Union II Return to MLS Next Pro Action, Welcoming Orlando City B to Subaru Park

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Marlon LeBlanc and his Philadelphia Union II side are back in MLS Next Pro action when they take on Orlando City B on Thursday at Subaru Park. Union II has enjoyed a nice 14-day break since they managed to come from behind and take a point in their last game, a road trip to Chicago that ended in defeat in the extra-point penalty shootout.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Union II vs Orlando City B Preview

Since the last match against Chicago, many of the UII regulars have been playing in the Generation Adidas Cup for Union’s U17 side. The likes of Neil Pierre, Cavan Sullivan, Diego Rocio, Kellan LeBlanc, and Jamir Johnson all heavily featured for the U17s side that lifted the GA Cup for the 2nd time in 2 years.  

Neil Pierre was named in the GA Cup Best XI and Diego Rocio was named player of the tournament, after netting 5 goals throughout the event. All these players will be back with Marlon LeBlanc ahead of the Orlando City B game, however, it’s yet to be seen how involved they’ll be during the game.

Union II, Cavan Sullivan
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

A Look at both teams early in the MLS Next Pro season

Union II currently sits in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference after an undefeated 3-game start to the season, and this leaves them in 6th place in the MLS Next Pro Power Rankings Standings. They have an excellent record against Orlando City B heading into their third season of meeting each other, the current record between the two teams stands at 4 Union II wins and 1 Orlando City B win. Marlon’s side will be looking to keep that great record going and keep their unbeaten start to the season intact. 

Orlando City B has had a very average start to their 2024 campaign, with the visitors winning once, drawing once, and losing once this season. Their last game saw them lose to Inter Miami II 2-0, after starting the season with a win away to Atlanta and then a draw with Huntsville City, with Orlando taking the extra point shootout 4-3. 

Orlando is a team that will set up to defend well away from home and then spring quick counterattacks when their opponents make a mistake. In their season opener, a 3-2 win over Atlanta, Atlanta dominated the ball, but Orlando had control of the game within a short period thanks to 3 quick goals.  

They’ll be looking to do the same against Philly in this one, and Philly’s defense will have to look out for Yutaro Tsukada, as he’s my man to watch going into this one. Tsukuda is a key part of the way Orlando operates and will be the one that springs the counterattacks if Philly is careless with possession.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

A Thursday 4 pm EST Kickoff!  

Union II striker Eddy Davis III will be looking to carry on his amazing start to the season. Davis only made his debut with the team in the backend of last season, mainly as a substitute, but he’s been on fire as a starter this season with his partner Sal Olivas. 

Davis has gone on to score 2 goals in 3 games so far and those earned him two major MLS Next Pro awards. The striker was awarded Rising Star of Gameweek 3 and Rising Star of the Month for March. Davis is quickly making a name for himself and again showing how much talent is coming through in the youth ranks in Philly. 

The game is at Subaru Park on Thursday, with kick-off at 4 pm ET. Fans can go down and watch the Baby Snakes play or can watch the game on Apple TV through an MLS Season Pass.

Union, Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II