The 2017 MLS season is back and the Union will start off their campaign against the Vancouver Whitecaps in Vancouver. The team will look to start off strong after a rocky ending to the 2016 campaign in which they ended on an 8 game winless streak, that includes their lone playoff game last year. Jim Curtin returns as head coach, for his 3rd season.

After last year’s mixed season, the Union made some changes to their overall roster. Tranquillo Barnetta left to go back to Switzerland, allowing Alejandro Bedoya to move up in the midfield. The top signing for the team in the offseason was Haris Medunjanin. Medunjanin has similar abilities to the ex-union player, Vincent Nogueira, a player with great vision and passing, who likes to play out of the back. The Union also signed Oguchi Onyewu, a veteran center-back, who will look to bring some much need experience to the young backline. Jay Simpson, an English forward, will look to take the starting spot away from CJ Sapong.

Vancouver Whitecaps have also been busying this offseason, looking to build up their attacking core of playing. Trading for Brek Shea (formerly with Orlando), signing Freddy Montero (formerly with Seattle Sounders, 2011-2014) and Mauro Rosales (formerly with FC Dallas). Vancouver also traded for ex Union player Sheanon Williams (formerly with Houston, 2015-2016, and Union, 2010-2015).

Being away from home and against a Vancouver team with speed, the Union will likely play a more defensive minded team. Look for Derrick Jones (Homegrown player) to potentially get his first start as a defensive midfielder. Fabian Herbers will have an upper hand in winning the right midfielder position over Ilsinho, for his defensive abilities. New players Medunjanin and Simpson could both be featured in the starting lineup. Oguchi Onyewu could snag the right center back spot from Ken Tribbett, after Joshua Yaro went down with an injury during the preseason.

Lineup Prediction

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