After their first loss of the 2024 MLS Season, Philadelphia Union players and fans shared their frustrations.
However, do some comments from players show a divided locker room?

The Union did something very rare last Saturday: They lost at home while at full strength.

While a superb strike from Real Salt Lake ultimately secured all three points, it didn’t improve the taste in Union players’ mouths.

Reeling from their first defeat of the season, Union players seemed more verbally frustrated than we have seen in years past.

Is there a divide forming in the Union locker room, or are the frustrations boiling over from a lack of results?

Union Leadership Most Vocally Frustrated

Union players were more vocal after Saturday’s loss than we have seen in a while. Most notably, longtime captain Alejandro Bedoya had stern words to share with the media post-match.

“I’m glad you guys (in the media) took longer to get here because I had to cool my head a bit. But yeah, I’m freaking pissed, man. We should never be losing this type of game at home. I mean, honestly, two big, big, freaking chances that we should be putting away in the box, that we should be finishing. So that’s disappointing that we don’t score those chances.”

Now, it is not uncommon for Ale Bedoya to be fired up and passionate about his Union team. However, this is the first time we have seen him point out a distinct portion of the Union’s play to criticize. That being, of course, the inconsistent play of Mikael Uhre. Certainly when the Union fan base has been shouting the same frustrations at a certain Union forward for years.

Bedoya would never point out Uhre in such a manner, nor should they be. However, Uhre missed an absolute sitter from 3 yards out, which proved to cost the Union. The captain has the right to be frustrated, and his comments were likely made to fire up his team. The culture will be fine as long as Bedoya is in the Union locker room. It remains to be seen if it will wake up Union attackers to bust out of their funk.

Andre Blake

The other player venting his frustrations was the Union’s second-in-line captain, Andre Blake. Blake is not one to show much emotion to the media, but post-match Saturday, Blake seemed unusually frustrated.

Blake’s frustrations are more pointed towards his health rather than the team’s form.

As reported by Jose Nunez, Blake had the following to say post-match when asked about his health:

“I don’t want to talk about it, to be honest. It has been a tough start for me, but I am hanging in there.”

The longtime Union goalkeeper has had a rough 2024 season in terms of staying healthy. Simultaneously, Blake let a fairly easy goal in during Saturday’s loss to RSL. Blake is reasonably frustrated and still dealing with lingering injuries. However, his demeanor seems lower than in past seasons.

Another sign that perhaps frustrations within the Union locker room as a whole are growing.

The Season is Not Over

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Union leadership venting their frustration so vocally is that the Union is still in a fine place. While the Union currently sits 7th in the East, the club still has 2 games in hand over everyone. Win those two games and they are right back to the top of the conference. However, the Union players know the margin for error this season is thin.

The Union has had the same core players for about 4 seasons now. Perhaps that fact makes the recent comments from club leadership more of an eyecatcher. Considering we have not heard such strong language from the team like this before.

This season is still young, and the Union can still fight for the top of the East.
However, the fact that frustrations are getting out so early shows that the Union locker room may not be as strong as in years past.

PHOTO: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation

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