Off-Season Player Rumors & Movement 2013

Discussion in 'Philadelphia Union' started by UnionBulldog, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. UnionBulldog

    UnionBulldog Member+

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    Since I mentioned it in a different thread I thought I would create this thread. The biggest problem facing the Union is their inability to Finish. We currently rank second to last in goals and only fair slightly better in GPG avg as we are mere hundredths over Vancouver and Portland at 1.035 (Van and Port are at 1.033). We also rank 3rd to last on SOG per game ahead of Van and Chivas. Of the 29 goals scored only 12 have come from players listed at forward (Adu has 5 and can be sometimes considered a forward but for this argument lets call him a mid) and 5 of those are from Pajoy who was shipped off. That leaves a eye popping total of 7 goals scored from our current forward line. Our forwards have played 2897 minutes (this includes 458 from Mwanga and 72 from Perlaza who are no longer here as well) played amongst them. That is .217 goals per 90, if you factor Pajoy and his .302 our forwards were ate .246 goals per 90. Wondo himself is at .807 goals per 90 and Keane, Saborio and Cooper are around .58 each. Our forwards have managed 37 shots on goal and there are 5 players who have more by themselves, heck two of our mids have more shots on goal than any forward.

    With our forwards not putting the ball in or on the net we find ourselves near the bottom of the table. If we hope to improve next year and push for a playoff spot (not aiming higher than that right now) can we do it with our forward line as it is? I personally do not think so. I am not sure who we can target as always in motion the future is and I do not know who will be available from the MLS pool or that may be looking for a move to MLS. Some have mentioned Kenny Cooper as a possibility and I wouldn't mind that, while others throw out Le Toux as a possibility of coming back. Do you think we should/will stand pat, go after someone in the MLS pool or bring in another international?


  2. LINETRASH

    LINETRASH Member+

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    Can we trust the FO to get this right.......that's what worries me.
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  3. LuckyStriker

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    They can't sign Status Quo and expect anyone to show-for sure. I wouldn't mind LeToux returning...........but only as an option at this point-and given Hack's insistence on playing McInerney and developing his game I'm not sure I buy those rumors at this moment. Can't go home again and all that.

    I'd love to see Cooper here, I'm pissed we don't already have Tracy here but given the lack of scouting outreach at this time some sort of inter-league trade would seem to be the most likely choice to fortify.

    Not for nothing, but my thoughts began with the idea of trying to work something out with a team like KC and see what we could move for Bunbury-and then he went out and corkscrewed his knee.
    I want two (2) target CF's- 1 vet and 1 to develop. Can't see them not having the ability to go with multiple aerial options if needed tactically, plus having a bench option if the starter gets dinged or goes down. Otherwise they're right back where they started............
  4. derek750

    derek750 Member+

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    If it's okay with the OP and the mods, maybe we can convert this thread into a general "Off-season Needs" thread. It would be nice to have a place to talk team needs and wish lists [insert Drogba here].


  5. UnionBulldog

    UnionBulldog Member+

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    nooooooooo changing, ok now that I thought about it, it does make sense.
  6. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    Cooper is not a target forward. He'd be looking for someone to hold the ball up just like our current forwards. He's the Ralph Sampson of MLS.
  7. EmeraldDawn

    EmeraldDawn Member+

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    There's a Ralph Wiggum joke here somewhere.
  8. UnionDues

    UnionDues Member+

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    The forwards are only part of the problem, and while they are not particularly good, they're not the worst in the league. The biggest problem is that not enough chances are being created. This team has taken the fewest shots out of any team in the league, the fewest shots on goal, and has scored the second least amount of goals. 30% of all shots are SoG. The remaining 70% are off target. Compare this with SJ, which puts 35% of its shots on goal. The Wiz is at 29%, Toronto is at 33%, etc.

    As for converting chances, 9.2% of all shots are goals. SJ converts 13.3%, but the Wiz is only at 7.5%. LAG is at 8.7%, Columbus is 8.8%, Chivas is 6.5%, Chicago is 10.4%.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/stats/team

    Marfan hasn't done enough for me at central midfield to convince me that he is the answer. His G/A per minute is considerably lower than Freddy's. He was much more effective when played on the right last year. Hack will need to change up the midfield again to generate some chances.

    I would say that the off-season priorities should be as follows:
    - Acquire a veteran striker to lead the front line. Maybe this guy is a "target forward", maybe he's a DP, maybe he's neither. Ideally, he would be a MLS vet with several years of experience in the league and could wear the captain's armband. Most importantly, he should have a track record of finding the net consistently. Some aerial ability would be nice, since we are lacking in that area.
    - Acquire some creative attacking midfielders. The current crop of guys are not getting it done. There are too many D-mids and not enough attacking mids. Guys I could see getting traded/cut: Gomez, Lahoud, Daniel, Cruz, the HGs. The new guys should have good ball control, good passing, and vision.
    - Find one or more central defenders for depth. They should have a track record of being at least serviceable. No more coming off of injury projects. We need fit players.
    - Re-evaluate some lineup decisions. I think Marfan should be returned to the right. Freddy is best when played centrally. The withdrawn striker was a good look for him on Sunday. Return Garfan to midfield, replace him with Gaddis/Williams/a new acquisition to solve the LB problem.
    - Freddy Adu: He needs to be 90 minutes match fit or they should consider trading him. If he can consistently do 90, then I think he should stay. He is probably our most creative player at the moment.
    - Cut Soumare, this guy is chewing up huge cap space and does not even see the bench. It will be embarrassing for the FO, but Hack/Sack will just have to suck it up.
  9. BuddhaWake

    BuddhaWake Member+

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    why would wearing the captain's armband matter?
    As long as Hack is the coach Cruz isn't going anywhere.
    Who would want to pay Adu's salary when he doesn't play 90 for us and has 1 good game every 7 games. Plus who will pick up shirt sales?
    Why get rid of him when we haven't seen him. this season was lost weeks ago. why play him now and risk injury. Just hope he gets fully fit by the beggining of next season and give him the year.[/QUOTE]
  10. LuckyStriker

    LuckyStriker Member+

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    You are stuck with Soumare. Hope he is recovered and can contribute by next year. LB critical, so few crosses ever find the range apart from set pieces-and they want to play a scheme where the fullbacks are overlapping.

    Least talked about critical need: LM. We need an attacking wing who isn't finding himself out of position in the worst way. Marfan is fine on the right. 2 CF's already discussed and they might have something.......but nobody knows whether a Williams and/or Valdes get shipped out overseas-creating new holes.

    Too much $ being wasted on guys who aren't worth it. Okugo and Jack will likely come off GA and get paid. They could move McMath tomorrow and it wouldn't bother me a bit. Gomez is surplus and trade bait. Others will join him if they are wise................
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  11. derek750

    derek750 Member+

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    Dills,
    If you think a thread discussing off-season needs would be useful, maybe you could rename this thread and pull a few of the posts from the last page of the "In-Season Player Rumors & Movement 2012" thread. Even though "we continue to be in the playoff race" (at least according to Hack...maybe he meant to put that in red), many of us are already dreaming of 2013 glory.
  12. jess370

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    When Jack comes off his GA adidas contract his days are numbered. Expect a "fluff" piece about him within the week he counts against the cap.

    Getting rid of Soumare before he is healthy enough to play, is like your idea of already tossing out hoffman when he has started 5 games and most of the time was played out wide....We invested our future first round pick and allocation money to acquire him, they are going to let him get healthy and see what he can do.

    It isn't like he is a bum, he was a playing at a high level before he got hurt and it takes a while to come back from a knee injury.

    I think you are right for the most part, but I still think the biggest issue on this team is strikers. IF we had guys on this team that could take on a defender with the ball and put the ball on frame without shitting all over themselves then I think you would see the mid fielders having a little more room.

    But I also think it is a formation and tactics issue. This team is too small to hoof the ball upfield as often as they do and hope to just kick the ball and outrun a defender. That is fine to do once in a while, but you can't live or die just on playing like that or you end up....well where we currently are.

    If the team went out and got two LEGIT strikers and a speed merchant to play out wide that could do more then just run fast it would transform the rest of the team and the midfield.
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  13. djramone

    djramone Member

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    Re Soumare:

    It's important to remember that he's only 26 (younger than Valdes), and has previously established himself as a premier CB in this league. If he can get healthy, he could be around for a long time.

    He was signed as "damaged goods". The team made no secret of the fact that he was coming off of an injury. While I'm sure they expected him to be back to 100% by now, it was a known risk going in. And if there was ever a year to bring in someone who needs some time to get back up to speed, this was it.

    Yes, the price for him was steep. However, a first round draft pick in MLS is a crap shoot. Over 30% of 2010's first rounders are with different teams now, and 10% are out of the league entirely. One could argue that Teal Bunbury is the best performer of the bunch, but he wasn't exactly lighting up the league before his injury. Meanwhile a starter in the Premier League/Championship went in the 2nd round, and a goalie with 2 US caps already went in the 4th. The point is that the draft gets you an unknown quantity. The team knows far more about Soumare.

    Additionally, the departure of Danny Callif (which was handled ridiculously poorly by the team), supposedly was orchestrated to bring in Soumare, and opened up a spot for Okugo. He's emerged as one of the best players on the team. Whether Okugo remains at CB or moves back to CDM next year, the minutes and experience he's gaining this year are invaluable.

    The grade on this move is still incomplete, but the reactionary call for Soumare to be cut based on 1 appearance and his seeming inability to make the bench this year is absurd.
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  14. PhillyMLS

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    This would be correct. The reason we are calling for a big target forward type player is that we are playing like a team that has one (long balls up the field and hoofed balls into the box). If we adjusted the tactics to play to the strengths of the team we would be much better off. LA has been doing fine and their target player (Buddle at 6'1") has been out for a while. They play Keane (5'9") up top and sometimes bring Donovan (5'8") up top with him and they do fine. Why? Because they play the ball on the ground and out pass the other team, because that is their strength. Columbus has looked really good since Higuain (5'8") came in and Arrietta has done well with him in the team. Arrietta is only 5'9" but they play to his and Higuain's strengths, not sending both of them into the box and try to win 50/50 balls against central defenders that tower over them.
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  15. UnionBulldog

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    While I agree that formation and tactics are playing a role in are ineffectiveness I am not positive we are in need of two strikers. We definitely need at least one. We could play Adu in a withdrawn forward and he has shown promise there when given the chance through out his years but is never kept there for long. There is also potential with our young forwards and it is possible one of them could improve with a proper partner. Our oldest forward is only 22 (23 if you want to count Adu as part of that mix) and they have room to grow. We just need one of them to push themselves to get better. I would personally not be against us playing a 4-4-1-1 with Marfan as CAM and Adu as withdrawn striker if we have the person up top who can put the ball in the net. I think a natural LB is more important than a second forward.
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  16. UnionDues

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    Sometimes draft picks turn out well and sometimes they don't. 198 minutes and Hoffman has not even registered a single shot on goal. Yes, it's a small sample size, but he's been dreadful in his first team appearances. He's shown us nothing. Most of the time he just stands around and waits for the ball to come to him. He's 6', but has no aerial game. He's had two (?) assists in the reserve league games, but no goals there either. Only a single goal in the Schalke friendly.

    Compare that to Hoppenot, who has 2 goals and 1 assist in 620 minutes, despite being regularly played out of position or with zero support. Compare that to Gaddis, who has been excellent on both sides of the ball and has been the catalyst for several goals from his teammates, and is only riding the bench because Williams has set the bar so high. Expectations were much lower on these guys - especially Hoppenot, who was not even a SuperDraft pick.

    If I were the coach, I would probably run Hoffman out for a few more games before I closed the book on him. But it's not as though he has done anything to justify getting those minutes.
  17. LuckyStriker

    LuckyStriker Member+

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    Repped. All of it.


    Both are important. I'm not advocating 2 to start, I'm saying if we change formats I don't want to be at the mercy of injury-I want more size upfront and on the bench AND a LB and LM too ! Go big and compete for playoffs or go home is my mantra.................
  18. UnionBulldog

    UnionBulldog Member+

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    I cut the parts out that I wanted to counter. While I agree a striker is needed he does not need to wear the arm band as we already have a captain and I do not want to see a 4th captain in 4 years on this team. Valdes is growing in his leadership role and has stepped it up over the second half, he is fine as our captain (unless an EPL/La Liga team comes calling with their wallets open).

    You say we need more creative mids then mention moving Garfan back. I think finding a good LB is the second most important offseason move needed. Now that can be done possibly with moving Williams over but I am not sure how good a move that is as we only saw him there for one game, maybe letting him play there for the remainder of the year and Gaddis at RB?

    Why would you cut the HGs? Because they haven't shown anything? They are kids and are in this position for a reason and I wouldn't want to give up on them yet. Pfefer has been here for a little over a year and just led the U17 team to a trophy and the other 2 were signed this year with Hernandez being a top prospect. Let them grow, they don't count against the cap just roster space.

    As to Soumare, they signed him knowing he was injured. If he cannot get on the field next season then I would worry. Not sure of the thinking but I would suppose that with us being virtually out of the playoffs and Okugo playing well they didn't want nor need to rush him back. Cutting him would not be the best idea as he isn't that far removed from being an elite CB in MLS. IF he gets healthy and Okugo moves to CDM then we have an extremely solid, if not great, core defense.
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  19. UnionTillIDie

    UnionTillIDie Member

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    My $0.02 is that every player this team brings in this offseason needs to be a player that is an upgrade at that current position. Left back, forward, box to box midfielder, goalkeeper, etc. We need to add quality with depth. We shouldn't accept moving current players to a different position as the "fix' we need. If we really want to contend for an MLS Championship or SS, then we need better players.

    The benefit of this is that the certain players on this team that go from starters to the bench will add the depth (ie Garfan, JackMac, MacMath). Lastly, bringing unproven players at these positions is almost as bad as doing nothing at all; circa 2012 season!
  20. jess370

    jess370 Member+

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  21. Tyr

    Tyr Member+

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  22. EmeraldDawn

    EmeraldDawn Member+

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    After watching some of Gaddis' work on Sunday, I was thinking about what he would look like as a midfielder. His defense leaves something to be desired, but he looks good with the ball at his feet.
  23. slitz

    slitz Member+

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    he looks good with the ball at his feet between the boxes. he starts to panic when he gets near the 18
  24. Handsome Pete

    Handsome Pete Member+

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    I'll believe it when I see it.
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  25. UnionDues

    UnionDues Member+

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    I think the chances of him getting cut during the offseason just went up further. We shall see.
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