By Kevin Kinkead

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 2015 is a record-setting year for the Philadelphia Union, but not in a good way.

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Jim Curtin’s team is off to the worst start in franchise history, with just six points taken from the first nine games.

The club’s record is one win, five losses, and three draws, which merits a “points per game” total of 0.67. That’s second worst in Major League Soccer, only ahead of the Montreal Impact, who have played just four games because of their inspiring run through the CONCACAF Champion’s League.

Even Toronto FC, which has played six straight games on the road to begin this season, has a better PPG total.

For comparison, here’s how every Union team has done through the first nine games, which makes up about 25% of the season:

(Win, Loss, Draw)

2015: 1-5-3 (six points)
2014: 1-3-5 (eight points)
2013: 3-3-3 (twelve points)
2012: 2-6-1 (seven points)
2011: 4-3-2 (fourteen points)
2010: 2-6-1 (seven points)

Not surprisingly, the 2011 playoff team enjoyed the best all-time start to a Union season.

But the disappointing 2012 team, and even the 2010 expansion team, both started better than this current squad, despite stumbling to six losses in nine games. That nascent 2010 team started with eight of the first ten games on the road, and even performed better statistically than this 2015 team.

More Measurables

Philadelphia is additionally lacking in a number of significant categories.

The Union has allowed 17 goals this season, which dead last in MLS. Kansas City is a distant second in this category, with 12 conceded goals.

The team is third-worst in the league in home goal differential, with just three goals scored at PPL Park. They play better on the road, and have scored seven in those contests.

Passing and possession numbers are also poor, as MLS writer Matt Doyle explained recently.

The Union’s 43.7% possession mark is last in the league. Passing accuracy of 71.75% is also worst in MLS. That’s the main reason why the Union are conceding so many goals. Turnovers, combined with the inability to retain possession, are the real killer.

Curtin found success last year with a counter-attacking gameplan that was built on good transitional play. For some reason, the team just can’t connect the dots this year. Andrew Wenger and Sebastien Le Toux have combined for zero goals and two assists, and have not been able to work with a midfield that has dealt with a number of injuries and suspensions.

Struggling Wide

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Here are the numbers for Wenger and Le Toux in 2015:

Andrew Wenger: 9 games, 8 starts, 671 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 13 shots, 4 shots on goal
Sebastien Le Toux: 9 games, 9 starts, 752 minutes, 0 goals, 2 assists, 12 shots, 4 shots on goal
Combined: 18 games, 17 starts, 1,423 minutes, 0 goals, 2 assists, 25 shots, 8 shots on goal

The pair has struggled immensely this season, which is really disappointing considering how well they both played last year.

In 2014, Wenger and Le Toux combined for 18 goals and 11 assists. Both players were in the top three in total shots and shots on goal on the Union roster.

Andrew Wenger (left) has failed to score or assist in 671 minutes of play. He contributed 6 goals and 4 assists in 2014 (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Andrew Wenger (left) has failed to score or assist in 671 minutes of play. He contributed 6 goals and 4 assists in 2014 (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For comparison, here’s what some of the other guys have done on fewer minutes this year:

Cristian Maidana: 6 games, 3 starts, 315 minutes, 1 goal, 2 assists*, 5 shots, 2 shots on goal
C.J. Sapong: 6 games, 3 starts, 272 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, 2 shots on goal
Eric Ayuk: 6 games, 3 starts, 270 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, 2 shots on goal
Fernando Aristeguieta: 7 games, 7 starts, 595 minutes, 3 goals, 25 shots, 12 shots on goal

I put an asterisk next to Maidana’s assist total, since he could be easily credited for three more. All three goals the Union scored at Real Salt Lake in week two were the product of Maidana’s attacking ability.

Here are the combined numbers for midfielders Maidana, Sapong, and Ayuk:

18 games, 9 starts, 857 minutes, 3 goals, 4 assists, 17 shots, 6 shots on goal

Conclusively, the Union has gotten more out of three peripheral players than two of its starters, in fewer minutes.

Le Toux Slumping?

You probably remember the epic slump that Sebastien went through to begin the 2011 season.

Seba went 24 straight games without scoring from the run of play.

But he never left the field, and he found ways to contribute. He converted three penalties during that stretch. He also contributed eight assists and his defensive workrate was highly valued by manager Peter Nowak, who did not sub him out during the length of that slump.

Le Toux finally scored from the run of play on September 3rd, and it was a cracking roal at Rio Tinto Stadium. From there, he scored eight more times in the regular season, plus one goal in the playoffs, to finish with 12 goals and 9 assists overall.

It’s true that Le Toux has moved back and forther between the forward and midfield lines over the course of his career. His numbers do differ based on where he plays, but not by much. Even in 2013, when he was relegated to the right wing, he bagged a career-high 12 assists. He played right forward in a 4-3-3 last year and scored seven times from the run of play, plus five converted penalties.

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Le Toux is a streaky player, and seems to gravitate towards either end of the spectrum. When he’s off, he really struggles. But when he’s on, he’s bagging goals left and right. For some reason, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.