clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 Depth Chart: Wingers

New, 1 comment

The Philadelphia Union have upgraded at both left and right wing positions. We look at who should be playing and where they should fall in the hierarchy.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Winger was one of the areas that needed the most attention going into the offseason, and the Philadelphia Union have upgraded on the position quite a bit. Is there still room for improvement? Perhaps, but the Union are more talented and deeper (at least on the right) than they were in 2015.

Left Wing

  1. Tranquillo Barnetta - Barnetta is a left wing by trade, and manager Jim Curtin has said that Roland Alberg will take over the number ten spot, leaving Barnetta as the undisputed number one choice at left wing. In his 11 appearances in MLS in 2015, Barnetta contributed a goal and three assists. Look for him to improve upon those totals this season.
  2. Roland Alberg - While Alberg will primarily be the Union's central attacking midfielder, he is also able to play left wing. Because of the lack of depth at LW (and the many options at CAM), look for Alberg to slide left if Barnetta is expected to miss time due to injury or suspension.
  3. Leo Fernandes - Can he play left wing? Sure. Should he play left wing? If Barnetta and Alberg can't go, then since they don't have anyone to call up from Bethlehem Steel FC that can play LW at the moment then sure.

Right Wing

  1. Chris Pontius - Why Pontius over Le Toux? Simply speaking, it's money. The Union are paying Pontius Designated Player money (bought down by Targeted Allocation Money), and you have to imagine he's not getting paid that much to ride the pine. That being said, this is very much Pontius' job to lose. The Union are deep at right wing, and I can see him being seated over a bad stretch.
  2. Sebastien Le Toux - The face of the Union is heading into a season in a place he's perhaps unfamiliar with - one where he's not guaranteed a starting job and is in fact projected not to be a starter. That being said, don't count Seba out. He's still got plenty of gas in the tank, and if Pontius gets hit with the injury bug again Seba will seamlessly fit into the offense.
  3. Walter Restrepo - Restrepo was added from the New York Cosmos in January and while listed as a central attacking midfielder, he has played on the wing for the cosmos as well as with the Union during the 2016 spring camp. Look for him to be a bench option, most likely starting should there be injuries that force Pontius or Le Toux to change position.
  4. Eric Ayuk - The 19 year old Cameroonian did well in every opportunity he was given in 2015, so look for him to seize any opportunity that comes his way. While he may get more minutes in Bethlehem this year, the talented right winger has the potential to be a very good player in MLS in the near future.
  5. Cole Missimo - The recently signed Missimo is a project - he's got talent but it's raw and unpolished. Look for him to compete for minutes at Bethlehem Steel FC.
  6. Seku Conneh - The 20 year old Liberian spent his youth career in the Netherlands, spending time at the renowned Ajax academy among others. He has 45 first team appearances between FC Oss and Fortuna Sittard in the Jupiler (Second) Division, and he could very well wind up working his way from Bethlehem to Chester.

*Note: Ilsinho is not included in this because at the time of this writing he is a trialist. Should the Union sign him, expect him to push everyone on the right down a slot.