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Philadelphia Union getting healthy, but will still be short-handed against Montreal

Santos, Ilsinho and Creavalle are back in training but Martinez will be serving a suspension and Wagner and Elliott are still questionable

Sergio Santos on the ball in training on September 18, 2020
Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych

After playing with a short bench last Saturday, not having a midweek game in the schedule has given the Philadelphia Union a chance to get healthy, but head coach Jim Curtin will still be missing some key players against the Montreal Impact on Sunday.

Midfielder Jose Martinez will be serving a yellow card suspension and Jack Elliott and Kai Wagner will be questionable but Sergio Santos, Ilsinho, Warren Creavalle and Aurelien Collin are all training fully and Matej Oravec is back with the team after a 10-day quarantine required after he spent time with the Slovakia U21 team.

“Getting guys back in numbers really helped us,” Curtin told reporters in a press conference over Zoom on Friday.

The No. 6 position will be the biggest question mark heading into a road game against the Impact at Red Bull Arena.

Will Curtin go with the veteran Creavalle starting at the base of the diamond? Will he give Oravec or Cole Turner what would be their MLS debut? Or will he cover the position with a double pivot of Alejandro Bedoya and Jamiro Monteiro — both of whom are a yellow card away from suspension — and let Brenden Aaronson and the hero from the Revs win Anthony Fontana get a start?

“Sorry, not getting anything out,” Curtin said when asked what he planned to do in El Brujo’s absence.

The Impact head into Harrison with an opposite situation to the Union, having not only played on Wednesday night but in a road game in Vancouver.

“I’m sure they’re excited to not play Toronto or Vancouver,” Curtin said.

FC Cincinnati away will await the Union after Sunday’s game before they return to Chester to take on Inter Miami the following Sunday.

“The full week came at a good time for us but at the same time we like the rhythm of playing on Wednesdays because we’ve had success as a club on those Wednesdays,” Curtin said.