Despite the eerie quiet on the transfer rumor front, Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin said there will be players coming in ahead of the 2021 season in an interview with Joe Tansey on the Union Soccer Podcast.
“Certainly there will be replacements for (Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie,” Curtin said. “But you’re not going to get the exact qualities of the players we lost so again you have to find different guys that will be brought in that will do a job. And certainly we are still actively pursuing players to come in and help us but we also believe in the group that is here.”
The transfer window for MLS, which was supposed to open earlier this week, has reportedly been moved to March 10 and will remain open until June 1. The regular season will start April 17, but the Union kick off their Concacaf Champions League campaign with a trip to Costa Rica the first full week of April.
The Union have added just five players to the roster — all previously announced homegrown deals — and signed new contracts with Jose Martinez, Kai Wagner and Cory Burke.
Veterans Joe Bendik and Aurelien Collin are out of contract but their 2021 status has not been announced. Not counting them, there are 24 players on the roster. The Union used 26 of the available 30 roster spots in 2020. Warren Creavalle, Andrew Wooten and Michee Ngalina departed along with Aaronson and McKenzie.
“I don’t want to put any unfair pressure on the (homegrown players) that are coming in,” Curtin said. “You’re replacing two best XI guys and I don’t want to put too much on them but certainly some players will come in and help us out, we know that.”
Curtin covered a number of other topics on the podcast, including the Champions League, the incoming homegrown players and more. Listen to the full episode on SoundCloud.