Injury Update / Offseason Issues / Preseason / Press Conference / Union

Curtin talks injury updates and depth strategy in preseason press conference

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Union Communications

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin opened his press conference yesterday noting that Leon Flach and Isaiah LeFlore have both undergone surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle and a torn ACL.

As the Union prepares to face off against Cincinnati FC today in a preseason rematch of the Eastern Conference Final, Curtin remarked that veteran players and new faces were showing solid and consistent presence at training. Among those mentioned were Andre Blake, Damian Lowe, Quinn Sullivan, Julian Carranza, and Oliver Semmle–who will reportedly be getting playing time during tomorrow’s match. Curtin added that while David Vasquez had missed the last few weeks nursing an ankle injury, he has been able to train fully for the first time on Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, as questions shifted towards a look to the regular season, the conversation continued to return to the discussion of the Union’s roster depth and how it will hold up–especially during the summer months when up to eight players will be missing to report for international duty.

“It’s a long year,” Curtain noted, “we’ll need everyone.”

Faced with the likelihood of 10 games without Brick Wall Blake, adding someone of Oliver Semmle’s caliber was a no-brainer for Curtin. When asked, however, about the prospect of bringing Brandon Craig back to the Union, Curtin replied that Craig needed the opportunity to play more minutes before being ready for the first team.

It’s worth mentioning again that one young player, Cavan Sullivan, has joined the Union for training. Noting that he had the chance to watch the younger Sullivan in action the other night, Curtin praised Sullivan for being a “unique, generational player.”

“He will be in Europe one day,” Curtin added, “what happens in the middle is TBD. He’s 14 [years old]…his only job right now is to be a kid and enjoy anytime he plays.”

The Union will wrap up their preseason schedule against the New England Revolution on February 14 before departing for Costa Rica in preparation for their match against Deportivo Saprissa on February 20. Curtin has emphasized to his team that this time around, they won’t be playing in an empty stadium. When it’s filled, it’s considered one of the most daunting venues in Concacaf, nicknamed “La Cueva del Monstruo” or “The Monster’s Cave.”

“When we walk into that stadium, we are the enemy,” Curtin remarked. “Not conceding a goal is the main objective while we’re down there.”

The Union will return to Subaru Park to host Deportivo Saprissa on February 27 in a bid to move to the next round of the Concacaf Champions Cup.


  1. What a great and terrible nickname for a stadium. SOOB does not quite compare.

  2. Anna, it’s nice to have coverage of Jim Curtin’s pressers. Thank you!

    • Anna Grillo says:

      my pleasure! as the season starts progressing I am sure they’ll get better! you can tell the entire group was buzzing with anticipation to just get started and have questions to ask

  3. In re: roster depth.
    Venezuela lost to Brazil 2-1 Thursday evening in the second match of three to determine the two CONMEBOL teams that will go to Paris for the Olympics. They had a second goal disallowed by VAR, and then Brazil got the winner in the 88th minute or thereabouts.
    Riasco subbed on at the 65th minute, a proper warmup period after Brazil scored the opener. He replaced a player described as an outside midfielder in a 4-4-2. Possibly Venezuela switched to a 4-3-3 with Riasco as the third attacker, but I am guessing that.
    Since Argentina and Paraguay tied 3-3, Venezuela now lie 4th in the table with one match to go, against Paraguay Sunday. Argentina lies third and plays Brazil also Sunday. No one is eliminated yet, but Venezuela have to win against Paraguay to have any chance at Paris.

  4. Be well, Leon and Isaiah.

  5. Thank you for the write up. Any word on how Leon tore the muscle?

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