Union II is cruising to playoffs on current 6-game win streak

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Union II is on a streak that could see them be a solid playoff side in the inaugural MLS Next Pro season. A six-game unbeaten streak sees Philly in third place in the east and four points clear of the red line! This side has shown it can compete with every other team in the east, and has a unique structure to make the second team and first team even better. With only four games left, Union II seems to be cruising to the playoffs.

Union II
CHESTER, PA – DECEMBER 05: A Philadelphia Union Fan holds up a “Believe” sign during the first half of the Major League Soccer Cup Playoffs match between New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union on December 5, 2021, at Subaru Park in Chester, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Union II is red hot

Over the past month, Philly has won five and also has a PK win, taking 17 out of a possible 18 points! This run has moved this side that was struggling in the early summer up the table and firmly in a playoff spot. Over this stretch, Union II has scored 17 and only conceded eight.

The side is flying right now and beat teams that were once above them in the standings to take their place in a playoff spot. This team is uniquely built for success late on in the season, and in the playoffs.

A talented team of hungry players

On this winning streak, Philly has shown what this league is all about. The development aspect MLS Next Pro serves is on full display when watching this team. In some matches, we’ll see a starting XI of mostly first-team reserves, other matches it’ll be Union II rostered players along with amateur academy players. There have also been times when it’s a mixture of both. This has led to players getting chances to show what they can do on the field.

It’s how Chris Donovan moved from Union II to the first team, and how Boubacar Diallo moved from the Union’s academy to the second team. We’ll see more of this pathway work as head coach Marlon LeBlanc finds the right mix of players to get success on the field. With just four matches to play, Union II could be poised to move even further up the standings.

Four matches left to play

Philly’s remaining schedule includes this Saturday’s match against first-place Columbus, who has already clinched a playoff spot, and Rochester, Orlando, and New England who are all fighting for their playoff lives.

The team goes out to Columbus Crew 2 on Saturday night, meaning they won’t have many if any, first-team reserves with them. It’ll be time for rising star Jose Riasco to put the team on his back, as he did in the last match against NYCFC II. The following games will be much more straightforward as Union II can follow how they like to choose players and gameplan.

Can this team be a force to be reckoned with and finish in a top playoff place in the east? Could Union II find a way to win the whole damn thing? We’ll have to watch to find out!

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Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire