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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Friday, June 15, 2012


(Associated Press)
Saturday night, the Union are going to be without Lio Pajoy.

While basic logic would dictate that new-guy Jorge Perlaza, pictured, would get the nod to start against D.C. United, Union manager John Hackworth said the other day, 'Hey, not so fast.'

Hackworth said he and the technical staff haven't had too much time to watch Perlaza, for whom the Union traded last week with Portland, and he added the opportunity to play Saturday is up for grabs.

“We got to see (Perlaza) for the first time earlier this week and (Tuesday in a friendly with Harrisburg)  for a half," Hackworth said Wednesday, after his hire as the Union's interim boss. "We're going to go through the next two days and see if he's the best option for us to put on the field. If he is, he'll get that opportunity, but there are some other guys in there that certainly are fighting for that spot."

Pajoy, who has three goals, will serve a one-game suspension for what the MLS Disciplinary Committee deemed a reckless tackle against Toronto FC. So if Pajoy is unavailable, and Perlaza isn't an automatic starter, that means one of the Union's younger strikers could get a shot to crack the starting XI.

Among those who could get the nod are:
  • Jack McInerney, 19, the third-year forward who has played all of 93 minutes this season and who last fall was rated as one of MLS' top 24 under 24.
  • Cristhian Hernandez, 18, a Homegrown Player who has made two MLS appearances in cleanup time.
  • German import Kai Herdling, whose loan expires June 30. 
  • Chandler Hoffman, 21, the first-round SuperDraft pick whose MLS playing time has been limited but has impressed in friendlies.
  • Antoine Hoppenot, 21, the supplemental-draft choice who netted the game-winner against D.C. in a fourth-round U.S. Open Cup match.
If not Perlaza, who do you think has earned the chance to start Saturday at forward? Let the debate begin.

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