The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2011

OF questions to be answered later today, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

Reaction to yesterday's roster announcement has focused largely on Michael Orozco Fiscal's disappearance from the roster on the Union's website. When asked for information on the status of Orozco Fiscal (as well as Levi Houapeu, who is also gone from the roster), the club's press officer told the PSP that questions would be answered by Peter Nowak during a media teleconference today at 2:30pm.

Union 5 – 0 Hersonissos

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The Union scoring floodgates finally opened against Greek Third Division side Hersonissos. Chris Agorsor and Jack McInerney each scored two goals and Danny Mwanga scored one. Roger Torres had two assists.

Here are the match updates from the Union's Twitter feed:

10:41am: Internet connection issues in Greece, but the Union are up 2-0 vs.

“The roster still is not complete”

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Peter Nowak spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon via conference call from Greece.

Answering questions about the size of the roster, Nowak emphasized that "the roster still is not complete." He continued, "If you have enough resources on your roster then you can make necessary changes.

Union Math: – 2 + 2 = where’s Orozco Fiscal?

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In accordance with the MLS Roster Compliance deadline, today the Union waived two players and signed two more.

Neither the waivings nor the signings were particularly surprising.

Waived today were Nick Zimmerman and Temple product JT Noone. Both players have struggled to find playing time while with the Union.

Quake in Greece, Independence camp, USMNT on FSC

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Union

Today is Roster Compliance day. We have no idea what may be in store for Union fans.

The Philadelphia Union experienced a small earthquake while training in Greece. Sheanon Williams tweets that he's more than willing to check that one off the bucket list.

Courtesy the IllegitimateS and Blake Knapp

The IllegitimateS, have noted an Facebook exchange between Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo over whether or not an earthquake actually occurred:

"Yesterday at 2:53am Eastern Standard Time Jack McInerney posted "There was just an earthquake" on Facebook.

Philly soccer, 100 years ago today

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Philadelphia soccer fans had five local leagues to choose from in 1911, the Cricket Club League, the Pennsylvania League, the St. George's League, the Philadelphia and Suburban League and the Interstate League. The teams that participated in these leagues came from a range of backgrounds, from the city's elite social clubs as was the case with the cricket clubs (the Cricket Club League, founded in 1902, remains the oldest league still operating in the United States) to ethnic social clubs, workplace-based athletic clubs, factory-sponsored semi-professional teams, neighborhood-based clubs, social welfare inspired youth organizations and school-based clubs.

Finally, some lineup information

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Carlos Ruiz scored his first goal for the Union in today's 1–1 draw with Ergotelis.

The goal came in the 27th minute and was assisted by Justin Mapp and Kyle Nakazawa.

Ergotelis tied from a penalty kick in the 88th minute after Stefani Miglioranzi was red carded for a foul in the box.

Soccer for Union scabs

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Ronaldinho doesn't like running or training. But that doesn't mean he can't produce magic if you put the ball at his feet and let him kick it. 'Dinho starts celebrating this amazing free kick before it even goes in!

On the topic of free kicks, Wesley Sneijder can hit a pretty mean dead ball himself.

Union against DC United in US Open Cup

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Steve Goff of the Washington Post reports that the Union and DC Union will face-off in the first round of the MLS qualifiers for the US Open Cup.

A coin toss on Monday will determine who will win the hosting rights for the match.

The date and time of the match have not yet been announced.

Ruiz opens his account

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Union

Carlos Ruiz has opened his account for the Union. In today's friendly against Greek Third Division side Hersonissos FC, Ruiz scored in the 27th minute, assisted by Justin Mapp and Klyle Nakazawa, to put the Union up 1–0. (Confusingly, the season schedule on the club's website says they are playing Ergotelis FC today.

Union land in Greece, more news

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Union

Faryd Mondragon reports via Twitter, "just landed in Athens, a little bit tired but happy, looking forward for a good and productive pre-season camp!!!!"

MLS Rumors.com, citing a report from the website partizani.net, says that the Union are among the teams who have been in talks with 34-year-old Albanian midfielder Ervin Skela.

USWNT goalkeeper Barnhart signs with Independence

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The Philadelphia Independence announced on Wednesday the signing of USWNT goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

Born in Pottstown and growing up on Gilbertsville, Pa., Barnhart is a two-time WPS champion. Over 16 starts with 2009 champions FC Gold Pride, Barnhart recorded 74 saves, a 1.44 goals against average and two shutouts.

Awesome, but who’s next? More news.

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Union

The signing of Carlos Ruiz is buzzing all over the interweb. Once you get past the signing announcement pieces you can find some things of interest, notably, possible tactical formations now that Ruiz is in the mix. First out of the gate is the Offside's Union affiliate, with the Goalkeeper offering several possibilities.

Union add 2002 MLS MVP Carlos Ruiz

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The Philadelphia Union officially signed former MLS Most Valuable Player Carlos Ruiz before departing for Greece. Ruiz arrives on a free transfer from Aris FC. He has scored 82 goals over 155 games in his MLS career.

Ruiz gives Peter Nowak another offensive option to support Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux.

Ruiz watch, Jacobson sees red, more news

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Before we get to the morning's news, my apologies to anyone who follows the PSP on Twitter. On Monday night, I was updating our Events Calendar with the schedules for the Union, the Independence, the USMNT and USWNT, as well as various other local soccer events. What I didn't realize was that each event was being posted to Twitter.

Boston Breakers v Philadelphia Independence

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Broadcast information TBD.

Identification game

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Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

In what has become an all too familiar post exhibition game pursuit, there has been some speculation about the first and second half lineups in Saturday's 1–0 loss to Orlando City. The reason? The Union isn't releasing the lineups.

Match commentary, game recaps and early photographs confirmed that Mondragon, Okugo (apparently at right back), Califf, Valdes, Orozco Fizcal, Torres, Carrol, Nakazawa, Mapp Le Toux and Mwanga appeared in the first half.

Union transaction round up: A busy offseason

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Seattle set a high bar for expansion teams in 2009. And it was clear early on that the Union would struggle to reach similar heights during their inaugural campaign.

Still, 31 points from 30 games did not do justice to a team that seemed to undo quality performances with sudden and unexpected errors.

Report says Ruiz signed, more news

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Union

Jonathan Tannenwald reports the Carlos Ruiz deal is complete and that a signing announcement should be expected today or Tuesday. He reports the "source with direct knowledge of the deal" also says Ruiz has been training with the Union. No further details are presently known.

From the Union website, one of the major benefits from the upcoming trip to Greece will be bonding within the team.

Follow the Union live against Orlando City

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Follow the Union live on the Orlando City website! http://www.orlandocitysoccer.com/schedule/gamecenter/

The Philadelphia Union have gone down 0-1 to Orlando City in the 19th minute. Carlos Valdez was sent off and Orlando scored on the ensuing free kick.

Playing a man down, the Union piled pressure on Orlando City in the 2nd half.

1-0 loss to USL debutante Orlando

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union and Donald Montague

On Saturday night, despite the loud presence of a Sons of Ben contingent, the Union finished the domestic leg of their preseason on a down note with a 1–0 loss to Orlando City SC. For Orlando—of the USL Pro League, the third division in the American soccer pyramid—it was both their first match and first win since the club was announced in October of 2010.

Union v. Orlando City: Saturday night soccer

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The Philadelphia Union have gone down 0-1 to Orlando City in the 19th minute. Carlos Valdez was sent off and Orlando scored on the ensuing free kick.

Bonus: The Orlando City homepage has an amazing summary of tonight's opponent (some group of goofs led by a Frenchman). In case you had forgotten, February 28th is the 3 year anniversary of Philadelphia being awarded an MLS franchise.

Is Thorne Holder officially a Union goalie yet?

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Rumors continue to swirl around goalkeeper Thorne Holder and the Union.

Today Sheanon Williams tweeted, "Trying to get one of our goalies some followers." Guess what it isn't @MacMath.

Holder in training

Holder posted a photo of himself in training with the caption, "Game today against Stetson.

Is Thorne Holder officially on the Union?

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Rumors continue to swirl around goalkeeper Thorne Holder and the Union.

Today Sheanon Williams tweeted, "Trying to get one of our goalies some followers." Guess what it isn't @MacMath.

Will he be the Union's number three goalkeeper?

Holder posted a photo of himself in training with the caption, "Game today against Stetson.

Jacobson traded to Dallas (not for Seitz)

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The Philadelphia Union traded midfielder Andrew Jacobson to FC Dallas in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick in 2013.

Jacobson started 13 games for the U in 2010, logging 18 shots, 8 on goal. He became extra parts when The Union acquired Brian Carroll as their 18th center midfielder (kidding!

Four Union matches to be on FSC

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Major League Soccer announced on Friday that its broadcasting deal with Fox Soccer Channel has been extended for one year. FSC will broadcast 31 regular season matches and three playoff matches, including one conference final. All of the broadcasts will be in high definition. (Click here for the full schedule.

Nowak on Hall of Fame ballot, more news

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Union

Peter Nowak is among the 25 on the Player Ballot for the 2011 class of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Congratulations!

The Brotherly Game quotes a report from Monday in Guatemala-based Prensa Libre that says Carlos Ruiz was in discussion with the Union but terms could not be reached.

Bark Tees

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T-shirts are an essential part of establishing the identity of any Union supporters group, let alone any Union supporter. Bark Tees is a local company that has become an essential part of the local Union supporters scene. Founded by Mark Concannon and Ben Lee in 2009, the company specializes in very cool, very unofficial Philly sports team shirts, the kind of shirts that make you say "That's awesome, why didn't I think of that," and then, "Where can I get one?

2011 Independence schedule released

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The schedule for the Philadelphia Independence 2011 campaign was released on Thursday.

Widener University's Leslie Quick Stadium, the new home of the club, will be the site of the home opener on Saturday, April 16 at 7pm.

Very affordable season tickets are available. Group tickets and flex plans are also available by calling 1-877-WPS-PHIL (1-877-977-7445).

Holder update, Greek details, more news

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Union

Individual and group tickets went on sale yesterday. Buy! Buy! Buy!

On Wednesday we posted an update that linked to a Twitter message from former Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hilsop that said Thorne Holder had signed with the Union. Big Apple Soccer.com posted a story saying that Holder's former college, Aldelphi University, had announced the signing with a quote from coach Carlo Acquista congratulating Holder.

Thorne Holder signed?

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There is no announcement yet from the Union, but a report on Twitter from Shaka Hislop says that Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Thorne Holder has signed with the Union.

Reports from Trinidad confirmed that Holder was on trial with the Union in January. The former U-20 national team goalkeeper played high school soccer at Queen's Royal College in Trinidad & Tobago before going to University of Maryland and Adelphi University.

In the books: The Ten Shirt

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Imagine an alternative reality where the USA victory over England in the 1950 World Cup was not only noticed by the general public, it sparked a soccer boom in the United States.

In this reality, the top US professional soccer league, second in popularity only to American football, not only follows the FIFA international calendar, it regularly develops, maintains and retains world class talent.

Becoming official

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Photo: Courtesy of the IllegitimateS

Last week the PSP ran a series called "The other supporters groups." The series had that name for the simple reason that, when it comes to Union supporters groups, the Sons of Ben define the scene.

Why this is so is plainly obvious: they are extremely good at doing the hard work that needs to be done to be a successful supporters group.

Coudet waived, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

Before the Union won the rights to Chris Agorsor they announced that Eduardo Coudet had been waived, thus ending weeks of speculation about his status with the club. The addition of Agorsor combined with the subtraction of Coudet means that the club's roster remains at 25 players.

An inspirational young man, more news

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Union

From the Union website, this piece details Chris Agorsor's road to recovery from a devastating injury. Agorsor grew up playing with Zach MacMath and has long known Sheanon Williams. Coming from just outside of Baltimore, Agorsor says he never wanted to play for DC United. He says Baltimore "is a lot more similar to Philly than to DC.

Union win lottery for Chris Agorsor

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In 2008, Chris Agorsor was one of the most sought after high school seniors in US soccer.

Now he is the new speed demon on the Union roster.

Philadelphia had a 96.3% chance of landing the striker, and he has trained with the team during their preseason indoor session at YSC Sports.

Agorsor planned on spending a season at Virginia before leaving for Europe, but a major knee injury curtailed his big dreams.

Soccer for Union scabs: Rah rah Rooney!

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Manchester derby. Tie game. Wayne Rooney.

Samuel Eto'o has been in fine form for Inter Milan this campaign. But that doesn't mean we will let him off the hook for his epic miss on Sunday against Juventus.

David Barral ran around Barcelona's defense like it wasn't there. Sporting Gijon tied the league leaders and let Real Madrid back into the title race.

Analyzing each match on the 2011 Union schedule

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March 19... March 19...

Just over a month until Philadelphia's soccer-crazed fans slide onto bar stools across the city and try to convince the local establishment that LiveWell is indeed a real television channel.

There is a different mindset for Year Two of the Philadelphia Union. When last season began, Danny Mwanga emerged as a midfielder (still mind-boggling) and the starting lineup featured Toni Stahl and David Myrie.

Monday round-up: Farrelly Q&A, NASL goes pro, Massey returns

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Union

On the Union website, the first of JP Dellacamera's two-part series previewing the Eastern Conference.

Independence

VASoccerNews caught up with the Independence's draft pick Sinead Farrelly for a quick Q&A.

MLS

Their new stadium set to open on June 9 when they host Chicago Fire, Sporting Kansas City will have to endure ten road games at the start of their 2011 season.

Pfeffer downs UCF

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

The Pfeffer has arrived.

Latching on to a loose ball in the 53rd minute of the Union's exhibition match against University of Central Florida on Sunday morning, 16-year-old Zach Pfeffer one-timed a rocket into the upper-90.

The blast proved to be the only goal of the match.

Union to sign Carlos Ruiz?

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The Goalkeeper's Jonathan Tannenwald is reporting that Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre is reporting that the Union are moving to sign Carlos Ruiz.

Ruiz has allegedly ended his contract with Greek club Aris through mutual consent to sign with Philadelphia.

Rumors linking Ruiz to the Union surfaced last year as well, but no deal was ever worked out.

The other supporters group: The Bridge Crew

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Previously in our series on the other supporters groups we talked two groups immediately located on either side of the River End and one within the River End. Today we talk to Benjamin Bedard of the Bridge Crew, a group located in the opposite end of PPL Park in sections 120 and 121. Location is everything when it comes to what is or is not generally acceptable in how fans can demonstrate their support for the Union.

Reaction to Union win, more morning news

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Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union and Donald Montague

Union

Speaking about Thursday's 2–0 win over USF, Brian Carroll said, "I thought our possession, our reaction once the ball turned over, and the amount of chances we created were better today."

Danny Mwanga agreed, but added, "At the same time we had a few more chances that we could have finished.

Le Toux, Mwanga top USF 2-0

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Just because a recent article on the Union's website emphasized the need for some of the scoring burden to be lifted off of the shoulders of Sebastien "The Real MVP" Le Toux and Danny "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" Mwanga doesn't mean they're in any mood to let up.

They just can't help it.

After scoring in the 9th minute in Sunday's 1-1 draw against the USMNT U-17, Le Toux dialed it back a bit and waited until the 19th minute before scoring in today's exhibition match against the University of South Florida.

2011 Union schedule announced

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The 2011 Union schedule has been released and there are more than a few key dates you'll want to highlight on your calendar. Among them are April 9, when the Red Bulls come to town, followed the next Saturday by Seattle Sounders. The team will host LA Galaxy on May 11, New England on August 28Â and DC United will be the visitors on September 29.

4-3-3: Go BIG or go home.

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New season. New faces. New roles. New tactics. As we move ever closer to the start of the 2011 season, the PSP takes a look possible tactical formations the Union might employ. Today, Eli looks at going for the gusto with a 4-3-3 with two defensive midfielders anchoring a swarming 4-man attack.

The other supporters group: The Corner Creeps

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In today's look at the other supporter's groups, the PSP talks to Damian Cusumano, founder of the Corner Creeps. Where as the Tammany Saints and the IllegitimateS are located in the corner on either side of the River End, the Corner Creeps are one of several section-based groups—among them are the Elders, Union Local 135, the Snake Pit—that have come together in the River End, as well as elsewhere in PPL Park, to help organize communication among ticket holders in a given section throughout the season and offseason.

Nowak: more additions – and cuts – to come

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Union

From a conference call with reporters on Wednesday:

  • Noting that the roster compliance deadline is March 1, Peter Nowak said, "The roster is not in place yet we still are working on some things that could improve our roster offensive and defensively."
  • Nowak said, "Having a forward or even grabbing another defender is still in the works.

Union Tactics: Everyone else is doing it, why can’t we? The 4-2-3-1

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New season. New faces. New roles. New tactics. As we move ever closer to the start of the 2011 season, the PSP takes a look possible tactical formations the Union might employ. Today, Mike throws out the idea of trying a 4-2-3-1 with two defensive midfielders creating possession and allowing lots of off the ball movement.

The other supporters groups: The IllegitimateS

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Our series on alternative Union supporters groups continues with the IllegitimateS. Members of the IllegitimateS are mainly located in section 133 in the northeast corner of PPL Park, the section of the park otherwise reserved for away supporters. And that's the point—the IllegitimateS exist to ensure that away supporters never get away with taking over the Corner and out-chanting the Union faithful.

A little help, please, and more morning news

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Union

The Offsides has more on the rumors linking 32-year-old Colombian forward Tressor Moreno to the Union. But this report says Moreno has signed with Brazilian club Bahia following the failure of negotiations with the Union. (You can read a crappy translation here.)

The Brotherly Game looks at five FC Delco products who are headed to Division 1 schools.

Union waive Arrieta

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The Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday that they have waived Cristian Arrieta.

Arrieta had fifteen starts in sixteen appearances for the club with 1,343 minutes played. His first start, in the Union season opener against DC United, came only a day after he signed with the club.

The solidification of the defensive lineup with Sheanon Williams at right back and Michael Orozco Fiscal partnering with Danny Califf in the middle resulted in the marginalization of Arrieta as a starter.

The other supporters groups: The Tammany Saints

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Our series on alternative Union supporters groups begins with the Tammany Saints. Members of the Tammany Saints are mainly located in section 101 in the southeast corner of PPL Park. The Tammany Saints were founded in late 2009 by Armando Rios—"I guess you could say founder, but I don't want to sound too formal"— founded the Tammany Saints in late 2009.

Union tactics: New season calls for new midfield roles

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New season. New faces. New roles. New tactics. As we move ever loser to the start of the 2011 season, the PSP takes a look possible tactical formations the Union might employ. Today, Adam argues that last season's 4-2-2-2 ought to become a 4-1-3-2 formation to take advantage of the team's wealth of defensive minded midfielders.

Round up: MLS roster moves and international news

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In case you missed it, February 5 was Cristiano Ronaldo's birthday. The Madrid goalscorer probably celebrated by taking the day to think about himself.

31 year old Brazilian Ricardo Villar signed on with FC Dallas.

Bright Dike was drafted 12th overall by Columbus a year ago. He was released before the season began but caught on with Portland in the USL.

The other supporters groups

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Beginning on Tuesday, the PSP will run a series of interviews with some of the growing number of alternative Union supporters groups. Here's a quick preview of what to expect.

Before there was the Union, there was the Sons of Ben.

Before the Union had a staff, let alone a name or players on the pitch, the Sons of Ben were making the case for an MLS franchise in Philadelphia—and a name for themselves.

Union draw in first exhibition game, more news

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Photo: Donald Montague, courtesy of the Philadelphia Union.

Beginning on Tuesday, the PSP will begin running two article series. One series will examine possible tactical formations for the Union. The other is a series of interviews with some of the groups that, following in the footsteps of the Sons of Ben, have formed to support the Union, including the Tammany Saints, the IllegitimateS, the Corner Creeps and the Bridge Crew.

Soccer for Union scabs: What a weekend!

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I'm not going to lead with the Chelsea highlights. I'm not going to lead with the Chelsea highlights. I'm NOT going to lead with the Chelsea... hello? Oh, there aren't any Chelsea highlights? But what about the 70 million pounds they spent in January? Torres and David Luiz played, you say? Well I'm sure Liverpool countered with their expensive January signings, right?

Colombia, tactics, academy, more morning news

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Union

Union Director of Player Development and Scouting Diego Gutierrez features prominently in this piece from the MLSsoccer.com that looks at the resurgence of Colombian players in the league:

"The state of Colombian soccer is not the best right now. A lot of clubs have gone belly up and their finances are in disarray.

That is one classy guy, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

Alejandro Moreno discusses his departure from the Union. Clearly hurt at being let go, he is nevertheless one class act and ever the gentleman. Which you knew already after listening to the interview KYW and the PSP did with him on the Philly Soccer Show.

In Orlando, more news

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Union

The Union left for Orlando on Tuesday for the next phase of preseason training. There the club will develop individualized training programs for its players. "They are going to be 19 difficult days," said Peter Nowak, "Because they don't all have a tank like Sebastien."

Michael Orozco Fiscal wants to stay in Philly permanently.

Union third jersey design leaked?

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So, I was poking around the MLS site on Tuesday morning and decided to take a look at the Union shop at MLS Gear.com to see if there is any new swag available. I clicked on the link to the jerseys and nearly jumped out of my seat.

Holy Christmas, is that the third kit that I'm looking at?

After frantically making a copy of the image I started searching around the Internet for the notice that I've obviously missed about the release of the design.

No US Egypt match, transfer dealings, USWNT roster

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The USA/Egypt friendly has been canceled. Probably because of the weather or something, right?

Want to know where the Union are staying on their preseason jaunt through Florida? Here's the info on their schedule and hotel.

In addition to re-aligning the conferences, MLS also formed a Canadian development task force yesterday.

White out

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Photo: Nicolea Stoian

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Haverford School and FC Delco product Jeremiah White has not been invited to travel with the Union for preseason training in Orlando.

"They basically called me 2 days before we were supposed to leave and said they don't have any more roster spots," White told the Inquirer.