Nobody saw this start coming. When the schedule was first announced, Philadelphia Union fans thought it might not be until April that the Union would get their first win, with games against powerhouse FC Dallas, the Eastern Conference defending champions Columbus Crew SC, and I-95 rival New England Revolution. A win in the month of March looked bleak. However, the Union stunned fans with two wins against the Crew and the Revolution, falling only to one of the favorites to win the MLS Cup, FC Dallas. The Union sit in second in the Eastern Conference, only behind the Montreal Impact by number of goals scored (five to Montreal's six). This is without a doubt the best start to a season the Union have ever had - with the exception of the 2011 season where the Union started off 3-1-1, which was the only year the Union have ever made the playoffs.
With this incredible start, there have been some standouts
CJ Sapong: Sapong has started to make good on his promise of 20 goals his year, scoring two in the 3-0 win against New England. He has consistently been a pain for defenders, making great runs and taking quality shots on goal. His overall play has been fantastic, and he continues to improve and show that he can be an elite goal scorer in a growing MLS.
Keegan Rosenberry: The rookie defender has already been earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Week for his solid defending and his ability to add to plays offensively. He has been the most impressive rookie and has shown that he can compete with the best of MLS attackers.
Andre Blake: This is a no brainier. Nominated for MLS Player of the Month, there is no better player on the Union than Blake. Even in the 2-0 loss, Blake put up eight saves and is in second overall in MLS for saves this season with 16 saves (only behind Houston's Joe Willis who has played an extra game). Blake has been nominated for save of the week twice this year (out of three weeks) and will continue to impress throughout the season.
For the first time that I have written these reviews, there is only one player who I felt did not play their part this month.
Fabinho: Though I love the Brazilian, I did not feel that he played well in the 2-0 loss to FC Dallas or in the 2-1 win against Columbus. Last year he played exceptionally well, making key runs up and making beautiful crosses. This year, he had been majorly responsible for the goals scored against the Union and consistently out of position, however I do think that he could turn it around to have a successful season.
What is hurting the Union? The only thing I have seen in recent matches that have hurt the Union is the lack of possession, as they have not dominated a game possession-wise yet. Other than that, the Union are actually playing really well.
This is without a doubt the most confident I've ever been about the Union after the first month of play, but what about you? Where do you think the Union will finish based on what you have seen out of them this year?