The last time Charlie Lyon walked onto the pitch at Talen Energy Stadium, he won a Big East Tournament championship as the starting goalkeeper his junior season at Marquette University.
Tonight, the Illinois native will return to the home of the Philadelphia Union wearing the colors of the home team as the backup goalkeeper.
The MLS pool goalkeeper has been based out of Portland this season, where he’s filled in for Timbers 2 and trained to stay sharp so he can be available in a moment’s notice. He trained with the Union on Friday for the first time after being called in to provide backup cover with Andre Blake and Matthew Freese both out injured.
“Ultimately, it’s the same game played everywhere so there’s a little bit of this common language even if I don’t names and personalities and personnel just yet,” Lyon told reporters after training on Friday. “I’ll be ready to go if my number’s called.”
It’s not clear yet how long Lyon will be with the team. Blake is expected to return to training in a week while Freese is expected to miss several weeks after being rushed to the hospital in the first half against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.
“There was some concern that possibly it could have been a spleen that was involved,” head coach Jim Curtin said of Freese’s injury. “That was not the case, which is the good news. The bad news is it was a partially torn oblique muscle that will put him out for four to six weeks.”
Lyon was drafted by the Seattle Sounders in 2015 and was part of the Sounders organization when they won the MLS Cup in 2016. He made stops at Orange County SC and Los Angeles FC the last two seasons and has dressed several times for Portland Timbers 2 in the USL Championship this season.
“This will be the first Philadelphia Union jersey that I have but it’s growing,” Lyon said when asked about his jersey collection.
Lyon started in the Big East Championship final in Chester on November 17, 2013. He made one save in the match, a 3-2 win for the Golden Eagles over Providence College.
Kickoff for tonight’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. It will be broadcast live on PHL17 and is available to stream online for out of market users on ESPN+*
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