Pressing Points

Pressing Points | Reloaded for Saturday


Philadelphia Union will make their return to Subaru Park this weekend for a Saturday matinee against Minnesota United FC, hosting the Western Conference side for their second regular season home game this year. On Friday after the team’s routine matchday -1 training session, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, previewing the match.

Full strength

Eight first team players were missing from last weekend’s win against Portland due to National Team call-ups, but they have since returned, giving Curtin what could be his strongest group to choose from all year. 

“We have the full squad to choose from now,” Curtin said. “Obviously, some soreness from national team duty for some of them that played a lot of minutes, but everybody's fully fit and ready to go.”

The only two players still out are Isaiah LeFlore and Leon Flach, and Curtin said that the latter, who’s been out since suffering a pectoral injury in preseason, could rejoin the group sooner than anticipated. 

“I don't want to put an exact date on it and he's not quite cleared for contact by the doctors, but I think in the coming week to weeks, that'll be a real possibility. It'd be great to get him back,” Curtin said. 

“Obviously, his work in the midfield offensively and defensively is really valuable to our group. It's a unique injury. You don't have many pectoral injuries from soccer players, but he's really been aggressive with his rehab, and he'll be back with the group hopefully very, very soon.”

Three-point Confidence boost

Philadelphia is coming off a momentous win against Portland last Saturday, leaving the West Coast with three points despite traveling a shorthanded crew. The victory marked their first of the regular season, and it injected a sense of pride in those on the pitch who were called on to step up in the face of roster adversity. 

“It was a huge confidence builder to go to Portland against a really, really talented group and neutralize them for 90 minutes to score three really good goals, and do it in a way that I thought was us,” Curtin said. 

“The reminder to the group is it doesn't matter who's injured, who's away with the national team, let's play our way. Let's execute on the field and our belief that a group that's cohesive and together can beat any group of individual talent. That's something that has been our club's mantra for several years now, and the players went out on the field that day and executed.”

Looking at the Loons

There’s been significant changes for Minnesota United since the close of the 2024 season, including the addition of Head Coach Eric Ramsay to the coaching staff. Neither Minnesota nor Philadelphia has seen a loss yet this MLS regular season, and Curtin cited who he views as their strongest players and what Philadelphia should expect under their fresh leadership. 

“[Emmanuel Reynoso] is one of the best players that our league has in terms of talent, technical ability, ability to break down the team. Obviously, came in late to preseason and is still getting up to speed. You can see coach Ramsay's starting to get his ideas through to his team. Obviously, they're playing very, very well,” Curtin said. 

“They have beyond Reynoso though. If you look at [Teemu] Pukki, who's done it at the highest level in the Premier League. You look at a player like [Robin] Lod, who I think flies under the radar in our league and can play a lot of different positions, is very versatile, can score a goal from anywhere, can set up players at the final pass. They're a really dangerous team.”

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Every match matters! In 2024, you do not want to miss your favorite matchups as the Union take on the best MLS has to offer! When we score, make sure you are there to get Subaru Park shaking!

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