The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2012

In pictures: Ghana 1-1 Chile at PPL Park

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PSP photographer Paul Rudderow was on hand for rain soaked Wednesday night's 1–1 draw between Ghana Football Association and Federacion de Futbol de Chile at PPL Park. Here's a look at what he saw.

The opening handshake

The Ghana starters

The Chile starters

Pile up at midfield

Dominic Oduro holds off Lucas Dominguez

Shelly Ali Muntari takes the leg from under Alexis Sanchez

Luis Casanova holds off Jonathan Mensah

Jonathan Mensah turns between Gary Medel and Jose Rojas

Matias Fernandez moving up field

Matias Fernandez backheels to Humberto Suazo

Junior Fernandes gets up first

Marcelo Diaz slide tackles Andre Ayew

Happy Chile fans

Derek Owusu Boateng takes on Jose Rojas and Osvaldo Gonzalez

Derek Owusu Boateng walks over Marcelo Diaz

Anthony Annan stretches for the ball

Daniel Agyei moving up field

Alexis Sanchez goes up for a header

U-23 Match report: USA 2-0 Mexico

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Photo: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

For nearly 45 minutes, the United States under-23 national team forgot who they were.

US soccer has been making up for a shortage of on-the-ball talent by developing tough, athletic, and hard-working players for a long, long time. The defining moment of the 2010 World Cup was Landon Donovan's lung-bursting downfield run to score the winner over Algeria.

USA! USA! USA! Union previews, more

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USA! USA! USA!

It started with the USWNT's 5–0 demolition of Denmark in their opening game in the Algarve Cup. It continued with the USMNT's historic 1–0 win over Italy in Italy. It ended with the USMNT U-23s convincing 2–0 win over Mexico's U-23s. Three-for-three with three shutouts in one day—surely that's never happened before in US Soccer.

Ghana 1 – 1 Chile: Match journal

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Because Wednesday night's Ghana v Chile friendly at PPL Park was not televised, we thought we'd try something other than a traditional match report to give you a better sense of the game, something more along the lines of a live chat.

6:20pm: Welcome to PPL Park on a cold and blustery Wednesday evening for tonight's friendly between Ghana and Chile.

10 Union players with the most to prove in 2012

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

It's 2012 and the Union have gotten younger and more inexperienced at the MLS level. That is not to say that they are any less talented. If anything, they've taken strides to be a deeper, more tactically savvy squad. But with so many variables left unknown due to youth, a midseason international tournament, and a still evolving system, PSP looks at the 10 players who have the most to prove in 2012 if the Union are to meet, and hopefully surpass, they're 2011 finish.

Union tops CR U-20s, USA! USA!, Ghana v Chile at PPL, more

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Photo: Courtesy of Federacion Costarricense de Futbol

Philadelphia Union

The Union topped the Costa Rica U-20 squad 3–0 with goals from Chandler Hoffman, Roger Torres and Antoine Hoppenot. A report on the Costa Rica Football Federation website says that in the second half "Philadelphia changed the whole team.

Rivalry U: Who will put in a 2012 application?

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Some rivalries are natural: Geography, time or success push two franchises and fan bases up against each other like tectonic plates.

Portland and Vancouver could have been 3000 miles apart when they were awarded MLS franchises for the 2011 season and there still would be a rivalry there.

Put a snake on it!

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In Portland, you can put a bird on something and call it art.

We do things a little differently here in Philadelphia.

With the season opener against Portland Timbers just around the corner, we'd like to invite Philadelphia Union fans to "Put a snake on it!"

Here's what you do.

Happy birthday to the U, USA v Italy previews, more news

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

This day in history, February 28, 2008: MLS announces Philadelphia will join the league as its 16th franchise in the 2010 season. (Not sure if this counts as a birthday, but it makes for a nice headline. More importantly, it's just a great day to remember.

Union drop first match in Costa Rica, Liverpool win something, more news

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Photo: Courtesy of al Dia

Philadelphia Union

The Union played Costa Rica Primera Division-leading Municipal Perez Zeledon on Sunday, losing 1–0. With no news about the game yet forthcoming from the Union, so far the only information that can be learned is from an article from Costa Rican news site al Dia that is actually about the friendship between Josue Martinez and Porfirio Lopez, and a very grainy 59 second video clip posted on YouTube attributed to Costa Rican soccer website Everardo Herrera.

Forget the Oscars, it’s Uni time!

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Ah, awards season. The Golden Globes! The Grammys! The Oscars! The Unis!

Yes, it's the Unis. So don your powder blue tuxes while I, Mr. Tim Carr, the host and award presenter, do a cheesy lounge musical medley of "I'm looking over a four leaf clover," "Union Man," and "Doop," then hand out arguably the most important trophies on Earth: the Unis.

Camden Youth soccer, Ghana witchcraft, Langley to H’burg

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Union

Read Ed's piece on Camden Youth Soccer Club's stolen goals. Do it now. (please)

The700Level wonders whether any of the Union's announcements at their recent town hall meeting will win back fans who were put off by the Sebastien Le Toux saga.

The team for Ghana's friendly against Chile at PPL Park will arrive on Monday, February 27.

Help Camden Youth Soccer Club

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PSP readers will be familiar with Camden Youth Soccer Club from the photo essay and Q&A we did with one of the club's coaches, Barry Evans, last fall. CYSC is a volunteer-run urban soccer program that uses soccer as a way to teach healthy exercise and the benefits of teamwork.

As CYSC volunteer Gerald van Wilgen explains, "CYSC has been organizing a recreational non-competive program in the spring and fall of every year for almost ten years.

News from Union town hall meeting, Nowak on CR, more

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File photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

On Thursday night, the Union held a town hall meeting with invited season ticket holders among the top 100 loyalty reward accounts. The discussion featured Nick Sakiewicz, Dave Rowan and Bob Rigby. Based on information from season ticket holders who were in attendance, as well as tweets from Union fan extraordinaire BarbCV from the event, here are some of the topics that were discussed:

  • The Union is very sound financially with a very healthy coffer for improving existing player contracts and new player acquisition.

Footy on the Telly, Feb. 24 – 29

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Friday, February 24
12pm Union Berlin vs 1860 München My Sports Germany
12pm Dynamo Dresden vs MSV Duisburg My Sports Germany
12pm Hansa Rostock vs Ingolstadt My Sports Germany
2pm RKC Waalwijk vs Vitesse Eredivisie.tv
2:30pm Borussia M'gladbach vs Hamburger SV GolTV, My Sports Germany
3:15pm Maritimo Funchal vs Uniao Leiria Sport TV Americas
7:30pm Jamaica vs Cuba FIFA.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Scoping out the Union’s 2012 season

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Your co-hosts, KYW's Greg Orlandini and PSPs Eli Pearlman-Storch, are joined by PSP writer Adam Cann in the latest installment of the Philly Soccer Show podcast.

In part one, the Greg and Adam talk to Eli about how the Union looked in their preseason friendly with Orlando City.

USA v Italy roster released

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has announced his 21-player roster for the upcoming friendly against Italy. The match will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 29 in Genoa and will be broadcast live by ESPN2, ESPN3 and Galavision from 2:45pm.

Thirteen players return from the group that defeated Slovenia 3–2 on Nov.

The “champions of the West” come to Philly

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When Tacony FC traveled to St. Louis in December of 1911 in one of the first tours pitting the largely immigrant-based East Coast teams against the largely native-born teams from the West, they had lost only three games in two years. The confidence they felt on departure proved to be premature and they returned to Philadelphia with a 4–4 draw against St.

Nowak pleased with preseason, the Williams deal, Okugo & Adu in US U-23 win, more news

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Peter Nowak says, "I think we have been working on some really good stuff in Florida. Now it's just a matter of improving. Now it's working on fitness, formations and getting guys ready for the season. Because of the Olympic qualifiers, it's kind of hard to determine what our set lineup with will be.

Union waive Nizar Khalfan

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Photo: Nizar Khalfan

Philadelphia Union waived midfielder Nizar Khalfan just days after he sat out the club's preseason friendly in Orlando.

Khalfan, 23, joined the Union via the MLS waiver draft in November after Vancouver let him go following a 2011 season in which he recorded one goal and four assists in 22 games.

Union preseason fan weekend in pictures

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Philadelphia Union fans traveled to Orlando last weekend to see the team play Orlando City SC and to participate in the club's first preseason Fan Weekend. In addition to the game, the weekend's events included meet & greet sessions with the players, a chalk talk and open practice, all capped off by a barbecue attended by the fans and players.

Williams signs new contract with the Union

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday that they have signed Sheanon Williams to a new contract. Per club and League policy, terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Peter Nowak said in a press conference following the departure of Sebastien Le Toux that money from that deal would be used to improve the contracts of players already on the roster

We have a couple of guys on the roster for whom we want to improve their contracts, because they still have contracts from past years and they are not financially strong, but they contribute to the team.

Costa Rica sched, Hernandez rumors, more news

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Union

The Philadelphia Union are only making a brief stop in town before heading off to San Jose, Costa Rica for three games in five days. On February 26, Philly throws down with Costa Rican league leaders Municipal Perez Zeledon. 22 goals in nine games will make for a nice test for the Union back line.

Union sign Jordan, Gaddis, Witkowski, Hoppenot & Harrison

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday the signing of the remaining draft picks in camp—Greg Jordan, Raymon Gaddis, Krystian Witkowski and Antoine Hoppenot—and goalkeeper Chase Harrison.

Jordan and Gaddis were selected by the Union in January's SuperDraft, with Jordan being selected 32nd over all Gaddis 35th overall.

Union 1 – 1 Orlando: Second half player ratings & analysis

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Given the erratic nature of the preseason, we have elected to invert our usual post-match format and lead with player ratings. Preseason games are opportunities for positional and tactical experimentation, and so individual player performances become the most important factor in the evaluation of the team as they build towards the regular season.

Union 1-1 Orlando: 1st half player ratings & analysis

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Given the erratic nature of the preseason, we have elected to invert our usual post-match format and lead with player ratings. Preseason games are opportunities for positional and tactical experimentation, and so individual player performances become the most important factor in the evaluation of the team as they build towards the regular season.

Union v. Orlando City in pictures

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PSP photographer Earl Gardner was on hand to photograph the Philadelphia Union as they played Orlando City in last Saturday's preseason friendly. Look for more photo's from the fan weekend on Wednesday.

Visual confirmation: Keon Daniel has been freed...

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More from Orlando, Reserve League schedule released, WPS news, more

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Look for player ratings, analysis and a photo essay from the weekend's 1–1 draw with Orlando City later today.

More local reports on the daraw from Reeves' Army, a photo essay from knightnews.com, and this TV report from wftv.com 9.

Nizar Khalfan has been called up for the Tanzanian National Team's friendly against Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday ahead of Tanzania's 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique on Feb.

Union’s 2012 Reserve League schedule released

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Photo: Earl Gardner

MLS released the Reserve League schedule on Monday. The schedule for the Philadelphia Union is as follows:

April 9 New England Revolution (10am, Chester Park)
April 11 Toronto FC (TBD)
April 15 Columbus Crew (6pm, Chester Park)
May 14 NY Red Bulls (10am, Chester Park)
May 26 at Toronto FC (6:30pm, BMO Field)
June 19 DC United (4pm, Chester Park)
July 10 at DC United (4pm, DCU training field)
July 21 at New York Red Bulls (5pm, Montclair St.

“Work in progress.” Video highlights & reaction from Orlando, more news

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Philadelphia Union

PSP was fortunate to travel to Orlando last weekend to cover the preseason friendly against Orlando City and accompanying Fan Weekend events organized by the club. Check out our match report from Eli Pearlman-Storch of the game and look for his player ratings from the game. Photo essays of the game and fan events from Earl Gardner are to follow.

Philadelphia Union 1 – 1 Orlando City Lions: Match Report

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Look for player ratings and photo essays of both the game and the fan weekend over the next couple of days.

On an overcast evening in Central Florida, the Union battled to 1–1 draw with the 2011 USL Champion Orlando City Lions at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Ghana-Chile at PPL, Union friendly tonight, more news

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PPL Park will host an international friendly between Ghana and Chile on Feb 29, in  a match showing two teams that played in the 2010 World Cup. Ticket prices range from $40 to $150. It's the first match between two international teams at PPL Park that doesn't feature a U.S. national team. The 29th is an international fixture date, which means professional clubs are likely to release their players for the game, so rosters could include such stars as Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Michael Essien of Chelsea.

PSP live from Orlando

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Join PSP as the Philadelphia Union take on Orlando City SC on Saturday, February 18 when we'll be chatting live from the Florida direct from the Citrus Bowl. The chat starts at 7pm.

Follow PSP on Twitter at @phillysoccerpg for updates from Orlando all weekend.

Philly team in WPSL Elite League

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A Paul Riley-led New York Fury will not be participating in the new WPSL Elite League but a Philadelphia Fever will be.

And no, they aren't the old indoor team from the late 1970s, early 1980s.

On Friday, Atlantic Soccer Factory announced that a new Philadelphia Fever women's team would be joining the WPSL Elite League for the 2012 season.

Okugo chat, Mwanga to “bring danger”, 3 on Olympic friendly squad

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Photo by Earl Gardner

Union

Amobi Okugo will join The Goaltender today for a live Q&A session. Make sure to tune in and ask Amobi if Michael Essien can save Chelsea's season.

Speaking of Amobi Okugo, he's joining 22 other players including F'Adu and Mac Attack who have been called up ahead of a February 29 friendly against Mexico.

Footy on the Telly, Feb. 17 – Feb. 23

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Friday, Feb. 17
12pm Karlsruher SC vs Energie Cottbus My Sports Germany
12pm MSV Duisburg vs St. Pauli My Sports Germany
12pm Paderborn vs Dynamo Dresden My Sports Germany
2pm Heerenveen vs NAC Breda Eredivisie.tv
2:30pm Hoffenheim vs Mainz 05 My Sports Germany
2:45pm Internazionale vs Bologna FSC, Fox Deportes, ESPN3 USA, Fox Soccer 2Go
2:45pm Fiorentina vs Napoli ESPN3
3pm Reading vs Burnley Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
8pm Junior vs Deportivo Cali TV Colombia

Saturday, Feb.

PSP live from Orlando

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Join PSP as the Philadelphia Union take on Orlando City SC on Saturday, February 18 when we'll be chatting live from the Florida direct from the Citrus Bowl. The chat starts at 7pm.

Follow PSP on Twitter at @phillysoccerpg for updates from Orlando all weekend.

Philadelphia Union at Orlando City SC

4-4-2: The olde standard

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Following last week's discussion of the merits of the 4-3-3, PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch outlines the traditional 4–4–2 as it would work for the Union in 2012 in the second of a three-part series.

With the continuing turnover in the roster, the 2012 Philadelphia Union must find consistency on the pitch in order to prove that last year's playoff appearance was no fluke.

Agent: Witkowski signs with the Union

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Philipakos tweeted this photo with his announcement that Witkowski had signed.

Supplemental Draft pick Krystian Witkowski has signed with the Philadelphia Union according to a tweet by agent Ted Philipakos. As of this writing no confirmation has been received from the Union.

The Union selected Witkowski with their second pick of the 2012 Supplemental Draft.

News from Union’s 5-0 win over UCF, more

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

A few minutes before the Union was to play University of Central Florida in a scrimmage on Wednesday, a message appeared on the club's Twitter account indicating that goal updates would be tweeted. A few minutes after that, the tweet was removed.

Update: Riley-led team in Elite Division, Pro Supergroup, Sounders Solo

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Philadelphia Independence head coach Paul Riley has decided that he will not field a New York Fury team in the new WPSL Elite Division.

Riley told Big Apple Soccer via email, "Decided not to put NY Fury into Elite part of WPSL. Not enough time to get housing, facilities etc all sorted out."

Riley is director of football for the Fury, which already has two WPSL teams, when he is not coaching the Independence.

1911 “soccer championship of America”: Tacony FC in St. Louis

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The Bethlehem Steel FC tour to St. Louis in December of 1916 for the unofficial title of "Champions of America" was not the first time a Philadelphia-area team had made a trip out West. Five years before, Tacony FC, the winners of the American Football Association's American Cup tournament in 1910 and a semifinalist in the tournament in 1911, had made the same trip in what would be the first of a series of exhibition matches between St.

Albright reactions, women’s game, soccer and stocks

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Union/MLS

Everybody reacts to the Chris Albright signing. Albright himself says, "For me growing up in Philadelphia and loving the game and playing it all over the area, to have a cathedral for soccer in Philly, it's special."

CSN Philly: "This was definitely my first choice," said Albright.

WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc on Raymon Gaddis

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West Virginia head coach Marlon LeBlanc spoke to The Philly Soccer Page about coaching Raymon Gaddis for the past four years. With 2012 Olympic qualifying running from March 22 April 2 and Sheanon Williams in the middle of the national team's plans, there is a good chance Peter Nowak will scratch Gaddis' name on the lineup card sooner rather than later.

Marfan on England, Riley says no on Elite Division, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Michael Farfan talks about his training stint with Sunderland, most of which was spent with the Sunderland reserves. "I don't think it was any change of play compared to here," Marfan says. "It was a good level and I held my own.

Marfan says players were interested to learn more about MLS.

Union sign Chris Albright

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Image courtesy of Empire Supporters Club

The Philadelphia Union announced on Monday the signing of defender Chris Albright.

The Philadelphia native, a product of Penn Charter and FC Delco, has played in MLS for 13 years, beginning with DC United where he started his career as a forward.

Does Zac MacMath = Chris Seitz?

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Photo: Earl Gardner/Daniel Gajdamowicz

This might sound familiar.

Going into opening day, Philadelphia Union's presumptive starting goalkeeper is a former University of Maryland All-American, U.S. youth international and top five draft pick. He was coached by Union goalkeeper coach Rob Vartughian in college and apprenticed to a top veteran goalkeeper in the pros.

Oranges from Florida, Slim pickings for WPS players in Europe, Suarez fallout, more news

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Philadelphia Union

With no news from the Union, or anywhere else I can find, on the team's draw with Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday other than this tweet, our featured image today is of a crate of oranges. No information about lineups, formations, who stood out, no photos, nothing. Meanwhile the Internet is littered with reports, video, analysis of the preseason games of other MLS teams.

No Indy in new league, but could some Indy’s play?

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Those looking for hopeful news about women's professional soccer in the US may have been heartened by the announcement on Thursday that Western New York Flash and Boston Breakers had officially committed to participate in the Women's Premier Soccer League's new Elite Division. As PSP wrote last Wednesday, WPSL president Jerry Zanelli had extended an offer to WPS teams to join the new league for the 2012 season so that players could maintain fitness and form while WPS worked on the business of re-launching the league in 2013.

Union draw, USWNT wins, more news

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Philadelphia Union drew 1-1 in a friendly against Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday. Carlos Valdes scored for the Union. So far, there's little info available on the game, so if you were there or have photos or more info, please share observations, links, etc. in the comments below.

For those of you wondering, FGCU made the NCAA tournament last year and will play Seattle next week.

MacMath has backing, new US youth plans, more

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Union

The Tweet of the Week comes from relationship guru Amobi Okugo: "Safehouse and the vow come out tomorrow ... Some people will have to compromise." Compromise movie idea: The Vowhouse. Denzel Washington vows to build a house for the love of his life. Then he roundhouse kicks everyone who comes into said house.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: The Union at training camp

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

After last week's tumultuous events concerning the departures of Sebastien Le Toux and Faryd Mondragon from the Philadelphia Union, and the cancellation of the WPS season, this week's installment of the Philly Soccer Show podcast slows down the pace with a look at the Union as they begin training camp in Orlando.

Footy on the Telly, Feb. 10 – 16

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Friday, February 10
2:30pm Wolfsburg vs Freiburg ESPN Deportes, ESPN3
3pm Spain vs USA (beach soccer) Fox Deportes
4pm El Salvador vs Mexico (beach soccer) Fox Deportes
7:15pm Boca Juniors vs Olimpo GolTV
7:15pm Lanús vs San Lorenzo TyCSports
8pm Atlético Nacional vs Boyacá Chicó TV Colombia
9:10pm Morelia vs Santos Laguna Fox Deportes, Azteca America
9:45pm Universidad Guadalajara vs León GolTV

Saturday, February 11
7:45pm Manchester United vs Liverpool ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3
9am Auxerre vs Lorient Fox Soccer 2Go
9am Evian TG vs Olympique Marseille Fox Soccer 2Go
9am Olympique Lyon vs Caen Fox Soccer 2Go
9am Montpellier vs Ajaccio Fox Soccer 2Go
9am Valenciennes vs Nancy Fox Soccer 2Go
9:30am Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen GolTV
9:30am Bayern München vs Kaiserslautern ESPN3
10am Everton vs Chelsea FSC, Fox Deportes
10am Sunderland vs Arsenal Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Blackburn Rovers vs Queens Park Rangers Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Bolton vs Wigan Athletic Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Fulham vs Stoke City Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Swansea City vs Norwich City Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Peterborough United vs West Ham United Fox Soccer 2Go
12pm Udinese vs Milan Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, RAI Internazionale, ESPN3, Fox Soccer 2Go
12pm Racing Santander vs Atlético Madrid ESPN3
12:20pm Blackpool vs Portsmouth Fox Soccer 2Go
12:30pm Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United FSC
1pm Brest vs Dijon Fox Soccer 2Go
2pm Osasuna vs Barcelona GolTV
2pm Ghana vs Mali (Africa Cup of Nations 3rd Place Match) Al Jazeera Sports USA
2pm Cobresal vs Colo Colo TV Chile
2:45pm Cagliari vs Palermo FSC, Fox Deportes, RAI Internazionale
3pm USA v New Zealand USsoccer.

On Lopez, new numbers, what the Indy’s are doing, more news

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Photo: Nick Waters

Philadelphia Union

Porfirio Lopez describes what he will bring to the Union: "Having a winning mentality is the most important thing in soccer. I'm going to try to bring my experiences and positive attitude into the group. Without a doubt, winning championships is the priority.

4-3-3. GO BIG or go home, take two.

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Photo:Â Daniel Gajdamowicz

With the signing of Lionard Pajoy, the Union may just be nearing the end of their offseason transactions (at least for outfield players). In a set of three installments, PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch outlines the most likely formations for the Union in 2012 and how the roster, as currently composed, is suited to play in each.

Nowak presser. Pajoy here, matey. More news

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Philadelphia Union

The Goalkeeper has a transcript of Wednesday's press conference with Peter Nowak. Among the highlights:

On Pajoy: "He's a guy who brings not only character but also a mentality to the game. He's very physical, and very fast as well. He can change the game, because he's a different option.

Union local TV schedule released

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Jonathan Tannenwald has released the Philadelphia Union's local TV broadcast schedule on his Goalkeeper blog ahead of the official release later this week.

Monday, March 12: at Portland Timbers, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sunday, March 18: vs. Colorado Rapids, 4:00 p.

Who’s this Konopka fellow?

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The Union confirmed on Wednesday through the team's Twitter account that Zac MacMath is joined in preseason training by Chase Harrison, who had temporarily joined the club late last season when Faryd Mondragon and Thorne Holder were both out with injuries before the club declined the option to sign him in November to make him available for the Re-Entry Draft.

Official: Union sign Lionard Pajoy

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Lionard Pajoy was having the best season of his career as a 30-year old in Colombia, and now the 6'1″ striker has a chance to build on his late blooming success as a member of the Philadelphia Union.

The team announced the signing of Pajoy (pronounced "Pa-hoy") from Colombian first division side Itagui Ditaires today.

Deals and no deals

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Before last week's announcement of the cancellation of the 2012 WPS season, it was widely reported that the league and magicJack owner Dan Borislow had reached an agreement to settle their ongoing legal battles that would involve his team playing a series of exhibition games against WPS teams.

While those reports made clear that any settlement was contingent upon the approval of US Soccer, it appears now that US Soccer and FIFA rules would have prohibited any exhibition games involving non-league magicJack playing WPS teams.

Freed Keon! Everybody’s happy! More news.

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

What a difference a week makes. The headline for last Tuesday's news roundup? "Saddest day for me:" Sebastien Le Toux confirmed he had been traded to Vancouver a day after Faryd Mondragon's return to Colombia was confirmed and WPS announced that it had cancelled the 2012 season.

The Snakes: Why not?

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So let's change the subject.

That's right. Today, we're not going to talk about how secretive the Philadelphia Union regime is, what the real numbers are on the books against the salary budget, how the club is going to score goals without Sebastien Le Toux, or the various things in life that the ever nebulous allocation money cannot buy you.

Tacony v Bethlehem for the 1914 American Cup

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Featured image: Courtesy Dan Morrison and bethlehemsteelsoccer.org

The 1913-14 season saw the launch of the National Challenge Cup, the competition now known as the US Open Cup, by the recently founded United States Football Association. While the National Challenge Cup would quickly become the singular competition for the title of Champion of the United States, the American Cup tournament had been founded in 1885 by the American Football Association, the first soccer governing body in America.

Califf wants backup, WPS saga continues, more news

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Several Union players talk about preseason training at YSC SPorts last week. The team landed in Orlando on Sunday.

Danny Califf, acknowledging that only he and Brian Carroll are the only players remaining on the Union who are older than 27, tells MLSsoccer.

Borislow still at it, Naka scores, Union job fair, more news

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Photo: Random free speech/satire from the Internet

Philly native Dan Borislow continues to show he has absolutely no shame or class by pushing for his Florida club to play friendlies this season while the rest of WPS had to cancel their season because of legal battles with Borislow.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Amobi Okugo & Chris Vito, WPS

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In this week's Philly Soccer Show podcast, your co-hosts KYW's Greg Orlandini and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch are joined by Philadelphia Union and USMNT U-23 midfielder Amobi Okugo and Delco Daily Times journalist Chris Vito.

In part one, Okugo talks with Greg and Eli about the upheaval on the team after the departure of forward Sebastien Le Toux and captain, goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.

Footy on the Telly, Feb. 3 – Feb. 6

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Friday, February 3
2:30pm Nürnberg vs Borussia Dortmund GolTV
8pm Altamira vs Irapuato GolTV
9:10pm Estudiantes Tecos vs Atlas Galavision

Saturday, February 4
7:30am West Ham United vs Millwall FoxSoccer.tv, Fox Soccer 2Go
8am Arsenal vs Blackburn Rovers ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3
9am Cesena vs Catania RAI Internazionale
9am Roma vs Internazionale Fox Soccer Plus, RAI Internazionale, ESPN3 USA
9:30am Bayer Leverkusen vs Stuttgart ESPN Deportes, ESPN3
10am Wigan Athletic vs Everton FSC, Fox Deportes
10am Stoke City vs Sunderland Fox Soccer Plus, FoxSoccer.

Le Toux to Union fans: “Support your team.” More news.

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

In an interview on MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio podcast, Sebastien Le Toux tells Union fans who are angry that he was sold to Vancouver that it is important that they continue to support the Union: "To have you in the stands—it is always great to play in front of you and all of the guys who played with me are wonderful players and they need you.

“New heroes will be created,” Capt. Califf, MacMath No. 1, more news

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian from 2011

The offseason can be crazy in the business that is soccer and sometimes it can be all too easy to forget that in the end, it's really about the game. If you are looking for some inspiration to help you get your soccer head back on straight, go to the Ritz East tonight to see the Philadelphia premier of Laduma.

Nothing more than feelings: Seba & Peter give their reasons

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Photo: Earl Gardner

There are a lot of quotes from Sebastien Le Toux in this article. Many of them come from Chris Vito's (of the Delco Daily Times and The Times Herald) fantastic interview with Seba. Check it out. Many quotes from Peter Nowak are from his January 31 press conference.

Two sides of Le Toux at presser: Positive and positive.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

In the hours following the Union's official announcement of their decision to sell Sebastien Le Toux to the Vancouver Whitecaps, the French striker who leaves Philadelphia as the club's statistical leader in nearly every measurable offensive category, showed the professionalism, character, and emotion that made him such a beloved figure in Philadelphia.

Reaction to Seba interview bombshell, Nowak presser, more

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Le Toux talks

It just won't stop.

As suggested by the 130 readers' comments posted on PSP in less then 24 hours since the Le Toux transfer news broke, if the sadness felt by Union fans at the news of Sebastien Le Toux's transfer to Vancouver wasn't enough, subsequent comments from Peter Nowak and Le Toux will, for many, see that sadness turn to anger.

Saying goodbye to the fan favorite

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January 31, 2012 is a date that will not leave the minds of Union fans for a long time.

A day after finding out that the team captain Faryd Mondragon was going back to Colombia, the other shoe dropped—Sebastien LeToux had been sold to the Vancouver Whitecaps. While the Mondragon move was a lot easier to digest, fans were stunned to find out that the beloved Seba was moving to another MLS team.

OFFICIAL: Nakazawa AND second-round pick to LA for international spot

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Photo: Earl Gardner

UPDATE: The Union have officially announced that Kyle Nakazawa has been traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy along with a 2013 natural second-round pick in exchange for an international slot. The Union are now permitted to have nine internationals on their roster.