Major League Soccer released its list of free agents yesterday, and there were some intriguing names on the list. While none of the 37 names on the list belonged to a current Philadelphia Union player, there were some names on the list the Union should at least take a look at - including a couple of former Union players. Below are seven free agents, and the good and bad aspects of bringing them to the Union.
- Sebastien Le Toux - Right Wing: Let’s just get this one out of the way, shall we? The Union sent Le Toux to Colorado in order to get allocation money to sign Charlie Davies. Le Toux had a decent rest of the season with Colorado, making it to the Western Conference Finals. Pros: Le Toux is loved in this city, and rumor has it that he did not want to leave. The Union platooned Ilsinho and Fabian Herbers last season on the right, and they’d do well to improve that area if at all possible. Cons: Le Toux was rated behind both Ilsinho and Herbers, so there’s no guarantee he’d rate above either in 2017. It might not be the best fit for either Le Toux or the Union.
- Dominic Oduro - Right Wing: If you’re looking for an upgrade over Ilsinho and Herbers on the right, Oduro might just be the man you’re looking for. Pros: He had six goals and six assists with the Montreal Impact last season, and the guy whose twitter handle is @Freakyfast8 is showing no signs of slowing down. Cons: Oduro will be 32 next season, and when you rely on speed as much as he does age has to be a consideration.
- Nat Borchers - Center Back: Center back is a position of need, and there are several viable options in this year’s class of free agents. Borchers won an MLS Cup in 2009 with Real Salt Lake and again in 2015 with the Portland Timbers. Pros: A rock solid center back, Borchers was an integral player in the TImbers defense over the past two seasons. Cons: Borchers will be 36 next season, and he saw his playing time drop by almost 1,000 minutes from 2015 to 2016.
- Jeff Larentowicz - Center Back: Larentowicz has had a great career in MLS, and the Union could have used a veteran defensive presence in 2015 with three rookies. Pros: While Keegan Rosenberry, Josh Yaro, and Ken Tribbett all have a year under their belts, having a guy who won an MLS Cup on the back line would be a huge asset. He’s also from the West Chester area. Cons: Larentowicz will be 34 next season and didn’t play but 17 games this season. While he could be a good depth piece, his arrival would mean the Union are all in on either Yaro or Tribbett working out at center back next season.
- Corey Ashe - Left Back: With Fabinho’s drop in form in 2016, it would behoove the Union to at least look at reliable options at left back. Ashe would be that reliable option, having started 14 games for Columbus last season. Pros: At 30, Ashe is still younger than Fabinho and has a better MLS resume. Cons: It’s a bit disconcerting that Ashe has only played in 27 games in the past three seasons, being replaced by DaMarcus Beasley in Houston, Brek Shea in Orlando, and Waylon Francis in Columbus.
- Will Johnson - Central Midfielder: With the anticipated move of Alejandro Bedoya into the central attacking midfield position in 2017, the Union will need a good box-to-box midfielder. Johnson’s play was a large part of Toronto FC’s ascendance from a team that eked into the playoffs into being a penalty kick away from a championship. Pros: Johnson’s credentials are impressive, winning MLS Cups with Real Salt Lake and Portland while narrowly missing one with TFC this season. He’s still got gas in the tank at just 29. Cons: Johnson started just 19 games in 2016, platooning with Armando Cooper.
- Herculez Gomez - Forward: Another player with a wealth of experience in a position of need, Herc is fresh off of winning the MLS Cup with Seattle. Pros: Gomez made $62,500 in 2016, which is an absolute steal for a player with his pedigree. Cons: Getting Gomez would mean the Union are sold on CJ Sapong being the main striker for the club. While I could see Gomez in a backup role, I don’t think he’s the best option as the starter in the Union’s lone striker setup.
Anyone here stick out to you? Anyone on the list that should have been on there? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.