The results weren't pretty. Sporting went 1-6-3 in those first 10, and few observerd thought the team would still be playing meaningful games in late September.
Yet here we are with the Union visiting Kansas City in Friday's huge MLS Eastern Conference matchup. Columbus leads the conference with 41 points, followed by Sporting with 40 and 39 for the Union, who have a game in hand on both teams.
None of those three have clinched one of the 10 playoff berths, which shows how close things are.
It's interesting that in one of the biggest games of the year, Kansas City is coached by somebody who has true Philadelphia-area roots. Peter Vermes was a standout at Delran High and Rutgers.
Of all Vermes' accomplishments, which include playing for the U.S. in the Olympics and World Cup, the fact that he held Sporting together after such a tough start is among his most impressive achievements.
During those 10 games, he learned there is no place like home.
"As much as a player wants to play and win, it's always great to play at home, and to never see our home fans in the beginning was really difficult," Vermes said in a phone interview. "The biggest thing is we were trying to keep ourselves alive and in a position to still be in it."
That wasn't easy.
"Not a lot of people believed in us being in the position we are in today but I don't begrudge that," Vermes said. "But from the staff to players, there was a belief that we were a very solid team that could compete with other teams in this league."
Vermes isn't ready to accept all the bouquets for his team's play, realizing that Sporting, and for that matter, the Union, haven't even clinched a playoff berth. Counting Friday, Kansas City has five games left and the Union have six.
"People say what a great run we have had, but we haven't achieved anything yet," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do."
Of course it's much nicer to do the work at home. Kansas City is 7-2-5 at home and 3-7-5 on the road. The Union have traveled a similar path, going 6-1-8 at PPL Park and 3-6-4 on the road.
At this point of the season, where every game is like a mini-playoff for the numerous contenders, the comforts of home become even more pronounced.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, email@example.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.