Nashville SC

Philadelphia Union preview: Q&A with Joe Lister of Brotherly Game

Talen Energy Stadium photo by Tim SullivanClub and Country. I don’t know what it is called now and won’t be looking it up.

It’s been a hot minute since Nashville SC took on Philadelphia Union. I caught up with Brotherly Game‘s Joe Lister for the latest on Philly.

Tim Sullivan: Andre Blake is listed as questionable even though he played on Wednesday. Is his injury impacting his performance, or something that, if he can play through, you’re getting what you’d expect out of Blake? If he can’t go, how have Matt Freese/Joe Bendik played behind him?

Joe Lister: Curtin has cleared Andre Blake to play, and said that the team feels much more comfortable with giving him the workload of goal kicks again. Were Blake injury to flame up on the pitch, you’d see Matt Freese come on, however, he’s one of the better backups in the league so the team will be comfortable will him in net.

Tim Sullivan: On the other end of the pitch, Sergio Santos and Cory Burke are both injured. How has Curtin adjusted to a less depth at striker? Is it all about Kacper Przybylko [(I will not be spell-checking that, thanks) at this stage? Is the two-striker formation on the shelf for now?

Joe Lister: The Union will probably run one striker up top with Przybylko (good job on his name, it took everyone in Philly a few months). Obviously, it isn’t the Union’s number one plan, but Przybylko hasn’t looked bad as the lone striker. It’s also worth noting that Matheus Davo will be sitting on the bench, so Curtin can bring him on if need be (he won’t), and Santos has been cleared to play, though Curtin added he may be coming off the bench.

Tim Sullivan: Philly is one of those clubs that Nashville SC fans are looking to with a hopeful eye in terms of producing talent. How crucial are the roles Leon Flach, Quinn Sullivan, Paxten Aaronson, and the like have played this year? Should we expect to see them tomorrow?

Joe Lister: Assuming there won’t be any major tragedies, Leon Flach will be getting the nod for the starting XI against Nashville. Sullivan and Aaronson most likely won’t be added to the XI, but could come off the bench. Look for them at the end of the match (say 70′ or so) if Jim Curtin wants to jolt the attack, you’ll see one or both of them. Another possible addition could be Jack McGlynn, who you may see come on if the Union earn a good lead and Curtin wants to sit back.

Tim Sullivan: This is a Philly team that’s really good at a lot of things, but excellent at very few of them. What’s the one thing that could take them to that next level in the final couple weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs

Joe Lister: The Union’s kryptonite is the way that they start matches. Their record is terrible when they give up the first goal of the match, which often happens in the first fifteen minutes when they’re getting warmed up. On the few occasions that the team has come out quickly, they’ve looked just about unstoppable. I don’t necessarily expect this to become the Union’s focus over the next few weeks, it is something to look for in their final matches of the season.

Tim Sullivan: What do you expect in terms of lineup and an outcome?

Joe Lister: Blake; Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Mbaizo; Flach, Martinez, Bedoya; Montiero, Gazdag; Przybylko. Look for the lineup to change as subs come on in the last 20-30 minutes.

I think that the Union earn a shutout after their incredibly poor performance against Minnesota. At some point, Kacper Przyblyko finds the back of the net, and it’s a 1-0 win for the Union.

Many thanks to Joe for his expertise on the Union. “Check him out!” for everything #Doop.

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