CONCACAF Champions League / Season Review / Season Reviews / Union

Championships lost: Union 2023 season in review

Relive all the thrills of victory, the agonies of defeat and the ennui of all the draws from the Union’s Season 2023 in this condensed review of every game.  Guess the secret word and win an all-expenses-paid January weekend at the Cliff of Union Despair.

Saturday February 25 – Union 4 Columbus 1

Philadelphia Union’s attack came alive in the second half behind two goals apiece from Daniel Gazdag (both PK’s) and Julian Carranza as they knocked off Columbus Crew 4-1. Joaquin Torres provided a stunning assist for the final goal as Philly powered their way back into the match after falling behind early.

Three Points
  • It’s familiar… After a sluggish first 30 minutes or so, the Boys in Blue (Tan?) picked up right where they left off last season, piling up the goals and winning comfortably against a side that couldn’t cope with their counterattack.
  • But not too familiar… Joaquin Torres announced himself with his very first touch as a substitute. It was an electric moment of quality and something the Union missed last season.
  • But not too not familiar… It’s always the referees in MLS, huh? This writer couldn’t see a high-quality replay of either penalty, but a VAR process that takes five minutes to sort out a handball remains a frustrating part of the modern game.

Saturday March 4 – Herons 2 Union 0

A pair of goal-of-the-week candidates by the home side were the difference as Philadelphia Union fell in their first road match of the season at Inter Miami CF, 2-0.

Three Points

  • Another slow start… Keeping with the theme from last week, the Union opened slow against Miami. The difference however was that tonight the Union were unable to turn things around. It’s something to note as slow starts were a common gripe last season as well.
  • The Dark Arts return… Another common theme of Union matches last season were the Dark Arts, or chippy play. Usually the style of play benefits the U, throwing opponents off their game, and giving a boost to the boys in blue. Not the case in Miami, with the aggressive play leading to more stoppages than anything else.
  • No time to overthink… Any other week examining this game in great detail may make sense, but with the Union about to start continental play, flying straight to El Salvador from Miami, there’s no time to ponder what went wrong with Miami. Onto the next.

Tuesday March 7 – Alianza 0 Union 0

Philadelphia Union returned to the Concacaf Champions League in full Concacaf style on Tuesday night, a physical game on a choppy pitch in San Salvador ending scoreless against Alianza FC.

Three Points
  • Pitch imperfect. The field at Estadio Cuscatlan shaped the entire match. Neither side looked particularly comfortable trying to play the ball on the ground on the bumpy, uneven surface.
  • Line change. It was interesting to see Jim Curtin trust his depth and heavily rotate from the standard starting group. Jesus Bueno and Quinn Sullivan stood out as two players who made their presence felt.
  • Job done. A 0-0 draw is rarely pretty, and this one was no exception. But the Union have teed things up well for the return leg in front of their home crowd next Tuesday: win, and a date in the quarterfinals awaits.

Saturday, Mar 11 – Union 1 Fire 0

Joaquin Torres scored the only goal of the game in the 90th minute as the Philadelphia Union downed the Chicago Fire 1-0 on a chilly evening at Subaru Park. Fabian Herbers was shown a second yellow and red card in the 50th minute but the Union failed to make the most of their man advantage until Torres finally found the breakthrough.

Three Points
  • An ugly win is still a win. So, not great. A match that was a terrible advertisement for soccer and one that Philly was impotent in the attack for the most part still ended in three points. In a season where the club is managing multiple competitions and high expectations, wins and points are the keys to success.
  • Still, that was ugly. Three matches into the MLS season, the Union look…off. Even up a man against a poor Chicago team, Philly failed to create many clear cut chances and the patterns of play look no where near as crisp as they did a season ago.
  • Torres. Joaquin Torres came off the bench and changed the game. While he did sail a shot into the drum line of the SoBs and misplay a few passes, he did find the game winner and got the Union on the front foot.

Tuesday, Mar 14 – Union 4 Alianza 0

On a night when fans of the winter calendar ought to have eaten their hard, frozen words, the favored Philadelphia Union gave them something to cheer for anyway, demolishing El Salvadora side Alianza FC 4-0 at Subaru Park. The stadium was roughly half full (8,137 was the announced number) including a bevy of visiting tifosi, and without a national broadcast partner, fans who weren’t in the stands were more than likely to be following along on Twitter than on the small screen.

Three Points

  • Pressure makes diamonds, and avalanches – The Union weren’t perfect, but they were as good as they’ve been in 2023. They pressed, passed, and possessed their way to a well-deserved victory – man advantage or not.
  • The Beautiful Game – The Union aren’t always beautiful in their build up, and that’s generous even given the idea of beauty being subjective. However, they were objectively locked in with the ball on the night, running circles, triangles, and other geometric shapes all over the pitch.
  • “The unlock” – Sometimes it takes a big win for a team to realize or remind itself it’s actually good. This might have been that game, for all the reasons mentioned above. The tech community calls this “an unlock.”

Saturday, Mar 18 – Club de Foot 3 Union 2

CF Montreal came from behind to defeat the 10 men of Philadelphia Union 3-2 on Saturday night in Montreal. Julian Carranza was sent off with a second yellow card in the 69th minute and the hosts scored twice in stoppage time to grab their first win of the season.

Three Points
  • Yuck. A road loss to a poor Montreal team was not what anyone was looking for. The turf sucked, the red card to Carranza made a poor game worse (for me, his first yellow was crap but the second was worthy of a card), and a goal after a double VAR review isn’t flattering for the league or the referee.
  • Not good enough. The two goals in stoppage time saw some poor defending from the Union. Olivier Mbaizo gets beaten in the air on both occasions, with big questions to be asked of his defending on the winning goal. Joe Bendik didn’t cover himself in glory on the evening and perhaps should have come to claim the winner. Substitute Damion Lowe was also the wrong side for Montreal’s winner.
  • Mikael Uhre. After a slow start to the season, the striker got off the mark in style with a brace in Montreal. His second goal in particular was what you want to see from Uhre, getting in behind with his pace, a perfect ball over the top from Gazdag, and a cool touch and finish from the Dane.

Saturday, Mar 25 – Union 1 Lions 2

Two goals in the first ten minutes for Orlando City SC handed shorthanded Philadelphia Union its first defeat at Subaru Park in MLS play since 2021, a 2-1 final on a cold, rainy night in Chester, Pa.

Three Points
  • Slow start. It’s the second time in two weeks the Union dug themselves an early hole, this time going down two goals. That’s not a recipe for winning football — indeed, that’s why the side lost at home for the first time since 2021.
  • Defensive instability. Orlando sliced open Philly’s defense in ways rarely seen in recent years. Was it a consequence of Leon Flach’s poor performance deputizing for Jose Martinez, Joe Bendik not being Andre Blake, or an overall dip in form?
  • Playing shorthanded. The Union will be thrilled to see their stars — including Martinez, Julian Carranza, and Daniel Gazdag — back next week. Having some bench depth can’t hurt, either.

Saturday, Apr 1 – Union 0 Kansas City 0

After a weather delay due to severe thunder storms, two teams that both really needed a win to kickstart their seasons met in Chester, PA, on Saturday night.

Three Points
  • U-G-L-Y. The first hour of this game was bad. Bad passing, no chemistry, allowing the opponent to dictate the terms. It wasn’t just him, but Jack McGlynn’s arrival signaled a big change in the game’s dynamics.
  • Subs light a spark. McGlynn reminded the Union who they were by slowing things down and retaining the ball. It didn’t need to be much, just enough to actually keep the ball for three passes, four, then finding the vertical pass. The Union were trying too hard before his introduction to knock Kansas City out with every attack, rather than actually making good chances. Sullivan was another who really improved things.
  • Start like they finished. If the Union had played the whole game with the intensity and attacking verve they finished it with, they would have won by multiple goals. But because it took them more than an hour to figure things out, they settled for a draw.

Tuesday, Apr 4 – Union 1 Atlas 0

Daniel Gazdag’s late penalty gave Philadelphia Union a 1-0 win over ten-man Atlas FC in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal at Subaru Park on Tuesday evening.

Three Points
  • Jack McGlynn. The Homegrown talent had his best performance of the season, influential going forward and holding his own in defense. The Christmas tree formation — which allowed for cover from Daniel Gazdag — helped him. He needs to play more.
  • Up a man. The offense is still a work in progress for the Union, who needed a late penalty to get on the scoresheet despite playing more than half the game with a man advantage.
  • Job half done. Philly are in good position for the second leg. They will be sorely tested on the road next week, but it’s better to be protecting a result than needing to scrape one.

Saturday, Apr 8 – Cincinnati 1 Union 0

Luciano Acosta scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 69th minute as FC Cincinnati edged the Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening in Ohio.

Three Points
  • Eye toward Wednesday. Jim Curtin made huge changes in the Union formation and lineup for a difficult away day in Cincinnati. Clearly the view was to rest the first team players for an away day against Atlas.
  • Not bad, but not good. The team that did play put in a solid defensive performance, limiting the host’s chances through most of the evening without carving much offensively. Even when many of the first team starters arrived in the second half, the offense looked stifled and failed to really create much.
  • Long view. The changed XI, the concentration on Champions League, the lackluster offensive production made for another tough early season performance for this Union team. There are plenty of things to be concerned about, but it still feels that it’s hard to get a proper read on this Philly squad.

Thursday, Apr 13 – Atlas 2 Union 2

Philadelphia Union drew 2-2 vs. Atlas in Guadalajara, Mexico. Julian Carranza scored both goals for the Union, both initially given as offside but overturned by VAR.

With their aggregate score of 3-2, Philadelphia advance to the semi-finals of CONCACAF Champions League for the second time in their history. There, they’ll face a rematch with MLS Cup Champions Los Angeles FC.

Saturday, Apr 15 – Fire 2 Union 2

Two goals in four second-half minutes erased an early deficit and gave Philadelphia Union their first road point of the 2023 MLS season.

Three Points
  • Another early deficit. The Union have scored the first goal in just one of eight MLS matches this season. That’s not a recipe for winning soccer, and Jim Curtin will be eager to change it.
  • Lineup choices? It was a reasonable choice to try to keep some continuity after a good result in midweek, but the starting lineup — which featured 10 of 11 starters from midweek and a right back playing left back — looked exhausted and out of sorts through the first 60 minutes.
  • Fight back. Sure, the winless streak in the league has stretched to five matches. But the Union very easily could have packed it in after going down two goals. Instead, the squad — fueled by a bad penalty conceded by the Fire and Quinn Sullivan’s impact off the bench — dug deep to earn a valuable road point.

Saturday, Apr 22 –  Union 4 Toronto 2

Philadelphia Union snapped a five-game winless streak in MLS play in emphatic fashion, riding a Mikael Uhre hat trick to a 4-2 win over Toronto FC on a rainy Saturday night at Subaru Park.

Three Points
  • Uhre, Mikael Uhre. The striker’s struggled for much of the season, but he looked rejuvenated today. The hat trick will do wonders to rebuild his confidence ahead of the CCL semis.
  • Back on track. Helped by a passive and poor Toronto side, the Union got back to what they do best: pressuring the ball, creating transition opportunities, and crushing a weaker side early. It was just the second time this season the Boys in Blue scored the first goal.
  • It’s all about LA. The points are nice, but the real benefit of this result is building some momentum and cohesion ahead of the biggest pair of games of the Union’s season: two legs against MLS Cup foes LAFC, for a chance to play for a continental trophy.

Wednesday, Apr 26 – Union 1 LAFC 1

The Philadelphia Union drew Los Angeles FC on a rainy night in Chester in the first leg of the team’s Concacaf Champion’s League semifinal.

In the 82nd minute, some lovely interplay on the left found the ball on the foot of McGlynn in the box. His shot was blocked by Kellyn Acosta’s outstretched arm – an initial call of corner kick was made, but after a VAR review a penalty was awarded. Daniel Gazdag stood over the ball and the Hungarian put the Union in the lead.

Five minutes of stoppage time were added and just after the board went up, a late-running Acosta atoned for his penalty sin. The Union’s clearance didn’t make it far enough and the midfield was caught on the back foot. Acosta passed both Alejandro Bedoya and Glesnes on his run toward the spot, beating Blake on a bouncing ball to the near post.

Wednesday, May 3, LAFC 3 Union 0

For the second time in three years, Philadelphia Union’s dream of continental glory died in the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League, knocking the Union out by an aggregate score of 4-1.

Three Points (Plus One)
  • Heartbreak. There was every reason to think the Union could win the tie, even after conceding a late equalizer in the first leg. But it was not to be, a cruel echo of MLS Cup.
  • Early goals change games. With Jose Martinez out, Philly would have hoped to keep things under control through the first chunk of the game. Timothy Tillman’s opener changed all that, putting the Union behind the eight-ball from the start.
  • Where’s the aggression? Even after Olivier Mbaizo’s foolish second yellow, the Union only needed one goal to force penalties. But Jim Curtin chose to be strangely passive, even as the attack clearly was failing to click. That passivity cost the Union, as LAFC killed the game — first with possession, then the crucial second goal.
  • What’s next? The Union have spent this first part of the season focused on the CCL campaign. It ended in failure, and now the Boys in Blue must figure out their form in the league. It’s still early, of course, but there’s work to do after just three wins through the first nine MLS games.

Saturday, May 6, Red Bulls 0 Union 1

Daniel Gazdag scored the only goal of the game from a penalty kick in the 31st minute as the Philadelphia Union edged New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Saturday evening in Harrison, NJ.

Three Points
  • Ugly. It’s rarely been pretty when the Union have gotten together with the Red Bulls in recent years, and it wasn’t in the first installment this year. Luckily for Philly, Gazdag’s penalty settled the match.
  • Changes: Lowe, Harriel, and Sullivan came in to start and all looked comfortable in their appearances.
  • Form: It’s been ugly, but the Union grabbed a second straight league win and a clean sheet with a victory at Red Bull Arena.

Tuesday, May 9, Loons 3 Union 3

The Philadelphia Union lost on penalties to Minnesota United in the U.S. Open Cup 3-3 (7-6) on Tuesday in Saint Paul.

Philadelphia Union extended the match twice with a pair of late goals but ultimately saw their run in the U.S. Open Cup conclude at Minnesota United in a penalty kick shootout.

Sunday, May 14, Rapids 2 Union 1

The last meeting between these two teams resulted in a 6–0 Union victory. This game didn’t reach that kind of height but the Union emerged with their third consecutive win in league play.

Three Points
  • 3-5-2. The Union started with three CBs for the first time in 2023 and it largely worked. It got Bedoya more involved. If it can spark a similar goal-scoring revival as last season, when an adjustment got Bedoya on the ball more often, then it will be worth repeating many times.
  • No Uhre, no problem? Uhre brings a dimension to the Union attack that no one else on the roster does. Today, out with a knee injury, he wasn’t missed but don’t expect a healthy Uhre to be off the field much.
  • Rivas lost control. The silliness at the end of the game was the result of referee Victor Rivas’s poor game management. MLS refs have a hard job but sometimes they do it badly. This was one of those times.

Wednesday, May 17,  Union 0 D.C. 0

Neither Philadelphia Union nor D.C. United could produce a goal across 90 minutes on Wednesday night at Subaru Park.

Three Points
  • Coal under the Christmas tree. The 4-3-2-1 has worked at times for the Union this year, but it looks a lot less impressive with Matt Real playing left midfield. Philly brightened significantly when they changed shape early in the second half.
  • Jakob Glesnes. The reigning Defender of the Year took on the task of bodying up a savvy, strong veteran striker in Christian Benteke. As Union fans have come to expect, the Norwegian effectively handled United’s danger man despite D.C.’s barrage of crosses (23 in total).
  • The opposite of unforgettable. A home draw against a mid-table side is a perfectly cromulent result for the Union after three straight wins.  In a month, no one will remember that this game ever happened.

Saturday, May 20, Union 3 Revs 0

Daniel Gazdag scored twice and Julian Carranza added a late insurance goal as the Philadelphia Union knocked off the New England Revolution 3-0 on Saturday night in Chester.

Three Points
  • That’s better – The Union looked more like themselves knocking off the Revs. While the attack still looked disjointed at times, Philly looked better in transition and then found their scoring boots in the second half.
  • 3-5-2 – Jim Curtin reverted back to the 3-5-2 that looked good, if yet unpolished in Colorado last week. The Union looked much more dangerous in transition throughout the match while limiting New England all evening. Jose Martinez, Leon Flach, and Daimon Lowe all put in strong performances in the formation.
  • Room to improve – Great to be able to nitpick a 3-0 win. But while the home team did net three, the attack, particularly in the first half, looked disjointed with Carranza, Uhre, and Gazdag struggling to find the right passes in the final third.

Saturday, May 27, Pigeons 1 Union 3

Julian Carranza’s brace in first-half stoppage time powered Philadelphia Union to a 3-1 road win against rival New York City FC at Citi Field in Queens on Saturday night.

Three Points
  • Julian Carranza. A great striker changes games. After a fairly unremarkable first half, Carranza’s explosion on either side of halftime changed the game for the Union and put them on the glide path to victory. You can see why other teams might be sniffing around.
  • Another win for the 3-5-2. Admittedly, the Union’s use of the formation is a bit out of necessity, and City showed some ability to attack Philly down the wings. But what it offers is defensive stinginess and opportunities to crush teams on the counter, and Saturday night’s match saw both in action.
  • Fighting in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. NYC FC’s stadium situation continues to be an embarrassment to MLS. Citi Field has to be the second-worst soccer venue in America, after NYC’s other home. May the Union never play there again.

Wednesday, May 31, Union 1 Charlotte 0

An own goal off of Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina via Daniel Gazdag’s header was the only goal of the game as Philadelphia Union edged Charlotte FC 1-0 on Wednesday night at Subaru Park.

Three Points
  • Grind. Charlotte presented a decent test for the Union at home and the game featured few clear cut scoring chances, but the home side grinded out the result with a good header from Gazdag that deflected into the Charlotte goal.
  • Rolling. Undefeated in eight, up to third in the Eastern Conference. The Union have found their form and are pushing toward the top of the East.
  • Good lord Ted Unkel. I can’t stand the guy, he’s the worst ref in MLS and makes the league worse with every game he referees.

Saturday, Jun 3, Union 3 Club de Foot 0

Julian Carranza turned in his fourth multi-goal of the season as he capped off a total team performance that saw Philadelphia Union defeat CF Montreal, 3-0.

Carranza notched goals in both halves while Mikael Uhre collected his sixth goal of 2023 to power the Boys in Blue’s unbeaten streak to nine league matches.

Sunday, Jun 11, Quakes 2 Union 1

For the first time in over two months, Philadelphia Union lost in MLS play, as a second-half strike from Miguel Trauco powered the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory at PayPal Park in California on Saturday night.

Jeremy Ebobisse opened the scoring for the Quakes early in the first half, while Damion Lowe got the Union’s equalizer just moments later.

Three Points

  • A bit wasteful. The Union had the better of the chances and had a big edge in expected goals. But the finishing wasn’t quite up to par, with Julian Carranza’s miss at the end of the first half proving costly.
  • Last gasp for the 3-5-2? With Damion Lowe exiting with an injury and midfielders like Jack McGlynn and Alejandro Bedoya either back in or soon to return, we might have seen the last of the three-back formation for a stretch — unless Jim Curtin wants to hand Brandan Craig his first-team debut.
  • Big picture. You can’t win ’em all, and the Union’s scorching-hot last six weeks have put them back in the picture for a top-of-the-table finish. Halfway through the league season, they’re on a 60-point pace, and will look to reel in league leaders Cincinnati over the second half.

Wednesday, Jun 21, Lions 2 Union 2

Philadelphia Union and Orlando City played to a 2-2 draw in Orlando on Wednesday night with Jose Martinez striking an amazing shot from distance to equalize for the Union in the 90th minute.

Three Points

  • It’s Happened – Jose Martinez, take a bow. Years of watching the midfielder grow closer to smashing a goal from distance, he found the equalizer late in the match with a strike of incredible quality. The goal easily becomes one of the best in Union history.
  • Forgettable – A second match this season between Philadelphia and Orlando was a poor affair with both teams missing key players through international call ups. MLS should pause during international windows.
  • Under par. Joe Bendik and Joaquin Torres both started with key Union players unavailable due to international duty. Both looked like significant drop offs and Union fans will be hoping Blake and Gazdag return to the squad as quickly as possible, or that Jim Curtin has other ideas on personnel.

Saturday, Jun 24, Union 4 Herons 1

Philadelphia Union returned to winning ways on Saturday night at Subaru Park, thumping a Messi-less Inter Miami 4-1.

Three Points

  • Who needs Messi? Inter Miami certainly does, and a whole lot more. It’s rare to see a team so comprehensively dominate the ball for a half and produce so little to show for it. (Credit, too, to the Union for walling off any real dangerous opportunities.)
  • Back in rhythm. After dropping points in two consecutive matches, it was nice to see the Union take control early — especially ahead of a stretch of three straight on the road. (Believe it or not, Boys in Blue only have two home MLS matches in July and August.)
  • What the Flach? There’s a reason reports this week were that Werder Bremen are sniffing around Leon Flach as a possible summer transfer. Flach’s offensive game needs work, but there’s potential to match his excellent defensive work. His goal — a well-taken hit from the top of the box — was a big moment for the youngster.

Sunday, Jul 2, Five Stripes 2 Union 0

Philadelphia Union’s six-match unbeaten run against Atlanta United came to an end on Sunday afternoon, as goals from Thiago Almada and Brooks Lennon fired the Five Stripes to a 2-0 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Three Points

  • Replacing Wagner. There’s no great option when Kai is injured, but Curtin’s choice to use Leon Flach as a left wing back was a bit galaxy-brained. It took barely half an hour to scrap the initial game plan.
  • Thiago Almada. The Argentine may be the best player in MLS, and he showed his quality on Sunday afternoon. It was a genuine treat to watch Jose Martinez defending him.
  • Toothless. Atlanta this season are a team that ships goals willy-nilly, but the Union didn’t seriously challenge Brad Guzan. A disappointing showing from the attacking group.

Sunday, Jul 9, Galaxy 2  Union 1

Tyler Boyd and Ricqui Puig were on target and a corner kick deflected in off of Olivier Mbaizo to give Los Angeles Galaxy a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

Three Points

  • Road Woes – Another stinker on the road from the Union this season. They looked poor on Sunday in Atlanta and worse tonight in Los Angeles. Riqui Puig dominated the midfield and dictated play all night.
  • Goalkeeping Woes – Another match where Joe Bendik just wasn’t up to the task. The first LA goal squirted under his arm at the near post and he completely flapped at a corner inside his own six yard box for the LA second. Andre Blake sets a high standard, but Bendik has been poor while Blake has been out at the Gold Cup.
  • Offensive Woes – Another match where the Union front three looked disjointed. Uhre popped up with a goal, but it involved a lot of luck from Glesnes’ shot coming back to him. Gazdag was invisible most of the night and Carranza off the pace.

Bonus Fourth Point

  • Technical Woes – The Apple broadcast skipped out a few times before going out completely twice in the second half. The LA third goal came when the feed was down and anyone watching didn’t see it in real time. Another disappointing night for Apple.

Thursday, Jul 13, Nashville 0 Union 2

Daniel Gazdag scored twice from the penalty spot as Philadelphia Union won 2-0 in Nashville on Wednesday night. Gazdag was on target in the 40th and 84th minutes while Joe Bendik held his first clean sheet with the Union in the victory. Daniel Lovitz and Shaq Moore both saw red cards for Nashville while Julian Carranza was sent off for the Union.

Three Points
  • Job Done. After two straight road defeats in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the Union responded with a good effort in Nashville and took all three points. It wasn’t pretty times at times, but it’s job done and the Union will be content with the points.
  • Gazdag. Two more from the penalty spot for the Hungarian. Even after a lengthy delay and a number of Nashville players running interference, the Union man hit a perfect penalty to score his 9th goal of the season with his second penalty.
  • Clean sheet. It was Joe Bendik’s first clean sheet for the Union, but more importantly it was a big performance from the Union defense to limit Nashville from many big scoring chances. A little help from the woodwork didn’t hurt either.

Bonus point:

  • Absurd. It was absurd that MLS played on Wednesday with a full slate of games as the Gold Cup Semifinals took place. As we await an irrelevant tournament against Liga MX to suck up the late summer schedule, many MLS teams were again without their best players on Wednesday as the Gold Cup played on.

Saturday, Jul 15, Union 2 Pigeons 1

An unlikely pair of goal-scorers — Jose Martinez and Chris Donovan — gave Philadelphia Union their second straight win, a 2-1 victory over NYC FC at home on Saturday night.

Three Points

  • Brujo scores. Jose Martinez’s second goal of the year was a thing of beauty. The Venezuelan continues to add to his game; he also spent some of the night at the No. 8 after Bedoya’s early exit.
  • Professional. You’d have liked the Union to seek out that second goal earlier, and the end was nervy. But Philly kept the visitors at bay for the vast majority of the match, and got the result they wanted heading into the regular-season break.
  • Leagues Cup? Next, we’ll see how the Union approach this brand-new tournament. Will some little-used players get opportunities? At minimum, it’s a welcome chance to rest Alejandro Bedoya, forced off early tonight with an injury.

Saturday, Jul 22, Union 3 Tijuana 1

The Philadelphia Union kicked off their Leagues Cup campaign in style, decimating Club Tijuana 3-1 in front of a boisterous crowd at Subaru Park.

Three Points

  • Carranza with a bookends brace.  Scored at minutes 18 and 71.
  • Tijuana sees red twice. DOGSO’s are not the best choice for a defense.
  • Gazdag at the mark. Unstoppable.

Wednesday, Jul 26, Union 5 Queretaro 1

On a night that felt more like fall than the earth-scorching global heat waves of July, the Philadelphia Union did the soccer version of scorched earth, putting five goals past Queretaro.

Three Points

  • Hungarian Hat Trick.  And only two of Gazdag’s scores were from the spot.
  • Sharing the Wealth. Harriel and McGlynn score while Carranza was instrumental and causative on two.
  • Bueno es mui bueno. His stellar play deserves a more consistent place on the starting team.

Thursday, Aug 3,  Philadelphia 0 (5) D.C. 0 (4)

Philadelphia Union advanced to the Round of 16 of the Leagues Cup on Wednesday night, winning in a shootout over D.C. United after a scoreless draw in regulation.

3 Points

  • Andre Blake. If he doesn’t stone Benteke in the first half, it’s a different story.
  • Gazdag is mortal. Perfect PK’s in regulation but not for tiebreakers?
  • The post. Stopped D.C.’s Santos, game over.

Tuesday, Aug 8, Union 1 (4) Red Bulls 1 (3)

Philadelphia Union survived a poor first half and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup after defeating New York Red Bulls in a penalty shootout.

Three Points

  • Daniel Gazdag. The Union’s star midfielder had to leave early after a non-contact injury to his knee. Hopefully it isn’t anything serious; Jim Curtin can ill afford to lose Gazdag for a lengthy stretch.
  • Just keep winning. Neither of the Union’s two knockout-round performances have been entirely convincing, but, if the goal is to keep playing, all that matters is getting the win. It helps to have a keeper like Andre Blake in shootout situations.
  • The magic of the Leagues Cup? This tournament hasn’t had a lot of juice, and a second matchup with Queretaro isn’t too exciting. But a possible semifinal against Messi or a trip to a cup final could make this all worthwhile for Philadelphia.

Friday, Aug 11, Union 2 Queretaro 1

A stunning winner by substitute Chris Donovan in the eleventh minute of second-half stoppage time sent Philadelphia Union into the semifinals of the Leagues Cup and a date with Lionel Messi on Tuesday, beating Liga MX side Queretaro 2-1 at Subaru Park on Friday night.

Three Points

  • Chris Donovan. What a moment for the Union’s unheralded striker, getting a late winner in a tournament. The recently signed Tai Baribo is competition for his place, but Donovan is staking his claim for more minutes.
  • Slacking off. The tying goal woke up the Union, but what were they doing before then? Curtin won’t be happy that they allowed an inferior Queretaro side to hang around for so long.
  • The magic of the Leagues Cup! The games just don’t stop coming, but this next one will have massive juice. Lionel Messi’s first-ever trip to Chester, with a trip to a cup final on the line. It should be a rocking atmosphere on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Aug 15, Union 1 Herons 4

Lionel Messi and friends put an overawed Philadelphia Union side to the sword on Tuesday night, a 4-1 win for Inter Miami that sent the Boys in Blue out of the Leagues Cup in the semifinal in front of a full house at Subaru Park.

Three Points

  • Falling flat. On the biggest stage of the year, the Union fell flat, coming out scared and producing their worst first half of the season. It wasn’t good enough across the pitch.
  • Lineup blues. Injuries played their part in determining player availability, but Jim Curtin’s choice to start three defensive midfielders in front of a back five didn’t pay off. It was too easy for Miami to build their lead, and the comeback always seemed like climbing a mountain.
  • Lionel Messi. He is, simply put, a joy to watch, a player unlike any who has set foot in Subaru Park. And the hoopla surrounding his appearance lived up to the hype. If only the Union had done the same.

Saturday, Aug 19, Union 3 Monterrey 0

Philadelphia Union eased to a 3-0 win over a reserve-heavy CF Monterrey side on Saturday night at Subaru Park, securing third place in the 2023 Leagues Cup and a berth in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

Three Points

  • Reserves. A meaningless game for Monterrey, except for evaluating their young talent.
  • Instant Bueno. Mikael to Daniel to Jesus in 27 seconds.
  • Leagues Cup #3. Good enough for a spot in CCC 2024.

Saturday, Aug 26, D.C. 1 Union 3

Philadelphia Union returned to MLS play with a 3-1 victory over D.C. United in the nation’s capital on Saturday night. Mikkel Uhre, Jack McGlynn, and Daniel Gazdag were all on target for Philly in the first half while Theodore Ku-Dipietro added a late consolation goal for the hosts.

Three Points

  • Back at it. The Union returned to league play  with a win over D.C. Jim Curtin will be disappointed that the Union only scored three when they had the chance to score 6 or 7.
  • Glesnes. The reigning Defender of the Year put in an immense performance. He hardly put a foot wrong, winning his aerial battles, clearing off the line, and putting in a number of smart tackles (including a brilliant tackle that he somehow got a yellow card for).
  • Depth chart. New striker Tai Baribo didn’t make it onto the field even as Jim Curtin substituted both Julian Carranza and Mikael Uhre in the second half. Chris Donovan and Quinn Sullivan both were preferred to the new boy.

Wednesday, Aug 30, Toronto 3 Union 1

Philadelphia Union were undone by a confident and revitalized Toronto FC Wednesday night 3-1.

Three Points

  • What’s old is new – Philadelphia rolled out the same starting lineup they used in their opener at the beginning of this year. That’s no small feat considering how much soccer they’ve played with at least a dozen more matches ahead.
  • Blame Canada – The Union lost an ugly match to Montreal early in the year. They lost another ugly one tonight in Toronto. Those things have nothing to do with each other but are resoundingly Canada’s fault. To the country’s credit however, Toronto’s home crowd was admirable given the franchise’s circumstances: loud and engaged from the first minute to the last.
  • Walk the line – The back four, Philadelphia’s core group, were not good. Without the litany, there just weren’t many moments when they looked competent and were punished for it.

Sunday, Sep 3, Union 4 Red Bulls 1

Philadelphia Union came back from an early deficit to smash a ten-man New York Red Bulls side 4-1 on Sunday evening at Subaru Park, continuing an extended run of dominance against their I-95 foes.

Three Points (plus one)

  • Getting it done shorthanded. Without many of the usual suspects in central midfield, the Union managed to control the game nonetheless. Jack McGlynn did well playing in front of the back five, and two defenders scored goals.
  • Take advantage. Philly have not always done well up a man, but they made New York pay for Sean Nealis’s foolishness, not letting the visitors get back in the game and taking control of the match early in the second half.
  • Stretch run. After a merciful weekend off, the run-in will be very difficult for the Union, with three straight weeks with midweek matches and seven of eight games against teams in playoff position. Can the Union secure a favorable seed in the MLS Cup playoffs?
  • Daniel Gazdag. It didn’t look good when the Union’s star attacker went down after scoring his goal, although he was walking after the game with his knee heavily taped and wrapped. Hopefully the injury is nothing serious, because Philly will struggle if he misses extended time.

Saturday, Sep 16, Union 2 Cincinnati 2

Philadelphia Union and FC Cincinnati battled to a 2-2 draw in Chester on Saturday night. The match was an ill-tempered affair, with 12 yellow cards and two red cards handed out between the two teams.

Three Points

  • Chance blown. With a 2-0 lead at halftime, the Union had the game by the scruff of the neck against the league and conference leaders. But the visitors were the superior side in the second half and fought back to grab a point.
  • Ugly. The match wasn’t a great advertisement for soccer or MLS, despite featuring two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Referee Ismail Elfath was card happy and still never really got control of the match.
  • More personnel problems. Jack Elliott was sent off with a second yellow card and Jose Martinez came off early with an injury. The Union have struggled to stay healthy and keep their discipline in the closing stage of the regular season.

Wednesday, Sep 20, Charlotte 2 Union 2

Philadelphia Union stole a point on the road Wednesday night, coming back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to draw 2-2 with Charlotte FC.

Three Points

  • Comeback kids. The Union atoned from blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday to erase their own two-goal deficit tonight. Sure, Charlotte’s own stupidity helped, but Philly — sparked by Quinn Sullivan off the bench — didn’t stop fighting.
  • Goals against. Last year’s lockdown defense is a thing of the past. The Union haven’t kept a clean sheet in six straight league matches, and they’re averaging two goals against over the last four. That needs to tighten up.
  • Keep going. In this flurry of matches, the Boys in Blue need to find ways to steal points. Curtin’s heavily rotated side underwhelmed at first, but the flurry of subs got them the point they wanted. Grab three at home on Saturday, and it’s not a bad week at all.

Saturday, Sep 23,  Union 0  LAFC 0

Last year’s MLS Cup between Philadelphia Union and Los Angeles FC was a barnburner, a legendary 3-3 match that some consider the greatest game in MLS history.  This season’s much-anticipated rematch in Chester was anything but, as the two sides played out a toothless 0-0 draw at Subaru Park on Saturday evening, the Union’s third consecutive draw.

Three Points
  • Injuries mounting. The Union played a regular season game without Jakob Glesnes for the first time since 2020. With Jose Martinez and Leon Flach also out, the defensive unit was makeshift, though Jesus Bueno put in a good shift as the No. 6. And Julian Carranza could manage only a half.
  • Early yellow? Speaking of, should Aaron Long have seen red in the second minute for his elbow on Carranza? Maybe it wasn’t a clear and obvious error, but that might be given if it isn’t literally the first challenge of the match.
  • Draws for everybody. It’s a third straight draw for the Union — not bad given the quality of the opposition, but not great for a team trying to stack points and firm up a top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Wednesday, Sep 27, Union 1 Dallas 1

Philadelphia Union produced a fourth consecutive draw on Wednesday night, as Quinn Sullivan’s opener was cancelled out by Alan Velasco’s strike for a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas at Subaru Park.

Three Points

  • Quinn Sullivan. Not the Union’s most heralded Homegrown, the energetic attacker has come on in recent weeks. His goal was an excellent piece of work, and his running — both offensive and defensive — impressed all night long.
  • Leaky backline. No clean sheet for the seventh time in eight league matches. With four games to play, the Boys in Blue have already allowed ten more goals than they did last season.
  • VAR again. This time, it helped the Union. But — at least from this vantage point — it was hard to see that the ball “clearly and obviously” deflected off Arriola’s arm, not least after taking four minutes to look at all the replays.

Saturday, Sep 30, Columbus 1 Union 1

A heavily rotated Philadelphia Union stole a point from a fairly dominant Columbus Crew on Saturday night in Ohio.

Three Points
  • Change: The only constant is change, except with Jim Curtin’s Union – who usually play the same starting group match after match. The Union are tired  and some important players needed a rest, and got it. Then he made three substations at halftime, also all but unheard of. “Match congestion is a heck of a drug,” as the saying goes.
  • A moral hazard: The Union could’ve stopped play on a clear DOGSO, complained to the official, and earned themselves a man advantage in the second half. Instead, they played on, took a shot on frame, and were left without a goal and without the extra man. Soccer’s rules are odd sometimes, but they shouldn’t reward anything other than playing on – in this case they did, and the Union paid the price.
  • Drawings: The Union continue to share points with their foes and, in doing so, barely keeping their Top 4 place in the Conference. With just a handful of games left, they’ll have to be better if they want to keep their home field advantage.

Wednesday, Oct 4, Union 3 Five Stripes 2

A first-half flurry from Philadelphia Union gave the Boys in Blue enough cushion to hold off an Atlanta United comeback, a 3-2 win on Wednesday night at Subaru Park.

Three Points

  • The big three. It’s been a while since the trio of Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, and Daniel Gazdag have been firing the same way they did last campaign. All three scored tonight, and they looked to be combining very well as a group. A good sign heading into the playoffs.
  • Finish them off. It should have been a comfortable second half with a 3-0 lead, but the Union couldn’t make it easy. A poorly conceded penalty helped Atlanta find their mojo, and Philly let the game get far too stretched.
  • Stay at home. The Union are utterly dominant at home, so a higher seed in the upcoming playoffs is essential. These three points kept Philly well-positioned near the top of the table, but good results in the final two matches will matter too.

Saturday, Oct 7, Union 0 Nashville 0

On an autumnal fan appreciation night at Subaru Park, the Union played Nashville SC to a scoreless draw in a physical and defensive affair.

Three Points
  • Unbeaten in 8 straight – The Union have drawn 6 of their last 8 matches. The team will want to make the most of the regular season finale to try to lock up some additional playoff games at home by securing three points on the road.
  •  Defense coming up big – Damion Lowe and the Union backline looked frantic at times, but ultimately held one of the most dangerous players in MLS off the scoresheet, while giving up only one shot on target. This performance will be vital to build on heading into the playoffs.
  • Wagner’s last regular season match at the Soob? – “Pay Kai Wagner” chants rang down from the River End tonight as Kai could potentially depart Philadelphia at the end of the season. The twenty-six year old Union stalwart has yet to be locked up long-term by the Union front office, much to the chagrin of the Union faithful.

Friday, Oct 20, Revs 2 Union 1

Philadelphia Union coughed up an early lead en route to their first loss since August, falling 2-1 to New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in the final match of the MLS regular season.

Three Points
  • Fizzling to the finish. Since the September international break, the Union won just one of their final eight games, picking up a mere nine points. They dropped seven points from winning positions over that stretch. It’s not the way you’d want to go into the playoffs.
  • Forgettable. This match will not linger long in the memory. Philly created very little going forward and conceded two poor goals.
  • Playoffs! After 48 matches, the playoffs are finally here. Can the Union — who’ve had flashes of brilliance this season — recapture the effervescent form that propelled them to last year’s MLS Cup Final? Or will this year’s campaign end with a whimper?

Saturday, Oct 28, Union 3 Revs 1

Philadelphia Union opened their 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs in style, with first-half goals from Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre, and Nathan Harriel powering a 3-1 win over New England Revolution at Subaru Park on Saturday afternoon.

Three Points (plus one)
  • Playoff experience. The Union looked like a team used to playing playoff games at home, riding an early spell of pressure from the Revs and then pouncing on an inexperienced keeper.
  • Kai Wagner. If this was the left back’s final home match for the Union, he reminded the crowd why he’s been the best left back in the league. Two of the three goals resulted from his service.
  • It’s time for some game theory. It’s a long break before Game Two, which should give the Union a chance to heal from their nicks and knocks. With a potential Game Three coming just three days later, how will Philly approach their road trip?
  • Jakob Glesnes. The star center back’s season looks over, with surgery on his sports hernia scheduled for Tuesday. It seems like it’ll be Damion Lowe and Jack Elliott in the games that remain.

Wednesday, Nov 8, Revs 0 Union 1

Chris Donovan scored the only goal of the game as Philadelphia Union overcame the ten men of the New England Revolution and advanced to the next round of the MLS Playoffs with a 1-0 win in Foxborough.

Three Points
  • Survive and Advance – It wasn’t pretty, really it wasn’t, but the Union are on the to the next round of the playoffs with a win in New England. Playing up a man for the entirety of the second half, the Union were largely outplayed by their hosts but found a goal when it really mattered.
  • Donovan – A great moment for the young striker. With so much centered around the Union’s front three of Carranza, Gazdag, and Uhre leading the line, it was the Drexel grad netting the game winner to push the Union to the next round.
  • Stepping Up – With Wagner suspended and Carranza injured, their replacements in Harriel and Sullivan both had strong performances. Harriel was strong, particularly pushing forward, even playing on his weaker left side. Sullivan was the liveliest offensive player on the field for the Union for the first hour of the game and kept the Revs on their heals with his positive runs.

Saturday, Nov 25, Cincinnati 1 Union 0

A controversial goal by FC Cincinnati’s Yerson Mosquera in second-half stoppage time knocked Philadelphia Union out of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a 1-0 loss at TQL Stadium on Saturday night.

Three Points (plus one)
  • Pain. The Union keep finding new ways to crash out of the MLS Cup Playoffs. “Critical late goal for the opponent” is similar to last year, sure — but the added angle of “likely uncalled offside” is a new layer of frustration.
  • Quiet attack. Philly did well to marginalize Cincinnati’s attack, but it’s tough to win if you don’t score any goals. Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, and Daniel Gazdag came up small in the biggest moment.
  • What comes next? Change is en route for the Union this offseason, with Kai Wagner almost certainly departing and decisions to be made about stalwarts like Alejandro Bedoya, Julian Carranza, Olivier Mbaizo, and Jack McGlynn. Can Ernst Tanner freshen a formula that felt rather stale for much of this season.
  • Thank you. From all of us at PSP, thank you for reading and being along with us across this very long season. We’ll have more to come this week.


  1. Sorry to repost this comment, was originally on a different post but it probably fits better here

    Union Season Player Ratings
    Andre Blake 7.5 Not his best season but not his worst, performed brilliantly in the New York City fc game and was good for (most) of leagues cup. His only bad game for me was probably vs inter Miami in the leagues cup. What a time to have your worst performance of the season
    Joe Bendik 4.5
    Was not a good second choice keeper. Out of all of his games this season he had one cleansheat, in a game where Elliott, Glesnes, and the posts all made more saves than him.
    Holden Trent 4
    Didn’t make a first team appearance but did make the bench a few times, struggled with some injury’s and couldn’t quite cement himself as the starting Union 2 keeper
    Nathan Harriel 6.5
    Arguably his breakout season, he is definitely the type of player who doesn’t quite have the potential for Europe, but does have the potential to be a really solid MLS player.
    Olivier Mbaizo 5.5
    An odd season for him… he was the main starting right back but started to lose the position to harriel near the end of the season, He definitely offers more on attack then harriel but I was personally unimpressed with a lot of his defending
    Jakob Glesnes 7.5
    Had a mostly great season with a bad performance every now and then. Made the MLS all stars and would’ve been a better score if not for a late season dip in form and then injury.
    Jack Elliott 7
    He is starting to become one of the most reliable players on the team. Not quite as eye catchingly great as Glesnes, but arguably more consistent.
    Damion Lowe 7
    Somehow the best of all the summer transfers, Lowe absolute shattered my expectations, In my opinion, was on a similar level to both Glesnes and Elliott all season, and was one of the main reasons for a mid-season switch to the 3-5-2
    Kai Wagner 8
    Took a half point off for the stupidity that got him banned for 3 games and effectively ended our season, other than that Wagner was brilliant. Despite not having quite the same attacking output as last season, I would say that he was on a similar, or even better level then last season. Too bad he’s gonna be leaving.
    Matt Real 4.5
    I want more from Matt real, he is probably one of the most forgettable players on the team. Got an assist on one of his few starts but being behind Wagner on the pecking order is tough. Hoping he can have a good season next year with Wagner leaving.
    Anton Sorensen 3
    Barely know anything about the guy, never played for the first team, wasn’t very important for Union 2 and I’m pretty sure was released at the end of the season. That’s too bad.
    Jose Martinez 7.5
    He scored a goal! Then he scored another! And then another! For a moment there he was scoring more consistently than Mikael uhre. All jokes aside though, He seemed to have figured out how to control his temper, And was less risky in the back then usual. Also made the all-star team.
    Leon Flach 6
    It’s a shame he got injured but before that he was pretty average, started the season off pretty bad, couldn’t do a single thing in attack and was only average on defense, Right before his injury started to performer better on attack, getting a goal against Miami and also an assist not too long earlier. Hope he can do well next year.
    Jesus Beuno 7
    Another player with a real breakout year, was brilliant in leagues cup and a great second choice cdm for whennmartinez eventually got another yellow card suspension. I can see him becoming a good starter in the future
    Andres Perea 5
    Out of all the summer signings I was most excited for Perea, He was good when he played, getting 3 goals but for some reason he barely played and got loaned out to New York where he played really well and becoming one of the best on their struggling team. I really hope perea comes back next season, I believe he can become a difference maker.
    Jack Mcglynn 8
    This kid is special, he can’t be staying with the union for much longer, at only 20(!!!) he has already become on of the best passers of the ball in union history. Brilliant player.
    Alejandro Bedoya 5.5
    Not a good season for Bedoya. Is it a good season for a 36 year old? Sure, but 4 assists and some goals in leagues cup doesn’t overshadow the injury and fitness problems, it’s disappointing to admit, but for his own safety he should not be playing 90 minutes every week. Hope he can prove me wrong if he still plays next year.
    Joaquin Torres 5
    Another disappointing summer signing, I don’t think he was quite as bad as most people said, had a brilliant assist in the first game of the season, a last minute winner against Chicago, and a great pass to set up the winning goal against querataro. I think it was probably worth it to play him a little more than Curtin actually did?
    Daniel Gazdag 7
    Being both the goals and assist leader for the team? Sounds like a brilliant season! The problem is that most of his goals were penalty’s, (does deserve credit for not missing a single one though) and he seemed to struggle for ideas throughout the whole season.
    Tai Baribo 5
    Came in the middle of a season after just finishing his own full season. Hit the post once and did nothing else. Hope he can succeed next year, he definitely played well in Austria.
    Jeremy Rafanello 4.5
    Made his first team debut, scored a free kick and Wrexham, I didn’t follow him in union 2 a ton so I don’t really know much about how he performed there. Something that I am worrying about though, he’s already 23, which is a lot older than Most of the other union 2 players.
    Chris Donovan 6.5
    Breakout year for donovan. Definitely a big game player, scoring a last minute goal against queratearo and scoring the only goal in a playoff game against New England. I feel that he will be able to improve even more next season.
    Quinn Sullivan 6
    Sullivan is brilliant on the ball, fast, and agile. All things that I like for a Union striker. Got 2 goals after a disappointing last season where he didn’t score. I believe if we give him enough time Sullivan could become a truly special player.
    Mikael Uhre 6
    Poor guy, had a very disappointing second season. 9 goals is not good for the Unions most expensive player ever. He just seemed slow, tired, and bad on the ball. Also scored 6 of his 9 goals against Canadian teams for some reason??? Hope he does better next year…
    Julian Carranza 8
    The unions most consistent goalscorer. Got about a goal every 2 games in MLS. However, he is attracting attention from Europe and is probably one of the few players that the Union CANNOT afford to lose.
    In conclusion, despite a disappointing season overall players like Carranza, Wagner and McGlynn had great season and are attracting interest from Europe, while young players like Sullivan, Donovan, and Harriel having true breakout seasons.
    Sorry if I missed anyone, if so feel free to tell me

    • Stopped reading as soon as I saw you had ratings for players who didn’t play at all. Can’t see how they could be anything but N/A.
      And given the salary cap, if your backup keeper is a 4.5, that’s a perfectly good choice. Would you rather spend money on someone who barely plays or someone that is going to make a difference?

      • Sorry bout that, I was going by the Union list for first team players but I agree that they should be N/A. For Bendik I meant his rating in relative to other backups or else his rating would be a lot worse, sorry about all that though…

    • Now do Curtin….

      I know it is “player ratings” but Some of the ratings are down to coaching decisions, like forgetting what the word rotation means or leaving Ale in for 90 minutes.

      • Maybe they’ll fire Curtin and drop out of the playoff picture so everyone will realize how little the Curtin haters actually know.

      • Ok, why not?
        Jim Curtin 6.5
        Jim Curtin is a staple of this team, I couldn’t imagine the Union without him but this season was not one of his best. A constant staple of the Curtin era has been phasing seemingly decent players completely out of the team for no real well known reason, for this season that was andres perea who I personally think played really well when he was on the field and could have definitely helped the Union out with depth in the second half of the season where he was loaned to nycfc. However, he did help certain players to thrive this year, especially players like bueno and Donovan who, despite being minor players last year, became instrumental to the Union this year. One thing that I was impressed with this season was some of the formation flexibility he brought this year. The mid season switch to the 3-5-2 was a brilliant idea and started the Unions great mid-season form. Despite the formation becoming less useful and being eventually phased out it was more flexibility then I expected from a usually very rigid Curtin. Of course, as you mentioned Curtin struggled with rotation despite seemingly having enough players to do it well at times, Bedoya struggled mainly because of Curtins stubbornness to rest him and keep him from playing 90 minutes, and the entire attack on general seemed a little slow under Curtin this year but in the end, It could have been a lot worse and I still think that Curtin is doing wonders with the budget and players that he has. While 6.5 might seem a little generous, he is still doing good with the players he has. I just want a little more from him next year.

      • Andy That is just a false equivocation. One can be a critic without being a “hater”. I think Josh’s response is fair and what I was asking for.

        I suppose you are good with all Jim’s decisions this year then?

  2. Jamiro Monteiro’ contract extension was declined by San Jose. He could be acquired on a free and he’s not terribly old, only 30 years old. Obviously unlikely, but if the Union are looking for an elite playmaker center mid that has Been proven with the U before? Not a bad choice…

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      I get this angle, and maybe Monteiro would work on this team now – but before he left, he was playing slowly and selfishly and feuding with his field mates.

      • Interesting, I could have sworn I saw reports that were saying Monteiro was reluctant to leave and enjoyed life there.

  3. LAFC signs World Cup-winning GK Hugo Lloris from Tottenham.
    The rich get richer, Jay Sugarman.

    • Really don’t care about this one personally, LAFC already have a great keeper in crepau, how much of an upgrade is a 36 year old lloris?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *