NOTE: I also wrote an exclusive piece this evening about Union TV broadcaster J.P. Dellacamera moving from ESPN to Fox Soccer Channel. Click here to read it.
Today was the deadline to comply with Major League Soccer's 30-player roster regulations, and the Philadelphia Union made a flurry of moves while abroad in Greece.
The club signed Trinidadian goalkeeper Thorne Holder, who had been on trial since the preseason camp in Wayne, and former La Salle midfielder Ryan Richter, a supplemental draft pick.
Holder's deal is no surprise, at least if you go by Twitter. Sheanon Williams referred to him as "one of our goalies" back on February 19. Faryd Mondragón tweeted yesterday that he was "at the US Embassy in Athens with Carlos Valdes, Thorny [sic] Holder and Josh Gros (the Master) getting our P1 Visas!!!!!"
Gros, in case you've forgotten, does team-related operations work in the front office.
In addition to the two signings, the club waived midfielder Nick Zimmerman and forward J.T. Noone, a Temple alum. Zimmerman was picked up in the Union's expansion draft. He played a total of 159 minutes over eight league games last season. Noone split time between the Union and the minor-league Harrisburg City Islanders last season, and did not play in any league games.
It also appears that Michael Orozco Fiscal and SuperDraft pick Levi Houapeu are no longer with the team. Both names are absent from the 22-player official roster that the Union published.
I have tried repeatedly to get the Union to tell me what the status is of Orozco Fiscal, and I also asked about Houapeu's status after the roster announcement this evening. All I was told is to wait until Peter Nowak's conference call with reporters tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
The Union's press release about its roster states that "SuperDraft selections Zac MacMath and Michael Farfan signed contracts with Major League Soccer prior to being picked up by the Union on January 13th." You'll note that Houapeu is not mentioned.
Orozco Fiscal's status is a bit murkier. Just before 2 a.m. Eastern Time this past Friday, Roger Torres tweeted in Spanish: "Trsite [sic] lo que le paso a nuestro companero michael espero dios lo bendiga siempre y lo lleve a un muy buen equipo por q lo merece"
Translated to English, that means: "Sad about what happened to our friend Michael. I hope God blesses you always and brings you to a very good team. You deserve it."
Most observers assumed that the "Michael" in question was Orozco Fiscal, and not Farfan. That certainly made sense, mainly because Orozco Fiscal was with the Union on loan and not a full contract. Later in the day Friday, MLSSoccer.com's Travis M. Clark tweeted that Farfan had signed a contract with the league, so the player in question was almost certainly Orozco Fiscal.
It's all well and good for us to assume, but that doesn't mean there's actual information that can be reported on as fact. The deletion of Torres' tweet and the Union's lack of comment on the matter created an atmosphere of uncertainty that didn't help anyone not currently in Greece.
We at least know now that Orozco Fiscal isn't on the Union's roster anymore - and yes, I did predict he'd be the team's starting left back this season. So much for that.
But we still don't know why Orozco Fiscal is gone. We also don't know why the Union have only officially filled 22 of the allowable 30 slots on their roster, including three international slots.
If there's anything we do know, it's that today's news has given us a lot to talk about.
Here's how the Union's roster officially stands right now:
1. Faryd Mondragon
18. Zac MacMath
24. Thorne Holder
2. Jordan Harvey
3. Juan Diego González Alzate
4. Danny Califf
5. Carlos Valdés
25. Sheanon Williams
6. Stefani Miglioranzi
7. Brian Carroll
8. Roger Torres
13. Kyle Nakazawa
14. Amobi Okugo
21. Michael Farfan
22. Justin Mapp
23. Ryan Richter
27. Zach Pfeffer
9. Sébastien Le Toux
10. Danny Mwanga
12. Chris Agorsor
9. Jack McInerney
20. Carlos Ruiz