Union lose 11 players due to Covid-19 on eve of MLS semi
New York (AFP) – The Philadelphia Union will field a depleted lineup for this weekend's Major League Soccer semi-finals after 11 players were listed on Saturday as out due to Covid-19 protocols.
Philadelphia will play host to New York City FC on Sunday in the Eastern Conference final for a berth in next Saturday's MLS championship match against either the Portland Timbers or Real Salt Lake.
Union midfielder and captain Alejandro Bedoya, goalkeeper Andre Blake and defenders Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Alvas Powell and Kai Wagner were last week's starters who were placed into MLS health and safety protocols.
Also listed out in an injury report were reserve goalkeeper Joe Bendik, forwards Cory Burke and Sergio Santros and midfielders Ilsinho and Quinn Sullivan.
Wagner, Elliott and Glesnes were defensive stalwarts who played more than 30 games for Philadelphia this season.
The Union still boast standout strikers in Poland's Kacper Przybylko, who led Philadelphia with 12 goals this season, and Jamiro Monteiro, who led the team with six assists.
"Our players have worked tirelessly to get to this point and I know they will be brave even in the adversity that we are facing right now," Union coach Jim Curtin said.
It comes ahead of the biggest game in the club's 12-season history. This is the Union's first MLS semi-final after having made quarter-final exits in 2011 and 2019.
© 2021 AFP