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Major League Soccer

The Philadelphia Union In One Word: Unimaginative

We asked MLS Correspondent Matt Thacker to define each team in a single word, and then back it up with a brief season preview. For the Philadelphia Union, Thacker chose "Unimaginative." Ouch.
BY Matt Thacker Posted
March 02, 2013
3:22 PM
The Philadelphia Union struggled to score goals last year, finishing with the fifth-worst goal total in MLS.

Jack McInerney, 20, came on strong late last season with goals in four consecutive matches, but the Union decided reinforcements were needed. Fan favorite Sébastien Le Toux, who scored 25 goals and had 20 assists in two years for the Union before being controversially traded for allocation money, will make his return in 2013. He will be joined by former U.S. international striker Conor Casey. Le Toux and Casey should boost the offense somewhat, but was signing two forwards who have already peaked (one with a history of injuries) really the best solution? Head coach John Hackworth must decide whether to use his three forwards at the same time or leave one on the bench. Michael Farfan showed great promise last year as a playmaker, and Amobi Okugo, ranked 95th in the ASN 100, is a rising star, but the midfield is otherwise thin.

On defense, losing Carlos Valdés will hurt, but the addition of Jeff Parke should make the adjustment easier.

While the young talent on this team gives reason for optimism, more could have been done to upgrade the roster.

Expected finish: 9th in the Eastern Conference. The Union should remain competitive in most games, but the team is still too young and inexperienced at key positions.

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