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There is no question the Philadelphia Union is hot right now. 4 straight wins, 2 losses in 22 games, and sitting atop the Eastern Conference. What does the rest of the season hold and can they change the record books?

The season has been up and down for the Union. Despite only having 2 losses they have left a lot of points on the table. A few calls and balls going in a different direction and the team is running away with their 2nd Supporter’s Shield in 3 years. That being said, the team should be happy with where they sit overall.

For Supporters Shield standings, the Union only trails LAFC by 3 points and a game in hand. LA has built a powerhouse on the West coast. Adding the likes of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini. Don’t be surprised if the Union cannot catch them for the shield.

As for the Eastern Conference, things are more in their control. The Union sits first with NYCFC trailing by 1 point with a game in hand. Of course, NYCFC having a game in hand is scary but they just lost league-leading score, Taty Castellanos. A regression, even if little, should be expected.

Historic Defense

The biggest plus going for the Union is their historic defense. In 22 games they have allowed just 15 goals. The record for least allowed in a season is 20 by Real Salt Lake in 2010. (The Union allowed just 20 in 2020. However, that was the pandemic shortened season.) Glesnes and Elliott are elite. Harriel and Mbaizo have been switching off almost seamlessly. Andre Blake is front-running for another GK of the year.

The Union doesn’t score more than 1 goal a game often. With their defense, one is all they need sometimes.

They also have the 3rd best goal differential. The thing finally going right is the offense is starting to consistently score goals. The trio of Gazdag, Carranza, and Uhre are just starting to mesh together. Gazdag is leading the team with 10 goals, followed by Carranza with 7 and Uhre with 6.

The Union is chasing defensive records. Draws have hindered their progress in the standings but they are still chasing history. The MLS record for the least amount of losses in a season is 4.

What Can Go Wrong?

All teams have to battle through a season. A lot can go wrong from now to the end of the season. For the Union, the main concerns lie in obvious places. That is losing players. Whether to injury or the transfer market.

The 2 biggest transfer concerns should be Kai Wagner and Jose Martinez. Wagner has been rumored to Europe for multiple seasons now. He is the best left-back in MLS and is near the top of the league with 11 assists.

El Brujo is a top defensive 6 in the league. Despite his hotheaded tendencies and fouls, he is a great player. Other leagues surely have their eye on him.

There is nothing in the works yet for these two. However, these things move along quickly. Losing either of the two would be detrimental to the way the team plays. Both play a huge part in not only defense but offense as well.

Both of them are going to end up overseas. Best case scenario, their transfers wait until the winter and they stay with the Union through the playoffs.

What Does the Rest of the Season Hold?

The Union could run the table down the stretch of the season. They have 12 games left in the season. 6 of which are at home. Only 4 of those games are played against teams currently in an MLS playoff spot.

Now those facts don’t mean much considering their 2 losses on the season came against Toronto and Chicago when they were at the bottom of the league standings.

However, should the Union take it one game at a time and beat the teams they are better than, there is a possibility they are challenging the MLS record for the fewest losses in a season.

 

Featured Image: Wes Shepherd

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