Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Union waive Brad Knighton

Remember how not that long ago, it seemed like the Union were trying to move one of Chris Seitz or Brad Knighton, and keep the other?

Union waive Brad Knighton

Brad Knighton delivered three shutouts for the Union last season. (Matt Slocum/AP file photo)
Brad Knighton delivered three shutouts for the Union last season. (Matt Slocum/AP file photo)
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Remember how not that long ago, it seemed like the Union were trying to move one of Chris Seitz or Brad Knighton, and keep the other?

And remember how they ended up stuck with both for a while?

Well, now they have neither.

Yeah, really.

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The Union waived Knighton Tuesday evening, a move that was rumored a while back but still seems an odd thing given Zac MacMath's complete lack of professional experience.

"I just want to thank everyone for their continued support!" Knighton posted on his Twitter feed after being released. "I really appreciate it! As one door closes, another door will open!"

Neither Peter Nowak nor John Hackworth was made available after the news was announced.

Knighton played a role in the first shutout in club history against Celtic, and kept three clean sheets in league play. After taking over from Chris Seitz in August, Knighton remained the club's starter for the rest of the 2010 season.

While it's true that MacMath is probably better than your average third-string MLS goalkeeper, the return of the reserve league this season presented MacMath an avenue towards regular playing time outside of the first teaim.

A depth chart of Faryd Mondragón, Knighton and MacMath probably would not have diminished either non-starter's reputation all that much.

Nonetheless, Knighton has more than enough talent to be a starter, and he's surely going to land somewhere by the time the season kicks off. Plenty of squads in MLS are a bit short between the sticks right now, from Chicago to Houston to (especially) Portland. At the moment, the Timbers only have Troy Perkins on their official roster, though they have had a few other players in for trials.

Although there's no explicit rule I know of requiring MLS clubs to have three goalkeepers on their roster, it does make sense. The rule does exist at the World Cup, so that teams carry a starter, a backup, and a player who can come in as a substitute if the starter is hurt and the backup gets sent off.

Add in the aforementioned reserve league factor, and I think it's a safe assumption that the Union will sign a third goalkeeper at some point. One candidate for the position is former Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 national team player Thorne Holder, who is on trial with the club this week. Here's a story on Holder from Trinidadian newspaper Newsday.

I know that we've had some technical issues with posting comments on our sports blogs today, but if the system works for you, I'd like to know what you think of the move, and what you think the Union should do to replace Knighton.
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald
Lauren Green Inquirer Staff Writer
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