Transfer deadline day just passed in England and after Arsenal pulled off the coup that is Mesut Özil, it’s got me thinking about the Union’s current roster. As an Arsenal fan, I’ve longed for the club to spend money on players that can take Arsenal (back) to the summit of the league. My desire for the Union to make the smart, right moves is nevertheless the same. Arsenal and the Union have quite a bit in common at the moment. And no, I’m not referring to the fact that they are both the object of my persistent weekend heartburn.
Özil is the Ferrari model of what the Union need.
Before we begin… let’s face it – The Philadelphia Union, and myself, both have champagne taste and beer pockets. I crave the designated player signing that will make me want to shell out $130 bucks on an official jersey, but I also get the fact that the Union need to be smart about its finances. The Union’s midfield woes need to be addressed and is the true impotence of the Union’s progression. (Seven 5’6” players a close second….)
The Union midfielders are all crap sans Michael Farfan. No, that’s not necessarily a fair statement but I’m making it anyway. There is no real attacking menace or vision among any of them. I love that Cruz gives 110% every game but I’ve seen U-11 weekend warriors do the same all the while thinking their parents should have enrolled them in a bowling league. Carroll can play but his time is up in this Union squad and I see Okugo as the natural and smart replacement. As far as Lahoud and Daniel go – no, thank you. Roger Torres is an enigma. Who is given the number 10 jersey but can barely make the bench? Can he possibly be that bad that he can’t beat out anyone else in this wretched midfield? Kleberson and his massive wage bill can go back to Brazil. For all of those who were not mentioned, there is a reason for this. The Union need to find someone to play the 10 in the midfield. How we solve this on food stamps I’m not overly sure but there are players out there that the Union can afford and should be on the phone with.
Here is a list of a few realistic attacking midfielders the Union could grab:
José María Gutiérrez Hernández, aka Guti - retired a year ago, Guti plied his trade in the Spanish capital with Real Madrid. The Fabio looking Spaniard would be a nice addition to a young Union squad.
Juan Román Riquelme – as volatile as he is gifted, Riquelme has played most of his career for Boca Juniors but could be the answer to linking the midfield and the frontline.
Robert Pirès – the former member of Arsenal’s undefeated 03-04’ team has been out of soccer for a year and could be looking for a comeback via MLS. Now getting the Frenchman to like the city of Chester could be a different story.
Francesco Totti – a lifelong Roman will make getting him to hang around for another 3 years difficult, but Totti has been able to transition to playing behind the number 9.
Philadelphia is a gritty-underdog-type of the town, but nonetheless, we do love the finer things in life… I’ll have a whiz-wit-touch of white truffle?