Key Philadelphia Union players could be on the move; Accam and Sapong linked to FC Cincinnati

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Two Philadelphia Union players may be on the move to MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati. Reports this morning say that David Accam and CJ Sapong could be on their way out of Philadelphia. 

David Accam (Left) and CJ Sapong (Right) Celebrate a goal during the Union’s 2018 season opening game against New England Revolution.

This off-season seems to be one of the more active in Philadelphia Union history. Over the past few weeks there have been rumors circulating about possible players the Union could be bringing in. This morning, there have been more rumors about Philadelphia Union players, but these are about players who could be on the move. Two separate reports from GhanaSoccerNet.com say that David Accam and CJ Sapong are on their way to FC Cincinnati.

These reports may be surprising to some, but there have been sources out there saying that these moves could happen this off-season.

Source said Tanner could move three key Union players this off-season

These two moves were foretold by a mysterious source who contacted Crossing Broad’s Kevin Kinkead a few weeks ago. One of the main points the source talked about was that Ernst Tanner was not high on three key Union players; they were, David Accam, CJ Sapong and Haris Medunjanin. Other points also talked about how highly Tanner rates Brenden Aaronson and that the Union were looking for a DP Striker.

This source had also nailed information prior to this, saying that Steel FC would leave Lehigh University for the 2019 Season, that Jim Curtin would be the coach of the Union at the start of the 2019 season and that Ernst Tanner did not like the Union’s 4-2-3-1 formation. All of these things came to pass, and now the source seems to be spot on when talking about the Union moving from two of their key players.

Reports say Accam and Sapong are on their way to FC Cincinnati

This morning GhanaSoccerNet.com released the report that Cincinnati FC is interested in taking David Accam from the Union in the upcoming expansion draft which is set for December 11th. This is an interesting move. Taking David Accam from the Union this way could spare the Philadelphia from having to give Chicago Fire much compensation (they’d only have to give up $50,000 to Chicago if Accam is moved via expansion draft), like they would have had to do if they sold him to another club. It’ll be interesting to see if the Union are still on the hook for Accam should he be sold from Cincinnati FC down the line.

This report seems pretty real, and it could be one that the Union tried to make to rid themselves of Accam’s large contract, and sell-on clauses. Accam had a poor season last year, only scoring one goal. Late in the season it was revealed that he was dealing with a sports hernia issue that made it hard for him to be the type of player he was at Chicago. Should Accam leave Philadelphia, he’ll most likely score a banger against Philly at Talen Energy Stadium as he should be fully healthy in 2019, but that’d just be “so Union.”

A little less than an hour later, GhanaSoccerNet.com released another report that the Union may also send CJ Sapong to FC Cincinnati. Sapong has been rumored to leave Philadelphia via the expansion draft as well. This is another head scratcher as Cincy will only be able to take one player from the Union in the expansion draft, so who will they choose Accam or Sapong?

While FC Cincinnati cannot take two players from the same team in the expansion draft, the Union could straight up trade Accam or Sapong to the expansion side. There is a half-day trade window on December 9th where teams can trade with each other in a four-hour window. It’s likely a deal could be made with Cincinnati on this day. The Union could try to trade Sapong to get value back for him, and then also agree to let Accam go to Cincinnati via the expansion draft. This could give the Union some more allocation money to go out and get a DP striker, while also dumping Accam to another MLS team, which means they’d only have to give Chicago Fire $50,000 for him.

These moves would be interesting, and could mean that the Union lose two key players who are just two years removed from both tallying double-digit goals. However, if they do move on, the Union would shed some major contracts and have more cash to pay the possible replacements.

These moves would shed some major cash:

Theses moves could help the Union shed some major cash. Accam was the third highest paid player on the Union’s roster last season; he made  $1,266,250.00, over a million dollars for what turned out to be damaged goods. Sapong saw an increase in his salary last season. After his strong 2017 season he got a raise of 300-thousand-dollar raise ahead of the 2018 season; CJ made $525,000 last season.

Should Tanner be able to move both Accam and Sapong that would shed $1,791,250.00 from Philly’s books. This would be enough cash to go after a bigger name player, or fill out the roster. Couple this with the $3,430,102.12 that the Union shed from their end of season roster moves, and the Union would have $5,221,352.12 in salary space to use to fill out their roster. That’s a huge chunk of change that the Union have to pay any incoming players in 2019. let’s see if the Union spend wisely and fill their roster with players who can produce and are worth the money.

While the Union already have money to pay incoming players, they could possibly add to that sum if they choose to also move Haris Medunjanin.

Will Haris Medunjanin be moved as well?

There have been no rumblings or rumors of Medunjanin departing the Union, but seeing as this mystery source has been spot on about many things already it would not be surprising to see Haris on his way out of Philadelphia as well.

If this does happen the Union would shed even more salary money. Haris made $500,004.00 last season. If that money is added to the totals of the Union’s off-season moves, and the departures of Accam and Sapong, then the Union would have $5,721,356.12 to pay incoming players. This total sum is only about 3-million-dollars short of what the Union paid their total roster last season.

Only time will tell if Accam, Sapong or even Medunjanin are moved, but with reports of Accam and Sapong on their way to Cincinnati one thing has been made clear. That is, that Tanner is poised and ready to make this team his own. The 2019 Philadelphia Union will look drastically different in 2019 in terms of playing style and personnel. Now we just have to sit back and watch to see if it produces better results.

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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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