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Three things we learned in the Union’s 6-1 rout against the New England Revolution

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Led by a brace from newcomer Sergio Santos, the Philadelphia Union ran wild on the Revs

Photo by Morgan Tencza

Ernst Tanner has an eye for scouting players

Ernst Tanner made a handful of signings in the offseason while changing the Union’s forever 4-2-3-1 system to a 4-4-2 diamond. His signing list includes Sergio Santos, who nabbed a brace in under a half hour of being on the field, Kai Wagner, who played a full 90 and has been a bright spot on the defense this season, and Jamiro Montiero, who has terrorized anyone and everyone since joining the Union. Carlos Miguel Coronel, who signed from Red Bull Salzburg on loan, made a handful of wonderful saves to keep the score 1-1 at the half. And finally Kacper Pryzbylko, who can be considered the first signing under Ernst Tanner (he signed in September of 2018), scored his third goal in 3 games. Tanner hasn’t really had a miss yet, and his full roster of signings were really in the spotlight against New England.

Injuries continue to pile up for the Union, but it doesn’t matter

Brenden Aaronson was added to the growing list of injured Philly players picking up a hip injury and coming off in the 36th minute. Aaronson has been a bright spot in the midfield, providing a huge boost in energy and quality that will be missed (luckily his injury does not appear to be severe, and he will not be out very long). His replacement, Ilsinho, played the remainder of the match and scored a stunning goal less than two minutes into the second half. While Ilsinho isn’t a 90-minute player, Marco Fabian should be ready to go for the Union’s next match, a high profile contest against Toronto FC, which has major implications as Toronto still has three games in hand on the Union and are only four points back. After all the injuries (and red cards and visa issues), the Union still picked up 7 points in 3 games over 8 days.

Striker is not a serious need anymore

Every season, fans are foaming at the mouth for a DP Striker to take over games and provide a quality the team has never had before, being dangerous up top. None of the Union strikers can really be considered as DP level but so far this season that hasn’t mattered. Through 11 games, the Union have had five different strikers score goals (Accam, Burke, Picault, Santos and Pryzbylko). Out of the Union’s 18 goals, the platoon of strikers have scored 12 of them. While it isn’t really fair to compare five players to any single player, the 12 goals are more than Carlos Vela (11), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) and Wayne Rooney (6), who are all toward the top of the charts for goals scored this season. Is a DP striker required when there is good service being delivered to middle tier strikers instead? The answer so far seems to be no and the Union have shown that it’s not necessarily a requirement to win in MLS.