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Philadelphia Union 2018 season preview: Roster, projected lineup, schedule, national TV and more

10:23 AM EST 2/22/18
CJ Sapong MLS Philadelphia Union 05062017
After missing out on the playoffs again in 2017, can the Union finally break through and find their first playoff win in 2018?

Road troubles plagued Philadelphia in 2017, with the club winning just once away from home and falling eight points short of a playoff place in the Eastern Conference. 

An offseason of change followed, with the club offloading several big-name players, but manager Jim Curtin is back and the Union can at least count on some consistency from that position. 

The question remains if the club has done enough to build a team that is ready to compete in an ever deepening Eastern Conference, or if they will once again fall short of the postseason. 

How did the Philadelphia Union perform in 2017?

2017 finish: Eighth in the Eastern Conference (11-9-14), missed the playoffs. 

Form at home was solid enough for the Union, who picked up 10 wins at Talen Energy Stadium, but the Union struggled outside of their own ground to the tune of just one win and 10 losses. 

Goals were an issue at times, with only Orlando and D.C. United struggling more in front of goal among Eastern Conference teams, but the Union's stingy defense kept them in matches throughout the year.

Philadelphia ended the season as the only non-playoff team with a positive goal difference in league play, but couldn't turn that into enough points in the end. 

Philadelphia's key offseason losses

The list of departures for the Union is long and full of name value. Brian Carroll retired after a stellar career with the club.

Chris Pontius was the biggest contributor to depart after his contract expired, but the list also includes Oguchi OnyewuMaurice EduCharlie Davies and Giliano Wijnaldum, who all saw their options declined. 

Philadelphia's key offseason additions

The Union's attack will get a boost from the addition of David Accam, but at time of writing he is the only addition of note. 

Full Philadelphia Union roster entering 2018 season

Goalkeepers: Andre Blake, John McCarthy, Jake McGuire

Defenders: Fabinho, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Mark McKenzie, Matt Real, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Josh Yaro

Midfielders: David Accam, Eric Ayuk, Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle, Ilsinho, Marcus Epps, Anthony Fontana, Fabian Herbers, Derrick Jones, Haris Medunjanin, Adam Najem, Fafa Picault

Forwards: Cory Burke, CJ Sapong, Jay Simpson

 Philadelphia Union projected starting lineup

Three regular starters from the 2017 season are gone, leaving holes to fill for the Union. 

David Accam should slot in to replace Chris Pontius on the right wing, with Richie Marquez and Fabinho likely to get first crack at replacing Oguchi Onyewu and Giliano Wijnaldum along the back line. 

The good news for the Union is that the club still boasts a solid core, with Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Alejandro Bedoya, Ilsinho and C.J. Sapong forming a strong spine for the team. 

Philadelphia Union's national TV coverage

Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC - Friday, April 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United - Saturday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m. ET on UniMas

Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City - Sunday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN