Union Midfield Suddenly Stronger, Deeper

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?