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Season review: Stefani Miglioranzi

Editor’s note: PSP is running season reviews for each Philadelphia Union player — one per weekday for the next few weeks. You can read all the reviews here.

Stefani Miglioranzi, taken in last season’s expansion draft from the Los Angeles Galaxy, was a solid signing whose most important contribution might be the experience he passes on to the Union’s younger midfielders. For much of the season, the veteran did a decent job of patrolling the center of the park and breaking up the attack of the opposition. His defensive cover and long range passing were both a little suspect at times, but overall he did his job in applying good pressure to win the ball back for the Union. Not much is asked of Migs offensively, and it shows with no goals or assists on the season, though he did show that he has a long range shot in his arsenal with some decent efforts, including a deflected shot that rang the post late in the season.

Migs brought a solid amount of experience to a team that didn’t have a ton. With stints on two of the best clubs in MLS, Los Angeles and Columbus, along with eight years playing in England with Portsmouth and Swindon Town, we’ll have to hope that he learned a few tricks that he passed on to the youngsters. There’s no question the Union have some talented midfielders in the system, but it will be players like Migs showing them the ropes that makes them (hopefully) into elite players.

2010 statistics

26 games (25 starts), 2,097 minutes played. 0 goals, 0 assists, 14 shots (5 on goal). 31 fouls caused, 16 fouls suffered, 4 yellow cards, 1 red card.

High point

The 40 minutes he put in against Columbus in August were some of his best minutes of the year. It was a shame to see him come off early in that one due to an injury, because he was all over the place, winning the ball and distributing.

Low point

Getting sent off in the first half of the game in LA. Arguable as a red card for sure, but tackles with two feet and studs showing are rarely going to go unpunished. It was going to be a difficult game no matter what as the Union traveled to LA in only their fifth game ever, but it didn’t get any easier having to play with ten men. And it was particularly embarrassing for a player taking on his former team for the first time.


photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Migs’ greatest strength lies in his ability to force the opposition into bad decisions. He wins the ball back and tackles better than almost anyone else on the team, and he does it cleanly for the most part. 31 fouls and only four yellow cards are not terrible for a defensive midfielder in terms of the cleanliness of their play over a season. I imagine someone like Nigel De Jong could have those stats over five games.


While he is by role a defensive midfielder, he does not offer a lot of range going forward on the attack. His passing range is small and you won’t see him streaking through the box looking for a cross. There were also too many times this season where he lost his mark on set pieces and from crosses from the wings. For a guy who is counted on to fill in at center back when the outside backs attack, he needs to be consistent in his marking.


Miglioranzi is efficient at what he does, but he’s not great at it. And at age 33, he isn’t getting any younger. He might find himself out of a job next season with the crowd of younger players lining up to fill his shoes. Amobi Okugo, Andrew Jacobson and Kyle Nakazawa are all in line to see more playing time in the center of the park next year. Not to mention Eduardo Coudet, who might have to be protected by the Union under the international player rule. If he’s left unprotected in the expansion draft (which most people are assuming), Vancouver or Portland could definitely snap him up. But if he does remain in Philadelphia, he won’t be a bad guy to have on the training ground, in the locker room, and probably less frequently in the starting 11 to foster the younger players.

(Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz)


  1. Spot on with Migs. He is solid, but so one dimensional. All the guys you listed give you more, but Okugo is the top of that heap.

  2. Great, great stuff. When Migs was on, he showed the young guys how a holding mid can change the flow of an entire match by taking away the center of the pitch.

  3. Good riddance. Migs was 1 of the laziest players on the field – consistently – as was Fred.

    Time to bring in the youth.

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