Thank you to all who submitted questions for this questions and answers session. I will be doing them on-and-off with the Brotherly Game in the future so I hope we can continue to get your questions in the future. without further ado, here are your questions and my answers.
aqwerty asked, "Corey Hertzog: I've read the Union are taking a shot at claiming Corey Hertzog as a homegrown player. Can you give an update on this situation and your thoughts on the Unions chances of landing him."
1. While I can't give an update on Corey Hertzog, as the Union (like any professional sports team) decline comment when asked about players who aren't under contract, I'd like to think he would be a welcome addition. For his size (6-0), I'm inclined to believe he's one of the more skilled players who will be available. The MLS combine begins Jan. 7. I'm sure Nowak and Co. will get a good look at him there.
iamrobk asked, "Curious what your thoughts are on both Seitz and Fred being taken in the expansion draft. Also, it seems like we need a goalkeeper, a midfielder/winger, and a forward, if only for depth on the second 2 positions. Any ideas?"
2. My thoughts on Chris Seitz and Fred being taken in the re-entry draft? Good riddance. Maybe that's too harsh, but it's easy to see that Seitz's and Fred's contributions can — and will — be replaced next season. Seitz's decision making skills were dreadful, his instincts seemed to lag a second behind … and his stats reflected that. There's a reason why the Union got off to such a terrible start to the season, and it had only a fraction to do with their road-heavy schedule. Seitz needs to spend another year or two training under a veteran keeper before he should be considered the heir apparent to any job. Where the Union will miss Fred is as a mentor to the younger, Spanish-speaking players. They considered him a father figure. Roger Torres, 18, looked up to Fred, 31. They lived down the hall from each other in a condo building. His on-field play, while noteworthy, wasn't something that will be all-together missed.
The Brotherly Game's staff asked, "Are the fans the only ones completely confused by Piotr Nowak's personnel decisions this offseason?"
3. The fans might not be the only ones completely confused by Peter Nowak's moves this offseason … but he really hasn't made all that many. They've lost four players and have to make some additions to a team that finished almost dead-last in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps through the SuperDraft? But that would only make a young team younger. Through international transfer? I suppose, but it's going to cost them. I will say this — I had my doubts about Nowak from the first day I met him, at last year's SuperDraft. He seemed suspicious, smarmy and self-conscious. But he's a good in-game coach, a solid surveyor of talent … and he and John Hackworth and Rob Vartughian appear to be cultivating that young talent quite nicely. I don't doubt that they've got some tricks up their sleeves for the next few weeks.
More questions and answers after the jump…
The Brotherly Game's staff asked, "There are rumors going around that a central midfielder from South America may be signed by the Union as a DP. Have you heard anything on the matter?" and "Another rumor is that Eidur Gudjohnsen may come to the Union as a DP. Any truth to that?"
4. As for the Union going after specific players from specific regions of the world, I can't get a peep out of the Union because they do not comment on things of that nature. My thinking — based on what Peter Nowak has told the media this offseason — is that the club has money and they're going to use it. I'd expect them to assign the DP tag this offseason on a player, my guess is a goalkeeper. I'll keep my ear to the ground.
The Brotherly Game's staff asked, "Are there any indications that the Union will pursue any of the players who were not chosen in the Re-Entry draft (and are now free agents)?"
5. I'm not sure the Union really need anything they could get from the re-entry draft. An aged forward? In my opinion, they have some of the best players up-top in the league in Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux. A midfielder? They have more midfielders than they can count. Goalkeepers? Their weakness last season was in fielding a team with youthful keepers, but I'm not sure a scrap-heap keeper is the answer. Maybe they could pluck a defender out of there, someone to help bolster the backline — but I think the Union made it clear in who they chose to protect from the expansion draft, that those four or five guys are their staples on the back. And I couldn't agree more. That's a nice corps.
The Brotherly Game's staff asked, "Just how bad was the music played during the Nowak conference call after the second stage of the Re-Entry draft?"
6. Unfortunately, I didn't hear the music. I got on the call late. But if it was anything like what they blared through PPL Park in pregame on match days, I'm sure it was a hoot.