It was not the best of starts to the season for the Union. Coming off last year’s incredible season, they came out of the gates sloppy. In fact, through the end of April, they had just 3 wins, to go with 4 losses and 2 draws. That sloppiness carried over a bit to Concacaf play too. The dominant and efficient team that started to win Philly fans over last year was nowhere to be seen. In their place, was a team prone to turnovers who were struggling vs teams they would have crushed last season.
That kind of came to a head in early May when they traveled out to Los Angeles to face LAFC in a Concacaf match. The same team that killed their hopes for the MLS Cup last year. The Union got run out of the building. A 3-0 loss. And you could see people were starting to question if this team was the same they were last year. It should be. They did pretty well in the off-season to hold onto most of the key pieces that had them so very close to a championship last season. But something was not right going into May.
But the good news is, they may have figured things out. Since that embarrassing loss to LAFC, they have looked far better. In fact, they have 3 wins and 1 draw in that time. The lone draw came to DC United where it did look like they were slipping back into bad habits. But they followed that up with an impressive 3-0 win over the New England Revolution. The Revolution went into the match 3rd on the Tables in the MLS, with just 2 losses. But the Union dominated them. Daniel Gazdag led the way with 2 goals, and Julian Carranza piled it on in the 88th minute to make it a 3-0 final.
Gazdag add 2 more goals to his account! 😏#DOOP pic.twitter.com/duMkmVQjzF— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) May 21, 2023
They are starting to play like the team we saw last season. This is the year they need to win the MLS Cup. An outbreak of Covid ruined their chances two years ago. Last season we had our souls crushed when LAFC got a late equalizer in Overtime of the MLS Cup to go on and win it in a Penalty Shootout. But there are no more excuses. It is championship or bust this season. And now finally they are looking like a team capable of that.
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