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Sakiewicz, Curtin offer contradictory comments on M'Bolhi situation

I have run out of words to adequately describe the Union's goalkeeper situation. Perhaps it is time to let two of the fellas in charge tell me more.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Algerian World Cup starting goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi did not travel with the Philadelphia Union to Canada for Saturday's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Instead, the Union acquired Carolina RailHawks goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre on a short-term loan and brought in Trey Mitchell as an emergency back-up keeper.

Even though M'Bolhi has been less than stellar for the Union, surely a goalkeeper who started in World Cup games would get the start and help out his beleaguered club, right? Not so fast.This is where things get murky, as there is a very different message being sent by the Union's head coach than there is by the front office.

In an interview with Johnathan  Tannenwald, Coach Curtin was pretty clear on the reason behind M'Bolhi not traveling with the team to be their starting goalkeeper.

"He and I have a difference of philosophy right now," Curtin said. "He's not going to play any more games with us. He has a contract, so he'll be training by himself, separate from the team. We'll arrange for that at our facility, but it will be at a different time from when our team is training [and] he won't have any interaction with the group."

"I asked Curtin whether there was any particular incident that caused his relationship with Mbolhi to go off the rails.

'"There's no one incident to point to, it's just a combination of performance on the field, interactions in the locker room with the rest of the group, the whole package," Curtin said. "I made a decision. I still think he is a talented goalkeeper - there's no denying that. He has proven that on the World Cup stage. But on the club level with the Union right now, we've decided to move on."

This would seem to jive with what may in the fan base already got a sense of. M'Bolhi never spoke to the media, never greeted the fans when going towards his net in front of The River End, and rumors abounded that he was not a locker room favorite.

However, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz had a different story as to why M'Bolhi did not travel with the team as highlighted in Marc Naducci's column.

"He is earmarked for summer transfer," Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz said on Friday in a phone interview. "So due to potential injury, there is no reason for him to play."

If Jim Curtin had not made his comments on the situation, this could seem like a feasible reason to keep the salary heavy goalkeeper back in order to make what will already be a difficult sale to make happen when the transfer window opens. However, M'Bolhi playing and having a good game would do nothing but increase his value and that seems like a calculated risk to take for a team that wishes to get him off their roster so badly.

So now that question is--which narrative do you believe? Jim Curtin or Nick Sakiewicz? Personally, I am tired of the Union CEO blowing smoke. What the Union need more than anything right now is a clear direction and vision. The good of the club depends on it.

Let us know who you believe in the comments section below!