Philadelphia Union II will open it’s busy early June slate against FC Cincinnati 2 at Northern Kentucky University Soccer Stadium on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Fans can watch the next generation of Union taken with the free match stream on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Union II sits at 8th in the Eastern Conference, just two spots above FC Cincinnati 2, who have won only two of nine total games so far this season. Both of those wins were claimed on their home turf in the opening two weeks of the season.
The team since hasn’t had much success since.
Cincinnati’s strongest attacking weapon is 19-year-old forward Arquímides Ordóñez, who has tallied more than double the number of goals of any of his teammates. He has six so far this season, despite playing about half the amount of minutes as the second most frequent goal scorer, forward Benjamin Stitz.
Stitz, who sits below Ordóñez in the stat sheets, has ties to Philadelphia -- he’s a University of Pennsylvania soccer alumni, drafted 31st overall in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft. Throughout his four year tenure as a Quaker, he compiled 14 goals and 18 assists.
This weekend offers a bit of a challenge for roster construction with both sides facing different circumstances. Union II finds itself on the road in Northern Kentucky less than 24 hours after the first team competes against CF Montreal at Subaru Park. With the Boys in Blue playing their third match in seven days you might see some fresh legs promoted to the first team bench. Meanwhile Cincinnati will have a plethora of options to select from more than likely as they play at home and after FC Cincinnati hosts the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.
As for Union II, the team comes into the contest off a 3-2 comeback win against the defending MLS NEXT Cup Champions, Columbus Crew 2. After falling behind 2-0 on their home turf, Union homegrown Jeremy Rafanello led the comeback charge with three dominant goals to earn MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Matchday honors.
FC Cincinnati 2 hasn’t outright won a game since April, and a win for the Union would be an optimal start to a busy two weeks with four games. After it’s trip to Kentucky, the Union II squad has a three game homestand on deck – find out how to get tickets here!