2015 MLS Team Preview: Philadelphia Union

Barring a work stoppage, the start of 2015 Major League Soccer is right around the corner. Can’t remember back to October? No worries as the ‘plex has got you covered with previews of all 20 MLS teams. Today it’s the Philadelphia Union and we have a special guest to look at the squad Playing For 90 Editor Phil Naegely!

But before we get Phil’s thoughts let’s look at some quick numbers from 2014:

Quick Numbers

2014 Record: 10-12-12, 42 points

Conference Standing: 6th Place

League Standing:12th Place

Finish: Did not make the playoffs, but they were the runners-up at the US Open Cup

Top Scorer: Sebastien Le Toux (12)

MLS Multiplex:What was the Philadelphia Union’s greatest moment in 2014?

Phil Naegely: US Open Cup Final even though they lost. Fans brought the passion and filled PPL Park for an historic moment. 

Multiplex:Who are some of the key additions for the squad in 2015?

Naegely: Fernando Aristeguieta on loan. CJ Sapong in trade from SKC. Both moves adds striker depth and takes pressure of an aging Connor Casey. Defensively, Steven Vitoria on loan will help as a regular starter on the back-line. He will most likely line up with Ethan White for most of the season unless Jim Curtin wants to start Edu in the back-line. The Union also purchased Edu after a successful loan spell in 2014. 

Multiplex: Are there any players that the team lost over the off-season that will hurt the club this season?

Naegely: Amobi Okugo is a big loss, but he wasn’t playing in his natural position in town. He will do well in Orlando. Carlos Valdes is gone as well. It won’t be as big of a loss as Okugo. The biggest thing is it appears that Valdes doesn’t want to be with the team in recent years.

Multiplex: If there is one question that needs to be answered for this club to succeed this season what is it?

Naegely:  They have the pieces. They need to finish games this year, which is something they struggled to do last year.

Multiplex: What are the expectations of the club this season from Union fans?

Naegely: Simple, they want to make the playoffs. Greatness, there’s an expanded playoff field with 12 teams now so if they simply squeak in then fans might be pleased. But, Jim Curtin grew up locally and gets it as a coach.

Multiplex: What is your favorite place to watch a Union road game?

Naegely:  Fado is a good bar to watch soccer no matter what game. I watch on MLS Live, but many Union fans either travel to the games especially when local or go to Fado if the game is on local tv.

Multiplex: Last question: What is the best seat at PPL Park?

Naegely: All of them. If you want to stand for 90 minutes, become a supporter and sit (stand) with the Sons of Ben.