Philadelphia Union Have a Strong Core To Build on


Sep 16, 2014; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Vincent Nogueira (5) moves the ball upfield during the first half of the U.S. Open Cup final against the Seattle Sounders FC at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

When this year ended for the Philadelphia Union, many fans wanted change in any way they could get it, including overhauling the roster. The Union revamped the midfield last offseason, which gave fans a lot of hope only to get off to a horrible start under John Hackworth. When Jim Curtin took over, they improved a made a run at the US Open Cup and playoffs, but they finished the season on a sour note and with no trophies. So saying fans’ patience is running out would be quite an understatement.

Philadelphia fans are notoriously tough, just ask any one of the other four sports teams in the city. When Philadelphia teams are not up to par, their fans are quick to let them know so I can see why fans would want a big change at the Philadelphia Union. Fans have waited five years since the Union came to be, and they’re ready for some hardware, but an overhaul of the roster is not necessary. In fact that would be much more detrimental than beneficial.

More from MLS

The Philadelphia Union have a very strong core group of players that they can carry forward and build on. When you look at this year, there were plenty of players that proved themselves worthy enough to return next year. First you have to look at Vincent Nogueira. He was probably the Philadelphia Union’s best player. Partner him With Christian Maidana who showed that when fully fit, he can distribute the ball leading to goals no problem.

Andrew Wenger came onto his own wide left for the Union, really making a difference takings opposing players on and creating chances. Those three were crucial for the midfield as was Le Toux who always performs for the Union. Under Jim Curtin, the defense became more stable and if he can convince Maurice Edu to become a permanent member of the defense, that immediately betters them. Whether he combines with Ethan White or Carlos Valdes (who transfer rumors are swirling about again), both would create a good partnership.

Live Feed

MLS Elevates International Standing with September Call-Ups
MLS Elevates International Standing with September Call-Ups /

MLS Multiplex

  • Inter Miami MLS Cup Odds Get BoostInter Heron
  • What to Expect: Inter Miami Hits the Big AppleInter Heron
  • The Contrast of MLS: Ilsinho's Testimony Reveals Substantial Differences in American SoccerMLS Multiplex
  • We Can Enjoy Inter Miami’s Title, But More Work On the TableInter Heron
  • Union Considering Coach Change After Leagues Cup LossMLS Multiplex
  • Whichever way the Union go with the goalkeeping situation, they will have a quality keeper in between the posts. When you look at that, that is a very strong core right up the middle of the field going into 2015. Combine that with a couple of quality players on the flanks in Wenger and Le Toux as well as Raymon Gaddis, there is a strong team here.

    Throughout the season, the Philadelphia Union had two glaring weaknesses. They had more, but for the sake of this, we will just say two. One, they would get into the final third and not have the killer instinct. They did not have a striker up front who would consistently score which hindered the creativity. They then began resorting to crossing it into the box which is very hit or miss. They need a DP quality striker this offseason, without a doubt.

    They also had a problem closing out games. They gave up way too points late in the game which will need to be corrected, and a lot of that has to do with the bench options. The Philadelphia Union have a strong core. They have a strong team to build on. They need a DP quality striker to finish the chances created. They also need to build a better bench, one that can come on late and change a game if needed or preserve a lead, but the core is there, and the roster does not need to be overhauled.