Brian Carroll's time in Philadelphia has proved to be quite a test for the wily MLS veteran. Brought in to give a young, developing team with a player who had won everything and anything in MLS, Carroll has not impressed in his short time with the Union.
Last season the Union had a sort of caravel of midfielders, ranging from MLS journeymen to near retirement South Americans. Carroll was expected to solidify an inconsistent midfield, but has only created quite a perplexing situation for the Union.
Can head coach Piotr Nowak afford to bench Carroll?
Carroll’s best attribute on the field is his vision, which he utilizes to provide ample distribution to forward moving teammates. Other than during the first match up against the Los Angeles Galaxy, when @OptaJack reports that the former DC United stalwart had an 90 percent plus pass completion rate, Carroll has failed to impress the Philly faithful.
It's disconcerting that the one component of the Union's almost completely revamped midfield that was supposed to be dependable no matter the situation is the one member of the midfield who has been undependable in every way.
Now that young midfielder Amobi Okugo is out for a bit due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in the opening minutes of the Union’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, Carroll needs to finally show up this season.
The Union’s central midfield pool is drying up with Okugo out, Zach Pfeffer recovering from appendix removal surgery, Michael Farfan and Keon Daniel most likely staying on the outside of the midfield and MLS veteran Stefani Miglioranzi‘s continuing infuriating play.
Without even average play from Carroll, the Union's offensive problems – which finally took a turn for the better with two goals at home against the Fire – will never fully end and the Union's defense will have to keep on taking the brunt of the storm.