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Przybylko available for first Champions League match but fitness still a question mark

Head coach Jim Curtin said he’ll be able to field a strong lineup for Wednesday’s game but fitness remains a question



Kacper Przybylko has been back training the past three sessions so he should be ready to make his Concacaf Champions League debut tomorrow night in Costa Rica.

“Kacper is good, has had lower back pain, but he’s been able to train the last three training sessions, which is good,” head coach Jim Curtin said Tuesday.

Przybylko’s fitness and that of several players in the lineup remains a question mark heading into the match against Saprissa (6 p.m. EST / FS1).

“We’ll be able to field a strong starting lineup but at the same time we just don’t know exactly how much team fitness certain players have,” Curtin said. “We’ll call upon the entire group to be ready; there certainly will be some younger players on the field at the end of the game.”

In addition to Przybylko, questions about fitness are there for center back Stuart Findlay, who was nursing an ankle injury when he was acquired and midfielder Jose Andres Martinez, who played the first half of the final preseason game in his return from an injury.

Curtin didn’t specifically address the injuries of Sergio Santos (toe), Cory Burke (groin) or Ilsinho (calf) and the concussion sustained by Jack de Vries. Midfielder Leon Flach is also getting acclimated with his new club after being officially announced last week and making his debut (along with Findlay) in the last 15 minutes of the match against D.C. United.

“We’re not at our strongest but at the same time this is the challenge that we have and the guys that have flown to this beautiful country will now get the test of 90 minutes against a good team,” Curtin said.

Projected Starting XI: (4-4-2) Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Jose Andres Martinez, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Anthony Fontana, Kacper Przybylko.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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