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Why you should watch the Union

Sure, the rest of the season is a run-out. But there are some reasons you should watch the Philadelphia Union.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I get it. There are two matches left in the Union's season, and there are plenty of other things to pay attention to. The Eagles are finally winning, the Flyers aren't really winning but they're playing again, the Sixers are set to start next week, and the Union are fulfilling contractual obligations - hey, it's a thirty-four game season, not thirty-two. So why care? Along with my colleagues here at Brotherly Game, we came up with a few reasons to at least pay a little attention over the next two weeks.

  1. The Union can help play spoiler against a division rival. Sure, they Union won't get anything out of winning, but if they can beat the New York Red Bulls on Sunday it can help spoil their bid for the Supporters' Shield. As of this writing, Red Bull is 3 points of FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy in the standings. Both NYRB and FCD have three games left and the Galaxy two, so it's far from cinched. NYRB faces Toronto tonight, the Union on Sunday, and the Chicago Fire next Sunday, while Dallas faces the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight, Real Salt Lake next Saturday, and finishes the season against the San Jose Earthquakes. LA faces Portland this Sunday and Sporting Kansas City next Sunday (with a CONCACAF Champions League match against Guatemala's Comunicaciones in Guatemala City).
  2. It will be the last match in a Union uniform for some players. Whether it's because of a contract that won't be renewed, a loan that won't be extended, a player being traded, a player retiring, or any other sort of factor, this will be the last time some of the players suit up for the Union. Enjoy it while you can.
  3. You may get to see some other guys who don't get a chance to play often. Maybe this will be the triumphant return of Zach Pfeffer, Jimmy McLaughlin, or any other player who just didn't get a shot (or squandered the shot they were given) at minutes when the Union were in contention for something.
  4. Now that there's no pressure, it might be fun to watch. No need to pull your hair out anymore - the season's done. Win or lose, it doesn't really matter. You can just watch and enjoy. Besides, the Union always seem to fare better when the pressure's off.
  5. You watched the other thirty-two matches. Don't quit now. Hold your nose and finish the season out.