Thre Philadelphia Union players selected to represent the club at 2024 Copa America

Union copa america
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 20: Philadelphia Union midfielder Jose Martinez (8) jumps on top of the pile with defender Olivier Mbaizo (15), forward Mikael Uhre (7), midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (11), forward Julian Carranza (9), and midfielder Jack McGynn (16) as they celebrate after Uhre’s first half goal during the Philadelphia Union versus D.C. United Major League Soccer (MLS) game on August 20, 2022 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Union will be without three of their players for the upcoming weeks, as they have been called up to represent their countries in the 2024 Copa America. Andre Blake (Jamaica), Damion Lowe (Jamaica), and Jose Martinez (Venezuela) have all been called up to try and help their teams bring home the coveted trophy.

The tournament will officially kick off tonight, as Argentina will face off against Canada at 8:00 PM EST. The match will be taking place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is the home of MLS side Atlanta United. 

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Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was honored for breaking the club record for most MLS starts in team history. Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

41 Players from MLS Called Up to Respective Nations

Major League Soccer is looking to continue growing as a league, and the 2024 Copa America is a good reason to prove that it is. There were a total of forty-one players called up from the MLS to participate in the tournament, which is a total that is almost equal to the number that the Premier League sent. 

The following players who were sent and their respective clubs are down below:

Atlanta United: Luis Abram (Peru)

Austin FC: Julio Cascante (Costa Rica), Dani Pereira (Venezuela)

FC Cincinnati: Miles Robinson (USA)

Colorado Rapids: Moise Bombito (Canada)

Columbus Crew: Jacen Russell-Rowe (Canada)

Houston Dynamo: Coco Carrasquilla (Panama)

LAFC: Cristian Olivera (Uruguay)

Inter Miami: Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Matias Rojas (Paraguay)

Minnesota United: Alejandro Bran (Costa Rica), Carlos Harvey (Panama), Tani Oluwaseyi (Canada), Dayne St. Clair (Canada)

CF Montreal: Mathieu Choiniere (Canada), Ariel Lassiter (Costa Rica), Samuel Piette (Canada), Joel Waterman (Canada)

Nashville SC: Anibal Godoy (Panama), Shaq Moore (USA), Jacob Shaffelburg (Canada)

New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel (Paraguay), Omar Valencia (Panama)

Orlando City: Wilder Cartagena (Peru), Pedro Gallese (Peru)

Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake (Jamaica), Damion Lowe (Jamaica), Jose Martinez (Venezuela)

Portland Timbers: Miguel Araujo (Peru), Maxime Crepeau (Canada), Kamal Miller (Canada)

Real Salt Lake: Kevon Lambert (Jamaica)

San Jose Earthquakes: Carlos Gruezo (Ecuador)

Seattle Sounders: Jon Bell (Jamaica)

St. Louis City SC: Kyle Hiebert (Canada)

Toronto FC: Sean Johnson (USA), Richie Laryea (Canada), Jonathan Osorio (Canada)

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ali Ahmed (Canada), Andres Cubas (Paraguay)

Three Union Players Selected

As stated prior, the Union had three players selected to represent their countries in the Copa America. Damion Lowe and Andre Blake were selected by Jamaica, and Jose Martinez was selected by Venezuela. Even though Blake was called up by the Jamaican National Team, it is unlikely that he will play due to his knee injury. Both Jamaica and Venezuela were placed in Group B for the tournament, meaning that there will be some Union players playing against each other.  

Damion Lowe

So far this season with the Union, Damion Lowe has a total of 11 appearances, proving to be an important part of a back line that needed some confidence after a rough start. The center back has had his solid performances, but he also had some rough ones.

Lowe has been a strong addition to this Union backline since being acquired from Inter Miami in January of 2023. He has been able to perform when manager Jim Curtin has adked him too, which is why he continues to get called up and be an important part of this Jamaican National Team. While Lowe is a center back for the Union, manager Heimir Hallgrimsson has been using him as a CDM, showing his versatility as a player. Unless he is not able to play for some reason, Lowe will be a pivotal part of this Jamaica team as they try to push for silverware. 

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Jamaica defender Damion Lowe (17) heads the ball during the first half of the team’s CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match against the United States on Saturday, June 24, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Andre Blake

When healthy, Andre Blake is one of, if not the best goalkeeper in Major League Soccer, and the Union are extremely grateful to have him. But, unfortunately for them, the goalkeeper has not been the healthiest this season, only appearing in seven matches for the club.

Blake has had a multiple number of injuries this season, but most notably the knee injury that he had surgery for in late May. This was estimated to keep Blake out of action for 4-6 weeks, making it unlikely that he will play in any of the matches for Jamaica in the Copa America. But, he did still receive the call up from his national team, showing how important of a player he could be for the locker room of the squad. If healthy, Blake would have been a locked-in starter for Jamaica, but he’ll probably be watching this one from the sidelines.

Jose Martinez

The third and final player who got the call up to their national team from the Union would be midfielder Jose Martinez. Since joining the club in 2020, El Brujo has been an important part of Jim Curtin’s side, establishing himself as one of the top midfielders in the league. Martinez has appeared in a total of 19 matches for the Union this season, proving how important he is to this Union squad.

For his national team, Martinez is not as important as a player, only featuring once for them this year. The midfielder will be more of a depth piece on the bench, as Venezuela will look to pick up some upsets and move on in the tournament. Hopefully El Brujo will be able to pick up some minutes in the tournament, but unfortunately it seems like that are other midfielders that the manager seems to prioritize. 

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As stated prior, both Venezuela and Jamaica are placed in Group B, meaning that the two nations will be facing off. This matchup will take place on the final matchday of the group stage, which is on June 30 at 8:00 PM EST. For those who are interested in the full schedule for Group B, it will be as follows:

  • Ecuador vs Venezuela | Saturday, June 22 @ 6 pm EST 
  • Mexico vs Jamaica | Saturday, June 22 @ 9 pm EST 
  • Ecuador vs Jamaica | Wednesday, June 26 @ 6 pm EST 
  • Venezuela vs Mexico | Wednesday, June 26 @ 9 pm EST
  • Mexico vs Ecuador | Sunday, June 30 @ 8 pm EST 
  • Jamaica vs Venezuela | Sunday, June 30 @ 8 pm EST 

For more information about Group B, make sure to tune into the article below by fellow PSN writer Eric Frysinger:

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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire