Updates on Simpson and Ilsinho
After scoring his first career MLS goal, Simpson had to leave his home debut for the Union in the 29th minute. He was later transported to the hospital, with what Head Coach Jim Curtin revealed in his teleconference was due to a bruised lung. The injury is day-to-day, but he is unsure if Simpson will be available against Orlando City SC. However, Ilsinho has been training all week and will be available for selection against the Lions.
“Jay is recovering well,” Curtin said “He was in the locker room, spitting up blood, which is always a very scary thing. We rushed him to the hospital, he’s a tough kid. But injuries are a part of the game, but he’ll have to recover now. It’ll be close for the game this weekend, but it won’t be a long-term injury, that’s for sure. But he’s going to need to be 100 percent before he’s integrated back into the group. Realistically, the weekend would be tough.”
Preparing for Orlando City
When the Union head down to Florida, it will be unlike any other match against Orlando City. For starters, the Lions will be without their star Kaka. He was injured in the team’s season opener and will not be available against the Union. Slotting into his place will be Giles Barnes. Curtin said he will be a handful, just like Kaka is.
“Giles (Barnes) came into the season opener and impacted it right away,” Curtin said. “He had an assist with the cross, and he brings an element of speed, a very dynamic player. He’s looking to impress his new coach. They have a pretty potent attack. We’ll have to be really on our toes.”
Secondly, it will be the Union’s first game in Orlando City Stadium, the state of the art stadium built specifically for the Lions. With “the Wall,” sound enhancing canopies over each section of the stadium and raucous supporters, Curtin knows it will be an intense environment for the Union.
“Everyone thinks of Disney and thinks, happy, smiley, a kid friendly place, and I can tell you the Orlando fans are an intimidating group,” Curtin said. “There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about their group of supporters, that’s for sure. They’re in a new building now. It’s going to be a packed house, there’s no doubt about that. We expect an intimidating environment, but that can bring out the best in our team.”
Even though he’s been out of school since 2000, Curtin still has some love for his alma mater. He was asked about what he thought about Villanova’s chances in the annual NCAA tournament, and didn’t shy away from his love for the Wildcats.
"Of course they're going to repeat," Curtin said. "I think Jay Wright, and the things he's done for Villanova, is special. When it's a one-off, a one and done situation, it's always difficult but obviously, Jay Wright has done a heck of a job. We've shared text exchanges before and I'm going to wish him the best of luck. Hopefully they go on another run."