Believe it or not, the Union is still in round 1 of the MLS Cup playoffs against New England. Leading the 3-game series 1-0, eyes have (rightfully) been on everything but the play on the field. Can the Union finally focus on the playoffs, or is all the drama too much?
The story of the Union’s 2023 MLS Season and 1 step forward and a lot of steps back. All year long a great success has been followed by a debilitating setback. The start of the MLS playoffs proved to be no different.
In round one against New England, the Union looked to find the ghosts of their former selves. Exploding to a 3-0 first-half lead, guiding them to a 1-0 series lead. It finally looked like the Union found their form and was going to put all the drama behind them.
Then Kai Wagner…
Kai Wagner’s Time with the Union Should Be Over
After a week and a half-long investigation, Kai Wagner has been suspended for 3 MLS matches for the use of racial language towards New England player Bobby Wood.
During game 1, Wagner hurled a slur in German towards Wood, not knowing Wood understood German. This being the case, begs the question if this is the first time Wagner has done such a thing. Nonthematter, there is no place for that in the game.
Weeks ago, reports broke that Wagner would be leaving the Union after this season. This led to fans chanting “pay Kai Wagner” during games to try to urge the front office to get him to stay.
Now, most Union fans hope to never see him where the badge again.
Wagner was one of, if not the best signing the Union have made in terms of bang for their buck. With a transfer fee so low it was not even reported when they signed Wagner, he has exploded his worth into the millions. Becoming the best Left-back in MLS. It is a shame the relationship is ending in such a manner.
Can the Union Reset its Focus Yet Again?
This Union season has been filled with drama. The team finally looked like all the drama was behind them when they thrashed New England in game 1.
Now, they have to do it all over again. Now down one of their top players.
If Jim Curtin can do one thing, it is keep his players focused. The team has bounced back from adversity many times since losing MLS Cup in a heartbreaking fashion. Concern is there that eventually, all the weight of the drama will catch up to them.
They are still up 1-0, with two games to close out the Revolution. After all the outside noise, focus shifts to game 2, tonight at Gillette Field. Should the Union move on to the next round, they have Supporters Shield winners FC Cincinnati waiting for them.
To close on some good news, should the Union manage to make it back to the MLS Cup, they will host!
Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsnation