The goal is a clear one for the Philadelphia Union in 2022. It’s time to win MLS Cup. The coach has said it, the sporting director has said it, the players have bought in, and the owner is spending money to get the team to the level needed to win it all It’s MLS Cup or bust for the Union in 2022; can they get the job done?
Ahead of the 2022 season, the Union looks to be one of the strongest teams in the league. After missing out on making the final last year, the majority of their core players are returning hungrier than ever. Add to that two new “big-money” strikers, and this team has one of the best rosters on paper. Falling short is not an option.
The trajectory of this team over the last five years is staggering; it’s linear, and only goes up. The team was poor in 2017; they missed the playoffs securing only 42 points and finished in 8th place in the east. Back in 2018, the Union broke 50 points and made the playoffs. In 2019, they took a club-record of 55 points and won their first-ever playoff match. 2020 was a season tainted by Covid, but Philly won their first-ever trophy, the Supporters’ Shield. Last season, Philly made the semifinals of an international tournament, the Concacaf Champions League, and went on their first-ever deep playoff run falling one game short of MLS Cup 2021. Logic would tell us that this year is the year for the Union to win MLS Cup, and it’s not farfetched to believe that they will win it all.
People and pundits who follow MLS see the Union as a team to beat in the eastern conference. Philly has a two-time goalkeeper of the year in Andre Blake. Their defensive unit is all back and has already played together for a full season at an elite level. The Union’s midfield never stops running and pressing the opposition into submission. The only question mark for this team is their strikers. The dice have been cast on Julian Carranza and Mikael Uhre to put the ball in the back of the net. They are unproven in MLS but have the talent to change that perception quickly. This team is stacked, now all they have to do is show their quality on the field.
The 2022 MLS Season starts this coming Saturday. It’s a marathon that stretches from the end of February to the beginning of October, with playoffs extending into November. For the next 10 months, the Philadelphia Union will be on a journey to achieve its goal of hoisting the MLS Cup. It all begins this Saturday as Philly takes on Minnesota to kick off the season. Eyes will be on them to see if the upward trajectory can continue and if the goal set by the club will be fulfilled. We’ll have to wait until November 5th to see if the Union will be crowned champions of MLS.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union