The Union is just four weeks away from kicking off their 2022 season! This past week was all about building up the roster and having players represent their countries. Let’s take a look back at this week of preseason in Philly Sports Network’s latest edition of Doop Roundup.
Doop Roundup 1/28/22
With now less than a month until the season opener at Subaru Park, the Union needed to focus on improving their roster. They successfully traded Kacper Przybylko to Chicago Fire and got $1.15 million in return. Five days later they announced the signing of new DP striker Mikael Uhre. The Union thinks he’s gonna be the guy, as they paid a club-record $2.8 million dollars for the transfer.
On top of this signing, the Union was able to announce the signing of homegrown left-back Anton Sorrenson, and are rumored to be in for a 17-year-old Venezuelan striker as well. They also saw nine of their players either go out on or continue to be on, international duty. Let’s take a look at all of this further.
Mikael Uhre is a Union player!
This was the biggest news of the week for the Union they went out and got a guy who they think will get them to an MLS Cup. Ernst Tanner mentioned it in Uhre’s announcement press conference. Couple that with Jim Curtin wanting to use Uhre in a two-striker system shows that this team is focused on scoring goals. This is something Uhre brings to the Union, and it’s something Ernst Tanner foresees as bringing Philly great success.
“We have been following Mikael for some time as he has developed and risen through the Danish Superliga, and we are excited to complete this deal to bring him to the Union. We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our roster and we believe Mikael, having become a top player in Denmark, is a good fit for our system and will be an integral piece in our continued growth as a club. We are looking forward to welcoming him as we build on the success of last year and turn our attention to the 2022 season.”Philadelphia Union Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner
With Uhre’s addition and the Carranza loan, the Union’s attack could look vastly different right from the jump of the 2022 season. Could both of those guys be double-digit goal scorers, while also bringing Santos and Burke off the bench for a spark late in games? On top of that, the Union is rumored to be signing a Venezuelan teenage striker. He will likely be a fringe first-team player who gets minutes with the Union II in MLS Next Pro, but it’s so refreshing to see Philly spending money at the striker position.
Now the Union has depth that’s two-deep at every position. Our very own Justin Friedberg wrote about the team’s roster build ahead of the 2022 season; checkout the link below for that article ⬇️.
Anton Sorenson becomes Union’s 18th homegrown signing
The Union signed 18-year-old left-back Anton Sorenson on his 18th birthday. Sorenson comes in as yet another homegrown who came through the Union academy, played for Union II, and now makes the jump to the first team. While there were no real matches for Union II in 2021, in 2020 Sorenson was a standout for the second team. He played with Paxten Aaronson, Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan, Branden Craig, and Nathan Harriel, the last batch of Union homegrowns to make the jump to the first team. So what could we see from this new homegrown?
“Anton is a promising young player and a natural left-footed defender that will be a valuable addition to our backline. He is an attacking-minded outside back who looks to play forward quickly in transition. His mentality, aggression, and physical skills provide a platform for Anton to become a valuable player as he develops further.”Philadelphia Union Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner
Ernst Tanner has some high praise for the prospect, but right now he sits third on the left-back depth chart behind Kai Wagner and Matt Real. It’s unclear whether Wagner will be with the Union for the full 2022 season as he has suitors after him. Could we see him move this summer and allow a platform for Real and Sorenson to duke it out for the starting spot? It’s a possibility and a very Union one at that. We’ll be watching Sorenson’s development with great interest!
Nine Union players on international duty
This week was heavy with the incoming transfer news, and it overshadowed what the Union players already on the team were set out to do. Nine of the players on the roster were either set to depart to represent their national teams or were already representing their national teams. Here’s a look at the players repping their countries in the current international window.
- Paxten Aaronson – USMNT U20 camp
- Jack McGlynn – USMNT U20 camp
- Quinn Sullivan – USMNT U20 camp
- Brandan Craig – USMNT U20 camp
- Andre Blake – Jamaica WCQs
- Cory Burke – Jamaica WCQs
- Jose “El Brujo” Martinez – Venezula WCQs
- Jamiro Monteiro – Cape Verde AFCON
- Oliver Mbaizo – Cameroon AFCON
Four Union homegrowns are off to the USMNT U20 camp. The U20’s are getting ready for an upcoming U20 World Cup qualifying campaign, and it’s likely the Union’s homegrowns will have a say about how the USA does there. Philly has the most players called up for that squad with those four. The Union’s Jamaican contingent is off to help the Reggae Boys continue their quest to qualify for Qatar 2022. El Brujo is with Venezuela for the ongoing CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers. Jamiro Monteiro is likely on his way back now from AFCON as Cape Verde was knocked out in the Round of 16; while Oliver Mbaizo and AFCON host’s Cameroon are still going in the quarterfinals.
The full squad likely won’t be back together until next week when the window closes, leaving under three weeks for the full team to prepare for the opening match against Minnesota on Feb. 26.
This week’s DOOP by the River Pod
This week on Doop by the River our boy El Parcero Philly had guest hosts on the podcast. Matt Ralph from Brotherly Game and Chris from the All 3 Points Podcast broke down all of this week’s transfer news with El Parcero Philly. They discussed:
- Kacper to Chicago.
- Uhre to the Union.
- Venezulan Jose Riasco coming in too?
- Sorenson to the first team.
Give it a watch or a listen to stay up to date on all of what went down this week; Doop on!Listen to “DOOP By The River Podcast: The Dawn Of The New Striker…” on Spreaker.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union