The Philadelphia Union has 10 players representing the club on International Duty

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union may be in the first stage of their 2024 season, but they will have to hurdle yet another obstacle. We saw the club manage two matches a week for the first four weeks of the season, unfortunately crashing out of the Concacaf Champions Cup campaign in the Round of 16. Now, Philly will have to manage to play their fourth MLS match of the season at Portland without 10 players available to them!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

10 Union players playing for their national teams

Philadelphia will be without 10 players. Six of those 10 were starters in last weekend’s draw against Austin FC, two were players on the bench for that match, and two others were second-team players who could have been called up to the first team to deal with all of the absences. Here’s a list of the players on international duty:

  1. Andre Blake
  2. Damion Lowe
  3. Nathan Harriel
  4. Jose Martinez
  5. Jack McGlynn
  6. Daniel Gazdag
  7. Jesus Bueno
  8. Tai Baribo
  9. David Vazquez (possible loan call-up)
  10. Neil Pierre (possible loan call-up)

Philly will be in a difficult spot come Saturday evening, but these players are looking to make an impact with their national teams. Let’s take a look at what these players on international duty are dealing with while representing their countries!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Blake and Lowe look to upset USMNT in Concacaf Nations League Semis

Jamaica has been a Concacaf nation on the rise over the last few years. This has been in part thanks to their pair of Union players, Andre Blake and Damion Lowe. The two have done well to maintain their defensive prowess. Add to that some Premier League attackers making the one-time switch to represent Jamaica, and there may just be a new Concacaf powerhouse on the horizon.

The Reggae Boyz are set to take on the USMNT in the Concacaf Nations League Semifinals. The U.S. has won the first two iterations of this competition, but could Jamaica throw a wrench into things? Jamaica hasn’t beaten the USMNT since a 2019 friendly, but in their last two matches, they have drawn the USA 1-1. Could this Jamaica side do that this time and force extra time or PKS?

Tune into this match on Wednesday at 7 pm EST on either Paramount+ or Univision. Can Blake and Lowe lead Jamaica past the USA and make Sunday’s Concacaf Nations League Final? Or will they fall and play for third place at the end of the weekend?

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Can Tai Baribo help Israel make Euro 2024?

We all know that Tai Baribo is becoming an infamous Union player who had a lot of hype and has not seen the field much at all. The striker seems to be fourth or fifth on the depth chart right now, as an injury in the early stages of preseason seemed to set him back. Now Baribo might get a chance to see the field as he goes out on international duty with Israel.

Israel is playing in the Euro 2024 playoffs. They are fighting for the chance to make this coming summer’s major tournament. They finished third in their qualifying group, missing out on auto-qualifying for the summer’s competition, and needing to play one-legged playoff matches. They begin with a match against Iceland; should they win, they’ll take on the winner of Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Ukraine next Tuesday.

Will Baribo be able to play a role in their next match(es)? Tune in on Wednesday at 3:45 pm EST on Fox Soccer to find out!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Martinez and Bueno to play in two friendlies for Venezuela

The Philadelphia Union has two tenacious midfielders who hail from Venezuela, Jose “El Brujo” Martinez and Jesus “Chu Chu” Bueno. Both of these players have been instrumental in the midfield structure for Philly, and both will be with Venezuela playing some friendlies over the next few days.

Venezuela is using this international break to get their players ready for this summer’s Copa America tournament. The tournament will be played across the United States, so the nation scheduled two friendlies in the USA. Venezuela will take on Italy on Thursday, March 21st in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then will travel to Houston Texas to play Guatemala on Sunday, March 24th.

Martinez and Bueno will hope to get some minutes in these matches to show what they can do on the field. Tune into both of these matches on Fox Deportes if you have access!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

McGlynn and Harriel hope to feature in the US Men’s Olympic Team’s tune-ups

Two of the Philadelphia Union’s standout homegrowns are away with the USA Men’s Olympic Team (USMOT) for tune-up matches. Jack McGlynn and Nathan Harriel have traveled with the USMOT to Spain, alongside an MLS-heavy roster.

The USMOT will take on Guinea on Friday, March 22nd at Noon EST in Olot, Spain; then they face Olympic hosts France at Stade Auguste-Bonal in Montbéliard France on Monday, March 25th. These matches will be a great test to see how this USA side will stack up in a competition they have not qualified for since the early 2000s.

McGlynn has been a mainstay with this USA Under-23 side, while Harriel has been more of a bench player, will either or both play a crucial role in these tune-up matches? Keep an eye out for a possible stream for this match as US Soccer has not said if one will be available or not!

Union, USMNT
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Gazdag and Hungary to play friendlies against other European nations

Daniel Gazdag has been a mainstay for the Philadelphia Union over the last three seasons. The number 10 is steadily climbing the Union’s goalscoring charts with just a handful of goals behind club legend Sebastien Le Toux. While this is true, Gazdag has not been in great form so far this season, and now he heads off to international duty with Hungary.

Hungary has already made the European Championship tournament, held this coming summer. They are using this international break to play friendlies against other European nations. hungary will take on Turkey on Friday, March 22nd at 3:45 pm EST, and Kosovo on Tuesday, March 26th at 2 pm EST. Both matches will be on Fox Soccer Plus. How will Hungary use these Euro tune-up games, will Gazdag see the field?

Gazdag has been a super-sub for Hungary, brought on when they want to unleash his craftiness against a weakened or tired defense. I’d expect that would be the case in these friendlies as well as this has turned into his crucial role for his nation that has seen him score some good goals on the international stage.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Union II players Vazquez and Pierre to play in two matches for the US Under 19s

The final two players out on international duty for the Union are two Union II players. Attacking midfielder David Vazquez, and centerback Neil Pierre will be with the USA Under 19 team as they play in some high-caliber friendlies.

The US U-19s have a training camp in Morocco and then will face England’s U-19s on Sunday, March 24th, and then host nation Morocco on Tuesday, March 26th. These nations have some of the best talent in their youth squads. Could we see the next great players play today in these matches?

Vazquez and Pierre seem to be close to becoming first-team players for Philadelphia. Could they feature on the World’s stage in these matches and get that first-team call-up from the Union sooner rather than later? They likely would have made the first team this coming weekend since eight first-team players are on international duty if they were not on international duty themselves!

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union