Another Fine Mess

NBC Sports article reinforces what many Philadelphia fans have worried about for a while now - poor money management and lack of decent midfield that are killing the Union on and off the field.

NBC Sports article reinforces what many Philadelphia fans have worried about for a while now - poor money management and lack of decent midfield that are killing the Union on and off the field.

An article from NBC Sports Steve Davis really put together the thoughts of many Philadelphia Union fans on the club's woes - both the club's unstable financial situation, as well as its highest-paid and most-decorated player, Brazilian midfielder Kleberson, who inexplicably is riding the pine behind much less renowned (and less expensive) players. The club is apparently in dire financial straits, being named by Davis as the "probably the most cash-strapped team in MLS". This is extremely troubling, as match attendances are regularly announced at 16,500 or better (PPL Park holds 18,500), the club seems to sell enough merchandise and advertising, and the Union rank 13th in MLS in total salary ($3,322,942.00 in base salary and $3,643,642.00 in guaranteed compensation). One can't help but wonder where all of the money goes.

It's even more puzzling that the highest-paid player on an apparently financially troubled team - a man who has won a World Cup with Brazil and an English Premier League title with Manchester United - has only played 280 minutes in 7 games. Contrast this to the oft-criticized Keon Daniel, who has played in 1515 minutes in 21 games. While Daniel is a regular fixture on his native Trinidad and Tobago's National Team, he hasn't been the creative midfielder that the team is sorely lacking. While a serviceable holding midfielder and a decent winger, that won't help solve the club's inability to put the ball in the back of the net like a creative attacking midfielder will. The question becomes "Will Hackworth use a creative attacking midfielder to help open up the Union's moribund offense?" He's had Roger Torres at his disposal, however the diminutive Colombian has seemingly been on the outs with his coach for a reported lack of hustle during practice. Will Kleberson be able to convince Hackworth he's worth giving an opportunity to?

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