What new signings could mean for Philadelphia Union?


The Philadelphia Union have made a summer signing, and are rumored to make a second before the transfer window closes at the end of the week! Richard Odada, a 21-year-old Kenyan defensive midfielder, was added on Tuesday. Rumor has it, Abasa Aremeyaw, an 18-year-old Ghanian center back will be added soon. These might not be blockbuster transfers, but could the addition of these two help Philadelphia solidify the team or create more movement?

Richard Odada is on the ball. Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Two new Union signings?

We have seen Philadelphia in past years go out and get players in summer transfer windows. Some have been influential players for the club, like Alejandro Bedoya who came to Philly six years ago; others have been role players or players that never acclimate into the team at all. What will Odada and the rumored Abemeyaw become; Will they be impact players, role players, or nonfactors?

Richard Odada

Richard Odada on paper seems to be the prototypical Ernst Tanner type of signing. Philly spent $200,000 for an up-and-coming defensive midfielder. from looking at his highlight reel, it seems as though he is a tall and tenacious force in the center of the park. Odada also has the ability to play other positions in the midfield and also as a center back, we all know Philly loves their swiss-army-knife players.

Tanner is excited to add Odada to the team, and mentioned in the press release that he hopes Philadelphia can be a team that the young Kenyon integrates well with and pushes to develop his game to propel him to the next level.

Abasa Abemeyaw

Out of nowhere, Tom Bogert reported that sources have told him that Philly is close to a deal with Abasa Aremeyaw. Aremeyaw is an 18-year-old center-back who has seemingly only played four matches for Slovakian club MSK Zilina and then was released this summer. This means that one, there isn’t much tape on him, and two, that he would be a free transfer.

Aremeyaw could be an addition that would fill Philly’s center-back depth chart, which currently sits at three: Elliot, Glesnes, and Craig. While there is little out there to show what type of player this will be, it is unlikely Tanner and Philly would bring in a player at that age and position that they didn’t see as “one for the future.” We’ll have to wait and see if he comes in and if he features for the first team or is more of a Union II contributor.

What these signings could mean for the Philadelphia Union?

These signings are seemingly coming out of nowhere which is how Ernst Tanner likes things to be. These signings seemingly reflect how the team has added role players that could be major contributors after development. But looking at the position additions, it does raise some questions for Union fans.

1. Will a player of significance leaves this summer?

This is the number one thing that Union fans have been speculating since the signing of Odada, and now the rumors of Aremeyaw’s addition. Adding a defensive midfielder and center back to MLS’ top defense could mean the club is planning on having a player transfer out.

An initial thought had to surround Jose Martinez who Odada could be a like-for-like replacement. However, there have been no rumors of Union players being transferred out. This is for the best as this team has the chance to win two trophies this season.

2. what does this mean for players buried down the bench?

The next thought about these additions would be, what happens to the guys already on the bench in those positions? The answer is more competition for minutes, and hopefully an elevated level of play from all players.

Players like Jesus Bueno, Cole Turner, and to a bit of a lesser extent Jack McGlynn will now have Richard Odada fighting for minutes when he’s with the team. Along the backline, Brandan Craig now has to compete with both Odada and potentially Aremeyaw for that third center-back spot as well. This should mean that all of these players raise their game even more as this team pushes for silverware.

3. Are these players depth pieces for a team building up to a stretch run to MLS Cup?

The final question focuses on if these players going to be added to solidify this team as an MLS Cup-winning team. The answer would have to be yes to this question, should no players on the Union’s roster be transferred out.

This team has been very solid all year, and right now is firing on all cylinders. Adding two young players to round out the midfield and center-back depth charts makes the most sense for this team right now. We’ll have to wait and see what things look like at the end of this summer transfer window, but it seems like the Union is adding depth pieces that are development projects that could become major factors in future seasons.

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union