Fans' View

Fans’ View: The great unknown

The great unknown.

Those three words could sum up the feelings of many Union fans entering the season.

Unknown because it’s uncertain how the new signings (Oguchi Onyewu, Jay Simpson, Harris Medunjanin, etc.) will pan out.

Unknown because we have idea when the players absent due to injury (Maurice Edu, Josh Yaro) will play.

Unknown because it’s unclear whether Derrick Jones will live up to his potential.

And unknown if Andre Blake and Keegan Rosenberry will improve on their rookie campaigns.

But after three matches, another unknown has popped into my head:

When will the first victory come?

The point on the road against Vancouver was a solid one, and the draw at home against defending Eastern Conference champion Toronto looks like a point earned, not two points dropped.

However, the 2-1 defeat at Orlando City has led to this other great unknown.

Some have said in the past that the MLS regular season is relatively meaningless. That train of thought may have been somewhat appropriate when the league was smaller, but I don’t see how anyone can share that belief now, especially as little over half the teams experience playoff soccer now.

One of those teams in a playoff fight is the Union. I would consider a return trip to the playoffs to be a successful season, but they have work to do in order to make that a reality.

It would help if they started reeling off some wins. (It would also have helped if Ilsinho’s shot in stoppage time in Orlando had been a couple of inches inside of the post.) Although the Union struggled toward the end of last season, the strong start ensured they entered the last day of the regular season virtually assured of a playoff spot.

If the inability to snatch three points after 90 minutes continues after the next couple of matches, maybe an old Yogi Berra saying –“It gets late early” — will creep into my head.

The final great unknown that comes to mind is… I’m still figuring out who in MLS is good. Although we have some idea at the beginning of the season who might be serious title contenders and who might be glad there’s no relegation in MLS (I’m looking at you, Loons), predicting who might win on a week-to-week basis is challenging because the league is quite unpredictable.

So it’s futile to look at the upcoming Union schedule to predict how many of the next several games they’ll win. But I guess that what makes the league fun.

25 Comments

  1. I understand we all love to be negative, but I just can’t be when you look at what Seattle went through last year.

    • Seattle fired their coach, who won 4 USOC and a SS, then dropped $6 million on a transfer fee for a star DP.

      .

      We ain’t Seattle.

      • They were dead last and looked awful at the MID point of the season.

        You can qualify that all you want but they were shit with a terrible record.

        • Right, Seattle was pretty shitty earlier on. The difference is – they have an ownership willing to spend money and make relatively dramatic changes.

          • el Pachyderm says:

            Seattle also has almost 40 years of history (rooted organized fanbase) and a stadium that seats 40,000 people which can allow for a large signing like Lodiero and you don’t consider firing Nick Sakiewicz dramatic? I sure do. I thought it steamed of insight and recognition of big picture failure…
            .
            …these are factors.
            .
            .
            We have a movie about the SoB… which strangely has the very leadership problems this franchise seems to have had since its inception as well.
            .
            One house seems to be getting in order… the other– only time will tell.

          • Bravo, el Pachyderm Bravo !

  2. pragmatist says:

    The comment about Ilsinho’s shot off the post brings up a good point: What is everyone’s view of this team if that goes in?
    .
    “This is a team that knows how to grind out points on the road, even when they’re not firing on all cylinders.”
    .
    That was the beginning of the narrative after Vancouver. But with one clank off the post, this is a floundering team that may as well be starting Aaron Wheeler at CB and Antoine Hoppenot and Danny Cruz on the wings.
    .
    There have been glimpses. Unfortunately we are tainted by the past, and we are overshadowed by the clubs with deep pockets and the flashy start of Atlanta.
    .
    There will be a leveling off for the club, and we will finish in 5-7 range. Gonna make for a stressful stretch drive!

    • “Aaron Wheeler at CB and Antoine Hoppenot and Danny Cruz on the wings.”

      Yeah … not buying that at ALL. We aren’t a top tier team yet but good god please atleast admit to the improvements we’ve made since those days.

      • pragmatist says:

        Sorry, the message didn’t come through clearly. What I meant was that it feels like that is how people are reacting.
        .
        I think there have been MASSIVE improvements. And we will see returns on them this season.
        .
        Sorry…slight miscommunication there!

      • Too bad coaching position never improves. We have better players yet still can’t catch up the rest of the league. And don’t even mention our shitty ownership. Training facilities won’t do nothing if you don’t have players and coaches that can utilize it.

        • el Pachyderm says:

          Your assessment about shitty ownership is blurry in the near and myopic in the far.
          .
          Your assessment about the manager however is spot on and quite possibly the linking factor in poor performance.
          .
          It’s not Jay Sugarman’s fault Maurice Edu has been injured for almost two years. this is a player roundly commended for being a top level player. Alejandro Bedoya… a top level player. Other highly regarded european based players have been brought here.
          .
          We gave an ‘absentee’ non soccer owner grief for allowing Nick S. to run an insane asylum with Peter N. and then fired the men. Jay Sugarman has invested millions and millions and millions of dollars on the very infrastructure you scoff at.
          .
          Jay Sugarman is not Arthur Blank.

          • mediocre = shitty in my book. I’m all or nothing guy. Too many excuses. 8 years

          • “Jay Sugarman has invested millions and millions and millions of dollars on the very infrastructure you scoff at.”
            .
            I think Jay, as the chairman of Keystone, gets credit for spending and blame for not spending when the ownership group is larger.May as well sling arrows at Buccini/Pollin. Jay gets a lot of credit for Richie Graham’s investment, when all he did was swap in an ownership stake.
            .
            The OG (original gangsta ownership group) was in for what, $25M expansion (reportedly financed), $25M cash on the stadium, and ~$25M financed on stadium. Couple of mill on training facilities. The rest is operating income, not net new capital. Even the proverbial “opening the checkbook” for Bedoya is TV /MLS dividend monies. Uncle Jay is an absentee landlord waiting for his condo price to be met before cashing out. He had the club on the block before.

          • el Pachyderm says:

            Uncle.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      If that shot goes in by Ilsinho it means they earn a point… and that is it.
      .
      not one of my personal metrics for success is otherwise unchanged.
      .
      .
      1. The skill players do not seem to have a large enough opportunity to play (though maybe that changes in two weeks as a result of Ilsinho’s gol -but I doubt)
      .
      2. For me there is an absolute grace period in the PLAY WELL metric that I expect this team to meet for me to consider the season a success… there is also a difference between PLAY WELL and the “Minimal Compulsory Standards” (MCS’s or distant cousins of the ROUS’s ((Rodent’s of Unusual Size))) which the team needs to display WEEK IN // WEEK OUT and failed to do Saturday.

    • My opinion would have been 3 points from three games. Still not convinced by the offense, defense, midfield and the coach. Still waiting to see the “improvement” so talked about. Since they didn’t get a goal, my opinion is slightly worse and less tolerant than the one above.

      • I feel like a this is a huge opportunity to monitor and adjust. I am putting a lot on Curtain’s shoulders and we will see what his preparation looks like after the DC game. He has had a preseason and 3 games to see what works and what doesn’t. He has had to deal with some unfortunate injuries that he can’t control but his ability to make the proper changes during these two weeks will be HUGE.
        .
        I am still out on expectations. Not sure anyone has showed me they deserve to start every game yet…

  3. “and the draw at home against defending Eastern Conference champion Toronto looks like a point earned, not two points dropped.”
    — Sorry. Drawing at home is always 2 points dropped. On the road, it’s a point earned.

    • Home. Missed penalty. Doubling the opponent with shots. Going up a goal 10 minutes in. Penalty conceded in stoppage time.
      .
      Dropped points.

  4. They win the next three games, you heard it here first. They will still be the exact same team. The fandom on this site is amazing, the only drawback being the roller coaster from week to week. A tough draw or win and it’s all accolades, a loss and everyone is on the cliff.

    • @DCU / PTFC / NYCFC, all three wins? Yes, this would be he first we’ve heard anyone predict that. Probably the only place.

  5. MLS is driving 90 on 60. Union just got brand new bike. Good luck catching up .

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