CJ Sapong is coming off a statistical career year for Philadelphia in 2017. The man up top scored 16 goals last season, which was the most goals scored by an American born player in MLS last year. Sapong’s 16 goals last season shattered a career high. Sapong’s previous career-high for goals scored in a season was nine. Those 16 goals also set a Philadelphia Union franchise record for goals scored in a season. Sapong was a force at Talen Energy Stadium with 13 of Sapong’s 16 goals in 2017 coming at home, the most ever recorded at home by a Union player. Sapong was also a very giving teammate in 2017, recording five assists and tying a career high. Sapong also did the dirty work last year, as he broke yet another franchise record and set a new career high in fouls suffered with 87. In 2018, Sapong will remain at the top of the depth chart for strikers and will look to replicate his 2017 campaign.
Jay Simpson will be entering his second MLS season with Philadelphia Union. Last season, Simpson made 22 appearances (four starts) at forward in his first season for Philadelphia. The forward started in the club’s first two matches and recorded a goal in his first game at Talen Energy Stadium, but left the match shortly after due to injury. It was revealed that Simpson had bruised his lung and missed the next few weeks of action. Simpson made two starts at forward in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, totaling two assists. The striker will look to regain that magic again in 2018.
Cory Burke was signed by Philadelphia Union on December 21, 2017. Burke was previously with the club’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel where he made 45 appearances and scored 13 goals in that stretch. Burke brings experience at the international level as well. Burke has played alongside Union goalkeeper Andre Blake with the Jamaican National Team, earning 13 caps over the past 16 months. The striker had a great showing in Clearwater, Florida during preseason and will look to build off of that in 2018.