The Offseason So Far: Similar to the Revs, really. They cleared out a bunch of veterans on big numbers and haven't made any big moves to speak of (though they did sign a Homegrown midfielder and a striker from their USL affiliate). Union fans have been waiting, waiting, waiting for that skull-crusher of a signing, and ... well, it's not here yet. So far it's been more about cleaning out their cap-killing contracts, save for Jay Simpson.
Obviously this is prelude to them going out and getting a high-level No. 10. If it's not...
Oh look, it's the Sons of Ben!
Beyond that midfield playmaker, the focus has to be on defense. Richie Marquez, Josh Yaro and especially Keegan Rosenberry all regressed last season, and now for the 36th straight year it looks like Fabinho is the default starter at left back. Jim Curtin desperately needs to reverse that first trend, and Earnie Stewart needs to do a better job of addressing the second. If not, it'll be a long year in Philly once again.
Also, do we buy or sell C.J. Sapong as a year-in, year-out 12-15 goal-scorer at center forward? I'll buy it, but there needs to be more of a boxscore contribution from the wingers in 2018.
JAN. 2 UPDATE:
To be fair I like that they re-signed Fabian Herbers. He's very good and they missed him last year. But... yeah. Go find that 10.
JAN. 24 UPDATE: Ok here's my take: Getting David Accam was a brilliant move from the Union front office. Proven goal-scoring wingers in their prime are actually more rare than playmakers, and the actual threat posed by Accam can make the job of playmaking much, much easier.
Would you want to try to keep up with a front line of Accam, Sapong and Fabrice Picault? Hell, at worst they can go pure Whitecaps bunker-and-counter and probably put up respectable goal totals. It really was a great, great trade.
And... and it leads me to believe the Union are going to stick with what they've got in the No. 10 department. That means either Herbers, or former Red Bulls Homegrown Adam Najem, or their own Homegrown Tony Fontana (great name) is gonna get the keys to the ride.
There's a sense amongst the Union faithful that this can't possibly work, yet we've seen teams around the league – RBNY and RSL most prominently – going hard with their own Homegrowns leading the way. It looks like 2018 is the year for Philly to follow suit at a few spots, including possibly the backline, d-mid and playmaker.
Philly fans just have to trust the process here. Do you think they'll show that kind of patience, though?