The Philadelphia Union has been struck by the injury bug hard early this season. The team has performed admirably in the face of adversity, and several players have turned the corner in their recovery. Head coach Jim Curtin answered questions about injuries during a media scrum on Friday afternoon after training at the Power Training Complex in Chester.
Here’s a rundown:
Santos is a full participant in training and is rounding toward full fitness. Curtin mentioned that he thinks Santos will play a role against the Revolution. Santos was an unused bench option on Wednesday and will probably play Saturday, possibly earning a start but more likely will be one of the first subs off the bench.
Fabián has been training all week after missing time with an ankle injury suffered against the Galaxy. Curtin said he isn’t quite 100% but it is possible he could be a sub off the bench. My guess is that he won’t see the field tomorrow as the pitch may be quite wet with the bad weather.
McKenzie has had terrible luck recently, suffering appendicitis the night before he was supposed to start in Trusty’s absence against Montreal two weeks ago. McKenzie met with a physician on Thursday, but Curtin mentioned Friday that he doesn’t expect him to feature with the Union for another week to a week and half, so he won’t be on the roster against New England.
Andre Blake suffered a slight groin tear against Montreal on April 20 while taking a goal kick. His recovery is progressing well and he should be back in training in a week or so. This is good news for the Reggae Boyz, who are eyeing his return ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.
Unfortunately, the homegrown goalkeeper went down with what seems to be a significant grade 2 oblique tear during Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati. The initial timetable given suggests he will be out 4 to 6 weeks, meaning the Union will be relying on Carlos Miguel Coronel as the starter until Andre Blake is back to game level fitness. MLS pool goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, who joined the team in training for the first time on Friday after hopping on a plane from Portland, Ore., will serve as Coronel’s backup. Leaving Freese on the field after his initial injury against Cincy was a questionable move by the training staff, as it seems like he hurt himself worse by trying to tough it out.
The lineup against the Revolution will be hard to predict, especially with the expected squad rotation as the Union are playing their third game in eight days. Who do you think will be on the field against New England?