It’s only been four days since the Union’s preseason opened, and there is already a whirlwind of news surrounding the team. In just a week there have been rumors of players leaving, rumors of players coming in, the hiring of a new assistant coach, players signing contract extensions, players balling out for their nations, and a past player possibly going to the Premier League! We look at it all in the latest edition of Doop Round-Up!
DOOP Round-Up 1/21/22
There have been eight different pieces of news specifically regarding outgoing transfers, incoming transfers, two players’ contracts, a rising assistant coach, a player’s international status, a former player’s next big move, and two players moving on in an international tournament!
If you missed any of this we have you covered in this Doop Round-Up. Here’s every thing that has happened so far this week in the world of the Philadelphia Union
Kacper Przybylko Leaving?
The big news this past Monday was that Union striker Kacper Przybylko was looking for a change in scenery. Reports from Poland came out stating he had offers from Chicago Fire and other teams in Europe. Kacper spoke with these outlets saying that these contracts that they were offering gave him more stability through guaranteed years with the team. The remainder of his Union contract is only team options, which is why a move would be preferred. Kacper was at the first two days of preseason training with the Union but not the third.
Yesterday, Union head coach Jim Curtin confirmed that Kacper was not at training because “things are in motion” with his move. Tom Bogert of MLSSoccer.Com confirmed on Twitter that a trade between the Fire and the Union is being finalized that would send Kacper to Chicago. The Union would receive “more than $1 million in GAM (General Allocation Money)”
We’ll have to wait and see if this move comes to fruition on Friday, but getting more than $1 million in allocation money for the first player Ernst Tanner signed for the Union, one they paid pennies for, would be some great business.
Another striker incoming?
There have been rumblings of the Union going after a big-money transfer striker, and Jim Curtin said as much in his press conference when asked. Could this mean that the Union will have a new striker before the start of the 2022 season?
If Curtin is saying that the Union has the money to go out and get that striker in a press conference, then it’s likely Ernst Tanner is zeroing in on his guy to come in. Getting the right player will be crucial.
This player that the Union is after has to be the guy to get them over the hump. We’ve seen this team can compete for MLS Cup without a proven/consistent goal scorer. This new strike needs to be the guy to get Philly to win their first MLS Cup; the window to win is now.
Jack Elliot’s here to stay!
We know that the Union’s backline, especially their centerback play, will be solid for the next few seasons. Back in December Jakob Glesnes signed a contract extension until 2024, and now Jack Elliot has done the same!
Take a look at the article above to see the ins and outs of Jack’s new contract with Philly. He and Jakob are two of the best center backs in MLS, and they’re going to be playing with one another for at least the next three seasons!
A new assistant coach!
When Pat Noonan left to be the head coach of FC Cincinnati. It left a void for someone to fill. Noonan ran the training sessions for the Union, and was essential Curtin’s right-hand man. Who would take that spot?
The Union had many people interviewing for the job but chose to hire from within and promote former Union player Ryan Richter. Take a look at our article above to get all the details on why this promotion is another example as to why the Union’s system is producing for the first team!
Matt Real has re-signed!
Another big piece of news to come out of Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference was the confirmation that Matt Real has re-signed with the Union. The now veteran homegrown left-back was seen at training all week, but there had been no announcement from the club that he re-signed.
Jim Curtin confirmed he is back and is under contract. The club still hasn’t officially released this news, but it’s good to know the Union will have Real. He will push Kai Wagner for starting minutes according to Curtin, could he even be the starter if Wagner leaves for Europe this January or in the Summer?
Jakob Glesnes is getting a Green Card!
As if Curtin’s press conference wasn’t jam-packed enough. He also let slip that Jakob Glesnes will be with the team in the coming days. Glesnes had been absent from training the first three sessions, and Curtin confirmed the reason why.
Coach said that Glesnes will be back “with a certain piece of paper,” we all know that that is a green card. This is a huge development as it opens up an international roster spot for the Union. Could they be looking to fill that spot with a new striker? are all the stars aligning ahead of the 2022 season?
Brenden Aaronson to the Premier League?
On to the news abroad that affects the Union! There have been reports all week about Brenden Aaronson possibly joining Premier League side Leeds United. Leeds has been pressuring Salzburg with bids, the most recent was worth $27 million!
This is huge news as a percentage of the sale of the former Union player will come back to Philly! The latest development is looking as though Salzburg is not going to let Aaronson go before the summer. They want him to play for the club as they made their first-ever European Champions League knockout rounds. Could this mean an even bigger transfer fee for the Medford Messi in the summer months of 2022?
Mbaizo and Monteiro make knockout rounds of AFCON!
The final piece of news in a crazy soccer week is that both Union players at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) have made the Round of 16. Oliver Mbaizo of Cameroon and Jamiro Monteiro of Cape Verde will try to help their nations advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament!
Mbaizo has yet to find the field for Cameroon, which is odd as he played in the majority of their World Cup Qualifiers ahead of AFCON. Could he crack the starting XI in a knockout game? Montiero has started every group stage game for Cape Verde. He has been playing as an attacker in a 4-3-3 look, which is interesting. Could he and Cape Verde shock pre-tournament favorites Senegal?
Don’t forget to check out the latest Doop by the River Podcast
Our boys El Parcero Philly and Justin “CEO of Bald News Network” Friedberg have you covered talking about all the crazy news this week! Give it a watch or a listen, and don’t miss out on next week’s episode where we will hopefully have even more updates on how the Union is preparing for the 2022 season!
ListenListen to “DOOP By The River Podcast: Is Kacper Really Leaving?” on Spreaker.
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Mandatory Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire