- 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
Category Archives: 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 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
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.
July 18, 2012Posted by on
Apparently even for a rivalry game where the Sons of Ben are buying busloads of tickets, Red Bull still has big promotions. According to their website and mailing list, the first 5,000 fans 16 and under will receive free flat-brim Red Bull hats. Again caps, not cups. If you do bring kids they’ll be able to shoot on the Red Bull net after the game, like everyone else*.
The Son’s of Ben bus-trip closed Monday, but there may or may not still be seats available in the section. If not I’m sure all kinds of seats are still available for the rest of the stadium saturday. Bring your kids and whoever else you want, I’d assume that half of their fans left RBA for Hofstra already, so there will definitely be room.
Saturday July 21, 2:30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
*Ryan Meara is tied for third in MLS in shots against.
July 18, 2012Posted by on
Last week our writer Pat posted a list of 15 reasons why you should have been at the US Open Cup semi final. We decided that we will try to post a similar list once a week on a variety of MLS or soccer related subjects. Today we will look at why the Philadelphia Union, and MLS as a whole, deserve more media coverage then they are receiving.
1. The Union recently look good
Over the past few weeks Union fans have been enjoying some of the most exciting soccer we have seen from the team since their creation. We are scoring goals, playing incredible defense, and using an entertaining style of soccer. If non-soccer fans are going to watch a match, this is the type of team they should take a look at. Unfortunately, Union games are only broadcast on the Comcast Network with a minimum amount of advertising. The games that do make it onto channels like ESPN 2 or NBC may hit more viewers but still are not marketed well. When was the last time you saw a commercial for a soccer game on a major network that was not shown during another soccer game? Exactly.
2. Other Philadelphia teams either look bad or are out of season.
The Eagles are in pre-season, the Sixers and Flyers are also in their off season, and the Phillies are in last place of the NL East with a 40-51 record. Being a Philadelphia sports fan is a bit of a drag right now. Many people in the city are looking for a team that has been performing well and strives under pressure; the perfect fit for the Union. Sport’s news has also been slow and will probably continue to be until the Olympics start, so why not fill some of that gap with a local team?
3. There is an audience for soccer in Philadelphia
PPL Park holds a little over eighteen thousand fans and the Union have consistently sold out the stadium for league games. When the Union played Spanish giants Real Madrid at Lincoln Financial Field last season the total attendance was over 57 thousand. Over 30 thousand fans came out to see the US Men’s National Team play Mexico last year also. These numbers all prove that soccer does have an audience in the Philadelphia area. Of course teams like the Phillies and Eagles have a stronger hold on the sports fans of the city but these numbers are not low enough to 100% cut soccer out of the media spot light.
4. Philly is already a sports town
As mentioned multiple times above, Philadelphia is a huge sports town. The city tends to soak in any major sporting event that comes to it. If more marketing and advertising were done in the area, there is no doubt in my mind that the number of Union and soccer fans will grow. Thankfully the city is seeing its fair share of large teams coming in, with the next being the return of Real Madrid as they play Scottish Premier league champions Celtic. These games with well known foreign teams are probably the best advertisement the Union can get until they are shown more through television ads.
5. The Union and fans can basically market themselves
Anytime I bring a soccer virgin to a Philadelphia Union game they always leave telling me the same thing: “the atmosphere was amazing.” Yes, the River End is full of passionate and loud fans but so is most of the stadium. Being part of this “third team” in the stands whose only purpose is to yell at players and question the referee’s decisions is quite the experience for most non-soccer fans. It makes you want to go to as many games as you can and to support this club. The team also wants you to pay attention to them. They are a third year team full of young but talented players. This underdog of a team basically is a movie script. All you would need to do for commercials is show the passion of the SoBs and the youth of the team and BAM, commercial. Then you would need to air it once in awhile. I know the Union have some commercials like this already but how often do you see them used?
6. No one knows who we are
You ask any Philadelphian to name some players on the Philadelphia Union and you will get one of two responses: either “The Philadelphia who?” or “Freddy Adu”. There is no connection between the Union and Philadelphians mostly because no one knows who is on the team. Even if you are not a football fan you knew who Donavon McNabb was. The signing of Freddy Adu was great if just to give the team a face that people recognize. Now that the team has a player that most people have at least heard of we can start getting him out there more. Get him interviews on TV, then start bringing in a few other players with him. Eventually, and slowly, the city will start recognizing the faces of the team.
7. Watch the future of American soccer grow up
Last summer we learned that the only time America cares about soccer is during the World Cup. What many people in Philadelphia don’t know is that there are many players on the Union that have a legitimate chance of playing for the US Men’s National Team either this World Cup cycle or early next cycle. Talented players like Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Freddy Adu, Michael Farfan, Jack McInerney, and Zac MacMath all have shot to be called into the men’s camp. Of course not all of them will be chosen but wouldn’t it be cool to say you were a fan of them before they became national sensations?
8. You still have time to be a fan and not a bandwagoner
Since this team is only three years old the fan base is still growing. If you start following the Union now you will not be thought of as jumping on the bandwagon because you will be one of the originals. Add the fact that the Union started off shaky at the beginning of the season and there is no way you can be called a front runner. Being able to market the team to the population by saying they can be part of the beginning is not something many franchises get the opportunity to do.
9. Union fans are awesome
As passionate as the Union fans are, they are also genuinely good people. There is a sense of community among fans, particularly the Bens, that you do not get with many other teams. I have met numerous awesome people by just going to a few tailgates, walking around the parking lots before games, or talking on Twitter. The Sons of Ben give back to the community by holding charity events or doing public works. The SoBs will be joining the Philadelphia Union Foundation with building a playground in Chester that was partly designed by Chester kids.
July 16, 2012Posted by on
On July 25th thousands of MLS fans will file into PPL park to watch as the MLS All Stars take on Chelsea FC. For Union fans, it was questionable if they would be able to watch one of their own play against the London giant but this question was answered on Sunday as the Commissioner’s two picks for the All Star team were release. Don Garber choose two defenders: Ramiro Corrales of the San Jose Earthquakes and our very own Carlos Valdes.
Valdes is coming of an amazing game against the Montreal Impact where he not only put in a stellar defensive performance but also went on to score the winning goal in extra time off a Sheanon Williams long throw. As of now it is still unknown if the Philadelphia Union captain will be starting as he will have to beat out other talented defenders like New York’s Heath Pearce and Whitecap’s Jay DeMerit.
I believe there is a good possibility of Valdes getting on the starting eleven for the MLS All Stars. He is a talented center back with the ability to communicate well and also hold good positions. He has been extremely consistent all season and has come up huge when called upon by the Union. If put on the pitch, Carlos Valdez will be tested against players like Fernando Torres and newly signed Eden Hazard.
July 14, 2012Posted by on
Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union
Saturday, July 14, 2012 – 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park | Chester, Pennsylvania
The Union take on the Montreal Impact tonight in Chester. Many expected this to be the first MLS game for Italian Centerback Allesandro Nesta but he has not traveled with the team and will not be playing. The only recently signed international defender who will likely play tonight is Swiss Dennis Iapichino. M Felipe and captain M Davy Arnaud will both return from one game suspensions for Yellow Card Accumulation, although F Sanna Nyassi will miss the game for the same reason. They also just traded Justin Braun to RSL and Tyson Wahl to Colorado.
Unavailable (Montreal) : Out: D Matteo Ferrari, D Nelson Rivas, D Alessandro Nesta, F Bernardo Corradi, F Andrew Wenger, F Sanna Nyassi (Yellow Card Susp.).
Unavailable (Union): F Hoffman, M Michael Farfan (right groin strain), M Cristhian Hernandez (left ankle sprain), Doubtful: D Bakary Soumare, Probable: GK Z MacMath
Ray Gaddis & Carlos Valdes were on previous injury lists for this game, but have been removed. Soumare has also been slowly moving towards becoming available. While it is unlikely he makes today’s roster, he looks to be coming in soon.
This game is not unlike the last the Union played. Toronto has gotten much press for the changes that new coach Aron Winter has made to turn around the team since midseason. Montreal hasn’t yet seen the “impact” on the field from many of the changes they have made, losing three of their last four games, but the changes have been much more recent. There are high expectations on many of the names that Montreal has already brought in during the current transfer window. They’ve got a record that is far below their current talent level and have changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 and began to reap the results with a win at home against Columbus.
Also of note…
-Zarek Valentin and Andrew Wenger are both players with experience for US youth international teams and were both born and raised in Lancaster, PA.
-Former Zolos Shavar Thomas and Justin Mapp are also a part of the team. Thomas may be forced into substantial playing time due to injury and Mapp has been a regular for the team.
-Carlos Valdes and Collen Warner are both one yellow card from receiving a one-match suspension.
-The Impact lead the league in PK’s, both offensively and defensively. They have also committed the most fouls, been called offsides the most times and received the most yellow cards.
Expected Starting Lineups
Ricketts; Brovsky, Thomas, Camara, Valentin; Warner, Bernier, Mapp, Felipe, Arnaud; Di Vaio
MacMath; G. Farfan, Valdes, Okugo, Williams; Daniel, Carroll, Gomez; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
The game will be shown on CSN.
July 11, 2012Posted by on
Sporting Kansas City at Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 – 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park | Chester, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Union are one step closer to having a bigger trophy case than NYRB. Two rounds from their first trophy they have a rematch against a team they absolutely dominated the last time they played. Despite the big difference on the score-sheet the Union can’t, and surely won’t, take Kansas City lightly. Kansas City hasn’t gone this far in the Open Cup since 2004 when the Kansas City Wizards took home the trophy.
Of course despite the Union’s recent success and arguably the best week of soccer in the clubs history, Sporting Kansas City is still one of the top five teams in the league (along with RSL, DC, San Jose and NYRB in my book). While we may have had a few players on many people’s “Team of The Week”, Kansas City has 3 on the team of the season, the most of any club this season. Those three players are Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen. Of course Antoine Hoppenot beat both Collin and Nielsen in spectacular fashion in the last match-up, so who knows how things will go this time around. Surely SKC will be more prepared for the Union team.
Also of note…
-Sporting KC has never won a game at PPL Park. They’ve had a single trip in the Union’s first three years.
-SKC has only scored six goals in the run-of-play in their last five matches. The Union have scored 12, from a wide range of players over the same stretch (Pajoy, Gomez, McInerney, Adu, and Hoppenot each have multiple goals. Michael Farfan and Daniel have the other two).
Expected Starting Lineups
Both teams have been pretty consistent line-up–wise, so while there could be a change or two this game because its midweek, both teams are in the midst of a tought scheduling stretch, both 11′s are pretty much a lock.
Nielsen; Myers, Besler, Sinovic, Collin; Nagamura, Espinoza, Peterson; Zusi, Sapong, Kamara
MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Valdes, G. Farfan; Gomez, Carroll, M. Farfan; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
The game will be shown online-only, either streamed on the Union’s website (not yet posted) or Sporting’s Youtube Channel. Tickets are also still available on the Union site. Be there if you can. A game like this is always more fun live.