Yesterday afternoon the Philadelphia Union signed center back Steven Vitoria on loan for the 2015 MLS season. A much needed addition with the loan of Carlos Valdes to Nacional of Uruguay. At a massive 6 feet and 5 inches tall, there is something the Union have never really had along their back line: Impressive height. It would seem the Union can't be criticized for some fine business done as they acquire Vitoria from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica and at an age where he isn't yet considered to be in the twilight of his career.
Now this doesn't solve the need for a striker, but what it does is restores that flexibility in the back that was there prior to the Valdes fiasco. Although the signing isn't that much coveted striker, its hard to fault the Union for making the call to sign this guy. Vitoria will open the door for Maurice Edu to shift back into the midfield, his preferred position, while (hopefully) leaving the Union less susceptible to the defensive breakdowns that occurred with Edu further up the field.
Presumably the Union will solve another riddle that has plagued them for five seasons. With a 6'5" frame, it must be assumed Vitoria will come into the team with above average aerial ability. The mystery of set piece defender has perplexed the Union as much as the idea that it has seemed to be unfixable has perplexed me. Vitoria will give the Union not only security on defense, but add to the firepower of a Union side when performing their own set pieces.
We waited quite a while for the Union's first international transfer. The next step? Wait for another one. Rumor has it that there's a striker in the works, although this would not be the first time this rumor has been around. Until then let's hope Vitoria meshes well with his newfound team mates and settles into what could be a strong back four for the 2015 season.