The last time the Philadelphia Union made the playoffs was 2011, in what was the club’s second season of existence. The Union were soundly bounced by a more experienced Houston Dynamo squad, and then the dark days of Peter Nowak and Nick Sakiewicz fell upon us. But at that time, things were great. Whatever happened to that team? (Please note - Jordan Harvey, Carlos Ruiz, and Chris Agorsor are not included here because they were not on the Union’s playoff roster.)
1 GK Faryd Mondragon He’s big! He’s quick! He was the Union’s star goalkeeper and a harbinger of the goalkeeper-go-round to come for the Union. A player with an impeccable international pedigree, Mondragon abruptly left after the 2011 season to return to his native Colombia. He finished his pro career with Deportivo Cali and made an appearance in the 2014 World Cup as the oldest player to represent his country in the tournament. He currently does television commentary.
2 CB Joe Tait The Englishman signed with the Union in September 2011 and never made an appearance for the first team. After the season he returned to England to play in the Northern Football League Division One (ninth division). He currently plays for Spennymoor Town FC in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (seventh division).
3 CB Juan Diego Gonzalez The Colombian had joined the club in 2010 and made seven starts, but didn’t play at all in 2011 despite being one of the club’s highest earners. After the 2011 season, Gonzalez was waived and retired from soccer.
4 CB Danny Califf The club’s first captain was the heart of the Union’s defense and a fan favorite before being traded to Chivas USA by Peter Nowak in 2012 for criticizing the way the Union were being run (which turned out to be pretty awful). Califf finished his pro career with Toronto FC, became a scout, played a couple of matches for local amateur side Bearfight FC, and now runs DC Sports in his native Southern California.
5 CB Carlos Valdes Valdes was the other center back in a formidable Union defense in 2011. He was technically with the Union through 2014, however only played in parts of 2012 and 2014. In between he was loaned to clubs in Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay before finally being shipped off to Santa Fe in Colombia where he played until the end of last year. He’s been without a club since the beginning of 2016.
6 MF Stefani Miglioranzi Migs was already at the tail end of his career when he came to the Union in 2010. By 2011, he only played in 11 games and his contract was not renewed. He now works as a sports agent, representing Sebastien Le Toux among other clients.
7 MF Brian Carroll The only remaining link between the 2011 squad, Carroll has been a workhorse for the club. He’s been the club captain and while he doesn’t get the minutes he once did, he currently platoons with Warren Creavalle at central defensive midfielder.
8 MF Roger Torres The diminutive Colombian was a fan favorite and had a great 2011 season, scoring three goals and adding two assists in under 1000 minutes. Torres blew out his knee at the start of the 2012 season and never fully recovered. He was released at the end of 2013 and headed back to Colombia, where he now plays for Alianza Petrolera.
9 FW Sebastien Le Toux Another fan favorite, Le Toux was the face of the franchise in 2011 when he set a club record with 14 goals. He was named MLS Player of the Month in September 2011, but was also another player that ran afoul of Peter Nowak and was shipped off in 2012. He returned in 2013 where he was a solid player for the Union. Earlier this year, Le Toux had been pushed down the depth chart and was eventually sent to the Colorado Rapids for General Allocation Money in part of the Union’s dealing to acquire Charlie Davies and Alejandro Bedoya.
10 FW Danny Mwanga The first ever SuperDraft pick by the Union, Mwanga had a great 2010 season but fell off considerably in 2011. He was released by the Union at the end of the season, played with the Portland Timbers for a year, and aside from a brief stint with Orlando City in 2015 has spent most of his career in NASL. He’s currently on loan with the Ottawa Fury from the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
11 MF Freddy Adu The Union welcomed Adu back to MLS in 2011, regretted it in 2012, and showed him the door in 2013. He since has played in Brazil, Finland’s first and second division, and NASL. When not selling vacuum cleaners on Twitter, Adu plays soccer for the Tampa Bay Rowdies who have also apparently tired of his nonsense, handing him just four appearances this season.
12 FW Levi Houapeu Houapeu was drafted by the Union in 2011 and never made an appearance for the club, blowing out his knee. He was released from the club and has played with the Baltimore Blast (indoor soccer) and Rochester Rhinos, where he last played in 2014. Houapeu is currently the U15 coach for Pachuca FC USA in suburban Washington, D.C.
13 MF Kyle Nakazawa Naka had a pretty good year with the Union in 2011, scoring his first (and only) professional goal with the club. He was traded in 2012 to the LA Galaxy where he won an MLS Cup. He retired in 2013 and is now a firefighter in California.
14 MF Amobi Okugo Another pick from the Union’s inaugural draft class, Okugo had a bit of an unremarkable 2011 playing in just 15 games for the Union. It wasn’t until 2012 when Okugo really made a name for himself with the Union, where he stayed with the club through 2014, when he was traded to Orlando City. Okugo since has featured for Orlando, Sporting Kansas City, and now plays with the Portland Timbers.
15 LB Gabriel Farfan Garfan was a decent utility player, who played left back as well as left wing for the Union. He made 51 appearances for the Union before being traded to Chivas USA for a SuperDraft pick (that the Union later traded to D.C. United to draft Andre Blake). Farfan played with Chiapas in Mexico in 2014 before returning to the United States and NASL in 2016. He currently plays with Miami FC.
16 MF Veljko Paunovic Another player on the 2011 Union with an impeccable international pedigree, Paunovic was brought out of retirement to play for the last half of the second season. After retiring at the end of the season, I asked him if he was going to go into coaching, to which he replied that he didn’t know what the future would bring. It brought him a U20 World Cup with his native Serbia in 2015 and a managerial job with the Chicago Fire in 2016.
17 MF Keon Daniel The lanky midfielder had a decent 2011 season before a visa issue forced him to remain in his native Trinidad and Tobago. He did have a breakout 2012 for the Union, however 2013 wasn’t so kind to Keon (or the Union, frankly) and Daniel was released in early 2014. He resurfaced in Poland later that year, where he still plays with Miedź Legnica.
18 GK Zac MacMath MacMath was drafted by the Union in 2011 (seriously, how did we not see all of the incoming goalkeeper issues with the Union?) and made a handful of appearances when Mondragon was injured. In 2012 he got the starting goalkeeper job, however in 2014 the Union drafted Andre Blake and brought in Rais M’Bolhi and the writing was on the wall. MacMath was loaned to Colorado in 2015 and was then traded at the end of the season for a 2017 SuperDraft pick
19 FW Jack McInerney McInerney had only a few appearances in 2011 at the ripe old age of 19. 2013 would be McInerney’s breakout season, where he scored 12 goals and got a call up to the United States National team. He was then traded to Montreal for Andrew Wenger in 2014, and currently plays with Okugo in Portland.
21 MF Michael Farfan Marfan was picked in the 2011 SuperDraft and joined his brother Gabriel with the club. Best known for scoring a wondergoal against Real Madrid, he had a solid 2011 for the Union. In December 2013, Marfan was sold to Mexico City side Cruz Azul, where he stayed until being released in July of the following year. He resurfaced with D.C. United in 2015 and currently plays with the Seattle Sounders.
22 LW Justin Mapp Mapp was another Union man who had a good 2011 season but was sent packing afterward. Mapp had three goals and four assists in 1861 minutes, but was left unprotected in the 2011 Expansion Draft and taken by the Montreal Impact, where he spent the next three seasons. In 2015, he became the first MLS player to sign as a free agent when he joined Sporting Kansas City.
23 RB Ryan Richter A Lehigh Valley native, Richter was selected in the Supplemental Draft but never played for the Union. He spent part of 2011 with the Harrisburg City Islanders before being released at the end of the season. After a season with the Charleston Battery, Richter went to Toronto FC for two seasons before joining the Ottawa Fury. He came back to the Union organization in late 2015 when he signed with Bethlehem Steel FC, where he was the club’s captain before being traded to the New York Cosmos in the waning weeks of the 2016 season.
24 GK Thorne Holder Holder was picked up on a free transfer, released on a free transfer, and then picked up again on a free transfer all in the same season.
25 RB Sheanon Williams Signed the year before from Harrisburg, Williams became a fixture on the Union defense in 2011. He remained a fan favorite until being traded to the Houston Dynamo in 2015, where he remains today.
26 MF Morgan Langley Langley joined the Union from the Harrisburg City Islanders in September 2011 and was released in January of 2012, playing in one match for seven minutes. He re-signed with Harrisburg and stayed there until 2014, when he went to Ireland to spend a season with St. Patrick’s Athletic. Out of soccer since the start of this year, Langley works at a commercial real estate firm in Philadelphia.
27 MF Zach Pfeffer 15 year old Pfeffer was the Union’s first player signed via the Homegrown Player mechanism in December 2010, and made three appearances in 2011. Pfeffer made a total of 30 appearances with the club before being traded to the Colorado Rapids in 2015 for a 2016 SuperDraft pick that was used to get Josh Yaro. Pfeffer meanwhile was loaned out twice in 2016, first to the Charlotte Independence and then to Colorado Switchbacks. FC.
31 GK Chase Harrison Harrison had spent a decent career between MLS and the USL when the Union picked him up late in 2011. He didn’t make an appearance with the Union in 2011, and was released and re-signed during the 2011-12 offseason. He remained with the Union during 2012 but made one appearance and was released for good. He is currently a goalkeeping coach in the Harrisburg area.
Editor’s note: In a previous version, we reported Chase Harrison had never made an appearance with the Union when he had started one match in 2012 against FC Dallas. Thanks to Steve Walton for pointing out our error.