An injury to veteran left back Fabinho could mean another MLS debut for a homegrown player in Colorado on Saturday, but we won’t know until the lineups are released whether homegrown Matt Real will make his debut.
“I won’t give Colorado a head start on which way we’re going to go,” Curtin said during his weekly news conference on Wednesday.
Real left camp in Spain with the United States U20 team early to return to rejoin training with the Philadelphia Union on Monday. The 18-year-old from Drexel Hill played a pair of friendlies with the U.S. against France while away and will be heading back to the airport tomorrow to travel to Colorado with the Union. It will either be him or veteran Ray Gaddis making the start against the Rapids.
“We’ve given them both reps in training,” Curtin said. “Ray is a consummate professional; he does whatever is asked of him and has played hundreds of games in this league and is experienced and knows the ins and outs of the league. Matthew is the true left back and has played that position his whole life so we have a choice to make.”
Injuries to both Richie Marquez — out 4-6 weeks after sports hernia surgery — and Josh Yaro, who Curtin said has a minor groin injury, means homegrown center back Mark McKenzie will also be making the trip to Colorado. McKenzie rejoined the first team on Wednesday after getting another game with the United States U20s against Atletico Madrid.
“Mark is pushing and has been a guy who has gotten better each and every day,” Curtin said.
That means all five Union Academy-bred homegrown players on the first team roster are expected to travel to Colorado.
“The Philadelphia Union — we’ve preached it for several years now but you’re starting to actually see it on the field — want to be known as the club that all-American young kids look to and say ‘they play young American players I wanna go there’,” Curtin said. “We’re not just talking about it now; we’re starting to do it.”
Fabinho, meanwhile, had a successful surgery on Monday after suffering an MCL sprain and leaving the match against Columbus Crew at halftime.
“If you talk to Fabinho he says three weeks,” Curtin said. “Three weeks is aggressive, you know the medical staff will say four to six but we’ll see who’s right. I hope Fabinho’s right.”