The Philadelphia Union fell tragically in MLS Cup; they came up just short. After a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes, Philly failed in a penalty shootout losing 3-0. It’s been a rough time for Philly, the Cup was right there for the taking. Up a goal and a man with four minutes of stoppage time left, they couldn’t stop the deeper team on the day LAFC. While this loss will hurt forever for Union fans, it will also motivate the team for 2023.
Union’s fall to LAFC in MLS Cup will motivate Philly
The heartbreaking result in MLS Cup showed something that not many are talking about, Philly is resilient and persistent. They don’t care if they’re facing a team with more star players who have a higher payroll, Philadelphia is a collective team who will work hard to beat you.
They take on the persona of the city, and just like the other teams in the city, they have now fallen short on the Championship stage. The Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers all have fallen short in a championship game. Now the Union is added to that list, but this team has little time to dwell on the loss, there are less than four months until the next scheduled match!
1. Coming back from adversity
One reason that this Philly team will be motivated by this cup loss is that this team is one that loves to respond to adversity. After the Covid-fall in the 2021 eastern conference final, Philly vowed to make it back to that round and surpass it to get to MLS Cup in 2022.
They actualized their goal, manifesting a great season in 2022. The team was able to beat down their opposition with boatloads of goals, and a defense that was the second-best ever in MLS. As the team now looks forward to 2023, they will use this feeling of pain and let-down to fuel their run for silverware in 2023.
2. Tanner will address departures and depth
A second reason why the Union will be able to use their collapse against LAFC as motivation will come in the form of reinforcements added by sporting director Ernst Tanner. Tanner will know that certain players will not be back for Philly. Paxten Aaronson is reported to be transferred to Eintracht Frankfurt, and Olivier Mbaizo, Kai Wagner, and Jose “El Brujo” Martinez are all rumored to be on the way out as well.
Tanner will be hard at work to address these departures should they happen. He has an amazing track record of keeping this team successful even after good players transfer out. The academy will pump in a new crop of homegrowns, and Tanner will find diamonds in the rough signings who come in and shine bright.
3. A short offseason
The final reason why this MLS Cup loss on penalties to former Union goalkeeper John McCarthy will be motivation is that this offseason is short. Philly’s first scheduled game so far comes in the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) round of 16 against Alianza FC.
Add this competition to that of the 2023 MLS regular season where they can compete for the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup, the US Open Cup, and the Leagues Cup (a tournament between MLS clubs and Liga MX clubs) and the Union has little time to dwell on the loss.
Now that it’s officially the offseason, Philly has their work cut out for them. They will need to use the MLS Cup loss as motivation and find ways to win Silverware in 2023 after coming up just short in 2022. That’s the goal for the team, win a trophy; they have the skill to do it, and with the right reinforcements added they could win multiple trophies in 2023.
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Mandatory Credit: Richard Gordon/Icon Sportswire