Regional rivals headline Union II's return to play in USL Championship

After announcing its competitive structure on Wednesday, the USL Championship announced on Friday that Philadelphia Union II will compete in Group F along side its regional rivals of the northeast.

Joining Union II in Group F is Keystone State rival Pittsburgh Riverhounds, club rivals New York Red Bulls II, Loudoun United FC and 2019 newcomer Hartford Athletic. Union II has 15-of-the-16 regular season fixtures remaining this season, having already played Loudoun United FC to a scoreless match in the club's home opener on March 7.

"Group F is going to be a great group with each team having different strengths," Philadelphia Union II Head Coach Sven Gartung said. "Red Bulls II and Loudoun County are very similar to us in that they are young, and we are excited to test our best young talent against theirs. Hartford is a very experienced team and they are led by a very good coach in Radhi Jaidi, who played many years in the Premier League and coached in a the highly regarded Southampton youth system. Their experience presents a unique challenge for us but it is something that we are ready to take on. Pittsburgh is a very well-run organization and are led by Bob Lilley, a coach that I greatly respect. When you watch them on tape, they are a very organized team that is tough to breakdown and that come from Lilley’s experience coaching this game."

The 2020 season of the USL Championship features eight new regionalized groups with five groups made up of four teams, and three groups made up of five teams to cover the 35 member clubs of the Championship.

Teams will be initially scheduled to play a balanced schedule of eight games home and away in the regular season. If necessary, the Board of Governors has also approved the ability for clubs to play an unbalanced amount of home and away matches, for example, if a club is experiencing difficulties with venue availability due to the impact of COVID-19 in their community.

With only the top two teams from the group advancing to the USL Championship Playoffs, each match will be crucial. The club boasts an 7-11-8 record in all-time matches against Group F opponents.

Fans should check back in the near future for the complete schedule that will be shared at a later date.

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