The Good: Amobi Okugo
The questions have started to be asked. Does Jim Curtin not rate Amobi? Is this Okugo's last season in Philadelphia? Being left off the roster for the US Open Cup Final and then the same players getting the start over you just a few days later after playing 120 minutes will do that. The young midfielder is the only player to be a part of the Union since the very first kick in Seattle, but there is very little loyalty in the business of sports.
The good that I am pulling from the draw is Okugo's response to the rumors and the benchings. He comes in and plays a complete game, showing the only real signs of life from a team that has been lifeless for far too long. To bag the winner and save the season (if only for a few moments) was everything that Okugo deserves. He is the type of player Philly sports fans can get behind and shows signs of being a solid MLS veteran. Why would the front office not want that? Any chance for him to play the hero is good for his chances of staying here.
The Bad and The Ugly: Everything Else
There is way too much to just limit it to one in each category. So here is a list of the things that are driving me crazy right now. These are in no particular order.
- The lack of urgency from the side. These are must win games and the team has yet to show the upper gears they showed in the USOC Final that proved the team that could compete with anyone in this league.
- The complete lack of options up top. Conor Casey is showing signs of slowing down, not having scored since the match against Toronto FC, and Pedro Ribeiro has yet to show he can be a target forward when given the chance. These however are the only two options that are used. Sebastien Le Toux was once a forward, so was Andrew Wenger. Has the club given up on Brian Brown? What happened to Aaron Wheeler and Antoine Hoppenot who were getting time under John Hackworth. Are they so bad they can't even get a sniff of playing time now?
- Formation. It's 4-2-3-1 or bust. Attempts to change the strategy come far too late in games. Even the subs are like for like, exchanging less talented players for starters and expecting something to change.
- Nick Sakiewicz. If I had to pinpoint one problem that encompasses all of the issues with the team it is Nick Sakiewicz. His control of the front office has lead this franchise from day one, through two non-existent manager searches (and most likely a third), a failed approach to player acquisition that has seen the team trade one extreme area of insufficient depth for another. Do I even have to mention the overload of three goalkeepers who expect to be number ones and an empty stable of quality striking options?