2011 record and finish: 11-8-15 (third place in Eastern Conference)
Additions: M Nizar Khalfan; F Josue Martinez; M Jimmy McLaughlin; M Gabriel Gomez; D Porfirio Lopez; F Chandler Hoffman; M Greg Jordan; D Raymon Gaddis; D Tom Brandt; F Krystian Witkowski; F Antoine Hoppenot; M Brandon Zimmerman; F Lionard Pajoy; D Chris Albright
Losses: D Juan Diego Gonzalez; GK Thorne Holder; M Justin Mapp; GK Chase Harrison; M Stefani Miglioranzi; F Levi Houapeu; M Morgan Langley; D/M Ryan Richter; D Joe Tait; F Veljko Paunovic; GK Faryd Mondragon; F Sebastien Le Toux; M Kyle Nakazawa
The Philadelphia Union enters their third season in the MLS with an entirely different team that they entered their second year with. Gone is their franchise leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux and starting goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Enter top imports Gabriel Gomez, Porfirio Lopez, and Lionard Pajoy to make up for Le Toux’s production. First round pick out of UCLA, Chandler Hoffman will add to the scoring punch along with forwards Danny Mwanga and Roger Torres. The biggest addition to the Union club is Philadelphia native and veteran defenseman Chris Albright. He is a very physical defenseman who has won the MLS cup three times with D.C. United in 1999 and the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and 2005. He will become a fan favorite quickly by the Chris Pronger-style of defense he plays which is very similar to new appointed captain Danny Califf.
Forward Danny Mwanga must show he can be a go-to-guy like Sebastien Le Toux was the past two years. Former first round picks from 2010 Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo need to become forces on the field. They were brought along slowly the past couple years but both of them have enormous potential to be all-stars in this league. Sophomore goalkeeper Zac MacMath will enter the season as the starting goalie. He played well in the couple of starts he had last season while filling in for an injured Faryd Mondragon. Sophomore midfielder and Rookie of the Year finalist Michael Farfan and his brother midfielder Gabriel Farfan add some experience and depth in the midfield. They are both solid defenders and can bring the ball up and distribute it well to the forwards. The starting line-up should look like
Forwards: Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney
Midfielders: Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Freddy Adu, and Roger Torres
Defenders: Carlos Valdez, Danny Cahill, Chris Albright, and Sheanon Williams
Goalkeeper: Zac MacMath
This very well could be a rebuilding year for the Union because of the loss of veterans and the influx of young players. The key of this season is learning from the mistakes and grow as a soccer club and individually as players. If Mwanga can replace Le Toux and MacMath becomes a franchise goalkeeper, the Union have a lot of pieces in place and can add over the next year through free agency and the draft. Keep your eye on some of these players because a lot of them will be trying out for World Cup qualifier for the USA U-23 team such as Mwanga, MacMath, McInerney, Okugo, and Adu.