With the New York Red Bulls decisive 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps this past weekend, the Philadelphia Union’s playoff fate was sealed with two games left to go in the season. But all is not lost for the franchise. Here are three things that you should be paying attention to, even if you’re done with the MLS table.
- CJ Sapong still has two games to break the single season scoring record. His 14 goals are tied with Sebastien Le Toux’s 2010 tally, and it’s hard to think of anyone more fitting to break the record than Sapong.
- As reported earlier by Kristian Dyer late last month, if Ilsinho plays in 75% of matches a clause will trigger in his contract that will automatically renew for 2018. Ilsinho has played in 73.5% of the Union’s MLS matches this season, however only 70% of all matches (MLS, two U.S. Open Cup matches, and the friendly with Swansea City) thus far. It’s still unclear which criteria he’ll have to meet, but if he plays in one more match he’ll meet the threshold for just MLS matches. He’ll need to make appearances in both remaining games to meet the criteria for the second though.
- Bethlehem Steel FC is a good look to make the USL playoffs. If they win tomorrow against the Rochester Rhinos or on Sunday against Saint Louis FC, or Orlando City B draws or loses to the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, then they’re in. This will be great experience for young players like Adam Najem and Derrick Jones, who should challenge for (Union) first team minutes in 2018. Cory Burke and Santi Moar should also challenge for places on the first team as well, as their performances have been superlative - especially for Burke, who has received callups to the Jamaica National Team.
What are you looking forward to for the remainder of this season? Let us know in the comments section below!