The MLS Secondary Transfer window opened on July 4th, now it’s time for the Philadelphia Union to make some moves.
The Philadelphia Union have entered the transfer window after officially falling from their perch atop the Eastern Conference thanks to an extra time loss to the Houston Dynamo along with New York City FC finally beating a team from New York. The Union have fallen due to a combination of not finding a true replacement for Vincent Nogueira as well as injury issues at the forward position.
Depth at striker was an issue going into the season and it has only gotten worse with CJ Sapong, Sebastian Le Toux, and Fabian Herbers all missing time due to injuries. The loss of Nogueira blindsided the team but it is something that they can cope with in the long term. The team could also use another left back which would allow them to move Ray Gaddis in a deal but that’s more of a luxury at this point.
The Secondary Transfer window is a tough one for teams to make impact moves in because of fitness and chemistry concerns. The Philadelphia Union haven’t had the greatest luck in this window over the past few years as well. Their most recent signing was Rais Mbohli during the 2014 window. Initially, it looked like a good move for the Union as Mbohli was coming off of an amazing performance for Algeria but it ended in utter failure.
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He destroyed team chemistry and also took away valuable playing time from capable keepers Zach MacMath and Andre Blake. Now that the Philadelphia Union have moved away from that don’t expect them to make the same mistake twice. There is optimism going into this window because it is clear that a new era has dawned on the team after the arrival of Earnie Stewart. He’s a man with a plan as well as an infamous list of transfer targets. He has single-handedly changed the culture of an entire organization and should be given kudos for that.
During the window the Philadelphia Union will be active but probably will not but more than 2-3 people. The good thing is that the team is 1-2 players away from truly gripping the Eastern Conference and making a serious run. We’ve done our list of players that they should target but to summarize their needs are a box-to-box midfielder, depth at striker, and another option at left back.
Jim Curtin was interviewed after the team’s training session today and this was the quote that he gave Kevin Kinkead in regards to how the team will tackle the window,
"“I mean listen, every team wants to improve. We have a couple things, and there’s always a lot of variables that go into it, a couple of options that we’re looking at. Obviously with the loss of Vincent, and Mo still kind of not being there, obviously the midfield is something that we’re looking at.”"
While he’s happy with the way that some players have deputized in their midfield roles especially Roland Alberg who has been on fire for the team even pushing Tranquillo Barnetta out of his preferred role it’s clear that he isn’t satisfied with their overall play. the Philadelphia Union are also concerned with what they will actually be able to get out of Edu this season which heightens the need for reinforcements.
At striker, once everyone is healthy the team would be fine as long as no one else goes down but midfield is the dire need at the moment. The Philadelphia Union will do everything that they can to secure a midfielder and a striker or left back would be icing on the cake. This transfer window won’t be very eventful but it will be productive and at the end of the day, quality is what matters over quantity.