This past weekend the Union traveled to RFK stadium to play rival, DC United. The game ended up being the most thrilling game of the season and the Union came out with a 3-2 victory. Quality play was displayed from the Union throughout the first half, however they once again, failed to maintain their worthy efforts for the second half.
On Saturday the Union traveled to Columbus, OH with hopes of a victory against the Crew. The game resulted in a 1-1 draw but being that the Union have never won at Columbus Crew Stadium, this was a small achievement for the team. The Union now aim attention to winning in their upcoming match against Toronto FC today at 4:00pm.
In the Union’s first game of the 2013 season they suffered a 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. The team played an outstanding first half, the Union being the prominent team.
With a new coach, new players, new tactics, and most importantly a new attitude the difference between the Union’s 2012 team and current squad will be obvious. The 2013 team seen this preseason is not at all the team that we saw last year on the pitch. The Union got rid of many players from the previous season, and signed new ones that will be a favorable addition to the team.
Thanks to several key offseason moves, the disappointment of 2012 should be short-lived for Union fans as the 2013 season approaches. Finishing the previous year 8th in the Eastern Conference at 10-18-6, goal scoring was the most challenging obstacle throughout the season. Former manager Peter Nowak had caused too much damage to the team. The Union had few players who were able to put the ball in the back of the net. Going into this offseason Union coach John Hackworth knew it was his job to acquire new players, specifically an excellent forward.
The Union and Impact meet today in a battle of two teams on the playoff bubble, and both have played well in recent weeks, which makes today’s matchup all the more tantalizing. Last week, the Union had a thrilling comeback over the New England Revolution at home, which gave them a 4-1-0 record in their last five league games, one of those being a win at home vs. Montreal. The Impact destroyed the New York Red Bulls last week in a surprising 3-1 romp.
The Union will have a quick turnaround from their 2-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City Wednesday night, and will face Montreal on Saturday at PPL Park. It was an emotional loss for the Union and their supporters.
The Philadelphia Union continue to find new life (and goals) under new manager John Hackworth. A July 4th fixture at the Galaxy saw the Union grab the lead just before halftime on a sublime backheel from Jack McInerney, which was reminiscent of Danny Welbeck’s winner for England against Sweden in the Euros. They were lucky to take the lead into halftime, for Galaxy controlled the first half and had numerous chances. Robbie Keane could have had a hat trick in the first half, but was stopped by good saves from Zac MacMath and a few goal line clearances from the defense.
Last night, the Union embodied everything that they could be in 90 minutes. They played the best they could possibly play with the personnel they have. They executed brilliant counter attacks and thwarted a potent Sporting KC attack that has names like Bunbury, Kamara, and Sapong. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have been there in person.
Ah, another day, another player that has been shipped off by the Nowak regime. The latest victim? None other than number one draft pick Danny Mwanga, a forward who has both impressed and disappointed in his tenure as a Union player. Nowak continues to show players the door, despite having a successful season last year. This, combined with the Union’s horrid start to the season has given rise to many fans, including myself, asking the all important question: who’s to blame for this? Is it Nowak? The players themselves? Tactics? Team chemistry? Ultimately, it is most likely a combination of these things, but some are more culpable than others.