The Philadelphia Union scored more goals against Toronto FC than any other club in the franchise's brief history. Perhaps another performance like the one they put together last year in Toronto can get the Union back on track. After going the entire month of August scoring a maximum of one goal per game, Philadelphia heads into a break in the schedule due to World Cup qualifying matches. During the break, newly named permanent team manager John Hackworth has stated that he will be paying very close attention to who is putting the ball into the back of the net in training, including saying that the player that best exemplifies the ability to score may find himself at the front of the formation come match day.
One thing that has also been a bit concerning for Philadelphia supporters is the play of Freddy Adu. Adu recently stated that when he was brought in, under former manager Peter Nowak, that he was expecting to be used as the main playmaker, a role that Michael Farfan is seemingly being used in under Hackworth. Adu stated, "I thought I was going to play the No. 10 when I signed" and that "I talked to Peter Nowak. That's what he said." Regardless of who is distributing the play, or who is receiving the play for that matter, the Union's ability to score needs to improve.
One thing that the Union have done well all season long, despite injuries or suspensions, is play outstanding defense. Captain Carlos Valdes, elder statesman Brian Carroll, and fill-in turned starter Amobi Okugo have held together a back line that has allowed just 30 goals, good for 3rd best in the MLS. That statistic, coupled with the fact that goalkeeper Zac MacMath is the owner of the 4th best goals-against average for starting keepers, bodes well for the Union not only for the rest of this season, but for the next few years, based off of the age of the starters in the defense side of the field.
Whether this team is able to make a miracle run to the playoffs remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. The goalscorers will need to step to the forefront, and Freddy Adu will need to play up to the expectations many had of him upon his arrival. With 27 points remaining on the schedule, and all but one of those games against teams currently ahead in the standings, their work is cut out for them.