Just a few days ago, it appeared that Andy Delort would be a member of the Philadelphia Union. Well, that deal has fallen through. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing for the Union. So far this preseason, the Union has been pleased with their current crop of forwards on the roster.
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That doesn’t mean that they aren’t actively pursuing targets as Union head coach Jim Curtin mentioned in a conference call with reporters Thursday:
"“We have clear targets, and we’re actively pursuing them. But at the same time, the guys that are here having the success they’re having is good. I want competition at every spot. I want guys to always be looking over their shoulder and know there’s someone pushing behind them.”"
Competition. That is what Curtin is looking for in his players. He wants competition between his current and any future players. Competition is good for all involved. A prime example is if you are to look at the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. From the moment head coach Pete Carroll came on the scene in Seattle, he has preached competition. It has done nothing but bring the best out of the Seahawks.
A lot of coaches talk about competing and no one on the roster being safe. Not many actually follow through in the end. If Curtin is able to get the best out of his players all year long, the Union will make the post season in 2015.
Curtin would not get into specifics about the Andy Delort deal and what caused it to fall through. However, he had been praising how well draft pick Dzenan Catic has been playing as the target striker in camp. He just “finds a way to put the ball in the back of the net”. He also praised CJ Sapong and the returning Conor Casey. Casey missed the first couple of days of preseason while Sapong was an off season acquisition.
The one drawback to the forwards they have on the roster, they all appear to be target forwards and Curtin addressed that as well:
"“Conor is a target forward, CJ is a similar forward – a target-type guy – and Catic is a big body. We’ve discussed maybe getting a different type of striker, whether that’s more of a speed guy, a taller guy. You want to find the right mix. You don’t want three or four of the same types of forwards; you want that change of pace. That has affected the type of guy that we’re targeting, for sure.”"
The Union needs to find another target that is similar to the other three on the roster. If they don’t, it will make them predictable all season long. Everyone likes to have a big, tall guy up top, but you also need a poacher or a forward like Robbie Keane or Obafemi Martins.
Curtin wants to keep his job for more than a season or two, so I fully expect them to find exactly the type of player he wants to make the Philadelphia Union a better team in 2015.
quotes courtesy of mlssoccer.com