Union Officially out of Playoff Contention, but Worth the Wait

A tough season for the Union is ending in a thud. With a record of 8-15-6, the Union’s playoff dreams came to a close with a heartbreaking loss to the Columbus Crew. Tied at 2-2, Columbus midfielder Milovan Mirosevic scored the game winner in the 87th minute in what was obviously an offside touch. In a way, the goal is fitting for the Union’s year, which has been similarly chaotic.

The year began with the club coming off of a 11-8-15 season, good for second place in the East, and the expectations for the club’s third year were similarly high. Instead, the club went through a meltdown.

The Union suffered from key defensive lapses and inconsistent goal scoring early on, falling back in the conference. Then, star forward Sebastian LeToux and Danny Mwanga, the Union’s first ever draft pick, were traded off for essentially nothing. The moves and inconsistency prompted the Union’s first ever coaching change-swapping Piotr Nowak for assistant John Hackworth. Since Hackworth took over on August 30, the Union have gone 1-2-2 with 5 games left to play.

While this season has no playoff opportunities, there’s still a good reason to watch the Union this year: youth. Just as the Phillies have Darin Ruf, and the Sixers have a bevy of young talent, the Union have lots of young talented players on the pitch.

In fact, the average age of the club’s active roster is just under 24 years-old. Jack McInerney, the Union’s leading scorer, is only 20 years old, Freddie Adu-a participant on the US Mens National Team-is only 23, and substitute sensation Antoine Hoppenot is 21.

So, while playoff succes may not be in the cards this year, the pairing of Hackworth and his youthful squad provide plenty of upside for the remainder of the year.

Posted on October 3, 2012, in Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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