A tale of two seasons would be the best way to explain the current Union season. They have gone from battling the New York Redbulls for first in the East to battling in third. The wins have dried up with the leaving of Ruiz, but there is still cause for optimism. They have enough talent to get back to the top of the East. Here are 5 Bold predictions for the rest of the season.
The collective groan of Union fans when the news of Mondragon's broken finger broke could be heard across the state. The Union's big offseason signing and his .606 save percentage and 1.06 goals against are gone for two to three months. But not to fear, Union fans, young MacMath is here. MacMath will show to Union supporters why he was the fifth overall pick and U-20 keeper.
Prediciton: MacMath will not only fill in for Mondragon, but he will play so well, Nowak will have a tough decision when Mondragon is fit.
Once upon a time, a striker by the name of Sebastien Le Toux was banging in goals for the Union at a clip of .5 a game. Sadly, that Le Toux is no where to be found this year. At a clip of .22 a game, Le Toux has been more than disappointing this year. It hasn't helped that Nowak has moved him farther from the goal this year, but the fact is, without Le Toux scoring, the Union's playoff chances are little to none.
Prediction: Nowak will move Le Toux back up top and he will respond. Using the momentum from his two-goal game against New England, he will go on to score five goals in the next next games and lead the Union to the playoffs.
Quick question: How old is Justin Mapp? If you said 26, well played—you guessed better then me. A nine-year-old MLS veteran and a National team vet, Mapp was suppose to to bring the Union some much-needed width. But with a poultry three assists this year, and only seven shots on goal, Mapp's offensive output is not what the Union need. Only three years removed from an eight-assist season, if Mapp can regain some of his form, it may be just what the Union need to push them back up the Eastern Conference standings.
Prediction: Mapp will re-discover his form, and along with Le Toux, help the Union into the playoffs
What would a Union slide be with Fredaldinho? The only reason anyone way outside MLS fans is aware of the Philadelphia Union, Adu is back from his tour of European benches to try and work his way back to his old self. While he has yet to live up to his hype, Adu is still an above-average attacker who, once settled, will provide the Union with a much-needed offensive spark and some creativity.
Prediction: Adu will have a solid season, but the only articles written about him will be whether he is the biggest bust of all time or not.
It's been the year of Philadelphia in the big four sports, and the Union looked like they were on track to do the city of brotherly love proud. But then things started going down hill. Having picked up only nine points in there last 10 games, the Union now find themselves in fourth place in the East. With only seven games left, the Union need to find their form again or risk watching the playoffs from their couch.
Prediction: The union will take 13 points from their last seven games and make their first playoff appearance. However, everyone will talk about how big a bust Adu is.