With the Philadelphia Union hosting Inter Miami CF this upcoming weekend, Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke with media about the matchup with a much different looking Miami team than they faced in Orlando.
Who is available
Jack Elliott: Jack will not be available for the Miami matchup, but the team is hoping to see Jack Elliot back on the field for the match against Toronto next Saturday. “Jack trained partial today, which was great to have him back with the group. [He is] still in the final stages of ankle [rehab]…that last 10-15% of mobility and change of direction still isn’t completely there.”
Kai Wagner - Kai will be back to provide the team a little more flexibility with the ability to play on either the left or the right side of the field.
Ray Gaddis - Ray will miss this match after pulling with an apparent hamstring injury during the last match against Cincy.
Alejandro Bedoya - Ale will be sitting this one out due to yellow card accumulation.
Anthony Fontana - Anthony’s ability around the goal can provide a real weapon for Philly as we have seen this season. “The staff has 100% trust in Anthony…he’s ready to go and will certainly play a major role for us against Miami.”
New looking Miami squad
Though it is still unclear whether newly acquired Gonzalo Higauín will make his much-anticipated debut this weekend against the Union, Curtin made it clear that the team has prepared for anything and everything Miami can throw at them. Coach Curtin reiterated that this is not the same Miami squad the Union saw in Orlando. Since their matchup in July Miami added another European talent, and former Higuaín running mate at Juventus, Blaise Matuidi to their midfield. Curtin acknowledged that Miami is better than their record reflects, losing some matches to unlucky red card decisions from referees and dealing with a few unlucky injuries along the way. Beyond the new European acquisitions, Miami is a really talented and dangerous team with weapons like Rodolfo Pizarro and Lewis Morgan. Coming off of a tough 4-1 loss against the Red Bulls, expect this match to be a hard-fought battle, much the same as their match in Orlando.
The Homegrown talent continues to get it done for the Union, contributing to 14 of the 21 goals on the year so far. The young studs have really transitioned from simply adding depth to the roster, to now being the depth. Curtin spoke on how proud the club is being able to field five or six homegrowns on the field at a time. The development has been so promising and successful that some Homegrown’s are starting to draw some international attention. Curtin also mentioned, “it’s not just Brenden [Aaronson] and Mark [McKenzie] and Anthony [Fontana] and Matt [Real], there’s a whole new wave of young ones that are doing something special already with Union II A real pipeline of talent has been created”. This just goes to show that there has already been a recognized return on investment in developing talent right here in Philadelphia and it is continuing to provide success for the team.
Tune in to watch the Union take on Inter Miami CF this Sunday at 7:30 pm ET as the team looks to continue their unbeaten streak at home.