The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2011

Match report: Toronto FC 2-6 Union

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With Houston yet to play today, the Philadelphia Union suddenly have the second most prolific offense in the East (tied for second most in all of MLS).

The Union scored six goals against a hapless Toronto FC defense. Gabe Farfan opened his account in the 2nd minute and nine minutes later Justin Mapp doubled the lead.

Toronto FC 2-6 Union

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Two goals and an assist from Justin Mapp led the Philadelphia Union over Toronto FC at BMC Field.

Danny Mwanga also had a brace while Gabe Farfan and Kyle Nakazawa open their accounts in a flowing offensive beat down.

More to come...

Not “A.” Not “B.” Who, what then?

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I don't like Manchester United.

From the owners of the club, to the manager, to a whole host of players past and present and onward to "19″— I'm not a fan.

So, you'd naturally think I'd be supporting Barcelona in Saturday's Champions League final.

Lefty. Progressive. Unicef.

Three from the road, more news

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Carlos Ruiz says anything less than three points in Toronto will be an embarrassment. THAT'S the attitude I'm looking for! previews Saturday's game. In's head-to-head preview, the Philly guy predicts a 2–0 win for the Union, the Toronto guy a 1–1 draw. The Friday MLS Forecast at Goal.

Preview: Philadelphia Union at Toronto FC

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Game time: Saturday, 12:30 p..m.

TV: The Comcast Network

On Saturday, we'll see Philadelphia Union play a team that's trying to play the way we thought we'd see the Union do it this year.

Under new coach and former Dutch international Aron Winter, Toronto FC (2-4-6) has tried to import the traditional Ajax (and modern Barcelona) style of play, moving to a 4-3-3 and trying to import the talent necessary to pull off a fluid offensive attack.

Speed-ranting: 11 thoughts for Matchday 11

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As the Union prepare for Saturday's showdown with Toronto FC at BMO Field there are plenty of positives to build on from the 2-1 victory over Chicago that saw the Union rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Reading the buzz about the Union from this and other sites dedicated to the U, the following discussion attempts to identify and elaborate on the key issues in the minds of the Union faithful.

Toronto v Union live commnetary

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Join the PSP for live commentary of Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 28. Coverage starts at 12:15pm, kickoff is at 12:30pm.

Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union

Six changes towards a better, deeper US Gold Cup Squad

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Another National Team tournament, another confusing set of roster decisions from Bob Bradley.

Here is a look at six moves that could have been made to add depth and quality to the US team. Bradley's lineup features a number of his classic favorites who are either completely off of pace in their domestic leagues or serve no foreseeable purpose with this team.

Ruiz options: young attackers, this retired old guy

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Photo: Earl Gardner


Carlos Ruiz said he accepted the invitation to join the Guatemala national team squad for the Gold Cup with some reluctance. But he also said the Union will have no problem replacing him. "We have great players on this team," Ruiz said, "and any player can play the same or better than me.

All hail Marfan and Mapp, more news

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Michael Farfan is named to's Best XI for Week 10. "Plays with an uncanny calm for being a rookie and has the confidence in his own skills to make plays that other first year players wouldn't dare, including scoring." Marfan is the man.

Thinking about scoring the goal and scoring the goal are two different things," Marfan told KYW's Matt Leon in this audio interview.

Reading United 1-0 Harrisburg City Islanders

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Despite recording more shots, Reading were defeated 1-0 by the Harrisburg City Islanders Tuesday night at Exeter's Don Thomas Stadium.

In a matchup that featured both Union affiliated clubs, it was a goal by Harrisburg's Sainey Touray in the 64th minute that proved to be the difference. While both teams had numerous opportunities to score, neither could capitalize thanks to some quality goalkeeping.

Ticketmaster can suck my hairy…

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Ah, those Union v Real Madrid tickets.

In the lead up to Tuesday's 10am presale for Union season ticket holders, it was hard to find out any Real Information about the particulars. You know, the little things like how a season ticket holder might gain access to the presale or how much the tickets might cost.

United Soccer League Update – 22 May 2011

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22 May 2011

Men's Major Division   (Standings)

Ukrainian Nationals 3 0 Spirit United

Women's Major Division   (Standings)

UGH Dragons 3 2 Phoenix United

VE Women  2 1 Philadelphia Flames SC

Flames Sarah Schaffer, gk Renata Dukat

Phoenix United 1 0 UGH Fury

Upcoming Matches

Tuesday, May 24, 8:00pm kickoff

VE Majors / Danubia White Storks at VE Club, 150 Davisville Road, Warminster PA 18974

UGH Ultra / Spirit United at UGH Club, 4666 E Bristol Road, Oakford PA 19053

Phoenix SC Advances to Open Cup Regional Championship

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With a 3 0 win over Go Soccer of New Jersey, the Phoenix SC Majors have earned a double punch on their tickets. They will host host NY Pancyprian Freedom on June 19 for the USASA Regional 1 crown and a trip to the US Adult Soccer National Open Cup Finals in Bowling Green KY. Phoenix SC has also qualified for the 98th Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Tournament with the win and will play their first round match on June 14.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: John Hackworth

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In this week's KYW Philly Soccer Show podcast, KYW's Greg Orlandini and the PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch are joined by Philadelphia Union's assistant coach John Hackworth.

In part one of the pod, Coach Hackworth talks about the win against Chicago and how important it was to finally tally a second goal in a league game.

Round-up: Gold Cup squad and a new Reading affiliate

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New YSA Podcast brings together Unholy Union, Union Dues, Section133 and Union City Blue. What man could make this happen? Earl Gardner, of course.

Reading United and Twin Valley Soccer Club announce a deal for the latter to become a development partner. Very, very cool. The affiliation will promote both player and coach development.

Analyzing the US Gold Cup roster

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The United States 2011 Gold Cup roster was released Monday afternoon. The US, in Group C with Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe, will open play against Canada on June 7 at Detroit's Ford Field.

Goalkeepers : Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Étienne/France), Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres UANL/Mexico), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/Denmark), Eric Lichaj (Leeds United), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Rizespor/Turkey), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor/Turkey), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


Some of the most recognizable and successful national teams have struggled to produce world-class goalkeepers.

Player ratings and quotes: Union 2-1 Fire

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Losing Amobi Okugo in the first minute did not bode well in such an important match. But when Peter Nowak says his team has a fluid system, he means it.

Michael Farfan had never played in a holding role before and there he was dictating play in the center. Kyle Nakazawa arrived as an offensive midfielder and he entered the match to play shutdown defender.

Ruiz gets Gold Cup call-up, more news

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Featured photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz


Two goals. Two sweet goals. A win. First place in the East.

Top of the morning to you!

On Saturday, Carlos Ruiz learned that he has been called up for the Guatemalan national team squad for the Gold Cup, which runs June 5 through June 25 with Guatemala's first game on June 7.

Stat chat: Union v Fire

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Saturday's win over Chicago puts the Union back on top in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from ten games played. New York is in second place with 16 points after their draw with Houston, who are in third place with 14 points. Houston has played one more game than Philadelphia and New York.

Reading stays undefeated, qualify for US Open Cup

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Reading United's win over Ocean City Nor'easters on Friday night put them in the US Open Cup. In the four games the team had played up to that point, Reading has outscored their opponents 15 goals to 3.

Westchester Flames

Reading United remained in the top spot in the the Mid-Atlantic Division with a dominating 4-1 victory over the Westchester Flames Wednesday night at City Park Stadium.

Union 2-1 Chicago Fire in photos

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PSP photographer Daniel Gajdamowicz was on the sidelines for Saturday match between the Philadelphia Union and the Chicago Fire.

Photos by Daniel Gajdamowicz

Match report: Union 2-1 Fire

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Last year it was the shutout. This year it was two goals in a game.

Carlos Ruiz got this year's monkey off the Union's back with one memorable strike on Saturday night.

Michael Farfan put the Union on top in the 64th minute, but it took less than four minutes for the Fire to equalize through Dom Oduro.

Halftime: Union 0-0 Fire

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The Union lost Amobi Okugo to injury in the first minute of play.

Kyle Nakazawa came on and joined Michael Farfan in setting an aggressive tone throughout the Philadelphia midfield. Exceptional defensive performances from the center backs supported a strong half that saw at least three prime scoring chances missed.

Phoenix SC Advances to 2nd Round of US Open Cup Sunday

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The Phoenix Sport Club, winner of the Pennsylvania Open Cup tournament, beat the Maryland Bays 3-2 in overtime, and now play the New Jersey Open Cup Champion Go Soccer, who advanced with a 2-1 win over Athletico Virginia. This is the USASA Region 1 semifinal round, and the winners of Sunday's semifinals will earn entry into the 98th US Open Cup Tournament, which starts in June.

Outside the bubble: Chicago’s Aron Hyde talks to PSP

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

We tend to work in a bubble of Union babble. To find out what the rest of the world thinks of our heroes, The Philly Soccer Page looked up Chicago Fire goalkeeper's coach Aron Hyde. Beyond his role with the goalies, Aron breaks down copious tape and seems to know the Union as well as we do!

“Ineffective energy”

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Sounding a bit like a new age mystic or feng shui adviser, Peter Nowak says the reason the Union have only scored six goals in nine games isn't poor finishing or a still incomplete midfield. Rather, it begins with "ineffective energy:"

"We spend a lot of time defending, and I think we need to change our perspective on doing certain things.

Talking tactics with Sheanon Williams

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Starting in the back for the Union, Sheanon Williams has been one of the keys to the team's run to the top half of the Eastern Conference. Although he has been one of the best right backs in MLS, Williams spent the Portland match deputizing for Danny Califf in the middle.

And honestly, even if he hadn't come out of the gates so strong this season, Sheanon earned a lot of leeway from Union fans when he put down roots in one of the team's 2010 problem positions.

Who’s driving this thing?

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As the Union return to Earth from their improbable early season success, questions abound as the defense tires and the offense continues to sputter. Despite an excellent start against Dallas, the Union netted another goose egg and looked mentally fragile as they folded like a card table once Brek Shea broke the deadlock.

A United union

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The PSP welcomes its new Reading United beat reporter Andrew Desiderio. Andrew gives a quick rundown on why Philadelphia Union fans should pay attention to its PDL affiliate, who have started of the 2011 season with two emphatic victories.

The partnership between the Philadelphia Union and Reading United AC, the PDL affiliate of the Union, is one that Union fans would do well to keep an eye on, as several of the players from last year's roster are currently plying their trade in the MLS.

Casa round-up: Week 6

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A second half Adaie Amankwaah strike led Philly United over West Philly FC. The win leaves Philly United 2 points out of first. Franklin FC had a much easier time with an undermanned Philly Soccer Firm. Marek Dudziak put in a pair during a 7-0 win. John Kirchenbauer had the winner and was Man of the Match for Stoney as they dropped a three spot on Drinker's Pub.

Union v Real Madrid rumors and more

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There is more information about the rumored friendly with Real Madrid, first reported by the Washington Post last Thursday. Kerith Gabriel reports in the Daily News that negotiations are underway for a possible July 23 fixture at the Linc. The problem is that the Union are scheduled to play Seattle away on that date.

Reading United news and notes

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With the announcement of two high-profile exhibition matches, Reading United provided another example of its expanding national reputation.

Reading is set to play the United States Under-17 National Team on May 22, followed by the New York Cosmo's Under-23 team two months later. The Harrisburg City Islanders and Philadelphia Union are already scheduled to visit Exeter's Don Thomas Stadium in the coming weeks.

KYW Philly Soccer Show podcast: JP Dellacamera

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The KYW Philly Soccer Show podcast is back with a great guest this week. KYW's Greg Orlandini and Philly Soccer Page writer Adam Cann are joined by the TV voice of the Philadelphia Union, JP Dellacamera.

In part one, Greg and Adam discuss with JP the Union's recent three game slump, where they only could muster one goal and one point in the standings.

Union v Real Madrid summer friendly deal done

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Editors note: The article from Wednesday we linked to below was pulled for apparently violating some kind of news embargo. A new article appeared on Thursday morning re-confirming the original article.

Kerith Gabriel reports at the Daily News that the Union have finalized the deal to host Real Madrid at the Linc on July 23.

PDN confirms Real Madrid friendly, more news

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Apparently the article in the Daily News by Kerith Gabriel we linked to yesterday about the Real Madrid friendly was yanked for breaking some kind of an embargo. So now there is this article in the Daily News by Kerith Gabriel saying the same thing: the Union will play Real Madrid on July 23 at the Linc.

Union reserves 0-1 loss to DC United in pictures

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The reserves warm up before the match.

Zach MacMath takes some pre-game shots.

The teams take the pitch.

Levi Houapeu goes after the ball.

Some familiar faces check out the match.

Kyle Nakazawa and trialist Veljko Paunović lurking in the background.

Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Game time: Saturday, 8 p.m.

TV: The Comcast Network

Philadelphia Union gets the chance to shake off the doldrums as a no-name Chicago Fire team stumbles into town Saturday.

Chicago (1-3-5) has played to four straight draws and features a starting lineup full of guys even most longtime Major League Soccer fans haven't heard of.