Time for me to take my best shot at answering your questions about the Philadelphia Union. I’d like to thank everyone who has submitted questions so far.
Morale around the Philadelphia Union has reached a new low and the mailbag questions are beginning to reflect that. Most of the questions are either asking about how the team can be fixed or if Jim Curtin should be fired. I’ll do my best at answering them, and without further ado, let’s get to the questions.
To start off we have a question from Tallahassee Union: Did Alberg show enough to start again against IMFC? Any chance we see a 4-4-2 to start the match?
To me, Alberg showed why he’s been on the bench to begin the season against NYCFC. He wasn’t particularly good on defense, his passing was off and he couldn’t finish easy shots. For someone who is a one-dimensional scorer, if Alberg isn’t scoring goals, he doesn’t deserve to be in the game until after the 60th minute.
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This was until I heard Jim Curtin’s presser today. When asked about Alberg’s performance, Curtin discussed how Alberg worked to get fit and worked to make Pirlo uncomfortable. His only criticism was that Alberg was receiving possession deeper than he would like. But from those statements, it looks like we should expect another start from Alberg.
In regards to the 4-4-2, I’d like to see a 4-1-4-1 with a Crevalle, Medunjanin, Jones midfield triangle but Curtin will stick with the 4-2-3-1 until the end of time.
Next up we have Friends of Ben asking: Does a loss this Saturday prove to be the end of Curtin’s reign as head coach?
Winless in 15 would be a tough pill to swallow and with a trip to LA coming up, things may only get worse. I think regardless, Curtin will be able to make it until the end of the month but winless through April would be bad enough to call for a change. Sorber would likely manage the first game or two after the firing but if Earnie Stewart named Sorber the replacement, there would be a full-fledged mutiny by the fans.
Staying on the Curtin front, Liam McCorry asks: Do you think there’s any merit to Earnie’s defense of Curtin or do you think that he is just showing face?
While Earnie Stweart answering the question about Curtin’s future may seem like a good thing on the surface it also shows that Stewart is thinking about making a change. While Stewart will never come out in public saying that unless Curtin picks up a certain number of points over the next five games or so. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t pondering it. He can’t continue to watch this team week in and week out without considering a change for the Philadelphia Union.
Dooper Scooper asks: Who’s the first Steel player to get consistent call-ups with the current state of the roster?
Taking a cop out here with Adam Najem. The Philadelphia Union need a number 10 that can hold onto the ball and make plays. Alejandro Bedoya isn’t that guy. Roland Alberg isn’t that guy. Adam Najem could be that guy. The Philadelphia Union could try to bring in an experienced number 10 during this summer but at that point, it could be too late to salvage the season.
With no first round draft pick next year, there is no point for the Philadelphia Union to tank and hope for a transcendent talent to fall to them. The next guy who I’d name is Marcus Epps. If Ilsinho and Chris Pontius continue to be anonymous on the wings, Jim Curtin will have to look everywhere for options and after Fabian Herbers, Epps is the next man up.
To close, the great chuck bambino (a Chuck of a different name) asks: Where’s the heart? Where’s the fight? Where are the leaders?
Well, this is a tough one because I don’t see this team behind closed doors. It’s clear that the team is lacking belief after they go behind games but people are also trying to turn things around. Andre Blake called a team meeting according to Taylor Twellman prior to the NYCFC game but that didn’t seem to help.
Jim Curtin is never a coach to get emotional on the touchline to galvanize his team but he may have to try it if they go behind early in these next few games. Winning cures all ills but it’s clear that the Philadelphia Union need to believe in themselves and everything will “hopefully” fall into place.