After a rough start to the 2023 MLS campaign, the Philadelphia Union has been surging recently. The club currently sits 4th in the Eastern Conference.
However, question marks start rising as the MLS enters the summer transfer window.

Who stays, and who goes?

Also, does Ernst Tanner bring anyone new in?


The Union should be happy with where they currently sit in MLS. With their game in hand on Nashville, the club could be in 3rd place. Sitting just 8 points behind league leaders Cincinnati, the Union could definitely be in a worse position.

However, the summer transfer window brings some anxiety for Union fans, with the team historically being more prone to sell than add.


Let’s look at who the Union may need to prepare to be without once fall rolls around.


Kai Wagner

His name has been thrown around in transfer rumors for years. The difference this year is Wagner’s expiring contract. Wagner could walk at the end of the season. That may just be worse than him leaving midseason.

Considering the Union got Wagner for just about $200k, his transfer fee would be one of the biggest flips in the club’s history. If Wagner leaves, the Union gets paid big time. If he stays, fans better hope for an MLS Cup, or the Union are leaving empty-handed.

Jack McGlynn

Another year, another Union homegrown generating a lot of European interest. Jack McGlynn will be the next big money homegrown transfer for the Union. The only question is when. Historically, younger players do stick around for the rest of the season. So, if McGlynn is sold in the summer, the most likely, and best case scenario, for the Union is they have his talents through the rest of 2023.

McGlynn will follow in the steps of the Aaronson brothers and Mark McKenzie. It is clear his time is now for the big move overseas. Looking into the future, Quinn Sullivan is not too far behind him.

Julian Carranza

Julian Carranza is a big wild card. First, if the Union does lose him in the transfer window, the attack will suffer greatly. However, the other side to that is Carranza could be the largest outgoing transfer in Union’s history. Consistency has been an issue with him, but the Argentinian striker has shown his knack for scoring goals. About halfway through the season, he is already sitting at 10 goals scored. 0 of which have been penalties. He is chasing for the MLS Golden Boot.

It may not seem like it, but Carranza is only 23. The Union plucked the struggling player out of Miami’s developmental side and turned him into a star. Carranza will get transferred one day. For MLS Cup purposes, let us hope he stays the rest of the year. Nonetheless, whenever Caranza goes, the Union is going to get a lot of money for him.

Leon Flach

Leon Flach is in an interesting situation. There is no denying his skill and what he brings to the team with effort and defense. However, if there is one player on this roster whose transfer would benefit everyone involved, it is Flach. Some rumors have already started swirling of European interest.

Flach is good, but the midfield is crowded, and Jack McGlynn has passed him in priority of playing, especially in the Union’s new 3-5-2 formation. On top of that, with captain Ale Bedoya back and healthy, his playing time is going to dip even more. Flach is worth a solid amount of money, and moving him would open up space in the midfield and give Flach more minutes to play somewhere else.


Does Tanner Bring Anyone In?

In Ernst Tanner’s stint with the Union, he has been reluctant to add major pieces midseason. Usually, just depth moves for the future. However, if the Union is set to lose some key players, this is the year to reload in the summer.

Even if the Union isn’t losing big names in the season, the depth at the forward position is a huge concern. Tanner needs to be active. Especially as the first half of the season has shown multiple MLS teams are ready to put up a fight for MLS Cup.

The Union is finally ascending up the table. However, losing any key piece could throw a wrench into the MLS Cup plans. Nonetheless, the Union have been able to skyrocket the amount of money their players are worth.


Once the selling starts, the Union will be bathing in money.
Will ownership finally use it? That is a discussion for another day…

Photo: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation

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