Transfer News

Official: Union acquire Walter Restrepo, loan Michael Lahoud

Philadelphia Union announced today the acquisition of 27-year-old American-born Colombian midfielder Walter Restrepo from New York Cosmos.

In exchange, the Cosmos receive midfielder Michael Lahoud on a one-year loan and an undisclosed transfer fee.

Said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, “Part of our ongoing assessment has been to build quality depth in certain areas and we strongly believe Walter can give us the kind of speed and attacking ability on the wing that we’re looking for. We know Michael will represent our club in a professional manner and we wish him the best of luck on a successful season.”

Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not announced. However, following first word of the deal last Wednesday from CBS Philly’s Kevin Kinkead, Empire of Soccer reported last Thursday Restrepo arrives on “a one-year deal, with a club option for year two.” SI’s Brian Straus tweeted on Monday night the Lahoud loan would be part of the deal.

Born in San Diego, Restrepo played professionally in Colombia beginning in 2006. In 2011, the midfielder signed with NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, where he made 51 appearances and scored 10 goals. In 2014, he moved to San Antonio Scorpions, making 25 appearances and scoring 3 goals to help the now defunct team win the NASL championship that year. The move to the Scorpions reportedly involved a notable transfer fee: paying for “hotel and transportation arrangements” for the Strikers’ road game in San Antonio later that season. Restrepo later said in an interview he had been telling Strikers management of his desire to leave the team for two years, adding, “I thought it was a very creative way of getting me to San Antonio.”

In 2015, Restrepo signed with New York Cosmos, where he again won the NASL championship, scoring 3 goals and 5 assists over 22 appearances.

Empire of Soccer reported that, before signing with the Union, Sporting Kansas City was also pursuing Restrepo.

Lahoud arrived at the Union in May of 2012 in the trade that sent Danny Califf to Chivas USA. Since then, Lahoud has made 58 appearances for Philadelphia in league play, including 19 in 2015 with 14 starts.

34 Comments

  1. Edu/ Carrol in the midfield?
    We’ll see I guess.

  2. So,
    1) Is he left- or right-footed?
    2) Where on the current depth chart do you slot him?

  3. Stephen O'Malley says:

    How the F*** are we going to fill out our roster. Can someone give me a legit answer

  4. Lucky Striker says:

    Hopefully the end of LeToux at RAM

    • And more of Le Toux at FW.
      .
      He is and always was a striker. He has the energy and stamina to play the high press. He also has always been a streaky scorer so why not get him closer to goal to hopefully get a dirty goal and switch him on?

  5. I gotta say, I really like Lahoud. I don’t think he was headed for an All Star game, but he played well for most of this past year.
    On top of that, he’s a solid human and great guy to represent the franchise.
    .
    Here’s hoping Restrepo makes a difference to this squad. I was expecting a leap from a (healthy) Lahoud this season.

  6. Why can’t Brian Carrol just go AWAY!

    • Why? You got a better bench option to help close out games?

    • This is silliness. Brian Carroll was a rock defensively in his duty last year. Total destroyer. An absolute class of a player…. a leader through his tireless work rate. Damn man. Brian Carroll is the least of our problems.

      • +1
        Carroll has earned our respect. They’ve carved out a good role for him this year too. There will be other players in their prime ahead of him, but he’s still a valuable piece on this club.

      • As one of the loudest members of the Carroll Must Go group at the start of 2015, he won me over during the season. Yes, he is limited, but as a backup, veteran presence, he earns his spot on this roster. Off the field – he is out of contract, yet seems to be at every promotional event the club has. I’m assumming Union are grooming him for a coaching staff role in the future, I agree, BC7 is the least of our worries.

      • I can’t think of a guy that screams ‘consummate professional’ more than this guy. He’s a perfect role model/teacher for young guys on how to be a pro soccer player. Like you, I was ready for him to fade out before last year but his DM play was constantly solid and occasionally stellar.

        I don’t think anyone would expect him to be an every match starter for 2016. But that’s not where his value is in my mind.

      • At the risk of being superfluous, I have to voice my support for BC. We saw his play deteriorate and create liability in the heart of the midfield in 2014. And we watched him redeem his starting role in 2015 when he found his form and was one of the few positions we did not have to worry about! And yes, he is a classy guy that is an asset to the club on and off the pitch. Here’s to BC playing strong in 2016 and perhaps staying on in a coaching role beyond.

      • Toner, Carrol has nor the strength or speed to uphold that position. He has had more then enough trials to see what he can do and he just isn’t what we need in that position or any position at that. Time and time again he has been beat against opponents and his defending is most of the time horrible. Also, his distribution going forward is way conservative.

      • Agreed. To me Carroll is a stopgap. He is not an everyday starter. I am guessing that Stewart will look for a starter. BC is limited in what he can do and will probably be coming off of the bench. The Union need to have depth and a strong bench.

      • I’m not even sure he’s a stopgap. They’ve already said he’ll be working with Bethlehem Steel players in somewhat of a player/coach role. At most, he’s the second choice CDM on the big squad, and probably only sees significant minutes in Open Cup games. He’ll be fine in that capacity.

      • I was calling for Carroll to retire after the 2014 season.
        .
        He was giving the ball away in the midfield too often and was chasing players all over the field instead of sitting in front of the backline and cutting out passes. In hindsight, chasing could have been something the coach asked him to do and not on him. Part of it was also anger at the team in general that he was the full time starter when clearly Father Time is pulling him in.
        .
        He made me eat my words in 2015 and played more within himself and as a result, much better.
        .
        He is by no means a starter anymore but I am more then happy with him as a role/spot starter.

      • He’s fine as a reserve CDM. I’m good with that. Next.

  7. Lucky Striker says:

    The one issue with Carroll is his loss of range. It’s noticeable. I’m OK with his availability as long as his minutes in ’16 rival Fred’s.

    DM is a critical need for the Union at this juncture. They just loaned out their depth, and I don’t trust Edu to stay home and help Nog. They both want to play the same position. Only one can. Nog is better. 2-3 more are needed in that vicinity of play…….

    • That is my worry with Edu in the midfield too.
      .
      But I’m holding out hope that Earnie had a very clear conversation with him about his specific role with the team that stuck.

  8. So, I’m a little worried about this move. Can someone tell me who is replacing Lahoud’s position ? Restrepo looks good and I’m glad the FO wants to try him on the wings. Those are the positions that are vital in created a successful offense which this team desperately needs. However, I’m skeptical bc the kid played in Columbia for a bit then Played in the NASL. I feel like that’s a downgrade idk. we got rid of our #1 DM. There is no way that Carrol or Edu should be the DM. If that happens, it will be 2015 all over again in my opinion.

    • Barnetta provides a bit more defensive cover then Maidana, so Edu may work better as a DM with Barnetta then Maidana as long as all are clear on their roles.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Yup. Roles and plan. There is one. All will be revealed.

      • +1. V.P.P. some want to hear what it is…I think that E.S. won’t say it public. At least not till the season starts…I’m good with that…if never hear the full scope of V.P.P. it is ok…as long as the players and staff are on board.

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