Some numbers can be manipulated to fit whatever narrative you would like, while others don't really need your help to prove a point. The Philadelphia Union have remained strong in every defensive and goalkeeping category - it took until the 9th game for a team to put more than one goal past Faryd Mondragon - but they are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to anything related to offense.
A little more than 1/4 of the way through the season, the Union have taken more points than many would have expected and still sit near the top of the Eastern Conference, though their lack of teeth in the attack has allowed other teams to creep up behind them. They may have the third stingiest defense in the league, but they are also one of only 5 teams that haven't scored double digits yet, and it will be difficult to earn enough points to compete over the course of 34 games at that pace.
Hit the jump for a look at where the Union stand...
Record After 9 Games:
4 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses - 14 pts.
All four wins were shutout wins, all three losses were shutout losses. Both draws ended 1-1.
18th in the League (Philly's basement dwelling stats followed by the team/teams just above them):
6 goals scored - Chivas USA and Columbus Crew (8)
2 assists - Chivas USA and Columbus Crew (6)
73 shots - Real Salt Lake (88)
24 shots on target - Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City (27)
21 corner kicks - Sporting Kansas City (34)
*This may not be a fair comparison, as most of these teams have played fewer games than the U.
Sebastien Le Toux and Carlos Ruiz are the only two Union players in the league's top 50 shots takers, combining for 27 between the two of them (10 were on frame). They have scored a total of three goals, one of which came from a penalty kick.
Faryd Mondragon is tied for the league lead in shutouts with 4. He is 15th in saves, stopping 18 of the 25 shots directed towards the net. 4 of the 6 goals scored have come from headers.
Union's Most Frequently Fouled:
Sheanon Williams (13)
Carlos Ruiz (12)
Carlos Valdes (10)
Sebastien Le Toux (9)
Danny Mwanga (8)
Danny Mwanga is one caution away from a one-match ban for yellow card accumulation. Sheanon Williams is two cards away from the same ban. LEAVE YOUR SHIRTS ON WHEN YOU CELEBRATE GOALS, PLEASE!
Union Players That Have Played Every Minute (810 min):
Sebastien Le Toux
Union Players Yet To Play (7 out of 25 on roster):
Juan Diego Gonzalez
*No surprises here, as their professional resumes and salaries suggest a developmental role with the team........
Only 4 Players Have Been Called For Offsides this Season:
Sebastien Le Toux (9)
Carlos Ruiz (8)
Danny Mwanga (2)
Jack McInerney (1)
Total Passes vs Opposition:
Houston Dynamo - 532, Philadelphia Union - 296 (1-0 Win)
Philadelphia Union - 452, Vancouver Whitecaps - 275 (1-0 Win)
Philadelphia Union - 484, Los Angeles Galaxy - 348 (1-0 Loss)
New York Red Bulls - 577, Philadelphia Union - 323 (1-0 Win)
Seattle Sounders - 437, Philadelphia Union - 426 (1-1 Draw)
Philadelphia Union - 424, San Jose Earthquakes - 381 (1-0 Win)
Philadelphia Union - 422, Portland Timbers - 352 (1-0 Loss)
Philadelphia Union - 422, Los Angeles Galaxy - 400 (1-1 Draw)
Philadelphia Union - 457, FC Dallas - 281 (2-0 Loss)
There are 5 empty spaces on the Union roster, and a couple of guys who may as well be empty spaces (though one is the top scorer with a whopping 2 goals and probably won't be moved)... what upgrades will the team make? Will money go towards defensive depth despite the strength of the starters and relative success of the Farfans? Will they use their allocation position to draw a proven MLS scorer in the form of the G.A.M. himself, Eddie Johnson? Is Nowak going to try to resurrect the career of a former teammate in DaMarcus Beasley? Are we looking at a Designated Player or highly paid veteran that will demand the ball and can take the pressure off of Le Toux, guide Mwanga, and tell Ruiz to do some crunches? Leave your thoughts below!