Technically the Philadelphia Union will be playing this weekend, but they have an off-week from MLS play. It is a good week to have off from MLS play because many players are on international duty. After three games, the Union stands in second place in the Eastern Conference with six points.
Philadelphia only trails the Montreal Impact, who have won all three of their games this season. The Union’s start shows that this season is off to much different start than 2012. They have found success on set pieces this year with goals off of corners in back to back weeks.
Forward Jack McInerney has been an integral part to the success with goals against both the Colorado Rapids and the New England Revolution. Amobi Okugo has also been a force to reckon with in the center back position, and has also been part of the success offensively. He scored his first career goal against Colorado off of the aforementioned corner. The Union’s back line as a whole has been impressive.
The return of Sebastien Le Toux has brought a veteran presence to the offensive side of the game. Surprisingly, LeToux has been taking the corner kicks instead of being in the box, but it has paid off. So far this year, LeToux has two assists off of two corner kicks and a goal in the Union’s home opener against Sporting Kansas City.
Le Toux and McInerney still have some work to do to communicate better up front, but playing with two forwards to start two of the three games has paid off for the Union. The Union’s home opener featured LeToux has the lone forward at the beginning of the game
John Hackworth is starting his first full season as team manager and it is off to a fast start. Philadelphia continued their winning ways against New England, and dealt Colorado their first home opener defeat. Hackworth is more than happy to have six points and to be sitting at the top of the standings.
The season has started well for Philadelphia, and look for that success to continue. Next week they take on the New York Red Bulls, who have gotten off to a less than stellar start. Nonetheless, it should be a physical game worth watching.
Phil Naegely is a Soccer writer for RantSports.com. He also writes about College Basketball, MLB, NASCAR, and NBA news. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @afriendofgod512 and add him to your circles on Google+.