Philadelphia Union: The Ole Onionbag (mailbag) week six

Apr 22, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fan cheers through a megaphone during the second half against the Montreal Impact at Talen Energy Stadium. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fan cheers through a megaphone during the second half against the Montreal Impact at Talen Energy Stadium. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Well, this is getting depressing folks. If the Philadelphia Union don’t win soon, the mailbag may enter a hiatus until their fortunes change.

The winless streak has continued in impressive fashion as the Philadelphia Union dropped two points to the Montreal impact. They’re now heading to Los Angeles to hopefully right the ship against another struggling team. Will the Philadelphia Union return home with a win? No one really knows but we all hope that they do.

On that note, let’s get to this week’s mailbag:

Tallahassee Union asks, Now What?

This is where things are a little tough. Obviously, a change is needed as we wrote about earlier this week but firing Jim Curtin won’t fix it all for the Philadelphia Union. Honestly, I don’t know what needs to happen now, I just know that this team needs to win to ease the pressure on them.

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Union fan account Dooper Scooper asks an interesting question: You’re standing at a crossroad: one leads to Talen Energy Stadium, one leads to Goodman Stadium. Where are you going the rest of the season?

The games are never on the same day so I’m hitting both! The Philadelphia Union need our support now more than ever and in Bethlehem, we can see the future of the team take shape. While it’s not appealing to watch a USL side, the Steel deserve/need our support just as much as the Philadelphia Union do.

Jason Hannigan asks: Thoughts on CJ Sapong at this point in the season? And, as a follow-up, how many goals (realistically) do you see him netting?

I have been pleasantly surprised. While CJ Sapong came into camp in the right mindset after the Jay Simpson signing, I never would have expected this out of him. He has literally been a beast in the box and what’s more interesting is that he’s doing it while being the only legit scoring threat in the lineup. While it’s tough to fully buy in after his hot start to last year, I’m close to drinking the Kool-aid. If he keeps his pace up, I can see Sapong netting 15-18 goals this season.

Frankie Sorrentino asks: Who’s more to blame, the midfield or the defense?

Team defense is the issue here. While the back line can be caught ball watching, some of the fault is on the midfield losing crucial tackles. There are many times where a midfielder looks like they’re in a good position only to whiff leading to a major defense error. Improve the tackling and the defense will improve exponentially.

He also asks, do you think this team just needs a win to get out of its funk or is this going to be the longest season ever?

Just win baby. If the Philadelphia Union can win a game I fully believe that they will go on a run. The numbers show that this team shouldn’t be as bad as they are and one component to that is simply bad luck. When things are going bad, everything snowballs to get worse at once. Once they are able to nab a win the stress that the team is under and they’ll finally be able to be themselves on the pitch.

Paul Catrino asks, Whose salary irritates you the most after the salary release?

For your viewing pleasure and to assist with understanding how the salary budget in MLS works, I made a handy dandy spreadsheet. In making it, I almost broke my computer due to what a few members of the Philadelphia Union are making to contribute nothing to the team. Maurice Edu is an unfortunate situation but at $818,750 we all wonder what could have been. Edu can’t be held at fault for his lack of contributions because a lot of that is on the training staff. If the Philadelphia Union ever got peak Edu, I believe that he would justify his Designated Player title but at this point, it isn’t going to happen. I just hope that Edu can see a pitch somewhere again.

Related Story: The Unfortunate Circumstances of Maurice Edu

The next guy who I’d like to discuss, should walk up to Earnie Stewart and return half of his salary, however.  Ilsinho is fully overpaid for his paltry production making $518,333 to dribble. He has shown nothing to even come close to justifying that price tag especially when you consider that he has been outperformed by Fabian Herbers who is only making $135,500. Ilsinho is stealing money from the club and it needs to stop.

Barry Evans asks: Would Joey Barton be a fit for the union if the FA band doesn’t follow him here?

Looking into this it seems like Barton’s ban will follow him wherever he goes. That being said, while I’m not a fan of Joey Barton the person, I do feel that Joey Barton the soccer player could help the Philadelphia Union. This team doesn’t have anyone who can get nasty on the pitch striking fear into opponents. While this isn’t always a bad thing, when the midfield is lacking defensive steel, something needs to be done in order to dissuade the opposition from cutting through the heart of the team.

Next: Union still searching for first victory as they travel to LA

And Jacob Heil closes by asking, why are we so bad?

It’s a lot of factors that go into this bud. But the good thing is that it’s a long season. While the start has been less than stellar, this team can turn it around to grab the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. All it takes is a small run especially if they’re within six points of the final playoff spot by the all-star break.