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Some clarification about the Union's International Slots

The Brotherly Game received confirmation from the Union Front office about the status of the team's international roster spots.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe this is just me, but I've been really bothered by how difficult it is to figure out who on the Philadelphia Union qualifies as an international player and who doesn't. And, perhaps more importantly, how many international roster spots we have left after the dust settles. The MLS website says that the Union only have four international roster spots filled, while Philly Soccer Page tweeted that Josh Yaro and Fabian Herbers will take up an additional two international roster spots. Neither tells us how many spots are left afterwards. 

So which one is correct? The Brotherly Game asked the Union Front Office for some clarification. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the MLS roster page is the incorrect one and Philly Soccer Page was indeed correct that Joshua Yaro and Fabian Herbers will count as international players on the roster. The MLS website is correct in listing the rest of the international players. 

So, once and for all, these are the Union's international players (so far) for the 2016 season: 

1) Tranquillo Barnetta
2) Vincent Nogueira
3) Anderson Conceição
4) Eric Ayuk
5) Joshua Yaro
6) Fabian Herbers 

But, more importantly, how many spots do they have left? Just one. Each team starts with 8, and last season they traded one to Houston Dynamo when they sent Sheanon Williams over for Allocation Money

You might be asking yourself why this is important. Well, for a team with only 20 of 28 roster spots filled (23 if you include the unsigned draft picks), this team needs to get it's remaining players from somewhere. Jim Curtin has confirmed that they are actively looking for a striker, and CBS3's Kevin Kinkead reported that they were willing to spend as much as a million on that striker. Knowing that information, it seems likely that this striker is going to come from abroad, filling that final international spot. But what about the other remaining four to seven spots (depending on the status of the draft picks)? 

Well, there's always the possibility that some of the younger internationals could be loaned down to Bethlehem Steel, which would open up an international spot or two, but it still doesn't solve the incomplete roster problem. The Union could fill the striker position with a player from within the league, which Jim Curtin mentioned was a possibility during a recent interview. I have no idea what Designated Player level striker could be for sale within MLS, but with rumors of a Kei Kamara contract dispute, I suppose anything is possible. It's also feasible that the Union could be looking to sign a returning USMNT player (Aaron Johannsson, anyone?), but looking at the pool of players available, this seems pretty unlikely. If they manage that, it would leave an international spot open for another player, but that's still only one more player. 

Frankly, your guess is as good as anyone else's when it comes to how the Union will fill out the rest of their roster. Got any ideas? Leave them in the comments!