Doop Roundup: Union offseason ramps up 45 days after MLS Cup

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It’s been 45 days since the Philadelphia Union fell in penalties in the MLS Cup final. With a winter World Cup starting just after MLS Cup, the Union’s offseason seems truncated. With just about two-and-a-half months before the start of the season, Philadelphia will be looking to make the necessary preparations to compete for trophies again in 2023.

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

Doop Roundup: The offseason is ramping up

Philly was so close to achieving their goal in 2022 but fell bitterly short against a former goalkeeper in penalty kicks. The World Cup overshadowed soccer and the Union in the city of Philadelphia, easing a bit of the hurt fans felt by the team’s fall. Now the focus shifts to 2023, and winning trophies, something Head Coach Curtin and Sporting Director Tanner are going to be working towards.

Philly has not been silent while the World Cup was going on. They made a few moves already to ready themselves ahead of the 2023 season. There have outgoing and incoming transfers over the last month, and more should be coming.

Rumor has it again that star left-back Kai Wagner will be leaving. It’s possible stud D-mid Jose Martinez as well as right-back who was on Cameroon’s World Cup roster Oliver Mbaizo could be of interest in the winter transfer window as well. We should also see Tanner and the Union be buyers as well as they look to fill out the depth of this roster.

Philly will play a minimum of 39 matches in 2023 with MLS regular season, Concacaf Champions League US Open Cup, and Leagues Cup competitions. If they progress far into any of those tournaments or make a long playoff run they could play upwards of 50+ matches in ’23! The roster will need to be deep, and the team mentally strong to go out there and compete to win silverware!

As the offseason ramps up, we should look at the moves Philadelphia has made so far to better position the team moving forward.

Aaronson sold to Germany; free agent Burke to RBNY

While the World was focused on the men’s World Cup, Philly sold another promising homegrown. Paxten Aaronson makes his move to the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt. He will go there and develop his skills, and it’s another milestone for Philly.

Philadelphia was able to sell Aarsonson without him being a consistent player for the team. Frankfurt paid $4 million upfront and Ernst Tanner has put a big sell-on fee to be given to Philly should Frankfurt sell him to another club.

This could be a similar business situation to how the Union sold his brother Brenden. Philly got a huge payday when he transferred from Austria to the Premier League. However, this time Philadelphia lost a role player, not a best-XI player. This progression could be huge for developing more American homegrown players with ambitions to play in Europe!

While the Union will miss Paxten’s ability to be a game-changing super sub, they will now have a good chunk of change to use to buy more players to round out their depth, maybe another striker could be on the books?

The Union need another striker on the roster after they traded Cory Burke to the New York Red Bulls. Burke wanted a new long-term contract that he wasn’t going to get at Philadelphia. Third, on Philly’s depth chart, Burke had taken on the role of super-sub but seemed to deserve the chance to start.

Red Bulls wanted a consistent MLS striker who could grind out games and offered Cory a two-year contract with an option for a third year. There’s no way that Philly was going to offer him that type of longevity as a third-string striker, so now Burke heads to a rival.

Philadelphia will miss Burke’s tenacity and will to find goals. Now they will look to their own ranks of younger talent rising through their second team and academy for that next striker. They will also go out in the market to try to find a tanner special; a younger player, or a player with a chip on his shoulder, who is hungry to make a name for themself!

Promising Perea brought in for up to $850,000

Speaking of young, and hungry players with a chip on their shoulder the Union brought in Andres Perea from Orlando city for up to $850,000. The 22-year-old midfielder is a talent but seemed to need a change of scenery in MLS. Philly offers that for him, and his versatility makes him the quintessential type of Union player

Perea can virtually play any position in the midfield diamond that Philly likes to play. He’s shown that at times he can be an attacking threat, has the stamina to cover ground like Philly asks of its midfielders, and also has the size and defensive aptitude they want as well. He probably won’t start right away, but has the potential to push a few players for minutes.

With The Union’s ambitions to play upwards of 50 games in 2023, they will need depth in the midfield. We saw firsthand what happened when a relentless player like Bedoya was out in a championship match. Perea can possibly be another option to come in when called upon and bring an intercity to the game Philly needs in the middle of the park.

MLS Schedule dropping today

Speaking of a busy season, the Union’s 2023 MLS season schedule is set to be dropped today! We should know the 34 matches that will be played, and when they’ll be played! Preparations will then be made by the team to get the players ready for a preseason less than a month away.

Will we see a Union side that is raring to go to show they can in fact win a trophy in 2023? Their 2022 season was a historic one, where Philly broke many longstanding records. But at the end of the season, the trophy cabinet was not added to.

2023 will be a year where Philly will need to win something. The same core they had in 2022 will be returning, and Tanner is going to make more additions that can help this team. With Curtin at the helm, the window to win is now, and could close should they not win in the coming year!

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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire