Despite beginning the season as Peter Nowak's first choice right back, Cristian Arrieta failed to hold onto his starting role and that will apparently lead to him leaving the Philadelphia Union. A source close to the situation has informed TBG that Arrieta has grown disdainful of Nowak's coaching and decisions and wants out of Philadelphia. The source also stated that it appears that the feeling is mutual and that Nowak's removal of Arrieta as the feature right back (and subsequent disuse of Arrieta for the remainder of the season) was the result of that as well.
Prior to this development, Arrieta's status for the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft was highly speculated, as he was expected to be a fringe player to be amongst the 11 protected by the Union. With this development the Union will decide solely amongst captain Danny Califf (centerback), Michael Orozco-Fiscal (centerback/fullback), Sheanon Williams (fullback), Toni Stahl (centerback), Jordan Harvey (fullback) and Juan Diego Gonzalez (centerback) for their protected defensive players.
The Union signed Arrieta based on the potential that he displayed with the Puerto Rican Islanders of USL-I. There Arrieta won two straight USL Defender of the Year awards and also won Most Valuable Player in 2009. The 29 year-old Arrieta was not able to hang onto his starting right back role and taken out of this role about halfway into the season. Instead of Arrieta, Nowak went with loaned-in fullback Orzco-Fiscal. Orozco-Fiscal went on to hold the position until the Union signed current starting right back Williams. Arrieta was not able to regain his starting role even after Orozco-Fiscal moved into the center of defense or after the young Williams was signed. For the season Arrieta appeared in 16 games for the Union, starting 15 of them, playing for 1343 minutes and recording 8 shots of which 3 shots were on goal, committing 16 fouls, suffered 10 fouls and 5 yellow cards.