Competition for spots
As Philadelphia Union concludes its first stint of preseason in Clearwater, Florida, the guys have been hard at work training to impress the coaching staff and earn their spot on the team. Tomorrow will mark the end of the Union's third and final preseason scrimmage before entering the Suncoast Invitational in their second trip to Clearwater next week. In Head Coach Jim Curtin's weekly press conference today, he discussed how important the preseason matches will be in determining who will earn a starting position come March 3 when the team kicks off its season.
"We have a lot of games coming up that we can get different looks on at some different things," Curtin said. "We have a lot of good wingers that are competing for the right winger spot. Marcus Epps has shown well, (Fabian) Herbers had a moment last night that was really positive and Fafa Picault has come in in shape as well with a real competition there. The number 10 spot is obviously one that's up for grabs and guys are competing for that. There's also some right back competition between (Ray) Gadis and Keegan (Rosenberry)."
Team achieving goals
This season, the Union have set several goals in order to have a successful 2018 campaign. Curtin has made it a priority to focus on the team's attack, create chances and stay fit and healthy. Each day the team steps out on the pitch, Curtin feels that the guys are looking sharper and will look to do it again when the Boys in Blue take on Chicago Fire in their third preseason scrimmage.
"Coming off the first two performances in games this year, you start to see the guys have built good fitness up and played some decent soccer," Curtin said. "There's still a lot to work on, but we were able to hit a lot of our consistent plays for the group in terms of how we attack, creating chances and scoring some goals. Obviously, the guys are sore going into the last day of camp before we break but it's important we have a really good showing against Chicago."