In John Hackworth's short tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Union, he has shown what some consider to be a lack of knowledge on how to utilize his players in this position. John Hackworth sat last season's best option Roger Torres in place of Keon Daniel, who has no business playing attacking midfield, and under-utilized Michael Farfan, who regressed as a player under Hackworth's "tutelage".
This season's additions of Vincent Nogueira, Corben Bone, and Pedro Ribiero, as well as Zach Pfeffer returning from his loan spell with Hoffenheim give the Union depth - let's hope Hackworth learned something during his off season.
The ex-Sochaux captain is one of the Union's big name signings as John Hackworth's attempts to re-tool the midfield. Being more of a box-to-box midfielder by all accounts makes being under Attacking Midfielders a stretch - but Noguiera should provice more of an attacking threat than anyone else in the center of midfield. Technically sound, he should be able to provide the passes for the strikers to score plenty of goals this coming season.
Corben Bone (#6 - 1st round - Stage 1 Re-entry draft)
The fact that Hackworth took Bone in the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft suggests that he is high on the former Generation Adidas player. Struggled to get into a Chicago team loaded with attacking talent, he should have a far easier time with the Union. He was an assist and goalscoring machine in college, maybe he can finally make his mark in MLS this year.
Having a succesful loan spell with Hoffenheim in Germany under his belt, Zach will be hoping to get more playing time this season than the four minutes he did in 2012 with the Union. Lots of hype has always surrounded Pfeffer - with good reason, as he is technically sound and has the attitude to work hard improving his game. The Brotherly Game staff are all excited to see what he can provide for the Union this year.
While Fernandes struggled in his MLS minutes last year, he did well enough during the US Open Cup and in pre-season to show he has the ability to make a mark as an attacking midfielder. Will fight with Bone and Pfeffer to get minutes off of the bench, but with the extra year's experience behind him improvement should be seen.
Pedro Ribeiro - Rookie (#15 - 2nd round)
He is big, strong, and has great technical ability. While he will likely be in Harrisburg for the majority of the season, the Union were very happy he fell into their laps in the draft.
Aodhan Quinn - Rookie (#14 - 3rd Round)
Quinn is a product of the University of Akron, where he scored 14 goals and contributed 14 assists over three years. In 2013 he recorded seven goals and seven assists, and was named the MAC Player of the Year. MLSsoccer.com's scouting report of Quinn says that his best attributes are his "high workrate and drive to succeed." Quinn was a solid college player, but that report wonders if he will be able to make a name for himself in MLS. While he is widely considered to be an attacking midfielder, or possibly a false nine as this article suggests, Nate Sulat, MLSsoccer.com's "college soccer dude," thinks that he can play as a winger in a 4-3-3. No matter where Hack decides he fits best, it is likely that Quinn will spend a lot of time in Harrisburg (if he's not cut by the team) this season due to the Union's suddenly crowded midfield.
Darius Madison - (Sophomore at Virginia) (HGP Eligible)
Like Steffen, Madison's stock went up with his performance in the College Cup in front of the hometown crowd. Madison came on strong late in the season, scoring a brace to hand Notre Dame their first loss of the season in late October and connecting on a game-winning half volley to beat Marquette in the tournament.
Joe Farrell (Sophomore at La Salle) (HGP Eligible)
Farrell doesn't get the attention some of his teammates get, but he's the prototypical coach's son who is versatile, reads the game well and plays wherever he's needed. The sophomore from Blue Bell is listed as a midfielder and defender and scored a pair of goals and chipped in four assists in his second season.
Colin Brezniak - (Class of 2017) (#79 TDS - Class of 2017) (Academy)
The 14 year old attacking midfielder scored 11 goals in 10 starts for the U15/16 academy squad.
Morgan Hackworth - Midfielder
The son of John Hackworth impressed onlookers at the Developmental Academy Winter Showcase with his work rate. He scored an impressive free kick in a win against North Carolina-based academy Capital Area Railhawks.