Union players have officially arrived back in Philadelphia to begin preseason training. Yesterday, Head Coach Jim Curtin discussed his take on the team returning and what fans can expect to see as the Boys in Blue kick-off their 2018 campaign.
"First days are always really exciting," Curtin said. "There's a lot of energy in the building and in the training facility. The guys go through some pretty rigorous physical testing to see where they're at, and it seems everybody has come back in good shape."
Last Friday, the Union also acquired midfielder David Accam. According to Curtin, adding Accam to the roster will bring a new dynamic to the team's attack with his speed and will create open space for other players to operate on the pitch.
"He's (Accam) a guy that's a proven goal scorer in the league, he gives space for other players to operate because he is so fast," Curtin said. "You have a guy now like Haris (Medunjanin) and (Alejandro) Bedoya who will have more room to operate. They're both two very good passers so they'll be able to find David. Obviously, I think it helps CJ Sapong as well because he now has somebody else up there that defenses have to prepare for."
Last season, the Union had tremendous success in home matches at Talen Energy Stadium, boasting a 10-4-3 record. A key aspect Curtin is focused on in 2018 is taking that strength and high pressing at home and bringing it on the road.
"I think we're brave at Talen Energy because we have the crowd behind us," Curtin said. "But now the challenge for our group, and it will be a younger group, is to go out on the road and be organized and look to take more points."
The Union will begin its season on March 3 with a home opener versus New England Revolution, presented by Oliver Heating and Cooling. Tickets for the match can be found here.