By Julie Glass
The Union kick off their 2019 season today, and here are the details:
When: Today, March 2, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester
Broadcast: TV — 6abc
Live Stream: ESPN+
After qualifying for the postseason a year ago, the Union made a few significant changes to their roster, with the signing of Mexico international Marco Fabian topping the marquee.
Brazilian forward Sergio Santos and German left back Kai Wagner are among the other acquisitions expected to make an impact.
There’s also more buzz around the club’s homegrown players, including center backs Mark McKenzie and Auston Trusty, and midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who had an impressive first preseason camp.
Other Key Matches
March 17 at Atlanta United: An early test for the young Union side against the defending champions.
June 8 vs. New York Red Bulls: The closest thing to a rivalry game for the Union comes at the end of a eight-game stretch over six weeks.
July 20 vs. Chicago Fire: C.J. Sapong, who was traded to Chicago for up to $450,000 in allocation money on Saturday, returns to Talen Energy Stadium.
Quotes & Notes
Ernst Tanner on the club’s playing style for 2019:
“We have that system we are more or less playing in and we are looking for these players, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we use the same system in every game.
“I want to give that flexibility to our coaches. We are here to win games, and if the coaches are in the opinion of using three strikers or playing a flat three in order to win that single game. I’m happy and I support it.”
Jim Curtin on roster to start the season:
“I think we actually have significantly improved in terms of our depth. I think the flexibility is a good thing. I think Ernst saw us as a team that was very good with the ball, in particular last year, and now really wants us to improve without it. And if we can do that while still being decent with the ball, it’ll just be more points at the end of the year.”
Biggest offseason moves
The Union brought in Fabian on a free transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt, and signed him to a one-year contract with two team options.
Early in the offseason, the Union outbid a few teams in Liga MX for the services of Santos, who is expected to be one of the difference-makers all season in the final third.
The Union also made a pair of difficult trades by sending Sapong to Chicago and fan favorite Keegan Rosenberry to the Colorado Rapids.
Roster Breakdown (25 players)
Goalkeepers (3): Andre Blake, Carlos Miguel Coronel, Matt Freese
Defenders (9): Fabinho, Aurelien Collin, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, Olivier Mbaizo, Mark McKenzie, Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner
Midfielders (8): Brenden Aaronson, Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle, Ilsinho, Marco Fabian, Anthony Fontana, Derrick Jones, Haris Medunjanin
Forwards (5): David Accam, Cory Burke, Fafa Picault, Kacper Przybyłko, Sergio Santos