Julian Carranza looking to move past difficult past with Philadelphia Union

Julian Carranza just exited what he calls a difficult situation.

The 21-year-old Argentinian forward was signed six months before Inter Miami began play in MLS. Carranza was expected to play a major role with the south Florida side.

Instead, Carranza started 11 of 41 games that he played in and only scored three goals in 1,268 minutes over two seasons.

"I think everyone knows what happened in Miami," Carranza said on Tuesday. "The big star in front of me was Gonzalo Higuain. I was training really well, scoring goals and stuff, but it was difficult to play with him in front of me. I was playing like five minutes per game and it was really tough because I was doing a really good job and giving my max in trainings. It's really difficult to not play every week. Honestly, it's sad because I was giving the best of me and then with a big star in front of me, it was difficult to play."

Carranza's playing time was affected by countless issues in Miami, but the entrance of Gonzalo Higuain in September 2020 blocked his progression to a consistent starting spot.

In December, Carranza was loaned by Inter Miami to the Philadelphia Union. The Union have an option to purchase the player's contract at the end of the 2022 season.

Carranza will be the focal point of the Union attack for the first few weeks of the season at least. Club record signing Mikael Uhre is still working through the visa process to play in the United States as of Tuesday morning.

Carranza is expected to lead the forward line in a formation that he has familiarity with from his time in Argentina. He played two seasons in Argentina with Banfield.

"In Argentina, I was playing almost the same as here," Carranza said. "I like how (Union manager) Jim (Curtin) plays. I like how this team we press high, try to recover the ball close to the goal. I love how we play, press and move. I feel so good with this formation with this team. I think we're going to have a really good season."

The style of play has not been the only thing that has helped Carranza with his smooth transition to Philadelphia. He credited his new teammates with welcoming him to a new city and team.

"I think it's a really good change," Carranza said. "When I came here, I didn't know anybody or the city. The guys talked to me and welcomed me. Everyone was talking to me about the city and the team. I feel really good here. I feel important here. I'm good and I'm ready for the start of the season."

"It's easy here because everyone is good people," Carranza said. "Everyone is talking to me about the city, the team. Whenever I need to talk to them, they're here. I'm happy to be with these teammates and in this city."

Carranza did not set a numerical goal for his production in Philadelphia, but he is going to take the same effort he used in Miami to try and get on the field to set a good tone early on with the Union.

"I think it's just play every single game and give my max for the team. Then, I'm going to try to do my best for the team, of course," Carranza said. "It's just game-by-game. It's about doing the right things and giving my max for the team and myself. I think everything is going to come with that."

The 21-year-old will get a chance to prove himself right away in Saturday's home opener against Minnesota United, a game he has been waiting a long time for.

"I'm very excited for the first game here at home," Carranza said. "I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. The past three years I was playing almost nothing and that was really tough because I always want to play. I think I was doing good things to play and a couple things I couldn't control."

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