Union 2013 Season Preview

Hoping to start posting regularly this season, but for now a few comments on the Union season and tomorrow’s game against KC. Here’s season preview from our friends over at the 700 level.  Shares a few of my sentiments about the year.

Concerns about Gabe Farfan at left back:

I’m still very skeptical about Gabriel Farfan at left back. He anever seemed comfortable and was often bailed out by Carlos Valdes and Okugo last year. Valdes is gone, Okugo is (hopefully) moving to the midfield, and it will likely take Jeff Parke and Bakary Soumare (or Okugo) some time to figure things out in the middle of defense.

He also identifies a replacement for Danny Cruz:

Keon Daniel may be the wildcard this year when it comes to trying to predict the regular lineup. I think Danny Cruz is the Saturday starter on the right side of midfield, but Daniel is a much different player who could occupy the same position. Daniel is a creative wing midfielder, while Cruz gets by on his effort and tenacity.

Replacing Danny Cruz would be a good thing, but I think we have to hope that Daniel finds this legs in 2013. After having some visa problems in 2011, he never seems to regain his previous form in 2012. Even though he is a bit lumbering out on the wing he should be helped by a target man in Conor Casey.

The biggest wildcard of the season has to be Le Toux.  Will he regain his old Union form or will it be more of the Le Toux we saw in Vancouver and New York, who spent a lot of time on the bench.

He’s not a savior, but his return marks a big step forward for the franchise, both on and off the field.

The organization made the right choice bring him back but the team was desperate to make a statement after a very poor season. Scott at the Brotherly Game is cautiously optimistic for this season:

If the defense can hold together and find chemistry despite a new starting center partnership, and the offense can produce in 2010 numbers, the Union should have no problem at least slinking into the playoffs to make a run.

Or one my biggest concerns:

And if the tactics aren’t properly formed by the coaching staff, watch out. It’ll be another year of poor possession, poor passing and finishing without much help from the sidelines to fix it.

This coaching staff hasn’t really proven itself to be a good assessor of talent or tactics.  I worry that even if we had the right players (which we don’t) this coaching staff would screw it up. Let’s hope I am wrong.

Lastly a game preview from Philly Soccer Page.  They would like to see Okugo find his way onto the field tomorrow:

He was a legit defensive midfielder for the U-23 national team, but the Union already have a legit veteran in that spot. Okugo can move forward and pass with a range that Brian Carroll can’t even manage if he started over as an 17-year old in FIFA13 and built himself up from scratch. Take nothing away from Carroll, but Okugo is simply a box-to-box midfielder waiting to happen, provided he eventually learns to shoot with something resembling a loose definition of accuracy.

This is a frustrating part of this team. They want to be a young (and inexpensive) team but the young guy with great potential is played out of position as CB or on the bench behind Brian Carroll. My concern is that with Hackworth making BC7 captain this year he will be untouchable for most of the season. You don’t make someone your captain if you don’t plan on playing him most games. Hackworth has to find a way to get Amobi on the field.

Even with a lot of questions this year, I am happy to the Union back playing. Sporting KC has a good team and it will be a good way to judge how the Union did this offseason. DOOP!

One thought on “Union 2013 Season Preview

  1. Nice post. I’d only caution that the opener shouldn’t be much of a measuring stick, as the preseason seemed to consist more of a prolonged tryout than a cohesive unit that was learning how to work together. There’s a good chance it takes a few games to figure out the starters and their roles. Love a win but expecting a loss, but that could be my Philly fan nature.

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