Saturday, March 2, 2013

Opening Day

Welcome to Opening Day Union fans!! It's been a long winter and a lot has happened since the last time the boys in blue stepped onto the pitch for an MLS match. Fan favorite Sebastian LeToux has found his way back to a club that never should have let him go in the first place. Conor Casey brings proven talent and height to the striker position. And a healthy Jeff Parke and Bakary Soumare wi anchor a line that lost stalwart Carlos Valdes. And those are just the new faces the John Hackworth has to work with.

The rest of the team returns, and young faces we came to know and love last year get the chance to prove they are the real deal. Will Jack Mac still be the force close to the net he was last year? Will super sub Chandler Hoffman still have lightning in his boots that seemed to lead to goals any time he stepped on to the pitch?  Can Roger Torres come back to play midfield after a season marred by injuries? Most importantly, can the Union find the back of the net? Goals have been a problem for this team since their inception, but the Union finally have depth at forward, and variety. Casey brings height, Jack brings in innovation, and LeToux is an engine that never stops.

I guess the biggest question in this young season will be how John Hackworth handles his position. Stepping into the role last season, he faced an angry fan base and a team that had been torn apart by the departing Nowak. And though he couldn't lead the Union to a playoff berth, no one can deny that they played better under Hackworth than they did under Nowak. But now the buck stops with Hackworth. It's his team this season, and there will be no excuses. Especially since Hackworth managed to go out and get top tier talent for this years campaign.

So it all starts today. With a Sporting KC team that was a powerhouse in the East last season. But a win against this team would be a statement. That the Union mean to make something of this season. And that Hackworth means to build this team to something that Philadelphia can be proud of. And whether or not that will be the case, the journey starts today.

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