Philadelphia Union: To Overhaul the Roster or Not


Oct 11, 2014; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath (18) makes a save on a shot by Columbus Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) during the second half of the match at PPL Park. The Columbus Crew won the match 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

If the wind wasn’t completely out of the sails for the Philadelphia Union after the US Open Cup Final, it is now. The collapse against the Columbus Crew over the weekend is one that will surely leave a bitter taste in the mouths of players, fans and others.

That collapse matched with a New York win over Toronto officially eliminated the Philadelphia Union from the playoffs. With a 2-0 lead after Andrew Wenger’s goal in the 75th minute, the Union managed to give up three goals in a five-minute span. With a win, the Union would have been in a decent position, only one point out of a playoff spot. Instead they blew the lead and eliminated themselves from playoff contention.

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With the playoffs now out of the question (for the 4th time in 5 years), there are many more questions than answers. What I want to take a look at is the roster and the questions and frustrations surrounding it. When I went on twitter last night after the loss, I saw a lot of fans wanting this roster completely overhauled going into next season.

I am in the other camp. I believe this roster has a quality core with it, even if that has not been completely evident. In the offseason I believe the Union need to focus on a couple of key acquisitions and depth, but a complete overhaul I think is the worst thing they can do.

The Philadelphia Union has a strong core of quality players. Vincent Nogueira has been a great addition to the team and he has shown what he can do. Andrew Wenger has progressed this season into quite the left winger. Since he arrived in Philadelphia, he went from being what looked like the bad end of a trade to one of the better players the Union have.

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  • Christian Maidana has shown glimpses of a very quality player. Raymon Gaddis has become one of the better defenders in the league. Carlos Valdes is one of the better center-backs in the league. I know he has not shown that since he has come back. However, I think Valdes needs a complete offseason and time to get into the rhythm with the team again and He’ll be his old self.

    Even Ethan White has shown he can grow into a very dependable center-back. That is six core quality players, not counting the goalkeeping situation (which has 3 quality keepers), and the Edu/Okugo situation.

    I expect either Edu or Okugo to be back next season, so that would fill that position. Le Toux can probably start next year as well, if not he would be an excellent bench option.

    This offseason I believe there should be two major areas of work. They need to add a quality striker, DP level if possible. Also depth needs to be addressed. Bench options need to be added because at this time of year, you need quality of the bench which the Union simply do not have.

    I believe an offseason with these needs addressed plus a new coach to go in bring a new philosophy, I think the Union can be back in the playoff hunt next year, even with NYCFC and Orlando City SC added to the Eastern Conference mix, but they need to add another one or two pieces to their attack. An overhaul of the roster I think would be the worst thing the front office could do.

    Comment below and let your thoughts be shared below.