New faces on Union roster

Carlos Ruiz makes his return to MLS after 3-year absence.
Carlos Ruiz makes his return to MLS after 3-year absence.
Posted: March 18, 2011

When the Union opens its second season tomorrow night, it will do so with a revamped roster. In the offseason, the team has added 11 fresh faces to the fray and sent 12 packing. Here's a rundown of players who make up the new look:

Faryd Mondragon

Age: 39

Position: Goalkeeper

For kicks: Mondragon brings more than a decade of both national team (Colombia) and European experience to a position that last year yearned for more security.

Zac MacMath

Age: 19

Position: Goalkeeper

For kicks: A U.S. Under-20 international, MacMath is young, but is being groomed behind Mondragon to be the future of the Union at the goalkeeper position.

Thorne Holder

Age: 24

Position: Goalkeeper

For kicks: Holder was a trialist who made his way onto the roster during preseason. Expected to hold down the third spot at the position, coach Rob Vartughian noted that Holder's upside is "tremendous."

Carlos Valdes

Age: 25

Position: Defender

For kicks: At a young age, Valdes has already shown strong leadership abilities. He previously captained two teams and is expected to be an upgrade to Michael Orozco Fiscal in central defense.

Brian Carroll

Age: 29

Position: Midfielder

For kicks: Carroll played under Union boss Peter Nowak before, at D.C. United. He's an MLS stalwart and should become the permanent patch to secure the gaping hole the Union had for a true holding midfielder.

Michael Farfan

Age: 22

Position: Midfielder

For kicks: Farfan was a late-round steal and is expected to provide depth out wide with his skills and deceptive speed.

Zac Pfeffer

Age: 16

Position: Midfielder

For kicks: He may be young, but Pfeffer is fully committed to being a threat. As the club's first home grown player, the Upper Dublin native will also add attacking depth to the midfield corps.

Ryan Richter

Age: 21

Position: Midfield/Forward

For kicks: The La Salle All-America entered as the most fit player in camp and was the only one kept from February's MLS Supplemental Draft. Richter also has shown versatility, and, according to the technical staff, could be used just about anywhere on the pitch.

Carlos Ruiz

Age: 31

Position: Forward

For kicks: Ruiz returns to MLS after a 3-year hiatus. His scoring knack is renowned and he should complement fellow attacker Danny Mwanga quite nicely, taking much of the heat off 2010 MLS All-Star Sebastien Le Toux.

Chris Agorsor

Age: 20

Position: Forward

For kicks: The definition of determination, Agorsor battled back from a potentially career-ending knee injury at Virginia and has shown that he still has the prowess that made him a U.S. Soccer youth player of the year in 2008. Expect him to continue to grow with the return of MLS' reserve league.

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