The standard to bear
For the past several weeks, I’ve been waiting for the Philadelphia Union to play in a match that fans could point to and say “there, this game proves they are the team everyone thinks they are.” Until Sunday afternoon, the Union hadn’t had that game. It had either played against teams coming out of CCL, teams that were just bad or they had lost or dropped points.
Sure, the Union didn’t win three points in Geodis Park, but it felt like something better. Philadelphia played a fantastic 90 minutes in front of a rocking home crowd, stole the show from Nashville (ignore the MLS propaganda about Leal’s goal), and its only goal allowed was a PK that was nearly saved. Sure, Andre Blake kept them in the game for the opening salvo of Nashville shots, but that’s why he’s there. Blake showed what the Union can be just as much as Gazdag and Uhre did.
If you’re looking for something to prove that the Union is a good team in 2022, look to this game in Nashville. This game is what they are, and it showed that they can be so much more.
Where does Jack McGlynn fit in?
Understandably, some fans were upset with Leon Flach’s start against Nashville, but Jim Curtin made the right decision. He knew that Philadelphia would be playing a lot of defense in the opening minutes, and Flach is a more defensive player than Jack McGlynn who pushes the ball forward better.
Next week against LAFC, maybe Flach is the better choice again, as the Union hit the road to play the top team in the West. But coming home against NYRB, McGlynn would suit better for a more immediate attack.
The point here is that the competition at the No. 8 position is exactly what the Union builds off of. McGlynn and Flach play different roles, and they’ll continue to for the duration of the season. It’s just a matter of whether or not Curtin takes advantage.
There’s that Uhre goal
My roommate is used to me screaming during goals during USMNT competition, but I think that Uhre’s goal is the loudest I’ve ever yelled for any goal in any game, USMNT or Union.
Uhre’s chances in the first half gave a strong indication that this could be his special game, and he didn’t disappoint. It was the goal that Union fans had needed. It was so far removed from anything that Kacper Przybylko could ever do, and it served as validity to the multi-million dollar purchase for the Dane.
Every fan and member of the media has spoken about how Uhre’s first goal would certainly break the dam that gets him and the Union over the edge. We’re about to find out.