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July 20, 2016

Who replaces Peter Pappas as Union color commentator?

Soccer Union
Union 072016 Earl Gardner/Philly Soccer Page

Philadelphia native Jeremiah White played against the Union as a member of the New England Revolution in a 2012 reserve league game.

The Philadelphia Union parted ways with Peter Pappas on Tuesday night, after reports surfaced that the team's color commentator pleaded guilty to participating in a prescription drug kickback scheme that netted him nearly half a million dollars.

Pappas had been with the club since 2012, working initially on Union radio broadcasts and television pregame shows. He assumed the color gig alongside J.P. Dellacamera when Alejandro Moreno left for ESPN in 2014.

There are some good options to replace Pappas in the broadcast booth.

Jeff Cook

Jeff is a Union academy coach and Bethlehem Steel assistant.

He did color for the first time during the web stream of the U.S. Open Cup game against New York back on June 29th, and his analysis was spot on. He offered tactical nuance and was able to provide simple explanations for rather complex topics, which I think resonates with a fan base that is still learning some of the more advanced parts of the game.

Cook was able to explain the concepts of New York's pressing game, then elaborate when the Union broke through for a pair of second half goals.

Janusz Michallik

Janusz is my favorite color commentator in North America.

Similar to Cook, he's very good at identifying tactical subtleties and explaining those concepts in a way that people can understand. When most broadcasters use generic lines, such as "that was a great run by the left back!", Michallik will instead explain why it occurred and what happened in the build up. He doesn't use "crutch" phrases or fall back on generic lines. He really focuses on a game and does the required research.

Janusz works for ESPN, but it would nice to get him on board in the short term.

Taylor Twellman

Why not?

Taylor started with the Union in 2011, and he's now doing national broadcasts for ESPN. The Euros are over and the slate is rather empty, so surely it wouldn't be that hard to have him fill in for a few games, right?

Adam Cann

I haven't seen Adam since he moved to Texas in 2011, and I don't know if he's ever been in front of a camera, but he's the sharpest member of the Philadelphia media corps.

Cann writes the player ratings and analysis for Philly Soccer Page, and his knowledge of the game is deep. He played for Haverford College back in the day.

Personally, I'd rather teach a soccer expert how to do television, instead of trying to explain the game to a talking head.

Matt Kassel

Former Union player Matt Kassel has been doing color for Bethlehem Steel this season. He's new to the gig, and he's gotten progressively better over the course of the season. Giving him a shot at some senior team games on a temporary basis would be a good way to further sharpen those broadcasting skills.

Earl Gardner/Philly Soccer Page

Matt Kassel (left), is now color commentator for Bethlehem Steel. Jeff Parke is a former Union player who still lives in the Philadelphia area.

Another former player

There are a lot of guys still hanging out in the area.

Jeremiah White didn't play for the team, but still works in the Philly area. I wouldn't mind seeing him, or his NXTSoccer partner, Jeff Parke, get a shot in the broadcast booth. Both of those guys know what they're talking about.

What about Danny Califf? He's a fan-favorite and has never shied away from sharing his opinions in the past.

I'd love to see Bobby Warshaw do a couple of games as well, but he's in the middle of the USL season with Harrisburg. He's got a future in the media/broadcasting side of the game.

Fred wouldn't be a bad choice either. He's been around the game forever and knows what he's talking about. If Maurice Edu is still on the shelf for a bit, I'd even like to see him fill in for a few games.

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @Kevin_Kinkead