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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Philadelphia Union; Match Day 18

Plain and simple, Friday night was not a pretty game. It was not the type of game that instills confidence in the Philly faithful that a corner can be turned where 2014 won't be a waste of a year. The good news is the conference may be trying to help.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Good: The East

Sometimes the good has nothing to do with the actual game played. Other than a continuation of Zac MacMath improving his game - especially dealing with crossing - and Cristian Maidana looking more dangerous centrally, there wasn't much good about the Union's performance. It was just one more wasted game in a collection of wasted games this season.

Lucky enough for the Union (and any manager who gets hired before the end of the season), the Eastern Conference doesn't seem interested in taking advantage of the Union's lack of points. Through 18 games, the Union have only managed to earn 18 points, but that mark is only two points off the fifth and final playoff spot which is currently held by the New York Red Bulls. Even though our northern rivals have a game in hand, there are still two games between the clubs to make up that ground. In a season of lackluster performances, the playoffs are still within reach.

The Bad: Travel

There were rumors that the Union didn't heed the weather report and their flight to Dallas ended up being canceled Thursday evening. Danny Cruz also posted a picture to instagram, just hours before kickoff of the team standing next to a small jet on a runway captioned "Little pit stop on the way to game today...Dallas tonight let's gooo #3pts." All I can hope is that the picture was from earlier in the day and was posted well after the pit stop. I don't know anything more than the next fan, but arriving just hours before kickoff after a flight with multiple stops is no way to prepare the team for a good result, and it's no surprise the way they played. Let's hope the next road trip goes much smoother.

The Ugly: A Combination of Poor Play

Sometimes the ugly is just a giant pile of bad. There were very few decent performances on Friday, with the vast majority of players putting in sub par performances. Across the back line, the communication between the center backs was lacking which allowed an opposition forward to slide behind them and volley home the opener. FC Dallas poured their attacks down the Union's left side, obviously having game planned against the weak defender. It was also the first time I've seen Raymon Gaddis beaten for pace.

In the midfield, Amobi Okugo is starting to look much more at home, but his partner in crime, Michael Lahoud went missing for most of the game. Danny Cruz ran around and fell down, and Sebastian Le Toux ran around a lot too. Maidana looked very dangerous for most of the first half, before his influence faded late in the game. Conor Casey also saw his influence fade as it became painfully obvious that while he can still be a handful for defenders, the time of him going a full 90 are well in his past. The subs provided little difference to the game with Aaron Wheeler being the best of them.

If there is any silver lining to the collection of performances we saw on Friday, it's that it has to get better, right?