The Philadelphia Union have drawn three games in a row, but that doesn’t mean that they are off their flow. Anything but. You see, the Union are a unique brand of underdog. Most underdogs take on one of two personas. The ‘fast out of the gates’ persona or the ‘clinging on for dear life and somehow succeeding’ persona. Those are pretty self explanatory.
The Union are neither. The Union are acting completely unlike the underdog. They are hanging with every team they face. Of all the teams in MLS, most of them have been blown out a time or two. Most of them. The Union though, haven’t. The worst loss they have suffered was the 2-0 loss at the hands of FC Dallas while the Texas-dwellers were in their prime (of the season).
The Union really are contenders. It’s time to put to doubts away because every team that they face, they hang with. These three draws are good signs. Look who they played. The best in MLS (arguably), the best in the East, and the San Jose Earthquakes, who have consistency to kill for.
The Union stood toe to toe with all of them. Look what they did against Montreal at Stade Saputo. They may only have managed a draw, but that one point is indicative of them splitting possession 50/50. They managed 15 shots to the Impact’s 17. It was a wash. The game was completely even.
Then there was the match against LA Galaxy. The Galaxy are a team that can beat absolutely anyone. At any time. In anyway. They’re the closest thing to a juggernaut that MLS has to offer. In that particular match, Philadelphia dominated and very easily should have come out with three points. They controlled 52% of possession and fired 22 shots to the Galaxy’s four. That is a big difference between two teams that were on separate ends of the spectrum last year.
The balance on the Union is clear. With one of the best keepers in MLS, a young, maturing defense and an attacking balance centered on Tranquillo Barnetta, Chris Pontius and C.J. Sapong.
And all of this is being done without Maurice Edu.
Last we heard, the Union were 4000/1 to win it all. Just because they aren’t knocking the socks out of anyone doesn’t mean they aren’t a powerhouse to be taken seriously. There is no team they cannot stand up to. They will be in this race for the long haul.