There are only eight days until the first ball is kicked to start the 2022 MLS Season! As is tradition, it’s time to break down all 34 of the Philadelphia Union’s matches. This year we are taking a look at Philly’s 2022 season in three parts; here’s a look at the end of the Union’s 2022 season.
The Union will be two-thirds through their season when they get to their final 10 matches. As Philly gets into its final stretch of games, they’ll see that they have eight conference games remaining. They are split; four home, four away. Add a home and an away match against western conference teams and this will be the end of the Union’s 2022 regular season.
25. Sat, Aug. 13 – vs Chicago
26. Wed, Aug. 17 – @ Dallas
27. Sat, Aug. 20 – @ DC
28. Sat, Aug. 27 – vs Colorado
29. Wed, Aug. 31 – vs Atlanta
30. Sat, Sept. 3 – @ New York Red Bulls
31. Sat, Sept. 10 – vs Orlando
32. Sat, Sept. 17 – @ Atlanta
33. Sat, Oct. 1 – @ Charlotte
34. Sun, Oct 9 – vs Toronto
The last 10 matches showcase just how difficult the Union’s 2022 MLS season is going to be. Since the season is set to end at the beginning of October, and there are more inter-conference matchups, the end of the season was bound to be a struggle. The final stretch of the 2022 season comes at the end of the summer and the start of fall. Let’s look at each of the final matches.
The dog days of summer continue
- Sat, Aug. 13 – vs Chicago
- Wed, Aug. 17 – @ Dallas
- Sat, Aug. 20 – @ DC
- Sat, Aug. 27 – vs Colorado
- Wed, Aug. 31 – vs Atlanta
The Union continues to play crucial matches in the summer months to finish out August. In this stretch of five games, they play three teams from the east and two from the west. This will be the final portion of the season where the Union has to play teams from the opposite conference; it’s also the last bit of the season with a midweek game for the Union.
Philly starts off welcoming Chicago Fire to the Soob. It will be the final time these two sides play in the regular season; could it be telling for either team playoff places/hopes? Three days later the Union travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas. Dallas is a team the Union has had trouble playing in years past, could this be a stumbling block late in the season for Philly? The Union end a three-games-in-eight-day stretch by going to DC United. DC should be fighting for a playoff spot, they play frantically; could it down Philly in the final time these two will meet in 2022? The following weekend the Union welcome a team deemed Union-West in years past. Colorado Rapids come to Chester; the 2021 western conference champions are very formidable, could this be a 2022 MLS Cup Final preview? The Union end the month by playing Atlanta United for the first time in 2022. When Philly and Atlanta come together there are always fireworks; will the Union end the summer months on a high or a low?
These matches present some fierce competition at a perfect time. Heading into the final five matches of the season after this stretch means that getting points from these games is a necessity. Should the Union want to solidify their standing going into the home stretch they’ll need to take 11 points from these four matches. Get that amount of points and it sets Philly up for wiggle room in the final five matches.
The home stretch of 2022
- Sat, Sept. 3 – @ New York Red Bulls
- Sat, Sept. 10 – vs Orlando
- Sat, Sept. 17 – @ Atlanta
- Sat, Oct. 1 – @ Charlotte
- Sun, Oct 9 – vs Toronto
The Union’s final five matches are played out over five weeks. They are all against eastern conference opponents. Three are away, while two are home. Things can’t be any more straightforward for Philly in the final stretch. Should they be competing for a Supporters Shield, a top-four finish, or just a playoff spot, the Union will know what they need to do in this home stretch.
The home stretch starts off on the road to New York Red Bulls on labor day weekend. It’ll be the final time these two play in the regular season; there will be a lot on the line for both sides as there always is when these teams meet. The following weekend Orlando City come to town. The new-look Orlando City should be fighting for the playoffs, so this one will feel like a playoff game in the regular season. With three games to play, the Union go to Atlanta United. It’ll be the second time Philly plays Atlanta in four weeks and could be very telling to where both sides end their 2022 seasons. The second to last week of the season Philly plays their final away match of 2022 going to Charlotte FC. The expansion side will likely be fighting for the final playoff spot in the east, or will be eliminated at this time; Philly will need to take advantage of that opportunity. The Union closes out their 2022 season at home against Toronto FC. Toronto will have Italian star Lorenzo Insigne by this point, and fighting for their playoff position; Philly will be as well. It’ll make for a fun Decision Day for sure!
That will do it for the Union’s 2022 season. These final five matches will likely prove vital to where the team will finish. If the team does as well as they can before these matches, some of the pressure may be lifted from the final five. Looking at the games, getting nine points from them would be huge for what the Union wants to do. Do that and we could be talking Union as a top contender in MLS heading into the playoffs.
Will the Union finish their 2022 season being true contenders?
The Union’s 2022 season will be a gauntlet. Philly plays each eastern conference team twice (both home and away,) and eight different western conference teams (four home, four away.) It’s going to be a wild ride, and the Union looks like they are up to the challenge.
Adding all of the points predictions from this three-part series together, The max points I see the Union getting is 65. This would be an amazing, and record-breaking season for Philly with lots of wins and draws, and virtually no losses. This could be my overly optimistic side coming out, but I don’t think this is too farfetched for this Union team.
Philly has elite goalkeeping and defending, the midfield will run for day and control matches, the striker unit is rebuilt with four different types of strikers. The Union is built to win now, it’s time for them to go out and show that they can do it!
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union