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RJ Allen signed, available to play against former team in Orlando

29-year-old from Old Bridge, N.J. has played for FC Motown in the NPSL this summer

Photo by Matt Ralph

Defender RJ Allen has been added to the Philadelphia Union roster in time to be available to play against his former teammates at Orlando City in the two-game series between the two teams this week.

“To obviously have this opportunity to go back to Orlando and see some of those guys and compete against them, it’s going to be exciting,” said Allen, an Old Bridge, N.J. native who made 20 appearances for the Lions in all competitions last season.

Allen joined the Union as a trialist last week after Olivier Mbaizo went down with an injury to his meniscus.

“We’re a little bit thin at the back and we also had the roster spots and flexibility to add a quality player like RJ,” head coach Jim Curtin said on Tuesday. “Happy to have him on board. He brings versatility. He can play on the right side and on the left.”

Allen has been playing in the NPSL this summer with FC Motown, which will be in the area tonight to take on West Chester United in a Keystone Conference playoff match at 7 p.m. Prior to that, he spent a season with Orlando and made 56 appearances in all competitions for New York City FC over three seasons in the Bronx. He made 13 appearances for Skive IK in the Danish second division in 2013.

Curtin said they considered Alejandro Bedoya or Ilsinho as someone who could cover the right back spot in the case of an an injury to starter Ray Gaddis but decided on someone with more experience at the position. Warren Creavalle, who started running but still hasn’t returned to full training, also has experience playing right back.

“(Allen) has 70 plus games in the league, he’s been doing a good job staying in shape, he’s still playing,” Curtin said.

The Monmouth University alum’s younger brother, Brandon Allen, had a brief stint last season with Bethlehem Steel FC, making seven appearances before being dealt to Nashville SC.