Fans' View

Fans’ View: One kid’s fantasy Union 11

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Editor’s note: The author of this point is in middle school, which means the Union have been playing for about as far as his memory goes back. Maintain that perspective, because that perspective is why we ran this piece. 

Before I went to sleep-away camp, my MLS Fantasy team was extremely good. I was ranked 72 out of 845. I expected to go down a little and probably be 100 out of 845 while I was away.

But I went down 40 spots more, to 148!

That happened because I asked my dad to take it over for me. Big mistake.

You see, I’m good at MLS Fantasy because I study all the players. Even while I was at camp, I got news about soccer in the mail from my family. I paid attention to how many goals were scored and what each player’s stats were from each game. I looked to see if players were injured or suspended.

While I was at camp, when I was missing games, I thought about my dream roster for the Philadelphia Union with players throughout the nine years of the team’s existence.

And here they are:

Goalkeeper: Andre Blake. He is rock solid most of the time in goal. Blake is well-known for his quick, cat-like reflexes, often leaping high into the air to make saves when others cannot.

Defender: Ray Gaddis. If he plays the full 90 minutes during the next game versus the New England Revolution, he will have the record for the all time most minutes played by a member of the Philadelphia Union. He is often the hardest working player on the field.

Defender: Danny Califf (Captain). Califf is a veteran who played for many different clubs, including LA Galaxy and FC Midtjyland, from where he was traded to the Union prior to their first season. He was a solid center back who help lead the Union to many wins.

Defender: Carlos Valdes. The Colombian was one of the best players on the field during the early years of the Union. He played in the 2012 MLS All-Star game held at PPL Park against Chelsea.

Defender: Sheanon Williams. He is known for his long throw-ins that cause mischief in the box. He is a very capable outside back who cleverly marks his man.

Midfielder: Vincent Nogueira. The tiny maestro from France is known as one of the Union’s most prolific midfielders of all time. Commentators often referred to him as the “Metronome” of the team, controlling the pace of the game and organizing the offense.

Midfielder: Tranquillo Barnetta. The playmaker from Switzerland scored many great goals for the Union including a memorable ninetieth minute free kick against Orlando City to seal a victory.

Midfielder: Haris Medunjanin. Medunjanin acts as a leader in the team and always makes it look easy when he passes the ball.

Striker: Danny Mwanga. Danny Mwanga was great player back in 2011 when he was at his finest. He scored his share of goals. It would be great to see him play alongside Nogueira. Nogueira could play through balls for Mwanga, which then Mwanga would bear down on goal.

Striker: Jack McInerney. McInerney was a true center striker scoring tons of goals in his prime. He was a quick small forward who caused many panic attacks for the opposing defense.

Striker: Sebastian LeToux. The fans’ favorite who scored a hat trick in the first ever Philadelphia Union game at Lincoln Financial Field, LeToux was the first member inducted into the Ring of Honor this year.

Coach: Jim Curtin. People may have had doubts about him this year, and I did too, but he upped his game the past couple of months, getting several road wins, which they haven’t gotten in recent years.

On the bench: Goalkeeper: Faryd Mondragon. Defender: Maurice Edu. Midfielder: Alejandro Bedoya. Midfielder: Brian Carroll. Striker: C.J. Sapong.

Honorable Mentions: Zac MacMath. Keegan Rosenberry. Keon Daniel. Cristian “Chaco” Maidana. Roland Alberg. Carlos Ruiz. Jose Kleberson. Conor Casey.

It would be nice to have a David Villa, Josef Martinez, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic but hey, this is the Union and you have to work with what you’ve got. This still can be fun.

I know there are a lot of real fans who read this site and that my opinion may be controversial.

Who would you include on your dream Philadelphia Union 11?

5 Comments

  1. Scott Ellis says:

    Free Keon! I just had some great flashbacks to those early days.

  2. Great concept and article, Ben! Some strong picks.

  3. Hard to argue with this list. Well done, Ben. I might have tried to fit Bedoya onto this list, but this is a good team.

    Particularly like the inclusion of Williams, who I thought didn’t get enough credit while he was here.

  4. Love this. Put me down for a universe where Jordan Harvey stays in Philadelphia and Freddie Adu somehow revives is career in the City of Brotherly Love.

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Well done ! I like your list a lot.

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