Three division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and a pair of college teams will provide preseason tune-ups for the Philadelphia Union in the weeks leading up to the regular season, the team announced Wednesday.
The Union open camp with physicals on Monday, January 22, and begin training a day later at the University of Pennsylvania (Power Training Complex if weather permits).
The team flies to Florida for the first of two sessions in Clearwater on January 30. They’ll play New York Red Bulls on February 3, at 11 a.m., the University of South Florida on February 6, at 7 p.m. and the Chicago Fire on February 8, at 11 a.m. All three matches will be played at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.
The team will return to Clearwater for the second camp from February 12-25, which will include the annual Suncoast Invitational hosted by the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The Union play D.C. United on February 17 at 5 p.m., Monteal Impact February 21 at 7 p.m. and Tampa Bay Rowdies on February 24 at 7 p.m. The D.C. and Tampa Bay games will be played at Al Lang Stadium while the Impact match will be play at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.
It’s the third straight year the Union are participating in the preseason tournament against the same opponents they played in 2016 and 2017.
The Union will also play Florida International University in a 10 a.m. match at Joe DiMaggio on the 24th.
“Our preseason training sessions are of the utmost importance as our team gets ready for the 2018 MLS season,” Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a news release. “Clearwater has proven to be the perfect spot for us to hold our preseason, and the Suncoast Invitational also provides excellent competition to assist with our preparation. We look forward to getting back on the field and getting the 2018 season started in Florida later this month.”