Now that we are a few days removed from the Philadelphia Union’s brutal 3-2 loss at Montreal, I think I’m finally ready to say it. This loss, one of the worst in recent memory, will be the best thing to happen to the Union this season.
It is hard to say many good things about the loss against Montreal. I don’t think it is the worst the team has played this year, I was there for that Chicago game and it was rough, but this was as infuriating of a match as you’ll get.
The Union went down early to Montreal on an unfortunate penalty. That stunk but hey, Mikael Uhre scored a second-half brace to make it a 2-1 Philly lead. This was great to see because Uhre really did not look like the same player to start this season as he did last year. This was the confidence booster he needed, the hero in a 2-1 road win! Then things got really weird.
Julian Carranza was sent off with his second yellow card in the 69th minute, and it really took the wind out of the Union’s sails, as did some of the substitutions made late. Despite the pressure, Philadelphia was able to hold on, until a goal in the 90th minute by Chinonso Offor. VAR came to the rescue though to call it off due to offsides! No goal! The Union were going to win this one!
Then the referee decided that he was going to review it again. WHAT?!
I’ve legitimately never seen a play reviewed twice after a decision had already been made, and here we were. Now the Union were level on a goal that probably doesn’t happen with Andre Blake in net. AND THEN THEY CONCEDED ANOTHER in the 98th minute of what was supposed to be four minutes of added time. I guess that truly does just mean a minimum of four minutes. Mbaizo was bullied on this goal, as you’ve probably seen many fans say on Twitter already.
In a short span, the Union went from celebrating a potential 2-1 win to dropping three points entirely. The fanbase was enraged, the locker room unhappy, and the usually level-headed Jim Curtin came possibly the closest to receiving a fine that I’ve ever seen from him.
As Eagles beat reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks pointed out, this start to the season has been rather disappointing for the boys in blue. They currently sit in sixth place in the East with two wins and two draws. Besides that second half in the opener against Columbus, they really have not played up to standard. They have not looked like the squad they were last year, nor the one projected by most pundits to make another run at the MLS Cup.
Good folks this is where that turns around. When we look back on this season, hopefully with a trophy or two in our cabinet, this is the game we can look back on as a turning point.
The team is obviously not satisfied with what just happened, and they shouldn’t be. Hopefully, though, it is a slap in the face that wakes up the team. What’s happening right now on the pitch is simply not good enough. I don’t think that the season is some lost cause or that they won’t figure it out, because they usually do, but there need to be some changes. What happened last season doesn’t matter, and we can’t rest on the success we’ve had. Other teams have worked very hard to improve, and are playing with a fire under their butts.
This right here, this punch in the face in a 3-2 loss that should have been a win, this is what lights the fire under the Union. At least it should light a fire under them. I have trust in these players and Curtin to re-evaluate some things and get back toward the squad we know they can be.