CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth is still trying to find the right pieces to fit into his midfield.
Could he be adding another one soon?
During his weekly press conference Thursday, Hackworth confirmed a report that Abdul Kader Keita has been on trial with the Union for the last couple of weeks.
And while noting a deal is not imminent, Hackworth also didn’t rule out the possibility that Philly might make a move to sign the 31-year-old Ivorian international.
“He’s a really interesting player,” Hackworth said. “He’s had a very good career. He’s in the later stages of it and we’re just trying to evaluate whether that makes sense going forward and whether he can contribute to our team.
"Those are tough decisions, especially when you have guys in the locker room that haven’t played very much. And when you bring in another player, especially a player of his quality with the kind of career he’s had, you don’t want to bring him in just to add him into the mix. He’s got to be ready and he’s got to make an impact right away.”
Keita certainly has a solid pedigree, having played in two World Cups with the Ivory Coast national team and suiting up for big clubs like Lyon in France and Galatasaray in Turkey. And while he hasn’t been on a club since 2012, the winger could fill an immediate need in the Union midfield when he gets fit.
“I think if there’s any side of the field we feel we can improve on it might be that left side,” Hackworth said. “That’s something we’re looking at for sure.”
There have also been rumors that Roger Torres’ days in Philly could be numbered, given that the fan favorite has played just 10 minutes this season after being a regular for much of the Union’s first two years of existence.
But Hackworth squashed that notion that Keita could be on the way in at the expense of Torres, saying the Union “haven’t even considered” dealing away the Colombian playmaker.
“I have no idea what’s being written and what people are saying,” Hackworth said. “What I do know is Roger is a member of this team and he’s really important to us. I think if the opportunity presents itself and Roger takes full advantage of it, he can play a big role of us. And that’s my expectation. He wouldn’t be on our team if we didn’t feel that way.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.