Copa America 2015 is fast approaching with the biggest spectacle in South American football taking place starting June 11th. The Philadelphia Union had no previous ties to the competition up until today when Fernando Aristeguieta was called into the side by head coach Noel Sanvincente. This is a big deal for the young forward, 23, who has received 15 caps for Venezuela and scored a goal during that time.
Its not unlikely that Aristeguieta be called into the final squad, final squad submissions are due June 1st, if he works hard. The Union forward has seen his chances well since arriving in Philadelphia, scoring three times despite missing minutes with not only a broken hand, but also a nagging quad injury. Aristeguieta will be competing for a spot alongside fellow countrymen, some of who you may have heard of, Salomon Rondon of Zenit St. Petersburg and Nicholas Fedor of La Liga side Rayo Vallecano. His real competition will be with the likes of Josef Martinez of Torino in Serie A and Mario Rondon from Chinese outfit *clears throat* Shijiazhuang Ever Bright. Also three players called in from Venezuela's Primera Division.
What does this mean for Philadelphia? The injury riddled side is already struggling to get points and Fernando being out for at least Sunday. If he gets called up to the squad we can look forward to seeing him back in the blue and gold by roughly mid-June. With the Union not exactly stocked with players, there is a great chance the Union trot out a lineup featuring either a solo striker or a paired duo up top. The likely replacements first become Union talisman Sebastien Le Toux or aging MLS Cup champion Conor Casey. Either is suitable, but not ideal for a long stretch of games.
Rumors have floated about the Union searching for a striker, but nothing substantial outside of Nick Sakiewicz assuring the Union faithful that they are actively searching for players. If his word means anything. Outside of that news it seems that the 3rd and 4th striker on the Union's roster looks towards rookie Dzenan Catic (0 MLS minutes) and the recently twitter-beleaguered Antoine Hoppenot. He threatened the fan base about supporting the team and maybe with this Hopp-ortunity (sorry) he'll be able to be the hero we deserve as he was in 2012 during the beginning of the Hackworth era.