Union Win Two in a Row: Perspective and Decisions, Decisions

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Like you, I haven’t recognized the team called the Philadelphia Union this past week.  Sluggish, sloppy and poor communication between teammates has recently been replaced by aggressive play, precise passing, and energy that hasn’t been displayed until now. As the Union Win Two in a Row, some perspective is needed as decisions are yet to be made.

The best part of Saturday night’s 4-1 victory over Real Salt Lake was the entire team was involved and engaged the entire 90 minutes.  Also encouraging was seeing six Union players had either one goal or one assist on the night.  Marcus Epps had the best game of his MLS career with 1 goal and 2 assists.  Borek Dockal added a goal and an assist, and more importantly, was more involved connecting with his teammates.  You don’t need a full match recap from me.  There is an excellent one from my colleague, Matt McClain right here:

Instant Analysis: Philadelphia Union 4 – Real Salt Lake 1

Keeping Things in Perspective

The Union were floundering and showing they didn’t belong on the field with most of their opponents earlier this season.  And for the first time in Jim Curtin’s tenor as head coach, I truly thought losses to both Montreal and RSL would lead to his firing.  Even Earnie Stewart wouldn’t have been able to spin that one.  But that didn’t happen.  The boys in blue woke up and decided not to continue to be the laughing-stock of the Eastern Conference.

So what should we take from this?  Yes they looked more in-sync and shots were definitely more on target.  Here’s where the bubble is slightly bursted.  Real Salt Lake and the Montreal Impact are the two worst defensive clubs in all of MLS, combining for a dismal -23 goal differential, and we haven’t even reached Memorial Day.  As I said last week, regardless of the result vs RSL, I won’t be convinced of anything on the positive side until they beat a quality club again.  The opportunity will present itself shortly against the likes of the New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United FC and Toronto FC.

Decision, Decisions…

Let’s get this straight – the Union are playing their best soccer this season without Jack Elliot and David Accam in the
lineup? And call me crazy, but Ilsinho coming off the bench in the 64th minute, looked faster than
he’s ever looked in a Union jersey. He was all over the place and an absolute terror to RSL.

As tempted as Curtin might be to put Elliot and Accam back in the lineup, he needs to hold off until after the Red Bull match.  Mark McKenzie has been playing well next to Auston Trusty and keeping a group of starters intact after winning two straight won’t be looked down upon by Union supporters.  Stick with McKenzie, Epps, even Gaddis. Yes, Gaddis. The last thing the Union need now is for Curtin to start changing things. He’s allergic to change so let’s hope allergy season continues.

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Peace out Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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