In what has been a rumored move each offseason for the Philadelphia Union, this offseason the front office needs to rip the band aid.
That band aid is selling star goalkeeper Andre Blake.
While Blake is arguably the best player on the roster, that also makes him the most valuable player on the team. No one currently on the Philadelphia Union roster will bring in half the money that a Blake sale would bring in. Blake is a great keeper but while he was away on international duty, the Philadelphia Union saw what life without Blake would look like.
John McCarthy stepped in and did an admirable job. While he isn't in the same class as Blake, he is able to make the saves that are expected of a starting keeper. McCarthy is also a fearless sweeper keeper who allows the Union to play a high line to put the attacking pressure on. Going deeper into the system, the Union have good depth in rookie Jake Maguire and 16-year-old academy product Travis Romero.
In short, if the Union sell Blake, they'll be in good hands. But why should they look to shop Andre Blake anyway?
MONEY. The Philadelphia Union have struggled to spend money with Alejandro Bedoya being their million dollar man (a paltry sum in MLS). What is needed is a CAM and a winger with additional depth at striker not being a bad shout either. The Union will be able to shed salary to add some guys during the offseason with names such as Fabinho, Ilsinho, Roland Alberg, Chris Pontius, Maurice Edu and Brian Carroll not returning next season but when it comes to paying transfer fees, the Union need cold hard cash.
The team has been able to get creative with transfer fees in the past but it hasn't helped with the Union perennially being in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. It's time to spend some real money in Chester and if Jay Sugarman won't sell his stock or the team, selling Blake is the next best way to accomplish that.
Selling Blake will hurt in the short run but if it helps the team improve 2-3 other positions, it's an option that needs to be considered with the European transfer window opens in January. Blake will be remembered fondly in Philadelphia but for the team to take the next step, it's time to cash in.