Fafa Picault plays a pass in Philadelphia Union open training. Photo Credit: Chuck Booth
Entering year two with the Philadelphia Union, Fafa Picault feels at home starting the preseason. After joining the Union on a free transfer from Hamburg St. Pauli, Picault netted seven goals and added two assists in year one. But entering year two, Picault has bigger things in mind.
The Philadelphia Union have improved this offseason with the addition of David Accam which will complete an electric front three including Picault and CJ Sapong. When I asked Picault about his goals for the upcoming season, he echoed my thoughts saying,
"Honestly [my goals are to], score a lot. Going to be looking a lot more for the goal this year and also to drop off passes to the striker and the wingers. Looking to get in behind and use my speed even more to make situations for myself and others."
The front three could easily have 10+ goals apiece to lead a very balanced Philadelphia Union assault. Picault can get into scoring position but being more settled at the club should help on the field as well. At the beginning of last year, Picault had to adjust to the league, a new team, and new surroundings. Now with that behind him, he can focus on the upcoming year without external distractions.
The upcoming year is a very important one after the Philadelphia Union took a step back last season to miss the playoffs by virtue of finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference. To bounce back they will need the help of everyone especially their new number nine Fafa Picault. When asked what he would be looking to work on when the Union head south to Florida, Picault said,
"Just how we attack, how we attack a bit differently this year. That’s my job so that’s what I’ll be looking forward to. How we attack, how we press, how we shift and move together but definitely gonna be focusing on what I have to do to help the team function better."
It's the right mentality to have to enter the season and it is one that Picault is able to have now that he knows the inner workings of the organization. The step from year one to year two should be a good one for the forward. It also isn't lost that the fans have a role to play in the season and they have made their presence felt during the offseason so far.
The Sons of Ben marched into the MLS SuperDraft that was held in Philadelphia then came out en mass to welcome new signing Davi Accam to the team at the airport. Over the weekend, fans were there at open training as well and that was not lost on Picault. When asked about what the level of support meant to him, Picault said, "It’s awesome, it’s not that warm, I just came from Miami yesterday and it’s a nice sacrifice for them to come out here and we’re looking forward to repaying them this year."
Fully settled into the swing of things let's hope the Philadelphia's new number nine can help reward the fans with a playoff berth in 2018.