- RT @WEXP_RADIO: The 15th Person to Retweet this wins a FREE pair of #EvilDead tickets to use at your leisure. 1 month ago
- Bring on adu I guess. Need a spark or something 8 months ago
- Quote of the night so far "Duka your family is here and they are mine" #doop #crew 8 months ago
- Enjoying this #elclassico just making tonights game better! 8 months ago
- Excited for tonight. The union walking away with 3pts 8 months ago
August 22, 2012Posted by on
I am writing this post out of curiosity, to find your breaking point. To find out what would cause you to leave your team, and to stop supporting your national team. I am writing this from a perspective of a man who love the Philadelphia Union. I am going to throw scenarios at you and make you think would you ever abandon your club. For the most part my scenarios can be twisted and contorted to fit any club. I am well aware that this situations will never happen (Hopefully).
Would you still Support the Union if
1. Reffing never improved in MLS: We all live in an era where reffing in MLS is constantly effecting games and outcomes. A lot of fans believe that in a few years MLS will direct focus and fix this plague. But what if the reffing never improved? Year after year, big games and big decisions get affected by poor reffing. I have seen people tear up season tickets because of this. Constantly feeling that your team does not have a fair shot at winning because of the officiating may cause a few fans to lose it.
2. Every off season the team imploded: Would you be able to support your team if every off season the management sold top players, fan favorites and young players with brought in inadequate replacements? It happened to the Union this off-season and it was tough on many fans. The Union lost fans when the team waived bye bye to all notable players. But what if this happened every year? Would you be able to stomach it. Having every player you love be replaced every year.
3. Philly got a new team: What if Philadelphia was gifted another soccer team? What if that stadium that was suppose to be built in Bristol actually got built? Philadelphia would have two soccer specific stadiums. and two MLS teams. Say this Philly team two was able to bring in a big star like Kaka, or Gio Dos Santos, along with some USMNT players like Carlos Bocangra, Joe Corona and Hercules Gomez. A wealthy of talent, experience and youth. Say the Philadelphia second soccer team also signed players like Le Toux, Danny Califf and Roger Torres.
4. Made tickets unfordable: What if Union tickets cost as much as Eagles tickets? Would you still support them? Would you still get season tickets, an travel?
5. Ownership questions your morals: Say the ownership began to question your morals and put you in morally conflicting spots. Would you be able to support a team that had an owner that openly hated gays, Jews, Muslims, and or minorities. What if the owners supported Fascism, Communism or were Nazis? What if they were publicly backing the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda? Would you support a team that had an owner that was in a Sandusky like situation but got off without conviction? If the team you loved put you in morally conflicting situation would you stop supporting?
6. You were banned Unjustly from the stadium for life: What if you were in Teddy Montoya’s shoes? You get banned from the stadium where you team plays and you did nothing wrong? You have 0 chance of ever seeing your team play at home ever again. Could you still support that team?
7. The supports section becomes overrun with fake fans: Say the River End gets filled with fans who don’t understand soccer just want to drink and yell. Gradually the fun of the game deflates. The people in the supports section cause more troubles and the chants begin to die and it is all crude cursing.
8. Financial problems strike the Club: What if your team got into some hot water financially? Problems so bad it caused them to be demoted. Say if the Union had to join the USL Pro or NASL. Would you still go out week in and week out?
9. Your team losses 99 games straight: Take a moment and sink in this one. Say your team loses 99 straight games , would you still be able to watch? Would you lose all interest? 99 games is over a season FYI. So we are talking about years without victory. Would you still be able to go to the stadium every week?
Everyone has a breaking point what is yours? Would any of these or any combo of these make you stop supporting your team? Did I miss something? Take a moment let it digest. Personally it would have to be a mixture of 2,3,4 and 5 to make me stop loving the Union.
August 12, 2012Posted by on
Its that time again folks, Shark Weeks a coming and in honor of this great week I am going to do something special. I am going to write a post that combines this JAWsome week with the beautiful game. It is sure to be FINtastic. Sharks come in all different shapes and sizes and shark has individual traits that allows them to survive. I am going to take some of the top sharks and compare the similarities between Shark and soccer player.
********Side note, I am using the MLS and US players**********
The Great White/Abby Wambach: The great white shark is the ultimate predator and the most prolific hunter in the sea. They are fast, and powerful with a bite force second to none.If a great white grabs a hold of you, the chances of you getting away in one piece are slim. Great White’s have an hora about them, with a reputation of being one of the most dangerous animals on Earth. Abby Wambach has some of the same traits, she is a prolific striker who instills fear in the hearts of defenders. Abby has great vision and sense, along with being physically dominate. The Great White and Abby also share one more quality that is very unique, they both are deadly in the air. Great Whites have been known to jump out of water to feed on seals, Abby is known for getting airborne and netting spectacular headed goals.
The Bull Shark/Chris Wondolowski: The Bull Shark is a ruthless killing machine just how Wondo is a ruthless goal scoring machine. Alot like Wondo, Bull Sharks are coastal animals that are very versatile. Bull Sharks can both be in oceans and rivers. Bull Sharks are medium sized sharks but have a very imposing force, just like Wondo. Bull Sharks get their name from their tenacity along with their tendency to head but prey. A lot like Bull Sharks Wondo is known to stay shallow in the defense and strike with precision. Also a very unique characteristic they both share is they are both overlooked. Wondo has been hands down the best striker in MLS for the last few years but does not get the attention that Henry gets. Bull Shark’s could be the most dangerous shark but do not get the attention or stigma the Great White has.
The Tiger Shark/Thierry Henry: Another two voracious predators are Tiger Shark’s and Mr. Theirry Henry. Both are lethal hunters who attack with precision. Tiger Sharks are found allover the world just as Mr. Henry’s reputation. Tiger Sharks have a very long life span and Henry’s career feels like it has been going on forever. Tiger Sharks have been known to swim in deep waters along with swim outside their habitats. Henry has been known to play out wide or drop down into the midfield. The similarities continue, a Tiger Shark is a massive shark very large could grow up to 13 feet. Henry stands at a towering 6’2.
Mako/ Dominic Oduro: The Mako shark is a medium sized shark that is not very bulky, they are slim and slender. Mako’s and Oduro are both known for their blazing speed. The Mako is the fastest shark and Oduro maybe the fastest player in MLS. Alot like Oduro, Makos are not that dangerous, their high speed offers up a form of shock but they are not prolific. It may take a Mako a few strikers before they kill their target. Oduro will score goals but by no chance is he an elite finisher in the league.
The Goblin Shark/ American’s in Germany: The Goblin Shark is the most mysterious animal. Every time I plan on educating myself on thees oddly shaped creatures I am met at a cross roads of what to believe. I am always hit with opposing and contradictory statements. It reminds me of some US players who are playing in Germany. When I first learned about these guys I was told that Fabian Johnson was a outside mid, Danny Williams is a holding midfielder and Timmy Chandler is left or right back. When in reality they can all play almost every position. I watched a Hoffenheim game once and witnessed Fabian Johnson playing right mid, left mid and left back while Danny Williams played on the wing and then in holding mid. I have seen Chandler play winger, striker, mid and defense. Like the Goblin Shark it is hard to get a read on thees guys. Does Chandler want to play for the US or for Germany? All I know is that like the Goblin Shark I want to see more of them.
Any comments? QUestions?
August 9, 2012Posted by on
Lets take a trip back in time to July 14th 2010, the Philadelphia Union were going to get a taste of European competition for the first time as they took on the Celtic FC from Scotland. When the players were worming up, it was evident their was a new face in the team. As many people searched their smart phones and small conversation broke out over ”who is the fat guy with highlights”. That man was Eduardo Coudet. Cudet was a trialist who played in the friendly and was eventually signed to the Union.
Coudet was a big guy standing 5’10 and was fairly heavy not in the best of shape, he was listed as an attacking player but only played at holding midfield. He was nicknamed “El Chacho (the Jaw)” for his massive jaw?? I was very confused at why the Union were bringing in this guy, with Migz, Naka, Roger Torres, Fred and Okugo all fighting for spots in the central midfield I was confused at why we brought in another one. Specially a holding mid who was up their in age (35 at the time), and not in the best physical condition. The first impression he gave me was that he was a gritty player. He fought and expended a lot of energy. Coudet may have slid more then anyother player I have ever seen. It was as if he could only stop an attacker if he was on the ground. Every play he was sliding on the ground. El Chacho’s time was short, he only played 9 games registered 0 goals 0 assist. He is most notible known for his bleached frosty tips that is reminiscent of the 90s. His lasting impact on the Union is that of a player who was a hard worker and brought a wealth of experience to a new team. I can’t recall ever hearing any quotes or any interviews from Eduardo Coudet. His personality was that of a man of mystery, I am not even sure if he spoke English.
It is interesting to speculate how Coudet would have turned out if he was playing under Hackworth instead of Nowak. With Nowak haveing acuasations of over training, refusing players water, and playing injured players. Coudet being old may have picked up injuries and was forced to play. I remeber times watching him and thinking something is not right. I think Coudet would have faired slightly better under Hackworth, maybe under Hack Coudet plays CAM. He did afterall have a very strong season in the NASL last season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he scored 6 goals.
Does Anyone have any Coudet memories? Take a moment and think back to the summer of 2010.
August 8, 2012Posted by on
Jurgen hasn’t announced his rosters, and neither has de la Torre. It’s expected that much of the Mexican roster will come from the Olympic squad which is currently making a run at the Gold Medal. Unfortunately Jurgen doesn’t have that luxury and will not be able to call in new names who have shown well in a high level international competition. Instead it seems he will have to call in as many regulars as possible for a match at Azteca stadium, one of the most notoriously difficult stadiums for any team to play in. It’s well noted that the USMNT has never won a game at Azteca and it seems odd that the FMF would give them any more opportunities to do so, and shake a bit of the lore off of it, in something as unimportant as an August friendly. Then again these decisions always seem to come down to many anyway.
Any expected roster for a match of this level will surely involve every piece of the central core of the team who is available. As it is a FIFA date, that should be everyone, but I wouldn’t count on recent transfers coming in. Jurgen has shown a preference to let players settle in with clubs. That would likely mean Michael Bradley will be staying in Italy and Terrence Boyd will be staying in Vienna, along with any of the other USMNT regulars who may be looking for transfers (Dempsey, Bocanegra and Edu.) So that throws a bit of a wrench into the plan of calling in all the regulars.
GK: Howard, Guzan, (I expect Guzan to actually get substantial minutes as he’s the back-up for the rest of WCQ and could use a little just-in-case time with the team) Hamid (Many are calling for NYRB Meara, but if he’s losing his starting spot for club I don’t see why you call him in for this. Johnson and Rimando both make more sense with more sustained succcess)
D: Goodson(surprising he’s the first name in but I had CBs on the mind and he’s the only one we can really count on at all) Cherundolo, Lichaj(shocked he wasn’t called for WCQ), Johnson, Bocanegra (Because he’s about the only player who hasn’t commited to leaving Rangers yet), Parkhurst, (cause I don’t want Onyewu in camp again, he showed poorly since he came back from injury) Chandler (Yes I think he’s one of the best player’s in the pool so I will give him a call until he says no firmly. Many suggest waiting till qualifying, and I’m sure Jurgen knows the situation and will handle it in an appropriate way)
M:Jones, Beckerman, Edu, (I see these three starting with Bradley left in Rome.) Kljestan(although if he couldn’t get a call for WCQ why would he get one now that he’s not starting. He is scoring in UCL), Torres, Dempsey (unless of course he gets his transfer), D.Williams, Corona,(almost entirely because the space left by Bradley is gaping. I’m not sure Corona gets a call for a full strength game. He didn’t get any minutes in WCQ, but that’s not exactly unexpected. I think he sticks around like Jurgen has shown he likes to do with newly integrated players.)
F:Gomez, Altidore(even though Alkmaar may not be willing to give him up), Donovan, Young MLS Player To Be Named Later (Probably one of the younger players in the pool, I expect this to go to an MLS standout,not an Eddie Johnson or Kenny Cooper. Wondo is the only older MLS player whos really earned a look and I’m reluctant to even give him that.), Wondolowski (I hate giving it to him, I already feel like he’s to old to be playing for the USMNT, but his pace in MLS is so high that you have to call him in and see if you can make it work. Gomez did and has almost cemented the starting spot, so give him a bit more time. I don’t want him to take time from a younger player, but there’s not a clear player he’s taking time from.)
and for those who don’t want to read my ramblings
GK: Howard, Guzan Hamid
D: Goodson, Cherundolo, Lichaj, Johnson, Bocanegra, Parkhurst, Chandler
M: Jones, Beckerman, Edu, Kljestan, Torres, Dempsey, D. Williams, Corona,
F: Gomez, Altidore, Donovan, Young MLS PTBNL, Wondolowski
August 8, 2012Posted by on
US Womens National Team are coming off one of the most sensational games in US Soccer history along with the most dramatic game in Olympic soccer history. A 123 minute goal to by Alex Morgan to win the game and put the US through to the gold medal match is surreal. Coming from behind three times and winning 4-3 is unheard of. The type of drama and excitement that encompasses the USWNT is something out of a video game or movie.
Last year in the world cup these ladies put on a show filled with drama including an amazing goal from Abby Wambach in the 2nd minute of stoppage time in the 2nd half of extra time. Just like this year, last year the women advanced to face Japan in the final of the world cup. In last years final the US loss in the most heartbreaking and cruel fashions on PK’s. Penalty Kicks are the most unjust way to decide a game. Japan showed great grit to rally twice to force ET and penalty kicks.
Since the epic WC finale Japan and US have faced eachother three times in friendly matches in 2012. With an astonishing record of 1-1-1, thus making this Olmpyic match the ultimate tie breaker. A great series between two of the best teams and winner gets gold. The last match between the two nations was June 16th when the US downed Japan 4-1. Morgan and Wambach both scored two goals in that game. The duo up front have been able to get goals against Japan, Alex Morgan has 4 goals in 4 games and Wambach with 3 goals.
It is uplifting to know that the two most dynamic goal scorers have been able to get goals against Japan but it is a bit troubling that they are the only two. This game is going to be intense to say the least, Japan will have Abby marked tightly and playing her roughly. She has scored a goal in every game this Olympics, Japan will need to stop her. Someone else needs to step up, someone who isn’t Abby or Alex Morgan. The pressure turns on Megan Rapinoe who is the catalyst in the midfield. Her and her flank mate Tobin Heath will have to play better, and create more. Megan has the speed the service and skills to score goals. She scored two goals in the last game against Canada but her play has been sporadic over this Olympics. Tobin Heath has played well and showed why she is in the starting 11. She has great technical skill, and pace along with solid vision to pick out passes. Heath has gone off the radar at times I would like to see more of her as far as commanding the ball and making plays. I have faith in her and her technical abilities. I strongly beleive that she will be a great number 10 attacking midfielder in the future for US, now is a great time to show the world why. Speaking of number 10′s, I expect a big match from the US’s. Carli Lloyd has an absolute cannon of a shot, and is a great orchestrator of the game. It is unfortunate that Shannon Boxx was injured because their is no better holding midfielder in the womens game but Lloyd brings an attack flair that will benefit the US.
On the defense is where US fans should be worried about the US. They played a tough game against Canada, and where consistently beat. The outside defenders were beat with ease at times, Beuhler and Amy Lepeilbet had rough games and logged big minutes. Due to the physicality of the game and the poor play it would not be suprising if coach Pia Sundhage starts Becky Sauerbrunn. A concern is the aging Christie Rampone. She left it all on the pitch, her body has to be exasperated from the physicality of that game. But lets be honest Rampone is a warrior she gave birth to two kids she can handle anything.
Japan had a much easier time qualifying for the gold medal match. Japan beat France 2-1 in a dramatic game that ended in regulation. Japan commited a number of errors but ultimately France could not finish. The French missed a PK and could not convert several goal scoring opportunity. Japan will be significantly more rested and mentally ready for the biggest match outside the World Cup final.
This game is going to be must see TV. It will be a drama filled match that is highly competitive. The US may have tired legs but they have heat and great endurance. They will push Japan to the brink. Both teams will look to capitalize on mistakes making this a chess match for the ages. The beginning will be a touch an go feeling out period the US will most likely be on the offensive and trying to push the tempo and score early. As we know no lead is safe, the US will need to score multiple goals and continue exploiting the weaknesses of the Japanese defense.
Ultimately what I am trying to say is if you enjoy sports watch this game.
August 5, 2012Posted by on
With the soccer tournaments winding down in London, and the US women marching on with grace and style to what could be a gold medal, it’s hard not to feel a sense of frustration that the men did not qualify. Especially with the build-up that this US team had, with such talents as Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Joe Corona, Brek Shea and Terrance Boyd. The Olympics would also be a chance for the Union to show off some of their youth products with Sheannon Williams, Freddy Adu, Zach MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and maybe even a Farfan or two being considered for the team. With the way the Farfan’s have been playing it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that they coul have gotten a call up. The Olympics would have been a great showcase for the Union to show off some talent and for the youngsters to gain experience. Even for the Farfans, Williams and MacMath who likely wouldn’t have started, the international stage would have given them a great chance to grow as players.
Going into the MLS season it was expcted that the US team would qualify for the Olympics, and many Union fans were excited at the chance to see players like Okugo and McInerney who had, at the time, seen limited minutes for the club over the last two seasons. Of course the US didn’t qualify and the Union imploded. Piotr Nowak imploded, the team got rid of many players, and they were almost entirely eliminated from any hope of the playoffs before Nowak left. If the US qualified it would have been the worst thing for the Union hands down. This run they are going on, which may be saving the season, would likely never have happened. With Okugo and Williams (and possibly others) gone the Union would have to resort to playing Albright, Jordan, Gaddis, or even Lopez (ugh). It would be ugly, not saying Gaddis wouldnt do a great job but Williams is starting for a reason. Who would be in net? I love Chase Harrison, but he is not Zac and more importantly has never held down a starting job. Plus it would not help to play the second string goalie with an alreaedy weakend defense. There is of course the arguement that the Union have Soumare to help out on defense, but he would have been barely coming into fitness while Okugo was in camp tuning up fro the Olympics. Hack would have had to rush him back to fitness, which he hasn’t shown any intrest in doing with Okugo available. Now lets look up top. With Adu and Mac gone who would fill in? Hoppenot is great off the bench but asking him to carry a team is a very different thing. Pajoy would have to step up along with Perlaza, Martinez or Hoffman or whoever Hack might have had to bring in. Lots of inexperience. Adu would be replaced by the injured Roger Torres who has looked less than impressive in his brief moments since getting back to fitness.
The US missing the Olympics has saved the Union for the short term, but also the long term. WIth players like Okugo getting minutes in the Olympics it wouldn’t be surprising if a European club made him an offer he couldnt refuse. He is no high-roller here in Philly and a lower division European club could pay him more then he would make here. The same could be applied to any youth player. Of course whether or not the Union would sell, or what they would get back would make it very interesting.
So to really think about it, I along with many Union fans were excited about potentially seeing some Union players represent the US. I got what I wished for, in the sense that I am now watching players who were not getting alot of minutes, just not for the US. Do not get me wrong, as a Union fan and a US fan I would love nothing more then to see Union players contribute to the national team at any level. But for now its in the best interest of the club that the US missed the Olympics. It is crazy how the world works. This is not the ideal scenario. The season has been a dissapointment. The ideal scenario would have included Nowak keeping Le Toux, Mwanga, Califf et al. and putting together a winning season. Ideally the Union would be in contention for the top spot and the some Union players would be thriving in the olympics. Ideally we would have our cake and eat it too, but we dont.
In short, the Olympic woes of the men’s national soccer team benefits the Union and keeps a slim sliver of playoff hope alive. To quench your US soccer thirst, watch the women they are playing amazing football right now as usual.
July 25, 2012Posted by on
The MLS All-star Game takes place here in Philadelphia at PPL Park on Wednesday night at 7:30 against the champions of Europe Chelsea FC. The match against CFC marks the 10th consecutive year that a team of MLS players will take on a foreign club. This format is a neat take on the All-star game which traditionally is East vs. West in the rest of the major American sporting leagues. I have many qualms with the MLS setup.
Before I get into modifying and sharing my version of what the MLS All-star game could be I want to commemorate both MLS and CFC. Chelsea brought a fully stacked squad filled with their top talent. Roberto Di Matteo has an arsenal of options and from what it appears will give everyone a shot. Personally I am excited to see Chelsea’s big new signing Eden Hazard. On the other side MLS has brought the league’s best. I simply can’t find fault with this roster, very talented and dangerous. This team isn’t a squad of DP’s although the ones on the squad have earned it.
Football/Soccer is the world’s game, it is a beautiful game, and no country knows how to put on a show like America. The two should be a match made in heaven. The MLS All-star game should be a giant festival and just a crazy party. This is an opportunity to display the great starts of both the global game and the league. A chance to grow the game the game and MLS brand.
I would love to see the MLS implement a competition night a lot like NBA. The NBA has the slam dunk competition, three point competition along with other fun fan friendly activities. I know the NBA is on the decline mainly because the players lost interest. But the MLS has a chance at having a night of festive activites. Some suggestions I have are:
******I know my ideas are half baked and will never happen, but it would be fun to see stuff like this happen.
A. A 5 v 5 match: Featuring a youth player, a retired player, a female player, current player and a celebrity. The World Football Challenge brings many of the world’s best teams to the states, if they were to offer up a few players this 5 v 5 match could be an amazing hit. Just imagine a team of Javier Pastore, Freddy Adu, Will Smith, Tasha Kai and a youth player taking on Kasey Keller, Sydney Leroux, Mario Rosales, Drew Carey and a youth player. It would be a great event to say the least.
B. A freestyle contest: Everyone has seen the freestyle videos of street ballers doing absurd tricks. It would be cool see how creative MLS players can get. A trick could be anything from freestyle juggling or long distance shots off the crossbar.
C. PK contest: A contest having goalies take and save PK’s to declare who is the best PK stopper in the league. Or could bring in a few MLS goalies and they could go up against Chelsea goalies.
D: Steve Nash Celebrity Match: Every summer in Chinatown, NY, Steve Nash hosts a celebrity soccer pickup game. The game features players like Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordaba, Baron Davis even stars like Demba Ba show out. The MLS should strike a deal with Steve to make this event a part of the All Star game.
E. Supporters group games would be epic! THe MLS flys in 7 people from every supporters group in the league. They compete in a worldcup stlye tournament to decide who is the best supporters group. The games would be short and played on a smaller pitch but would be so much fun for the fans. Just a side thought it would be cool if a player representative was coach of the supporters teams. Forinstance Chris Albright would coach the Sons Of Ben team against Kris Boyd and Timbers Army.
Apart from the competition night I believe the MLS Allstar game is great, I do like the idea of playing a giant European team. I would like to see the MLS switch back to the old format in a few years as long as the league continues to grow at a steady pace. Once the league grows a little more I would love to see the MLS go back to the East v West Format.
Just for Kicks I put together a team of East v West all stars.
GK: Dan Kennedy (CHV), John Busch (SJ), Nick Rimando (RSL), DEF: Steven Beitashour (SJ), Jay Demerit (Van), Justin Marrow (SJ), Marc Busch (Sea), Sean Franklin (LA), MID: Mario Rosales (SEA), David Beckham (LA), Osvaldo Olanso (SEA), Landon Donovan (LA), Kyle Beckerman (RSL), Jamie Castrillion (COL), Camilo (Van), FW: Chris Wondolowski (SJ), Eddie Johnson (SEA), Sabiro (RSL).
GK: Jimmy Nielsen (SKC), Tally Hall (HOU) DEF: Austin Collins (SKC), Heath Pearce (NYRB), Carlos Valdes (PHI), Chris Tierney (REV), Sheanon Williams (PHI),Andre Hainnault (HOU) MID: DeRosario (DC), Graham Zusi (SKC), Michale Farfan (PHI), Joel Lindpere (NYRB), Sanna Nyassi (MON) FW: Saer Sene (NE), Theirry Henry (NYRB), Kie Kamara (SKC), Chris Pontius (DC).
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic soccer tournaments begin today, two days before the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately the US only qualified one team for this tournament, but the Women’s team will start their run at a medal today so here’s a bit of a preview of that tournament. The US Women’s team includes a few local names, including Heather O’Reilly of East Brunswick, NJ, former Independence GK Nicole Barnhart, Christie Rampone, from Monmouth University and Point Pleasant, NJ, and Villanova’s Jill Loyden, from Vineland, NJ who will be the alternate GK.
12 teams are entered in to this summers tournament, 11 made it through qualifying including 2 from every confederation and one from Oceania along with Great Britain. Unlike the men’s games is a full senior competition so there is no age limit.
The twelve teams which will be competing are Great Britain, Japan, North Korea, South Africa, Cameroon, United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, New Zealand, France, and Sweden.
The favorites in the tournament have to be the US and Japan. Both are currently ranked in the top 3 (second ranked Germany missed qualifying), and were the finalists in the most recent World Cup. Sweden, Brazil, France,Canada, and North Korea (along with England who is a large part of the Great Britain team) are ranked in the top 10, leaving Cameroon, South Africa, New Zealand and Colombia as the most prominent underdogs.
While many expect a rematch of the World Cup Final, between Homare Sawa led Japan and the American squad, this is a deep tournament which will surely see strong competition.
Players to watch:
Alex Morgan, USA Age 23, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year 2012 ESPY Awards
Hope Solo, USA Age 30, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2009, Golden Glove 2011 World Cup
Abby Wambach, USA Age 32, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2011, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2010, 2011
Homare Sawa, Japan Age 33 2012 World Player Of The Year
Marta, Brazil Age 26 2005-2010 World Player Of The Year
Cristiane, Brazil Age 27 Leading Scorer Olympics, 2004, 2008
Christine Sinclair, Canada Age 29, Canadian Player of the Year 2005-2010
Marie-Laure Delie, France Age 24, 41 Appearances 36 Goals since 2009 with France
Ellen White, Great Britain Age 23, 19 Apparences 21 Goals from 2008-2010 with Leeds Carnegie Ladies
Lotta Schelin, Sweden Age 28, Diamond Ball Winner (Swedish Female Footballer of the Year) 2011
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Amazing news for Union fans came out of the MLS headquarters yesterday as it was announced that Michael Farfan would be joining teammate Carlos Valdes and the rest of the MLS All Stars as they battle European giant Chelsea FC tonight. Despite only scoring one goal so far this season, Farfan has been a force in the midfield by pushing forward and opening up defenders to create scoring opportunities. Michael Farfan, or Marfan as he is know by the Union loyal to distinguish him from his twin brother Gabe, was added to the game day roster after Chelsea requested the number of subs allowed in the All Star game to be increased from 6 to 10. Although already being located in Philadelphia may have helped the choice to include him in the roster, this is not the only reason he was picked for the squad. In spite of him only being a second year pro, Marfan has been consistently one of the best players on the field for the Union this season especially as of late. It is extremely unlikely that Michael will get a start but with 10 subs it is very likely he will come on as a second half sub. Marfan is no beginner when it comes to scoring on experienced foreign teams. Last summer he scored the only Union goal in a 2-1 lost against Spanish side Real Madrid. Farfan’s beautiful chip shows the potential he has and backs up Ben Olsen’s and John Hackworth’s decision to bring him onto the All Star squad.
Check out the Michael Farfans goal against Real Madrid here.
The MLS All Star game kicks off at 8:30 PM from PPL Park in Chester, PA. The game will also be broadcasted live on ESPN 2.
July 19, 2012Posted by on
It is the big one this week, Union v Red Bull at RBA. Its going to be all out war in the stands between the fans, Sons of Ben and miscellaneous Union fans will be heading up to NJ in the scores. As much as we all want it to be decided by the fans the game will ultimately be decided on the pitch. This game is no easy task but as always I am optimistic in the Union’s ability. The Red Bulls have not been playing up to par recently even though they edged out a win Wednesday against Chicago. Wednesday’s day game was a scorcher being played on one of the hottest days of the week. Overall They have not been playing well on a current W-D-L-D-W streak and the play has not been pretty. Henry has been in a slump he scored the game winning goal his play was still poor that game.
Those factors are working against the Red Bulls and are playing into the hands of the Union but that doesn’t mean the Union can slack. It is going to be a fierce game highly competitive should go down to the wire. The Union will need to be smart on and off the ball to make sure not to commit any fouls. As shown this year the Union have a weakness against set pieces, so the Union will need to mind their P’s and Q’s around the box. The Union will have their hands-full with this one. The Union have shown to be resilient and find ways to get results. Last minute goals against LA and Montreal have shown this team is tough. They are young and motivated, they are well aware they need to start racking up the points to make playoffs.
This game will be intense and the Union will have to show no fear going against a very dangerous team. The Red Bulls have Cooper, Henry and Le Toux a true three headed monster that can beat you in the air, on the ground and out work you. A lot of pressure falls on the holding midfielders, Brian Carrol is going to have have a major impact and keep the ball from getting to the back line. Carrol will be key figure for the Union and control the tempo. Traditionally the Union struggle with managing games and controlling the tempo of a game. SO they should abandon that all together. For the Union to win they need to find their comfort zone stay in it, make the smart passes, and most importantly get trigger happy around the box. Pepper the goal with shots on shots on shots.
All in all I predict a Union victory, over the Red Bulls 1-0. They will score one goal and continue to attack. They will keep up the pressure, with the defense playing sharp and communicating well the Union will find their way to victory.