It was the Philadelphia Union’s second preseason game in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 13, and it definitely was not the result Union fans were looking for, however today’s match for the players and the coaching staff was not about the win or loss, even though a win would have been great, but to evaluate each of the Union’s young players. Many of them are fighting for a roster spot on the squad and in most cases a contract as well. Roger Torres and Leo Fernandes were bright spots in an overall dismal performance for the Union as a whole.
After the game, team manager John Hackworth explained that this game was about evaluating those on trial and those drafted this off-season.
“It was just an evaluation tool really, giving guys an opportunity,” said Hackworth. “The guys that played today for the most part didn’t play on Saturday in our first game and you have got to give guys a look against an opponent in a real game and that’s what this [match] was about.”
Overall the team looked sluggish and sloppy at times, but some of the players were bright spots. Fernandes played a very good 75 minutes and did great moving the ball. He attempted some good through balls up to the forwards, but at times they were out of reach. Look for Fernandes to keep improving during preseason, and could find a spot in the starting XI on March 2.
Another player to shine in the 4-0 loss was Roger Torres. It seems like he has lived up to Hackworth’s off-season challenge of getting in shape. Torres looked like a speed demon compared to the pace of his team when he entered around the 60th minute. This fit Torres will sure be playing in more matches this preseason
Some questions were answered by this game. Look for the Union’s next match in Florida to feature the “starters” and not the players looking for a contract. The next match might answers questions about what formation and who starts for the Union come March 2.
“This game today was about guys trying to make a mark and earning a contract,” said Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakewicz. “For some of them it was good and for some of them it was not so good. This game for us today was about answering some questions – so I think a lot of questions got answered.”
Quotes provided by Philadelphiaunion.com.