The Orchestrator | How Earnie Stewart is transforming the Union

Fourth-place in the East isn’t enough for Earnie Stewart.

The Philadelphia Union’s first-year sporting director got off to a fast start this offseason, making several draft day deals to acquire the second, third and sixth overall selections, trading for MLS vet Chris Pontius and adding midfielders Roland Alberg and Ilsinho from abroad.

The moves have worked pretty well, helping the Union – who haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 – stay above the red line for nearly the entire 2016 season.

But Stewart wants more – a lot more. He made a trio of huge moves to help his club on Wednesday, signing USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya from French club Nantes, sending longtime Union midfielder Sebastien Le Toux to Colorado and acquiring forward Charlie Davies in a trade with the New England Revolution.

The transactions are all part of Stewart’s master plan, outlined in the latest episode of MLS Insider, to help the Union not only become MLS champions, but transform into the gold standard of US clubs.