way up the ladder to D1 college ball…..I don’t think it’s a cultural thing with finishing that. For some reason, nerves, whatever he didn’t put that home…..and has to in that situation. I agree with El Pach too, that match was there to be had….and we committed two huge mistakes…..Atlanta did not. They actually toyed with us a bit after that first goal and invited the pressure. Aaronson puts that away it changes things.

  12. Glad the opening goal wasn’t the difference. Blake’s double save was redeeming and I wish they could’ve answered the effort with a goal.

    Satisfying season. Some real grit and, at times, beautiful soccer. 4 months to shore up the offense and get some depth. Trim some ineffective acquisitions and reward the talent.
    Already looking forward to March.

  13. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I know it’s early to think about business, but I think it helps me take my mind off the loss. Fabian should not come back. I wish him well but he’s not a fit, and he’s very frustrating to watch more often than not. I think Monteiro decreased his value in the 2nd half of the season, which may be exactly what we needed to keep him. I still say do whatever it takes. McKenzie had a rough game tonight but he and Jack go into next year as starters for sure. Wagner at LB obviously. Ideally an upgrade at RB, but maybe Ray will improve with this system. Aaronson is very key to our future, sell or not.
    .
    The priority needs to be finding a DP #10 that’s here to stay, unless they’re 100% confident that Brenden is the man there.
    .
    And it’s time to consider finding someone at the 6. Medunjanin isn’t getting any younger, and he cannot play every minute next year. No way, not effectively..
    .
    Whatever happens, I just hope they’re aggressive and reward us as fans for supporting unconditionally. Go U.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      After that misplay on the ball if I don’t see Mark McKenzie play in Philly again… I’m okay with it.
      .
      Egregious.
      .
      I’m not magnanimous tonight. Maybe tomorrow. They had chances to win. Should have won actually. Played better for more of the game.
      .

      • I think that’s a bit of an overreaction on McKenzie. One mistake by a 20 year old shouldn’t spell the end of his time with the Union, especially when if the rest of the team had been able to score in the previous 80 minutes it probably wouldn’t have happened since the team wouldn’t have been pressing so much and it still took a great finish to actually score.

      • Sorry but way too harsh on McKenzie. He’s trying to track his man and the flight of the ball while running at full tilt with the ball coming from over his shoulder. Granted if it consistently happens I’d say it’s an issue. But not in this circumstance.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        McKenzie botched the Martinez goal for sure, but he was and is a good player. He and Elliott are our best options at CB

      • I agree with Andy. A little rough on Mark for one mistake after keeping Martinez in check most of the night. BTW that was a top notch finish by Martinez too.

        If you are that critical of McKenzie for that error than A-A-Ron-Son should be sent packing for not scoring.

        AU did what it needed to do. Not expose its back up defense by playing to aggressive through the midfield. They knew Haris, Monte and Ale were spent from the game on Sunday. Just bide time until we make mistakes. Blake made another one, Brenden made the second and mark completed the trifecta.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        El P, we all share the disappointment. I’m not saying that.
        .
        Two things to think about as you mull it over in the future.
        .
        How tough is it to get a result from a really good team three times in a row?
        .
        How much difference did the extra day of rest have for Atlanta’s legs versus the Union’s legs?
        .
        You don’t keep a Josef Martinez of the boxscore forever. And we had just beaten them for the first time ever at home.

      • McKenzie blew that play, yes.

        BUT… it’s still only one play. Not like he routinely does that.

        AND… it still took a phenomenal finish from Martinez to cash in. I could barely believe it, watching the replay.

        I don’t know who starts next to Elliott next year — don’t be surprised if Trusty is back. But I wouldn’t get down on McKenzie.

      • Kip Leitner says:

        McKenzie did make a mistake on the Martinez goal, but it’s not the one people think it is (missing the header 45 yards from goal). It’s the mental one he made right before Martinez takes the shot, where he perceptibly slows down his pursuit on the last few steps.
        *
        Not a good idea, here’s why:
        *
        Martinez is a lethal finisher and had an off-night (or he might have had 3 goals), but on his goal, McKenzie should have realized that his partner center back, who was with him at midfield, was right behind him. He should have slide tackled the space in front of and to the right of Martinez. He had no chance probably to get to the ball, but this action would probably have taken away the far post shot.
        *
        Also, a player of Martinez caliber would have seen the slide coming and might have simply chopped the ball back and let McKenzie go sliding by. This would be a good thing: chopping the ball back gives the other center back time to close, and it means that Martinez might have to now beat a second defender before taking the shot.
        *
        You see this type of defending happening all the time in the UEFA, where it’s obvious that it’s better to buy the 1 second of time (and take yourself out of the play as you go sliding by) so that the rest of the defense can close and reset.
        *
        There is simply no use in McKenzie guarding the inside field position when it means Martinez is going to get a shot on goal. The prime objective is to deny Martinez the shot, no matter if it means you take yourself out of the play.
        *
        It’s kind of an irony to think that taking yourself out of the play is a good thing; uninformed soccer people might think you made a mistake and got beat, but in this case it’s just the thing you to do — pressure the ball and force your opponent to react, rather than taking the shot, and let your team close behind you.

      • You’re just boorish…not just this comment… have been all along, and will be going along. no further description needed. get off your high horse and go away.

  14. Tanner talked previously about “building on his vision” in 2020. He needs to build from the progress and not the personnel if he hopes to be in contention going forward.

    They whisper about trying to sell people you count on.

    Remains to be seen what they bring in.

    Monteiro reverts to Metz. U are competing for his rights among many.

    If you can’t nail down your core, you can’t establish a permanent identity.

    To play the way they want, you need a more consistent keeper, and upgrades at RB/diamond top/bottom/and a F who truly fits the scheme.

    A lot of popularity needs to be allowed to walk………..

    Good luck all.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Tanner said in the town hall that there would be lots of changes, that this was a transition year.
      .
      Age and athleticism in the midfield.

  15. Tanner talked previously about “building on his vision” in 2020. He needs to build from the progress and not the personnel if he hopes to be in contention going forward.

    They whisper about trying to sell people you count on.

    Remains to be seen what they bring in.

    Monteiro reverts to Metz. U are competing for his rights among many.

    If you can’t nail down your core, you can’t establish a permanent identity.

    To play the way they want, you need a more consistent keeper, and upgrades at RB/diamond top/bottom/and a F who truly fits the scheme.

    Staff needs to do a better job of developing DEPTH.

    A lot of popularity needs to be allowed to walk………..

    Good luck all.

    • I agree that the diamond needs to be upgraded. The Union will need more ball winners in midfield if Monteiro is returning to Metz. The press will fall apart without ball winners and good transition players in midfield.
      .
      I think Kacper actually fits the press/possesion scheme perfectly, but if he’s the only one we can count on, that will be frustratingly so Union. Santos seems up for the challenge. Hope he gets more minutes next year.
      .
      Still need that DP 10 and forward.

      • We need a destroyer at the base of the diamond as much as we need anything. We had a great season, but if Medunjanin starts next year, this is our ceiling.

  16. Instead of playing defense? On the first goal, Haris M was pointing as he usually does. After he left his national squad, he kinda doesn’t run barely anymore. Great passes but he doesn’t join the play hence no goal output.

  17. PRH Continuum says:

    Until the U actually spend $$$ on a top tier offense instead of scraping the bottom of 3rd and 4th leagues abroad, they will never be a championship team. This fall’s swoon was merely more pronounced this year. Andre, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Same for Curtin.

    • Pretty stupid comments to blame the coach for guiding the team to its best ever season.

      • Agree with Andy. I thought Jim did a fantastic job this year. Managing the team to a first ever playoff victory with Fabian merely a role player, an average defense age of 23, and a rag-tag group of forwards? Bravo.
        .
        I do agree that we should have sold Blake a few years ago, though, when his value was the highest. Hindsight, however.

    • They took a gamble on Fabian and I think it’s fair to say they lost that one. Kind of incredible they did as well as they did given how much of a struggle it’s been for this team to have forwards score goals. I was really hoping Santos would net one last night. Picault. I think he’s a very good player as long as you’re not expecting him to score with his boots. The chances they had last night. Still haunting.

      Take that Fabian money and put it all on an actual goal scorer.

    • O captain my captain crunch is gone says:

      Totally agree about Blake. He’s a good kid but he’s lost a step and confidence. When you’re as small as he is in goal quickness is all you have and he’s lost some of that. Time for a change: I liked the big Brazilian we had earlier this season. What ever.
      It was a good year, not great. Seems like we conceded a ton of goals. Have to sort out the D. Not sure if it’s personnel or scheme but something needs to change. Looking forward to March and my 6 year old playing there in 2032. YIKES!!!!

  18. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    Well when it’s all said and done, I believe the Union have taken a step this year. Hopefully Ernst makes a move toward a DP caliber striker to pair with Kacper as I believe they still need a twenty goal scorer to make this team a legitimate contender. The rest of the team I think they can find either from their academy or with TAM & GAM.
    .
    For those who might not have been paying attention to the rest of the league and the changes they’ve made, here are a few interesting facts.
    .
    Playoff home teams are 8-2 heading into the conference finals. The regular season means more than ever and as long as they don’t add more playoff teams as they expand to thirty, I think they’ve found the right system.
    .
    Teams left to challenge for the Cup
    2016 MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC.
    2017 MLS Cup Champions Seattle Sounders FC
    2018 MLS Cup Champions Atlanta United FC
    2019 MLS Supporters’ Shield winner LAFC holder of the best point total for a MLS regular season.
    .
    We beat the Pink Cows in a thriller of a home playoff game. NYCFC can’t get over the hump much like the Pink Cows and lost playing at another baseball stadium.

    .

    • Good points but I think you flipped Toronto and Seattle winning MLS Cup.

    • This is a good perspective.

      I suspect they will expand to 8 teams making the playoffs in each conference, with #1 no longer getting a bye. I think that would be one too many, but they feel an expanded playoff race maintains fan interest, so that would be my prediction.

      But I do agree that this is the right format. I like it.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        I originally liked it, 5 days of rest included. But I didn’t think about 120 minute games. They need to account for the extra 30 minutes of playoff intensity when they consider scheduling rest.

  19. I don’t think the team was tired so much as they had less possession when they brought in Ilsinho for Aaronson since Ilsinho wasn’t pressing as much. Tired legs would have been a bigger problem if the game was on Wednesday. The inability to finish was obviously a problem. They matched Atlanta with 12 shots each but theirs were generally lower quality (only 3 on goal compared with 5 for Atlanta).
    .
    Looking at the bigger picture, the issue was their inability to score on the road over the second half of the season. Over their last 8 road games, they were shutout 6 teams, losing 2-0 in 4 of those and 4-0 in the other two. The two games they scored? DC and San Jose, both wins.

  20. OneManWolfpack says:

    Anyone else think Atlanta wasn’t that good last night? They won, so congrats… but I just think they weren’t very good and really didn’t defend well at all. Union just never took advantage. A better team would have punished Atlanta. Thoughts? Or am I just trying to convince myself of this cause our side lost?

    • I agree Atlanta wasn’t that good, most evidenced by some of the bad giveaways.
      .
      The Union have shown they can compete with anyone in this league but have also shown they can fall flat as well. It really depends on how they finish. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing ahead of time which version is going to show up. Fortunately we got more of the former than the latter this season.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        They fell flat fewer times at home I think, on the basis on digging into the statistical evidence not at all.

      • Even at home there was some flatness. Most specifically the Seattle/Portland/Colorado stretch and the Orlando game.

  21. I’m left curious why Aaronson was the first sub – was he injured? Once Ilsinho came on, we had zero pressure in their half and Atlanta was in control of the game from there.
    .
    The sub for me there would have been Fabian for Santos. He was dead and brought little to the game after the first half.
    .
    Sure it was the club’s best season, but that game was not their best performance, and I for one think it could have and should have been won.

    • I had the exact same reaction! Aaronson was a whirlwind of energy, and we all knew the team needed as much energy as they could muster after 120 grueling (mentally and physically) playoff minutes Sunday afternoon. Aaronson came of after about 65 minutes Sunday, and he’s a young gun, so he could have kept going full speed all night last night. The rest of the team looked out of gas when we made that sub, and I don’t think we ever recovered. But anyway …

      The real problem is the schedule. Look, it’s not like this is a mid-season game where a European team has to turn a Sunday/Wednesday — loaded with 2 full rosters-worth of talent. This is MLS Playoffs, and it really doesn’t make sense to me to jam in a mid-week game when the rosters are a bit more thin. It would have been fun to see a full Union versus a full Atlanta.

      Regardless, great season, and great game Sunday. I’ll take it! Keep the core group and bring in a legit, quick-moving, quick-thinking playmaker DP, and let’s get it next year!

  22. Great season. Finally real progress. Must resign Kacsper Kai and Montiero. Sorry Marco its just not work in outm. Thanks for the goal. good Luck in Miami. Bedoya must also be resigned and made next when time comes. Also bring back some favorites as coaches and assistant. Califf, Letoux, Mondragon. please pave the parking lots and set up a shuttle system on the other side of the river. L9ve the Union hate Chester.Still biggesst mistake ever putting the stadium here. See you next year

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Shuttle system from the Jersey side is worth a snail mail letter to Tim McDermott IMO.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Kacper is already back for next season. Agree on bringing back Kai and Montiero. I don’t know their contract status. I am sure PSP will be all over that in the coming weeks. This team needs some upgrades, most notably a true strong, DP #10. Take that Fabian money and make it happen

      • I don’t know about Kai but I know I’ve read about a million times that Montiero was a one year loan with no option for the Union so bringing him back may cost $$$$.

  23. Well it was a great season and the U should be proud and keep their heads high.
    Looking to next year, i think they need to really make it a priority to grab a top tier striker who can play 1v1 and had exceptional precision in front of goal. Therefore, we could have Przyblko and a prime striker playing side by side.

    Another question is, do we keep Medujanin ??? He had an ok season considering what everyone expected from him. He can be a cancer in the midfield defensively and when he’s not spot on with his distribution it hurts the team. I think we can find a D mid of his caliber but with the Defensive skill to go along with it. A lot of the more successful teams in the MLS have these players.

    The other problem is that the skill level on this team is offset. We have players that aren’t good at connecting passes, ball at their feet , distribution , heading the ball ect. What i see with the Atlanta’s , NYFCs, and LAFCs of the world is that they have relatively equal skillset players. We will be so much better off if we can somehow address this. Yes, it’s extremely tough when we’re not a shiny destination like LA and NY.

    One last thing, pros should know how to, and not need to strike a ball on just their favored foot. They should be able to hit with both. I think sometimes we have this problem as well when in front of goal.

    Overall , it was a great and successful season. The Union can and should build from this momentum into next year.

    • I think they should keep Haris but plan to severely limit his playing time. Maybe not leave him at home on a bunch of the road trips, especially outside the NHL’s Metro division, so he is more rested come the end of the season.

  24. Great season. Finally real progress. Must resign Kacsper Kai and Montiero. Sorry Marco its just not work in out. Thanks for the goal. good Luck in Miami. Bedoya must also be resigned and made coach next when. The time comes. Also bring back some favorites as coaches and assistants. Califf, Letoux, Mondragon. please pave the parking lots and set up a shuttle system on the other side of the river. Love the Union hate Chester Always will.Still biggesst mistake ever. Was putting the stadium in Chezter. Big missed opportunity for south Jersey 5o be the home of a professional franchise and the union to have had a fan friendly money making sports complex. See you next year.

  25. Old Soccer Coach says:

    What if?
    .
    Borek Dockal had been the DP 10 instead of Fabian?
    .
    Playing behind Przybylko?
    .
    Would have been fun.

  26. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Bedoya’s poor performance. He looked injured in addition to being gassed, which when combined with Haris’s lack of mobility is a disaster. Ultimately the team created more chances than they should have been expected to without kascper (who’s career seems over). While the lineup was my first choice, it was alarming to hear the commentator state the fact that the top 3 goal scorers didn’t start. Frustrating to see Aaronson come off who was vital to the press. Gaddis gave another heroic performance. Not sure how much of this year’s success can transfer to next year, but proud of everyone for the heart involved. I don’t feel sick like i have at the past of previous seasons.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      For me, Bedoya was stuck trying to cover a bad Haris last night. And that pretty much left him worthless going forward. I will agree he clearly wasn’t 100% and didn’t play great, but there was no way he wasn’t playing. I don’t think Kacper’s career is over – I know he’s had issues in the past, but I guess we’ll see in a few months.
      .
      What I hope is that this team ins’t complacent and pulls a Phillies pitching – where you think what you have is good enough and you don’t upgrade. There are places to get better and spend money. Keep moving forward

  27. So proud of what this team has done and what they will do moving forward! Only regret is that Kacper didn’t get to be apart of what he was so instrumental in making happen. Good on you Union!

  28. Oct 24, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; The color guard walks onto the field for the National anthem before the start of the Atlanta United match against the Philadelphia Union at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

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