Philadelphia Union II News: Release List Announced and More

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It’s the time of the year when soccer in America starts to come alive again, with MLS preseason underway, the transfer window open, and MLS Next Pro’s new season rapidly approaching. Here’s a roundup of everything that’s happened regarding Union II over the past month or so.

Union, Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Union II Released List Announced: 

Even though the offseason in football is fairly exciting, with free agent signings, trades, the transfer window opening, and all sorts of other drama, it also brings around a sad thing too, and that’s the released list. 

UII announced theirs recently and here are the players that have been released: 

  • Boubacar Diallo – Midfielder 
  • Juan Castillo – Defender 
  • Hugo Le Guennec – Defender
  • Stefan Stojanovic – Forward 
  • Nathan Nkanji – Defender 
  • Brooks Thompson – Goalkeeper 

Diallo was a consistent choice to come off the bench for Union II and he made some good impressions in games but he never managed to break into the starting lineup and that’s the reason I’d imagine UII decided to move on. Nkanji never really managed to make any sort of impression, was constantly left on the bench, and was mainly unused as a sub too, this was expected.  

Juan Castillo was a little surprising to me, he had some good games for Union II and seemed to have some promise as a left-back, but now UII has moved on from both of their left-backs, meaning someone from the academy must be making a good impression to take that open slot. 

Hugo Le Guennec joined after the inaugural season and he made a fair few starts for Union II but never really seemed to be up to playing at the level of the team, especially given that UII is a consistent playoff team in the MLS Next Pro.  

The two big surprises on this list are Stefan Stojanovic and Brooks Thompson. Stojanovic is a bit of a Union II legend, he was the team captain and a mainstay striker for the team, especially in their first season. UII is stacked with a lot of forward talent but Riasco is still out on loan and Pierre just left for the year on loan too. 

Brooks Thompson was one of the first additions Union II made when they were first established and he came with a lot of promise and potential. He had a rough start during the inaugural season but he’s made a lot of improvement over the past 18 months and a lot, including me, thought he’d be involved as a backup option to Andre Blake in the senior setup.

Union, Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

New Signing Joining Up With UII? 

On January 18th, the Philadelphia Union announced their first signing of the winter transfer window, and that was defender/midfielder Jose Jamir Berdecio. Berdecio is a Bolivian youth international and is initially joining Philly on a loan deal, with an option to buy. 

Many have reported and concluded that Berdecio is probably too far away from being fully involved with the senior team and that spending most of his time in Philly, down in the Union II setup will allow him the time to adjust to Philly’s system and philosophies and then they can judge whether he’s worth triggering the transfer option in the deal.  

If this is the case, it’ll be a huge boost to UII’s chances in this upcoming MLS Next Pro season. Berdecio is already a youth international for his country and fills an issue Union II has had since the start of the team, and that’s defense.  

UII has always had talent going forward and in midfield, but their defensive issues have shown from the get-go, a lot of their mid-season additions over the past 2 seasons have been defenders and Union II conceded a lot of goals at a consistent rate. If Berdecio is on UII to start the season, then he brings a lot of quality to a major need for Marlon Le Blanc’s side.

Union, Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union