Preseason observations: Philadelphia Union 1-1 FC Cincinnati

Photo: Stephen Speer

Philadelphia Union drew 1-1 against FC Cincinnati on Thursday morning, in a scrimmage played at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater, Florida.

Offseason addition Jesus Carranza scored a goal in the second minute to give the Union the lead, but Cincinnati’s Yuya Kubo equalized with a long-range effort in the 40th minute.

The Union were not at full strength because of the international window. A look at who was available, and who played, can be seen in the following table.

Unavailable – 5
Intl team Game Place
Cameroon Feb 3 Yaounde Mbaizo
Jamaica Feb 2 Kingston Blake Burke    
Rehabbing Elliott
Unknown Monteiro
Played– 23
GK Freese Bendik
LB Wagner Real
LCB Findlay Craig
RCB Glesnes Turner
RB Harriel Jasinski Sorenson
DM Bueno Martinez
LM Flach McGlynn
RM Bedoya Sullivan
AM Gazdag Aaronson
S2 Santos Pierre
S1 Carranza Darboe
Key questions the scrimmage answered

Tactically, the Union played the 4-1-2-1-2 narrow diamond, which manager Jim Curtin indicated this offseason was the club’s preferred system.

The main point of the scrimmage was conditioning.  Union players went 45 minutes. in two 45-minute periods as a general rule.  Expect starters to go 60 on February 8 against Montreal, and 75 or 90 ten days later against Nashville.  Unannounced closed events may possibly condition reserves and others as the Clearwater phase of preseason further unfolds.

Many players were not available.  As seen in the table above, some were (or currently are) on international duty.  Striker signing Mikael Uhre has probably gone back to Denmark to start getting his P1 Visa.  Jack Elliott was working with a trainer on the sidelines in the first half running straight sprints, but no lateral cuts.  Curtin said post-match that Elliott had a minor groin issue and was held out as a precaution. Jamiro Monteiro was not on the bench.

Some unknown players filled in as a result. Three jersey numbers were without names, #21, #23, & #29. #21 & #23 were both strikers.  #29 replaced Harriel at RB about the 55th minute and then switched to DM about the 70th when Martinez went off and Sorenson came on. Detective work on Twitter (primarily from the @UnionRumors account) suggests that #21 is Nelson Pierre, #23 is Bajung Darboe, and #29 is Jack Jasinski.  All three are Academy and/or Union II players.  This makes sense: Tweets Wednesday from Union II coach Marlon LeBlanc make it clear that 16-to-18 players are with him for “Phase 2” in Clearwater at the DiMaggio Complex.

Philadelphia’s next scrimmage will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m., when the club takes on CF Montreal.


Union          1:52           Carranza (from Wagner and Santos)

Cincy          37:34          #7 the central midfielder, likely Yuya Kubo


Union         59:09        McGlynn (foul)


  1. Miro is dealing with visa issues for his family

  2. I was surprised that Martinez was even there as he had played in both of Venezuela’s qualifiers including Tuesday night in Montevideo, so it’s not surprising he only played for about 25 minutes yesterday.
    Unfortunately, Mbaizo has been mostly on the bench for Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations. Hopefully the coach will make some changes for the 3rd place game tomorrow.

  3. Altidore to New England. Confirmed today…

    The rich get richer.

    • Given his injury history; I’m honestly not sure signing Jozy Altidore on a three year deal is wise for any team. Between losing Buchanan now and Turner in summer (and possibly Buksa), New England have got weaker even with Altidore and Lletget coming in.

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