Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Philadelphia Union vs. Schalke 04

Now I won't pretend to know all that much about Schalke 04. I know they're a German team, and I know they have a player named Raul who many Union fans want to stay with Philadelphia. I also can safely assume that they are better than the Union, since the Union have not exactly covered themselves in glory this season. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. So what does this game really mean for the Union?

In all seriousness, I would love for Raul to end his career in Philadelphia. As the leading goal scorer for one of the top clubs in the world, Real Madrid(323 in 741 appearances), Raul knows how to score. And he would be a good fit for the Union, because our current striker, Lionard Pajoy, doesn't even know how to take a shot, let alone put the ball in the back of the net. Will the Union court Raul? I hope so. It will be a tough sell, especially since the Union have declined larger contracts before(Le Toux) in favor of staying young. But Raul would be a force in the MLS. I think he could be as productive as Thierry Henry in the scoring column. And with our defense, that could be a potent combination.

But Raul isn't the only reason this is an important match for our boys in blue. They need a pick me up. After a pathetic trip to Seattle, the Union need to turn their play around. They play a style of play that most people would call boring, or perhaps losing soccer. They try to play a possession game, but can't control the ball enough. And their striker can't generate chances when he does see the ball. Which basically leaves macMath and the defenders hanging for a majority of the match. And if the defense and MacMath weren't playing as well as they are, the losses would be much worse.

So this match is a chance for the Union. A chance to ignore the scoreline, because this game means nothing. It's a chance to work on offense! Forget trying play defense and possessing the ball. Let's push forward and try to score some goals. Hell, at least take some shots. If this friendly ends with the Union taking one shot on goal, I will be very disappointed in their efforts for the evening. When the results don't matter, its how you play that is important. And I want to see a lot of aggressive attacking soccer from the Union.

So this game does matter. The Union have fared well against international foes(at least compared to the rest of the MLS), and I hope this game is no difference. At the very least, this game gives the Union 2 important chances. One chance to work on their offense and their attacking soccer. The other is to court a player would immediately increase the offensive firepower of the Union. A player the caliber of Raul would lessen the pressure on the midfield, give Pajoy more room to work, and open the offense up. So Union fans, let's hope for a good match, and a new Union squad member to root for.

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