Union Notes: Yaro out 3-4 months; Najem Signed; Preseason Starts

A roundup of what’s been happening with our Philadelphia Union:

Yaro undergoes shoulder surgery

The Philadelphia Union announced today that second-year centerback Joshua Yaro will be out 3-4 months after shoulder surgery this week. The club said that the operation was undertaken to repair a labral tear that occurred during preseason training but it did not say how long ago that was, or which shoulder was worked on. Yaro missed a few weeks after tearing his right labrum last year, but did not undergo surgery for that.

This sudden announcement makes me wonder if the Union knew about this injury before signing Oguchi Onyewu but kept it silent at the time because they didn’t want the Onyewu signing to look like a roster Band-Aid. It looks like Onyewu will get his chance to show what he can still do as the Union will be without Yaro for at least the first 2 months of the regular season. Yaro was the second overall pick in the 2016 SuperDraft and showed a lot of promise in his rookie campaign. While the back line will miss Yaro’s speed, they could use the size and strength that Onyewu provides.

Najem, Epps signed

On Wednesday, the Union announced the acquisition of midfielder Adam Najem from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for their 2018 second round SuperDraft pick. Technically, the club traded for NYRB’s Right for First Refusal on him as a Homegrown player. The former University of Akron player has been training with the Union and has impressed the coaching staff so far.

The Union may have temporarily lost their first SuperDraft pick from last year, but on  Monday they signed this year’s first pick, former University of South Florida midfielder Marcus Epps. The Union chose him in the second round and he was the 25th overall pick.

Head coach Jim Curtin says that this leaves the team with three roster spots: one is reserved for a third goalkeeper, and one will be used for a player to be loaned to their USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel. The third spot is TBD.

Preseason competition

The Union have begun their preseason matches. Their first competition was the “Closed Door Cup” against DC United, which ended in a 1-1 draw. C.J. Sapong scored the U’s only goal in that one. They followed that with a 5-3 win over the USMNT U-17 team.

Today they lost to the Chicago Fire 1-0.  The starting XI for this match could be a glimpse of what will be Curtin’s go-to lineup in the season:

The club will be participating in the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Suncoast Invitational Tournament starting on February 18. Along with the Rowdies, they will play the Montreal Impact, and D.C. United.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.