The Philadelphia Union have found a solution to their backup goalkeeper conundrum.
On Friday, the team announced it acquired Joe Bendik from the Columbus Crew in exchange for the club’s natural 2020 second-round pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
The move was triggered by Red Bull Salzburg requesting the return of Carlos Miguel Coronel, who was on loan to the Union for the 2019 season.
“Red Bull Salzburg approached us, expressing interest in having Carlos back this summer, prior to the expiration of his loan agreement at the end of our season,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said. “We were happy to oblige as we have worked out a solution in acquiring Joe from Columbus. He is an MLS veteran who brings over seven years of experience in this league to our group. We look forward to integrating him quickly as we continue our push toward the MLS Cup playoffs.”
Red Bull Salzburg’s goalkeeping situation changed after Alexander Walke was lost for the upcoming season due to a motorcycle accident.
The Union did not receive any compensation for the early termination of Coronel’s loan. Philadelphia and Red Bull Salzburg agreed to a mutual termination of the loan. There was no initial loan fee paid for the 22-year-old Brazilian, per a Philadelphia Union spokesperson.
Before the Union could agree to terminate Coronel’s loan, they had to find a player to fill their goalkeeper depth chart behind MLS All-Star Andre Blake.
The 30-year-old Bendik brings experience to the goalkeeping corps that also includes Homegrown player Matt Freese.
Bendik made six starts for the Crew in 2019 after joining the struggling side from Orlando City in the offseason.
Bendik was made available by Columbus’ signing of Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room, who inked a deal after an impressive run at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
The acquisition of the veteran netminder likely allows the Union to develop Freese more at USL Championship affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC.
If that were the case, the Union would be able to give Freese minutes with current Steel starting goalkeeper Tomas Romero headed to Georgetown from the club’s academy.