The best thing that can be said of the Union during their sixth Major League Soccer season is that they didn't tie a team record for futility.
The Union closed their season on an up note of sorts Sunday with a 1-0 win over Orlando City before 17,309 at PPL Park.
In winning, the Union finished 10-17-7, avoiding the embarrassment of tying the franchise record for losses set in 2012, when the team went 10-18-6.
This was the fifth time in six seasons that the Union failed to qualify for the postseason.
The Union did earn a second straight berth in the U.S. Open Cup final, only to lose in penalty kicks to Sporting Kansas City. Their play in MLS has been another story.
"It was a difficult season, a disappointing season," coach Jim Curtin said. "Again, we are not satisfied by any stretch, and in a lot of ways we came up short on all of our goals."
Orlando (12-14-8), a first-year franchise, would have needed a miracle to qualify for the sixth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. First, Orlando had to win, and when that didn't happen, the long-shot tiebreakers became a moot point.
Still, this was an expansion team in mathematical contention until the final day. The Union would have signed up for that in a heartbeat.
Andre Blake, who had surgery on both knees this year, proved that he is the Union's keeper of the future. He turns 25 in November and showed with his late-season play the potential that made him the No. 1 overall MLS SuperDraft choice in 2014.
Blake made several impressive saves against Orlando, including a diving stop on a shot from in front of the goal by Union alum Pedro Ribeiro.
"It is a great feeling, and I will stay positive," Blake said about his late-season play.
This was a crisply played game. The Union led by 1-0 at halftime after Sebastien Le Toux was taken down in the box and then converted the penalty kick, drilling it in the upper right corner, in the 41st minute. It was his eighth goal.
Le Toux's contract is up, and he turns 32 in January, but Curtin suggested there would be interest in having one of the most popular Union players return. Le Toux is hoping for that scenario.
"I love to play here, and I want to play here," Le Toux said.
Union forward C.J. Sapong hit the crossbar earlier in the half on a bullet from inside the box. Sapong made an impact in his first year with the Union, scoring a team-high nine goals and bringing a high degree of toughness, even if he isn't the fastest forward in the world.
In the offseason, the Union will likely look for a speedy attacking player to complement Sapong.
It's the nature of MLS that there are many offseason moves, and the Union will certainly be seeing changes, especially once they hire someone to make the moves as their sporting director.
Once the hire is made, the new sporting director will have plenty of work to do to shape this team in what promises to be a busy and challenging offseason.