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Philadelphia Union Will Keep Losing Unless Midfielders Get Into Goal Scoring Positions

Maurice Edu MLS

Philadelphia Union/ Twitter/ @PhilaUnion

There’s rarely a time in soccer that being selfish doesn’t damage a team’s chances of winning a game. Whether it’s a player taking a shot rather than passing to let a teammate tap into an open net or a defender deciding to try and dribble out of danger rather than clear it up the field, selfishness can lose games because of just one mistake. However, in the case of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, the lack of selfishness may be hindering them.

Philadelphia has won just one game in the 2014 MLS season and has lost two of their last three, including their most recent loss to the last place team in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Impact. It’s not like the Union are getting blown out, either. Their defense is good enough to keep scores low, but their midfield is too busy passing and looking for a perfect goal opportunity from distance. I wrote a similar article highlighting this after the loss to the New York Red Bulls.

It sounds strange to think that teamwork could be what is keeping the Union from winning games, but if you take a look at shooting statistics it becomes clearer. In the last two games, the Union have won the possession battle, but have taken 28 shots with only five on goal. The midfield has become content with passing around the top of the box and letting loose from distance; the Union needs a player to make runs into the box that’s not Andrew Wenger or Conor Casey.

If Philadelphia wants to start winning games and go to the MLS Playoffs, the midfield must start making runs into the box. Players like Sebastien Le Toux and Vincent Nogueira, who are known for their passing, must stop trying to only distribute the ball and start making runs into the box to pull defenders off of other players.

The Union are one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference, but they have to start meshing soon or this early season slump could find them on the outside looking into the MLS Playoffs once again.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for StoppageTimeSoccer.net. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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