When Jay said we were going to focus on Philly this week I was stoked. Not just because I breath Philly sports and I get to rep the city I love but I get to talk about the Union!
It should be a great year for the Union. Last year the Union were ousted from the playoffs by the Dynamo in just their second season. This year, not just making the playoffs will suffice, the team is hungry for a cup.
The offseason has seen a lot of changes for the Union. Danny Mwanga will need to step up his scoring this year because he isn’t going to be playing with the former franchise player, Sebastian LeToux. LeToux and the Union parted ways in an interesting manner. Seba stating he would have played in Philly no matter what the contract was, but Coach Peter Nowak was questioning the star’s drive. LeToux was sold to Bolton of the EPL and actually didn’t make the team. Returning to the MLS, he found an opening with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Look for LeToux to be the only opposing player to get a standing ovation when his name is announced upon his return to PPL Park on March 31. However, don’t expect those cheers to extend past kickoff.
The Union look to young Zac McMath in goal this year. With the departure of Faryd Mondragon, the goal keep responsibilities fall solely on the promising youngster. Mondragon left the team to finish out his career where it started and will spend more time with his family pending his upcoming retirement.
There’s a lot of excitement around this young team this year. The Philadelphia/Chester community has welcomed the Union with open arms and right from the start the Union have made it clear their goal is to win. The team stayed competitive in their inaugural season, despite playing the entire first half on the road while the stadium was being completed. Last year they made it to the playoffs to get the team some post season experience. This year the team looks to win it all and have made some bold personnel changes showing that no one on the team is sacred and that they’re willing to do whatever they think will work to make that happen.
Personally, as a fan, I’d love for them to not only win the cup, but in doing so, qualify for the CONCACAF and see how the team can represent the MLS in international play. RSL came close, but I’m praying to Ben Franklin that the Union can be the first to bring a CONCACAF title to the MLS. In the meantime, you can find me at the river end, singing along and cheering my heart out. I think I can speak for all Union fans when I say that this season can not start soon enough.
What do you think Union fans? I live in Philly and know the city loves them. Email me at thesportsriot.yahoo.com and let me know.
Jack Buck’s MNF Memories