An Open Letter to the Philadelphia Union

Dear Philadelphia Union,

My name is Adam Schorr, and I am a season ticket holder.

But that will only be the case through the end of this season. My family has already decided not to renew for next season, and as much as I love the blue and gold, I agree with their decision. I do not claim to know the inner workings of the organization, or what goes in to making decisions. But the team’s play this season and the baffling moves this organization has made, speak for themselves.

First, the on-field product. This team made the playoffs last year and showed great hope moving forward. However, this year has simply been calamitous. There appears to be no continuity or flow, and our attacking prowess from last year has all but disappeared. As Nowak changes formation seemingly every half (and moves players around much more often than that) and personnel every game, the players often appear slow to make decisions as they try to find their teammates on the attack and their man on the defense. This lack of consistency has showed on both sides of the scoreboard. The team is scoring less goals and allowing more compared to last season. Even a franchise-long scoreless streak could not convince Coach Nowak to stick with either players or a formation. Taken as a whole, the on-field product right now is very poor, and there does not appear to be any plan to improve it.

Second, the player transactions. The official statements released along with any move speak of a "plan", "goals", and "improving the team". The plan and the goals are unclear. I honestly do not know whether the Union are trying to win or not. While I understand that some moves are unavoidable (such as Mondragon heading home for a retirement season), it is very difficult to believe that this team is trying to win by literally selling off two of its best players. It is even more difficult to believe when the money does not appear to be spent. And the on-field product is certainly not improved. From an outside perspective, it appears that, rather than push a playoff team forward, the front office has decided to put a poor team on the field for some cash. As a fan, I simply cannot accept that.

Furthermore, it appears that the transactions are based on how well Coach Nowak gets along with a player. This is obviously very poor for two reasons. First, selling players simply because the coach does not like them is a great way to lose talent. Second, and more importantly, it means that the coach is not getting along with multiple very talented players. This is unacceptable. If the coach is actively clashing with multiple different players, this is a problem with the coach, not the players, and should be treated accordingly.

Finally, and a more minor complaint, is that somehow, after two full seasons, the parking situation is no better than it was when the stadium first opened. It takes at least 20 minutes to get from the end of the Commodore Barry Bridge to the parking lot. That is not a long stretch. It should not take that long. Leaving the stadium takes even longer (it took around 45 minutes to leave the parking lot after the home opener). The lots remain unpaved and unpainted. While this is a small complaint, it is the little things that greatly enhance a stadium experience, and I find myself frustrated after every game. And with a good sponsor and the continuous selling of players, there should be money to make the parking lots look a little more professional.

To conclude, as long as this organization continues to employ Coach Nowak, sell off players for no return, and continue to put a very poor product on the field (as a direct result of the first two), my family will not be buying tickets. Not season tickets, not single tickets. This organization needs to show us that they care about the fans before we give them another penny.

Jungite aut Perite,
Adam Schorr

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