The season ended as it began, with the Union dropping points.
One must not confuse the situations, though. To start the year at Portland, it was a draw and given all the new acquisitions there was a sense of optimism about the Union coming into the season. The Union's play was encouraging and despite the elephant in the room there was a sense this season may not be a disaster like 2013 and 2012.
Eight months and one roller coaster ride later, all that's left is apathy after a loss at Columbus. Some were watching Philadelphia's professional handegg team, the Eagles, lose a heart-breaker in the desert to the Arizona Cardinals. Many were watching, both at PPL Park and on television, the USWNT win the CONCACAF Championship and qualification to the 2015 Women's World Cup. Most had decided to do something other than watch the Philadelphia Union.
The Union went with a slightly different line-up today, starting Brian Carroll in the defensive midfield and Danny Cruz along the wing, both of whom have spent the majority of this season coming off the bench. Sebastien Le Toux started up top as central striker and Jim Curtin went with the usual back line of Ray Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Ethan Whtie, and Sheanon Williams. The bench consisted largely of young players, including Pedro Ribeiro, Brian Brown, Zach Pfeffer, and then for some ungodly reason, Fred.
Jim Curtin made all of this substitutions in the second half, bringing on Pedro Ribeiro, Zach Pfeffer, and for some ungodly reason, Michael Lahoud.
Goals were scored by Jairo Arrieta for Columbus, an 86th minute equalizer from Union youngster Zach Pfeffer, and a 90th minute equalizer for Bernardo Anor. For the Union, the details of tonight's events are more or less meaningless, although the 19-year old Pfeffer will be happy to have scored his first ever MLS goal, a fine tap in off a pass from Amobi Okugo.
And thus ends the season. It will be remembered for the bounce from ultimate low to ecstatic high back to ultimate low, and the lows will govern our thoughts more than the high. There will be another season, but not before a three month break from Philadelphia Union soccer that will be seem shorter than that due to the MLS Playoffs lasting one month and a flurry of off-season activity spanning the other two. With New York City FC entering the league in 2015, there will be an expansion draft, and who knows what Nick Sakiewicz will do to the Union roster, for better or worse.
So stick with us at The Brotherly Game. We've got you covered for the Philadelphia Union for the entire off-season, even if the Union did not cover Tony Tchani on what led to Columbus's winning goal today.