Sea of Tranquillo: Barnetta trains with Union
|Tranquillo Barnetta was excited at Schalke last season, |
but he's looking to move on. (AP)
The Swiss winger trained with the club Friday and is weighing up interest from the Union against several reported offers in Europe. He was physically at practice (Video evidence here and here.)
“He’s here seeing if Philadelphia and MLS is a fit,” Union technical director Chris Albright said. “It’s a player whose pedigree I think speaks for itself. You look at his resume playing in the last three World Cups and playing in the Bundesliga. We’re hopeful that we can get it over the line, but right now, it’s a feeling-out process.”
Barnetta, 30, has been capped 75 times by the Swiss National Team, playing in each of the last three World Cups. His career blossomed at age 20 with German club Bayer Leverkusen, and in 2012, he moved to Schalke 04, a move that hasn’t worked out quite as well including a loan stint at Eintract Frankfurt. He brings a bevy of Champions League experience.
“He’s a good player,” Jim Curtin said. “He’s making a big decision right now. You can see his quality in training, obviously, and on the world stage for Switzerland and at Schalke in big games. It doesn’t take a genius when you do a scouting report on him, the first game that pops up is against Real Madrid in the Champions League. He’s a quality player, a guy we’ve obviously very interested in and we hope to wear this badge.”
Barnetta’s age makes him an attractive target. He fills a need as providing wing depth, especially now that the trade of Sheanon Williams to Houston Thursday leaves the Union shorthanded at the fullback spot.