Blogs > Union Tally

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Let me sum up: Postseason assessments from Union brass

Union sporting director Earnie Stewart had plenty to say
Wednesday in evaluating players for 2017 and beyond.
(DFM file)
Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin spoke for 45 minutes Wednesday afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium. The discussion got very big-picture and very granular at times. There’s plenty to parse out of the many informative digressions, and I’ll post a full transcript later (after I recover from the transcription).

But first, let’s hit the high notes, rapid-fire, player by player to offer the postseason assessment from Curtin and/or Stewart. So here goes:

- First, Roland Alberg, who Tuesday was introduced by CSKA Sofia. Here’s Stewart: “In the conversations I did have with the agent, it never really materialized that there was going to be a substantial transfer fee, so we would’ve maybe looked at that option. It wasn’t something that was there.”

Stewart had more praise for the Dutchman: “When you look at Roland Alberg and his biggest quality, anything that gets close to the 18-yard-box, everything gets on target. Even though he’s a midfielder, I want to say he’s one of the best scorers that we have out there. I’d say his role was very good. When we talk about possession and we talk about touches on the ball and having that, that’s something that we knew we did want to add that special part of Roland to the group, but now that we’re transitioning and trying to go a little further in, we came to the conclusion that the (salary) number that he was at, it wasn’t the right fit or the option number that was there.”

- Andre Blake, via Stewart: “In the offseason, because I remember we talked about Andre Blake, and I can still and will say there were no offers for Andre Blake. That doesn’t mean that there was no interest for him, but not that we were aware of.”

- Here's Curtin on Keegan Rosenberry: "A very good young player that we strongly believe in. Every player goes through highs and lows, peaks and valleys in their development. Again, if you think to when he was selected, obviously the Homegrown issue comes up, but at the same time, we were maybe crazy for doing so from the public perception, and then he went on to a very quick rise: All-Star in his first year, playoff team, U.S. national team player. So a really high high. This year there was the feeling of a low low for him. So again, we have full confidence that he can bounce back quickly. If he as great as the guaranteed, penciled-in, right back starting national team player? Maybe not. But he’s also not defined by just how this year went. So again a developing young player that is a very, very strong right back, an important position because we like to attack with our outside backs. But when you talk about development, there’s on-the-field development, there’s off-the-field development, there’s handling success, there’s handling the down times. These are all part of growth, and to now write him off and say that his development has stopped is silly, because now if he bounces back and we’re a playoff team next year and he’s starting again and is an All-Star, did we all of a sudden redevelop him? I don’t think that’s the case either. ... We believe in him. He has all the tools, all the assets on the field to be a good player, and we’ll pull that out of him. I know he’s going to attack this offseason with a chip on his shoulder, come back ready to go."

- Let’s hand the mic to Curtin for appraising Derrick Jones: “People will look negatively on his season, and that’s not the case. The kid first of all played in the U-20 World Cup where he wasn’t a starter, worked his way into the starting lineup in the competition and dominated some of the games in that competition and had a pretty successful World Cup. He then came with us and wound up starting at the beginning of the year and was one of the better players on the field for us. We see Derrick every day in training; he’s getting better and better. It’s not his fault that he doesn’t start quite yet over Alejandro Bedoya, who plays for the United States, and Haris Medunjanin, who plays for Bosnia. That’s not on Derrick. We still see the positives day in and day out.”

- And on Auston Trusty (bit of a head-scratcher here): “People will say, ‘oh he didn’t play enough this year for the first team.’ His trajectory right now is going perfectly. We love the 34 games he got in USL, showing that he can be a dominant center back, a left-footed dominant center back. Will he now look at the roster moves and see, yeah maybe a little bit now has been cleared for a Trusty, for a Derrick just by evaluating our current roster.”

- On leaving the door open for Ilsinho, whose option was among eight declined. Stewart again: “There are certain players on that roster that we have not picked up an option that we are still interested in, and I dare say that Ilsinho is one of those players.”

- While we’re in Brazil, what about Fabinho? From Stewart: “Left backs and left-center backs are like dinosaurs; you don’t see too many of them. And I don’t reference to his age – we already spoke of that. To have a good left back – and I still consider Fabi as a left back in the league that we have this rating system of ours where he still rates very high. I think that answers the question.”

- For me, Fabian Herbers was the puzzler in the options pack. Part of it is his graduation from Generation Adidas, meaning the Union want a friendly salary now that he’s hitting their cap. Here’s what Stewart said: “We still believe in Fabian Herbers. It’s always a difficult discussion to have with players where you decline the options, and for those here, he had a GA status the last two years and once we had taken the option, the GA status was gone so he had to come on to our roster. So it had more to do with the roster itself and the number, but we are still high on Fabian Herbers. We’re looking forward to him being part of the 2018 team.”

- On Josh Yaro, from Curtin: “People will point to a red card or a technical mistake or a penalty kick or an own goal or a missed trap and see just that moment. The kid was injured this year. Again, no one wants to talk about the fact that he missed the first four and a half months of the season. Injury is a hard time to develop. It’s a lonely time to develop, and you’re by yourself. We can do our best as a staff and try to make everyone feel involved, but when you’re hurt, it is brutal. You’re alone, you’re isolated and dealing with the mental side of that is something that he had to do this year. He got opportunities to get back in. He played some very good games, but had key moments where there was a technical mistake. Can those be fixed? Absolutely.”

- Curtin on Oguchi Onyewu, whom the former defender seems sad to see leave: “A guy that we brought in for his experience to pass on messages to our younger guys, a player that came into a new environment, had been off for several years and stepped in and gave us everything. It’s a hard conversation at the end of the year, but he did everything that Earnie and I could’ve asked of him. He gave good minutes, was a big part of a lot of our wins this year. … It’s hard, but at the same time, we wish him success going forward, and we thank him for his contributions to our team.”

- No need for a quote here: Chris Pontius won’t be coming back. He’s a free agent after two (mostly successful) seasons.

- Giliano Wijnaldum also won’t be back. Here’s why, from Stewart (read between the lines if you please): “Giliano, especially for the money that he was on on our roster, he got to a level that he took the job over from Fabinho and lost it again. That’s something that’s always been in Giliano’s career path, I almost want to say. He’s a very talented kid, he’s very athletic, he pretty much has everything, but to stay consistent is something that he needs to do. That’s the part that we did not see in this season, that consistency that was there. Some discussions that Jim and I had with him in the beginning of the season, ‘that’s what we want to see from you day in and day out,’ not only because I realize that for a lot of players, it’s all about output in games, but for us as a technical staff, it goes way further than that. It’s day in, day out on the training field, too.”

- Nothing much on Eric Ayuk (remember him?) from Stewart: “It’s real easy when our players are here and you can have a conversation. We haven’t had a conversation with him since the season ended, so I’d like to do that first.”

- On rumors of Mike Sorber’s departure, from Stewart: “I’m not aware of that, so up till now, we’re talking to Jim and we were talking about his coaching staff, so we see how we’ll fill that out. But Mike hasn’t come to us to say that he’s going, so up to today, the rest of the coaching staff will stay.” Oka Nikolov, however, is the latest to disembark the Union goalkeeping coach carousel.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Abitha Chetna said...

Thanks for sharing these information.Bigdata is very nice topic.We are providing online training classes.This is just the kind of information.

Selenium Training in Chennai

January 8, 2018 at 2:48 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home