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Union trade Kacper Przybylko to Chicago Fire

Photo: Howie Pollard

Philadelphia Union continued their offseason overhaul at striker on Saturday morning, trading stalwart striker Kacper Przybylko to Chicago Fire.

In exchange, the club received a massive haul of allocation money from Chicago: $1.15 million, split between $575,000 in 2022 GAM and $575,000 in 2023 GAM.

Przybylko, 28, led the club in scoring each of the past three seasons, with his 35 regular-season goals the third-most in club history (behind Sebastien Le Toux and C.J. Sapong).

“We want to thank Kacper for his efforts on and off the field with the Philadelphia Union,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a press release. “He has played a major role in some of the Union’s most memorable moments over the last few years and we wish him all the best as we continue to look to strengthen and add depth to our roster in the coming weeks.”

Przybylko was one of Tanner’s first signings, coming to the club as a trialist in 2018 after a series of foot injuries derailed his career in Europe. He entered the lineup in April 2019 and basically never left, starting 77 games and making six substitute appearances from 2019-21. Przybylko also finished as the highest scorer in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.

(And, it should be noted, he earned the absurd nickname “Striker Muffin” from the writers of this website.)

But rumblings increased in recent weeks that Przybylko was on his way out in Philadelphia. From the player’s side, Przybylko wanted more stability than the Union were willing to give him. Rather than a long-term guaranteed contract, the Union held team options on him for both 2022 and 2023. Przybylko, who turns 29 in March, told a Polish outlet recently that he was looking for more guaranteed stability at this point in his career.

Meanwhile, the club is looking to remake the striking position, which might require a club-record outlay. Trading Przybylko adds to a war chest of allocation money already bulging after the sales of Mark McKenzie and Brenden Aaronson last offseason. In his press conference Thursday, Union manager Jim Curtin explained that “there are things that can happen which would benefit both sides” and that the club would remain active in the transfer market.

For now, though, the striker corps consists of Sergio Santos, Cory Burke, and offseason acquisition Julian Carranza, as preseason training shifts to Clearwater, Fla. next week.

With the start of the regular season five weeks away, Union fans will eagerly await news of Przybylko’s replacement.

34 Comments

  1. OK… good for everyone.

    I believe this Carrannza kid might be what we’ve been looking for at striker.

    He was totally overshadowed by the Higuain brothers… so maybe, just maybe Herr Tanner knows something we do not!!! WINK

    MLS CUP FINAL 2022 IN CHESTER!!!!

    LETS GO!
    DOOP

    Can’t wait for Feb 26th.

  2. Finally ! We need to acquire real strikers now. Let’s go!

  3. What do we know about the current health status of both Santos and Burke?
    .
    I would assume the offseason has given them time to recover, but you know what they say about assumptions…
    .
    Also, is Santos going to turn into another Burke with his Visa situation?!?! or is this just my Visa PTSD talking?

  4. He seemed to miss as many chances as he made. I think that means the rest of the team creates a lot of chances. Losing the ghost in favor of someone with better feet who can finish those chances is a good thing. I look forward to the next move.

    • Well now the reinforcements at striker better come fast, especially given the early start to the season. If we get someone from overseas they are liable to take months to settle in. I hope Santos can stay healthy for a change…

    • He actually outperformed his xG last year

  5. Santos and Burke need to be put on sub detail. They are not good enough to start. If Carrannza is the real deal then the U need to acquire one more DP or “complete” striker with professional qualify in striking anywhere on the pitch, great touch with the ball and can play within the 18’ and 6’.

  6. Putting out the fire says:

    This was always coming. The presumed successor is headed for Orlando apparently. The other rumored target doesn’t particularly excite me.

    Tanner had something in mind when he spoke at years end, and he has money (& more coming?) to get something done.

  7. Uhre in good company says:

    Danish Striker incoming…….

    • Just based on googleable info, he seems like a very interesting signing, but I’m not convinced he’s a clear upgrade on Przybylko honestly.

  8. I’m going to take this as a sign Philadelphia plan to sign one more striker. The money is a bit low of a return for Przybylko, so I can’t see him being sold for that little unless the Union didn’t plan on needing him that much.

  9. League leading scored last 2 years in Danish league.

  10. WINK… knowledge is king!

  11. Meh. And sorry if I’m not overwhelmed when a scorer from Denmark is touted as the next big thing

  12. Meh. And somebody from Denmark? Double meh.

    • Sarcasm, right?

    • Pepito, The Biggest Cat in the Whole World says:

      Not Denmark!?!?! How could we ever find successful players who didn’t come from the top five leagues in the world?!

      Kacper – Picked up after being released by a team in the second division in Germany

      Kai Wagner – Transferred from the third division of Germany

      Jamiro Monteiro – Second division in France

      Martinez – Venezuelan first division

      Glesnes – Norwegian first division

  13. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Farewell, thanks for the good memories. No negativity, wishing him the best in Chicago.

  14. Jonathan Tannewald reported that Uhre was being pursued by “England’s Norwich City, France’s Saint-Étienne, and Italy’s Venezia — all in their countries’ top leagues.”
    .
    11 goals in 16 league games this season
    .
    21 goals in 34 games the previous season when Brøndby won the title
    .
    On paper, this is a clear upgrade. Having said that, it will likely take time to adjust to the league and team.

    • Take a look at the send off Uhre’s getting from Brøndby IF fans… they love him and are sad to see him go. Let’s hope he wins us all over with his performance here, too.

    • Yes agree, and to add from the video I see of him speed is clearly not a detriment

  15. In the meantime, I am thankful for Kacper and his contributions, and wish him great success with Chicago… except when opposing Philadelphia on the pitch.

  16. TumariePA clarified that it wasn’t Benjamin Tetteh he had been referring to. Not sure who it was though.

  17. https://www.elfutbolero.us/mls/Who-is-Mikael-Uhre-Philadelphia-Unions-newest-striker-20220122-0028.html

    Don’t know if this link will work, but has all his 2021 goals. Looks like a poacher here. Union will have to commit to taking shots and working ball into box. At least half those goals were like 5 yards from goal.

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