In this latest edition of Union Update, we’ll take a look at how close preseason is, green card issues, and the new away jersey! Here’s a look at the week that was for the Philadelphia Union; Union update 2/9/21!
Union Update 2/9/2021
In a week that had only a few bits of news, it could be hard to think anything of note happened, but that was not the case last week. In the past seven days, the Union dropped their new away jersey designed by fans, had their sporting director explain the issues surrounding bringing in new players amid a pandemic, and the club now knows they will begin preseason in less than two weeks!. Let’s start by looking at why the confirmation of preseason is so important.
Preseason begins Feb. 22!
Preseason is less than two weeks away, and the players and clubs officially know they will be able to go about this normally. After a month’s worth of back and forth negotiations MLS and the MLSPA came to an agreement on a CBA. This means the avoidance of a lockout. The possible lockout was instigated by the MLS owners due to the pandemic’s effects on the team’s normal functions. Now that this is settled, we can look ahead to preseason and a season that will be here before we know it.
With preseason right around the corner, the Union is in an interesting spot. They have sured up their current roster by promoting homegrown players and extending players that helped Philly win their first-ever trophy. However, there have been no foreign signings and little rumblings or rumors of a signing. Other teams in MLS are bolstering their rosters, so why is the Union not bringing in new players?
Green Card and Visa Issues
Ernst Tanner spoke recently with MLS Italia and described a lot about his philosophy for signing new players. In this, he also stated that ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Union has had a hard time securing green cards for their international players who would qualify for them. This has halted the signing of foreign players this offseason.
For Ernst and the Union, if they want to progress over last season, they may need to find alternative routes to bolster the roster. Maybe we could see an in league trade or transfer? Perhaps Ernst Tanner uses the allocation money they got for their draft picks and uses it to get some other international roster spots from another MLS team? The current rate for that seems to be $50,000. Either way, he will need to act fast as preseason is almost here. Whoever is on the Union in 2021, they will be wearing a truly unique away jersey!
New Electric Kit
By now I’m sure you have seen the truly electric new Union jersey! It is so unique, breaking the recent MLS template white shirt away jersey. The fact that the club sought significant input from the fans and worked with Adidas to make that input happen is fantastic!
This shirt is Ben Franklin themed with lightning bolts on the front, a kite and key back tag and a Ben Franklin quote inside the collar. The color scheme is also unique in that it encompasses Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware flag’s colors on the jersey. I personally cannot wait to see the Union play in them!
That does it for Union update 2/9/2021! Be sure to check in next week for the next edition!
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