The Lions will face Philadelphia Union next Wednesday February 14th in the 3rd scrimmage of this preseason, which will be a very tough match to prove if Orlando City can impose its control over one of its main rivals.
Philadelphia Union, one of the main teams in Eastern Conference, has not signed many players from foreign leagues nor MLS in this 2018 offseason, however, it has re-incorporated +10 footballers from their official affiliate USL team, Bethlehem Steel.
Some of these players were transitioning between the first and second team all over 2017, playing both MLS and USL.
Their strongest part of the pitch is the midfield since they have well-known talented players such as 30-year-old Colombia/American Alejandro Bedoya and 32-year-old Brazilian/Portuguese Ilsinho. In addition, their frontline counts with one of the best forwards of the MLS: 29-year-old Ghanaian C.J Sapong, who scored 17 goals last year.
Philadelphia’s head coach Jim Curtin has an important challenge this 2018 as he needs to improve many aspects of the team if he wants to reach the playoff. Moreover, David Accam’s signing for Philadelphia adds some more expectations for the manager, who will have to make the former Chicago Fire player adapt to the team and compete for a starter position with Sapong.
Philadelphia Union 2017 stats
Games played= 34
Games won / draw / lost= 11 / 9 / 14
Position / points= 8th / 42 (Did not qualify to playoff)
Goals scored / received= 50 / 47
Yellow cards / red cards= 52 / 2
-US Open Cup
Games played= 2
Games won / draw / lost= 1 / 1 / 0 (Disqualified by penalties)
Position= Round of 16
Goals scored / received= 4 / 2
Yellow cards / red cards= 2 / 0
Interesting players stats
-Alejandro Bedoya – Midfielder - 2017 MLS season
Games played / minutes on the pitch= 28 / 2059’
Goals scored / assists= 2 / 3
Yellow cards / red cards= 6 / 0
Bedoya came in 2016 from French side Nantes to reinforce Philadelphia Union and bring some top-league European experience to the club. As a recurrent captain of the team, Bedoya it’s maybe the best player on the roster if we take in account his influence on the pitch and his performances last 2017. As a midfielder, the Colombian covers most part of the field and contributes in both defense and offense, being a fundamental part of Philadelphia’s play-style.
-C.J. Sapong – Forward - 2017 MLS season
Games played / minutes on the pitch= 33 / 2794’
Goals scored / assists= 16 / 5
Yellow cards / red cards= 3 / 0
Strong, tall, intelligent. Sapong it’s the main gun for Philadelphia’s frontline and reference in the offense. He was the top goal scorer of the team last year and it seems he will continue to be, however, competence has arrived for 2018 since David Accam’s signing.