There was very little celebrating from the Union (11-13-9) fan base on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium. After suffering an embarrassing 2-0 loss to Orlando SC (8-11-14), which included an own goal and putrid offense, the Union will stumble into the playoffs as the fifth or sixth seed in the Eastern Conference depending on their finish this Sunday against the top-seeded New York Red Bulls (15-9-9).
“Marginally, it is nice to know we are in,” Union defender Keegan Rosenberry said, “but at the same time, I don’t think anybody draws it up getting in with a 2-0 loss.”
Had the New England Revolution (10-14-9) won on Sunday, the Union would be sweating it out this week, unsure of their postseason fate.
As it stands, the Union will make the playoffs for the first time since 2011 as a franchise, ending the longest drought in the MLS.
In what should be a time to celebrate, the Union, who haven’t won a match since Aug. 27, limped heavily into the playoffs and morale isn’t too high among the team or fan base at the moment.
“It feels funny,” Union manager Jim Curtin said, regarding the achievement. “I don’t know how to feel because you don’t feel good about it. Because we know we can do better on the field.”
The Union will also finish below .500 for the second-straight season and again finish in the bottom half of the combined standings.
“Some people analyze it and say that [we] came up small, or didn’t take advantage, or should have finished in first place,” Curtin said. “It’s fickle. We were getting better and we’re in a tough patch right now.”
Sunday’s match against the Red Bulls will air at 4 p.m. on the Comcast Network.