The available window to sign a player from abroad is quickly coming to a close. The Philadelphia Union have until next Wednesday to address any of the club’s weaknesses with a player playing in a foreign league, and speculation is mounting over if the Union will look to move for someone at all. The club would still be able to sign players from within MLS, so while there will still be options available for the Union, these options will be severely limited.
But who should the Union go after? What is their greatest position of need? The club most likely isn’t going to go after multiple players before the deadline, so I asked the staff here at Brotherly Game "If the Union were to make one more signing this transfer window, what position should they look to sign?" Here are their answers:
Andrew Stoltzfus: So torn on this one. If it's a starter it's gotta be defensive midfielder, but if it's going to be role player level then striker.
Nick Youngstein: Goalkeeper. Because Arsenal are going to abduct Andre Blake after the All-Star Game.
Matt Ralph: A replacement for Vincent Nogueira.
Nick: Yea, I'd also like a Nogueira replacement so that Tranquillo Barnetta can go back to central attacking midfield.
Andrew: So you're over Roland Alberg?
Nick: Moreso, I'm over them playing a 4-1-4-1. Alberg has been good, but Barnetta was better in the 10 role. I'd give Roland a chance on the right wing or backup striker.
Andrew: I think Barnetta is better suited for a wide role.
Nick: Either way, him in the holding role is not ideal for either himself or the integrity of the formation. I'd be fine with Barnetta playing in place of Ilsinho or Sebastien Le Toux and leaving Alberg at CAM.
Jared Young: Sticking with striker help.
Matt: Even though conceding goals has been a bigger issue than scoring them of late?
Jared: To me this is a function of the Union getting a little too optimistic about their midfield. It's more tactics than personnel. They need to focus on keeping their shape first, something did early in the year. They've lost their way. If they do that they'll need striker help.
Drew Gobrecht: Fabian Herbers has really impressed me with his last couple of performances. I think Maurice Edu will come back to play the 8 when he gets healthy, but I still think we need to see another piece added to the midfield, either the 6 or the 8, whichever position they'd prefer Mo not to play.
That being said, I still believe we need a depth piece at striker, preferably someone inexpensive, but can push Herbers for minutes.
Barry Evans: The more I've seen Barnetta struggle at the 8, and the team struggle too, the more we need a competent replacement for Noguiera. Add that along with a backup striker and experienced central defender and it will have been a fantastic window. If Edu is that 8 and does well then I'll accept that, but I am not sure he has the passing ability to replace Nogs.
Chris Allen: We need a number 8.
John Rossi: They need someone to play next to Edu in the midfield. With Nogueira gone, I'm not sure if he'll line up as the #6 or the #8, but neither Carroll nor Barnetta are optimal partners for Edu.
Alex Klein: Another center back. The defense has been too leaky.
These are all valid arguments honestly, however if it were me I’d focus on the Vincent Nogueira replacement. Tranquillo Barnetta is not a holding midfielder, and trying to force him in that role is not working out. Maurice Edu is far better suited in the 6 role in my opinion, and while the need for a striker is still there to some degree, a healthy CJ Sapong and and emerging Fabian Herbers suggest to me that this need is not as immediate.
What do you think is the Union’s biggest need? Take the poll and let us know in the comments section below!