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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Training notes: In with the new, out with the old

The chemistry between Chris Pontius, left, and Charlie Davies, center,
goes back to their days with D.C. United in 2011. The hope is that it carries
over to the Union. (AP)
The Philadelphia Union were among the most active teams in the last day of the summer transfer window and beyond, with Alejandro Bedoya and Charlie Davies coming in and Sebastien Le Toux heading out, with all manner of MLS financial devices switching hands.

What did all that mean at Union training Thursday? Some reaction from Chester:

- Davies, acquired from New England Thursday morning some eight hours after the close of the transfer window, will arrive late Thursday. He played last week for New England after three months out for what was revealed to be cancer treatment for a disease now in remission and will likely be available for selection Saturday at D.C. United.

- Bedoya, coming in from French club Nantes, will meet the team in D.C. He’s ramping up his fitness from the European preseason, and manager Jim Curtin said Bedoya played 60 minutes in a friendly this week. But the travel calendar makes it unlikely he’ll debut Saturday.

- The Union, Curtin said, are not done in the summer window. Though the MLS secondary window is closed, teams can still add out-of-contract players in the coming weeks ahead of a mid-September roster deadline that is hard and fast. Curtin said, “there are a few trialists that will be coming in for the next few weeks,” primarily on defense. Expect a long-term solution at left back to be one of the top priorities. The Union have one roster spot to play with.

- Both of the Union’s moves were attacking in nature, for a team that has struggled mightily in giving up goals. Here was Curtin’s reaction when that apparent conflict was posed:
“It does need to be said that as you do improve with the ball, the other team can’t score. So we need to improve that part of things. Getting Alejandro, while he is a great attacking player, he will do the defensive running that strengthens our team in that regard. Our breakdowns right now, we are still looking. … We don’t neglect what our weaknesses are. I think we have a good idea what our weaknesses are and what we need to improve.”
- One of the selling points on both deals was the promise of instant chemistry. Bedoya and Davies are close friends, and both are connected to other Union players, like Chris Pontius and Maurice Edu, though the U.S. Soccer network. Blending those two into the side should be easier and yield more immediate benefits than, say, a marquee foreign signing. From captain Brian Carroll:
“Obviously that helps. It continues the chemistry that we already have going and the team spirit that we already have going. And they’re players that you know you can count on. You now they’re going to contribute and you know they’re going to help the group in every way possible. In a lot of different ways, it bolsters our group and makes us stronger going forward.”
Or, put another way: 

A video posted by Maurice Edu (@mauriceedu) on

- The flipside of the deals is the emotion of losing Le Toux to Colorado. Curtin said he hadn’t spoken to the Frenchman about the move, though Earnie Stewart did. Le Toux said his goodbyes to the team Thursday morning. Carroll:
“Obviously with Seba, he’s very close to all of us and he’s provided a lot for this club. So that’s a little different. But in order to do everything that we can to get where we want to be this season, there’s some sacrifices that need to be made when you need to bring in some more pieces to bolster the group going down the stretch. Love Seba, love everything he’s done for the club, but that’s just part of it.”
- Andre Blake trained more extensively Thursday, working through what Curtin termed Wednesday “a minor groin injury” sustained in the MLS All-Star Game. It’s a good thing that he’s able to go, since Matt Jones is missing with a knee sprain that will cost him two weeks or so.   

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Blogger Suseela Susiee said...

What an awesome post, I just read it from start to end. Learned something new after a long time.

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August 10, 2016 at 10:43 AM 

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