Philadelphia Union Season Preview

Skyler Hoffner, Centurion Staff

The Philadelphia Union franchise will be playing in there tenth anniversary season in Major League Soccer in 2019.
The Union’s 2018 season had its ups and downs but ultimately the club finished in sixth place in the Eastern Conference the last playoff spot. The Union played third place New York City Football Club in the first round and were eliminated from the MLS playoffs after losing 3-1 at Yankee Stadium.
The Union, after having an okay season in 2018, ultimately had the mindset to let a ton of players go from the team.
The team let these players walk into free agency. Marcus Epps, Richie Marquez, John McCarthy, Adam Najem, Jay Simpson, and Josh Yaro.
A couple players were even traded from the Union this offseason as well including, Fabian Herbers to the Chicago Fire, CJ Sapong to the Chicago Fire, and Keegan Rosenberry to the Colorado Rapids.
A big dilemma for the Union this 2019 offseason was to try and retain the reigning assist leader in MLS in 2018 Borek Dockal.
The Czech Republic native recorded 18 assists for the Union in the 2018 MLS campaign.
Dockal was on loan with the Union for the entire 2018 season from Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League. Unfortunately the asking price to buy Dockal from Henan Jianye was too much for the Union and they had to let him go.
During the 2019 offseason, the Union added a plethora of players. The biggest signing of them all was Mexican international midfielder Marco Fabian.
Fabian went on to sign the biggest contract in Philadelphia Union history in the clubs 10 year existence.
Some other key additions to the 2019 Union roster were homegrown player Brendan Aaronson, Aurelien Collin, Carlos Miguel Coronel, Matt Freese, Jamiro Monterio, and Kai Wagner.
The Union finished the preseason in Clearwater, Florida with a record of four wins, one tie, and one loss.
Some Bucks students voiced their opinions on the Philadelphia Union’s upcoming season.
Michael Pietrangelo, of Southampton, Pa said “I think the Union will do just fine again this season.”
“They’re evaluated some players from the 2018 roster who never really made the 18 man game day roster and decided to either let them walk in free agency or get rid of them for the 2019 season.”
“Im very excited because the Union never really go after top talent abroad in Europe or South America but when new sporting Director Ernst Tanner did just that I was in shock.” Pietrangelo said
Ashley Fairchild, 21, of Bensalem, Pa said “The Union are going to have a great season in 2019. The new players we’ve signed this off season are amazing. They come to the Union with some great track records.”
“New Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner has truly made the fans feel like we’re trying to win something this season. After finishing in sixth place two of the last three seasons and losing in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, it hurt this fan base. I think this season that will all change as the Union will win their first ever MLS Cup Playoff game in franchise history!” Fairchild said confidently.
Shawn Westerman, 18, of Philadelphia, Pa said “From what I’ve heard the Union could be good this season after struggling the last few years. If the new guys they’ve added in the offseason produce like Union think they can I think the Union will make a run in the playoff and could potentially win the MLS Cup this season?”
It seems that not only Bucks students are excited but the whole city of Philadelphia, hopefully the Union will follow in the footsteps of the Eagles, Sixers and Phillies and be dominating the entire league this season.