New Union sporting director, Earnie Stewart, made his first European signing for the Union this past week, bringing in midfielder Roland Alberg, 25, from ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands. Earnie had first come into contact with Alberg during his time at AZ Alkmaar where Alberg began his career in the academy.

Alberg had been at ADO Den Haag since 2013 and had made 60 starts and scored 16 goals with 13 assists for the club. Last season, Alberg scored eight times and added nine assists. This season, ADO Den Haag is struggling, just eight point above the relegation zone.

Alberg instantly brings quality to the Union midfield. He has the ability to play both center midfield and on the wing and brings playmaking ability to either position. Some people have described Alberg’s abilities as a younger Cristian Maidana who also has the ability to score.  It is unclear where Alberg will line up. Some speculate he will split time with Tranquillo Barnetta at center midfield but a more likely possibility is that Alberg will line up at right wing and start over an aging Sebastian Le Toux. This would then have Chris Pontius, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Roland Alberg behind striker CJ Sapong and Vincent Nogueira and Maurice Edu behind them. This midfield contains several proven playmakers who will be able to provide a considerable amount of service to Sapong. Expect the Union striker to approach or surpass 15 goals this season.

Alberg joins the Union through the use of Targeted Allocation Money meaning he will not occupy a designated player spot. The team still currently has only one DP, Maurice Edu. Alberg does occupy an international spot, filling the seven the Union have this season after sending one to Houston in the Sheanon Williams trade. If the Union are too bring in a European striker like they are reportedly trying to do, Vincent Nogueira will likely have to be given his green card so that he will not occupy an international spot. The Union could also look for a current MLS striker such as Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks to complement Sapong this season.

Photo: ADO Den Haag

Connor Cummings

General Manager of Philadelphia Sports Nation. Die hard supporters of Philadelphia sports. Previously Union Nation Manager. Sons of Ben member since 2013. Founder of the A More Perfect Philadelphia Union blog. Admin of the Philadelphia Union Discussion Group. Been at Philadelphia Sports Nation and Union Nation since Summer of 2015.

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