The Union has had one hell of a week, as their summer draws closer to an end. The loss to Club America was looming over this side, and things seemed down. Oh, how things change with a win. Philly is winning on and off the field right now, which could prove pivotal down the home stretch of the season! We look at this in Doop Roundup 8/20/2021!
Doop Roundup 8/20/2021
Philly has been faltering as of late and they needed a win badly. Luckily for them this past Wednesday provided three huge wins. One on the pitch and two off of it. Can they keep this momentum going into this weekend?
Union snap NYCFC’s streak
The action on the pitch Wednesday night might have been the most complete from the 2021 Union team. They were able to frustrate NYCFC out of their normal possession-based style of play.
The press worked to perfection and Philly was able to find and take a great opportunity to score in the second half. Wagner put in a perfect cross and Bedoya ran onto it unmarked. His header beat NYCFC keeper Johnson in what was the difference in the game.
NYCFC came into the match on a six-game unbeaten streak in the league. Many were calling them the hottest team in MLS. They were asking questions if they could push New England for the top of the east and the supporter shield. The win was just what the doctor ordered for Philadelphia.
They were stopped by a Philly team that needed a win badly. The Union was able to pull it out on the field. Their defense was stout. Their midfield was the engine room of the team and didn’t stop. The strikers, well they made better runs, but this is still the weakness of this team.
This was a great win, and it was not the only way Philadelphia won on Wednesday.
Jamiro is back!
About an hour before the match against NYCFC the Union released a statement that midfielder Jamiro Monteiro rejoined the team and was available to play against NYCFC. This was a sight that not many thought would be seen again.
Monteiro wanted a transfer out of the club to be closer to his family who didn’t have visas to enter the United States. Amongst that issue, Jamiro posted about a close friend passing away and showed frustration coming off the pitch in what many thought was his final moments as a Union player against Inter Miami. Luckily for Philly, an agreement was reached to bring him back to a club that desperately needs him.
Jamiro had missed three league games and leg one of the CCL semifinals, even though he was suspended for that match. He started the game against NYCFC on the bench and made he played the final 27 minutes helping the team secure the needed three points. His inclusion will be paramount to this side moving forward in the 2021 season.
While he may not stay past this season, if Jamiro is available and happy to play for the Union, it is a huge victory. Ernst Tanner again has seemed to pull off some wizardry to get him to rejoin the team; also, his wife and child now do have visas and are in the States.
It was clear in the games without Jamiro that his effort was missed, but just how far can this team go now that he’s back?
An MLS Cup victory in the next five years?
Ahead of the game against New York City, majority owner Jay Sugarman, and minority owners Richie Graham and Kevin Durant (yes the NBA superstar that lead the USA to the gold medal in these latest Olympics) visited the Sons of Ben tailgate. As cool as it was for fans to take pictures with them and chat, it was also reassuring.
At the tailgate, Jay Sugarman spoke to the crowd and said that the Union has made some great accomplishments over the past few years. He stated the academy’s growth, the homegrown transfers, and winning the Supporters Shield. But Jay didn’t stop there. To end his speech, Sugarman said that this team will compete for MLS Cup within the next five years.
Are you back in your seat after falling over? Yes, that is majority owner Jay Sugarman giving a guarantee that this team will be fighting for and be able to win MLS Cup in five years. These words from the seldom public speaker Sugarman carry a weight that needs to be matched by money spent on the first team.
That is the final hurdle to push this Union team toward competing for and winning MLS Cup. If Sugarman and the other owners give Ernst Tanner the money to find MLS stars that can propel the team forward then his words will ring true. Imagine a 3-5 million dollar striker being bought, because that’s what this statement sounded like to me.
Whether or not this happens will be seen over the next five seasons. But the fact that Sugarman said this publicly is a huge win for the entire Philadelphia Union organization. It’s time to put that money where your mouth is Jay!
A winning streak continued this weekend vs CF Montreal?
Getting back to the play on the pitch, the Union are looking toward a second game this week on Saturday night against CF Montreal. It’s alumni night, as players of years past will be back to greet fans and hopefully see their former team get a second straight W.
Montreal is currently sliding down the eastern conference table. They sit in seventh place and have only one win from their last seven matches. That line win came in ridiculous fashion against the Red Bulls last week where they had to retake a penalty kick late on three times to find a winner. With Montreal sliding, the Union has a real chance to keep their form up and move further up the eastern conference standings.
Philly has not had back-to-back wins since May, and now would be the perfect time to start another win streak. This Union side is in the thick of it in the eastern conference. They’re tied for third place with NYCFC and Orlando on 31 points. Nashville SC is one point ahead in second place, while DC and Montreal are on their heels just four points behind. The margin for error is slim and now is the perfect time to strike for the Shield holders.
I expect the Union to come out with their best XI players and take this game to Montreal. Here’s who I have starting:
Wagner, Glesnes, Elliot, Mbaizo;
Martinez, Monteiro, Bedoya, Gazdag;
This team should beat the brakes off of a struggling Montreal. I think we have the makings of a 3-0 victory for Philly.
Not only would this win streak be good right now, but it would also inspire confidence for the following weeks. The Union travel to DC next week, then take on New England at home before their home second leg of the CCL semifinals against Club America. Could this be the start of an incredibly successful streak of winning?
Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!
Follow our Union team on Twitter:
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: PHILADELPHIA UNION, ANDREW ZWARYCH