Fontana Stepping Up
In Philadelphia Union's joint training session with Orlando City SC yesterday, midfielder Ilsinho was taken out early due to an injury. The team's medical staff evaluated Ilsinho and concluded the midfielder needed to return to Philadelphia for further evaluation. With Ilsinho now recovering, Head Coach Jim Curtin discussed in his teleconference today that other players such as Anthony Fontana will have the opportunity to step up.
"Ilsinho going down is obviously difficult, but it's something that's happened in the past so we'll have to adjust," Curtin said. "I thought Anthony Fontana came into the game yesterday against Orlando and really calmed us down and gave us a lot more possession. The last 45 minutes of that first 75 was our strongest when he was on the field. We'll definitely be looking at that as we play D.C. United next and giving him an opportunity, it's an opportunity that he's earned."
Philadelphia Union will compete in the Suncoast Invitational beginning this Saturday when the team takes on D.C. United at 5 p.m. According to Curtin, the focus will shift from fitness and performance to finding results and preparing for the home opener on March 3 against New England Revolution.
"The performances you're seeing now in preseason are a little disjointed," Curtin said. "With three good tests now against D.C., Montreal and Tampa, we're on our way to getting prepared for the most important game which is week one against New England. Everything we're doing now is to have the best 90 minutes in that game."
In Auston We Trusty
Homegrown defender Auston Trusty has made a positive impact on the Union so far this preseason in several different ways. The 19-year-old has stepped up to the backline while Richie Marquez has missed some playing time due to a groin injury. According to Curtin, Trusty has stepped in and played exceptionally well finding a balance alongside Jack Elliott.
"With any young center backs, with him, with Jack (Elliott), there's going to be instances in games with the lack of experience, there's going to be mistakes," Curtin said. "We have to be willing to live with those mistakes. We have to give them an opportunity to grow. They've done a good job in complementing each other and now put a couple good performances side by side."