Over the past few games, the Philadelphia Union’s offense has failed to put balls into the back of the net and it has resulted in some disappointing losses. The Union have only scored three goals in their last four matches and were shutout in their most recent loss to the New England Revolution. In that stretch, Philadelphia has gone 1-2-1 and dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with only eight wins this season.
Forwards Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos have been nonexistent in the last five league games and have truly failed to create scoring opportunities and dangerous attacks. The lack of production from these two players has cost the team offensively and put the Union in bad spots in the 2nd half of games. Jumping out to a lead is crucial in the MLS and Philly has simply not been able to execute that through 23 games in 2021.
Manager Jim Curtin brought in forward Matheus Davó to help change the scoring woes but he has only made one appearance so far and has not been able to make an impact just yet. In the time being, young Homegrown players have stepped up big time in their opportunities and have been the only positive when taking a look at the offense. For example, midfielders Quinn Sullivan and Paxten Aaronson have scored some top-quality goals this season and have kept the Boys in Blue in the hunt.
It will be essential for the Union to start to pick things up in the scoring category as they can not afford to keep slipping in the standings due to a lack of goals. Przybylko needs to get hot again because he has had a terrible stretch lately and has been hurting the team in a negative way based on his inability to put shots on net and slow pace on potential breakaways. For other guys like Cory Burke and Dániel Gazdag, now is a perfect time to start producing goals and earning more minutes.
Throughout the past few years, Philadelphia has been lacking a true goal scorer or a guy who can convert offensive chances at a consistent rate. The team has experimented with international attacking players such as Jay Simpson, Andrew Wooten, Fernando Aristeguieta, and David Accam and none of them ever fulfilled their potential or lived up to the hype. The striker position has been filled with pain and sadness for the Union and it seems as if the struggles will continue until owner Jay Sugarman decides to spend a lot of money on a proven and talented striker.
In my opinion, MLS teams should not sign attackers from second and third division teams but instead, go after top quality forwards because those are the type of guys who can make an immediate impact on the offensive side of the ball. Furthermore, Przybylko, Santos, and Burke will not be able to have the type of success that another well-known striker would have for Philadelphia due to their inexperience against top talent.
I think that it’s time to start fresh at the striker position and go all in for a big-name player that can bag goals at a high rate. At this point in time in the MLS, almost every successful team has at least one great striker that they can rely on game in and game out. The experimental process of Przybylko should come to an end due to the fact that he is not and will never be consistent when it comes to scoring goals. When all is said and done, the Union should pursue some of the best available international talents and spend the $12 million-plus from the Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie transfers.
"Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/Philadelphia Sports Nation"