Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Philadelphia Union

The Union are showing signs of being a contender for years to come. For such a young team, building through the draft and academy has become vital. The team had the pieces and made the playoffs in 2014 and 2015 led by Jack McInerney and Andre Blake. But they weren’t able to advance past the first round, thanks to one of the weaker defenses in the league. They went out and signed a national team player for Egypt to help out at left back. He only helped a little. The team missed the playoffs. The Son’s of Ben weren’t happy and led to the decision of sacking the manager. A former Mexican team manager was signed. He completely changed the way the team played, for the worst. A 5-4-1 formation with very little offense led to an even worse season. Andre Blake left at the end of the year to play in Miami, and Jack McInerney went to Norwich in the EPL to help his 2018 World Cup stock. An American coach taken from the Harrisburg Islanders to try to turn things around. That year, they drafted the best forward in the draft 3rd overall, and brought up their academy’s crown jewel, a 6’4” goalkeeper from Southern New Jersey. His rookie stats weren’t that great, due to a weak defense. He plead to his new coach, who brought up 2 players from Harrisburg, signed a player from Dundee in Scotland, and a French midfielder from AS Monaco looking for a starting position. The new revamped Union were able to finish 4th in the east, and made it past the first round. A partnership with Harrisburg was formed to train Union players. Union would host a pre season match up, known as the Keystone Cup. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds eventually played in the round robin, before rebranding to 3 Rivers United. Union were considered a favorite for the 2019 season, before their stud midfielder went down with an ankle injury. A few young players were rushed into the lineup, not ready for the big task. The club went out and drafted a midfielder 10th overall in the draft, a player from Duke. Their goalkeeper made the World Cup Roster in 2022, and Union had a few rosters but kept him playing domestically because they needed him. The Union had a few more decent seasons, and after the 2023 season, a change was made. They axed their coach, and signed a coach of Manchester City who had been fired after 10 games. He came in and kicked ass. With the same good core, he complimented it with a young English midfielder who wasn’t resigned by City’s senior team from their academy. He scouted the NASL, and picked up a Canadian striker from Ottawa. That year, they made a run to the playoffs, and lost in the semi finals. spending helped a little bit, but they could do better. Youth talent was brought in on the wings, and they signed a 30 year old Croatian player from Napoli. He was the catalyst of the team. That 2025 team holds the record for lowest GAA in MLS history. The strong defense, paired with a national team goalie, an experienced midfield, and high power attack led Union to their first MLS cup, and the city’s first championship since the 2008 World Series. The team would stay together and lose in the MLS cup two years later to San Jose. Going into 2030, Philly is on the down swing, but that i from a ridiculous high. A playoff appearance has become the norm, and is expected year after year. The identity is close to what they have now. The logo is the same, and the jerseys are pretty close, only the switch to Puma is anything major. The clash stripe was recolored as an inversion of the home.

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