The Philadelphia Union has been busy this off-season. Unlike last year where former Team Manager Peter Nowak dumped fan favorites left and right in exchange for very little, this off-season Team Manager John Hackworth has been on the offensive.
First it started with an early holiday gift as Sebastien Le Toux returned to town. With Le Toux’s return, the Union now has its franchise leader in goals scored back up front. In last week’s Re-Entry Draft, the Union added even more forward depth and veteran experience by picking up Conor Casey. Casey also brings some much needed size to the front line.
Casey was picked up in the second round of the Re-Entry Draft, and previously played six seasons for the Colorado Rapids and one for Toronto FC (2007). In that span he scored 50 goals and added 16 assists. In 2010, Casey helped Colorado win the MLS Cup and was awarded with the MLS MVP. He rebounded from an Achilles injury last year to appear in 18 matches. Hackworth believes that Casey can help make a difference and scores goals for the Union.
“Conor makes us a better team,” said Hackworth. “He has proven that he can be one of the best forwards in this league and for the National team. Our staff believes that Conor still has many goals left in him.”
Philadelphia did not just make moves on the offensive side. They also acquired arguably one of the best defenders Jeff Parke. Parke, a Philadelphia native and played soccer at Drexel University, solidifies the Union’s defense. This move also allows more flexibility with players like Amobi Okugo, who could stay on defense or move back to his more natural position in the midfield.
With these three moves and maybe more to come, look for the Union to be more competitive in the MLS this year. Also look for them to make a run to the MLS postseason as well.