With less than a week until Philadelphia Union kicks off against New York City FC on Thursday, July 9th at 9 a.m. ET for the MLS is Back Tournament, MLSSoccer.com senior writer Matthew Doyle divided the 26 teams competing into tiers of who could win the whole thing. As its been since the Union's place in Group A was unveiled, the team is listed as one of the top contenders.
"The Union finally won a playoff game last year, and then went to Atlanta and went toe-to-toe with the Five Stripes before eventually bowing out," Doyle writes. Then they came into this season with arguably the toughest schedule of anyone and still fought their way to a tough loss in Dallas and a mind-bending 3-3 draw at LAFC. They are on the cusp."
Doyle says that for the Union to walk away with the title, the club will need homegrown midfielder Brenden Aaronson to continue to showcase the same consistency that the 19-year-old showcased against LAFC on national television. Writing "the one who pressed the hell out of LAFC, scored and assisted, and was aggressive about ball progression – needs to be out there at the point of the diamond. If you're going to be the No. 10 you have to play like the No. 10."