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Hectic schedule, absences will test Philadelphia Union’s depth

Alejandro Bedoya’s daughter born, Derrick Jones out with a concussion and more notes from training

Jack Elliott takes a shot on goal during training with the Philadelphia Union on July 18, 2017
Matt Ralph

Facing a stretch of three games over eights days, the first two of those on the road, the depth Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has praised will be stretched with several key absences.

In addition to Andre Blake and Chris Pontius still being out on international duty for the Gold Cup, midfielder Derrick Jones will miss Wednesday’s game in Montreal with a concussion.

Curtin said Jones picked up the concussion in the Swansea City friendly but after initially passing the protocol woke up with symptoms the following morning.

“He’ll be out at least till Saturday,” Curtin said. “I’m confident that Creavalle can come in, a combination of Creavalle, Bedoya, Carroll...we have some bodies there that can step up and have played some big MLS games before.”

Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya’s status for Wednesday is still in question after his girlfriend gave birth to their second child, a daughter, on Tuesday. The plan all along had been for Bedoya to leave the U.S. team after the group stage of the Gold Cup for the birth, Curtin said.

“Obviously we’re a much better soccer team when he’s there with us but there are certain things that are more important than soccer for sure,” Curtin said.

Fabian Herbers will be out an extended spell after having surgery for a sports hernia on Tuesday morning.

“It came to the point where he couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore, it was limiting him, so we decided to be proactive and get that done,” Curtin said, noting recovery time could be anywhere from four to eight weeks. “It’s a disappointing loss so again we’re a little thin in some spots but it’s an opportunity...for guys to step up.”

One of the players who stands to gain is rookie Marcus Epps.

“You guys have started to see him now and every time he comes into a game he changes it,” Curtin said of Epps.