By Kevin Kinkead
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has shipped a league-worst 18 goals this year.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Another Round Of Snow Expected Overnight Into Thursday Morning Commute
Ten games now into a troublesome season, it looks like the Union is laying out plans for the summer transfer window.
Sources tell CBS Philly that the club will add a starting left fullback, with several foreign names appearing on the shortlist. The team is reportedly looking to Europe to fill a position that has been limiting and burdensome since the trade of Jordan Harvey back in 2011.
Following Saturday’s home loss to Toronto FC, manager Jim Curtin was asked directly if the team was looking for reinforcement at the position. Curtin responded positively to that question, while adding that current left back Ray Gaddis would now spend the rest of the season on the right side of defense.
Here’s the exchange from May 2nd:
Scott Kessler (Kessler Reports): Has there been any movement to acquire a starting left back? You moved Ray over to the right and he looks more comfortable on that side. He would probably admit that. You tried it during preseason…
Jim Curtin: “Yea, we are still pursuing that. Ray will be the right back going forward. I think that that’s going to be his spot now. Sheanon Williams and Fabinho currently will battle for the other spot, but we are actively looking, yea.”READ MORE: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
CBS Philly: Sheanon on the left and Ray on the right, is that just a tactical or matchup thing?
Jim Curtin: “Ray’s going to be… I want Ray on the right, on the right hand side. That’s where he’s going to be for the remainder of the year.”
Gaddis is a naturally right-footed player. He played right back at West Virginia University and entered the draft as a prospect at that position.
He’s been used primarily at left back for several years now, almost exclusively for his ability to defend in 1v1 situations and make important tracking and recovery plays. Gaddis has not recorded a goal or assist in 22 consecutive games and does not regularly fire crosses into the box.
On the other side of defense, Williams has contributed five goals and 12 assists since the beginning of the 2013 season. He appears to be out of favor and will look for time at left back, as that quote from Curtin explains.
But even if Williams plays on the left, the Union will still have a right-footed player on that side of the field. Like Gaddis, the Union veteran is similarly restricted in his crossing and attacking ability when played on that side of the field.
Fabinho is the only left-footed player that has seen significant time at left back since Harvey was traded to Vancouver in 2011. The Brazilian will get forward much more than both Gaddis and Williams, but often struggles defensively.MORE NEWS: Police Search For Suspects After Armed Robbery At Oxford Circle Wawa
Rookie Raymond Lee looks to be fourth on the fullback depth chart. He logged 12 emergency minutes in the road loss to Kansas City.