Daily news roundups

Lahoud for Restrepo, notes from Curtin and Stewart teleconference, Lloyd the best, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Following news last week first from CBS Philly’s Kevin Kinkead, and then Empire of Soccer, that the Union will be signing Walter Restrepo from New York Cosmos, SI’s Brian Straus tweeted on Monday night the Union will be loaning Michael Lahoud to the Cosmos for 2016 as part of the deal. Stay tuned.

Jim Curtin and Earnie Stewart had a teleconference with reporters on Monday ahead of Thursday’s SuperDraft in Baltimore (full transcript here at PSP). While both understandably would not reveal much in the way of specifics, here are some highlights:

  • Stewart on the combine: “I can say that I’m very pleasantly surprised with what I’ve seen here during the combine…There’s a lot of potential in the players that we’ve seen. Not saying that they’re going to be the direct starters or anything like that, but definitely enough potential that we can fill some slots in our roster with good potential players for the future.”
  • Curtin on the Union’s draft history: “[T]his is a new year and a new chapter. We have a lot more clarity in what we want in all things, in the process with Earnie being on board…Earnie’s been very good at clarifying the roles that we want and what we want a Philadelphia team to look like.”
  • Curtin on the inexact science that is drafting players who can quickly contribute: “With the roles that Earnie’s defined, we are going to do our best to bring in guys who can come in and make an impact, and [we] feel confident in the guys that we’ve narrowed it down to.”
  • Stewart on how the best part of the combine isn’t watching players in action: “The best part about this, I feel, is that you actually get to sit down and talk to these players. We did have the opportunity to speak during this week with some prospects even though some of them are not here anymore. That’s the best part about this.”
  • Curtin on whether the Union might trade one of its two first round picks: “You always listen. It’d be silly to say no. You’re always listening. You want to make your roster as strong as possible.” (A report at SBI suggests the Union will keep both of their first round picks.)
  • Stewart on drafting players who can start: “[O]ur goal is to get starters and to make our roster as strong as possible. Because we all believe at Philadelphia that if we get two good players at every single position they’re going to drive each other to bigger and better. So that’s our goal, and going into this you have to make sure that you identify those players — and there are a couple of players here that would directly have impact for us as starters.
  • Stewart on the draft having so many international players. Could the Union move on those? “We have a couple of spots open for that, so that’s good. We created that for ourselves, that we have the opportunity and the possibility to move on that.”
  • Stewart on whether Brandon Vincent getting called into the USMNT camp increases his stock: “No. That’s emotion. And we try to stay as far away as possible from that. For Jim, myself, and everybody here, we try to identify our needs.”
  • Curtin on Vincent getting called up: “Brandon Vincent is the same player as he was two days ago.”
  • Curtin on the value of the draft: “It’s a way to get inexpensive labor, to be honest. These are kids that, with the G[eneration] A[didas] mechanism, they don’t hit your salary budget.”

Stewart confirmed last month’s report from Steven Goff that the Union’s Homegrown claim on Keegan Rosenberry had been declined by the league. Curtin also said Darius Madison would not be joining the team as a Homegrown player.

Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald tweeted after the teleconference Rosenberry wants to play for the Union, and the Union want him, explaining: “Keegan Rosenberry took a summer to speed up finishing his Georgetown degree. Because of that, he did not reach the training time quota” he needed to meet the league’s requirements to be a homegrown player. Tannenwald tweeted further that Rosenberry went so far as petitioning the league to gain Homegrown status with the Union. And so, once again demonstrating that common sense apparently is not very common, the league, which presumably has wide latitude in such matters, effectively penalized both a player and a team because said player sensibly, and admirably, wanted to complete his college education before turning pro.

More from the teleconference and draft at Philadelphia UnionCBS PhillyDelco TimesPhiladelphia Inquirer, and Philly Soccer News.

At Philadelphia Inquirer, more on how attractive a selection Brandon Vincent would be for the Union.

The latest SBI mock draft has the Union selecting forward Abu Danladi with their first pick (Vincent is now projected by SBI to be selected by Colorado with the second pick of the draft), and Keegan Rosenberry with their second pick, No. 6 overall. In the second round, SBI has the Union selecting Justin Bilyeu (left back/center back), and Patrick Hodan (attacking midfielder) in the third round. The mock draft projects Darius Madison going to Dallas in the third round.

Thursday’s SuperDraft will be live streamed at MLSsoccer.com and ESPN3 beginning at 1 pm. CJ Sapong will be a guest commentator. If you can’t watch the live stream, you can follow the league’s draft tracker.

At MLSsoccer.com, a ranking of the top draft prospects by position. Soccer America has its top 15 picks in the draft. Also, “everything” you need to know about the draft.

American Soccer Analysis on reviews MLS goalkeeping in 2015 and looks ahead to the new season. It lists the Union with Andre Blake-John McCarthy among teams with “two strong options for the number one spot.” Colorado with Clint Irwin-former Union man Zac MacMath is also on that list.

The Union have announced Bucks County native Marisa Pilla as the “Union Insider.” Pilla “will be the voice and face of Union news by hosting weekly video features, as well as writing and producing weekly content for PhiladelphiaUnion.com.”

More on the release of the 2016 schedule at Penn97 and Philly Sports Cave.


Delran’s Carli Lloyd was named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. Winning for the men’s award for the fifth time was Lionel Messi. More at FIFA (video) US Soccer (including a quote sheet), Philadelphia Inquirer, MLSsoccer.com, The Guardian, and the AP.

Ocean City Nor’easters will field a women’s team in the Eastern Development Program U-23 Women’s Premier League beginning in the summer of 2016.


Player moves:

Former Crew-man Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been named head coach of Serie A side Palermo.

One preseason tournament is no more: Charleston Battery will not be hosting the Carolina Challenge Cup in 2016.

FC Dallas and USL side Oklahoma City Energy have announced a two-year affiliation. More at USLsoccer.com.

CBS St. Louis on how St. Louis FC must work to repair damage to its home field at Fenton Park, which was flooded when last week’s storms pushed the Meramec River to record levels. Because the field is located on a floodplain, there is no insurance to cover the estimated $1 million in repairs.

The NASL announced on Monday “it has suspended its operation of the Atlanta Silverbacks for the 2016 season and possibly beyond.” With the demise of the San Antonio Scorpions, that leaves 11 teams for the start of the spring season, with Puerto Rico FC slated to join the league in the fall.

Peter Wilt, president of NASL side Indy Eleven, has stepped down in order to take up “a role with sports consulting firm CLUB 9 SPORTS to pursue the creation of a North American Soccer League team in Chicago.” While Wilt will “continue his general managerial duties with the club on a consultant basis into the 2016 NASL Spring Season,” the key in terms of a Chicago NASL team, as Wilt’s comments to the Daily Herald suggests, is finding a home in the city of Chicago, rather than, for example, outside the city as is the case with Chicago Fire’s home in Bridgeville.


USWNT head coach Jill Ellis was named FIFA’s Women’s Coach of the Year.

Looks like the USWNT will be playing an international doubleheader that will also include England, France, and Germany in Nashville on March 6.

At The Guardian, Tim Froh on when the MLS-precursor American Professional Soccer League’s San Francisco Blackhawks explored applying for guest status in Mexico’s top flight.


From the AP: “FIFA ethics prosecutors will appeal to increase the 8-year bans for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, arguing they are too lenient.” More from the Press Association.

From Reuters: “FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale feels sorry for Sepp Blatter, the banned president of soccer’s scandal-plagued governing body, and has described his work as a ‘monument.'” Anybody for a Blatter pity party? No? I didn’t think so.


  1. Every time I look at the current roster, I get depressed.
    GK: Blake, Mccarthy – I think this is solid.
    DF: Gaddis, Marquez, Edu? – So…we still need at least one starter and at least 4 backups. Fantastic.
    MF: Barnetta, Nogueira, Ayuk, Fernandes, Restrepo, Pfeffer – So…two starters and a bunch of backups who all play roughly the same position I think. Swapping Lahoud for Restrepo seems to just be adding another similar player while getting rid of a player who, while not necessarily good, at least was different. There doesn’t appear to be any real plan here (shocker).
    FW: Pontius, Sapong, Le Toux – Assuming this is the front 3 to start (if Pontius even makes it to opening day healthy), we still need at least 3 backups here.
    That’s at least 11 players that we still need, including 2 starters. The draft will provide 0 starters (please please please do not let the Union draft expecting any of these guys to be opening day starters), 2-3 backups, and some BSFC fodder. Where are the rest of the signings? You don’t wait for the MLS draft to determine the direction of your franchise.
    As I said when Earnie was announced and people were hyped: until proven otherwise, I will continue to assume Same Old Union.

    • I think the hype was warranted…. you can take a wait and see position, which ultimately all of us are doing Adam, but to stand on one side of the street and say, “see I was right same old Union,” is inauthentic…. the team hired a sporting director to oversee football operations… this…this! is what the people were excited about… whether he was the correct choice, whether this all works, whether we are all pleased with the end result will play out… have to be a bit more patient on this one my friend. Hang in there.
      One thing that has become painfully obvious these last few weeks is this team was rotten from the inside out… all those arguments I/we made for terminal disease…it turns out were pretty right on…
      Mr. Sugarman cleaned house… we have a young coach (unsure yet if he’s the right coach), we have a brand new USL team…. we have an emerging excellent top notch facility… we FINALLY have a football guy to run the football decisions who by all accounts believes in developing youth players. The manager on more than ONE occasions has spoken about the teams plan and roles— you have to just sit and watch and reserve judgment… it is not the same old Union.

      • Developing youth players is nice and all, but that’s a good way to supplement your roster, not build it. Where are the building blocks? And I’ve read a lot of long statements from Curt and Earnie (this is their official name, right?), and yet I still haven’t the slightest clue what the “plan” or “roles” are. I know a lot of people have assumed a Dutch 4-3-3 based on Earnie’s background, but I don’t think they’ve actually even said that much. I think you, too, need to be a bit more patient before declaring this is not the same old Union. Actions speak far louder than words.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Okay Adam. I acquiesce. Just like last time.

      • NO! C’mon! I’ve been waiting for Gray Stampede of prose and wit. Yield not to the forces of refusal and stubbornness.

      • Give Pachy a break, he’s still getting over Bowie. Elephants mourn loss just like humans.

      • It was meant with nothing but respect and admiration. I can only hope that it was taken as such. On a cloudy night, can one not mourn the loss of brightness and sparkles that are the stars?
        And actually my third thought was “wow the loss of Bowie has hit the gray one hard”.

      • It’s all good… Adam and I have gone round and round on this and he is staunch.
        I acquiesce to his position…wrong as I believe it to be.
        And I am for sure taking the loss of this artist on the cheek. Jerry Garcia and David Bowie… both hit where it hurts. The fact he knew he was dying and made the album Blackstar as a ‘gift for his fans’…man… pretty cool… and well – – artistic.

      • I definitely see your point. I think it’s still to early to gripe. But if February hits and the roster isn’t shaping up, that’s a serious problem.

      • even a billion dollars will not make players magically appear on the roster right now. the roster will get filled. once it is, light your torch and grab your pitchfork. to do so before then is to demand Sak-like decision making. I respect that patient observance of events as they occur is antithetical to the blog biosphere – always best to get the frustrations out re inaction first, then the frustrations re action, followed by the frustration re the frustrations. FMPOV, with Sak gone, a different apporach is warranted.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        +1,000,000,000 Times ! to El Pachyderm’s comments

      • James Lockerbie says:

        In honor of the powerball

      • My buddy told me not to buy a ticket as he has the winner in his pocket and he is quite generous…
        I said thank you…as it is probably best a guy like me not win a near billion dollars –
        I’d likely put in an above ground pool and snort the rest.

      • Here’s to hoping that one of the fans wins and somehow injects the cash flow into our beloved organization. Lewandowski would look damn good in Blue.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        This team is mine if / when I win Wednesday night!!

      • Well said indeed. I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen since season end. Not worried at all about roster situation at this point (with the exception that McCarthy is still on it).
        The U are (finally) taking (good) care of business.

    • Even though nothing has been announced yet, I believe you can reasonably assume at least Fabinho and Carroll, possibly Creavalle, will be resigned.
      My biggest worry is centerback right now if the plan is to move Edu back to the midfield (as assumed if Lahoud is the player loaned out).

    • Edu will be in the midfield, so we need the additional CB.
      Pontius will more likely be playing as LM, not as a forward. So that could be Pontius, Edu, Nogs, Barnetta in the midfield.
      Sapong/LeToux up top.
      Not trying to make you feel any better, but I think you have a few slightly out of place.

      • I’m assuming they’re playing a 4-3-3 like last year. I have no reason to believe otherwise right now.

      • I’ve heard a rumor that the center back from Brazil has been signed already so I would assume that he pairs up with Marquez and Edu moves back to midfield.

      • Care to share the rumor?

      • That’s all that I know. No name or anything else.

        Feel good about the rumor’s validity as it’s similar to what Kevin Kinkead tweeted the other night.

      • Well good to know the Union is looking at a CB and a RB abroad. Hopefully, a ST rears his head as well.

    • Restrepo is very different than Lahoud, and could possibly start day 1

      • I am aware. My point was that I don’t think he’s very different than Ayuk, Fernandes, and Pfeffer. I could be wrong about that, I know very little about him. I know that Lahoud is very different from those three guys, which is confusing why they’d jettison him and not one of three seemingly nearly identical players.

      • To accommodate Edu. I’m guessing they were penciling Lahoud into the CDM spot, until they had their conversation with Mo at the end of the year.
        Expect Pfeffer to spend time at BSFC this season, and possibly Ayuk, too. Those guys need more consistent minutes. And hopefully we sign players that allow us to send them down for more seasoning.

      • Just going to throw out there that believe Pfeffer’s best position is the role currently occupied by Nogueria and he is not the best suited for the wing.
        Also, Ayuk and Fernandes are different enough. I think Ayuk is a bit more quickness whereas Fernandes is a bit more craft and of course, one is left-footed while the other is right-footed. Also, Ayuk seems more of an vertical winger while Leo likes to drift inside and play combinations through the midfield more.

      • Fernandes is ultimately a CM. I believe that’s where he spent a large amount of time at the Cosmos.

      • Fernandes spent most of his time at LM for the Cosmos. He did also see some time at CAM and RM.
        You can cycle through some of their lineups here and see.

      • Must have been the matches that I saw, he was in the CM

      • Fernandes and Pfeffer are CMs, not wide players. So really, your only wide midfielders are Pontius, Le Toux, Ayuk, and Restrepo.
        Lahoud was dumped probably based on his salary and what I presume is the last year of his contract. If Edu is playing in the MF, Lahoud is an expensive bench player that doesn’t bring a significant amount of quality.

    • If this were the same ‘ol Union : Sak would still be here, stealing the pacifiers out of the mouth of Union fans’ new born babes. There would STILL be no sporting director. There would be no talk of a plan, vision, or philosophy. Players would not have defined roles. Richie Marquez would have been traded for a bag of balls. Fernandes, Ayuk, and Pfeffer would be banished into the nether world of USL.
      Just because the changes haven’t been dramatic to this point, doesn’t mean that change hasn’t happened. Just because you refuse to see the changes, doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

      • There’s always been talk about plan, vision, philosophy, but nobody ever said what it was. Guess what? Nothing’s changed. A lot of empty words about having a plan and philosophy with nobody willing to actually say what it is. We don’t know if players have defined roles.
        I haven’t seen changes. I still see a lot of empty talk, a hilariously deficient roster, a completely overmatched coach, and still have no idea what the plan is other than “bring our youth program and facilities in line with other teams in the league”, which has been a slow process started long before Earnie ever got here. Let’s see change before declaring it’s happening.

      • So having an actual Sporting Director/G.M./Head of football operations is not change to you? There hasn’t been one for the previous six years. I believe that is different. Is it not? If a thing didn’t exist before, but it does now, is that not different, or change?

      • The Union have always made superficial or lateral changes. I want to see positive change. So far, it just appears to be more superficial change.

      • Sultan of Spin says:

        Remember children, when caught in an untenable position, Deny, Deflect, and place blame elsewhere.

      • Why would you expect them to announce what the “plan, vision, and philosophy” is at this point well prior to the start of the season.

        We the public are not scouting players for them. It would be nice to hear something about it prior to the season.

      • When has any team in any other professional sport handed out their playbook? It doesn’t happen. You never see a team’s handbook. Even in the business world, most companies require an employee leaving the company to return the handbook. It’s common sense and good business.

      • +1,000. You can’t publicly bring everyone into the tent and still expect to be successful.

        I, for one, welcome our new Dutch overlord.

      • I agree. What I was envisioning was something like a Matt Doyle article from the Union Insider. Just general, what is different about how we are playing this year vs last year for the fan to have something to look for.

      • You should be the Philly Sports Ambassador. You bring everything needed to the table….Negativity. Impatience. Pessimism.

        Seriously, I think Earnie’s body of work counts for something. I choose to be optimistic.

      • Great idea, that should be an actual job. The ambassador (or PSA) is a cabinet position appointed by the Mayor on an annual basis at the Mummer’s parade and are expected to make regular appearances on all post-game shows and sports radio.

        They can make great comments like:

        “I know that Blake got the shutout and the Union won 3-0, but he got lucky that Wondo stumbled before he shot that ball wide. A striker like that rarely misses chances like that and if he finishes it, the Union probably lose.”

      • All4U is a intern Troll for the organisation,

      • Your perspective is an interesting one Jerome- I’ll give you that.

      • LOL. Trust me, they would never let someone as hard headed and foul-mouthed, with as little respect for authority as I, enter that door. Though, if only they would. I would have brow beaten the Sugar man into firing Sak years ago. I can be quite loud for as little as I am. And more than a few managers have been toppled by this underlings sheer force of will.

    • Lucky Striker says:

      The draft should provide 2 members of the XVIII and two prospects for Bethlehem.

      Of course there are holes. When you have to rip a roster apart to remove all the wasted money….

      Transfer Window not open until Feb-but rumblings are being felt, right?


      Pontius in, Leo back, Restrepo coming.
      Out of contract Fab and Creavalle “could” be returning.

      The areas of need are apparent, and Philly can’t give the plans away. Vincent is the move, but if he’s gone I don’t pass on Abu ! BPA and can play in various areas of attack. Kid’s a keeper-but defense on the left and MF are gaping wounds.

      My question is on the Rochester guy who trialed. LCB/LB capabilities. Badly needed depth, didn’t look out of place playing against in the USOC. They can’t get that done at least?

      • That Rochester LB pursuit came to a grinding halt at some point in the last month or so. Union either decided to move on, the change in Rochester ownership threw a wrench into the works, or Union are waiting to see if they land Vincent. May see them circle back to that one shortly.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Thanks for the reminder. Name: Onua Thomas Obasi. 27 years old. As of this writing not listed on the Rochester roster on the Rochester website. Wikipedia site has not been updated in two months.
        Were it I, if he were playing indoor somewhere to pay the bills and feed the bulldog, I would wait to minimize the possibility of him getting injured, and to allow him to collect pay checks.
        I agree he seemed a very nice player in the USOC game at PPL.
        We have no idea where his agent is hawking him.

      • Interesting if he’s not even on the Rochester roster anymore. One to keep an eye on still.

      • Why is McFadden a good move? Find a young striker looking to prove himself, not a 30-something who admits in interviews part of the move is based on benefits to family, etc. I’d rather rent a kid for a year who gives me 10+ goals

      • You know who had 10 goals last year? Dempsey. Feilhaber. Sam. Nemeth. And they were far down the list.
        You’re not going to “rent a kid for a year” who is capable of gathering MVP votes.
        I’m not defending McFadden now. Maybe he’s worthwhile, if he’s signing for $150K. But if he’s looking for the $400K we wouldn’t pay Nando, then it doesn’t make much sense.

      • No, you would negotiate a transfer if Nando or another young striker got 10+ goals. I’d rather have someone trying to prove themself, even if it means they are looking to not stay here long term, than a player looking for one last contract and an adventure for their family

  2. LaHoud was a quality back up 6. Correct me if I’m wrong but the holding midfield position is a top priority from the open market, unless it is the intention of SD and JC to have Edu play it…which I am totally fine with– can’t expect a draft pick to assume that role. I guess Carroll will be the defacto back up which I’m fine with as well…. look forward to watching this all play out.

    • If Lahoud to NY Cosmos is true, I’m with you in thinking Edu will be in the midfield with Carroll as the backup.
      But this brings many, many questions to the backline. Say for example, Fabinho and Creavalle are resigned and Vincent is drafted. That covers right and left back pretty well with Gaddis already on the roster but you have a second year starter in Marquez and no one else at centerback. You still need a starter and backups.
      I would feel soooo much better if Larentowicz was signed.

      • Edu would be fine in the midfield, as long as we understand he’s going to take some strolls off the reservation and cost the Union at least one goal during the season, maybe two. I have a feeling they will be looking abroad to fill the CB hole, but that’s just a feeling. I don’t mind losing Lahoud since he tends to be injury prone. And from what has been reported Restrepo has better than average skills on/with the ball. So that’s an upgrade for me. While I wouldn’t have minded Larentowicz and feel he would have added a nice veteran presence, he is a bit long in the tooth. I’d prefer someone a bit younger. And then there are the holes…

    • So far, I trust Earnie Stewart. An experienced adult is finally driving the bus. I’m sure the signings will fall very soon after the draft concludes.
      It’s hard to read what the plan is regarding Edu. Perhaps he is going to be our opening day #6. That will mean a real serious CB signing will have to be made.
      But yeah. Not buying seats at the CoUD. I’m good. I’m confident we have a person in place who can put a roster together. And a good roster at that.

    • Curtin said as much to the media at the Combine that Edu is a center mid for the Union. I think that’s telling in and of itself

  3. man, the rosenberry decision really really irks me

    • It should. The league told him he was wrong to pursue a world-class education. The fact that there isn’t a greater outrage is astounding to me.

      • Most of us are upset in one form or another. But beating your head against a wall (Garber), only gets you a bloody forehead. Maybe even a concussion.

      • Can’t you just take a pill and the concussion will go away?

      • First you have to be seen by the trainer. Then the team physician. Then the league appointed physician. Followed by seeking a third opinion in a State to be named later. Then maybe, just maybe, you get the concussion solving pill.

      • Peter Nowak would have a not-so-nice name for you and your concussion…

      • Meh, I’ve had better Polacks call me worse. He could never top the artistic string of obscenities that has rushed forth out of my angry father’s mouth.

      • It’s really a mind-blowingly bad decision on the league’s part. The outrage of essentially penalizing someone for pursuing their education is something that should be felt by any supporter of MLS in general.
        For Union fans, there’s the double outrage on top of that of the club essentially being forced to burn an early draft pick for a player, should they choose to keep him in spite of the league’s decision, who clearly should have already been part of the club and wanted to be part of the club in the first place, had he not been penalized for pursuing his education and had the club not been penalized for allowing him to do so.
        It just doesn’t seem to pay to do the right thing on all sides here, and that’s a major problem for the league.

    • I’m pissed but not surprised. My lack of outrage comes from the expectation that the league office will let me down in some form, and I won’t really get an explanation as to why or how, and then they will reverse course on a similar situation which benefits one of their prized clubs. They will ALWAYS be in the way.

    • The cynic in me wonders if some palms needed to be greased at MLS headquarters to get a decision in the Union’s favor.

  4. Two players for every position, assuming 4-3-3:

    LW – Pontius, Restrepo
    ST – Sapong, ???
    RW – Letoux, Ayuk

    AM – Barnetta, Fernandes
    CM – Nogs, Pfeffer
    DM – Edu, Carroll

    LB – Fabinho, ???
    LCB – Marquez, ???
    RCB – ???, ???
    RB- Gaddis, ???

    GK – Blake, McCarthy

    If Edu is RCB then you need a starting DM.

  5. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Usually at this time of year I am in full panic mode. But… I am trusting the process with Stewart, because I think his track record speaks for itself. Same couldn’t be said for our other GMs/directors/coaches throughout the years (pretty sure they all came to work in a clown car). So a couple of things to note on the current roster. 1. Restrepo is a winger, not a CM. 2.That open CB slot will be filled by an international, we have money and intl. slots. 3. Crevalle is a DM, not really a RB. 4.Carrol is definitely coming back and provides good, limited cover. 5. Fabinho gives you options up and down the left side and will be back as well. 6. The Rosenberry decision is a travesty.7. I truly believe that signings will be announced after the draft as not to tip their hand. 8. The list is now done.

  6. I just saw that Nemanja Vidić is out of contract at Inter. Yeah, he’s 35, but he might be the center-back we need to solidify the back.
    Just a thought…

    • Huh…I might be on to something…
      “As The Independent’s Mark Ogden reported, Vidic is likely to move to Major League Soccer, but will undoubtedly draw interest from Premier League clubs.”

      • This would not excite me in the least. I agree experience would be nice. Thirty-five year old legs would not.

    • I would. Also important to have experience since Marquez is only in his second MLS season.

    • Pass

    • Vidic instantly brings poise to the back line and if Edu is in front I’m liking the spine. I only want Vidic for a year though and I want a solid solution going forward for the more experienced Marquez to then help bring along.
      Central defense is all about intelligence and ‘decent enough’ shape… I would run him out for 30 games for a season… yup.
      “My father signed me for an MLS season, once. Once.”

      • Everything about the poise, and intelligence, and experience, and ability, and the mentoring potential for Marquez that Vidic would bring makes perfect sense as a CB solution for this year.
        On the other hand, you’d be bringing in and relying upon a guy who will be 35 who’s always played fall/winter seasons in Europe and throwing him headlong into the March to October heat and travel grind of the MLS regular season. That really worries me.
        There’s a lot of potentially tremendous upside, and a lot of potentially catastrophic downside, with that scenario.

      • He hasn’t played in about 8 months, due to coming back from surgery. So he’s actually fresher than anyone else you’d get from Europe (you know, if you overlook the “35 and recovering from surgery” thing).
        At 35, you’re not signing him to a 10-year deal. Bring him in on a 1 or 2 year deal and add that presence to the back line…and hope for the best with his health!

  7. So according to the latest mock draft, the Union’s win over Orlando cost them a left back and a player graduating from college is costing them a draft pick (since they’ll have to use it on him rather than someone else).

  8. Sidenote:

    Blake is up for GK of the year in CONCACAF fan voting.

  9. Congrats to Carli Lloyd, the pride of South Jersey and Rutgers University. Being named Women’s World Player of the Year is an amazing accomplishment.

    • Ditto. I feel it’s a shame she was unable to receive the honor from an honorable FIFA president. But it’s also a blessing she wasn’t one of her predecessors that was forced to share time with the Septic Bladder…I mean Sepp Blatter.

      • It isn’t like anyone else has received the honor from an honorable FIFA president anytime in recent memory. At least it isn’t Hot Pants presiding over the award anymore.

      • I believe I said that, in not those exact words.

      • Or at least that was what I was trying to say. But with the “Hot Pants”, yours is better. Win you.

  10. For those looking for news (or at least the possibility of news):

    Kevin Kinkead ‏@KevinKCBS3 6 minutes ago

    I’m getting bits and pieces of Union info, nothing to report yet but it seems like there’s a ton of moving pieces behind the scenes

    • Also from @UnionRumors (I pieced together three tweets for readability):
      “All is quiet in @PhilaUnion land rumor-wise, but the following bits of vague information can be shared. @PhilaUnion are “spending big this offseason”, dipping toes into DP market “for two positions”. @PhilaUnion need to fill lots of positions, but DPs would be ST, CDM, and/or CAM; trying to suss out names or other detailed info.”

  11. Does Lahoud have any leverage at all in the loan arrangement to ask for something better? Seems odd that a relatively established MLS veteran, and one who’s clearly a MLS caliber player (albeit a backup level CDM) gets shuttled off to a lower level team.

    • Good questions. My first instinct is to say “No” because its MLS. But it may also interest him given that he could start for their squad and get significant playing time.

    • It could be a case of the Cosmos guaranteed playing time vs. being in a backup role without promise of even being the 1st backup. If the belief that Edu is going to play CDM this year is true. With Carroll being the first choice backup. That leaves little promise for Lahoud in terms of playing time.

  12. I think this is an off-season where both the “same old Union” faction, and the “let’s be optimistic we finally have a plan” faction can both claim they are correct. No question the Union are improving their infrastructure (physical plant and personnel) to levels we wouldn’t dream about even 2 years ago- even if it’s only to catch up to other MLS teams. However, because it takes time to implement long-term change it takes some faith to believe. Right now we don’t see that change in the roster, and of course they haven’t even had the chance to play a game under Earnie’s stewardship yet so you have to wait. I can’t honestly blame a fan if they have been following this team for 6 years and are adamantly taking a skeptical stance until they can actually see a positive change. For me, I would say I’m nervously hanging out at the Union Swimming Hole of Anxiety before deciding if I should hop on the idling bandwagon over yonder, or buy land on the Cliffs.

    • I hear you Mikex– and general skepticism has been earned by this club for sure — but calling this team today– the “same old Union,” 1: when they fired one major part of the problem and 2: hired a solution to the biggest problem (we hope) and 3: are spending a mint to build a legitimate feeder club all the while 4: improving their facility infrastructure and 5: jettisoning bad contracts in the name of 6: free money is most certainly NOT the same old union. Just because they haven’t sat down and held our hands in explaining it all doesn’t make it that nothing is happening.
      “Some men you just can’t reach…”

      • “which is they way he wants it. Well…he gets it”

      • *the (not they)…darn thick stubby little nubs of fingers…

      • If in 12 days…. the roster is filled out and the Sporting Director and head coach sit down and address the media before camp opens and say this is what we were looking for…this is what we were able to do… this is how we intend to play what will ANY of this radio silence matter.
        If they choose not to do that what will ANY of this matter anyway. Sit, observe, reserve judgment…
        They have so much work to do and people want all the answers and the blueprints.
        I will be the FIRST to skewer this team…in due time if they have earned it…believe me – until then sit, observe, reserve judgment.

      • “in due time”…OK, and who decides how long that will be? If you feel good about skewering the U after you have seen enough, then maybe other people have already reached that point themselves right now and aren’t going to be rosy until they see on-field improvement.

        Anyway, I’m not even disagreeing with you because I like where this team is going now. I just wanted to avoid another offseason in here like last year where if you expressed any concern whatsoever you were lectured about what a bad, negative fan you were.

      • Well laid out there, and I’m not arguing it. I’m in wait-and-see mode, but liking all I’ve seen and heard so far. I am saying that I understand where some fans are coming from if they aren’t as optimistic as others. Fool me once shame on you, fool me at least 5 times….

  13. I’m with Adam S. Frustrated by the lack of information, signings. And by Curtin and Stewart talking in platitudes and generalities. It’s not the CIA, for goodness sakes. It’s MLS. It’s not like telling everyone you want to play a 4-3-3 is going to let the cat out of the bag. Oh, and what I wouldn’t give for this team to get Vincent, if only to have a USMNT player on the Union. That would generate excitement and interest. Right now, I can see the Union starting the season with 3 losses.

    • When Stewart got here he said he wasn’t locked into any formation. He wasn’t going to demand the Union play this or that. He talked about the “roles” he wanted to have players fill. Can anyone really expect them to say they are going to play so and so formation when half the team hasn’t even been filled yet. Also would you want your team to be locked into a certain formation without flexibility? I think it was a consensus last year that the most viable formation for the Union was a 4-3-2-1 (4-3-3 if you want). But if you remember Curtain started the year with the 4-4-2. Which, in my opinion, was a disaster. Resulting in the team starting off in a loss.
      I want the coach to have flexibility. to be able to change formations/match-ups when needs arise. Does Curtain has said abilities? I don’t know. He doesn’t even have a full team of players yet to presume such things.
      All of these things lead me to believe we need to have patience. If one’s personal patience leans negatively, I can’t argue you haven’t been burned in the past. Cause the fans have been. But (Sak) the person with the lighter fluid has been removed. In his place has been put someone with success in a league, that most around the world would consider better than ours. Or what may be called a “feeder” to the top leagues. Just have a bit more patience.
      Remember “Always look on the bright side of Life..”

  14. Others have said things are happening behind scenes (I hope so). However, I am worried with some of this talk this is how I see the team playing out and don’t particularly like the style, people, or tactics if this is in fact what their going for.

    GK Blake
    RB Gaddis RCB Campbell (Draft pick #6) LCB Marquez LB Vincent (Draft pick #3)
    RDM Edu LDM Nogs
    CAM Barnetta
    RW Restrepo LW Pontius
    ST Sapong

    I really hope I am wrong but from the talks this is my feeling on our starting lineup day 1. While this team has promise it would be a terrible 2016 with such a young backline. Lets hope there are things happening elsewhere and if I was them I wouldn’t be telling us anything either after last year. I could be wrong but as far as I know there has been no signing of Carroll, Fabinho, Creavalle so I am considering that this is not happening if its been this long that their considering it. Bench then is McCarthy LeToux Ayuk Pfeffer, Draft pick,draft pick, draft pick.

    • Too early really…I would think there’s additional signings coming at ST, CDM, and two along the back line, at a minimum. I think they need one more seasoned option on the wing too, with LeToux another year older and the others mostly projects or unproven in MLS. Maybe Vincent can win a starting job, but I’d expect a more seasoned option next to Marquez if Edu moves up to CDM.

      • I really hope there are more signings just getting the feeling that these supposed signings may fall through. Leaving us with this lineup which I don’t like. Personally I would be looking to trade Edu to either get money and depth or get a starting LB. Then I go out buy a CB and CDM. That would make me feel much better.

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