There’s not much downtime in the offseason. This much is true for the Union right now as the 2022 season is only 74 days away. As we are moving through the first official week of the offseason, rumors are flying, a draft is happening and a loanee is making his first-team debut in Europe. We take a look at it all in our latest edition of Doop Roundup 12/14/2021.
Doop Roundup 12/14/2021
The news on the Union is coming in thick and fast just three days into the start of the offseason. There are rumors that an assistant coach and starting left-back could be on their way out of Philadelphia. Could other players follow in an expansion draft tonight? We’ll have to wait until 7 pm EST to find out. Jack de Vries is still a Union homegrown but has now played more professional minutes for a Serie A team than he has for Philly. Let’s take a look at all of this.
Pat Noonan to FC Cincinatti?
FC Cincinnati seems to be preparing to announce their new head coach this afternoon. Will it be Union assistant coach Pat Noonan? He was a front-runner for the position for a time, but it looks like he’s their only option for a new coach. Of course, there is the Philly connection with Chris Albright being FC Cincy’s new GM, but Noonan wasn’t the only Philly coach Albright was after.
We of course know the story by now that Albright wanted to buy out Jim Curtin’s contract and bring the experienced coach to Cincinnati. This didn’t work as reports came out that the Union was not even entertaining that possibility. After Curtin was off the table, Albright set his sights on interim RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni. However, he was appointed full-time RSL coach just days ago. Noonan was already far along in the interview process, and now it seems like he’ll be the next coach of FC Cincinnati.
We’ll find out if this rumor is true at 2:30 pm EST today!
Kai Wagner to Europe?
Union’s starting left-back Kai Wagner is looking to move to Europe yet again this offseason. He spoke to TransferMarkt about his ambition to go back to Europe as soon as this January. Kai is a skilled left-back who could go to Europe and contribute. The real heart of this rumor will come if any European teams are thinking about signing the young German defender.
Kai quickly became one of the best outside backs in Union history when he joined Philly. In his three seasons, the Union has progressed year-over-year. In 2019 the team won its first-ever playoff game. In 2020 they won their first-ever trophy, the Supporters Shield. This past season the team made its first-ever playoff run falling just short of playing for MLS Cup. Wagner was not able to play in that last match, and is under contract with Philly for 2022; however if a team in a top league in Europe is interested in Kai, and they pay at least his market value ($3.5 million,) The Union might sell him.
We’ll keep a tab on this one as the quick offseason progresses.
Expansion draft tonight
Tonight at 7 pm Charlotte FC gets to make five picks in the 2021 Expansion Draft. Earlier we took a look at if any unprotected players from the Union could be selected. Take a look at what we had to say here:
The draft should be live-streamed tonight across MLS platforms so be sure to keep an eye on if the Union will be short one more player and richer by $50,000 GAM.
Jack de Vries makes Venezia first team debut
We get to end this edition of Doop Roundup by looking at Union loanee Jack de Vries! The winger/attacker is on loan with Serie A team Venezia. de Vries made his first-team debut today in Venezia’s 3-1 win in the Round of 32 of the Copa Italia. The Youngster came on and played the left side attacking midfield spot as Venezia played a 4-3-2-1 (gee where have we seen this formation before?) de Vries played the final 14 minutes of the win. The only stat from the match is a yellow ard he picked up in the 80th minute. Could this be the start of de Vries balling out for a Serie A team?
Jack is a young attacker with a knack for scoring goals. Whether it’s on the wing, as a number 10, or as a second-striker. He seems to be at a tipping point as he was able to break through to the first team but could be coming back to Philly if Venezia doesn’t see him in their future plans. We’ll see if he gets more first-team minutes, or if he could be on his way back to Philly later in the 2022 season.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych