Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin was short on details when asked about injuries in the squad in a press conference with media, but it is clear the team will be a little short-handed against the Revs on Saturday.
“Too many,” was Curtin’s response to the injury question during the Zoom call with media.
“Just like every other team in the league right now, there’s lots of injuries going on because of the load that’s been put on the players,” he said. “It’s too much. We’re not allowed to call up USL players, which makes it challenging. So we’re trying to get through the week of training, get as many healthy bodies ready.”
Curtin said just 14 field players trained on Thursday, but did add that his starting midfielders — Brenden Aaronson, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro and Jose Martinez — are all healthy and good to go.
The players we know will not be available for selection Saturday are Aurelien Collin and Matej Oravec, who has to quarantine for 10 days after traveling back to the U.S. following a stint with the Slovakia U21 team. The 22-year-old started and played 90 minutes in the first of two Euro U21 qualifiers last Friday but did not play on Monday.
“Hopefully it gave him some confidence just playing but you know, we need to get him games as well,” Curtin said. “He’d be a guy that I think needs some some minutes, you know, and needs to be getting some time, possibly at the USL level to get him up to speed and get him ready to go.”
Sergio Santos had to leave early in the game against the Red Bulls and Kai Wagner has missed the last two games with an injury so they are also candidates for not being available Saturday. That leaves several other possibilities on the injury front.
While USL players aren’t able to be loaned up to the first team, the option exists for loaning players down. Matt Freese was the first to do so since the USL season resumed in a game on Wednesday. With the squad so thin, the option isn’t there to send other players down to get minutes like Jack de Vries and Cole Turner.
“We would love to,” Curtin said about getting players minutes in USL. “If we had more bodies, it would have been already happening, but we’re a little bit thin right now so we need all hands on deck here.”
Injury woes aside, Curtin stressed the importance of his team not being too confident with New England coming in despite their two wins over the Revs already in 2020.
“I do see this game against New England with all the coming off a big result, a big three zero win and a complete performance, as a bit of a trap for our guys. So we’re guarding against that.”
The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday night and will be broadcast live on PHL17 and stream in-market on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.