Do Philadelphia Union have Playoff Hope?
Union needed a win against Chicago Fire at the weekend and some help to get itself in the mix for a Major League Soccer playoff spot.
It got the next best thing.
A draw against the Fire was momentarily upsetting, particularly as it should have been a win for Union.
Terrible officiating and poor defending allowed Chicago Fire to equalize in stoppage time after Philadelphia nearly took all three points moments earlier with a stoppage time goal of its own.
Momentarily, it felt like a loss, but the truth is, a point gained at this stage in the season is never a bad thing.
The Union still have plenty of fixtures left including one against the team it is chasing the Montreal Impact on the weekend in Montreal.
While the playoffs do remain a longshot as Union sit 4 points back, but having played 4 more fixtures than Montreal, the gap can be closed with a good result this weekend against Impact.
So although the result against the Fire seemed crushing, it truly wasn’t if you look in depth at the fixtures.
Of Montreal’s 13 remaining fixtures, there is a 4-game road stretch that sees Montreal pitted against Orlando, Red Bull, Colorado and New England.
Although 7 of the 13 fixtures are at home, they play Union which is a 6-point affair, and one with conference-leading DC United.
Although the Impact play Chicago Fire at home twice, they also must travel to San Jose and the class of MLS, LA Galaxy.
The games at hand of course is a concern to Philadelphia, but Montreal are sure to drop their share of points.
This issue is, Philadelphia’s form.
Although the result against the Fire wasn’t what was expected or desired, there is a lot to like about the way Union played on the offensive side of the field.
Although the defense showed holes on Sunday, it had put together 2 clean sheets in a row prior to the Fire’s three-goal outburst.
The Union has already played its away fixture to LA Galaxy, but still has to travel to San Jose.
Besides that fixture, the Union play the rest of its schedule within the Eastern time zone which bodes well down the stretch run.
So although down after the result against Fire, the Union most certainly are not out.
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