Union Midfield Suddenly Stronger, Deeper

JP Dellacamera looks at the additions of Coudet, Mapp

The Philadelphia Union could
have a new look this Saturday when they take on the New England Revolution at
PPL Park.

Since their last MLS game,
the dramatic win over Toronto, the team has taken strides to strengthen their
team in a number of ways in the midfield.

Signed early last week (July
22), Eduardo Coudet brings talent and experience to the team’s midfield
position. His trails have seen him
play at high levels in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina, where he logged over 400
games played. He has already shown
some good signs in the recent friendlies vs Celtic and Manchester United when he
played as a right sided midfielder.

On Saturday, the 35 year
old could make his MLS debut.

Another player who could make his Union debut came via a trade on Monday. It only seems like Justin Mapp should be older, since he is
playing in his ninth
 MLS season. The 25 year old brings a lot to the table, including first class
speed. Mapp, in my opinion, needed
a change of scenery. Seemed like
for whatever reason he was getting stale in Chicago. A regular member of the starting 11 in recent years, that was
not the case in 2009 or 2010.

Mapp needs to play regular
minutes, whether it’s as a starter, or key reserve. My guess is that Philadelphia is counting on him to
start. Mapp’s speed is tough
for opponents to handle. He’s a left footed player who can play wide on either side, and often
times he will switch in-game. 

Make no mistake, he has
plenty of talent. Three times he
had eight assists in a season. He was
good enough to be a USA youth international, and good enough to be capped eight times by the U.S. National Team. Talent wise, he was good enough to be capped more than eight times.

These appear to be two good
acquisitions by the Union. They
have picked up two experienced players, one with blazing speed, and all they
gave up was allocation money for Mapp.

Mapp is in a good place right
now. Under Peter Nowak and this
coaching staff, Union fans have a chance to see the Justin Mapp we all saw a couple of years
ago.

Both of these moves seemingly
came from out of nowhere. There
were no rumors about a deal for Mapp. Wonder if other moves are also in the works?