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Philadelphia Union key starters unavailable because of COVID

Philadelphia Union COVID protocols could mean 11 players ineligible for Eastern Conference Final.

When New York City FC square off against the Philadelphia Union tomorrow in the Eastern Conference Final of the MLS Cup Playoffs, they might face a squad depleted by COVID health and safety protocols. According to the official Game Guide issued earlier today by MLS, 11 Union players are currently classified as unavailable. 

The list includes key starters Alejandro Bedoya, Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Alvas Powell, and Kai Wagner. The effect on the Union’s backline could be devastating. In Oppo research: Questions for Brotherly Game, Philadelphia Union writer Joe Lister said that he expected “Elliott and Glesnes to shut down NYCFC’s attack.” Goalkeeper Blake, whose clean sheet in the penalty shootout made him the hero of the Union’s win over Nashville SC in the Eastern Conference Semifinal, is so iconic that he’s on a t-shirt.

Here is the complete list of players named as unavailable:

  • Alejandro Bedoya
  • Andre Blake
  • Joe Bendik
  • Cory Burke
  • Jack Elliott
  • Jakob Glesnes
  • Ilsinho
  • Alvas Powell
  • Sergio Santos
  • Quinn Sullivan
  • Kai Wagner

The final list of players who are unavailable due to COVID health and safety protocols will be released tomorrow.

The Eastern Conference Final is still set to take place as scheduled tomorrow, December 5, at 3 pm.