The Union is another week closer to the start of the regular season. With only 22 days until they face Minnesota United in Chester, Philly’s preseason preparations have taken them to Clearwater Florida for the time being. we take a look back at all things Union from this past week
Doop Roundup 2/4/22
This week has been a rather quiet one for new but has been one where we’ve seen the Union return to the pitch for the first time. They played their first of three preseason matches yesterday. However, ahead of that, it’s important to mention that Philly didn’t lose any players of consequence (that they didn’t replace that is) in the January transfer window. This only makes the Union better heading into their upcoming season; Philly is ready to win, and win now, in 2022. So how did they look in their first bit of action on the pitch?
Union 1 – FC Cincy 1
The Union played FC Cincinnati to a 1-1 draw in Philly’s first of three preseason matches they’ll play. Philadelphia opened the scoring in the second minute with a great attack; Kai Wagner played Sergio Santos in behind the defense, where he squared the ball right to newcomer Julian Carranza who scored. The Union had the early lead, and they looked like they hadn’t missed a beat. Cincinnati would equalize through Yaya Kubo, who hit a laser beam of a shot into the top corner. The match would end in a draw, but that didn’t matter, it was all about the play on the pitch.
The Union rolled out the lineup above because some players were returning from international duties and others hadn’t joined the up with the team yet. While it was just a preseason game against a weak Cincinnati side, this lineup looked like it could win games in MLS despite not having six regular starters playing. This is a testament to Jim Curtin and his style of play, and Ernst Tanner’s ability to build a roster with depth.
This Union team could be scary good in 2022, possibly even a special team. The goal is MLS Cup, and the players look poised to fight for that. Even when players deeper on the depth chart came on against Cincinnati, the Union was still the better side. Cincinnati played their available starters for about an hour in the game, at that point of the match the Union had three teenage academy players on the pitch.
Philly has two more tune-up games left; Feb. 8 vs CF Montreal, and Feb. 18 vs Nashville SC. Hopefully, the team will have the penciled-in starters available for both or one of those games.
Trusty to Arsenal
Earlier this week, another Union academy and former homegrown player Auston Trusty was announced to be moving from Colorado Rapids to Premier League club Arsenal in the summer. This is yet another huge step for the Union’s development process. While Trusty was the odd man out at the end of his time in Philly, he was able to secure a move to another MLS team where he grew into a building block. Trusty and Colorado won the western conference last season, and this summer he’ll be on the move to the Prem.
While it’s uncertain if Trusty will even play a minute for Arsenal, or be loaned out to another club, the move is still a big one. Should there be a transfer fee paid from Arsenal to Colorado, Philadelphia will retain 25% of that transfer fee thanks to Ernst Tanner’s business savvy. Let’s hope that there is a transfer fee, and it’s not just a shady deal between Colorado and Arsenal who share the same owner.
Notes from Curtin’s Presser
Jim Curtin gave his weekly press conference after the Union’s preseason match, and he gave a lot of good information on where the team is in terms of their preparation with only 22 days until the start to the season. Here are a few comments to note.
Glesnes Green card
Jakob Glesnes is with the team, as he started in the preseason game. However, Curtin confirmed that the Norwegian does now have a green card and no longer takes up an international roster spot. This is huge news as Glesnes is key to the Union’s hopes of success in the years to come, and it opens an international roster spot for another player. Could this spot be taken now by DP striker Mikael Uhre, or is it for someone else the Union has in mind?
In years past at this point of the preseason, the Union is usually dealing with an injury or two. This was thought to be the case yet again, as centerback Jack Elliot didn’t play in the preseason game vs Cincinnati, and Sergio Santos had to be subbed off the field in the first half. Curtin gave an update on both in his presser. Neither are hurt. Elliot was out as a precaution for a groin issue, but he shouldn’t miss any more time; Santos was pulled due to a cramp, and will be a full participant in training. The Union is healthy and ready for 2022!
Uhre and Monteiro join camp soon?
Two players of note that weren’t with the team were two of their DPs. Mikael Uhre has yet to join the team for their season preparations. Curtin said the club is working quickly to get the paperwork through that would allow him to join the team in Flordia. Jamiro Monteiro has been away from the team at the AFCOn tournament, but his Cape Verde lost in the quarterfinals last weekend. Coach confirmed he’s not with the team yet as he is getting his family’s visas all situated so they can be together in the States, but hopes he’ll be back ASAP with the team.
The Union has two more weeks of preseason, hopefully for one of their two preseason matches they can have their full team to chose from to get those minutes in ahead of the home opener!
Don’t miss the latest DOOP by the River Podcast!
If you want to hear more about all the news and notes following the Union from this past week. Don’t miss out on the latest DOOP by the River Podcast! Yours truly puts on the host’s hat for this week’s episode as the boys Justin Friedberg and Zach Lobasso discuss all things Union, as well as other soccer action from around the world. Here’s the rundown of the episode
- Union don’t lose key players in January transfer window
- Former Union homegrown Auston Trusty to Arsenal
- Phi vs Cin preseason game
- Notes from Curtin’s presser
- Concacaf/USMNT World Cup Qualifying thoughts
- AFCON Final: Senegal vs Egypt who will win?
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union via Twitter