Game Preview: New look Celtic FC the Union’s first international opponents

Posted on 14 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

New coach, Celtic FC legend Neil Lennon is set to take the Hoops through a tour of America startin first and foremost with the Philadelphia Union tonight at 8PM at PPL Park. The former Celtic defensive midfielder takes the helm after a disappointing year in the Scottish Premier League. Famed rivals, Rangers – featuring Americans Maurice Edu and Damarcus Beasley (for now), took the Championship by six points in the end. Any year that Celtic doesn’t win the title is a disappointing one. They come to America to jumpstart their preseason and preparation for the upcoming battle with Walter Smith’s Rangers.

One of their biggest scoring threats Aiden McGeady, however, will have to stay at home as a thigh injury has kept the attacker from traveling. Normal first choice keeper Artur Boruc will also not be on the pitch for tonight’s match as the Polish shotstopper looks set to take his talents to the Italian Serie A with Fiorentina. That means we should see – assuming the countryman gets a sympathetic nod – American keeper Dominic Cervi. As far as additions go, Celtic just added Mexican winger Efrain Juarez for $7 million from UNAM Pumas. He won’t be here in Philadelphia tonight but might join them for future dates on their tour.

CELTIC FC Traveling Roster

GOALKEEPERS: Artur Boruc (POL), Dominic Cervi (USA), Lukasz Zaluska (POL)
DEFENDERS: Andreas Hinkel (GER), Glenn Loovens (HOL), Jos Hooiveld (HOL), Darren O’Dea (IRL), Mark Wilson (SCO), Paul Caddis (SCO), Milan Misun (CZE), Charles Mulgrew (SCO), Cha Du Ri (S.KOR), Thomas Rogne (NOR)
MIDFIELDERS: Scott Brown (SCO), Joseph Ledley (WAL), Shaun Maloney (SCO), Patrick McCourt (IRL), Marc Crosas (ESP), Aiden McGeady (IRE), Simon Ferry (SCO), James Forrest (SCO), Ki Sung Yueng (S.KOR)
FORWARDS: Marc-Antoine Fortune (F. Guiana), Georgios Samaras (GRE), Morten Rasmussen (DEN), Benjamin Hutchison (ENG), Paul McGowan (SCO)

MANAGER: Neil Lennon (1st season in charge)

Giorgios Samaras, Cha Du Ri, and Ki Sung Yueng each played for their respective teams (Greece and South Korea) in South Africa at the 2010 World Cup. That simply means there’s a good chance they might not start or play at all. As for scoring threats, look no further than the lanky Greek striker in Samaras. Along with the injured McGeady, he has the best scoring record of the bunch followed closely by Marc-Antoine Fortune and attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney (formerly of Aston Villa).

Regardless, this match should provide the Union with a stiff test and good run-out vs. one of the better teams in Europe. The idea is to finish the chances they get tonight so that come Saturday vs. Toronto FC, the idea doesn’t seem so foreign to them.

Coach Nowak should throw most of the squad to be seen at a high-level of play – so expect to see a lot of the young ones in Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo as well as fellow rookie Toni Stahl.

See you at PPL. As always, we will have full coverage – photos, quotes, a little video this time, and Player Ratings.

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