Analysis / Union / Union II

International absences this weekend

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Union Communications

The Philadelphia Union travel to Portland, OR, this weekend to Providence Park to play the Timbers during FIFA’s March international break.

Head coach Jim Curtin recently announced that ten players would be away during the break. If he was thinking of all players who could become available to him using all aspects of the roster rules, that number makes sense.

The absences

Eight first-team players are now officially known to be away, as are two second-teamers who spent all of the preseason practicing with the first team.

Player Pos Team Fixtures
1 Tai Baribo S Israel Th, 21-Mar
2 Andre Blake GK Jamaica Th, 21-Mar Su, 24-Mar
3 Damion Lowe CB Jamaica Th, 21-Mar Su, 24-Mar
4 Daniel Gazdag AM Hungary Fr, 22-Mar Tu, 26-Mar
5 Jose Martinez DM Venezuela Th, 21-Mar Su, 24-Mar
6 Jesus Bueno DM Venezuela Th, 21-Mar Su, 24-Mar
7 Jack McGlynn LM US of A U23s Fr, 22-Mar Mo, 25-Mar
8 Nathan Harriel RB US of A U23s Fr, 22-Mar Mo, 25-Mar
9 *David Vazquez AM US of A U19s Su, 24-Mar Tu, 26-Mar
10 *Neil Pierre RCB US of A U19s Su, 24-Mar Tu, 26-Mar


Both defensive midfielders are absent, as are two of three attacking mids. Jack McGlynn’s absence highlights Leon Flach’s injury.

Saturday’s roster

Considering all injuries, these likely are the available players for Portland on Saturday night.

1 GK Oliver Semmle
2 LB Kai Wagner
3 LCB Jack Elliott
4 RCB Jakob Glesnes
5 RB Olivier Mbaizo
6 DM Alejandro Bedoya
7 LM Matt Real
8 RM Quinn Sullivan
9 AM Jeremy Rafanello
10 S Julian Carranza
11 S Mikael Uhre
12 S Chris Donovan
13 S Markus Anderson
14 M Nick Pariano Would be his MLS debut
15 DM Sanders Ngabo Would be his MLS debut
16 CB Olwethu Makhanya Would be his MLS debut
17 OB Jamir Berdecio Would be his MLS debut
18 GK Holden Trent Would be his MLS debut


Given the inherent risk in starting all three available center backs with none as reserve, a tactical adjustment is unlikely.

In the midfield, 90-minute match fitness will be scarce. Only Quinn Sullivan can be expected to have it.

  • Alejandro Bedoya can be paired with Sanders Ngabo.
  • Matt Real can be paired with Nick Pariano.
  • CJ Olney was physically available Thursday morning but was practicing with Union II instead of the first team. Olney going to Portland to pair with Jeremy Rafanello at attacking mid seems less likely than striker Markus Anderson deputizing into that role.

Even without Anderson, the available striker rotation seems normal, especially since there is a full week before the next match.

Sunday’s Union II roster

With Vazquez and Pierre away, the second team will be even thinner on Sunday at home playing against New England. The U17s play at 9:00 AM Saturday, hosting Atlanta United, so mid-afternoon on Sunday pushes it for them. Union Development Squad would be the source for bodies to fill out the bench. We assume Carlos Rojas’ minor injury still makes him unable to play, as it did last week.

1 GK Andrew Rick
2 LB Jack Andrus Would be MLSNP debut
3 LCB Frank Westfield
4 RCB Gavin Wetzel Would be MLSNP debut
5 RB Randy Meneses
6 LDM Alex Perez
7 RDM Kyle Tucker
8 LCM CJ Olney
9 RCM Giovanny Sequera
10 S Edward Davis III
11 S Sal Olivas
12 S Ryan Zellefrow
13 M Antonios Horozoglou Would be MLSNP debut
14 GK Mike Sheridan Would be MLSNP debut
15 CB Carlos Rojas
16 D UDS 1 Would be MLSNP debut
17 M UDS 2 Would be MLSNP debut
18 F UDS 3 Would be MLSNP debut


Thursday’s international results
  • Israel 1-4 Finland. Tai Baribo dressed but did not play.
  • Venezuela 1-2 Italy. Jose Martinez started and played 78 minutes. Jesus Bueno did not dress.
  • Jamaica 1-3 US of A (after extra time). Andre Blake started in goal. Damian Lowe started as a midfielder in a 5-4-1 low block-and-counter. Both played 120 minutes.


  1. So much useful fact full content. Makes me excited for a match we’ll probably lose, we’ll get to see some new players.

  2. Zizouisgod says:

    Given that Ngabo went 90 with Union II last weekend, I could see him getting significant minutes for the first team, perhaps even a start.

    • that was my first thought, but that would leave Alejandro Bedoya on the bench in favor of a rookie. That did not sound like Jim Curtin, when I though about it.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        True, but I don’t see Curtin starting Real either. Think that we’ll see Ngabo, Bedoya and Sullivan in the midfield with Rafanello at the tip of the diamond.

  3. Our historical record vs Portland under the best of circumstances is not good. 1 point is the best they can hope for with so many players away.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    It’s a travesty that Saturday’s schedule even exists. Best result would be if several Union players came down with food poisoning and the team is unable to field an 11 player roster.

  5. DanielHaus215 says:

    Chuckles I’m in danger

  6. Friday results:
    Hungary 1-0 Turkey. Gazdag dressed but did not play.
    US U23s 3-0 Guinea. McGlynn played the first 63 minutes, and Harriel the first 75. Harriel scored the first goal in the 9th minute heading home a cross.

  7. Scorey Burke continued his ways for Jamaica in the worst way. Put in an OG at the death to keep the US alive for OT.

  8. Jay Sugarman Has PLENTY of Money says:

    Makes you wonder the value of Tai Baribo if they didn’t do what it takes to get him to Portland.

  9. Weekend results

    Jamaica 1-0 Panama. Blake full 90. Lowe 89 minutes.
    Venezuela 0-0 Guatemala. Martinez and Bueno dressed but did not play.
    US U19s 3-2 England U19s. USA lineup not yet available.

  10. Tuesday results:
    US u19s 0-1 Morocco U20s. David Vazquez & Neil Pierre both started.
    Hungary 2-0 Kosovo. Daniel Gazdag started and played the first half.

  11. Thanks, Tim for the updates.

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