One hundred twenty five days. That is how long since the Philadelphia Union have played a game that mattered.
Saturday the boys in blue will open the season against FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas. The 2019 season saw a lot of firsts for the U: most points, most wins, the club’s first playoff win. Let’s just say the Union went into the offseason with a lot of expectations.
FC Dallas just played the Union, and handed them a 3-2 loss, on February 19. But that was in preseason; now the games matter.
With Luchi Gonzalez heading into his second season with the club, they have one goal; getting into the playoffs with the young team. Dallas is known as one of the top academies in the United States, and it shows with the talent they sign as homegrown players.
One player for Dallas we will probably see on the pitch Saturday is former Union Favorite, Fafa Picault. Picault, who was at the end of his contract, was traded to FC Dallas for $300k in 2020 GAM, with an additional $75k possible based on performance metrics. The winger shouldn’t have an issue fitting into Gonzalez’s high-pressing system.
For the Union, all the fans will be watching the reshaped midfield and backline. Two new people suiting up in blue to keep an eye on will be Jose Andres Martinez and Matej Oravec. Both are expected to play key roles in helping the Union on their quest to fill their trophy cabinet.
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Matt Real, Jack Elliott, Mark McKenzie, Ray Gaddis; Matej Oravec; Jamiro Monteiro, Alejandro Bedoya; Brenden Aaronson; Sergio Santos, Kacper Przybylko
FC Dallas: Jesse Gonzalez; Ryan Hollinshead, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Reggie Cannon, Bressan; Brandon Servania, Bryan Acosta, Michael Barrios; Zdenek Ondrasek, Jesus Ferreira
How to watch
Where: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
When: 6 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 29, 2020
Radio: Union Radio