Sergio Santos’s long layoff from a toe injury appears to be over and Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin expects to have the striker part of the game tomorrow night against Saprissa.
“Sergio is available for selection, and as a coach, I will select him into our game-day 18 every time because he is so talented,” Curtin told media in a press conference on Tuesday. “It was great to have him back in training today.”
Santos has been out for a month with a ligament tear in his big toe so he’ll likely only be available off the bench, but Curtin said expects to see the 26-year-old — who was tied for the team lead in goals in 2020 with eight — on the field when the game ends.
Ilsinho and Cory Burke, however, will not be part of the match. Curtin said he expects both to return to training next week. Jack de Vries has been in concussion protocol.
Kai Wagner, who was taken out with a harsh challenge from Ricardo Blanco deep in stoppage time is fully fit and has been training fully with the group, Curtin said.
Saprissa is facing a number of absences due to injury, Covid-19 and in the case of Kendall Waston because he traveled with the Costa Rica national team for a friendly in Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 27 and wasn’t permitted entry into the U.S.
“For me, it’s completely unfair that their players are unable to come into the States,” Curtin said. “You have to use common sense. We just played against them in Costa Rica. If they are clear and healthy, they should be able to get on the plane and come in.”
Saprissa are expected to be missing Marvin Angulo, Ariel Rodriguez, Orlando Sinclair and Esteban Rodríguez due to injury, Fabricio Aleman, Mariano Torres and Aubrey David due to Covid-19 and Waston due to travel restrictions.
“I feel that it’s a little bit unjust and when you’re in this competition it’s the champions right so you want to play teams at full strength,” Curtin said.