We are six days away from the start of the 2022 MLS Regular season! The Union’s preseason is over, but there is still a lot to talk about from this past week. Let’s take a look at it all in Philly Sports Networks’ latest edition of Doop Roundup.
Doop Roundup 2/20/22
This past week we saw the Union trade Jamiro Monteiro to San Jose. This may seem a bit odd to some, but it was a move that is being painted as one that better helps the club and the player. The Union now has two open international slots, a designated player spot, and an extra $450K in allocation money. On top of that news, the new home kit was released, Anthony Fontana’s transfer to a Serie B team in Italy was confirmed, Jim Curtin provided major updates on the team for the season in a press conference, and the Union played their last preseason game. Let’s take a closer look at it all.
The “For U” Kit
The Union’s home kit for the 2022 and 2023 seasons was released this past week. Branded as the “For U” kit this Union jersey keeps the Navy blue as the main color, but adds a signal blue stripe through the team’s crest. The outlines of the shirt along with the Bimbo logo are gold to keep the entire shirt on theme.
While this isn’t anything particularly breathtaking like last season’s “By U” kit was with lightning bolts and a change of color scheme, the new shirt is a reflection of the Union. The signal blue stripe with gold outlines all surrounded by Navy is an homage to the crest; the new kit is literally the crest blown up into the primary kit. While many might not call this their favorite kit, they may change their minds should Philly win some silverware in this shirt!
Fontana to Ascoli confirmed
It’s been about a month since the rumors around Anthony Fontana going to Serie B team Ascoli Calcio. This past week the former Union homegrown was officially announced to the Italian club. Fontana was one of the first to show what the Union academy could produce.
The goalscoring number 10 was caught up in a change of philosophy at the Union. The team ventured away from a rigid 4-2-3-1 with width to a narrow 4-4-2 diamond that was all about pressing and team goals. Fontana was a great super-sub in that system, but the transfer will allow him to show his skillset on a team that will play better into it. Good luck to Anthony Fontana on his new journey!
Notes from Curtin’s Presser
Jim Curtin gave his weekly press conference and as usual, it was packed with news.
Mikael Uhre is still not in the United States. His visa is still being processed, and there’s nothing more the club needs to do to get things rolling. It’s odd that the Union tends to always have issues with these, which makes you think what immigration rules are different for Pennsylvania that are different from other states.
Sergio Santos picked up a minor injury that could keep him out for the start of the season. It seems like Sergio is always getting hurt, and while he’s not necessarily going to be called to start 20 games this year, his ability to come off the bench will be needed for success.
Cory Burke is getting a green card! He was away from the team later on last week to get this process completed. Burke posted on his Instagram story on Saturday night that he returned to the Philadelphia airport. It looks like he’ll be ready for selection for week one, meaning the Union might have two available strikers to open the season.
Curtin concluded his presser praising the homegrowns. He mentioned Aaronson, McGlynn, and Sullivan are stepping up and will be the answer to the question of who will play in the midfield with Montiero’s transfer.
Union draw Nashville SC 1-1
On Friday afternoon the Union played their final preseason match of 2022. They drew Nashville 1-1 after a 120-minute exercise. Jakob Glesnes scored the only goal inside of the 90 minutes. He headed home a good free-kick by Kai Wagner. Hopefully, we’ll see more of that connection in the regular season.
The Union played in their 4-3-2-1 Christmas tree formation, as Julian Carranza was the only striker available to play. Many thought this formation could come back to start the 2022 season if there was only one available striker, but it looks like we could see a strike pair of Carranza and Burke might start for the Union in the 4-1-2-1-2 formation they’ve played at the beginning of the preseason.
Here comes the 2022 season
With all the news flying around fast, it can be easy to get lost in everything. Luckily there is a light at the end of this tunnel. All of the speculation about how the Union will look, and who will be on the team to start the season is six days away from being outdated talk.
The 2022 MLS season is here! We are six days away from the Union playing Minnesota at Subaru Park. This is the first game of the MLS 2022 season! The Union looks like a true contender, and it’s time for soccer! No more preseason talk, let’s get into a season that stretches from February to November!
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union