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2016 player review: CJ Sapong

Our player review series finishes up with the man up top.

photo credit: TreyMadara Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

2016 Summary: CJ Sapong had a bit of a breakout year in 2015, and he looked likely to follow that form in 2016. When the Union added players like Chris Pontius, Ilsinho, and Roland Alberg, conventional wisdom said that Sapong would have all of the offensive support he needed to continue his upward trajectory. It worked - for a bit, however he then went cold, got injured, and returned as cold as ever. It remains to be seen if the Union are going to continue with Sapong as the lone striker, look to alter the tactics to a two striker formation, or look to bring someone else in for the job.

What did he do right?: Sapong scored five goals in his first ten games in 2016. Even when he struggled, he never took a game off and kept working.

Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact Photo Gallery
Sapong started 2016 confident.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

What did he do wrong?: As has been discussed ad infinitum on this site and others, Sapong disappeared down the stretch. After scoring five in his first ten, he scored just two in his last twenty-one. This killed the Union down the stretch - when the lone striker in the 4-5-1 can’t score the team is in trouble.

It was frustrating at times for Sapong, especially as the season went on.
It was frustrating at times for Sapong, especially as the season went on.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

Most memorable moment of 2016: This interview with MLS Extra Time Radio where he talks about vibrational frequencies and Planet Lovetron was... memorable.