This year they would not surprise anybody.
Jim Curtin’s Philadelphia Union were the 2020 Supporters’ Shield winners, using a disruptive and aggressive playing style that reflected their city and intimidated opponents.
Surprise, however, was never what the Union relied on for success.
And in 2021 they proved it.
The Union officially clinched their fourth consecutive trip to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and further solidified their status as one of the best clubs in Major League Soccer.
Next, the club will aim to secure as many home playoff matches as they can because this team has been driven to win for Philly from the start.
Collecting a Supporters’ Shield was an incredible accomplishment in 2020, but the 2021 Union want to write their own playoff legacy, and they know that means bringing the postseason to Philadelphia and showing all comers what that means.
This impressive season-long performance was never a given.
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After breakout seasons, Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie departed for Europe. Then stalwart defender Ray Gaddis retired. So Ernst Tanner and Curtin turned to Jack Elliott and Olivier Mbaizo, and added versatile, young midfielder Leon Flach to the roster.
The result: A fourth consecutive postseason appearance and, with two games remaining, the second best record in the Eastern Conference and fifth best in all of Major League Soccer.
Philly fights for its own, and in 2021 we will fight once again for the MLS Cup.
Time to join the fight, Philly. Nothing shakes a stadium like a Jakob Glesnes rocket from 40 yards out.
Nothing makes you scream with pride like a crunching Jose Martinez tackle and glare.
And absolutely nothing matches the beauty of a playoff game on the banks of the Delaware River in Subaru Park.
So join the fight. Plug in to the joy. And bring your voice.
The Union are back in the playoffs, and we want the city with us.
Philadelphia Union 2021 Playoffs merchandise is available now at MLSStore.com.