Previewing the Union’s starting 11 for 2017 season opener: Number Eight


The Union have three different players who all seem ready to be the starting number eight on their squad. The first is Haris Medunjanin, who will start the season at the six because Maurice Edu is injured. The Other two are, Derrick Jones and Alejandro Bedoya. The Union’s choice in this position not only will predict the eight, but also the 10.

If the Union play Bedoya at the eight, as they did all of last season and most of the preseason, they will get that high intensity that he always brings. This seems the likely scenario since the Union have made a big deal out of building chemistry between Haris and Bedoya. But this would muddle things up if/when Maurice Edu comes back into the side. When that happens, Mo is the six, Haris is the eight and Bedoya is pushed up the field into the 10. That being the preferred lineup for the Union could mean that Bedoya doesn’t see time at the eight, and that the Union move to playing their youth.

Derick Jones is the first player to go through the Union Academy, Bethlehem Steel and play for the first team. He had a very strong showing in preseason. If the Union value his speed, and physicality highly, he could become the starter. This would make room for Bedoya to play the 10. The Union would then have someone who is willing to get into the nitty-gritty parts of the game further up the pitch. So what will the Union do for their match against Vancouver?

I have to think that because the Union made a big deal about Haris and Ale playing next to each other that they will start that way on Sunday. Bedoya is a great player, and is a great eight for the Union. Bedoya appeared on ESPNFC yesterday and talked about how he has developed well as an eight, and loves playing next to Haris. Before hearing this interview, I thought he might start the season higher up as the 10 but it seems that he and the team want him to start at the eight. Derrick Jones will get his chance as the starter someday, maybe the US Open Cup will be where he gets to start.

The Union’s eight should be Bedoya! See the updated lineup below! Keep coming back to Philly Sports Network to see the lineup for Vancouver keep filling out! Until then, peace out Union fans.


Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports