The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2012

Mondragon leaves Union for Deportivo Cali

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Philadelphia Union and Faryd Mondragon confirmed Monday that the veteran goalkeeper will leave to sign with Colombian club Deportivo Cali.

Mondragon, 40, will return to his hometown to play for the team he made his professional debut for more than 20 years ago.

"For family reasons, I have requested the club to allow me the opportunity to finish my career where it started," Mondragon said in a statement released Monday afternoon by the Union.

Indy owner: “We will be Back, Stronger in 2013″

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Philadelphia Independence owner David Halstead says the Philadelphia Independence will be back in 2013.

In a letter to Independence fans on the club's website, Halstead said the decision to cancel the 2012 season was difficult, but necessary.

Halstead points to the ongoing litigation with Dan Borislow about his Florida-based franchise as the reason for the cancellation of the season.

WPS cancels 2012 season

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Women's Professional Soccer will announce later today that it has canceled the 2012 season.

The decision was reached after a vote by team owners on Monday morning. Am email was subsequently sent to the players informing them of the decision.

While details are at present sketchy, the decision appears to be the direct result of the ongoing legal battles with magicJack owner Dan Borislow.

The Pine Barrens League, part 9: The Final – Kicking their teeth out

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Editor's note: For your offseason pleasure, PSP is happy to present an multi-part fiction series entitled The Pine Barrens League. In the conclusion of the story, it is the second half of the final. Schnauzer and company have 45 minutes to score a goal to win the money.

We were exhausted when we got off the field at half time.

Has the Dragon left his lair? USWNT cruise past Canada. More news.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The silly season got sillier for the Philadelphia Union over the weekend. Following word from England that Sebastien Le Toux reportedly did not sufficiently impress while on trial with Bolton, and the news that Danny Mwanga is training for two weeks with Aston Villa, the Union transfer rumor well still wasn't dry.

US Women down Canada 4-0

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It was the Alex Morgan show as the US downed Canada in the final of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. Morgan scored twice and assisted on two Abby Wambach goals as the US ran out easy winners over the host nation. The game was largely meaningless save for regional pride, with both sides having already qualified for this summer's London games.

No Union talks with Deportivo Cali on Mondragon

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon remains a Union player.

A Union official confirmed Sunday that Mondragon is in camp with the Union and said the club has not talked with Deportivo Cali, despite Colombian reports that Mondragon could sign with his hometown club, Deportivo Cali.

US Women Qualify for Olympics

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The US Women took down Costa Rica 3-0 to book their ticket for this summer's London Olympics. Tobin Heath scored in the first half, Carli Lloyd continued her current run of form with a goal in the second half, and Alex Morgan sealed the win with a late goal of her own.

Pia Sundhage made two changes from the team that faced Mexico on Tuesday, preferring Tobin Heath over Amy Rodriguez and giving converted striker Kelly O'Hara a start at right back.

Union: Mwanga in England, will return February 6

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Following a tweet from player agent Richard Motzkin that announced Danny Mwanga would be training with Aston Villa for ten days, the Philadelphia Union confirmed that the striker will miss the team's first preseason session.

According to the Union, Mwanga "will join his teammates in Orlando on February 6, in time for the start of the Union's second leg of preseason.

Footy on the Telly, Jan. 27 – Jan. 30

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Friday, January 27
11am Niger vs Tunisia Al Jazeera Sports USA
2pm Gabon vs Morocco Al Jazeera Sports USA
2:30pm Hannover 96 vs Nürnberg ESPN3, ESPN Deportes
2:45pm Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur Fox Soccer Plus, FoxSoccer.tv, Fox Soccer 2Go
3pm Everton vs Fulham FSC
8pm USA vs Costa Rica concacaf.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: ASG, Le Toux and Chalupny

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

All-Stars, Le Toux rumors, and a new signing for the Philadelphia Independence are all part of this week's KYW Philly Soccer Show.

In part one, KYW's Greg Orlandini and Philly Soccer Page writer Eli Pearlman-Storch kick of this week's edition of the pod by talking about the MLS All-Star game, which will be held at PPL Park, in Chester, Pa.

Coyle cold on Le Toux? Union partner with Saprissa, Solo still doubtful, more

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Le Talk

Yesterday he's going, today he is staying. An article from sportinglife.com suggests that Le Toux "did not impress sufficiently" at Bolton. Owen Coyle is quoted in the article, "Sebastien came in for a couple of days, and to be fair to him he hadn't trained for four or five weeks.

USA 1 – 0 Panama: Analysis & player ratings

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Not to be out-shown by the atrocious work being done in the press box, both the United States and Panama turned in embarrassingly poor performances in what was, by far, the least attractive game of soccer in the Klinsmann era. Graham Zusi grabbed the game's only goal in the 9th minute, lashing home a cross that the US was lucky to see bounce off the back of hapless striker Teal Bunbury's leg inside the Panamanian area.

Gomez was good, US didn’t push him

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Gabriel Gomez was signed by the Philadelphia Union in late December. Last night was the first chance Philly fans have had to examine the versatile Panamanian.

In a 1-0 friendly loss to the United States, Gomez played as a calming link between Panama's back four and skittish front five.

The good news: He was fantastic.

Le Talk, Union preseason opens, USMNT survives the dives, more news

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Featured image courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Le Talk

While posing a hypothetical question to the Union Twitterati whether they would accept $2.75 million for Sebastien Le Toux, Jonathan "The Goalkeeper" Tannenwald mentions, "I've been told there has been no offer yet."

Meanwhile, Daily News reporter Kerith Gabriel writes, "It's likely the Union will start the 2012 campaign without Frenchman Sebastien Le Toux.

The goal behind Laduma

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All images courtesy of One Goal USA

 If you've made plans for Thursday, February 2, cancel them. Because that evening marks the Philadelphia premier of LADUMA at 7:30pm at the Ritz East. Made by two local filmmakers, Ashwin Chaudhary and Jon Korn, Laduma is "the story of how soccer united the South African people against Apartheid, and how the sport brought Americans together in the magical summer of 2010.

USA 4 – 0 Mexico: Thoughts on a demolition

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Mexico's World Cup qualifying victory clearly shook the US Women's National Team to their core. On Tuesday night, the US settled the score, reminding Mexico, and the world, that there is still an enormous gap in class between the two sides. Were at not for some shoddy finishing and a whole lot of five-alarm defending, the score line could easily have been doubled as the US controlled the match from the opening whistle and were rarely troubled throughout the 90 minutes.

Why aren’t you excited about the All-Star game?

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union got the MLS All-Star game for PPL Park.

So why aren't you excited?

Why was there a collective yawn in response to Tuesday's announcement when there could have been rapturous joy?

Was it because word had leaked out early and killed the surprise factor?

More Le Talk, USWNT blasts Mexico, more news

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Some amazing PSP original work from the past few days: Earl Gardner's sweet photo essay from the SOB Help Kick Hunger event, info on the MLS All-Star game, Ed's fantastic piece on the last All-Star game in Philly, Dan's take on the possibility of selling Le Toux, and Eli's examination of the U's post-Seba strike force.

US Women knock off Mexico

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The US Women's National Team knocked off Mexico 4-0 in their final match of the group stage of Olympic qualifying to win Group B. Carli Lloyd had a hat trick and Heather O'Reilly added a goal as the USWNT rolled to an easy victory. They will face Costa Rica for a chance to qualify on Friday (8pm, concacaf.

The last pro soccer All-Star Game in Philly

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Featured image: Bobby Moore, Gerry Francis and Pele before the Team America vs. England game at JFK

The news that PPL Park will be host the 2012 MLS All-Star Game means that Philadelphia will be the host of a major pro sport All-Star event for the first time since the NBA came to town in 2002.

PPL Park to host 2012 All-Star Game on July 25

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

It's official, PPL Park will be the site of the 2012 MLS All-Star Game on July 25.

The opponent, "a renowned international club," will be announced at a later date.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sackiewicz, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Chester Mayor John Linder were on hand at the press conference at Philadelphia's City Hall on Tuesday morning for the announcement.

The Sons of Ben Help Kick Hunger 1-21-12

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Saturday's Sons of Ben-organized Help Kick Hunger charity at McFaddens at Citizen's Bank Park was a huge success. $8,300 was raised at the event, which featured appearances from the Philadelphia Union's Brian Carroll, Zach Pfeffer and Jimmy McLaughlin. The recently retired Veljko Paunovic was also on hand.

Le Toux back in Philly? More news.

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Philadelphia Union

Sebastien Le Toux tweeted this morning, "I spent a great week at BWFC. Great club with great people. Now back in Philly." We are waiting for confirmation on this from the Union on this and if this means there will be no transfer to Bolton.

Following the successful appeal to secure Tim Ream the UK work permit necessary to complete the defender's move to the Wanderers, Owen Coyle tells The Bolton News that he plans to "add one or two more to take us on to the second half of the season" before the close of the transfer window on January 31.

Union targeting star Colombian striker, DN reports

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Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that only a contract issue is preventing Colombian striker Lionard Pajoy from completing a transfer to the Philadelphia Union. Pajoy, 30, leads the Colombian first division with 10 goals in 18 games for Itagui Ditaires.

Pajoy's profligacy in front of goal is a new development, however, with his career numbers hardly indicative of a dominant striker.

Union-MLS-City Hall press conference scheduled for Tuesday

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Following the announcement by the Philadelphia Union that a press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday at 11am to take place at City Hall in Center City Philadelphia, philly.com reports that the Union will host the 2012 MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park.

The press release from the Union says that team CEO Nick Sackiewicz, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Chester Mayor John Linder and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter are all scheduled to be in attendance.

The Pine Barrens League, Part 8:The Final—How to beat the great Lobanovsky?

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Editor's note: For your offseason pleasure, PSP is happy to present an multi-part fiction series entitled The Pine Barrens League. In part 8, Schnauzer and company play a team of Russians hired by the organizers who don't want to give up their money.Â

It felt like the world had come down on us when we arrived at the "field.

More Le Toux, USWNT cruise, more news

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Philadelphia Union

Le Toux spotted with Tim Ream at Bolton's win over Liverpool on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Kyle Scott and crossingbroad.com

A report from The Bolton News on Friday quotes Wanderers' manager Owen Coyle on Sebastien Le Toux, "I've had some decent reports on him. He's very industrious, hard working and looks a very good team player, which is what I'm all about.

USWNT Rout Dominican Republican 14-0, A-Rod has 5

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Photo: Paul Rudderow.Â

I tried to tune in to watch the USWNT take on the Dominican Republic at the appointed 10:30 pm start time last night. In the 10 or so minutes it took me to update the stupid Silverlight player and get the game to load, I missed the opening 3 goals, which all happened inside the first 7 minutes of the game.

Rodriguez scores 5, USWNT scores 14, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

The U.S. women's national team won 14-0 over the Dominican Republic on Friday. Yes, the women's soccer team won by that score. Amy Rodriguez scored five goals.

At halftime, Abby Wambach told her teammates to keep scoring in the Olympic qualifier, despite being up 7-0, because goal differential can impact Olympic qualifying qualifying.

Footy on the Telly, Jan 20 – Jan. 23

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Friday, January 20
2:30pm Borussia M'gladbach vs Bayern München GolTV
2:30pm Sablé vs PSG ESPN3
8pm Altamira vs Universidad Guadalajara GolTV
8pm Mexico vs Guatemala Telemundo, CONCACAF, Sportsnet.ca
9:10pm Morelia vs San Luis Azteca America
10:30pm Dominican Republic vs USA Telemundo, CONCACAF, UniversalSports.

Independence add Chalupny, Cheney rumored

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Independence

On Wednesday, the Independence finally made official what has been rumored for weeks, that former Atlanta Beat midfielder/striker Lori Chalupny has signed with the team. Chalupny is a former USWNT player who has been capped over 90 times for the senior squad.

Le Toux update, Okugo among the best, USWNT Olympic campaign begins, more news

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Philadelphia Union

Sky Sports reports that Bolton manager Owen Coyle "claims no decision has been taken as yet regarding a permanent deal" for Sebastien Le Toux.

Jonathan Tannenwald tweets, "A Union source says the team 'would not use Tim Ream as a benchmark' in any negotiations over Le Toux regarding transfer fee.

Buy low, sell high: The Sebastien Le Toux story

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Buy low, sell high. It might be the oldest rule in business.

So if Philadelphia Union was ever going to sell Sebastien Le Toux, now's the time.

At 28, Le Toux is in his prime. He may never be worth more than he is right now.

Bolton has never needed to buy good players for bargain prices more than right now, as they desperately try to avoid a relegation that could devastate the club financially.

Buy low, sell high: The Sebastian Le Toux story

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Buy low, sell high. It might be the oldest rule in business.

So if Philadelphia Union was ever going to sell Sebastien Le Toux, now's the time.

At 28, Le Toux is in his prime. He may never be worth more than he is right now.

Bolton has never needed to buy good players for bargain prices more than right now, as they desperately try to avoid a relegation that could devastate the club financially.

Four under 22: The Union strikeforce?

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Pauno is gone. That much we know. Le Toux's status? Training with Bolton with the potential of a deal. Basically, completely up in the air. That makes this as good as any to look at the four strikers who will be battling to win playing time throughout 2012.

Bolton confirms Le Toux on trial. WPS suit dropped. More news.

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Bolton manager Owen Coyle confirms Sebastien Le Toux is trialing with the Premiership club. "We have received good reports about Sebastian, so we thought we would give him an opportunity to come into the group," Coyle told the Daily Mirror. "He will train with us for a week and we will see where we are after that.

Vejlko Paunovic Announces Retirement

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Photo: Nate Monahan

The Philadelphia Union announced today that 34-year-old Serbian striker Veljko Paunovic has called an end to his 16 year professional career.

In the press release from the Union announcing his retirement, Paunovic praised both the Union fans and the Union organization.

Sebastien Le Toux on verge of Bolton transfer

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Fox Soccer is reporting that Union striker/top scorer/face-of-the-franchise/fan-favorite Sebastien Le Toux began training with the English Premier League's Bolton Wanderers ahead of a transfer that will be completed by the end of the week.

As of 12:40 PM, no sources have confirmed this news.

Danny Mwanga: If you shoot, the goals will come

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As we enter the 2012 season, there are many questions surrounding the Union, but one of the biggest is what to make of our young striker, Danny Mwanga.

After a fantastic rookie year, Mwanga seemed to regress in 2011. He started fewer games and scored fewer goals than he did his rookie year, and his appearances were inconsistent: during some games he looked like an absolute world-beater, while more often he was anonymous.

Union decline options on Houapeu, Langley, Richter and Tait‏

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday morning that they have declined the contract options on Levi Houapeu, Morgan Langley, Ryan Richter and Joe Tait.

The release of Levi Houapeu and Joe Tait frees up two international spots on the Union roster, a key concern with the recent offseason signings of Gabriel Gomez, Nizar Khalfan, Porfirio Lopez, and Josué Martinez.

JackMac levels for US U-23s. Draft reaction. Findley howler. More.

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Jack McInerney scored in the US U-23 team's 1–1 draw with the USMNT. McInerney, Amobi Okugo, and Freddy Adu started the first half. Zac MacMath and Sheanon Williams started the second half.

John Hackworth says of Tom Brandt, the Union's first pick in the Supplemental Draft, "We wanted to get a quality player in the back and we feel like we did that with Tom Brandt.

2012 Supplemental Draft

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The Philadelphia Union's used their first pick, 13th overall, in the first round of the 2012 Supplemental draft to selected defender Tom Brandt (University of Pennsylvania). With their second pick the Union selected forward Krystian Witkowski from Marist College

Round 1 Pick # MLS team Player Position Affiliation 1 Montreal Impact  Evan James  MF  UNC-Charlotte 2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC  Gienir Garcia  D  Cruz Azul 3 New England Revolution  Dawyne Smith  MF  Bethel University 4 Toronto FC  Michael Green  MF  New Mexico 5 Chivas USA1  RJ Allen  D  Monmouth 6 Real Salt Lake2  Andy Rose  MF  UCLA 7 Houston Dynamo3  Brian Ownby  F  Virginia 8 Portland Timbers  Ryan Kowaluk  MF  Univ.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Chandler Hoffman

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Photo: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

Joining KYW's Greg Orlandini and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch on the latest edition of the Philly Soccer Show podcast is Philadelphia Union first round draft pick Chandler Hoffman.

The UCLA/Generation adidas forward scored 18 goals in 24 games during his last season with the Bruins, and hopes to bring that scoring touch to PPL Park.

10 Union Questions for 2012 – Part II

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

With the SuperDraft behind us, thoughts now turn to the nitty-gritty of the 2012 Union season. Naturally, questions arise. Over a two-part series we pose ten questions to our Union beat reporter, Eli Pearlman-Storch, which began with a look formation, roster depth and leadership roles within the starting XI in Part 1.

Supplemental draft news, USMNT scrimmage highlights, more

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Supplemental Draft

The MLS Supplemental Draft takes place at 2pm ET today. There is plenty of talent available this year since the SuperDraft was shortened to two rounds. The Union have the 13th selection.

Local club Reading United AC have five players near the top of the Supplemental Draft class:Â UPenn midfielder Christian Barreiro, Delaware winger Evans Frimpong, Virginia forward Brian Ownby, West Virginia defender Eric Schoenle and Creighton keeper Brian Holt.

Marfan update. Adu & Okugo do well in U-23 loss. “Multiple” Indy games at PPL expected. More news.

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Featured image: Nicolae Stoian

The next edition of the Philly Soccer Show podcast, scheduled to be recorded tonight, will feature USMNT U-23 coach Caleb Porter and the Philadelphia Union's top pick in Thursday's SuperDraft, Chandler Hoffman.

Philadelphia Union

Sunderland blog the Roker Report tells fellow SB Nation affiliate the Brotherly Game that team manager Martin O'Neill responded to a reporter's question about rumors of a possible Michael Farfan loan by saying people should not read too much "into these things.

The Pine Barrens League, part 7: Fishtown Hipsters

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Fishtown Hipsters, kicking in the balls. I have to give it to the Russians, they know how to make surprise moves, even Bobby Fischer wouldn't have seen this one coming. We all were anticipating a team of skilled bullies in order to break us physically, to get at least one of us hurt. Instead they went the other way.

10 questions for the 2012 Union: Part I

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

With the SuperDraft behind us, thoughts now turn to the nitty-gritty of the 2012 Union season. Naturally, questions arise. Over a two-part series we pose ten questions to our Union beat reporter, Eli Pearlman-Storch, beginning in part 1 with a focus on formation, roster depth and leadership roles within the starting XI.

Independence Add Depth with Great Draft

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cover image courtesy of Philadelphia Independence

Paul Riley and the Philadelphia Independence seemingly got everything they wanted in Friday's WPS Draft. When I spoke to the coach on Wednesday, he said they would be looking for a striker, some defensive depth and a goalkeeper, and in their six picks, the Independence added three strikers, two defenders, and a goalkeeper.

Independence pick 6, more news

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The Philadelphia Independence drafted six players in Friday's WPS draft, with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee forward Sarah Hagen being the top pick. The big question is whether they'll get her to move over from Bayern Munich, where she's under contract.

The Independence then took UC-Irvine defender CoCo Goodson and Florida State defender Toni Pressley in the second round, Santa Clara goalkeeper Bianca Henninger and Portland forward Danielle Foxhoven in the third, and Maryland forward Jasmyne Spencer in the fourth round.

Footy on the Telly, Jan. 13 – Jan. 16

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Friday, January 13
9:10pm Estudiantes Tecos vs San Luis Galavision
9:30pm Correcaminos UAT vs La Piedad GolTV

Saturday, January 14
10am Aston Villa vs Everton foxsoccer.tv
10am Blackburn Rovers vs Fulham foxoccer.tv
10am Chelsea vs Sunderland Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Deportes
10am Liverpool vs Stoke City Fox Soccer Plus, foxsoccer.

Independence look to add striker, goalkeeper in Draft

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Now that we've got the men out of the way, it's the women's turn on Friday. The WPS Draft continues an exciting week of soccer from Kansas City as the Independence look to bolster their squad moving into 2012.

In speaking with Philadelphia coach Paul Riley this week, it appears the entire starting XI from last season's WPS Final will be returning to Philadelphia.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: The Draft Edition

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Photo: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

It's the MLS Superdraft/WPS Draft edition of the KYW Philly Soccer Show!

In part one, KYW's Greg Orlandini, along with Philly Soccer Page writers Eli Pearlman-Storch and Mike Servedio, are joined by Philadelphia Daily News writer Kerith Gabriel from the SuperDraft in Kansas City to discuss the Philadelphia Union's newest members, forward Chandler Hoffman, midfielder Greg Jordan, and defender Raymon Gaddis.

Union not shopping Mwanga. SuperDraft reaction. WPS Draft today. More news.

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Philadelphia Union

Are the Union shopping Danny Mwanga, as was reported by Ives Galarcep on Wednesday? "For the record we are not shopping Danny Mwanga," Diego Gutierrez tells Kerith Gabriel. "A lot of teams are finding themselves in a tough spot in the market and are looking within the league to supplement.

Draft reaction: Union do it again

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Philadelphia Union have figured out the formula to the MLS amateur draft:

Be patient, wait for other teams to screw up, and draft the best player available. When in doubt late, take a guy who played for Reading United.

The Union did it again this year, so let's talk about it with the proverbial Five Observations About .

Union SuperDraft picks

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Click here to view the embedded video.

With the 13th pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, the Philadelphia Union selected UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman. The Hoff had 29 goals and 9 assists in three collegiate seasons, including an astounding 18 goals and 6 assists in 2011.

An impressive combine performance didn't help Hoffman, who dropped much further than expected.

Complete SuperDraft 2012 coverage

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PSP will be updating this page with each team's pick as they happen in today's SuperDraft. Page will auto-refresh every 2 minutes with updates.Â

Check out PSP's pre-draft coverage examining possible Union selections and local players in this year's SuperDraft.

Round 1 Pick # MLS team Player Position College 1 Montreal Impact 2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3 New England Revolution 4 Toronto FC 5 Chivas USA 6 San Jose Earthquakes 7 D.

Farrelly re-signs, Lenczyk signs, Riley talks Independence roster

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Photo: Michael Long

Midfielder Sinead Farrelly has officially agreed to terms to return to the Philadelphia Independence for the 2012 season. Farrelly was a standout at the University of Virginia where she was a second team All-American and a Hermann Trophy finalist.  The Havertown-native was Philadelphia's first pick (second overall) in last season's draft.

Farfan training stint with Sunderland confirmed

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

In a conference call on Wednesday, Union assistant coach John Hackworth confirmed that Michael Farfan is in northern England training with English Premier League club Sunderland. "But with Michael, he's there because he wanted to make himself fully prepared and ready, he wanted to go experience it and make sure he's ready for preseason," Hackworth said.

Shopping Mwanga? Union’s approach. Final mocks. Open Cup changes. More news.

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Featured image: Nicolae Stoian

We'll have updates of today's SuperDraft throughout the day as well as reaction to the Union's selection. On to the news...

Philadelphia Union

Ives Galarcep's mock draft at Fox Soccer has this to say: "The Union are believed to be shopping forward Danny Mwanga, and even with the recent addition of young Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez, Philadelphia can use some depth up top.

The Union’s approach to today’s Super Draft

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Philadelphia Union assistant coach John Hackworth spoke to reporters via conference call on Wednesday night ahead of today's SuperDraft. He discussed the Union's approach to the Players Combine, the possibility of trades, particularly for an international spot, and how the Union are in a different position going into the 2012 SuperDraft compared to 2010 and 2011.

Who’s gonna drive this team?!?

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Freddy Adu spoke to Arch Bell of ESPN.com and, in a column published Monday, expressed an interest in returning to Europe immediately.

The money quote from Adu is here: "It would be an amazing opportunity to be able to stay here at Rayo [Vallecano]."

"I definitely miss playing in Europe," Adu continued, "I always said that when I went back to MLS, I wanted stability, and that I wouldn't go back until I could play for a top-five league.

SuperDraft what, who and why: Possible Union selections

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The MLS SuperDraft is Thursday, January 12 at 12pm ET (ESPN2, ESPN3). The Philadelphia Union have the 13th, 32nd and 35th picks this year, and nobody knows what the team will do. PSP runs down some of the options.

Tony Cascio

What: Winger

Why: Some experts believe the Union will look to solidify their wing play by adding a player like UConn's Tony Cascio.

Marfan to train with Sunderland? Additional troubles for WPS. More news.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Tweet from SBI: "I'm told Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan will be heading to England for a training stint with Premier League side Sunderland." As of this writing, we are waiting for confirmation from the Union about this report.

Insert Adu wordplay here, All-Star update, SuperDraft news

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Happy birthday, Seba! The Flyin' Frenchman is 28 today. Did you know he's the only remaining member of the '09 expansion draft class?

The Brotherly Game says an anonymous league source claims the 2012 MLS All-Star game will be in Philly or Kansas City. Yesterday, Broad Street Hooligans announced that a source within the Union had illegally discovered that the 2012 MLS All-Star game would be in Philly.

Buy local: Local players draw MLS eyes in draft

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Featured image courtesy of Reading United A.C.

When Major League Soccer teams make their draft picks in Thursday's amateur draft, several players with local ties are sure to go off the board. You may not have three former Reading United players go off the board in the first round, as happened last year when that burgeoning soccer factory churned out C.

The Pine Barrens League, part 6: the battle against The Donovans

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While we were waiting for the van Win had to get something off his chest. "Listen," he said with gravity, "the money is getting huge now. What I want you to know is that, after every game' we can decide to quit and take the money. Or we can continue to the next game, thereby risking losing it all.

MLS All-Star game in Philly?-Not so fast says DN. More news.

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Broad Street Hooligans says they have "a few connections who work down at PPL" and that these connections "may have accidentally overheard their bosses super-secret text messages" to the effect that Philadelphia will host the 2012 MLS All-Star Game.

Wenger wins Hermann, 5 Union players in U-23 camp, more news

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Photo courtesy of Duke University

Pennsylvania native Andrew Wenger won the Hermann Trophy Friday as the best player in men's college soccer. The former Reading United and Duke University star is expected to be a top-3 pick in this month's MLS college draft. Stanford's Teresa Noyola won the women's award.

Season review: Peter Nowak

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Editor's note: At the end of the 2010 season, we posted a series of season reviews of every Philadelphia Union player. Over the past several weeks PSP continued with a review of the 2011 season. We conclude with a review of Peter Nowak's 2011 season.

IS IT SOCCER SEASON YET?

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

With the release of the Union's 2012 regular season schedule, I, along with my colleagues at the PSP, am buzzing about the prospects of the new season. Just 66 more days (stupid leap year) until the Union take the pitch in Portland to get Year Three underway. In the meantime, now that MLS has thrown out last year's balanced schedule (take that purists) we have plenty to talk about with respect to the construction of the 2012 Union schedule.

Moaning about the unbalanced schedule

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Sounder at Heart reacted immediately yesterday to the MLS schedule announcement, posting an analysis of strength of schedule. They did a great job collecting the data, and concluded that "Seattle's getting it about as good as you can get it in the West, but of course the league bends over backwards for the Galaxy once again.

Reaction to schedule, More Adu, Indy’s plans, Henry loan official, more news

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Reaction to the release of the 2012 schedule:

The Goalkeeper notes that the Union is hosting New York and DC twice. "This strikes me as unfair from a competitive balance standpoint...As such, it would seem to me to make more sense to have each team host one team once and one team twice.

Footy on the Telly, Jan. 6-Jan. 9

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Friday, January 6
8pm Altamira vs Toros Neza Gol TV

Saturday, January 7
7:30am Birmingham City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Fox Soccer Plus, foxsoccer.tv
10am Fleetwood Town vs Blackpool Fox Soccer Plus, foxsoccer.tv
10am Swindon Town vs Wigan Athletic foxsoccer.

2012 Philadelphia Union schedule released

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The 2012 Philadelphia Union schedule was released on Thursday afternoon. After opening the season in Portland on Monday, March 12 at 9:30pm, the team will open at home against Colorado on Sunday, March 18 at 4pm.

The Union will finish the season hosting New York on Saturday, Oct. 27.

In the Eastern conference, the Union will play New York, DC, New England and Columbus at home twice and once on the road.

Union schedule to be released today, Kai re-signs with Indys, more news

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

MLS is scheduled to release the 2012 schedule today at 2pm. We'll post the Union schedule as soon as it is available.

Who will the Union play in their home opener? After using some logic based on what schedule details are already known (the Union open the season at Portland on March 12, play in Chicago on March 24, play in Toronto on May 26 and September 15 while playing host to Toronto on July 7), The Goalkeeper writes, "I would not be surprised if it is against the New York Red Bulls, the Houston Dynamo or David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy.

Season Review: Roger Torres

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Editor's note: At the end of the 2010 season, we posted a series of season reviews of every Philadelphia Union player. Over the next several weeks PSP continues with a review of the 2011 season.

When Roger Torres joined the Union at the young age of 18 he was an exceedingly raw talent.

Bethlehem Steel FC in Scandinavia, 1919

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Featured image: Courtesy of Dan Morrison and bethlehemsteelsoccer.org

Against the expectation of many in the US, the United States Football Association's first international tour in Scandinavia in the summer of 1916 had been a great success. The cash-strapped USFA had come out of the trip in the black—the Swedish FA had paid for the tour thanks to the backing of a leading Swedish newspaper—and the team had performed well to garner a 3–1–2 record despite having been put together only days before departure to Europe without the benefit of tryouts.

TFC 2012 MLS schedule leaked. Okugo praise. Players Combine live. More.

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

A leaked copy of Toronto FC's 2012 schedule obtained by Canadian Soccer News shows the Union traveling to BMO Field on May 26 and Sept. 15, with the Canadian team at PPL Park on July 7. This unbalanced schedule thing is gonna take some getting used to.

Pfeffer to U-18s, Sak on starting the U, Dragon on NBC

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Union

Nick Sakiewicz tells the DelCo Times about starting the Philadelphia Union and how he financed the first four months of operation on his AmEx. Yikes.

The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association will hand out a Special Achievement Award to Seba Le Toux at the end of January.

Season review: Freddy Adu

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Editor's note: At the end of the 2010 season, we posted a series of season reviews of every Philadelphia Union player. Over the next several weeks PSP continues with a review of the 2011 season.

The Freddy Adu redemption narrative began this year the same way such stories typically begin: At rock bottom.

Season review: Michael “Marfan” Farfan

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Editor's note: At the end of the 2010 season, we posted a series of season reviews of every Philadelphia Union player. Over the next several weeks PSP continues with a review of the 2011 season.

Scouts spend all year watching college players on the field, then they show up at the January combine and throw it all out the window.

Kicking in the New Year, 70 days until first kick, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Happy New Year from all of us at the Philly Soccer Page. The Union's first kick is only 70 days away.

Some New Year Tweets

Philadelphia Union: Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for a memorable 2011...see you in 2012! #DOOP

Philadelphia Independence: Have a safe and wonderful New Year Independence fans, WPS fans, Soccer fans!

The Pine Barrens League, part 5: Catenaccio!

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I'm not going to bother you with my personal issues this time (it's going to be couples therapy), but my God, what a game.

I told you last week we were at that school, right? Last Saturday we were using that same field, but now there were at least a thousand people, maybe more. Everybody was dressed up to go to a fancy AC New Years Party, there was a great atmosphere.