Doop Roundup: First Preseason game of 2020, squad building & formation talk

The 2020 season is right around the corner and with that, the Union is getting into the thick of their preseason! The Union plays their first preseason game this morning against Atlanta United; Philly has also been in the middle of squad building, and with that has come some pretty fun formation talk. We’ll go through all of this in the latest addition of Doop Roundup!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union.

First Preseason game of seven games today!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union takes on Atlanta United this morning at 11:00 am. Unfortunately, this has been reported to be a closed scrimmage so there will be no stream today. I would assume it would be one of those sessions where there are multiple 30-minute “games” were each 30 minutes will feature different groupings of players. All in all, this is all about shaking some rust off and evaluating players; it’ll be fun to see what comes of this match.

The Union plays six other preseason matches all against MLS opponents. This is something that is not usually the norm but should pay dividends as they will play teams who are at their same level. Hopefully, some of those games have streams so fans can get a first look at the 2020 Philadelphia Union!

Ernst Tanner has built an even more versatile squad.

Speaking of the 2020 Philadelphia Union, it’s time to give props once again to Ernst Tanner. He is in the middle of a great roster build that will fit how he wants this club to function. The Union under Tanner, have become younger and more versatile. This 2020 build shows exactly that.

The Union has been able to sign players at 26-years-old or younger to replace some of the older players. Looking at the midfield, Jamiro Monteiro (26-years-old), Matej Ovarec (21-years-old) and Jose “El Brujo” Martinez (25-years-old), are all going to feature at some point or another for the Union. Whether it is as a starter or a role player, the midfield is younger, and hopefully even hungrier.

Philadelphia is also reconstructing their centerback core. After they sold Auston Trusty, the Union needed to bring in two centerbacks. They re-signed experienced veteran Aurelien Collin, and are linked to another younger centerback Jakob Glesnes. Glesnes is only 25-years-old, but he could be considered a veteran of this centerback core. He has been the captain of his current club Stormsgodset for the last few years. He looks to be a centerback who can distribute and play physically as well.

Ernst has identified and secured many unknown players with a high upside. Couple that with the versatility these types of players give the Union is something the club has not experienced before.

Could we see different variations of formations in 2020?

This idea of versatile players has many in Union-Twitter talking about formations. At the beginning of preseason, Jim Curtin spoke about how the Union will be toying with different formations. While this is not something that is uncommon, the players the Union has could make this a reality. Curtin spoke specifically of a 4-2-2-2, and even possibly playing three at the back. The three at the back idea took flight yesterday in the thoughts of fans after the rumor of Jakub Glesnes.

Glesnes is a starting-caliber centerback could he be slotted in next to Mckenzie and Elliot? Maybe. It’s definitely possible, but I think this idea is something that the team tries in the preseason. I would think that should the Union sign Glesnes, that he would push the two starters for minutes while featuring when McKenzie is off with the USA U-23’s for Olympic qualifiers in March. His addition could also be to then test the transfer market waters on any interest for McKenzie and Elliot.

Only time will tell if the Union is going to move to a different formation, but the versatile/younger roster gives them the option to try new things and strive for success in 2020!

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Peace out Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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