The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2010

Nigerian national team suspended

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"Don't cry, it's not like we gave Ricardo Clark citizenship."

The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has suspended the national soccer team for two years as punishment for their dismal performance. A task force recently submitted a report to the President about corruption within the soccer federation, and the national team's poor performance convinced President Jonathan that action had to be taken.

Spain Eliminates Portugal

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In case you were wondering which footballer other than Ronaldo will be getting the most booty after the World Cup, meet David Villa.

In a game filled with much tension, incessant threats, and shots-on-goal galore, only one man managed to break through. The 63rd-minute triumph was Villa's 4th in the tournament thus far, and proved to be the only thing that would separate Spain from the second best team on the Iberian Peninsula.

Daily round-up: City Islanders win, Coulibaly interview

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The Harrisburg City Islanders knocked the New York Red Bulls from the U.S. Open Cup last night. Dominic Oppong did his best Asamoah Gyan impression by scoring in extra time to lift the 'Burg's best and brightest to the next round. Great coverage from Derek Meluzio at Pennlive.com

ESPNRadio (via MajorLeagueSoccerTalk) has a brief interview with maligned U.

Four Independence players on WPS All-Star rosters

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Amy Rodriguez is part of a class of four Philadelphia Independence players who made the WPS All-Star teams.

Rodriguez will come off the bench for Team Marta, which features defender Allison Falk in the starting lineup. Midfielder Lori Lindsey will start for Team Abby.

Independence midfielder Caroline Seger is a member of Team Marta but her injury will keep her off the field.

The daily round-up

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Wow, a whole slate of negative stories for your Tuesday Newsday:

Isaiah Thompson of Philadelphia's CityPaper wonders why PPL Park is up and running while Chester hasn't received any of the public money for economic development that was supposed to be part of the stadium deal.

A Texas man beat his two year old daughter to death because she wouldn't stop crying during the US-Ghana game, then forced a screw down her throat to make it appear she had choked.

Who are ya?

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Opening day jubilation edition

The excitement was off the scale. Our team the team the area's many soccer fans had been eagerly waiting for was finally opening their new stadium, an absolutely stunning venue on the banks of the Delaware with the Commodore Barry Bridge hawking a view of the action from the background.

Photos from the first Union match at PPL Park

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Team picture before the game.


Union walk out onto the field.


Goalkeeper Chris Seitz looking at the ball.


Alejandro Moreno #15 of the Union and Leonardo González #19 of the Sounders FC fight for the ball


Sons of Ben celebrates during the game.

World Cup podcast: Looking back & ahead for the USMNT

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The latest World Cup podcast is up on KYW Newsradio's web site, recorded Sunday, after the U.S. loss to Ghana. KYW editor Greg Orlandini and PSP editor Dan Walsh break down the crushing loss that ended a dramatic World Cup run for the U.S. and look ahead to what comes next for Bob Bradley and the national team.

Postgame: Union 3-1 Sounders

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Someday, this might be the moment we all look back on and say this was the moment it all started to come together.

Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders, 60th minute at PPL Park, Sunday, June 27, 2010. The first match in the new stadium. Seattle forward Pat Noonan lines up to take a penalty kick after a clear dive by Fredy Montero draws a penalty call.

The Aftermath

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Writing about disappointment and disaster can be cathartic, can't it? Hopefully, reading what is written can do the same. The US was dumped out of the World Cup by Ghana for the second straight time. What is worse is that while this game was called much more fairly, the US looked to have created the better chances.

USA v. Ghana Preview

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Who's the underdog in this match? If you have to ask the question, then the chances are that there isn't an underdog. On paper this match is almost perfectly balanced. The Soccer Power Index (SPI) game indicator presents this balance as a win being slightly in favor of Ghana at 51% chance of a win versus, obviously, 49% for a win for the US.

US news and Sunday’s PPL Park opening match

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IF YOU ARE GOING TO SUNDAY'S UNION MATCH ARRIVE EARLY!!! BE SURE TO READ THE STADIUM GUIDE, LOOK AT THE STADIUM MAP AND LOOK AT THE PARKING AND DIRECTIONS PAGE. The US at the World Cup

If Donovan's goal didn't make you cry tears of joy, maybe this will. Here is the audio of Andres Cantor's call of Donovan's gooooooooooaaaaaaaallllllllllll!

Preview: Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union

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Game time: Sunday, 5 p.m.

TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

And finally – the real home opener.

Philadelphia Union opens PPL Park in Chester this Sunday with a match against the Seattle Sounders, as the Union  end their hiatus during the World Cup and the road trip from hell.

Independence can’t hold off the Beat in 2-2 draw

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The Philadelphia Independence had a 2–1 road victory in their grasp going in to stoppage time on Wednesday night.

But Tina Ellertson of the Atlanta Beat found an equalizer in the 92nd minute three points on the road became one.

The slumping Atlanta has been rejuvenated by the acquisition of several former St.

US at the World Cup The day is a little brighter, your step a little lighter, as

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US at the World Cup

The day is a little brighter, your step a little lighter, as the US tops Group C to face Ghana in the Round of 16. Here's a quick roundup of how the victory is being reported:

CSN Washington wonders is the victory over Algeria the greatest moment is US Soccer history. U.

Latest World Cup podcast: US wins, advances

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The latest World Cup podcast is up on KYW Newsradio's web site, recorded just hours after the dramatic victory for the US on Wednesday. KYW editor Greg Orlandini and PSP editor Dan Walsh break down the heart-stopping US victory over Algeria that put the team on top of Group C, look ahead to the match against Ghana in the Round of 16, and evaluate the rest of the World Cup in their latest soccer podcast.

We’re Through!!!!

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It was nail-biting the whole way through, with the anxiety escalating with each tick of the clock beyond the 70th minute mark. Surely we'd progress, all USA fans felt after we played our best first half of the tournament, wherein we were once again robbed by poor officiating: on replay it was clear that Dempsey was indeed level with the last defender before tapping it in by the far post.

HOLY CRAP!!!!! LANDON DONOVAN 4 PRESIDENT (AND OTHER OFF THE CUFF REMARKS)

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That was as good as it gets. Â Despite showing off the USA's lack of a final cutting edge in the box, it made for even better drama. Â A TRULY DESERVED VICTORY!!!

UNITED STATES 1 ALGERIA 0

The US wins the group and now looks at a potential matchup with Serbia (maybe Ghana).

Enormous ups to Jonathan Bornstein, I don't like him, you don't like him, but he did his job well today.

Altidore to Dempsey… saved! DONOVAN!!!

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Whew. Extra time is a great rule, ain't it?

The Americans needed all 90 minutes and then some to knock off Algeria and secure a spot in the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup. For most of the match, Algeria's stout defense smothered the American offense with tough tackling and a threatening counterattack.

US wins 1-0 on goal in 91st minute

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Donovan scores in the 91st minute to win the match 1-0 after a Clint Dempsey goal was wrongly disallowed early in the game.

The U.S. goes through to the second round. More on this later when we get free from work to write here.

Casa roundup – finals weekend!

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It's the week of the finals!

Primera

The big guns were silenced as Cannons lost a close match to Cracovia over the weekend. The 2-1 final ended Cannons magical playoff run and attempt to stave off relegation. It wasn't the type of game CASA likes to promote, what with three red cards and copious amounts of chest puffing.

USA v. Algeria preview

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Who's your starting eleven?

Hopefully, this will be a better prediction than my previous preview on the USA v. Slovenia game. The Algerians seem to be the weakest team in this group, but I don't think they are significantly worse than the Slovenians. The level of talent on both teams is good across almost all positions.

Daily news round up

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When he ended up in the England dressing room after they tied Algeria, Pavlo Joseph felt he had to say something: "That was woeful and not good enough," he told the English team, summoning all the passion he normally reserved for nodding off to sleep during Frasier repeats.

Rob Lunn writes that, "most citizens of the United States consider the World Cup as something akin to visiting the in-laws.

Spain Exorcises Demons Against Honduras

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David Villa earned the lion's share of personal triumph as Spain put their fears of having been over-hyped to rest. In a mostly one-sided match, La Furia Roja made it clear that the debacle against Switzerland was a fluke, winning 2-0. What's more, it would seem that the Spanish have still not tapped the entirety of their potential, as they seemed once again almost perturbingly relaxed once the game was under control.

Who are ya?

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People lean over the railings of the mezzanine up above, their eyes matching the eager anticipation of the people filling the length of the beer hall, the huddled masses standing on back benches, seated close together at their tables or standing along the bar all the way back to the bathrooms.

The TVs up front two of several throughout the pub show the German squad taking the field, and the place erupts.

Portugal Tops North Korea…Seriously

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In what will probably be the soundest spanking of this World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. bent the Dear Leader's national soccer Team over their laps, turned the hair brush bristle-side up, and paddled the hopes and dreams out of an already ostracized squad.

Seven is not often a number that shows up in score lines; especially World Cup score lines.

Independence tops Sky Blue 4-1 on the road

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The Philadelphia Independence struck early when they traveled to Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ, on Saturday and never looked back. Five minutes after first kick, Amy Rodriguez made a run down the right and crossed to Danesha Adams, who struck a one-touch volley into the back of the net.

In the 17th minute Adams, making her first start of the season, returned the favor when she made a lovely through pass to Rodriguez, who promptly buried a shot past Sky Blue keeper Amanda Luckenbill.

Latest World Cup podcast, post U.S.-Slovenia

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The latest World Cup podcast is up on KYW Newsradio's web site, recorded Saturday. KYW editor Greg Orlandini and PSP editor Dan Walsh break down the big U.S.-Slovenia match, look ahead to the Algeria game, and evaluate the rest of the World Cup.

Click here to listen. It starts playing automatically.

Ref may be dropped from the World Cup

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Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Koman Coulibaly, the Mali ref who controversially disallowed the USA's game-winning goal against Slovenia on Friday, will face an expedited performance review on Saturday. According to a FIFA source described as "close to senior figures on the refereeing panel," if the review finds Coulibaly was in error in his decision, he is "likely to be excluded from the rest of the World Cup.

USA v. Slovenia: some more thoughts

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Is Slovenian head coach Matjaz Kek one of the best?

The pink elephant in the room is that the US got a goal taken from them by an absurd call that was one of a handful of absurd calls throughout the US v. Slovenia match. For instance there is a strong argument that Marko Suler should have received a red card for taking Altidore down just outside the Slovenian 18 yard box, while he was running to latch onto a pass.

ROBBED!

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Click here to view the embedded video.

The U.S. was robbed.

In the books, it will go down as a 2-2 draw to Slovenia, but we know better.

A Malian referee named Koman Coulibaly has stolen the greatest comeback in U.S. soccer history.

After going down 2-0 to Slovenia, the U.

USA 2-2 Slovenia: Mystery offsides costs points

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USA took one point out of their second group stage game against Slovenia. Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored second half goals to pull the US back from an enormous first half deficit.

Maurice Edu should have won the game late when he put the ball in the Slovenian net, but a mysterious offsides call ruled out the goal.

USA vs. Team Peanuts previews, Tim Howard interviews

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A nice preview of the USA vs. Slovenia game. Slovenia is the least populous country in the tournament, but they do look as though their jerseys were designed by Charles Schulz.

Another preview but this time from ESPN.

A preview of the other Group D matchup between England and Algeria.

PSP’s bootleg guide to watching soccer online

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You're stuck at work. Game time is 10 a.m. You can't get home or to a soccer pub. What do you do?

You watch the game online, naturally.

But oh no! ESPN3.com doesn't work with your internet provider! What then?

That's when we share this handy dandy guide to watching the U.S.-Slovenia game in all the places you're not supposed to know about.

US v. Slovenia Preview

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I'll be watching the game at the 700 in Northern Liberties, the game starts at 10 am so come on down if you can. This is the most important game of the group stage for the US because it is the one they have to win. The only was this wouldn't have been the most important match of the group stage was if the US had beat England.

Stop acting like the U.S. won or deserved a point.

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Since the United States tied England 1-1 last Saturday, every sportswriter that doesn't put an extra U in "These colors don't run!" has been hooting and hollering about the significance of picking up a point. And while there is no disputing the importance of grabbing that point off the group favorites, there are plenty of issues for the U.

More delicious World Cup news

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The US at the World Cup

Slovenia's Andrej Komac has "guaranteed" that his team will beat the US on Friday. Tim Howard thinks differently: "I think talk is cheap . . . a lot of boxers talk, too, and they're looking up at the lights. And the next thing they know, they're trying to figure out how they got there.

Casa round-up: More Playoffs

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Two #1 seeds go down as CASA revs up for the semifinals this weekend.

Primera

Cannons continued their improbable run to staving off relegation by knocking off #1 seed Grey Lodge 3-0. We all knew Cannons were a really good squad, so it's curious why they waited until the playoffs to turn it on.

Spain Fall to Switzerland

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It wouldn't be a good World Cup without an upset or two. In the case of Spain, now is a better time to be smacked on the back of the cabeza than in the knockout phase, or even later in group competition. From the look of their play today, the Kings of Europe needed it.

Narrow attack, just short-of-adequate finishes, and a little less focus than the day called for left La Furia Roja muy furioso indeed.

US Open Cup win for City Islanders

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Trailing 2–1 late during regular time in Tuesday's US Open Cup match against amateur side Brooklyn Italians, the City Islanders were in need of some dramatic help.

Geoff Bloes provided it, side-volleying an equalizer to force the game into extra time, with a little help from JT Noone.

Said Bloes, who scored the overtime winner against New York Revolution in last year's US Open Cup,"It was J.

WC round-up, USA-England in LEGOs, more…

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Let's start off today's Daily Round-Up with a look at who has scored goals by position:

Defenders: 6 goals

Midfielders: 12 goals

Strikers: 5 goals (1 PK, 3 German)

Come on down, Mr. Vittek. You are the only striker to score an open field goal against a non-Australian defense.

Portugal Draws Ivory Coast; Ronaldo Draws Ire

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Photo: The Guardian

The careful opening-round play continued today with two teams in a mutual bind. Portugal and Cote D'Ivoire (it means "Coast of Ivy" or something) eyed each other up in the shared knowledge that each was the other's only threat in the race to get out of Group G.

To clarify- as we all know, in the case of this group, G stands for Death.

An all-World Cup 23 player US roster? You decide.

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When the US went to the first World Cup in 1930, 16 players were on the roster, unlike the 23 that are on the roster for 2010. In 1930, there were only five extra players available largely because substitutions were not allowed: you started with 11 players and if one of them was injured during the course of a match and couldn't continue, you played on without him.

World Cup preview: Spain v Switzerland

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The final Group, "H" kicks off Wednesday June 16th with Spain taking center stage against Switzerland as the 800 pound gorilla and favorites to take the cup home.

Spain AKA: La Furia Roja

Much concern mounted weeks leading to the World Cup with several key players injured for Spain.

Told ya so… (Edition 2)

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Alright, this predictions column got off to a Portuguese style start (which is to say, very poor). Â But like those plucky North Koreans it will soldier on unphased.

Just to recap. Â I give you my predictions and then you weigh in with yours.

Let's get some feedback on who you have faith in for Matchday 6, June 16, 2010.

World Cup podcast on KYW with the PSP

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Check out the latest World Cup podcast recorded Monday night by Dan Walsh of the Philly Soccer Page and Greg Orlandini of KYW News Radio. They take a look back at the U.S. v England game and ahead toward the U.S. v Slovenia game on Friday. They also recap the World Cup's first days in South Africa and the scene here in the Philadelphia area.

World Cup managers forgot their knives

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How much does the first game in the group stage matter? ESPN has reminded us ad nauseum that 86% of first game winners progress to the knockout stage, while only 8% of first game losers move on. Fair enough, but with so many close results this year (nobody has won a game yet when both teams have scored)*, the question of success after a first game tie is a big one as well.

Supercalifragilisticexpiali-SUCK IT ENGLAND!

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The US at the World Cup

The best fake news shows on cable have weighed in on Saturday's draw with England. In case you missed them here's the segment from The Daily Show and here's the segment from The Colbert Report.

Wondering what the ratings were for the USA v England match? The early ratings numbers based on viewership of the ABC broadcast indicated it was the fifth most watched World Cup game in US soccer history with a 7.

Told ya so . . . (1st Edition)

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As I sat on my friend's couch watching Germany demolish and humiliate Australia, I found myself rooting for the 5-0 result and the 2 red cards I had predicted as the match began. I only got 4 goals and 1 red card (could have been at least 2 more), but it made me wonder what if we had a forum for our wild (and sometimes rational) predictions to be etched into immortal internet stone so that years down the road you can prove that yes, you did pick France-Uruguay to finish nil all.

A look back: The U.S. at the World Cup

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As our longtime readers know, Ed Farnsworth is a bit of a history buff soccer history, that is. Over the last several months, Ed has slacked off on his book on Philadelphia's soccer history so he could write a series for the Philly Soccer Page about the U.S. experience at every World Cup including the ones they missed.

Teams we love to hate: Italy

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When we got together for our last little PSP meeting (this is exactly what you think it is: we get together, pretend to talk about how we are going to make this blog better but just have a bunch of beers and argue about soccer) I was surprised by how much some people hate certain national teams.  I of course brought this up, explaining to my cohorts that I wanted to write this here piece about how I really can't stand watching the Italian team.

Islanders draw 1-1 with Pittsburgh, Open Cup Tuesday

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The City Islanders managed a late equalizer friday night against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the 85th minute, courtesy of Nick Zimmerman. Zimmerman cleaned up a rebound and tied the score as the Islanders had moved to an aggressive formation after several substitutions in the waning minutes. This is Zimmerman's second goal for the Islanders this season and his second that earned the club points.

Teams I Love to Hate: Italy

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When we got together for our last little PSP meeting (this is exactly what you think it is: we get together, pretend to talk about how we are going to make this blog better but just have a bunch of beers and argue about soccer) I was surprised by how much some people hate certain national teams.  I of course brought this up, explaining to my cohorts that I wanted to write this here piece about how I really can't stand watching the Italian team.

Injured Howard to play vs. Slovenia

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The World Cup

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard may have broken his ribs Saturday when England's Emile Heskey slid feet-first into his mid-section. Â If you've never broken ribs before, know that it's one of the most painful injuries you can suffer. (I've done it a few times, lucky me.

Slovenia v. Algeria, what can the US expect

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Slovenia walked off with a victory today from a combination of poor Algerian play. Through most of the match the Algerians and Slovenians looked fairly matched. The Slovenians as usual were organized and strong defensively. They showed the occasional spark in the attack, but didn't do much.

USA v. England, a closer look

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With a little more perspective and having watched the game for a second time, there is a lot that we can learn from the USA v. England match. The English goal was worrisome because it looked like the US defense had been carved up easily. However, on closer inspection it just looks like a great play by England.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: USA 1, England 1

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Robert Green made one great blunder and one great save to preserve the draw today. His Dr. Jekyll moment was saving a blast from Jozy Altidore at the near post from close range. His Mr. Hyde moment was allowing Clint Dempsey's long range shot to bounce off his gloves and into the goal.

Although Robert Green wasn't the only reason for the draw, his individual efforts or lack there of were the defining moments.

U.S. ties England 1-1

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Click here to view the embedded video.

You watched it. You know what happened. (If you didn't, well, you're out of luck, because apparently it's the only match that ESPN isn't showing on replay on its ESPN3 web site, and the above video has the most highlights that I can find.)

A 1-1 draw.

Group C – Can the US live up to the hype? Can England?

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Group C

With England installed as the clear-cut favorite, the rest will be left to fight for the upset, and likely, second place. The United States have been given a favorable draw and will look to Slovenia and Algeria as teams they should beat, but both countries have offensive spark plugs that do not need many chances to capitalize.

The ultimate guide to Philly soccer pubs

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Philadelphia has been a hot bed for soccer well before we had a supporters group well before we had a club. Recently, we gave the US national team a world class send-off via Philly's greatest soccer turnout ever- some 55,000 plus who were on hand for the best game The Linc has seen in some time. And the city is peppered with corner pubs and neighborhood fixtures where die-hard fans have gathered to follow team USA's two year trek through qualifying, as well as the European leagues many home grown fans fervently follow.

Group B – Messi is all that… but is Argentina?

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Group B

Full to the gills with striking talent, Argentina appears the clear favorite to advance out of Group B. The second spot is up for much debate. Greek will park the bus and try to stalemate opponents into submission but Nigeria boasts both speed and size to trouble the Greek defenses.

Let the games begin!

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Union/Local/MLS

The Union lose again, this time to Kansas City. It says in Latin on the collar of their shirts, "Join or Die." Anyone know what the Latin for "Win or Lose" is?

The BBC looks at Philadelphia'a World Cup hopes and the Union.

Here's a nice rumor to chew on as MLS heads into the World Cup break: Ronaldhino is "heavily" linked to LA Galaxy.

Preview of USA v. England

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It's hard not to see England as the clear favorite for this match, but there is definitely hope that the US can pull out a victory or a draw. To begin with the English have a higher level of talent at basically every position on the pitch except for goalkeeper. The English are ranked 3rd by the Soccer Power Index, which is a better indicator than the FIFA rankings.

World Cup preview podcast on KYW Newsradio

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Philly Soccer Page's Dan Walsh and KYW Newsradio's Greg Orlandini preview the World Cup in the first of a series of podcasts featured on KYW, Philadelphia's top AM news radio station.

Listen to the podcast here.

The first podcast, recorded Thursday, focuses on the big U.

Union lose 2-0 to KC

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Philadelphia Union lost 2-0 to Kansas City on Thursday night in the final match of a long road stretch that saw the expansion club play nine of their first 11 games away from home.

Center back Michael Orozco was sent off in the 42nd minute with his second yellow card on a tackle from behind, and that essentially sealed the fate of the Union, who were already down 2-0 at that point.

Pittsburgh visits Harrisburg, Zimmerman visits too

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The Harrisburg City Islanders will continue their USL-2 campaign on City Island friday night against the last-place Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Islanders faced a difficult road trip last week but came away from their southern swing of Charlotte and Charleston with a point. They will look to build on their two good, but incomplete performances against the struggling Hounds.

The US and the 2006 World Cup

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Our series on the US at the World Cup concludes with a look at the 2006 World Cup. You can read more about US World Cup appearances in 1930 (part 1), 1930 (part 2), 1934, 1950, the 1950-1990 drought, 1990, 1994, 1998 (part 1), 1998 (part 2), 2002 (part 1) and 2002 (part 2).

The US and the 2006 World Cup

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Our series on the US at the World Cup concludes with a look at the 2006 World Cup. You can read more about US World Cup appearances in 1930 (part 1), 1930 (part 2), 1934, 1950, the 1950-1990 drought, 1990, 1994, 1998 (part 1), 1998 (part 2), 2002 (part 1) and 2002 (part 2).

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock . . .

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Union/Independence/MLS

The coach of the Kansas City Wizards, who the Union are playing tonight, likes the way the Union plays. The game is at 8pm on the Live Well Network. That's Comcast channel 245/246, Fios channel 465/466.

Vote Seitz for the NAPA MLS Save of the Week. (Bet you didn't think you would read that sentence a few weeks ago.

Casa round up – playoff edition

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Playoffs are stupid. I see the fun in them but I also subscribe to the "it's not who wins the battle, it's who wins the war" theory. And playoffs are like the Roman army coming back out to the field and saying, "Ok, the war is over. But since you guys came pretty close to winning, we're going to give you one.

World Cup Preview: Mexico vs South Africa

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Emotions are running high for a proud country given 6 years to prepare for the 2010 World Cup. As the country that served an apartheid ban from FIFA until 1992, South Africa has progressed extensively since that year to achieve the unthinkable—they've become the first country in Africa to host a FIFA World Cup.

Preview: Philadelphia Union at Kansas City Wizards

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Game time: Thursday, 8 p.m.

TV: ABC 6.2 (Live Well/HD)

The end of the road trip is at hand.

When Philadelphia Union (2-6-1) play the Kansas City Wizards (2-5-3) on Thursday night, it will mark the end of an opening stretch of games that has seen them play nine of their first 11 regular season and U.

Group A – Players (and Coaches) to Watch

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GROUP A

One of the most balanced groups in the field, there is no clear cut favorite, nor is there an expected whipping boy amongst these four sides. Form is everything with these teams, especially the French, who limp in following a string of poor performances, most recently a 1-0 loss at the hands of China.

THREE days, I tell ya, THREE DAYS

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Union

So I wake up this morning for a little snack and I put on the BBC World Service on WHYY as I get back into bed. What do I hear? An interview with the Union's Nick Sakiewicz! He talked about the opener at PPL Park selling out in five hours, the tremendous fan base for soccer in Philly, the Union's tough opening schedule and how the excitement surrounding the World Cup might help the club and MLS, adding that, given the excitement surrounding the new team, it was hard to imagine being even more excited.

Ya got your tickets, where ya gonna park?

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The happy news that tickets for the the Union's home opener at PPL Park had sold out in five hours is surely cause for celebration for both the Union and its fans. After tremendous turnouts for the two matches at the Linc many have wondered if the new stadium is big enough to hold the team's rabid support.

The US at the 2002 World Cup

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Our series on the US at the World Cup continues with the second part of our look at the 1998 World Cup. You can read more about US World Cup appearances in 1930 (part 1), 1930 (part 2), 1934, 1950, the 1950-1990 drought, 1990, 1994, 1998 (part 1), 1998 (part 2) and 2002 (part1).

US WC coverage, Onyewu talk, Biden going to SA and more

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Why have so many World Cup tickets been sold in the U.S.? Sunil Gulati has four reasons: "[It] "says a lot about the growth of the game in the U.S.," said Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. "It also says something about the size of our country, the wealth of our country and the diversity of our country.

Observations from the US v. Australia Game

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The US looked good earning a 3-1 victory over the Australians on Saturday, June 5th 2010. Although the US defense had some scares and looked very vulnerable to crosses, the US deserved to win by at least two goals. The US had a plethora of quality chances, and Robbie Findley must be very disappointed to have missed two gilt edged opportunities.

The Selfish Fan

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Photo: ussoccer.com

We should all get behind the US in this World Cup.

Sounds obvious doesn't it? But this isn't one of those jingoistic freedom-fry rants. That would be as unnecessary as it would be distasteful- from the first capital and home of the Continental Congress comes a team draped in snakes and stars, hovered over by the bespectacled spirit of a man who tailgated the War for Independence with legendary aplomb.

Harrelson beats England & real soccer news.

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Union/Independence/Local/MLS

Reason 83 for why I love Peter Nowak: He gives his former club shit for employing defensive tactics against the Union. "We were surprised from the minute the game started that the team that's supposed to play attacking soccer played with 10 guys in the back, behind the ball.

Postgame: Fire 2-1 Union

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Click here to view the embedded video.

The game is on ABC in prime time, and this is what they brought to show the random channel surfer?

The Chicago Fire played some of the ugliest, most boring soccer possible to beat Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Saturday night. Â They scored one early goal, packed 10 men back near the box for the rest of the game, and lucked out on a second goal gifted to them by the Union's Stefani Miglioranzi.

US Takes Down Aussies in Last Warm Up

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The Americans took down the Socceroos 3-1 to add a little confidence in their last warm up before they face England next week. On a very sloppy and narrow pitch in Roodepoort, South Africa, the Americans got two goals from Edson Buddle in the first half before Hercules Gomez sealed the win in stoppage time.

The road to the 2002 World Cup

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Our series on the US at the World Cup continues with the second part of our look at the 1998 World Cup. You can read more about US World Cup appearances in 1930 (part 1), 1930 (part 2), 1934, 1950, the 1950-1990 drought, 1990, 1994, 1998 (part 1) and 1998 (part 2)

Putting 1998 in the past

The US had been humiliated at the 1998 World Cup, its poor performance on the field—one goal scored in three losses— mirrored by acrimony and dissent off the field.

Preview: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire

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Game time: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

TV: 6ABC

Philadelphia Union (2-5-1) pay a visit to the Chicago Fire (2-3-4) on Saturday in the latest stop on the  Union national tour, otherwise known as nine of 11 games being on the road to start their season. They picked up their first road win last Saturday against Houston and come in with all sorts of momentum, as their attack clicked last week better than it has in their existence.

Drobga and Ferdinand out of the World Cup

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Didier Drogba will miss the World Cup after fracturing his elbow in a friendly against Japan. England captain Rio Ferdinand will miss the World Cup after injuring his knee in training. Union/Independence/Local/MLS

This week's Statement of the Obvious Headline Award goes to "Union hope to build on first road victory.

Who Are Ya? (World Cup Sendoff Edition)

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The aftermath of Saturday's final stateside tuneup for the U.S.A. saw a lot of traveling soccer fans in Center City on a day that made Philadelphia soccer history. The many USA jerseys seen about the city were complimented by those worn by a scattering of Turkey fans.

[On the eastern sidewalk adjacent to Rittenhouse Square, I stop four friends checking out the city after coming from the Linc.

More news than you can shake a stick at

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Union/Independence/Local/MLS

Saturday's goal by Shea Salinas has been named MLS Goal of the Week. 61% voted for the undeniably world-class effort.

Here are more photos of our gorgeous new stadium.

Chicago Fire defender CJ Brown talks about his former teammate of Peter Nowak ahead of the Union match on Saturday.

Carolina Dynamo at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Ironbound Express at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

West Virginia Chaos at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Ocean City Nor’easters at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Bermuda Hogges at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Reading United at Ironbound Express

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Reading United at Ocean City Nor’easters

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Reading United at New Jersey Rangers

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

New Jersey Rangers at Reading United

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Reading United at Central Jersey Spartans

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United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League match involving Reading United, an affiliate of Philadelphia Union.

Thoughts on USA v. Turkey

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Dan Walsh wrote a great piece on the USA v. Turkey game, and I don't want to go over the same ground. However, there were a few things that I wanted to add.

In this game we could still see that the US is not in sync. The understanding has improved amongst the team which may have been due to playing another game together or simply that the majority of the players were the regular starters.

How are Algeria and Slovenia doing?

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Although the US might not be quite in sync, Algeria and Slovenia don't look all that good either. Algeria just recently got beaten by Ireland 3 to 0, and the Slovenians haven't played together since March. The Slovenians will be playing New Zealand this Sunday. This bodes well for us as they will only have one game together against inferior opposition before they start the World Cup.

Fantasy World Cup with the Philly Soccer Page

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Do you often read our posts and think you know a hell of a lot more about soccer than us? Â Well here is a chance to prove it.

Play Fantasy World Cup with the PSP writers for a chance to win two tickets to a Philadelphia Union game later this season. Â All you have to do is choose the result and the scores of all the games.

No Cannavaro & no to Rossi

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Union/Independence

Fabio Cannavaro won't be coming to the Union. He's signed a two year deal to play for Al Ahli in Dubai. "I always thought of moving to live in Dubai as I love it," Cannavaro said, "and I have achieved my dream by moving to Dubai and play for one of its big clubs like Al Ahli.

Independence end road trip with a loss

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In the third game of the 2010 WPS season, Philadelphia Independence defeated Washington Freedom 3-1 to record their first victory.

On Sunday, the Independence finished a three game road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Freedom.

Amy Rodriguez got the first chance for the Independence in the 7th minute but her shot was easily handled by Freedom's keeper Erin McLeod.

USMNT arrives in SA, schedules post-WC against Brazil, more…

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The Philadelphia Independence lost 2-1 to the Washington Freedom on Sunday. The Independence gave up a 25th minute goal to and a 34th minute penalty kick to Abby Wambach to fall into third place, two points behind the Freedom. Caroline Seger was sent off in the 87th and Lianne Sanderson scored the consolation goal for the Independence in extra time.