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

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pratice notes from Union training Tuesday

The Philadelphia Union returned to Chester Tuesday to begin the final preparation for their season opener in Dallas next Sunday at 3 p.m. The club has been in Florida for the better part of the last month, taking part in six official preseason games to go with a pair of scrimmages. A few notes from practice.

The Philadelphia Union returned to training in Chester Tuesday
ahead of Sunday's season opener.
- The two notable absences from the group Tuesday were also the last two to wear the captain’s armband in MLS action: Maurice Edu and Tranquillo Barnetta. Edu has what manager Jim Curtin termed “a stress reaction in his leg” that is unrelated to his offseason sports hernia surgery. You'll remember that this entire affair began last July with a partially torn groin that has morphed into much more. Edu has yet to train with the Union this preseason, still working off to the side. Curtin labeled him as “doubtful” for Sunday’s trip to Dallas. Here’s the full quote:

“Mo still hasn’t trained with us at all. Obviously a big piece of our team, a captain, a leader, a guy we always expect big things from. To not have him is a detriment, but everybody has picked up the slack, and has played well. He’s looking doubtful to be honest for Dallas, but the players in his spot have competed well. Obviously we’re a better team with Mo on the field, but the reality is the game doesn’t wait for anybody and we have to move on. It’s not likely he’ll be part of the Dallas game.”

- Barnetta’s absence, Curtin said, stems from tendinitis in his knee. Recall that Barnetta had several major knee injuries in his time at Schalke in Germany. Barnetta did, however, log 60 minutes last Saturday in a scrimmage with Montreal (prior to the game against Toronto).

- The other injuries were minor. Cole Missimo left training a little early, though Curtin didn’t list an ailment. Josh Yaro was somewhat limited due to groin soreness. Ray Gaddis has largely shaken off his knee soreness and appeared to train fully.

- On Ilsinho, Curtin had some good things to say: “We knew probably two games into the preseason that he participated in that it was something we wanted to get done. … A guy that has come in, came from a big club in Europe, the situation there wasn’t ideal for him, so he came with us, turned our heads immediately.”

- Caught the end of some tactical drills at training, where it looked like the “first” team featured Richie Marquez and Anderson as the center back pairing. Brian Carroll was the holding midfielder with Roland Alberg and Leo Fernandes in the central attacking midfielder spots. Not sure if that’s a hint for this weekend, but there are a lot of pieces to still fall into place with this lineup in the coming days.

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