Even though voting for this year’s MLS All-Star Game closed on Tuesday, it’s worth taking a look at some Philadelphia Union players who likely won’t make the team, but deserve a mention nonetheless.
Sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference on 12 points, one could argue that there aren’t many players who really have stood out for Peter Nowak’s bunch. But there have been some highlights the expansion side, even if they don’t earn the nod against Manchester United on July 28th in Houston.
Cristian Arrieta: The Italian-American defender has been nothing short of a steal for Nowak this season. Signed after the first game of the season, Arrieta has come in and added an extra dose of veteran leadership to go along with Danny Califf in the middle. A massive upgrade from the now afterthought David Myrie, the former Puerto Rico Islanders MVP deserves a lot of praise for how strong the defense has looked lately.
Jordan Harvey: One of the unknowns from the expansion draft class, Harvey has come in and adjusted wonderfully to the left back slot and has started every match there this season. H’s made a name for himself with his pioneering runs down the flanks that have produced some quality service, and he even managed to score a lovely goal against Toronto FC earlier in the year.
Fred: It’s nice to see Fred play with such determination. Sometimes pinned as a bit hard to motivate, the Brazilian has been a revelation for Nowak in the middle of the park. His fancy footwork and vision have been vital in the Union’s possession going forward and he has been a huge reason why they’ve been able to main control of the ball for large portions of matches this season. Without him dicing up the middle of the park, the Union may not have earned some of the results they’ve been able to this year.
Alejandro Moreno: If you look up unsung hero in the dictionary, you’re likely to see a picture of Moreno’s smiling face. That’s how important he’s been this year. Look no further than the Union’s recent match with Chivas USA, when team suffered without his hold-up play and work rate. Nowak likely would be happy to field 11 carbon copies of Moreno if he could.