Photo: Earl Gardner
Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth hopes to add new players in the summer transfer window.
Hackworth said Wednesday that he felt the Union was “probably about two to three spots away” from the roster he wants for his club. The Union are looking for back line depth and a potential defensive starter, as well as other possible additions, during the transfer window opening July 9.
“We have guys that are scouting full-time for us,” Hackworth said during his regular weekly news conference. “We are reviewing a lot of different players that are presented to us. And this is the — We’re coming up on the summer window where there’s a lot of moves that will be made, and we’re certainly in a good spot to make some moves, but we have to make the right move for this team and this club.”
Hackworth said his coaching staff was “not totally satisfied” with the club roster, and now that the Union actually have some financial and roster flexibility, the club can make moves. Before the recent trades of Gabriel Farfan and Bakary Soumare, the Union had no such flexibility.
“We’re better off than we were a couple weeks ago because we didn’t have any (salary cap or roster space) a couple weeks ago,” Hackworth said. “But now we have a little bit of room both on our roster spots and our cap space, and we added some allocation money. So while it’s not a huge amount, it is enough for us to go out and potentially make some moves. They just have to be smart ones.”
Now, the club has extra first and second round draft picks acquired in the trades of Farfan and Soumare, and Hackworth said they could be used to trade for players within MLS. In fact, he described “our coaching staff’s personal philosophy” as looking to MLS first for new players.
“You have less risk going in league,” Hackworth said, “because you have so much more knowledge of a player, what they’re capable of, what their personality is, how would they adapt to the culture and environment of this club, what their salary is exactly, what their expectations are, what you’re going to have to pay for these players. There’s a lot of details that, within league, make it a lot easier to make some of these moves, and certainly those are options for us.”