Will the Extended Break Help the Philadelphia Union Regroup?: A Fan’s Take

The Philadelphia Union most recently played the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, March 31, 2012. The two teams fought to a scoreless draw to bring an end to the Union's losing streak of three games. After that game, the Union have approximately two weeks off. The next game for the team will be on Saturday, April 14, 2012. This game will be at PPL Park Stadium against the Columbus Crew. Since the Crew are near the top of the Eastern Conference, and the Union are near the bottom, this may be a true test of what the team is capable of in relation to their conference.

The team's manager Peter Nowak seems to believe that there are minor things for the team to improve on and that as long as the team can stay focused, then things will be looking good for the team on April 14. However, it is clear that the team has a little more than just minor problems. I doubt that minor problems would lead to a three game losing streak and a scoreless draw.

The main two things for the team to work on are scoring and defensive work. This has not changed from last year. In 2011, it seemed to me that the team also struggled with scoring and to some extend defense. If the addition of new players that are known for being strikes and talented defensive players are not fixing the problem, then perhaps the team should look at the coaching staff. If shaking up the players is producing more of the same, I am not sure what else would be the problem.

Despite the MLS currently putting the Union near the bottom of the league in the "Power Rankings," I believe the Union really has the ability to turn the season around. With all of the player being with the Union for the first time this season, now is the time for all the players to step it up and work together. The next game will be the true test for the team. If having all the players available, except for those with injuries, the team still can't make it work, then the team will likely never be able to make it work. Given the performance against the Whitecaps, fans do appear to have reason to be optimistic, but only time will tell.

Kristin Watt lives in central Pennsylvania and has no local major league sporting teams in the area .She has chosen to adopt Philadelphia's teams, including the Philadelphia Union, as her own home teams. Philadelphia is close enough to make a daytrip out of a game and still not have to get a hotel room.

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Updated Friday, Apr 6, 2012