Union II Face Short Turnaround Roadtrip Against Atlanta United 2

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Just as the senior side has enjoyed an unbeaten start to their 2024 MLS season, Marlon LeBlanc’s Union II side has also enjoyed an unbeaten start to their 2024 MLS Next Pro campaign. They face a Monday night road trip to Atlanta tonight to face Atlanta United 2, here’s everything you need to know as Union II looks to make it 5 games unbeaten.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Union II vs Atlanta United 2 Preview

Union II is coming off a short turnaround after their draw with Orlando City B back in Philly on Thursday. Marlon LeBlanc’s side was the better team in the game and took the lead early on, through a Sal Olivas finish from a Frankie Westfield cross. Orlando pegged Philly back just before halftime and the game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. The teams headed to the extra point penalty shootout and after 13 perfect penalties, Andrew Rick Jr came up clutch and saved Orlando’s penalty, earning his side the extra point. 

Marlon LeBlanc said before that game that the players who had just returned from winning the GA Cup with Philly’s U17 team, for the second year in a row, would be rested for the Orlando game, so it seems to mean that they’ll be featured in some capacity in this road game tonight. Expect to see the likes of Cavan Sullivan, Diego Rocio, Jamir Johnson, Neil Pierre, and many more return to the bench and starting XI tonight.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Atlanta United II’s season so far 

Atlanta United 2 has only played 2 games so far this season and they’re coming off a 3-week break after their last game was on March 24th, a 4-0 convincing home win against Carolina Core FC. Their season opener was a tough 3-2 loss at home to Union II’s last opponent Orlando City B. Union II and Atlanta United 2 have faced off with each other twice in the past, both winning one game each, so this will be the trilogy game to see who will take the lead in the head-to-head series. 

Atlanta’s last game against Caroline Core FC highlighted some stars in the making for Union II’s opponents tonight. Midfielder Luke Brennan grabbed a quickfire first-half brace and was the key man in everything his side did.  

Forward Javier Armas also grabbed his 2nd goal of the campaign, after he scored in their opener against Orlando, and he’ll be a handful for Union II’s defense tonight. While the scoreline makes it seem like Atlanta dominated the game, goalkeeper John Berner played a huge part in keeping his side’s clean sheet intact, making 6 saves and he’ll be difficult to beat for Union’s talented forward line.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Can Philly get another W against Atlanta?

The last time these two sides faced each other was back in June 2023 in Philly. The game wasn’t the best of games in the first half but CJ Olney put Union II in front early in the 2nd half. Atlanta United 2 came close to equalizing in the dying moments but Nick Firmino, who was phenomenal last year for Atlanta and has earned a spot in their senior side now, crashed his strike off the bar and Philly came away with a 1-0 win. 

Marlon LeBlanc will be hoping his side can produce the same result as the one in their last meeting with Atlanta United 2, but I’d imagine he’ll want a much more comfortable scoreline. It’s going to be interesting to see how Union II copes with the short turnaround for this road game, and if Atlanta is slow to start given their 3-week break from any games. 

Unlike the previous 4 games, tonight’s game will be streamed completely free for everyone on the MLS Next Pro website, no need for an Apple TV account or MLS Season Pass subscription to tune in, with kick-off at 7:30 pm ET.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

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