Home > Philadelphia Union > Philadelphia Union 2010–The Good, the Bad, and the Young

Philadelphia Union 2010–The Good, the Bad, and the Young

Roger Torres

Roger Torres typifies the youth, uncertainty, and great potential in the Union's roster this season.

Now that we’ve finished our preseason recap, let’s take a look at some things that worry us and excite us going into Thursday’s opener against Seattle.

Things to worry about:

Red cards: The Union received six total red cards in the pre-season, including three in the game versus Dallas. Much of this has been attributed to card-happy referees, but it’s still troublesome. A hard-working and hard-fighting team is my kind of team. But the players need to straddle the line between hard-tackle and foul very carefully during the regular season–especially with the lack of depth on the roster.

Youth: We’re excited about Roger Torres, but at just 18 this kid is young. With Mwanga (18), Okugo (18), and McInerny (17), one has to worry about the lack of veterans on the team—especially in the midfield. Speaking of which . . .

Midfield: Stefan Miglioranzi and Fred are the only players with extensive MLS experience. Of these two, Miglioranzi is injury prone, and Fred has been inconsistent in recent seasons. A big international signing for the midfield—especially on the wings—would have been a big help.

Offense: We’re big fans of Sebastien Le Toux, but surprised to see him starting so many games in the preseason. Le Toux played the super sub role for the Sounders last season, so his recent starts are probably more an indication of just how thin the Union’s offense is, rather than his own improvement. Again, the team has a lot of talent at the position in Mwanga and McInerney, but really lack a quality, experienced striker. Moreno is OK but with only one goal for every five MLS appearances, he’s not somebody on whom we can depend up front.

Designated Player: Where is he?

Things to be happy about:

Red cards: All those red signs are a good sign of the team’s fighting spirit. Let’s just hope the players channel it in the right direction.

Youth: The Union may have the best youth contingent in MLS. So, yes, this will frustrate us in season one, but will pay off huge in the future. And I will say again that I think Baby Jack McInerney will dominate MLS scoreboards in two or three years.

Defense: The Union’s back line in Orozco, Califf, Thomas, and Harvey is solid, experienced—and just may be one of the best in MLS this season.

Roger Torres: As a trialist, El Cid elbowed his way into the lineup pretty quickly. That’s saying something for an 18-year-old. And the fact that, at such a young age, he’s already started in 15 games for America de Cali (his team in Colombia) isn’t anything to sneeze at. We’re crossing our fingers in the hope that Torres is the real deal, and can contribute even at such a young age.

Designated Player: The fact that Nowak still hasn’t signed a DP is frustrating–but also encouraging. It means that the careful, conservative manager hasn’t found anyone for whom he’s willing to break the bank. Nowak won’t just sign any big name international. He wants someone who will contribute from day one–and will be worth the hefty price tag.

Any thoughts?
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