If you are unfamiliar with the Philadelphia Union, last season was an incredible stride into the right direction into to building an incredible dynasty in the MLS. At least that’s what you would think. The Unions’ offseason shocked everyone. It first started when they traded arguably the best player on the team, Sebastien Le Toux. Not only was he the best player, he was a fan favorite in Philly. Many would compare Le Toux to the Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
Le Toux only knew one way to play, and that was never to give up. Not only did they trade him, the reason for trading him was for “youth”, to get a young, talented team. It also sparked more controversy when they signed 31 year-old columbian striker Lionard Pajoy, who is 3 years older then Le Toux. This raised the question if they were actually trying to build a young team. In addition their goalie Faryd Mondragón, a well known Columbian national team player and the captain of the Union. He was closing in on retirement and went back to his old team to finish out his career. However the Union do have a young goalie named Zac Macmath, who is becoming a great young and upcoming goalie in the MLS. Although the Union lost a lot of talent, they did what any other organization would do in the offseason. They went out and got players to fill in as role players in this so called “youth” team.
Most people did not know how the season was going to start. Will they be good, will they be average, or will they be god awful? The answer was god awful. There first ten games of the season really showed that. The first ten games they put out a (2-7-2) record . That is when something had to change. On June 6th they traded yet another player. Danny Mwanga, the 1st overall pick in the 2010 MLS Super Draft. They sent him to the Portland Timbers for Jorge Perlaza a columbian striker. Shortly after the trade, Nick Sakiewicz the CEO & Operating partner announced the Peter Nowak was dismissed as the head coach of the Union. In addition he announced that assistant coach John Hackworth would take over as the teams manager. Hackworth’s first game was unexpected. Even though they lost to DC United 1-0, coach Hackworth showed the fans what they were looking for. A young, exciting team the was able to produce scoring chances. This would show next week when they shocked the MLS world when they beat the Sporting Kansas City 4-0. In addition Sporting KC was the second team in the eastern conference at the time. This raised the confidence of the squad as they were going on a tough two-game road trip.
Those two teams just happen to be the MLS cup runner up Houston Dynamo and the winners LA Galaxy. The Houston game the Union lost 2-1 by a questionable call by the ref who gave a penalty kick to the Dynamo in a tied 1-1 game at the time. The Dynamo ended up finishing the penalty kick and beat the Union of a penalty that should have never been called. The next game would be even a tougher task for the Union. Playing against the internationally known Landon Donovan. The Union were lucky enough to catch the one game without David Beckham due to a red card he received the previous game. The game was tied 1-1 when 6 minutes of extra time was added on. That is when it got exciting. In the 95th minute when Lionard Pajoy back heeled an amazing ball to Michael Farfan just outside the box. Michael Farfan ended up scoring a great goal that stunned every LA Galaxy fan in the stadium. Now the Union come back for a nice three-game home stand and try to get some points to climb back in the playoff picture.
Tune in to the Unions next game at 4:00PM EDT on 6 ABC.
Highlights of the Union vs. LA Galaxy—– HIGHLIGHTS: LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union