Fans' View

Fan’s view: What’s ahead this season for the Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Editor’s note: In our Fan’s View series, fans share their perspective on the Philadelphia Union. Today’s Fan’s View piece comes from Ben Brecher, a high school sophomore. If you’d like to join the Fan’s View rotation, email

MLS is finally back! True fans like me counted down the days since NYCFC defeated Portland Timbers at Providence Park. And, yes, while last Saturday was sloppy, there is a lot to look forward to for Union fans. I’m just one, but this is what I think we will see.

Top scorer: Mikael Uhre

After being signed from Brøndby IF for a club-record signing of around $2.8 million on January 27th, Mikael Uhre just arrived in Philadelphia on Friday after visa issues. Uhre joins Cory Burke, Sergio Santos, and new signing, Julián Carranza, as options up top. Uhre has been a prolific finisher in Denmark, and I believe that he could solve the Union’s goalscoring problem up top. Because of this, I think he will be our top goal scorer, but will take some time to get used to the league first.

Most assists: Kai Wagner

With the departure of Cape Verde international Jamiro Monteiro to the San Jose Earthquakes, Kai Wagner is left as the main set piece taker for the Union. Alongside his ability to whip a cross in from the corner, Wagner also has great attacking awareness and will bolt down the wing to cross a teasing ball in as well. However, there has been interest from clubs abroad for his services. But if he stays in Philadelphia, I think he could lead this team in assists.

Young Player of the Year: Paxten Aaronson

While many people may argue that Jack McGlynn deserves to be in the conversation, I disagree. I feel like Paxten Aaronson will have more opportunities this season. He is the second choice CAM on the depth chart behind Daniel Gazdag, now that Monteiro has been traded. With Gazdag constantly called up to the Hungarian national team, Aaronson should have plenty of chances to impress Jim Curtin and to cement his place into the starting eleven.

Defender of the Year: Jakob Glesnes

As an important part of the Union’s backline in 2021, Jakob Glesnes is poised for another great season for the Boys in Blue in 2022. The fan favorite is often told to “shoot” and has the ability to make things happen on both sides of the pitch. Every once in a while, he can make something out of nothing. His stellar defense and ability to be a threat on the offense makes me think that he will be an important part to this Union team. Also, did I mention he can shoot?

MVP: Andre Blake

I am going to keep this one short. Since becoming a constant starter between the sticks for the Union, Andre Blake has put the Union on his back. Regarded as one of the best in the league, I do not see anything changing about his performances to keep the Union in the game.

Other predictions

Newcomer of the Year: Julián Carranza

Not that many options here, but Carranza has the skill set to get goals as well as assists. I think he will be an important part of the roster if the Union are going to make a deep run this year.

Goal of the Year: Jack Elliot

A free kick from around 25-30 yards lined up in the middle of the field has his name written all over it.

Overall prediction: Second in the East (and nothing below fourth)

Year after year, the Union impress and reach new heights. Falling short due to COVID will not be an excuse this year. I truly think that the Union can push for a trophy this season, especially if the Union front office attempts to acquire a summer signing. The players want it. The fans want it. As Danny Higginbotham says, “there is unfinished business” in Philadelphia.

And by the way, just because I am predicting second, doesn’t mean I don’t really want first!


  1. Vince Devine says:

    Good job kid. Very well written, your English teacher should be proud of you!

  2. Marsha Brecher says:

    Very informative. Hope you continue writing about the team. Looking forward to next one.

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    Keep it up Ben.

  4. HopkinsMD says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Ben. I appreciate your projections.

  5. Nice read! Love to see PSP giving the future a chance to be heard….uuummm read!

  6. Wow! I couldn’t even use punctuation correctly as a sophomore (often still can’t). Great job Ben, keep it up

  7. Ben you are already a fantastic sportswriter. I’d like to see team GM in your future!

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Excellent read… and all excellent choices!

  9. Good thoughts, Ben. Other than another Jack Elliott free kick goal, I agree with the rest of your picks. Here’s hoping Uhre comes through and Kai sticks around!

  10. Soccerdad720 says:

    PSP…taking a page out of curtin playbook…Play the Kids! Nice job Ben, not going to disagree with any of your calls.

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