The Philadelphia Union won a playoff game. It took ten years, but they finally won a playoff game.
Gotta be honest; I thought it would never happen. We’re talking about a team that was 0-4 all-time in the postseason and 0-3 in U.S. Open Cup finals, compiling a whopping 0-7 record in games that really truly would have brought this franchise to the next level and maybe, perhaps, resulted in people giving a shit about soccer. Every single time this team previously got close to doing something relevant, they’d fall flat on their face and kill off the goodwill and momentum they had built with their own fans and “four for four” types alike.
They were on track to do that again Sunday, when they went down 2-0 and then 3-1 at home in front of a sold out, 18,500 capacity crowd. Goalkeeper Andre Blake put in the worst 45 minutes I’ve ever seen from him, first blowing a save I’ve seen him make 100 times previously and then flapping at a cross before colliding with a teammate on a poor parry.
“That’s so Union,” I thought to myself, as they looked destined for another disappointing finish, this time in their first home playoff game since October of 2011.
But the second half defined what we’ve said about this team 50 times previously on the “It’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia” podcast –
This 2019 squad wins games that they would have lost from 2012 to 2018. You and I had seen so many iterations of this team just choking away leads or blowing big games at home, but not this season. They accomplished the following: