Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin returned to the theme of injured forwards in his weekly presser on Tuesday with little by way of good news as the team sits a little over a week away from their 2021 season debut in Costa Rica.
Kacper Przybylko, Cory Burke and Sergio Santos are still out injured and Jack de Vries has been added to the list after entering concussion protocol.
“We’re going to be thin there,” Curtin said on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday. “But I’ve talked to the group and it’s an opportunity for others to step up, it’s a situation where, you know we’ll be getting guys back healthy at different times they won’t be fully fit yet because they’ve missed so many training sessions in so many minutes so the guys that we have are the ones that have to go down there and get a result.”
Burke (groin) and Santos (toe) will likely miss the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 against Saprissa in Costa Rica and while Przybylko received an injection in his back to try and speed up his recovery he’s now missed more than a week of training and remains questionable for next week.
Jose Martinez does appear to be well on his way to recovery from an injury he picked up in the match against Chicago Fire, however. He returned to training today and Curtin said he’ll get some minutes against DC United in the final (closed door) preseason match tomorrow afternoon at Subaru Park.
This leaves a lineup for Saprissa that could resemble the side that faced Orlando City last week (plus Jamiro Monteiro and Olivier Mbaizo returning from Africa Cup of Nations qualifying) with Anthony Fontana up top in a 4-2-3-1. Whether Stuart Findlay will be fit to play is a question but Curtin did say he will be eligible to play in Champions League after finally arriving over the weekend and training fully for the first time with the team today.
The status of reported new signing Leon Flach is not known. His signing has not been announced but there were reports he trained with the team over the weekend.
After tomorrow’s game against D.C. United, the team will get a day of recovery and then fly back to Florida to get acclimated to the hotter climate there before heading to San Jose, Costa Rica, Curtin said.
“It’s not about who’s not with us, it’s about who is with us and who gets on the flight to Florida and ultimately Costa Rica to survive and advance,” Curtin said. “That’s all that matters now.”