Playoff hopes fading for Philadelphia Union

Playoff hopes fading for Philadelphia Union
Getty Images

The man that led them to a fast start this season in goaltender Andre Blake, hasn’t been able to right the ship in his return from injury last week. The Union were shutout by Toronto FC, 3-0, on Wednesday before giving up a late goal against Atlanta United FC on Saturday to end things in a 2-2 tie.

With 31 points, the Union sit five points away from the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just seven matches left to play.

“It feels like crap,” Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya said following Saturday’s tie. “It’s so frustrating honestly. Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck I guess … right now we’re not getting any breaks really. That’s twice now where in the last minute [a team has] tied the game on us, which could have been six crucial points, but instead it’s only two.”

Since Blake injured his hand in the Gold Cup final on July 26, the Union have gone just 1-3-2. Five points in six matches isn’t going to cut it for a team fighting to make the playoffs.

“I’m devastated for the guys in the locker room,” coach Jim Curtin said. “It’s not about the playoff race or results that went our way or different things like that, it’s about a group of guys and in this case 10 guys that finished the game that deserved to close it out and win.”

The Union played with 10 men for over 40 minutes after defender Josh Yaro was shown a red card in the 52nd minute. In stoppage time, Tyrone Mears of United FC headed a ball at the top of the box past Andre Blake who had left his place in net to block a cross.

As a franchise, the Union have never gone to the playoffs in consecutive seasons. They’ll need a lot of help to buck the trend in the final stretch of the season.

Next up for the Union is a road game against Minnesota United FC (7-14-4) on Saturday at 8 pm. The match will air on the Comcast Network.