Union report card: offensive woes mar first half of season

Andrew Wenger celebrates scoring his first goal wearing Union colors. Credit: Greg Carroccio, Sideline Photos
Andrew Wenger celebrates scoring his first goal wearing Union colors. Credit: Greg Carroccio, Sideline Photos

The 2013-14 season so far for the Philadelphia Union has been a major disappointment, to say the least. They’ve stumbled to a 3-7-6 record which places them in eighth in the Eastern Division.

A lot was expected out of this squad after narrowly missing the playoffs last season and acquiring midfielder Maurice Edu in the offseason. The team simply hasn’t been able to find the proper consistency all season and manager John Hackworth’s firing was the result of that.

As the season reaches the halfway point, let’s take a minute to examine how each facet of the team has performed this season and what to expect from them the rest of the way.

Offense: D

When you average under a goal a match as a team (.94 a match), it’s going to be really hard for you to win soccer matches. The scoring average ranks the Union third to last in the MLS.

There was a stretch of matches from the end of April through early May where the Union mustered just two goals in five matches. Recently they’ve been able to pick up the slack, netting 10 goals in four matches, but it’s only equated to four points in the standings.

Defense: C

There was a period of time where the Union’s defense looked strong and goalie Zach MacMath looked well on his way to an All-Star game start. That time has disappeared.

The Union have surrendered 12 goals in the past four matches as MacMath’s save percentage has dipped considerably to just 61-percent. Amobi Okugo is the lone bright spot on an otherwise inconsistent back line while Maurice Edu has shown a few flashes of greatness in the midfield.

They’ll need to find their rhythm again in the second half and play tighter under interim manager Jim Curtin.

Outlook: 5-10-3 finish (8-17-9 overall)

The Union will find a way to beat a couple more good teams and will take advantage of home games against the San Jose Earthquakes, Montral Impact and Chicago Fire in the second half, but it won’t be enough to get them out of the bottom of the league in the standings. They’ll look to add a top forward in the offseason with a scoring prowess.

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