- Anyone else still mad about last nights game 2 months ago
- @PhillyPhanSam Happy Birthday 2 months ago
- Zac looked horrible so did the defense and 3 months ago
- almost jack almost jack just keep shootin 3 months ago
- Happy Doop Day! Almost 12 hours till game time 3 months ago
Tag Archives: MLS
July 15, 2013Posted by on
Every time another league has their All-Star game, I get to thinking about how the MLS could make the All-Star game better. As I watch the MLB home run derby I wonder how cool it would be if the MLS had a skills competition.
A skills competition could have multiple rounds with different skills, such as juggling, trick shots and free kicks. It would put some flair into the game and could be great publicity for some players who do not get a ton of attention. Also the highlights could guarantee some Sports Center action which in return could generate some good publicity for the league. Who knows maybe bring in a fan or two who wouldn’t normally watch the MLS.
We all like to see creativity and flair on display. We all know that players enjoy trying new and different skills and using creativity. We know this because if you go early to PPL on any given game day in the warm-ups players are displaying creative juggling skills. Throw on some bright lights, celebrity judges* and some music and we got ourselves a great show. Suggestions for the judges; big name European player, retired foreign player (IE Pele), American sports athlete (Kobe, Chad Johnson) and a retired american player.
The contestants would be
1. Graham Zusi: The American it kid as of right now. With his great skill and talent and dashing good looks he is sure to be the front runner.
2. Robbie Kean: This competition needs a big name and Kean is it. I dont see Donovan doing it. Still would be fun tho to see the Irishman show off.
3. Claudio Bieler: His skill, vision and creativity makes him a must for this competition.
2.Diego Valeri: He has been a joy to watch all season long. He has the stuff that would bring a crowd to their feet.
1. Camilo: The Brazilian has amazing control and creativity. It would be just plain awesome to see him in a situation where he could do what ever he wanted.
We want to see this happen. We want to be entertained. Watching this field of players compete in a skills competition would be far more interesting then watching the home run derby.
June 4, 2013Posted by on
While announcing their new shirt sponsors today, New York Cosmos Chairman Seamus O’Brien mentioned that the team is in constant communication with Don Garber. This wouldn’t have been news a few weeks ago, but now that New York FC has been announced as a second team in NYC, it seems highly unlikely that the Cosmos will be moving up to MLS any time soon if ever, yet they say they are in constant contact with Garber. Do you think MLS should be interested in the Cosmo’s brand still? Think Orlando, Atlanta, Minnesota etc. deserve a shot first? Wanna poke holes in O’Brien’s argument that New York can sustain three MLS teams?
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 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 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
Friday night marks the kickoff of the Mexican liga MX. Although the Liga MX may not be the most popular league to the average American soccer fan, but it is certainly worth paying attention to. I am going to provide to you a Gringo’s guide to Liga MX that will include; reasons why you should watch, what teams to follow , and notable opening weekend games.
The Mexican league is a great league that is often underrated and overlooked. It offers up a high quality play that talented players. A lot like the MLS the league is very unpredictable and it is a toss up every year. Often the winner of the Apertura (first championship) is not the winner of the Clausura (second championship).
Why you should watch:
1. No Thy Enemy: Mexico is The US’s biggest rival it can not hurt to understand the league and understand the players. This is not just an international affair, MLS clubs battle Liga MX clubs in Champions league. I have gained a lot of respect for El Tri since I started following F.M.F.
2. Attractive Style of Play: Expect an opened, free flowing style with box to box end to end action. The game is very easy on the eyes.The passion runs deep with the players and it shows on the pitch. The theatrics of the coaches helps create a great show. Next time your watching Club America watch Miguel Herra, he is always good for a laugh or two.
3. Its Always on: Liga MX is covered by more then a handful of Spanish speaking TV stations. Telemundo, Galavision, Univision, Telefutura and Azteca America just to name a few. Every weekend you will be hit with a bevy of games. If you happen to be bored and looking for some footy Liga MX will be on.
4. The Colorful Announcers: Mexican League Announcers are some of the more colorful and vibrant ones in the business. Andres Cantor and Pablo Ramirez both offer up unique and entertaining styles of commentary. You may not understand the language but you can understand the passion.
5. Americans in Mexico: One of the biggest if not the biggest factors is the American connection. A handful of young American’s working their way up the youth systems in Mexico. Plus you get to see players like Demarcus Beasley and Joe Corona. Not to mention Herculez Gomez who is currently the hottest American striker.
Teams with Americans on them:
Tijuana Xolos: Greg Garza, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo.
Santos Laguna: Herculez Gomez.
Santos Laguna: Michael Orozco Fiscal.
Pachuca: Paco Torres
Jaguares de Chiapas: Dereck Mckuper, and Adrian Ruelas.
Chivas: Ponce (Okay so he isnst American but he was born the USA.
Atlante: Sonny Guadarrama
Opening Weekend Games to watch:
Tijuana v Puebla: One of the first games to watch has an interesting USMNT twist. Former USMNT start DeMarcus Beasley going against up and coming star Joe Corona. The Xolos are entering their second season in the top flight and going against Puebla who have become a staple in FMF/Liga MX. Expect some creative midfield work with an uptempo pace.
Atlas v UNAM: I am a big UNAM fan so naturally I have to put them in. Pumas will be taking on Atlas and I know not many people see this as a big match considering the mid table finishes last year by both teams. Pumas has some explosive like Martin Bravo and some young and exciting players like Javier Cortes and Eduardo Herrera.
Santos v San Luis: Santos look to keep the trophies coming as they kick off the season against San Luis who finished 16th last season. This game is great opportunity to watch Gomez apply his trade against a team that let in the second most in the Clausura. Sit back and watch Herculez and the Saints go to work.
All in all I am just a gringo who loves USMNT and the Philadelphia Union. Prior to the Union in my down time I experimented with other teams and leagues. During my experimentation phase I found out that, Liga MX is great league, and highly underrated. After weeks of watching Pumas I found myself ordering a cheap jersey religiously watching every game that was on TV. The language barrier is a bit cumbersome but makes it fun. If anything start watching for the Americans and you will eventually learn to love the league.
July 10, 2012Posted by on
There have been many changes this season to our beloved Philadelphia Union with the loss and gaining of numerous players. As of late, the Union have arguably been playing the best soccer of any MLS team. So how does this new team compare to that of previous seasons? To investigate this we will take a look at how the starting line up the Union used this past Sunday against Toronto FC compares to ex-Union players that still currently play in the MLS.
Union Starting XI vs Toronto FC:
Macmath; G. Farfan, Valdez, Okugo, Williams; Gomez, Carrol, M. Farfan; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
Ex Union Players Still in MLS starting XI:
Seitz; Harvey, Califf, Thomas; Mapp, Salinas, Nakazawa, Jacobson; Le Toux, Mwanga, Moreno
Before I start, I want to state that I have respect for FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Despite the anger that was aimed in his direction by Philadelphia fans for his questionable playing in 2010 he has always been respectable toward Union supporters and Front Office. This season Seitz has made four starts ending with a record of 0-2-2 and allowing five goals. It is hard for me to even make an argument on how this can be better than Zac Macmath’s stellar performance so far this season. With 14 starts so far, Zac has allowed 16 goals and posted 5 shut outs. Macmath can thank the back four in front of him for making this season easy for him so far. Zac has only had to make 37 saves in league play this season compared to current save leader Matt Perkins’ 70. The 20 year old goalkeeper has also come up huge when the game called for it by making amazing saves particularly at point blank range. The Union’s starting keeper has only had one noticeably bad game and that was the season opener loss to Portland where the wet conditions, turf field, and nerves may have hindered his ability to perform at his potential.
When it comes down to it, it is a no brainer on who is having the better season in 2012. Chris Seitz simply has not played enough this season to even raise an argument against Zac Macmath. The fact that he did not walk away with a win from any of his starts does not help either.
Winner: Zac Macmath
The Back Line:
I cannot say enough good things about the Union defence this season especially Carlos Valdez. They have consistently locked down in front of goal and also made great desperation plays when necessary (i.e. those few goal line saves against LA last week). Defensive midfielder turned center back Amobi Okugo has fit in nicely alongside Valdez after the departure of Danny Califf while Sheanon Williams has been phenomenal like usual. Losing ex-union captain Califf was a blow to the team this season but after trying a few differently back lines the team has started playing the same great defence they have been known for.
The Philadelphia Union have lost three defenders that still play in the MLS: Jordan Harvey (Vancouver Whitecaps), Danny Califf (Chivas USA), and Shavar Thomas (Montreal Impact). These are three strong defenders with the weakest one, in my opinion, being Thomas. Both Thomas and Harvey find themselves just beginning to become regular starters for their respective teams. Thomas has taken over for injured Matteo Ferrari in the last four games for the Montreal Impact who came away with one win and three losses in those games. Those games included a 3-0 loss to Toronto FC at home. Although the 11 goals scored against the Impact in those four games cannot be fully blamed on Thomas, he is partially the involved. Harvey has recently earned a starting position again for the Vancouver Whitecaps and it appears he will stay there for bit. Jordan started on July 4th against Colorado due to the suspension of first string left back Jun Davidson. His performance that game led Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie to say it was “… the best he’s played since I’ve come to the club”. Harvey played well enough against the Rapids to earn his spot in the starting eleven again this past weekend where he put in another worthy performance even though Davidson was available. Lastly we have Danny Califf. The former Union captain was only just sent to the west coast team but has been doing some solid defending alongside Rauwshan McKenzie. Califf has always been a consistent defender and that trend has continued in LA. Chivas may not be putting up big numbers on the scoreboard but there defense has been making sure their opponents don’t either, for the most part at least.
Maybe it is my bias but I feel that Philadelphia’s defense wins this over the past Union players. Posting three shut outs in their past five league games, the Zolos have been making it tough for every offense they go up against. This is especially amazing when you consider that half of the back line is not even listed as a defender.
Winner: Current starters
The midfield is where the comparisons between current and ex Union players start to get interesting. While our current midfield has been incredibly creative and does more then it’s fair share while attacking with the ball, defensively they have been mediocre, even laughable at times. Opponents have been able to easily work their way through the middle of the field forcing our defense to work harder than they should. We saw this multiple times in last week’s game against the Galaxy. I understand our midfield tends to be more offensively minded, but this is not an excuse for shabby defending. Offensively the midfield has been amazing. They have been making it easy for Jack Mac and Antoine Hoppenot while also being able to keep possession and pass the ball around when needed.
Of the four former Union midfielders still in the league only two have been consistently getting time on the pitch: Justin Mapp of the Montreal Impact and Andrew Jacobson of FC Dallas. Justin Mapp has been proving to be a force in the midfield, exploiting space given to him and helping to create chances. Unfortunately, Mapp has the same problem he had while playing with the Union last season (other than only using one foot); he seems to show up and disappear too often. There has been multiple times while watching the Impact this season that I have 100% forgot Mapp was on the field. Despite this, Justin Mapp has been playing well enough to consistently make it into the Impact’s starting lineup. Andrew Jacobson is part of a team that has not won a game since April 14th. With a winless streak that long, it is not just one person’s fault; it comes down to the whole team.
Although all the ex-Union midfielders are talented players, it is hard for me to talk up a midfield whose top player is Justin Mapp. It also does not help the former players’ cause that the current squad has been playing great soccer lately.
Winner: Current Union
This comparison is probably the hardest to decide between. The current Philadelphia offense has been putting on a clinic, scoring fifteen goals in their last five games. The scary part is that this offensive onslaught is only a recent development and I am still a little hesitant to say that the form the players are in is here to stay. Of the three starters up top against Toronto FC, Jack McIerney has been the most consistent, scoring 3 goals in his past 3 league games. Freddy Adu has looked better than he did earlier in the season and had an amazing game this weekend causing many iffy moments for the Toronto defense. Still the weak part of our current starting lineup appears to be Lionard Pajoy. Pajoy has been more involved lately but still has major weakness that lead to missed chances. The most noticeable of these weaknesses is his first touch on the ball. For a striker, if your first touch is not near perfect every time scoring will be a rarity.
Chivas USA may not be playing the best soccer lately but one thing is consistent for them, Alejandro Moreno. Moreno played for the Union in 2010 before being sent to Chivas. While at Chivas, Moreno has played very well, creating chances for his team and holds the number two score of all Chiva’s players on MLS’s Castrol Index. In spite of only having two goals so far this season, I still feel he is a necessary force to have on the field. Playing only 300 minutes for his new team, the Portland Timbers, Danny Mwanga is one of the most recent Union departures. Other than scoring a magnificent goal last week, Danny is having the same problem he had when he played in Philly; he cannot seem to gel properly with the team that is playing around him. His lack of shots and goal scoring opportunities makes him a minimal threat to most defenses. Lastly, we look at a player that holds a special place in most Philadelphia Union fans’ hearts, Sébastien Le Toux. While wearing the blue and gold Seba was a goal scoring machine while also being an all-around good guy. Since joining the Whitecaps, Le Toux has played nearly every possible minute but has not found the back of the net nearly as often as he did when he was in Philadelphia, scoring only 4 goals in his 2012 campaign.
Choosing between these two line ups is tough for me. If I chose off of the form players held while they still played for the Union, I would go with the former players in a heartbeat, but if I was going off of how players are currently playing I would go with our current lineup. When it comes down to it, and if I was forced to choose, I would go with what we have now. Our offense is scoring multiple goals per game but the horror of our early season performance still hangs in the back of my mind.
Winner: Current Union
The moral of the story is that things could be much worst. We have a great team that is scoring consistently and is defending beautifully. Although some of the above could stream from my personal love for this club, I still feel that most of what I stated holds true. My only hope, and I’m sure it is the same hope that all Union fans have, is that our team continues to play the same game they have been playing for the past few weeks.
July 10, 2012Posted by on
Ahead of the Union’s cup match I decided to compile a list of reasons why people should actually attend. This list is in direct response to the poor turn out of fans at the last game. It was a quarter-final and the Union couldn’t bring in over 5,000 people. The sports watching public of Philly are missing out on a great chance to see some high quality football.
1. It is a semi final: Lets be honest the Union are the only Philly team that could be in a semi-final game for a while at least till the Flyers start-up. The enormity of the game is self-explanatory; win and the Union are in the final.
2. Biggest game in franchise history: It is exciting going into a game knowing that it will be the biggest game in a franchises history and years from now you can look back at it.
3. The Union are playing well: Why wouldn’t you want to see a team playing the beautiful game in a beautiful style. They are playing a style that is easy on the eyes and exciting.
4. Philly has a surprisingly Rich Soccer History: For those sports historians this is just the beginning of a long line of Philly/PA success in this tournament. Bethlehem Steele (5x winners), Philly Ukrainians (4x Winners), Harmaville Hurricanes ( 2x Winners), Gallatin SC, Morgan Strasser and Uhrik Truckers/ Philadelphia Americans. This is just an opportunity to look at a new team continue success of the entire area.
5. It is Cheap: The game itself will cost you only about $25-$30. Not a bad seat in the house great bang for your buck.
6. It is Dollar Dog Night/Free parking/Free Mini Cup: Cheap ticket plus dollar hot dogs and free parking. Get your ticket and enjoy the game! As a give away the Union are handing out a free mini cup. I am so excited.
7. You have nothing better to do: It’s a Wednesday night the Phillies are slumping, No big concerts are going on that day. It is the perfect time to treat yourself to a good soccer match. Its better than staying inside all night.
8. SKC are a good team and it will be a great match: Last time around the Union embarrassed SKC.that will most likely not happen again. It will be an intense match. SKC are still second in the East and have a good shot at hosting the final they will come to play.
9. Roger Torres: The Colombian playmaker got 7 minutes against Toronto and there is a good chance he will get more time against SKC. That makes the Union that much more exciting and dangerous.
10. The Phillies, Eagles and Flyers all want you to go: If you have paid attention the Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers have been promoting the game and having special offers. We all know it’s basically Comcast telling the organizations to do so but still.
11. Escape the depressing sports news around you: The Phillies are awful, the Flyers are having a rough offseason and not landing any big names, and the Sixers aren’t going to sign anyone either. Being a Philly sports fan these days is depressing. The Union still have a mountain to climb to reach the playoffs. So escape this depressing rut and enjoy a semi-final.
12. The game is not on TV: You can watch it on a stream or you can go to the game. Can you really handle watching another game with Rigby ? Not to mention the stream quality is straight out of the 70′s, it is not good for your eyes.
13.”We want the cup” Chant: Who doesn’t love a chant promoting Parliament-Funkadelic chant. Sure to have everyone grooving.
14. It wont be god awful hot: Forecast for an amazing night on Wednesday. Partially cloudy, slight showers and 84 degrees. That sounds a lot better than the heat wave we have been on.
15. Prospect of Extra Time and PK’s: The drama of a cup semi-final is that it could go to extra time or even Penalty kicks. Does that need anymore explanation? What would be better/more heart wrenching than going a full 120 and winning on PKs to get to the final. I think half of the fans would have a heart attack.
I can go on for days and days and days and days, and come up with a million reasons why you should go to the game. So just go, enjoy yourself.
January 27, 2012Posted by on
We mentioned before that there’s been a lot of additions this offseason, and the team looks like it could really be revamped for the coming season. But of course as the transfer window comes to a close on the other side of the pond we may have to take a serious look at some of our favorites leaving. Being sucha young team we haven’t really had to deal with loss yet. Ale Moreno was pretty well liked, but he’d only been here a year and wasn’t the best player on the team. Carlos Ruiz was arguably one of the best on the team, but was widely disliked and didn’t even complete a full year before heading to Mexico. Maybe somebody was upset about Jordan Harvey?
Now we have to contend with a few more serious chances of loss. Danny Mwanga and Seba Le Toux aren’t definites to come back. Michael Farfan was training with Sunderland although it was confirmed that that was not a trial and was just training. Amobi, Zac, Jack and Zach all went on training stints too although they were never really expected to go anywhere. Keon Daniel may never return depending on how his Dengue Fever and passport issues are going. Freddy wants to go back to Europe already and Roger Torres’ team is going bankrupt and we have no idea what they want to do with that loan. Paunovic has also officially retired.
In theory all of these players could leave(although the players who are just training are all but definitely coming back), but some would be bigger set backs then othersThe real threats to leave are Keon, Seba, Danny and Roger along with Veljko. Other than that we’re probably pretty set.
No one knows what is going on with this guy. He was a real favorite of mine for all of last season. I had many conversations about whether or not he deserved to be considered a star on this team. Although Nowak couldn’t even decide if he should be a starter, the “loss” of Justin Mapp makes Keon a bit more needed. Then again, Gabe Farfan could move up from LB to play LW, and play like his brother did. I’d still really like to have Keon back, or at least know whats going on with him. All we really know is that Keon was protected in the expansion draft and there hasn’t really been any obvious efforts to replace him.
I liked Veljko as much as anyone on the team. He had one of the scrappiest attitudes I’ve ever seen and seeing that off the ball was one of my favorite things about watching games at PPL versus on TV. He really caught on with the fanbase and the fanbase really caught on with him as we could all see in his Twitter letter to the fans. He was great while he was here, but seeing as he got here at well past 30, we knew his second retirement would come soon enough. We’re more or less prepared for the loss, considering the wealth of strikers we’ve added this offseason and hope(fingers crossed) of improvement from Freddy Adu.
Literally no one knows. Colombian former giant America de Cali, the team that actually(presumably still) holds Roger Torres contract, was relegated for the first time in their club history. With the Colombian leagues struggling for cash, sending loads of players to MLS, it is unclear what exactly Cali might want to do with Roger now. It’s been speculated that being caash strapped might urge them to take the Unions money and let them have him. Others have said that Cali might want to keep a relatively cheap young player who could help them rise back to the top division as quickly as possible. f course knowing how the Michael Orozco Fiscal loan deal went down last year, we have no idea what might be happening on either side of this conversation. Roger was also protected, so presumably the Union have some interest in him. They also protected Fiscal before his loan expired without anyone outside the club knowing.
Sebastien Le Toux
Everyone thought Seba’s trip to England would be a permanent one, and there’s still belief it could be, but with a recent report from Sporting Life saying that Le Toux didn’t impress enough to make the deal happen no one would be surprised to see him of of Bolton’s bench and back into our starting lineup. It’s amazing that with only two years under our belt we already have an MVP caliber player and face of the franchise who we can’t imagine the team without. It was no big shakes when we thought it might be Danny leaving, the first player we ever drafted, but for Seba to go would be heart-breaking. Of course if he can make it in Europe we have no right to expect him to do any less. At least the transfer window closes and we’ll have a definitive answer on him soon.
Danny was a source of speculation as soon as the Union drafted Chandler Hoffman. Everybody knew he was gone, but then we realized maybe Seba was gone instead. Nobody has any idea yet what is going on, but it’s interesting that reports came out today saying that Danny is currently training with Aston Villa. This is the preseason and a key part of a totally recreated strike-force is training with another team in another country. It’s strange timing to say the very least.