How long can the Union keep Andre Blake in Philly?
Jordan Wohl: I'm not sure. I figure unless someone wows them with an offer, they'll hold onto him as long as they can. He is one of their few coveted assets. He's one of the best keepers in the league, he's young, he's a starting goalkeeper for his international team and, overall, he's just very very good.
It comes down to this: Is this team better off with Blake in goal, but with little assets elsewhere or is it worth getting that large transfer sum and using that money to rebuild the squad from the bottom up? It's hard to say, but the answer to this dilemma is going to have to come sooner rather than later if Blake puts in another heroic effort to help win Jamaica the Gold Cup.
John Rossi: The Union will keep him unless and until they receive a transfer fee that they deem appropriate. Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart has admitted as much in the past. At the moment, Blake’s value is sky-high: He’s the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and has starred in Jamaica’s return to the Gold Cup Final. If the Union want to sell the 26-year-old, now (or this winter) is the perfect time.
If the Union decide to make Blake part of the furniture, they’d likely have to part with their wallets to do so. He’s currently making $186,500 on a Generation adidas contract that will either end next year or the year after that. Any potential new deal would rightly approach the Designated Player threshold. Do the Union want to splash a few million dollars on a goalkeeper who’s had two knee surgeries but is still on the right side of 30? Or would they rather ship him off for a few million and reinvest that money in new players, his replacement among them? That’s the question Earnie Stewart, Chris Albright, and Jim Curtin will have to answer.
How many mistakes must Ray Gaddis make before he stops playing?
Jordan: Gaddis is exactly the same player he has been for his entire stint with the Union. Solid/decent defensively, but relatively little going forward. For some reason, the coaching staff must see more in Gaddis versus Rosenberry. Keegan hasn't made a start in MLS since April 14th. Most of us thought the second-year player would be benched to get his head straight for a couple games. However, I certainly didn't see that as the last time we would see Rosenberry in an MLS start this season.
Keegan Rosenberry, at his best, is a better player than Gaddis. I think that is a fair statement. But from what we saw so far this season from Keegan, he has been pretty far away from his best. I still think Keegan should be starting; it's time to give him that chance again. We'll see what happens. The season is more than halfway over and the team is kind of still mediocre, why not switch it up a bit?
John: Beats me. I also figured that Gaddis would only start for a few games just to remind Rosenberry that his spot in the first team is not assured, but that clearly hasn’t been the case. Gaddis is listed as questionable with a hamstring strain for tonight’s game, though. Sounds like a pretty good reason for Curtin to slide Rosenberry back into the lineup.
Will Jay Simpson score another goal this year?
Jordan: No. Jay Simpson will likely go down as the Union's annual swing-and-a-miss during offseason transfer window. (see: Aristeguieta, Fernando; Vitoria, Steven; Ilsinho). He's probably not being played in his preferred role as a striker. I don't think he is a lone striker type and is more of a poacher. I could be wrong, but I haven't see much to disprove that this year so far.
John: Yea, maybe one or two. He’ll still go down as a failure, though, and through minimal fault of his own. It’s been clear from the start that a one-striker system is not conducive to his style of play, and now the Union are saddled with his half-million-dollar-per-year contract. Let’s hope Jay Simpson is not with the Philadelphia Union next year, for the sake of both the player and the club.
Should any Union players have made the MLS All-Star team?
Jordan: Speaking of Blake from above, I'd say he has a case over Tim Howard and Stefan Frei (Not withstanding that ridiculous snub of Sporting Kansas City's Tim Melia). Other than Blake, it is really hard to look at any player on this roster and say that they deserve to be in the All-Star Game. Yes, the All-Star Game is a popularity contest, but most of the players there probably deserve it.
John: Like Jordan said, Blake probably has a better claim to an All-Star spot than Howard and Frei, as do other goalkeepers. I’d even say that Oguchi Onyewu and Jack Elliott should have been in the discussion to feature on the All-Star back line, considering that they, with Blake, have anchored a top-five MLS defense to this point in the season.
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