News broke yesterday that Philadelphia Union center back Josh Yaro will miss 3-4 months with a torn labrum.
Yaro had his ups and downs during his rookie year for the Philadelphia Union but showed enough promise for people to be excited about him going into this season. The same cannot be said for his counterpart Ken Tribbett but that’s who I’d like to take a second to discuss. Tribbett gets a bad rap due to when his mistakes happen but while Yaro may have more potential, at this point and time, they are almost equal center backs.
Unless the Philadelphia Union are planning to go out and acquire a new center back or are okay with new signing Oguchi Onyewu playing significant minutes (please God no) then Tribbett will be the starter against the Vancouver Whitecaps on March third.
“Josh came into preseason very fit and sharp. This setback is tough, but the right thing to do was to be proactive and surgery to repair the shoulder is what’s best for Josh long term,” Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin said. “We know he will come back stronger than ever. We have a very deep roster that we believe in, and we know the next man will step up in Josh’s absence.”
More from Philadelphia Union
- VIDEO: Even Philly Fans Can’t Hate Messi’s First Goal vs Philadelphia Union
- DraftKings Pennsylvania Promo Will Give You $200 Bonus GUARANTEED for Betting Just $5
- Philadelphia Union 2021 MLS season preview
- Don’t laugh, but the Union might be Philadelphia’s next champions
- Philadelphia Union: Previewing upcoming matchup vs Atlanta United
Last season, Yaro made 17 appearances while Tribbett handled the rest of the load last year. Both had their fair share of rookie mistakes but Tribbett’s came in higher profile games (mainly against Toronto). To be fair to Tribbett, what MLS center backs could handle Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco last year? In Yaro’s 17 starts, the Union allowed 21 goals while in Tribbett’s the team allowed 37.
It’s tough to gauge the difference because Tribbett played both during the best defensive showings at the beginning of the year as well as during some of the worst defensive showings when the team limped into the playoffs. Both guys were rookies and both took their lumps. While Tribbett was slated to open the season in Bethlehem before Yaro’s injury it wasn’t because he’s not an MLS quality center back. Tribbett was opening the season in Bethlehem because playing every day is better for him than sitting on the bench in Philly.
While Yaro is the best option for the right center back role due to his chemistry with Keegan Rosenberry, a rotation between Gooch and Tribbett should be able to get the job done. Tribbett will have learned from the mistakes that he made in his rookie year in order to make better decisions this season and around the all-star break, Yaro should be ready to step in to be ready for the stretch run.
As the Seattle Sounders showed last year, all a team needs is a good half in order to make noise in the playoffs. Yaro will be back in time for the Philadelphia Union to field their best team when it matters most and that is a huge plus. Yaro will do all that he can to come back and help the team as soon as he can.