Transfer News

Union trade Zach Pfeffer to Colorado Rapids

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union announced on Friday the trade of Zach Pfeffer to Colorado Rapids.

The trade, along with general allocation money, was part of the deal the Union made to acquire the second pick of the 2016 SuperDraft from the Rapids on Thursday.

The No. 2 pick was used to select central defender Joshua Yaro.

Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said in a statement, “Zach has grown from a 15-year-old teenager to a 21-year-old man during his time with the Union. His development as a player and teammate both on and off the pitch has been a credit to our organization and we thank him for his devotion and efforts during the past five years.”

Pfeffer, 21, was announced as the Union’s first-ever homegrown signing on Dec. 22, 2010, the fourth youngest player to sign a MLS contract.

A US youth international, Pfeffer made 30 appearances for the Union, including 14 starts, scoring 3 goals while recording 1 assist.


  1. i find myself not being very upset by this, though i did like him. if i ask myself if i am happy to have yaro instead of pfeffer i will say yes

  2. Good luck to Zach.
    At least we will always have the butt-goal!

  3. I had my suspicions for a while that Zach was on the move. If not a trade maybe being sent to Bethlehem. It was pretty obvious he wasn’t in Curtins plans.
    He is a Zac MacMath case in my mind. A player that has been more or less bungled by the Union who needs a fresh start somewhere to have a chance to reach his full potential.

  4. So, allocation $$ and Pfeffer for Josh Yaro?
    A crime has been perpetrated on the Colorado Rapids by Messrs. Stewart and Curtin.

    • Allocation is going towards a big ticket signing. Colorado will get a proven commodity and a kid with some potential. For an unproven draft pick with and moving a kid who was probably unhappy here.
      Looks like a fair trade for both teams.

  5. A shame for sentimental reasons only. Never got a fair shake for the Union because of timing. Will always wonder what he could have been if Steel was in place when we signed him.

  6. If the Union ever sign another Zak(ch), they’ll need to give advance warning that someday he’ll end up in Colorado.

  7. Good luck in Colorado Zach! And maybe stay away from beauty queens

  8. Everything starts new this season…sorry to see you go Zach but ‘it’s not personal Sonny, just business.’
    Good luck sir.

  9. It’s a little sad when the team’s first homegrown player has to be part of the housecleaning. But hopefully this move will be good for the Union AND good for Zach. I wish him the best.

  10. Wonderful kid, but he obviously wasn’t moving the needle on the field and in training. I hope the change of scenery (it’ll be much prettier out there) will give Zach a chance makes some changes and earn some success.
    Changing this team’s direction and culture has meant making some tough decisons where personalities are involved, but they haven’t let anyone go that made my heart beat any faster when I watched them play.

  11. I’m totally fine with this.

  12. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    Is it a bad deal? Maybe not. But it sure looks like another glaring indictment of our academy system. Yes, I get Earnie is starting over, yadda yadda, but for once I’d like us to start to get these things right.

    • Everything starts new… and I agree with your point. Incorporating our kids who come up through the system is a big big deal and now that we have USL as a stepping stone to the first team… I hope to see it as well… this has to be all part of the plan and vision for the team… if you want to operate on a tighter budget, which is fine from my POV…your academy has to produce top level talent that contributes.
      I will reserve judgement about he instruction itself at the youth level but if some kids don’t start matriculating…something will have to change and it will likely need to be the staff.
      The entire organization- I hope- was served notice.

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      Saying Zach was a part of the academy system is a bit of a stretch. He came to the team well before its current setup.

    • Isn’t that the point of grabbing Rosenberry? That they felt so strongly about his development and his participation in the Academy that they opted to snag him at three?

  13. He would check in and out of games, quick but weak, I’m okay with this. Best of luck ZP.

  14. This doesn’t bother me to much as there is no room really for him in the starting lineup. Let him move on and grow.
    As far as this team goes and the CBs has anyone thought we might throw out a back 5.
    GK Blake
    LWB Fabi
    LCB Conceicao
    CB Marquez
    RCB Yaro
    RWB Gaddis/ Rosenberry (honestly not sure who wins the job)

    It makes me wonder with all this talk of working out of the back. I mean I know that is a style of play, but a lot more emphasis on it this year in the offseason.

    • A lot of “IF” coming off that back line.

      • I’ll gladly take “if” over what we already knew for way too long.

      • you’ll take “IF” over a solid Marquez and Edu? Gaddis was servicable? We needed to upgrade Left BAck and we didn’t do that.
        There is a potential high upside but still a lot of “IF”

      • My mistake, I thought you might be lamenting the loss of guys like Shaenon, or White. Gaddis did NOT have a very good year back there in ’15.
        Marquez should still be there. Edu hasn’t left, so could always be switched back.
        We have one serviceable option at LB and another unknown (to us anyway). The U needed to upgrade in a lot of places, I don’t think LB is a crippling need. I’m not with the crowd that thinks not having Vincent is a “loss”, I’m quite sure they had a good reason for passing him over.

    • They do now seem to have the pieces in place to play a 3 man back line. Though I would have thought Edu was a perfect CB candidate in that formation. The one guy who didn’t fit to me was Gaddis- not offensive enough to be wingback, and not big or physical enough to be RCB.

  15. Hmm- I was pretty much assuming someone from the back line was going. Since it wasn’t, back line looks like:

    LB: Fabinho/Washington
    LCB: Marquez/Anderson
    RCB: Yaro/???
    RB: Gaddis/Rosenberry

    Way better than last year on paper, but also probably in reality since we didn’t even have a true backup RB after trading Williams and Gaddis was backup LB as well as starting RB. So just way better, period. Still some questions to answer as I don’t know if they brought in the Brazilian to be a back-up. Maybe he’s here in case Yaro isn’t immediately ready. Do they bring in one more CB or is Edu the emergency backup there as well? Should be 3 or 4 CBs at BSFC too to cover. Gaddis could be the third fullback, backing up either side as well. Interesting to see the roster build.

    • There is no question in my mind the brazilian CB is a starter.

      • I’d have to agree, but for Yaro or Marquez? I would guess Yaro as you can’t rely on a rookie to start out of the box. This is all impatience on my part of course. All will be revealed.

    • I think Marquez will be moving to RCB. His preferred foot is his right so it makes sense. Anderson is the starting LCB this season and provides the veteran leadership along the backline while Yaro sees time in the Open Cup?

      • If it is a 2 CB formation I think its Conceicao and Marquez. Your not gonna drop Marquez when he may have been your most solid option at CB last year. Yes I did say that I honestly think he was more consistent and way better then Edu. Yaro to me could be seeing time at CB in BSFC with possible spot starts I think.

      • I just reread my post and realized it wasn’t clear.
        I was saying Marquez moves to RCB as a starter with Anderson as the LCB. Yaro could see time in the Open Cup.
        So, simply, I agree with you. Conceicao and Marquez.

      • I thought Marquez was a natural left-footer. If he prefers the right it does make things clearer for this year.

  16. This is bad for Zach on so many levels. Mastroeni is such a bad manager and doesn’t seem to like young players at all.

  17. Happy and sad. Happy that Zach gets a fresh start and sad that he was our first HP and now he’s gone. Agreed with most people tho, that he is prolly as good as he’ll ever be… and things must start a new for this team. Good luck with the other Zak in Colorado!

  18. Lucky Striker says:

    Feff had no role going forward. Sorry it’s to Colorado, but he’ll have a better chance to advance elsewhere.

  19. Well Zach, its been real. Thanks for the goal against DC in stoppage this past year. One of the few bright spots we had that gave a genuine smile and some measure of belief.

    As for the debate we seem to be having about what this means for our back line, does it really matter? Curtin used something like 30 different lineups last year. Realistically, I’d expect more of the same until our young guys gel and find their spots. Yaro could move outside, rosenberry could flip sides, so could gaddis, we could go with 3 CBs instead, Edu could still line up anywhere on the pitch, and worst of all are injuries. The only name I’m willing to pencil in right now is Marquez. Everybody else gets to go prove it.

  20. The Little Fish says:

    Conceicao can play on the left supposedly. If this is true you could play him there AND get Yaro on the field at his natural CB position

    ….and I think the big reason teams passed on Stanford’s LB Vincent was that he did NOT have Generation Adidas status and therefore cost teams money to pay the lad. Whereas all our GA’s get paid by the league allowing us to use those resources elsewhere to further bolster our squad. Works for me if it means we snare another Striker to give our offense a little more bite.

  21. I Really thought he was going to be special. But last year I was very disillusioned. Here is one of the youngest players on the team and I really thought he was dogging it. No hustle. No zest. Kind of floating around the field, not making much of an effort. It looked to me like he wanted to be traded.
    Don’t quite know what happened. Hope Colorado works out better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *