What. A. Month.
The Philadelphia Union end May at the top of the Eastern Conference and have a seven game unbeaten streak - the second longest unbeaten streak in the Union's history. Should the Union win or draw their next game, they will tie their club record set in 2011, which coincidentally was the only year the Union have made the playoffs. The Union's form is something to be excited about, especially considering the tough stretch the Union had of four games in 14 days, only one of which was at home. The club went 1-0-4 in May, with a home win against D.C. United thanks to a Richie Marquez late goal. Key draws included a 2-2 draw against a star-studded LA Galaxy and a 1-1 road draw against Supporters Shield leaders Colorado Rapids. The other draws were a 1-1 game in Montreal and a 2-2 draw against Orlando City, which could have easily been a 3-1 win for the Union.
The Defenders: It doesn't seem to matter who is on the pitch, this Union defense has depth. They proved it against Orlando City, when rookie Joshua Yaro went down with a shoulder injury and had to be subbed off early, Ken Tribbett came in for the Union and ended up scoring his first MLS goal, which was also the game tying goal. If Fabinho is unable to play due to a suspension or just to rest him, Ray Gaddis has come in and has done a decent job at keeping forwards and midfielders in check. Along with Tribbett, Keegan Rosenberry and Richie Marquez scored their first MLS goals in the month of April, and the two have been some of the most consistent defenders in all of MLS this season. With Andre Blake backing them up, the Union's defense is arguably the best that it has ever been despite the lack of MLS experience between the rookies in the back line.
Tranquillo Barnetta: Barnetta has consistently been one of the top two players on the field for the Union this year, and has added to any build up for the Union's offense this year - especially stepping up his game while Vincent Nogueira has been injured. He has scored some big goals against Orlando this year and was the most consistent player for the Union in May.
Fabian Herbers: This is long overdue and this is probably the worst month for this, but Fabian Herbers is the only player on the Union this year that I feel has consistently under-performed since March. Prior to the Orlando draw, the Union had not scored a goal while Fabian Herbers was on the field. While the Union have now scored late in the past two games while Herbers is on the field (and Herbers earning the assist in the 1-1 draw against Colorado), I feel as though Herbers still has a lot of room for improvement and has not been the best option as a sub.
With this run of form, the only thing hurting the Union is injuries to Nogueira, Ilsinho, Yaro and Fabinho, two of which (Nogueira and Fabinho) are expected to be 100% for the upcoming match against Columbus Crew SC. Ilsinho got to come on as a sub against Colorado Rapids, so things should continue to look up for the Union in the month of June.