Signing News

Philadelphia Union acquire German midfielder Kevin Kratz

Philadelphia Union have signed free agent German midfielder Kevin Kratz ahead of the MLS roster freeze deadline on Thursday night. Kratz last played for SV Sandhausen.

Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said, “Kevin provides us valuable depth in multiple positions across our midfield. His experience and mentality are a good addition to our group.”

In 89 matches with Bayer Leverkusen II between , Kratz scored 12 goals. He collected four goals and 13 assists in 122 matches with Alemannia Aachen, Eintrecht Braunschweig, and Sandhausen. It is unclear what role he will play on the Union aside from “depth in multiple positions” in midfield.

The 29-year old was at Bayer Leverkusen at the same time as Union playmaker Tranquillo Barnetta. He is represented by Stone Sports Management, the agency that represents Roland Alberg and former Bethlehem Steel goalkeeper Samir Badr.


  1. Interesting because the Union now have 29 players on the roster while the rules stipulate only 28.

  2. Huh? Maybe they don’t think Edu is coming back and he is a Crevalle replacement.
    Maybe he is a more Maidanaesque playmaker and will push Barnetta to the wings.
    Maybe he will be a Nogs replacement and we can get Bedoya further up the field.
    Or he can be just another dude.

  3. he’s going to count as an international i assume. So, our intls are: herbers, yaro, barnetta, ilsinho, alberg, ayuk, kratz, anderson. And if I recall correctly, we can only have 7 since we dealt the one slot to houston. So one of those guys is as good as gone. ayuk is probably on a season long loan that we can’t recall OR anderson is being sent packing.

    • Anderson may have been gone for a bit. Nick Bibbs has been starting recently at RCB for the Steel. Has not played badly either. Does not have Anderson’s degree of technical polish, quite, but is no where near as vulnerable to pace.

  4. Anyone know the length of the deal? I doubt they’d bring him in just for 6/7 games. Also, according to mls roster lists, Anderson was loaned out somewhere to clear a spot

    • Good, it was Anderson. That’s what I was hoping for. But I’ve never heard of this guy, he hasn’t been playing in top flight leagues anywhere, and normally that’s fine. Except when we’re committing an International slot to the guy. I’m hoping it’s short term, we see if we like him (if he even plays), get him off the books before preseason and then do what we did with Ilsinho this past year. Give him a trial and see what’s what. Then we can commit that slot to him.

  5. Confused… but interested… go on ES, you have my full and undivided attention 🙂

  6. Perhaps a “Please Stay, Tranquillo” angle?
    “The 29-year old was at Bayer Leverkusen at the same time as Union playmaker Tranquillo Barnetta.”

    • we have certainly seen the importance of players vouching for the organization to other players whom they have known previously.

  7. I see this more as a “we have a lot of injuries and we want a guy who can give us experienced depth at multiple positions” move. Ilsinho is still hurting from plantar fasciitis, Edu is still recovering, Carroll is still recovering, and we want to continue to monitor Pontius’ minutes. This guy can help us with all of those in a pinch.

  8. You can add the unthinkable; replace Barnetta. OUCH

    • if Barnetta goes, Bedoya moves up to #10, doesn’t he? Played there for Klinsmann this past summer.

      Edu will be back in the midfield picture. Could play the #8 I suppose, but probably better at the #6.
      And Who knows what Earnie puts together over the winter.

      • If Barnetta leaves, the team spends some time searching for a new identity. We could move Bedoya up, but then we have to answer the #8 dilemma again. We could stick Alberg in there, but we need to answer some defensive questions with him. Ilsinho into the middle? Could Herbers conceivably do it?
        Point is, that combination of work rate on both sides of the ball and creativity to go with it is very difficult to come by (and most likely expensive).

      • no way can Alberg play the 8. he is basically a forward

      • Wait, how would Alberg play the 8? If we are gonna do that, let’s get him some time playing keeper

      • From what I understood, Bedoya generally played #10 for his club, but I’m not aware of him ever playing that position for the US. He’s mainly played right wing and this summer was deployed as a second number 8 in a 4-3-3.

      • I’d guess that if Barnetta leaves, and barring other moves of course, Bedoya moves to the #10, Edu moves to the #8, and a combination of Derrick Jones and Warren Creavalle play the #6.
        Alternately, of course, Alberg could play the #10 – though you then have to cover for his defensive shortcomings. (And I think that was Gonzhao’s point, not putting Alberg at the #8.) Anyway… Alberg to the #10 theoretically at least allows everybody else to remain where they are – Bedoya at the #8, Edu at the #6, etc.

  9. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Dude has just 14 Bundesliga games for Eintracht Braunschweig and 108 2.Bundesliga games (less than three full seasons’ worth) for Alemannia Aachen, Eintracht Braunschweig and SV 1916 Sandhausen over the course of his entire professional career.

    • Do you think Warren would make top flight squad in Bundis?

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        I doubt Warren Creavalle would make a 2.Bundesliga club. But then again, that is probably why Kratz is here – because he can’t make a 2.Bundesliga club, either, nowadays and is looking to avoid dropping into the lower divisions of German soccer. For a foreign signing, this is an extremely underwhelming transaction. Aber dass ist nur meine Meinung, natuerlich.

  10. to confirm Anderson’s “on Loan” status, go to the MLS website, click on the search icon, type in “rosters.” Click on the blue “2016 Rosters” and scroll down to the Union.

    • as of c. 11 pm 9/15/2016 EDT neither the “transfermarkt” [sic] website nor the Wikipedia articles on Anderson him self or Tombense FC have anything on Anderson’s changed status with the Union. The Stone Sports management site has no news more recent than February/March of 2016, of any kind not just about Anderson.
      It is worth noting that the transfermarkt site lists the name of the president of Tombense fc as Anderson’s agent.

      • My guess is he is “on loan” with BSFC for the rest of the season.
        Otherwise I don’t get how he would be labeled as being on loan from a team he was already on loan to.

  11. My best guess, Earnie sent him back to Tombense early, but I have no shred of any evidence, not one.
    It would make the most sense from and ease and speed point of view, especially since last winter Tombense was characterized as a loan factory.

  12. ‘Nother totally off the wall possibility is that they may be saying that Anthony Fontana may not be ready to replace Derrick Jones with the Steel, if they think Jones will earn a place with the first team bench frequently next year.
    The USA may represent a fresh opportunity and a fresh start to the new acquisition, the way James Chambers was last spring. It could be coverage against Chambers himself going elsewhere next season.

  13. Vereinigung der Vertragsfußballspieler is his current club according to the Transfermarkt website. its roster size is 17 and the total market value of its roster is 1.45 million pounds so it sounds like an independent minor league team, where he landed when Sandhausen SV let him go this summer.
    He’s getting a new chance in a new country. He will be hungry.

    • der Fussballzuschauer says:

      Vereinigung der Vertragsfussballspieler means “association (i.e., team or club) of the contract football player”. There are no ‘independent minor league teams’ in German soccer, professional or amateur, as everything is overseen by the umbrella Deutscher Fussball Bund, the German equivalent of the English FA. Every team plays in either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Bundesliga or in a regional league which has been assigned a divisional status accordingly. For example, I have a friend who lives in a town called “Eisenhuettenstadt” near the Polish border. Those who know history very well know that this town was founded under the name “Stalinstadt” (Stalin City) as a socialist model for steel production in 1950. However, much like the city of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, the town is a shadow of its former self in terms of the steel industry. Still, they do have a local soccer team and rest assured that that side is doing everything it can to play its way out of the 8th division!

  14. I say welcome to our club!
    Stay a while…

  15. Does this mean that (barring disaster) Quillo will not be wasted at #8 again? every time Jim puts him there, he gets closer to heading back to St Galen. Quillo is our captain (since day 1 he has given us everything), so of course he is gonna bust out for the #8 role when the team needs him, but it can’t help how he sees his future.

  16. I see this in a few ways. Allows Union to have more depth. He is not old so that is good thing. I think playing in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga he’ll be able to handle the physical aspects of the game and be quicker and more careful with the ball than Creavalle. It also looks like a push to keep Bedoya and Barnetta happy. I mentioned it yesterday putting better players around them so they can play quicker will please them. I mean Alberg for all his defensive faults plays very well with Barnetta cause they move the ball quickly and understand one another. I look at this as a signing to appease teammates and a thought to improving squad depth and foreign influence on the team.

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