The Philadelphia Union II is back in action this weekend as they head on their first road trip to face Inter Miami II. The Union II started their season off perfectly last weekend after they dominated FC Cincinnati II in a 2-0 win. Let’s see how their first away game of the season is set to shape up.
Union II vs Inter Miami II
Excellent Opening Game
As I just mentioned, the Union II opened up their MLS NEXT Pro season with a dominant performance over FC Cincinnati II. The starting eleven for the Union II was extremely strong with many first-team squad members featuring for the second team, players like Matt Freese, Matt Real, and Jesus Bueno.
New signing Carlos Paternina really impressed with his debut for Union II and started his Union II career off with a bang after grabbing an early goal to put Union II ahead. Jesus Bueno capped off a stellar performance with a goal to seal the deal and the three points for Philly.
As I mentioned earlier, the starting eleven for the Union II was probably the strongest in the league for the opening weekend and you have to expect a lot of the first team players were making one-time appearances given the international break was also happening.
Jesus Bueno, Matt Real, and Matt Freese will all be needed in the first team squad week in, week out so they’ll be rejoining them for Philly’s game against Charlotte. Players like Anton Sorenson and Brandon Craig may still feature for the Union II though and could join the squad on the road trip to Miami.
Miami Off to a Flying Start
Unlike the senior team, Inter Miami II started their MLS NEXT Pro season with a great 2-0 win over Columbus Crew II. They lined up in a standard 4-4-2 and Emerson Rodriguez played a fantastic game out on the right wing, scoring both goals and causing the Crew II real issues all game. Robbie Robinson also played very well for Miami II but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he rejoins the senior team.
Miami II played a very defensive game, stayed composed at the back, and allowed Columbus to attack high up. Miami really impressed me with their defensive efforts all game, they made it really difficult for Columbus to really have any true threat at goal, and then they hit them on the counter-attack with great pace, and precision, and were lethal in front of goal.
Expected Union II Lineup and Tactics
With Matt Freese going back to the senior team, I expect him to be replaced with offseason signing Brooks Thompson, who has impressed in training sessions and will deservedly earn his debut this Sunday against Miami. Outside of that, it’s tough to say who replaces the other first-team talent that won’t be featuring again.
Jesus Bueno will, more than likely, be replaced by Juan Perdomo, who ironically replaced Jesus Bueno back at their Venezuelan club when the Union signed Bueno last year. Perdomo plays very similarly to Bueno and so will fit the way the Union II played in their first game. I’d imagine Matt Real, and Brandon Craig if he’s needed in the first team, will be replaced by academy graduates.
The way Miami played will actually suit the Union II, even though Philly plays with a lot of possession and like to attack teams and control the game. Union II had an extensive pre-season with the Union senior team, who are the best team in the MLS at sitting back and defending well whilst being extremely efficient on the break.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych