Philadelphia Union Rumors: Is Zac MacMath Being Traded?


Jul 8, 2014; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath (18) shouts to teammates during the first half of the U.S. Open Cup match against the New England Revolution at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

With the Major League Soccer season is full-swing, some teams are finding hot streaks and others are faltering under the pressure of finding a win. After losing 4-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 25th, the Philadelphia Union have gone 3-1-3 in league play under interim head coach Jim Curtain. Philadelphia looks to defeat Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City for a second time this season, but there could be some moves in the horizon that could alter Philadelphia’s roster.

With it seeming that defender Carlos Valdes will be returning to the team at some point (the whole topic on a return is a mess right now), the Union look to be lined up to make a somewhat confusing move. They are rumored to be interested in goalie Rais M’Bolhi and that a contract with the Algerian keeper is reportedly for three years.

This alleged move raises many questions. First, goalie is not a need for the Union. They have a quality starter in Zac MacMath, who is arguably having his best professional season. Secondly, they moved up from the third to first overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to draft goalie Andre Blake. This move shocked many Union fans, but Blake’s inclusion on the Union roster could be reason to move MacMath.

Soccerly writer Kevin Kinkead had some insight to over on the M’Bolhi signing rumors and on how the Union would make space for him on the roster.

So it appears like MacMath would hold some value in a trade. His play would back that claim up. The Union would be possibly wise to move him in his final contract year while he is in good form. If MacMath were to be traded, the next question to ask is where would he land?

Well, Kinkead overs a few suggestions for teams that could be shopping for a goalie.

As mentioned in his last tweet, the Union could really make out in a trade with the New England Revolution. The team is on a eight-game losing streak and needs to make some chances. The defense has been poor lately and bringing in MacMath and a veteran defensive midfielder like Carroll could bring wonders to the squad.

Philadelphia could use a talented left back or center back as well. Fabinho has not cut it as a left back this season and has turned into a defensive liability for the squad.

Curtain does not seem keen in starting Carroll as his successor John Hackworth was. Carroll is getting older and there seems to be better options on the squad to fill that role. If the Union were to trade MacMath and Carroll to New England, it would be interesting to see what the Union get in return. Likewise, MacMath’s departure would most likely move Blake into the starting role. This is where M’Bholi’s signing makes sense. It would bring in a veteran presence to teach and mold a young goalie.

The same thing happen as MacMath learned under Faryd Mondragon in his rookie year and then from Orhej “Oka” Nikolov last season. Those moments allowed MacMath to transform into the steady keeper he is today. The same could hold true for Blake as he starts to develop into a MLS starting goalie.

However, Blake could also be trade bait as well. He is a generation Adidas player, so the league, rather than the Union, pay his salary. I don’t see Philadelphia trading both MacMath and Blake this Summer, but who knows what the Union front office has up their sleeve.

The rumors are sure to keep churning about this specific deal and other news throughout the Summer transfer window. This deal is still in the works and nothing official has come out from MLS or the Union. For now, we must sit and wait as the soap opera that is the transfer window continues on.