The European transfer window is set to open at the start of the new year. For the Union, a number of players were expected to be on their way overseas. However, this offseason has been fairly quiet for the reigning Eastern Conference Champions. Union fans have adopted a saying… There is no way Kai Wagner is on this team next season, right?
When a team makes it to the MLS Cup on top of a dominating season, eyes will be on them. This is especially the case for the Union, who have a load of talented young players.
However, rumblings about departures from the Union roster have been practically 0. While some moves have been made, it is safe to say a lot more roster turnover was expected.
What Has Happened So Far
The biggest move so far from the Union is the departure of Paxten Aaronson. The move is all but done and Paxten is already in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt. While it hurt the Union’s depth and it was unfortunate he never broke in entirely with the Union, the move wasn’t surprising. It is clear he is on the same track as his older brother.
With Paxten’s departure, the Union made a rare interleague transfer with Orlando SC. Acquiring midfielder Andres Perea. Perea is a promising young talent and has the opportunity to be a main feature off the bench.
While this is not set in stone like the other two moves, Daniel Gazdag revealed he is in advanced talks on a contract extension with the Union. Coming odd a season with 22 goals and 10 assists. Gazdag being locked in for at least another few seasons is huge for the Union. This keeps the dangerous trio of Gazdag, Carranza, and Uhre together long-term.
Other than these three moves, that is about it from the Union roster so far this offseason.
Big Transfer Rumors Gone Silent
Union fans have started a saying over recent years… “There is no way Kai Wagner is on this team next season, right?” So far, we have been wrong every time.
The Union found a diamond in the rough with Kai Wagner. Acquiring him for a transfer fee that was never even reported. Then, likely flipping him for millions of dollars. The only question left is when will he be transferred.
At the end of the 2021 season, many said there is no way he isn’t transferred in the winter. Winter came and went. Then, there was no way he was not transferred in the summer. Once again, the time came and it went.
Now, here we are saying there is no way he is on this roster by the time the 2023 season comes along. Catching the pattern?
It isn’t like the Union is “stuck” with Wagner. He is the best left-back in the league, probably by a fair margin. However, here we are again with another transfer window upon us and rumors have gone absolutely silent.
Things could change at a moment’s notice and Kai could be on a plane to his new club by next week. However, we have been here before and there is now a real possibility the Union gets to hold on to Wagner just a bit longer.
The same could be said about Jose “El Brujo” Martinez. His name has been thrown around in international transfer rumors in the pat. Just like Wagner, nothing has come of it and any whisper has gone silent.
How Much Change Will the Union Roster Endure?
When teams reach peaks like MLS Cup or dominate a regular season, that team is usually torn apart to an extent. Outgoing transfers, coaching changes, etcetera. However, the Union may start the 2023 season with very little change at all.
The most likely transferred players are still here in Wagner and Martinez. With transfer rumors silent. The Union may be running it back with every player, minus Paxten, from the MLS Cup.
That would be huge as they navigate a very busy 2023 season with their sights set on multiple trophies.
Change is Inevitable
Right now it looks like the Union will hold onto key parts of the roster. However, change is inevitable. Even if we survive another transfer window without losing Kai Wagner, the time will come.
On top of transfers, the Union needs to be prepared for the departure or the “slowing down” of captain Alejandro Bedoya. Even if we lose only 1 or 2 players, Ernst Tanner should still be looking to fill in-depth pieces and prepare.
Whether the moves come in this winter or they wait until the summer, the Union roster will change.
Things Could Change in an Instant
Rumors and moves may only be quiet right now because of the wrench thrown in the international soccer schedule. That wrench of course being the World Cup. Now that it is completed and Europe’s top leagues are restarted, we could be looking at business as usual.
Things could heat up very quickly and Wagner, Martinez, or more could be on their way out.
The union may also escape losing any players until the summer when European teams are more active.
No matter which way you look at it, things have been too quiet for the Union.
Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation