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Philadelphia Union 2023 Season Preview

Philadelphia Union: 2023 For Philly Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: Basically everything, but force me to choose one, and it’s that defense. Relative to league-wide goals per game, what they did last year was every bit as impressive as RSL’s record-setting 2010 campaign. Can’t lose if you keep tossing shutouts.
  • Weakness: About the only thing I could put a finger on is the lack of a proven backup No. 9. There is no Cory Burke on this roster, and Cory Burke was freaking huge for them last season.

Key Departures

  • Paxten Aaronson: Highly-rated academy product and US youth international attacker Paxten Aaronson was transferred to German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt this winter. He has since made his senior USMNT debut. Blocked by MVP candidate Dániel Gazdag at his primary No. 10 position, Aaronson made only two starts last season.
  • Cory Burke: Jamaica international forward Cory Burke signed with the New York Red Bulls in free agency this year. Burke was a key off-the-bench piece for Philadelphia who changed the pace with his elite athleticism, providing big performances in the playoffs as the Union fell in MLS Cup. He tallied 7g/5a in 1,177 regular-season minutes.
  • Matt Freese: Backup goalkeeper Matt Freese was traded to NYCFC this winter, where he’ll have a better chance at becoming a starter in this league. Blocked by three-time Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake, Freese would have continued to be a backup in Philly.

Key Acquisitions

  • Joaquín Torres: Joaquín Torres is one of a handful of key, overqualified depth pieces to arrive in a trade this offseason. The Argentine attacker, acquired from CF Montréal, can play the No. 10, as a second striker or on the wing – and brings a 1-v-1 dribbling ability nobody on the squad previously had. He recorded 7g/12a in 55 appearances (37 starts) with Montréal.
  • Damion Lowe: Another player acquired domestically, Philly acquired Jamaican international center back Damion Lowe in a trade with Inter Miami. Lowe made 28 starts for Miami last year and the Union believe he’ll look even better in a stellar defensive group.
  • Andrés Perea: Philly acquired midfielder Andrés Perea in – yep, you guessed it – a trade this offseason. The once-capped US international spent three seasons with Orlando, making 74 appearances (34 starts). Able to play a box-to-box role or as a No. 6, the 22-year-old Perea should find plenty of minutes.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - PHI lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 1st in East
  • Charles Boehm: 1st in East
  • Tom Bogert: 1st in East
  • Matt Doyle: 2nd in East
  • David Gass: 1st in East
  • J. Sam Jones: 1st in East
  • Sacha Kljestan: 1st in East
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 1st in East
  • Joseph Lowery: 1st in East
  • Melissa Ortiz: 2nd in East
  • Danielle Slaton: 1st in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 1st in East
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 2nd in East

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Jim Curtin
  • Stadium: Subaru Park
  • Last year: 19W-5L-10T, 67 points, 1st in East
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: MLS Cup runner-up