It may not be time to get your pitchforks, ready Philadelphia Union fans.
A 5-1 loss to the Didier Drogba-led Montreal Impact side is not the result a fan wants their team to get before the second short break of Major League Soccer’s season with the upcoming All-Star Break, it is hardly something that Philadelphia Union fans should be really worried about. It is not yet time to say we suck again.
In the past month and a half, the Philadelphia Union have looked like a shell of the team that they were before the first break of the season for Copa America Centenario. In seven games since that break, the Philadelphia Union have achieved only 7 points, which is not ideal.
Before the break, they had 23 points in 14 games. A slightly above 1.5 points a game pace. The team has definitely reached a bump in the road, whether due to the departure of Vincent Nogueira, or an overall decline in play due to tiring and other such strains of the grueling MLS season.
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The good news is that the core of the team will get a full week of rest for this break, besides Right Back, Keegan Rosenberry, and Goalkeeper, Andre Blake, who were both voted into the All-star team and will likely at least play in the All-Star game against Arsenal on July 28th, if not start and play much of the game. Next weekend the team will face off another battle against Real Salt Lake, who in the same amount of games have one more point.
The better news is the upcoming game is at home. With a full week of rest, with the return of Ilsinho to the lineup, or bench, from his red card day off, and hopefully the Philadelphia Union can work together to show the skill we know they have.
Near the end of the second half, a spark was seen in the Philadelphia Union’s play against Montreal. A brilliant pass from Walter Restrepo found the head of Chris Pontius, once again giving him the lead in scoring for the Union this season.
The best news is that the Philadelphia Union have been knocked out of the Open Cup. While sure a return to the semi-finals and hopefully the finals of the Open Cup would have been the best case scenario, the loss takes two games of the fixture list for the rest of the season giving more rest in the schedule, and could be a blessing in disguise as the Union continue to battle for supremacy in the Eastern conference.
The bad news is that Tranquillo Barnetta will miss out on the upcoming game due to yellow card accumulation. With this in mind, we likely see a much different lineup than we have, for a month. Warren Creavalle will likely return to the lineup to partner with Brian Carroll a partnership that has been solid in their appearances in the early part of the season.
Tranquillo has been pushed back since the departure of Vincent Nogueira which may have hindered him. Add to this news that Roland Alberg has looked all but awful in the last few games, being pedestrian and mostly offside against Red Bulls, and lackluster against the Impact.
More bad news is that yes the Philadelphia Union were knocked out of the Open Cup. The loss stings not only the fans but the players who were surely interested in having a perhaps unprecedented three Open Cup finals in a row. That said losing a third might have been an even worse result.
The team will also likely see Fabinho return to the field as Raymond Gaddis started against Montreal to give speed. That may not have been a huge part of the loss, but his attacking flair was definitely missed in the game. Also, Josh Yaro and Richie Marquez seemed far from on the same page in the Impact game, meaning Ken Tribbett will likely return to the Philadelphia Union lineup as they hope to stop Real Salt Lake’s Yura Movsisyan from scoring, and hopefully the rest of his team.