The Union arrived in Clearwater, Florida to open their second Sunshine State preseason camp yesterday, February 14. Following an evening training session, the team got back on the field Wednesday afternoon in a closed-door scrimmage against Orlando City SC.
Wearing their new secondary kits, Philadelphia and Orlando played three 45-minute segments as both teams prepare for the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season. Philadelphia scored the first goal of the afternoon in the 41st minute of the first period, as newcomer Jay Simpson finished off a right-sided cross from Alejandro Bedoya after an incisive pass from Haris Medunjanin. Orlando leveled on the final touch of the first half through Will Johnson, making it 1-1 at the initial break.
The two teams traded ends to begin the second period. Ilson Jr. struck early for Philadelphia in the fourth minute of the new stanza, scoring with a rocketed right-footed shot from outside the area after a layoff by Simpson. Orlando was again able to level four minutes later thanks to Carlos Rivas, and Cyle Larin made it 3-2 for Orlando about 20 minutes from time, which is the way the second frame would conclude.
With clouds beginning to roll in, the teams began play for the third and final period. Playing through rain, C.J. Sapong got the equalizer for Philadelphia to make it 3-3 in the 30th minute after a layoff from Jack Elliott, who showed good composure despite a scramble in the box. The skies cleared up, but no additional goals were scored, and the 135-minute match ended 3-3.
The team trains in Clearwater on Thursday and Friday before opening the 2017 Rowdies Suncoast Invitational on Saturday, February 18 at Al Lang Stadium against host Tampa Bay. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium, and tickets are available here.