The Good: Strides on and off the field
In the week leading up to the Kansas City game, Rais Mbohli was announced as a new signing. Despite the controversy of where that leaves the current pool of keepers, it is a signing that brings in a player in the peak of their career, coming off an impressive World Cup campaign, who had other options that may have been more glamorous, but he selected Philadelphia. He still has a lot to prove, but the Front Office put money forward to bring a quality player in to help the team.
On the field Brian Brown reminded fans that he was the first acquisition of the transfer window and made an impact before Mbohli could even suit up. His goal was taken with confidence and gives the Union the hope of another offensive piece to help carry the load. Will he actually continue as a goal scoring threat is yet to be seen, but there is more hope than there was previously. His post-game interview was also a refreshing glimpse into the type of man he is. He spoke humbly and full of thanks for the opportunity he's been given. It's nice to have players around who are happy to be here.
The biggest positive of the week though, was the return of Carlos Valdes. Not only was it great news that he was returning, but even better to hear it was on a freshly signed new contract. In fear of piling on the positives in what has become an increasingly bitter piece this season, the fact that it appears he will not be a Designated Player is the best news of all. He is deserving of a DP contract, but the Front Office's ability to keep him on a lower salary a major accomplishment.
The Bad: Casey Stranded
The counterattacking approach to the Union's game plan on Friday was able to spring several opportunities, but it left Conor Casey completely stranded and alone. The attacks were sprung from deep setting Danny Cruz or Sebastian LeToux sprinting forward towards the Sporting KC backline. Casey's only opportunity to be of use would have been from set pieces or hold up play. The hold up play was missing and there were very few crosses that Casey could knock home.
In the Mbohli press conference it was said that the team is no longer looking for a striker as the defense has been a weakness lately, and I would tend to agree based on this game. The wing play needs to improve so that the biggest offensive weapon can be used to it's fullest capacity. If Maidana regains health and another winger, in the mold of Michael Farfan, the team could be in decent shape heading towards playoffs.
The Ugly: Whatever died on Dom Dwyer's head
I'm letting the Union off the ugly hook this week after two big signings and another gained point in Kansas City.
The faux hawk has been in style with footballers for awhile now, but whatever it was that Dwyer had going on on top of his head is neither a faux hawk or anything creative that Dominic Oduro could come up with. I'm just glad the Union faithful don't have to look at that every week.