PSP’s February poll: Union offseason

After our first poll got such a good response, we figured we’d make it a regular thing.

This month’s poll focuses on Philadelphia Union’s offseason and a pair of other germane questions that people have been talking about recently. Take a look, and place your vote (just once!) by Feb. 13 to have your say. We’ll recap the votes after the polls close.

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  1. Brian Carroll at CB is interesting. Can he play there? Can he be effective? (By “effective” all I really mean is “average”.)

    • i remember eli brought this up lastweek on the podcast and i’ve been thinking a lot about it. considering everything people have been consistently saying are his strengths and weaknesses for the past couple years he seems pretty well suited. it seems like something that should happen more often (an old defensive midfielder loses a step and gets shifted to the backline), but does it happen? i’ve only been following the sport since philly joined the league so i’m not super familiar with this kind of situation. what, if anything, would keep it from working?

      • I don’t think he has the size or the leaping/positioning ability to defend the air on crosses and set pieces. That would be my concern with him.

    • Two words: Stefani Miglioranzi (aka the first sign the Nowak was about to go off the deep end)

    • He’s entering his 12th season as a professional and I can’t remember a match where he’s ever played as a centerback. I would rather see Williams play there than Carroll.

      cszack4 outlined perfectly what my concerns about him playing the position (aside from never playing the position as a professional).

      • Very true, but there was no way we were letting Williams be in that poll at CB. 😉

      • Why?
        Williams has already proven effective as a CB, has the attributes we desire, and we have a ready backup at RB who is effective there. Odd of you to deliberately not allow fans to voice a reasonable choice.

      • On The Right Track says:


      • Agreed that Williams would be the best choice for CB, but moving him there would just create new problems at LB.

      • Actually, that tone was more a joke. I probably should’ve tossed Williams in the mix too, but I didn’t because he’s not a CB and isn’t a plausible long-term solution. That said, I threw in Brian Carroll as an oh-by-the-way because Eli’s suggestion of him as a CB was fresh in my mind.

      • Any idea if we’re ever going to get to see Gilberto play? Maybe he can play CB, or as an alternative to Carroll at D mid.

      • Didn’t he get cut?

      • I guess so. I must’ve missed it.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Williams has been marginally effective punching above his weight in a couple of instances. He’s shorter than 5’10” and if he played CB consistently he would struggle. He only barely did enough to keep teams out when he played. If teams could game plan for him, his lack of size would get exposed quickly and he would get beat up. Personally, I would prefer that he be the 5th or 6th CB option, not the 3rd. No disrespect to you your opinion, but I do not see Williams as starting CB as a reasonable choice. Besides, why would you compromise a player who is already in the top 3 at his position.

      • he played back there once or twice for the union during nowaks last year.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Really wish we hadn’t gotten rid of Soumare. I know he wanted out, but it was because he wasn’t playing. He look amazing next to Okugo this year.
    Nice poll by the way. Good stuff

    • Me tooooo!

    • I doubt we could get Soumare under the cap. I believe he’s the third highest paid centerback in the league. Or at least that’s what was being said around the time of the trade last year.

      I think the issue was never a feeling that there was a lack of quality with Baky but that the cost/quality ration wasn’t in a good place.

    • Of the four established centerbacks that Chicago currently have on their roster (Baky, Ianni, Hurtado and Berry), he would be likely the one that they would want to get rid of.

      This is another situation where I wish the league disclosed how much each team is holding in allocation money. I understand their rationale for not wanting to have this info out there, but it sure would make things much more fun for the fans.

      • John O'Donnell says:

        His salary wouldn’t be as bad with us, as we’re already paying some of it this year anyway.

  3. Question re: “What should the Union’s top infrastructure priority be?”
    if the team and the Chester politicians can’t see eye to eye, why would they invest further in PPL park? i find Sakiewicz’s recent comments troubling.

    • It’s not like they’re going to go build a new stadium elsewhere when they need to expand. I think the current relationship between the city and the team will improve – it may take a new administration in Chester or some token concessions from the team but the stalemate can’t last forever.

  4. I really excited for the season, and I’d really like to have said “A” to the first question–especially cause I think of myself as a relatively glass-half-full fan. But the glaring hole in the center of defense terrifies me. I’d hate to see all this progress be undermined by one critical positional issues. I’m not worried about left-back. Neither Ray or Fabinho are ideal left backs, but ideal left backs are hard to find, and both are serviceable at the position Ray shored up his defensive skills by the end of last season but is a liability on offense, and Fabinho is an offensive asset but limited defensively. I think between the two of them, we can get the look we need in a particular situation. But oh man, the center of the defense is a question mark that could well tear down what otherwise looks like a stellar team…

  5. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Not sure why anyone would pick Edu over Bradley. I love the Edu signing, but he is not on the level of Bradley….. Plus, it is not my money, so why would I care about the salary? Otherwise it’s interesting to see how similar the voting was overall.

    • Ownership still has to pay the amount of Bradley’s salary which is above the cap number for a Senior DP player. Having that level of expense could prevent the team from being stronger in other areas as they wouldn’t have the resources to pay for better players there.

      That’s why I chose to have Edu at 1/10th of the salary that Bradley has.

    • To me it was more about whether or not Bradley is worth 5.4 million more than Edu. I don’t think the gap between the two is that large to where I would rather have Bradley for that much more money. It’s not my money that is being spent, but money that the FO could use elsewhere (if we ever had that type of money to begin with).

    • There is a ton of koolaid drinking with Bradley. Yes, I think he’s our best outfield player too but simply put he is way overpaid.

      He was making like 1 million at Roma. He is making 6 times that here. NO ONE in the world was going to offer Bradley anything close to that.

      Edu had suitors in Europe … and not just for his MLS loan salary of 600k. He was being paid like 1.3 million at Stoke and had suitors for him then, so he was being offered something in that range.

      Bottom line, all cherry picking aside, is Bradley was a total overpay. We actually got Edu for lower than his market value thanks to the loan magic.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Well said. I think Bradley is better, but not at that price. And the difference between him and Edu is not that great, as to warrant 5.4 million more. Plus if we signed Bradley that would have been all we got. He alone would not have made his team a playoff team. Which is what they are now in my opinion.

      • dan c (formerly of 103) says:

        I would disagree strongly with that statement. Edu is a nice player and is a definite upgrade to what the U had last year, but Bradley is on another level all together. His ability to dictate a game, control the tempo, and make his teammates better make him worth much more then Edu. Did Toronto overpay? Yes. But don’t disparage Bradley or underrate him because Toronto was aggressive in obtaining their transfer target. Teams all over the world have to overpay and Toronto did.

      • I don’t think anyone is disparaging Bradley. Many don’t seem to rate him as you seem to- he has always divided opinions- but I don’t think anyone would argue he is not better than Edu right now.
        Toronto didn’t simply overpay, they went crazy. The magnitude of the sum makes the comparison between the two players difficult at best. Is Bradley 10x better than Edu? Obviously not. But I agree with your points about Bradley’s ability to control a game, which is a hard quality to quantify, let alone monetize.

    • It depends on how you interpret the question. I understood it as “which would you prefer if money is not an object (as it isn’t for MLSE @ $2 Billion net worth)?” and so I chose Bradley. It’s really an apples to oranges comparison-not because of the players-but rather because of the ownership groups.

  6. Would have liked to have had a question about how PSP could be improved. Such as adding liked/repped buttons.

  7. Smackey the Frog says:

    Hey, where’s the option for a new downtown stadium?

  8. Great job on the latest poll! I’m surprised most people picked Edu over Bradley. But I agree the price tag would have limited and maybe even canceled some other moves so I think it was the right call!

  9. One thing that hasn’t been said is we could see Sheannon at CB. In fact, with this roster that might be my preferred solution.

    • Sheanon does a nice job filling in at CB, but doing that takes away such an important weapon – Sheanon making those explosive runs down the sideline. And you likely lose a lot of opportunities for his long throw-in if he’s holding down the center of the field. They really need to find a true CB, from the current roster or somewhere else within the league.

  10. So Corben Bone obviously follows PSP

  11. These polls are fairly useless considering you have skewed the results through how you worded the questions and options.

    You are clearly fishing for certain answers in the following:

    “How badly do you want to watch live online streams of Union preseason games?” (The way this is worded, everyone will say badly).

    “Michael Bradley at 6 million a year or Edu at 600,000 a year.” (Nice visual display of money to influence results. Considering Edu is on loan and signing him permanently would likely result in him signing a larger deal, you might have wanted to compare it to 1.5 million like Sak did. However, that wouldn’t help your agenda nearly as much.)

    If you are going to survey, don’t bias your results from the very start. These polls are more or less worthless.

    • You’re kidding, right?
      The Bradley transfer also came with a $10 million transfer fee that will dwarf the “low seven figures” (likely the $1.5 million) option to buy on Edu. We left that out, and that omission should punch any holes in your claim that we’re trying to skew the poll for some “agenda.”
      As for the other question … uh, really? You got a problem with THAT? Oh. Well. OK then.
      (Yawn. Eyes roll.)

    • *Every* internet survey is useless, statistically at least. They pull in relatively small sample sizes, from a group that consists of “people who saw the poll and felt like taking it.” And, as you point out, questions weren’t without bias in some cases – whether intentional or not. Finally, the results could be skewed by somebody with an agenda “stuffing the ballot box” so to speak, given the nature of the poll.
      So scientifically, sure. The poll’s results are going to be bad. The Union, for example, would be foolish to rely on the results and would instead be better served engaging a research firm, which will remove most bias, get a good sample size, introduce necessary diversity, etc. But… so what? This isn’t meant to be scientific, or lead to market research. It’s for fun. It’s to spur discussion – look at the Brian Carroll talk above for example.

  12. I think everyone is missing the ninja CB option – Casey at CB. Making an Albright-esque late career transition from attacking player to defender.

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