MLS

Philadelphia Union name Matt Jones starting goalie against Columbus Crew

 The Philadelphia Union announced who their starting goalie would be for their game against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday.

It’s been a busy week for the Philadelphia Union. They dodged a bullet as Andre Blake was able to stay with the club for both matches against Orlando City SC and the Colorado Rapids last weekend before reporting to the Jamaican national team ahead of the Copa America. He was a star between the posts for the Union yet again as they picked up two ties on the road. In his absence, Jim Curtin had to decide who should start and on Tuesday announced that Matt Jones would be the starter for their game against Columbus on Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s game will be the second straight week the team has a mid-week match and third game in eight days. The Union return home in front of their fans after being on the road for the last two games. It will be the first time an Englishman has started for the Union when Jones takes the spot between the posts on Wednesday.

Jones has been busy recently has he and his wife welcomed their first child last week. It’s critical Jones focuses on getting prepared for his first start with the Union. While he isn’t the same caliber as Blake, he will need to step up. Columbus’ Ola Kamara scored a hat-trick last weekend and was named MLS Player of the Week and he isn’t the Crew’s only offensive weapon.

There’s been times this season where the Union’s defensive unit was redeemed by some ridiculous saves by Blake. The defensive core will need to be more cohesive as Jones gets used to starting in net for the Union, but his experience with USL side Bethlehem Steel will bode well as he takes the field on Wednesday.

He has the support of his team, players, and fans ahead of the match. A great performance in net will only further solidify that. Yet, the Union’s goalie depth is a good thing and if he struggles in net, John McCarthy may become the replacement while Blake is with Jamaica.

Curtin and the rest of the coaching staff clearly have faith in Jones. He will be tested often during their match on Wednesday against the Crew as Philadelphia looks to remain in first place in the Eastern Conference standings.