A new MLS season is here, which means it is now time for the Philadelphia Union to defend the Supporters’ Shield. According to our preseason survey, many of you are expecting similar results from the boys in blue. For most of the responses, fans are expecting a playoff run. Below is a snapshot of some of the responses we received back. If you didn’t respond, let us know in the comments what you expect from the Union this season and where they will end up.
Same top-MLS level goalkeeping from Blake. A step back from the back line with the loss of Mark Mckenzie (but excited for more attacking friendly play with Mbaizo/Gaddis swap). Midfield play stays about the same with loss of Brenden Aaronson (getting more from Anthony Fontana), the addition of Leon Flach, Jose Martinez continues to grow into MLS and role on team. Step forward in production from forwards (return to 2019 form of Kacper, Burke with the team from start of season).
Where the U finishes
Third in the league – 18%
Third in the East – 17%
Second In the league – 11%
The player with the most impact
Player with the most to prove
Fontana had 50% of the responses for this question. All the others were one response for Bedoya, Aaronson, Monteiro and even the ‘Whole team”.
Biggest surprise this season
Player who will be most missed
The next bit of responses deals with the 2020 MLS coach of the year, Jim Curtin. We asked readers what Coach Curtin needs to do to have the team compete for the MLS Cup. A lot of responses dealt with up front and needing either a better striker or goals from the current group of strikers. I also wanted to bring attention to some of the other responses, which you will see below.
Without the likes of Aaronson and McKenzie, the team will need to stay healthy. Four attack-minded players are injured right now, which makes the win at Saprissa even more impressive. However, the team needs to be healthy if it wants to compete weekly while juggling the Champions League and (this is looking less likely) the Open Cup.