With the news of the Union’s failed bid for USMNT regular Michael Bradley making its way around the twitterverse, a few questions have popped into my head. Scott Kessler of Kessler Reports brought up an interesting question, was this done as an earnest attempt at signing Bradley or was it nothing more than a PR move to convince fans that the team is trying?
The first point, this was a legitimate attempt to sign a very good player. I hope that this is the case, I really do. This has been a frustrating off-season for many Union fans since the team has only signed midfielder Corben Bone. Seen as a depth move, very few people expect Bone to make a significant impact this season. If the Union were making a legitimate attempt then this off-season could turn out to be rather exciting. Yes, they failed at getting Bradley, but perhaps they could find another player of a similar skill-set to fix the midfield failures that we have become accustomed to watching. Apparently the ownership group has the kind of money to make such a signing, but they have yet to do so. I’m not expecting a Thierry Henry level signing, but the team could really use some DP-level talent right about now. In addition, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz stated that the team would look to purchase "3 or 4" players.
Another theory has arisen. Is this nothing more than a PR move designed to convince supports that the team is making an honest effort to sign top-flight talent? It may be a PR move, but I don’t see how it would pay off for the team from that standpoint. Eventually, trying to sign a players isn’t good enough. The team will have to sign someone of substance at some point if they wish to compete for an MLS Cup. That being said, I understand that the Union will likely never compete with the likes of the Galaxy, Red Bulls, Toronto FC when it comes to spending money but the ownership group apparently have quite a bit of money and I think it’s time that they spent a little on the team. It bears mentioning that these high priced signings don’t always work out, especially with older players, but a player like Bradley would have been an excellent addition.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Are the Union trying to sign world-class talent? Or are they blowing smoke to appease the fans?