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Tag Archives: Roger Torres
July 10, 2012Posted by on
Sunday’s match against Toronto FC saw an event which many Philadelphia Union fans have waited months for; the return of fan favorite and Colombian midfielder Roger Torres. Torres has not seen the field for a league match since March 24, 2012 due to a knee injury. Coming in Sunday in the 83rdminute to an enthusiastic crowd chanting his name, Roger’s first touch was less than decent, directly to a Toronto player, but he quickly recovered by feeding a beautiful through ball to a darting Antoine Hoppenot which was unfortunately snubbed out by the Toronto defense. Playing only seven minutes, Torres did not get many opportunities to show off the ball control skills Union fans have grown to love over the time he has spent here, but the fact that Torres did not play noticeably poor during his short time on the field should give Philadelphia fans hope that this major injury won’t be career changing for the midfielder. Although it will likely be a few more months until we see Roger starting, especially with the competition ahead of him, I would expect to see him regularly used as a late sub for Michael Farfan or Freddy Adu.
Roger’s absence in the midfield has allowed players like Marfan and Adu to step up and become a creative force on the field. It will be interesting to see how Coach John Hackworth organizes his midfield as Torres becomes closer to match fit.
Personally, I never really liked Torres as a starter and think he does better coming on early in the second half, where he can use his creative ball-handling on tired defenders to open up passing lanes or to get shots off. Also, the way Marfan has played as of late proves that he is needed on the field. This is the problem with a team that has so much depth; you see many talented players that would likely start at other teams benched. Torres will be joining a bench which already holds many other skilled young players like right back Raymon Gaddis and likely defensive midfielder turned center back Amobi Okugo due to the recent signing of Bakary Soumare.
When all is said and done, I am excited to see what the return of the Roger Torres era has in store. He is a player that is not scared to shoot which has been a major problem for Philadelphia Union until very recently. As Torres is slowly reintroduced to the midfield, Union fans will be watching to see if he is still the creative, offensive minded player that he was before the injury. We saw small glimpses of it against Toronto allowing the Union faithful to hold the hope that one of their favorites will make a triumphant return to the pitch later this season.
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 31, 2012Posted by on
After lsoing Faryd Mondragon and Sebastien Le Toux, two of the teams most recognizable and beloved members, a lot of people are wondering what the team has planned for the future, both short term and long. Of course Seba and Faryd were two of the oldest players on the roster and both took up valuable starting spots. It seems to me that the Union might be considering entering a team into the Olympics. Roster rules require that a team enter 23 players, which we might not quite make, and allow only 3 players over the age of 23. Taking a look at the Union’s roster, it becomes a serious consideration.
A quick look at our players under 23.They already have 17 available
M/F Adu 22
M Michael Farfan 23
M/D Gabe Farfan 23
D Gaddis 22
F Hoffmann 21
M Jordan 21
M Khalfan 23
GK MacMath 20
F Martinez 21
F McInerney 19
M McLaughlin 18
F Mwanga 20
M Nakazawa 23
M Okugo 20
M Pfeffer 17
M Torres 20
D Williams 21
So ten mids, two and a half (Garfan) defenders, and five and a half forwards(Adu) and a single goalie. If we bring down Callif, Valdes and Poriforo Lopez to fill in the backline we’ll have an entire starting lineup. Fill two spots for the keepers behind MacMath with underage players and we’re only one spot from being Olympic eligible. Maybe sign Christian Hernandez? And then sucede from the Union! Sucede and Suceed. The new Union slogan!
January 30, 2012Posted by on
“Le Toux is fighting to stay with the Union, despite the interest from Bolton and other teams, the Le Toux is fighting to stay with the Union, despite the interest from Bolton and other teams, the source said.” from The Brotherly Game
That’s about all we’ve got. Apparently they want to get the money that a transfer of a star player would allow them to collect, and as a team centered around the future I can’t honestly say its a bad idea. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. I love watching Seba play as much as anyone else, but apparently he’s gone. It sounds like the money raised from his transfer would allow for the team to buy Roger Torres permanently which would be great, but worth it?
We’ll see what happens. I thought we had made all our moves early on this offseason. We didn’t need many changes and we filled all of the holes. Seems like now is time to create some new holes. Youth is good and going into the season as a team of young 20 somethings is great in a growing league like MLS, but its hard to see the only best player your club has ever had get traded. We could mostly accept a transfer to Bolton, nobody expected Seba to stay when there was an EPL offer on the table, but to send him to another MLS team hurts some. Hopefully it isn’t done yet, but it might be. I really don’t think we’ll totally know what this team looks like until the first open practice.
January 30, 2012Posted by on
In honor of our latest MVP returning to his hometown club. I was never a huge fan of Faryd, mostly because I saw him leaving in under two years and wanted to see MacMath get his time before he needed it, but Mondy was good while he was here.
In other news, rumors are floating that we might be sending another player back to their own Cali. Roger Torres may be getting recalled, although I admitedly have very little to confirm that with. After seeing how the Union handled MOF’s loan last year I trust that anything is possible.
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.
November 6, 2011Posted by on
So two years in and we got eliminated in the second rounds of the playoffs. With a bye to get past the first round the Union managed to slip into the second round of the playoffs. Despite losing to Houston in a series that was not particularly well played their performance this year was extremely impressive. We were expected to be improved, but did anyone expect us to be in contention for first in the east on the final day of the season? Or to lead the East for a large portion of the season? What impresses me most about this team is this.
Williams-21 Valdes-26 Tait-21 G. Farfan -23
M. Farfan-23 Adu-22 Torres-20 Daniel-24
Subs:Pfeffer-16, Nakazawa-23 Richter/Langley/Houapeu-22
If the Union had to start a game tomorrow with players who were at or under the league average age this is what it would look like. There are three players on here who absolutely should be starting. If we add Le Toux, Carroll and Califf into this lineup for McInerney, Okugo and Tait we have a lineup that I might even have preferred to the teams Nowak put out for the playoff games. I was much more upset to see Miglioranzi on the field than I would have been to see MacMath.
Williams-21 Valdes-26 Califf-31 G. Farfan -23
M. Farfan-23 Adu-22 Torres-20 Daniel-24
Mwanga-20 Le Toux-27
Subs:Okugo-20 McInerney-19 Nakazawa-23
Obviously my point doesn’t heal the wounds of a poorly played and poorly managed playoff exit, but it shows that the majority of our starters are (well) below the league average age. This team is extremely young and will only get better. Next year they will bring back Keon Daniel, bring back a healthy Freddy Adu who seemed to carry an injury through much of the season, along with just about every other player improving purely by getting a year older and wiser. If they can keep this team together, not the easiest thing in MLS, they will surely be competing at a higher and higher level for the next few years.
October 30, 2011Posted by on
So playoffs are here lets play an entirely different formation than we’ve played all year! I like the idea behind playing this 32-3-2 formation with both Marfan and the Sheannomenon playing as wingers and Migz moving back into the hole to play as the third defender. It’s a very cool idea but there’s a few obvious reasons its not working well so far.
1. Brian Carroll isn’t sure where to play. He hasn’t had much of the ball and is usually one of the most important ball controllers for the team.
2. Sheannon hasn’t gotten enough action going forward. He started off attacking a good amount, but he’s been pulled back by some strong wing play from the Dynamo.
3. Gabe Farfan looks totally lost. He just looks flustered and uncomfortable.
Positioning has been very confused, the Dynamo have dominated possession and they looked as good as we were afraid they would on set-pieces. If Migz stays in, the game will be won or lost by that position and the mess it creates for everyone.
The strike force of Le Toux and Mwanga has looked good, but I expect to see someone come in to start the half who will drive possession and make the possession more effective. I can’t see Miglioranzi staying in the game much longer, he doesn’t look bad, but his position is causing problems. They have to figure out that first and foremost before this game gets out of hand. I expect Torres to come in for Migz although I could see it being Adu, or even Okugo playing a more natural DM position than the hybrid sweeper spot Migz is playing. The Union are only down 1, but they are being outplayed by Houston and need to change something to get to the end of this game safely. They can absolutely mount the comeback; there’s tons of time left, but they do have to make a change. Nowak’s got his hands full here; I’m very curious as to what changes he makes.
August 13, 2011Posted by on
I planned on attending two games this week a while ago and didn’t realize how significant they would be. The first game was the recent USA vs Mexico game, which was obviously a big deal in itself, but pumped up a lot more due to Jurgen Klinsmann joining the team. Of course Sunil and the gang still managed to screw things up by setting the game for a Wednesday night at 9 o clock; a bit off of prime time as far as most people are concerned. The support was fairly weak from both sides. Presumably a game on the weekend would have seen crowds coming in from out-of-town to attend. Even a 7 or 8 o’clock start would have made the game a ton more accessible. Never the less the game was played and players looked good and players looked bad. WE’ll start with the bad.
It was fairly obvious that Edgar Castillo was not the best player on the field; especially after he got hit in the back of the head surrendering a corner. If we had any kind of depth at the left back position he would be out of the team for a while. Although looking at who else we have available, I wouldn’t be shocked if he shows up pretty soon again unless things fall apart for him at his club. Also he looks like an alien.
Jermaine Jones absolutely disappeared from the game and we totally forgot he was on the field. We saw Brek Shea and another light-skinned player warming up on the sideline. Everyone in my group assumed it was Jermaine until they announced that he was being subbed out and Juan Agudelo was being subbed in. He was that unnoticeable.
The good side of it, as has been reported everywhere was from a bunch of MLS players. Brek Shea, Robbie Rogers, and Juan Agudelo all put in pretty solid performances. I was personally very impressed with Brek Shea, and not quite as impressed with the other two. Neither did anything much wrong, but they both put in good games at a time when they are midseason and most of the other players competing were in preseason. It is a factor for sure. So while they looked good, they should have looked good considering that fact. Shea looked great though. He looked better than almost everyone on the field in the entire second half. I understand Mexico’s team had been a bit depleted by pulling subs, but Dos Santos didn’t make quite the quality or quantity of plays that Shea made in the time he was in. Again consider his form a factor, but Shea impressed a lot of people and earned more of a look.
That’s only part of why this is Brek Shea week here in Philadelphia. The other game I was supposed to be attending that also became a much more prominent one than I had first expected was Saturdays game against Brek Shea and FC Dallas. Dallas has looked nothing short of spectacular for most of the season, in no small part thanks to Shea. On second thought, imagine what this team will be able to do if David Ferraira comes back the way he was last year. As we have seen first hand an MVP season can be hard to replicate but it would be very interesting to see that teams attack.
After impressing for country Shea is back to impressing for club; who will be facing off with the Philadelphia Union tomorrow night. Obviously the Union saw how many headlines Shea was grabbing and felt a need to grab a few of their own from their next competitor. Those headlines all came in the form of very bad puns. “Much Adu About Nothing”,”Just Adu It” “Adoop.” Freddy Adu was welcomed back to MLS as Chivas was no longer an option. As all the headlines told you, he was reunited with his former coach and mortal enemy Piotr Nowak. Apparently things were exaggerated a bit and Adu actually came back, in large part, for the opportunity to play with Nowak again. Interesting, but what I find more interesting is what this means tactically.
Presumably (read:hopefully) this means that Justin Mapp will be pushed to the sideline, while it also likely means that Roger Torres has lost a few rungs on the ladder of this team. As much as I would love to see Freddy and Roger creating in the middle of the field, I can’t imagine Nowak doing it and not having the two of them get beat up on every single ball in the air. We can’t have two players in one midfield standing under 5 foot. There’s a rule against that somewhere I’m sure. I don’t expect Adu to come in and start tomorrow, although I would assume he gets his first appearance this weekend as the team is on the road after that, but I would say I do expect him to be a pretty significant player for the Union by the end of the season. If we don’t get any one else added to this team (the only name I’ve heard is Juan Pablo Angel, who doesn’t really piqué my interest anymore and definitely not for his price tag. Maybe short-term till Nowak decides Mwanga can go 90, we’ll see), this is the lineup I would expect to see come out from here on out, with a few notes on key subs.
Williams Valdes Callif GFarfan
Le Toux Daniel
Obviously Mwanga playing the same super-sub role he has lately. Torres or Mapp coming in for Paunovic or Daniel, with Le Toux filling in any adjustments necessary.
What I’d really like to see happen by the end of the season, at least at some point, purely for excitement. I do think it could realistically be an occasional lineup for the coming seasons as Jack, Danny and Roger grow up a bit, although the odds of this are pretty low seeing what it would do to our ability to win the ball back in the midfield. Of course if you don’t ever give it up in the first place…
Williams Valdes Calliff G Farfan
Torres Adu Le Toux
We’ll see what Piotr does this week.
June 5, 2011Posted by on
Before last week Justin Mapp had never impressed me; I had always considered him one of the most disappointing players on the roster and was really hoping somebody would come and take his spot. I heard a lot of talk about how last weeks game showed what Mapp can really do and I still figured it was just Toronto. They’re defense was so terrible that anyone could have done what he did. I gave him the two great shots he got on, but the rest of his play was just picking apart a very bad defense. Nothing to get too excited about. Then we lost Ruiz and Nowak decided to sit Mwanga (more on that later.) To put it simply I was concerned about what our offense could do with Le Toux not scoring all that much and McInerney starting beside him, which is exactly where my change of heart for Justin Mapp came in. For the first 20 minutes he played spectacularly and absolutely tore Colorado’s defense’s apart. He was the reason McInerney started off as well as he did. Of course then Mapp got hurt and McInerney slowed down a little. McInerney kept playing well after Mapp left, he just wasn’t getting the same quality chances.
Of course after all that was done Jack Mac eventually came out and Danny Mwanga came in and had a few great chances finishing one from way out. For what it’s worth Mwanga looks very confident out there and seems to have really found the groove that he was in last year. With the offensive struggles we’ve had this year and the fact that the defense has carried us does anyone even remember that we expected the exact opposite? Everyone expected Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz and Sebastian Le Toux to really carry this team. They haven’t done it yet but Carlos was starting to find his place before he left and Mwanga is starting to get things together now. When you combine that with the impressive play of Justin Mapp over the past two games (not the biggest of sample sizes, but a very good streak nonetheless) who hopefully doesn’t miss much time with a groin injury, the Union attack really starts to look pretty formidable. Of course until he puts a few in the net there will still be the fact that Seba hasn’t scored. Ignore that. He’s still one of the best players on the team. He’s put balls on the frame, just off the frame and made great runs where poor passes kept him from easy goals. He’s taking good shots, they’re just not going in. It’s nothing to get upset about. Seba is still involved with nearly every threatening attack the team puts together. He has twice as many assists as anyone else on the team. He’s not playing poorly he just hasn’t been scoring. Then again if all the balls he shot that deserved to go in the net went in the net he might have 8 or 9 goals by now. He’s been unlucky, and I honestly believe that once he gets two or three in and people get off his back about it he will light the net up as much as he did last year.