Union cut 3 players

Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union have released their current roster of signed players and draftees/trialists ahead of Wednesday evening’s match against Orlando City SC in their opening game of the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic.

Also, Philadelphia Digital Media Manager Kerith Gabriel tweeted on Wednesday that next week’s game against Toronto will be live streamed on the Union website.

The current Philadelphia Union roster of 25 players is:

Goalkeepers (2): Zac MacMath, Brian Holt
Defenders (5): Fabinho, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Ray Gaddis, Ethan White
Midfielders (13): Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira, Keon Daniel, Michael Lahoud, Danny Cruz, Leo Fernandes, Cristhian Hernandez, Jimmy McLaughlin, Zach Pfeffer, Cristian Maidana, Corben Bone, Matt Kassel
Forwards (5): Conor Casey, Jack McInerney, Sebastien Le Toux, Antoine Hoppenot, Aaron Wheeler

The draftees and trialists still with the club in Florida include:

Goalkeepers (1): Andre Blake* (Generation Adidas)
Defenders (1): Richie Marquez*
Midfielders (3): Fred**, Aodhan Quinn*, Pedro Ribeiro*
Forwards (1): Clésio Bauque**
(* 2014 MLS SuperDraft selection; ** Trialist)

Released by the club before the start of the second phase of training in Florida are 2014 SuperDraft second round selections Kevin Cope (D) and Robbie Derschang (D) and trialist Mike Seamon (M).

More roster changes can be expected before the roster compliance deadline of March 1 when the team can have no more than 30 players.

After tonight’s match, the Union next face Columbus on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 pm before facing Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 26, also at 1 pm. As of this writing, no live stream for the Columbus game is available, but the Toronto game will be streamed live on the Union website. You can also follow @TheUMatchDay on Twitter for live updates from the games.



  1. People are going to jump on the “lol draft picks failure AGAIN” thing but really it’s no big deal. The draft is a total crap shoot and is increasingly going to be marginalized. More and more players are going to come up through the academies and college just isn’t the place to produce quality soccer talent.

    That being said, can we PLEASE get a real LB in here for the first time in years?

    • Well to be honest it is a bit more than that… It is more of a we have two starting goalkeepers and no defensive depth for a weakened back line so we can get 2 starting goalkeepers in lieu of more highly rated defensive prospects lol draft.

      So it’s not haha funny lol draft but more of a crying clown draft. That being said I have high hopes for Ribero hope he gets playing time among our million jillion midfielders.

      • there is literally nothing that will make you happy

        • +1

          No truer statement than that.

        • +1 (from a glass half full kind of guy)

        • -1? I like Sieve.

        • Damn…. Looks like there was a pile on while I was gone.
          So first things I like.
          My dog.
          My cat.
          What makes a man start fires by the Minutemen.
          Hee Haw by the Birthday Party.
          So yea there are things that make me happy.
          What makes me sad is the Union. specifically why can’t the Union fill in positions of need. Why instead off drafting players you need. Why spend money on a goalkeeper when you have one. Why do we have a million midfielders when we have needs on defense and have had the those SAME NEEDS for over a year.
          I understand there is a salary cap and money went into fixing the midfield. But that is why you have the draft to get depth cheap. It is a crapshoot but 1st rounders have a better chance of paying off than 2nd rounder’s.
          While the team has improved it is still oddly constructed and not as well poised going forward and probably won’t be for a while.
          And IMO the team hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt, we have made great strides but c’mahn we aren’t there yet.

          • Nice list, but I don’t remember anyone writing that they felt that the Union’s roster was the finished product. Most people (including myself) still feel there are still significant holes to be filled at center back and left back.

            • If that is the case then why should I should be treated like the eternal H8TR for pointing out not only do we have holes to fill but we refuse to fill them.
              We have had DPs before: Adu
              We have had highly touted expensive foreign acquisitions come in also: Gomez, Lopez.
              So I don’t think I have to be a complete amnesiac when it comes to the Union and what I think are its unevenly distributed squad and its inability to deal with obvious holes in depth on the squad.
              If we don’t get a true left back or cover at center back will that be Nowaks fault too?

            • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

              People don’t like the truth Sieve

            • I love the truth.

            • Sieve – I agree with you on most things and don’t think that you’re off base in your thought process, but you have to admit that a majority of your posts are negative and pessimistic which is why Chris’s comment above got that reaction from other people. That’s all.

      • I find it interesting that Hackworth has managed to hang on to all of the players who were weak links. CB needs to be addressed ASAP so that it does not become another hole not filled going into the season. If Gaddis winds up on LB then the attack coming from that side is going to be stifled. Teams are going to cherry pick that back line. The upgrades made to the midfield are going to be neutralized if the Union go with a patch work back line. The thought of Carroll as possible CB is salt in the wound.

  2. The draft still looks good with Blake and Ribeiro, and even better if Marquez sticks and can provide some depth at CB. The only slight surprise is Cope, given some analysts talking about him as a 1st round quality CB.

    • Will it look good when Ribeiro is in Harrisburg an Blake the backup? Or is it more of “whats the point of the draft?”

      • No, it will look good when we sell or trade MacMath for solid player. It will look good 2-3 years from now when Ribeiro is bossing opposing Dmids. And you know what, when that’s happening we will be drafting MORE players so that THEY can make the team better 2 – 3 years after they are drafted. Is everyone on these forums 14? Why do I have to explain delayed gratification on draft picks and young talent to adults? Go run a geriatric team in a different city.

        • I understand your point, and so far the Union have done well with development (see Jack, Amobi, Gaddis), but why couldn’t the same be said for Kevin Cope? He seems like a player that with 2-3 years in the league could be a solid CB, and we not only need depth at that position but I would argue we need 2 STARTERS at that position (thus moving Okugo back to D-Mid). So it just seems odd that they would release so early a player who fills a need. Hopefully they have a plan, or someone else in mind.

          • He did seem to be well rated prior to the draft, but we don’t know how he showed on the training pitch for the Union. For the sake of roster compliance, it probably comes down to one of Cope or Marquez, so if Marquez was looking the better guy, Cope was going to get cut.

            I do find myself wondering if this will be a case where the Union cut a guy only to see him stick elsewhere. If that keeps happening it is suggestive of bad roster management.

        • Hey thanks for the comment, but I was asking when all of the hype from the draft cools off? No, I understand delayed gratification. There’s also a lot of supposition in your comment. Ribeiro had a great ten second run dragging a player and now he’s “bossing opposing dmids” in the future. The U have been one of the youngest teams the last few years and performed like a bottom table side. They had holes, some of which they addressed, some they made worse.

    • Considering the team was highest on Damion Lowe at CB, I’m not shocked that Cope was cut. I am shocked that a D3 CB has made it thus far.

      • Not to mention their backup plan for Lowe was Grant Van De Casteele so who know’s how far down Cope was on the Union’s draft board.

      • I got this sneaky feeling Marquez could be a keeper, based in large part on his athletic prowess (as measured at the scouting combine). I’ve only seen him play once, against the Red Bulls, and he was partially at fault on both goals, so there isn’t a ton I’ve seen that I can base that assessment on.

        • The fact he’s lasted longer than a second round pick who was rated a first rounder prior to the draft is a very good sign that he’s shown Hackworth & co. good reason to keep him.

  3. It is understandable that college may not provide top quality talent players, and that some draftees will have to be cut.

    However, it is upsetting to see both Cope and Derschang cut this early. Is there really any downside to seeing them play more over the next few games? Apparently the coaching staff feels confident enough to cut them beforehand. Particularly given the lack of defensive depth perpetually on the Union, this is upsetting to see.

    However, given the glut of midfielders we have on the roster, I suppose this move is understandable.

    More upsetting, perhaps, is the value that the second round picks could have had in a trade. The draft gets overhyped every year yet teams are still willing to give up quality players for picks.

    In hindsight, it may have been better to trade these two second round picks in return for a veteran CB within the league!

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    Does cut means gone? Out of Union control? Sent to Reading? Free to sign with anyone? Help please…

    • Phil Naegely says:

      They can’t be sent to reading. Only players with college time (eligibility) left can play for Reading. Harrisburg could sign them outright though.

      • Not exactly true. Players who have already graduated from college can still play in the PDL. Matt Baker, Ged Quinn, Stephen Hogan and Eric Schoenle are just a few of the guys who played with Reading after graduating from college.

        If you’re playing for Harrisburg, you are playing on a professional contract. Players at Reading are not paid.

        That being said, guys like Dershang and Cope would do well to try to latch on with either an NASL or USL-Pro club. They will have a chance to refine their craft and give themselves the chance to earn an MLS contract in the same manner that Luke Mulholland did with RSL this off-season.

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Has anyone seen the article on the union website on Cruz.

    It’s like hey read this kool-aid filled article on cruz because our coach is hell bent on keeping him! Willing to sacrifice young talent and ruin the great service coming from the new DPs cause the man has but one foot.

    To steal a saying from my friend the sun shines on a dog’s a** once in a while describes the few moments of luck or brillance that he has displayed a few times last season, which unforunately overshades his lack of touch and vision in the final third to complete the chances more often then not.

    But hell what do I know?

  6. Fred – I Haven’t heard that name in a long time.

  7. If Hackworth let’s his man crush on Danny Cruz cloud his judgement this year than he needs to go once and for all. No one is disputing Cruz’s hustle and work ethic. Unfortunately it does not allow the Union enough control on the attack. You are going to have some skilled players waiting for him to make a play, however Cruz will flop, fumble the ball off his feet or not have the skill to see enough of the field to make a play. Le Toux brings so much more on the wing. If Hackworth can’t coach skilled players then he is doing a disservice to the team. Also that back line is going to be this years mid field if a serviceable CB is not found. Set plays are going to be a nightmare. I’m still not convinced there’s a need for Carroll however I would like to see how Edu’s presence affects his play. If anything Edu will demand the ball.

    • I take some comfort in the fact that Cruz didn’t start yesterday.
      And I still think the Union would be best served by trading one of Hoppenot or Cruz. I’d prefer to trade Cruz, of course; but the flip side of that would be that Hoppenot has (I assume at least) slightly more trade value – better skill, wider skill set, cheaper contract. They really don’t need to carry both players.

      • They both have a role on this team, though. Last year Cruz was able to draw so many fouls and cards because he was so annoying to play against. Yes he falls. A lot. Usually by his own doing. But sometimes his hustle got us a free kick, or better yet a card from the opposition. In the final 15 or 20 minutes his aggressive style could frustrate or flat out beat a tired defender and draw free kicks or penalties. Same with Hoppenot, as his success has come from him getting in behind tired defenders (usually). So I do think they both have a role, ONLY off the bench, but I wouldn’t be opposed to moving one of them for a back-up defender.

      • You’re right. I’d rather keep Hoppenot because when he comes in it’s immediate offense. I feel bad for Cruz because I think his lack of skill has made him expendable so far in his career. He needs to get his game under control. He needs to know when to use his speed. He needs to work on nothing else but his skill set so that he’s not so 1 dimensional and predictable.

  8. As far as Cope goes one would have to assume that he couldn’t outplay Marquez. There was no way both were going to make the team. If we sign a veteran center back most of my fears will be laid firmly to rest.

  9. Pingback: Fernandes levels Union with Orlando again, Maidana on joining the Union, more

  10. Is Aaron Wheeler being converted to a CB? Hack is a …. Hack

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