Doop roundup: Andre Blake is staying in Philly, Union sign two new coaches, & match times released

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Andre Blake is staying in Philly! He signed a multi-year deal to be with the union for years to come. The Union also solidified their coaching staff by adding two new coaches. All this and more in this edition of Doop Roundup!

Dre stays:

Philly’s best player is staying put for the foreseeable future. Andre Blake has been the Union’s best player for two full seasons. Now he’s ready to get back to work and take on more in Philly. Blake said to the press: “I’m looking forward to spending more time with the team & when I’m ready I’ll lead in my own way & I’ll definitely try to lead with my performance on the field & the way I carry myself off the field. If I’m put in the role to lead the team, whenever it is, I’ll be ready.” Andre seems focused on giving his all for this club, which should make many fans rest easier.

Sources have speculated on the timeframe of the deal, and it looks to be a three-year deal with a fourth year option. To some, this may seem like no big deal, Blake was already under contract so why extend his time in Philly? Blake has expressed his desire to play here, while European teams may be calling for his services, Andre expressed no interest in moving at this time. “Right now my main focus is Philadelphia. I’m not worried about the future.” said Blake about European callers. This is a win-win for Philly. Blake wants to be here, but if his value skyrocket’s and European teams do come calling, the Union will be able to bring in a transfer fee for him.

All in all, this could be the biggest signing of this off-season. The Union retain their best players for years to come, and also can gain from his departure should he want to move to european football in the future!

Noonan and Hanley added to coaching staff:

The Union’s coaching staff now is ready for 2018. The two vacancies are now filled the week before the start of preseason. Both coaches were praised by Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin. Stewart said of the coaches “Pat and Tim add many years of playing and coaching experience to our staff, and most importantly, they each have extensive backgrounds in Major League Soccer.”

Breaking down each coach, Stewart said: “Pat, for his young age, is very experienced and brings an offensive-minded way of thinking to our staff.” This is a very important statement, as the team has been defensive minded for many years now under Curtin; look for Noonan to help pick up the tempo in training/games this season! Earnie went on to say: “Meanwhile, the depth of MLS knowledge that Tim brings throughout his work in our league will help our goalkeepers reach their full potential.” Hanley has coached in MLS since 1997. He’s helped championship goalkeepers for San Jose, and Houston. He also coached keepers to three goalkeeper of the year awards over a four-year span from 2002-2005. His addition will be a welcome sight for 2016 keeper of the year Andre Blake, and the two quality back-ups McCarthy and Mcguire.

These coaches are ready to hit the ground running in 2018. The Union now have a strong defensive minded coach in Jim Curtin, a strong offensive minded coach in Pat Noonan, and a strong goalkeepers coach in Tim Hanley. The Union’ coaching staff now has balance and shape, soon the team will take shape.

Union release times of matches:

The Union released their official match times for their 2018 matches as well earlier this week. Of those games 27 of the 34 games are after the time of 5:00 PM EST. This is more than usual. Get ready for a lot of night games in 2018 Union fans!

The Union are starting to address the vacant spots on this team. With only four days until the start of preseason, the Union have a lot more ground to cover to put all the pieces of this team together!

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Tim Lovenguth

Matt McClain

Jeff Green

Peace out Union fans!

Mandatory Credit:  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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