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Union add Columbian midfielder to roster

Sneaky, sneaky, Philadelphia Union.

The Union have added Colombian midfielder Roger Torres to the roster in what’s becoming typical of the club’s way of doing business in training camp: Keep things quiet, except, you know, when they don’t want to.

This one just sort of happened, with Torres showing up on the club’s online roster late last week.

Torres is 18 years old and played for Deportivo de Cali in Colombia’s first division last year, starting 15 games for the club. He had been on trial with the Union and his addition had been rumored for months. (Update: Torres is on loan from Deportivo de Cali, according to a Union statement issued this afternoon.)

(For a Torres highlight reel and roster breakdown, click past the jump.)

Union midfielder Roger Torres

His addition means the club now has eight midfielders, pretty close to what you’d expect they’d have on a 24-man roster. Torres could qualify for a developmental roster spot, of which there are four, but so too could probably half the Union’s roster.

Right now, the Union roster includes 21 players, including three goalkeepers, five defenders, eight midfielders and five forwards. (Kyle Nakazawa is listed as a midfielder/forward, but I counted him here as a midfielder for simplicity’s sake. Toni Stahl is also listed as a midfielder, so I counted him there, but he has played some defense during training camp.)

That doesn’t include trialist J.T. Noone, who looks to be earning himself a roster spot and can play forward or midfielder.

“JT is a very viable candidate to make this team,” Union manager Peter Nowak said. “He’s been with us since Greensboro, where we looked at him in different positions. In Mexico, John, (Assistant Coach) Rob (Vartughian) and I agreed to look at him in his more natural position as one of our strikers, as well as right midfield and withdrawn striker. He’s doing well with a goal and a couple assists. I’m very happy with him and we know the guys on the team love him.”

Also, word has it that center back Radanfah Abu Bakr of Trinidad is on trial with the Union, though there’s no confirmation of that or other trialists still with the team.

So even if both of them make the squad, that still leaves open one roster spot, potentially for a designated player. Even then, you could see a younger player or two loaned out to USL-2’s Harrisburg City Islanders if the Union find someone else they like who gets waived from another MLS club.

What do you think of the Union’s roster so far and the Torres pickup? Do you see anyone available out there that you’d like to see join the Union? Weigh in via the comments section below.

Here’s the Torres highlight reel.

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