Philadelphia Union are back in Florida after a week of training in Philadelphia.
They took a Monday morning flight to Clearwater for Leg 2 of preseason, and this time, they traveled with their complete squad in tow.
The team has a twelve-day schedule of preparation ahead, which will feature friendly matches against FC Cincinnati on Friday, February 9th and New England Revolution on Wednesday, February 14th. Then, three days after their final fixture in the sunshine state, players and staff will add a stamp to their passports, traveling to Costa Rica for the start of Concacaf Champions Cup play.
The entire healthy roster trained together for the first time on Monday evening at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, just four hours after landing.
The team was missing just two players on the roster in Leon Flach and Isaiah LeFlore, who both picked up injuries during the first trip. Flach will be out for up to three months due to a torn pectoral muscle, and LeFlore, who signed with the team in December from Houston Dynamo II, is rehabbing a torn ACL.
Forwards Mikael Uhre and Markus Anderson made their first training appearances in Florida, sharing the pitch with academy players Neil Pierre, CJ Olney, and David Vazquez, who reprised their roles practicing with the first team. 2024 MLS SuperDraft Francesco Montali stayed in the mix too, getting reps alongside Andre Blake, Holden Trent, and Oliver Semmle in the keeper group.
Defender Frankie Westfield and goalkeeper Andrew Rick are back in Florida as well, but they practiced earlier in the day with Union II.
Fitness and focus
As of Monday, there are 15 days until the team’s opening Champions Cup match against Deportivo Saprissa, and during leg two of preseason, Head Coach Jim Curtin is focused on ensuring his side is game-ready for the important test ahead.
“The final stretch will be getting that guys closer to 90-minutes fit, obviously. A lot more game situations, a lot more 11v11 in bigger spaces, a lot more focus on restarts and real situational things that come up in the game -- that prepare us as best as possible for week one against Saprissa and the home opener at Subaru Park against Chicago," Curtin said.
"It's going to come fast and furious with the games, which we're excited about. These guys have worked really hard, I'm proud of where we're at.”