The Union’s minor-league team in the second-division USL Championship, the Union II, will play its first game of the resumed season July 18 at Subaru Park against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

As things stand, that game in Chester will be the first team sports event in the Philadelphia area since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world in mid-March. The Phillies’ season is scheduled to begin a few days later, July 23 or 24, though there might be exhibition games before then.

The USL announced its reworked regular-season schedule Thursday. Unlike with MLS, USL games will be at teams’ stadiums instead of at a neutral site.

In order to limit travel as COVID-19 cases skyrocket nationwide, the USL divided the league’s 35 teams into six regionalized divisions of four or five teams each. Union II is with Pittsburgh, Hartford Athletic, and the minor-league teams of D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls. The latter two teams play their home games in Loudoun, Va. (D.C.‘s team is called Loudoun United), and Harrison, N.J., respectively.

All but two of Union II’s games will be against teams within the division. The ones that won’t are a Sept. 2 home game against Atlanta United’s minor-league team and Sept. 5 at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Some teams, including the Real Monarchs (in suburban Salt Lake City) and Louisville City will play with fans in the stands at restricted capacities. A Union statement said the team is “in continued discussions with Pennsylvania state officials about what may be possible in terms of having fans in Subaru Park.”

Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed in counties in the state’s green phase, a group that includes Delaware County.

“We will continue to abide by state and local guidelines and follow their recommendations, as the health and safety of our fans remains a top priority,” the Union statement said.

Games played in March before the season was halted will count in the standings. The Union played only once, a 0-0 tie with Loudoun on March 7 in Chester.

If everything goes to plan, teams will have played 16 games each when the regular season ends in early October. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the playoffs.

The Union’s first team left for Orlando on Wednesday, a week before their first game in MLS’s summer tournament.

As of now, the tournament is still going on as planned, though fears are rising inside and outside the Disney World bubble. In addition to the continued rise in cases in central Florida, The Athletic reported that FC Dallas has had nine players and one coach test positive for COVID-19 since arriving at the site, and the Columbus Crew have had one positive test since arriving.

Multiple teams have reportedly delayed departures to Orlando that were scheduled for this week.

A few Union fans gathered at Subaru Park on Thursday to send the team off to Orlando. Fans stood on the sidewalk and the traveling players and staff stayed on the bus.
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
A few Union fans gathered at Subaru Park on Thursday to send the team off to Orlando. Fans stood on the sidewalk and the traveling players and staff stayed on the bus.

Union II schedule

Kickoff times are still to be determined. All games will be streamed online via ESPN+.

Saturday, July 18: vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Wednesday, July 22: vs. New York Red Bulls II

Saturday, July 25: at Hartford Athletic

Saturday, Aug. 1: at Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Wednesday, Aug. 5: vs. New York Red Bulls II

Sunday, Aug. 9: vs. Hartford Athletic

Wednesday, Aug. 19: vs. Hartford Athletic

Sunday, Aug. 23: at New York Red Bulls II

Wednesday, Sept. 2: vs. Atlanta United 2

Sunday, Sept. 6: at Tampa Bay Rowdies

Saturday, Sept. 12: at Loudoun United

Wednesday, Sept. 16: vs. Loudoun United

Sunday, Sept. 20: at Hartford Athletic

Saturday, Sept. 26: at New York Red Bulls II

Saturday, Oct. 3: at Pittsburgh Riverhounds