Fabian Herbers and Derrick Jones celebrate together for the Philadelphia Union — July 14, 2018


After a promising season last year, Philadelphia Union Homegrown midfielder Derrick Jones has been mostly left out of the rotation throughout the 2018 campaign.


Perhaps Saturday’s performance can help get him back in the fold.


With the Union resting many of their regulars for an international friendly vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Jones delivered the game’s only goal to lift Philadelphia to a 1-0 win over the Bundesliga club at Talen Energy Stadium.



“I thought that he did a good job for us,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “He broke up some plays. Physically, it is never a question with Derrick; it is changing speeds and doing that with intensity. He has the quality to make a play and that is evident in the goal. He stepped in front, won a good ball, continued to dribble and picked out a corner, which is good. I am very happy for Derrick in that regard.”


What did it mean for Jones, who’s logged only 30 minutes in MLS play after playing over 700 a year ago, to score a 49th-minute goal against a top-flight European club?

“It was a good opportunity for me to come on and play well, work hard for my team, just to get the confidence going,” the 21-year-old midfielder said. “I’m just trying to work on my defense and attacking shape, staying compact with the team in the midfield. That’s what the coaches tell me to work on.”


Curtin also praised Fabinho and Marcus Epps for their performances on the left side of the field, and backup goalkeeper John McCarthy came through with a big double save to preserve the shutout.

For the Union, earning the win while getting young players valuable minutes and resting some of the starters before Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup game against Orlando City SC (7 pm ET) was about all they could have asked for.


“Overall, all these guys that we are going to call upon in the coming weeks, because the schedule is busy, have to be ready to step up,” Curtin said. “We managed minutes and kept everybody fresh but staying sharp is important and not just shutting everyone down. … It was a good night.”


Eintracht Frankfurt, of course, are in their preseason and probably not putting too much stock in the team’s performance. But they seemed to enjoy their trip to Philly, and seeing supporters in the Talen Energy Stadium crowd.

“We are proud to see that we have fans all over the world,” said Eintracht Frankfurt and US national team defender Timmy Chandler, who played the first half of Saturday’s friendly. “And that is why we play for our club.”