While the Union’s late-season surge isn’t going unnoticed, many believe there has not been enough MVP talk about the team and its top players. The Union faces a unique challenge in the MLS MVP race. That is, they are simply too good.

First things first. For the first time in this MLS season, the Union players are finally getting MVP voting love. In the MLS MVP Power Rankings, the Union holds 3 of the top 5 spots. I would say that is fairly good.

Andre Blake and Jose “El Brujo” Martinez hold a tie for number 5. While Daniel Gazdag sits in 3rd. This MVP ranking list is fair.

However, it has taken the league 30 weeks of the season to give the Union’s guys MVP talk. The simple reason is they are just too good.

Too Good?

Saying the Union is just “too good” comes off kind of cocky, understandably. However, it isn’t a shout of overconfidence.

The case in many MVP awards is it goes to a player that takes a good team and makes them great himself. Case in point, Hany Mukhtar for Nashville this season. Nashville was floating on the playoff line in the west a few weeks ago. Since then, Hany Mukhtar has gone nuclear and almost singlehandedly has them pushing for the 3 seed in the West. Mukhtar is deservedly the favorite for MLS MVP.

The Union doesn’t have that player. They don’t need it. Jim Curtin and Ernst Tanner have built an absolute machine of great players. Andre Blake will be MLS Goalkeeper of the year. Jack Elliott or Jacob Glesnes will win Defensive player of the year. Jose Martinez and Kai Wagner are the best in MLS at their respective positions. Finally, Gazdag, Carranza, and Uhre pose the best 3 man attack in the league.

The Union can come 1 point short of the MLS record for points in a season. They can break the MLS goal differential record. They are the first team to even come close to TRIPLING goals for to goals against. After all of that, MLS MVP is something they have no chance at.

Everyone is Stepping Up

Another big factor is every player who wouldn’t be known as a top player at their position is contributing. Ale Bedoya is leading the team and giving serviceable minutes almost all game. Leon Flach fills in for Jose Martinez defensively seamlessly. Jack McGlynn has been a game changer when his number is called. Cory Burke is scoring off the bench.

When a team is firing on absolutely every cylinder almost the entire season, it is going to be hard for one single guy to make his name in an MVP race. This is exactly what is happening to Daniel Gazdag and Andre Blake.

They Still Deserve Their Recognition

Andre Blake or Daniel Gazdag will not win MLS MVP. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their recognition.

Andre Blake leads the league in clean sheets. He is the anchor of the top defense in MLS. A defense that could go down as 2nd best all time in terms of goals allowed.

Daniel Gazdag has 22 goal contributions. 18 goals (Union record) and 4 assists. He has scored clutch goals and has been very consistent in finishing shots.

We won’t see a Union player awarded MVP. However, we could see a top MLS team bring home trophies. Having just too many good players is something you don’t complain about.


Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation

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