There’s a lot to discuss from Saturday night’s comeback win over FC Dallas. But here are three takeaways.
The Union have a style of play now
For years the Philadelphia Union have floated in and out of murky waters in terms of having a true “style” of play, or even a real team “identity” outside of the basic regurgitated “PHILLY TOUGH” stuff that you hear from various outlets. This isn’t to say that they’ve never had a style over the years, but those moments were few and far between, and quite short lived. Something changed this year. Something has been sparked in this squad in the last few matches. The Union have been pressing hard on defense, moving the ball swiftly and cleanly on offense, and have looked like a legitimate cohesive unit.
I’m so happy that I just wrote those words. It feels great! After a very disappointing, very Union start to the season, this squad has looked possessed with a certain conviction. I’ve been very outspokenly loving their recent ability to move the ball in the opponent’s final third. The end product still needs a whole lot of work, with 18 total shots but only 8 on target. That being said, there’s such a noticeable difference between a team with no identity and this team right now.
Monteiro should get a start
Fairly self explanatory but: Jamiro Monteiro should get a start in the coming weeks. I was very impressed with his work rate on Saturday night. Jamiro came on in the 77th minute and was an immediate sparkplug for the home side. With 100 percent pass completion, amount of passes nonwithstanding, and one KEY shot on goal (he would later add another for good measure), Monteiro helped kickstart the Union’s comeback.
He showed me enough that I think it’s time to get him in a starting role. Where? That’s the tricky part. In my opinion, he should slot into the holding midfielder spot that is currently occupied by Haris Medunjanin. Yes, Haris has impressed in the past few matches, but if you’re not consistently trying to improve your side, then you’re degrading. Keep things fresh. Promote healthy competition for spots in the starting 11.
Marco Fabián has a discipline problem
Four matches played. Two yellows and one red. Yes, I know the red was controversial. Yes, I believe it was too harsh. Either way, unacceptable in the grand scheme of things. The yellow he received in Saturday’s match was well deserved. The foul Fabián committed was foolish, and directly led to FC Dallas’ loan goal on the night. If Marco is going to be a central figure, and a leader at the top of the midfield diamond, he needs to pick it up in this regard. The Union can not afford to have one of their key players consistently in foul trouble, or being suspended for multiple games. Marco Fabián is a legitimate offensive threat when he’s on, and all cylinders are firing. He will be key to the Philadelphia Union’s success this season and for the foreseeable future, but he needs to stay disciplined.
What were your takeaways from Saturday night? Let us know in the comments.