What went right: Sebastien Le Toux. Possibly the greatest expansion draft selection ever? He is an MVP candidate, scored 14 goals and had 11 assists which accounted for around 72% of the Union's scoring totals. Le Toux now holds the record for highest percentage of a team's scoring totals for a single season in the MLS. Another success was the SuperDraft selection of Danny Mwanga. While a No. 1 overall draft pick should provide some sort of aid to a team, Mwanga surpassed most expectations. A haul of seven goals points to a player that could develop into a prolific scorer in the near future if his partnership with Le Toux continues to blossom. The addition of Sheanon Williams and Justin Mapp helped the Union during the season and both should return next season as starters at their respective positions. Kyle Nakazawa has been a pleasant surprise as well and may make it easier for Piotr Nowak to let at least one of his International midfielders stay unprotected in the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft.
What went wrong: Defense, midfield and goalkeeping. The defense was under change for much of the season, with only Jordan Harvey and Danny Califf surviving for the majority of the season. Michael Orozco-Fiscal was moved to the center of defense after Shavar Thomas was traded to the Kansas City Wizards and Juan Diego Gonzalez failed to secure a starting central defender role. Christian Arrieta did not prove to be capable of taking his Defender of the Year or Player of the Year status from the USL to the MLS and thus a gap opened at fullback. The midfield was a revolving door for much of the season with only Fred maintaining any semblance of being a starter. Nakazawa and Amobi Okugo were not able to become starters and that led to Eduardo Coudet being signed late into the first half of the season. Stefani Miglioranzi is not who we thought he was - this guy played for Portsmouth? Onto goalkeeping: Chris Seitz is not yet a starting goalkeeper. Unstable at best, Seitz had his brilliant moments but his indecisiveness and apparent lack of confidence forced Nowak's hand into starting Brad Knighton (not a bad thing, in the end).
What we learned: Sebstian Le Toux is a king, Mwanga is going to be lethal and Pink Cows are delicious when barbecued.
Where we go from here: Nothing but up. If Le Toux retains his form, Mwanga continues to develop and Nowak fixes the defense and midfield, the Union will be nothing less than a playoff contender in the short term and possibly a big time contender for the championship.
Core 11 (players that should be protected): Sheanon Williams, Michael Orozco-Fiscal (if the Union use the buy option on his loan deal), Jordan Harvey, Danny Califf, Sebastien Le Toux, Justin Mapp, Kyle Nakazawa, Shea Salinas, Roger Torres (if the Union use the buy option on his loan deal), Fred Forwards: Danny Mwanga (if he is to graduate Generation Addidas). If Mwanga does not graduate GA, then his protection slot would be given to either Christian Arrieta or Juan Diego Gonzalez.