There he was, out on the Union’s practice fields, the No. 7 clear to see on a training top that was needed on a chilly morning. He stood a little taller than some of the players around him, and you didn’t have to know much about soccer to see his place on the forward line.

And if you did know the game, you knew it mattered that Mikael Uhre finally took part in his first Union practice on Tuesday.

It was, for the record, three days after he greeted the opening-day crowd at Subaru Park; four days after he arrived in town; 33 days after his signing from Brøndby became official; and 38 days after the word got out in Denmark and Philadelphia that the deal was en route. A series of visa paperwork delays kept him from getting here until now.

“It’s lovely, just lovely to be back playing football,” Uhre said. “It’s been a month with no real team training, so of course I have to get my body used to it. But feeling good. All the guys really gave me a warm welcome.”

» READ MORE: Danish striker Mikael Uhre officially joins the Union for a team-record $2.8 million transfer fee

Being sidelined was as frustrating to Uhre as it was everyone else. But the cloud had a major silver lining: It became an unexpected paternity leave after his wife delivered their first child in December. The rest of the family was set to arrive in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening.

“I was trying to look on the bright side, that I could help her out a bit more than I would normally do during a season,” he said. “Because during a season, of course, it’s important to get to sleep and she understands that. I’m a lucky man.”

During that spell, the Union sent video clips over of game and practice footage so Uhre could learn the team’s playing style. He also had a few video chats with his new strike partner, Julián Carranza.

Uhre could make his Union debut on Saturday at Club de Foot Montréal (4 p.m., PHL17), a game that will be played under the big top of Montreal’s venerable Olympic Stadium. But there won’t be much glamour in following the footsteps of Mike Schmidt and Carli Lloyd. The Big O’s playing surface is artificial turf, and not the best kind.

Fortunately, Uhre has a lot of experience playing on artificial surfaces.

“The last month I’ve mostly been training on turf,” he said. “It’s what it is — I like to play on grass more than I like to play on turf, but we also have some teams in the Danish league that play on turf.”

» READ MORE: The Union’s defense was as much of an issue against Minnesota as the sputtering attack

Right as Uhre was leaving home, tensions were escalating across Europe due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Denmark’s soccer federation is one of many national governing bodies that joined a boycott of playing against Russian teams before FIFA and UEFA banned Russia from their competitions “until further notice.”

The potential effects on World Cup qualifying won’t matter for Denmark, which won its group by four points to clinch an automatic berth. But Denmark is neighbors with two of the teams in Russia’s playoff bracket: Sweden is right next door, and Poland is a short trip across the Baltic Sea.

And really, when it comes to European soccer, everyone is connected. The continent’s national team and club tournaments are a huge part of the sport.

“Sometimes, things are more important than football, and this is definitely one of them,” said Uhre, who made his Danish national team debut last November. " I really like all the initiatives the teams and FIFA are taking.”

For now, at least, Uhre is able to focus on domestic matters: his new family, his new team, and the warm welcome he got from the fans at Subaru Park.

“They even took my song that I had at my old club,” Uhre said, a nod to the Sons of Ben supporters’ club adopting a chant from Brøndby fans. “Coming from a club with big traditions and a huge history, I feel at home already because of the fans. I’m used to playing for fans [who] really want to be in the game, and they really feel it, and I think that’s something I can relate to [with] these fans.”