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The Drama That is the Philadelphia Union Goalie Situation:

Let’s go all the way back to July 30th of 2014 when the Union signed a world class goalkeeper. Rais M’Bohli had come to terms as the Union’s new goalie, a move that puzzled many fans as they had Zac MacMath who was doing decently, and the future of goalkeeping; the young Jamaican Andre Blake. M’Bohli, shined at the World Cup as he gave World Cup champions Germany a good run for their money. The Union hoping to upgrade their team brought the Algerian in to boost their defense. After a few games, with the Union winning 1-0 against Chicago, M’Bohli literally kicked a ball to Chicago forward Robert Earnshaw who chipped the ball over Rais and into the net to tie the game at the very end for Chicago. It wouldn’t have been so devastating, but this game basically killed any playoff hopes the Union had for the 2014 campaign. Fast forward to the winter and the Union get rid of Zac Macmath, as they had loaned him to the Colorado Rapids, a deal where the Union will have a chance to get him back after the end of the season if Colorado doesn’t want to keep him. They also added John McCarthy, a Philly native who started the season in March as the team’s third string keeper.

Preseason comes around and M’Bohli, trying to regain the Philly fans’ trust, played somewhat well in their preseason tournament. The regular season comes around and he starts playing absolutely terrible. Shots starting getting by him in which he certainly could’ve saved them but for whatever reason he couldn’t. Then April 5th comes around when the Union travelled to Kansas City in search of their first win. With the Union being up 1-0, off a corner kick M’Bohli slips and falls on a corner after misjudging the ball and Kansas City defender Ike Opara heads the ball in to make it 1-1. Stoppage time comes around in the second half, and M’Bohli plays so poorly he gives up two goals in about a three minute span and loses the game for the Union.

After M’Bohli’s terrible performance he was sent to Europe to take some time off. With Andre Blake being out with an injury, John McCarthy has started the past four or five games and not doing the greatest it looked like Andre Blake would finally make his return and start against the Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday. Rais M’bohli all of a sudden makes a return to the Union on Cinco de Mayo and was a full participant in training. Then, more drama strikes as McCarthy and Blake somehow both get hurt, with Blake sustaining another serious injury which could sideline him for a while. So after that absurd scenario all fingers are pointing to Rais M’Bohli now starting once again for the Union this Saturday against the Whitecaps. But wait hold the phone, on May 8th the Union announce they have signed another goalkeeper to a short term deal and he will be the starter this Saturday.

Brian Sylvestre who has been playing for the Carolina Railhawks in the USL (the minor leagues of MLS) has been signed to start for a team he has barely trained with. The MLS has also given the Union another goalie from the emergency goalkeeper pool to be the backup for Saturday’s contest which means M’Bohli will not travel with the team to Vancouver. So with all of this craziness going on it looks like Rais has indeed played his last game as a member of the Philadelphia Union. Jim Curtain, the Union head coach, has showed how much he doesn’t want M’Bohli on his team and the move acquiring Sylvestre has really proved it. In the next, coming weeks who knows who will be starting in the net for the Union as your guess is as good as mine.


Author: Matthew Nissenfeld

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