The Union made a plethora of moves in the midst of their inaugural season.
Maybe the best was the acquisition of midfielder Justin Mapp. Mapp was acquired on July 26 in a trade with the Chicago Fire for allocation money.
“It was a great move,” said defender Danny Califf. “We got a quality, quality player in the middle of the season and that’s not easy to do. Justin has been terrific for us all season."
Consider that in 2005, ’06 and ’08, Mapp notched a career-best eight assists. In ’06, he was also named to the MLS Best XI squad.
“It wasn’t too much of a shock to be traded because this is a business and we all know it,” Mapp said. “At the same time, I was very happy to come to Philadelphia. It’s a great organization. Since I arrived here, it has been a first-class operation. I have the type of situation that’s ideal. The staff here works extremely hard in preparing us. I have really enjoyed my experience here.”
Mapp has played 761 minutes for the Union with a game-winning goal and four assists. His play along the flanks has been extremely helpful, filling a void that existed prior to his arrival.
“Justin is a very sound player in all facets,” said forward Sebastien Le Toux. “He has been as consistent as anyone. We are lucky to have him.”
While Mapp would obviously rather be gearing up for a run in the postseason, he is really excited about the home finale on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park.
“We need to win the game and close the home schedule with a big win,” said Mapp. “We have played so well in other games and came out with a different result other than a win. If we stick to what we’re trying to accomplish, I think we’re all confident we can get a positive result against New York.”
It has been a positive experience for Mapp in Philadelphia. He hopes it continues in the future.
“Being traded is never easy, especially in the middle of a season,” Mapp said. “But you go in with a positive attitude and do your best in your new surroundings. The guys here made that easy. They have been very supportive. This is a true team over here. We have a locker room that’s solid. The guys all get along with each other. There is never any animosity. I like my situation here. I really want to get a win in this last home game for these guys in this locker room, for the organization and for the fans.”