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Staff Roundtable: Bold and not so bold Union predictions for 2018

The Brotherly Game staff breaks out their crystal balls for the 2018 season

Photo Gallery // Philadelphia Union vs Seattle Sounders Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

With the 2018 season so very nearly upon us, it’s time to for predictions from the staff here at Brotherly Game. We have bold and not so bold predictions to share. Feel free to check back with us and give us a hard time later this season but make sure you share your own predictions in the comments first.

Bold

“The Union go on another early losing streak as all of the new players take time to adjust to one another and Stewart’s patience with Curtin runs out and a change is made. The team finally gels under the new manager and the team plays better down the stretch and sneaks into the playoffs.”

-Pete Schlenker

“Union take the fifth spot in the East this year and win more than three games away from home. With Dockal signing, there are no more excuses. The Union will have the top scoring American forward in MLS from 2017 (Sapong), a DP left mid (Accam), a legit 10 (Dockal), two speedy options on the right (Fafa/Epps), the top keeper in MLS (Blake), a top box to box mid (Bedoya), arguably the best passer in the league (Medunjanin), and a young back line that should (hopefully) be an upgrade from last season.”

-Jonathan Bach

“Matt Real wins the starting job by...we’ll call it June.”

-Evan Villella

Andre Blake will win the Goalkeeper of the Year award and will finally be sold in the offseason. David Accam will win the MLS Golden Boot. Union finish in fourth place, lose in the opening round but at least get a home playoff game. They’ll make the final of the US Open Cup.”

-Alex Klein

“The Union will make the playoffs, thanks in part to a big summer signing, playing youth players, and a team that finally has good chemistry.”

-Eugene Rupinski

“My bold/best case scenario prediction is that the team could manage a hot run through August into the beginning of September and then use those points to slip into a playoff spot.”

-Chris Bratton

“The Union will be in contention for the Supporters’ Shield and the U.S. Open Cup, but they’ll get no closer to MLS Cup than they did in 2016.”

-Matt Ralph

Not So Bold

“Accam helps the team score more goals, but the defense is still shaky all season and the team plays well at times but doesn’t do enough to get into the playoffs in a stacked Eastern Conference.”

-Pete Schlenker

“I think we’ll have another one of this ‘meh’ seasons. We’ll come out guns blazing with the new talent and the youth being more adventurous and not playing as reserved as we usually do on offense but then I think we will have our slippery slope as the season goes on and we’ll end up losing out on a wild card spot playing mostly defensive games being nervous that we can’t take big risks being so close to a playoff berth. And land just out of playoff contention.”

-Trey Madara

“The Union’s investment in attack will pay big dividends, but the lack of improvement in the back will mean another season without playoffs.”

-John Rossi

“The Union will do just enough to create the illusion of a playoff race, but realistically will still finish four to five points out of sixth. Bold: Herbers takes over the starting winger position from Picault at some point this season. While he is not as fast as Picault, Herbers was an excellent winger before his injury and, if given the chance, he could flourish with all the new offensive weapons.”

-Jordan Wohl

“The Union continue to fail to play youth players while still failing to make the playoffs (although they’ll be close).”

-Eugene Rupinski

“Fans can unfortunately expect more of the same. While the other teams in the city have either experienced their first title in a couple generations or are at least on the uptick, the Union will remain mostly stuck in mediocrity - much like a car spinning its wheels in the snow and finding little to no traction. New addtions will help and young players will improve, but it won’t be enough to make the necessary headway to have any impact on the East standings.”

-Eric Goldstein

Jack Elliott and Auston Trusty will command the back line for the entire season. Trusty has had plenty of time to be groomed with Steel and the patience will pay off this year.”

-Jonathan Bach

“David Accam proves he’s worth the money spent.”

-Evan Villella

“Union finish 7th in the East. David Accam will lead the team in goals scored.”

-Nick Youngstein

CJ Sapong equals or surpasses his 2017 gosl total and makes the All-Star Game. Also the Union miss the playoffs by three or fewer points.”

-Brandon Lee Johnson

“I predict the Union manages to linger around the 4 or 5 position for the first third of the season before slowly dropping out of playoff contention by the end of the season. The big signings and the kids show just enough moments of really clicking to provide some hope going into next season. I also predict that the team moves on from/exiles to Bethlehem one defender during the season.”

-Chris Bratton

Jim Curtin will be the head coach for the duration of the season and fans will be very angry about this even if the team wins a few games on the road and makes the playoffs.”

-Matt Ralph