The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2012

Match preview: Union v Whitecaps

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What: Philadelphia Union v Sebastien Le Toux Vancouver Whitecaps

When: 4pm EST

Where: PPL Park

TV: ABC6

Have you heard the news? The Vancouver Whitecaps are coming to town, and once again their top striker is a tough Frenchman.

5 big fan questions ahead of Saturday’s game

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The winless Union head into Saturday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps with only two goals to their name. While much attention has been directed at the team's on-field issues in recent weeks, it is impossible to ignore the impending return of Sebastien Le Toux.

When the franchise's leading light was transferred north of the border, all eyes turned to the schedule and this early season showdown with the Whitecaps.

Nowak on fans: “We need them more than anything”

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Like it or not, everyone with any knowledge of the Union going into Saturday's game against Vancouver will be watching to see how the fans at PPL Park react to the return of Sebastien Le Toux. The Inquirer's Marc Narducci reports that Peter Nowak says, "I hope and believe that the fans will support and stand behind our team and help us to win the game because we need them more than anything right now.

Footy on the Telly, March 30 – April 5

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We endeavor to make these listings as accurate and complete as possible, but matches get cancelled, broadcasters change their listings, we make mistakes, and so on. If you see an error or a new listing that we may have missed, let us know in the comment section and we'll update the listings.

Friday, March 30
3am Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC FSC
6am Jeonbuk Motors vs Daegu One World Sports
12pm Alemannia Aachen vs Dynamo Dresden My Sports Germany
12pm Eintracht Braunschweig vs Paderborn My Sports Germany
2pm Utrecht vs Excelsior Eredivisie.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Sebastien Le Toux

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

A familiar face heads to PPL Park this Saturday, as the Philadelphia Union's all-time leading scorer comes to town.

Sebastien Le Toux is the guest on this week's KYW Philly Soccer Show, with co-hosts Greg Orlandini of KYW and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch .

Nowak: Get over Le Toux, fans the face of the Union. More news

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Look for the Philly Soccer Show podcast with guest Sebastien Le Toux later this morning.

Philadelphia Union

The Union had a live feed of Peter Nowak's weekly press conference on Wednesday on the club website, which is the first time that's happened as far as I can remember.

Union vs Vancouver quick reference

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All time record: 1-1-0
At PPL Park: 1-0-0
At Empire Field: 0-1-0
Goals For: 1
Goals Against: 1

Did you know...

The Union's first home win of the 2011 season came against Vancouver.

June 18, 2011: Vancouver Whitecaps 1 0 Philadelphia Union

Click here to view the embedded video.

Where the Indys have landed

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Photo: Michael Long

This time last year, the Philadelphia Independence were entering the end of preseason training. Now, players from the 2011 team—as well as new players who were announced or rumored to be joining the club before the 2012 WPS season was cancelled—are spread all over Europe and the US.

Harv on Califf, Adu opinions, more USA thoughts

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Union

With Sheanon Williams returning to the Union, Chris Albright may return to the bench (though... who knows). But the local lad remains a great spokesman for the Philly soccer scene. "In my mind, this is the best soccer community in the country, hands down. I know from where I grew up playing the devotion people in the inner city have to soccer, and it obviously spread into the suburbs.

Philadelphia Fever schedule announced

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Women's soccer fans eager to see the Philadelphia Fever, the newly founded team that will participate in the WPSL Elite League, now have some dates to circle on the calendar after the league released the 2012 schedule on Sunday.

The schedule consists of 14 games and includes teams as far north as former WPS club Boston Breakers and as far west as former WPS club Chicago Red Stars.

Philadelphians abroad

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Photo:

Two right backs from the Philadelphia area faced off on Saturday, but only one came out a winner.

Chicago right back Dan Gargan started and went the full 90 for Chicago in the club's 1-0 over Philadelphia, being a key part of the Chicago attack that consistently came down the right flank.

Union to host Aston Villa at PPL on July 18

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The Philadelphia Union announced today that they will host Aston Villa at PPL Park on Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30pm, confirming an earlier announcement on the Premiership club's website.

Tickets for the event are included in full season ticket packages at no additional cost.

"Card-carrying season ticket holders will have the game loaded on their season ticket card and those with printed tickets will have tickets for this match mailed to them by mid-June," said the announcement.

Olympic dream slips away from Johnson, USA

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Photo: Courtesy of Sporting News/AP Photo

Just over one minute into their final group stage match, the United States had wiped the taste of a 2-0 loss to Canada from their memories. Brek Shea fought off two defenders on the left touch line before beating a third man and whipping a waist-high cross into the box.

Offensive struggles

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Striking out

Danny Mwanga recorded no shots against Chicago in 65 minutes of play. Against Portland he recorded no shots in 30 minutes of play. In the home opener he recorded 2 goal attempts, one of which was on target, in 90 minutes of play. In other words, one shot on target in 185 minutes of play.

“Unimaginable:” No Olympics for US, Union rankings, more

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Photo: Courtesy of AP/Sporting News

Well, on the bright side, the Union will have Freddy Adu, Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams back ahead of Saturday's match against Vancouver...Nah, not working, too soon. This still sucks.

US

In need of a win against El Salvador on Monday night in order to advance to the semifinals in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, US U-23 coach Caleb Porter said, "There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to get the result.

Analysis & player ratings: Fire 1-0 Union

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You've got to take your hat off to Peter Nowak. Just when Philadelphia Union fans think they've seen every possible formation, he rolls out a 3-2-2-1-2.

The narrowest formation, EVER

While we too frequently focus on the nuances of how a team lines up for kickoff, Nowak's 3-2-2-1-2 represents just about the most narrow possible alignment of eleven players on a soccer pitch.

Post loss quotes, further reaction, more news

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Philadelphia Union

Peter Nowak said after Saturday's loss, "It's never easy to be in this situation like we are right now after three games. I think from last week, we played much better. We need to be more opportunistic."

He added, "I don't think overall we had any kind of problems. The only thing missing right now is the results.

Union match reports, MLS news, Crouchinho

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Image:Â Daniel Gajdamowicz

Maybe when Danny Mwanga finishes the season with 12 goals, Jack McInerney leads the league in flick-on assists, and the Union make the playoffs using a new 1-2-2-2-1-2 formation with only Carlos Valdes in the back, we will look back and laugh at the week three standings, when New England and Chivas USA were out in front of the Philadelphia Union.

Match Report: Union 0-1 Fire

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A 28th minute Dominic Oduro strike was all Chicago Fire would need to claim a home victory, their first of the season, and keep the Union winless in 2012 as their inauspicious beginning to the season continued at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. The third time was not the charm for Union, as their offense went missing for the majority of the match, despite a late flurry of activity as they searched for an equalizer.

Match preview: Union at Fire

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What: Union at Chicago Fire

Where: Toyota Park, Chicago

When: 8:30pm ET

TV: Comcast Network

Late season acquisitions Sebastian Grazzini and Pavel Pardo returned early dividends for Chicago last season, and they are already making their mark in 2012.

Califf out, Casa week 2, more news

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Philadelphia-Chicago

Philadelphia Union captain Danny Califf won't play against Chicago tonight. In fact, he didn't even make the trip. The Union describe this as being due to slow recovery from an off-season knee injury. In related news, politicians have begun telling the truth, the Greek economy has recovered, and pigs have been sighted flying in Portugal.

Califf doubts, Williams has faith, Adu’s “whoa” goal, more

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

It seems someone has made a PSP app. Who knew?

Philadelphia Union

Look for PSP's Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union match preview later today.

While Danny Califf and Peter Nowak told reporters that they had put the "miscommunication" flap behind them at a meeting earlier in the week, Nowak indicated at Wednesday's press conference that Califf's status for Saturday's game in Chicago was still uncertain.

A Corona-tion in Nashville

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It's looking more and more like something special is going on with the U-23 US Men's National Team. Led by a prodigy-turned-elder-statesman, a team of prodigious talent is turning in to the most exciting group of players to come through the American system in a long time.

Fast start

It took eleven minutes of poking and prodding for the US to take the lead over Cuba on Nashville's LP Field.

Footy on the Telly: March 23 – March 29

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We endeavor to make these listings as accurate and complete as possible, but matches get cancelled, broadcasters change their listings, we make mistakes, and so on. If you see an error or a new listing that we may have missed, let us know in the comment section and we'll update the listings.

Friday, March 23
1pm Dynamo Dresden vs 1860 München My Sports Germany
1pm Bochum vs Ingolstadt My Sports Germany
3pm Excelsior vs Groningen Eredivisie.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Keon Daniel

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Two games and two losses for the Philadelphia Union. The Philly Soccer Show is there as the Union struggles out of the gate.

In part one, co-hosts Greg Orlandini of KYW Newsradio and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch are joined by midfielder Keon Daniel.

Union vs Chicago quick reference

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All time record: 2-1-1
At PPL Park: 2-0-0
At Toyota Park: 0-1-1
Goals For: 5
Goals Against: 5

Did you know...

The Union (with Brad Knighton in goal) pitched their first ever clean sheet on Sept. 11, 2010 against Chicago. It was also Sheanon Williams first MLS game.

Califf, Nowak put it behind them. Dealing with Williams call-up, more

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Danny Califf and Peter Nowak were at Wednesday's press conference to put the Califf Controversy to bed.

Said Califf, "We had a good talk yesterday. I think we resolved some issues, so I think things are going to be much better going forward.

Fire v Union live chat

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Join PSP for a live chat of as the Philadelphia Union travel to Chicago Fire in search of their first win of 2013 on Saturday, March 24. The chat starts at 8:15pm for the 8:30pm kickoff.

Chicago Fire v Philadelphia Union

How did the Union offense improve?

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After the dispiriting effort in Portland that saw only 5 attempts on goal, 2 of which were on target, the Philadelphia Union offense showed signs of life against Colorado. Although that game also was a loss, the Union did manage 20 attempts on goal. While that is a cause for celebration, it is important to remember that 10 of those attempts were off target and 5 were blocked.

A rule-breaker, autocrat, or something else?

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Saturday's road game against Chicago is a must-win for Peter Nowak.

Imagine the spectacle on March 31 if Philadelphia Union lose to Chicago and limp into PPL Park winless to host Sebastien Le Toux and the vastly improved Vancouver Whitecaps. What would be louder, the cheers for Le Toux or the jeers for Nowak?

Sheanomenon gets Olympic callup, more news

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

US Soccer announced on Tuesday that Sheanon Williams has been added to the 20-player U-23 roster for the Olympic qualifiers, which begin on Thursday against Cuba (8pm, Universal Sports Network, mun2, CONCACAF.com). Williams joins Union teammates Freddy Adu, who was named captain of the team on Monday, and Amobi Okugo.

Sheanomenom gets Olympic callup, more news

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

US Soccer announced on Tuesday that Sheanon Williams has been added to the 20-player U-23 roster for the Olympic qualifiers, which begin on Thursday against Cuba (8pm, Universal Sports Network, mun2, CONCACAF.com). Williams joins Union teammates Freddy Adu, who was named captain of the team on Monday, and Amobi Okugo.

Lopez gets Costa Rica call-up

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The Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday that left back Porfirio Lopez has been called up by the Costa Rican National Team for a friendly against Jamaica.

Lopez leaves today for the friendly, which will take place on Wednesday, March 21, at 8:00pm at The National Stadium in Kingston.

The left back will return to Philadelphia on Thursday in time to rejoin the team before it departs for Chicago ahead of Saturday's game against the Fire.

Home opener photos: The Stache Bash & River End

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Off in the foggy distance, PPL Park starts to emerge as volunteers continue with their early morning prep.

Eric Shertz helps organize the opening day snake Tifo in the River End.

One of the many volunteers helps load all the flags and Tifo into the River End.

Analysis and player ratings: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Colorado Rapids

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

In slumping to a second straight defeat to open the 2012 campaign, frustration ruled the day with more new questions arising about the Union and very few being answered. More questionable tactics, another new formation, and players tasked to play multiple positions.

SI: Union in crisis. More on Califf contro. Power rankings tumble. Capt. Adu. More news.

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

SI says a real crisis is developing with the Union thanks to an unpolished attack, goalkeeping gaffes and the Califf controversy.

SB Nation editor Jeremiah Oshan weighs in on the meaning of the Califf controversy:

"The Califf decision is just the latest and strangest decision he's made that has put the Union in this position.

Philadelphians abroad

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philly locals faced off on opposite sides of the field and determined the course of a match for the first time in Philadelphia Union history.

Not that it was a good thing for any of them.

Colorado midfielder and Chestnut Hill Academy alum Jeff Larentowicz drew a red card in the 58th minute of Colorado's 2-1 win over Philadelphia, turning Sunday's Union home opener into a wide open affair as the Rapids went a man down.

In pictures: Union 1-2 Rapids.

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PSP photographer Daniel Gajdamowicz's photo essay of Sunday's home opener at PPL Park.

“Two unlucky goals.” Califf controversy. Quotes & match reports from Sunday’s loss. More.

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

For the Union, a first half filled with unfinished chances. For Colorado, two Union slips that lead to two goals and a win on the road. But will the loss be overshadowed by the non-selection of Danny Califf?

Philadelphia Union 1–2 Colorado Rapids

PSP's match report and photo essay.

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Colorado Rapids

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Though they huffed and they puffed, the Union could not find a late equalizer to secure a home draw after conceding two second-half goals to the visiting Colorado Rapids. Lionard Pajoy's 67th minute diving header made for a nervy conclusion in front of a full house of 19,074 at PPL Park but in the end the Union slumped to their second consecutive defeat to open the 2012 season.

Home opener 2012: Getting there, parking there and more

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

The Philadelphia Union announced on Friday that they expect Sunday's opener to be standing-room only. The club strongly urges everyone to arrive early for the game to ensure everyone has enough time to park and enter the stadium before the 4pm kickoff.

Parking

For recommended directions to the stadium, click here.

Match Preview: Union v Rapids

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Although Colorado and Philadelphia experienced much different outcomes in their week one match-ups, the teams had quite similar tactical approaches. Under new coach Oscar Pareja, Colorado used a 4-5-1 (or 4-1-4-1 for those of you who like to play in the numbers sandbox) with Jeff Larentowicz at the base of a midfield triangle.

Union previews, PSP in Denver, Olympic bonuses explained, more

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Sometimes I wonder how many more pageviews you get when you add "Freddy Adu" to the title of an article. For a player that has been talked about more than any in US soccer history, Adu continues to make headlines simply for continuing to play soccer. "Will Freddy do this/that/the other?" Here's the rub: Nobody knows!

Five questions with The Denver Post’s Nick Groke

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Nick Groke covers the Colorado Rapids for the Denver Post. PSP reached out to him for an interview ahead of this weekend's Union home opener, hoping to get a bit of insider information on how Colorado so completely dissected the Columbus Crew a week ago. We got that and a whole lot more, as Nick provided a set of fantastic answers to our queries.

Nick Groke covers the Colorado Rapids for the Denver Post. PSP reached out to hi

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Nick Groke covers the Colorado Rapids for the Denver Post. PSP reached out to him for an interview ahead of this weekend's Union home opener. We were hoping to get a bit of insider information on how Colorado so completely dissected the Columbus Crew last weekend. We got that and a whole lot more, as Nick provided a set of fantastic answers to our queries.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Danny Mwanga & Amy Rodriguez

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Photos: Paul Rudderow

The Philadelphia Union will try to shake off a tough season opener loss in Portland when they face Colorado Rapids in their home opener this Sunday at 4pm (NBC Sports), and the KYW Philly Soccer Show has a preview.

In part one, KYW's Greg Orlandini and Philly Soccer Page writer Eli Pearlman-Storch talk with Union forward Danny Mwanga, who entered Monday night's 3–1 loss as a sub in the second half.

Union v Colorado quick reference

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

All-time record: 0–2–2
At PPL Park: 0–1–1
At Dick's Sporting Goods Park: 0–1–1
Goals For: 4
Goals Against: 8

July 29, 2011: Philadelphia Union 1–2 Colorado Rapids

Click here to view the embedded video.

Nowak: Expect fast & physical Rapids. Should Union play MLS teams in preseason? More.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

What does Peter Nowak expect from Colorado? "As I said to these guys (post-game) in the locker room in Portland, the Colorado team is going to be even more physical than this team. The game is going to be fast, they're going to go up and down, they're capable of doing good things.

Footy on the Telly, March 16 – March 22

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Friday, March 16
1pm Eintracht Braunschweig vs FSV Frankfurt My Sports Germany
3pm Nacional Funchal vs FC Porto ESPN3, Sport TV Americas
3pm Vitesse vs Heracles Eredivisie.tv
3:30pm Hoffenheim vs Stuttgart ESPN Deportes, My Sports Germany, ESPN3
4:15pm Benfica vs Beira-Mar Sport TV Americas
9pm Junior vs Boyacá Chicó TV Colombia
10:10pm Estudiantes Tecos vs Morelia Galavision

Saturday, March 17
8am 1860 München vs Greuther Fürth My Sports Germany
8am Ingolstadt vs Paderborn My Sports Germany
8:30am Dundee UTD.

Meet the new U… same as the old U?

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The season opening win in 2011 was not a pretty one. Danny Califf's 5th minute header sucked the ambition from the Union and forced Houston to push forward impatiently, throwing wave after wave against Philadelphia's rocks.

When you want to hold a lead for 85 minutes on the road, a conservative 4-3-3 seems like a darn good option.

In pictures: Philadelphia Union Fan Fest

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PSP photographer Paul Rudderow was on hand along with some 500 fans to meet the Philadelphia Union players at Chickie's & Pete's at Wednesday night's fan fest. Here's a look at what he saw.

The line began to form early for the fan fest

Zach Pfeffer and a magnificently coiffed fan.

Nowak: Too early to judge. Califf: Super stoked and amped. More news.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow, from Wednesday night's Fan Fest. Look for our photo essay of the event later today.

Philadelphia Union

Peter Nowak says not to rush to judgement of the team after just one game. "I've said it before, I think we have the right pieces to make a run, but we need to progress and I think that is going to come with time.

Analysis & player ratings: Timbers 3-1 Union

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

When Gabriel Gomez's free-kick glanced off of Andrew-Jean Baptiste's head and beyond Troy Perkins, there was a moment where every Union fan allowed themselves to believe that stealing a road win was possible despite the dire performance being turned in by their side.

Timbers 3-1 Union: Looking at some numbers

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Well, that wasn't very pretty, was it?

What can we learn using the match stats from the Chalkboard at mlssoccer.com's Match Center about the Philadelphia Union's 3–1 loss to Portland Timbers in Monday night's season opener?

Passing and shooting

Portland had a greater number of passes and a better passing accuracy percentage with 482 passes with a passing accuracy of 72 percent.

Further post-game reaction, quotes, power rankings and more

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 Photo courtesy of Ethan Erickson/Portland Timbers

Philadelphia Union

Is it power rankings roundup time already? Soccer America has the Union at No. 17. The Union are No. 15 at the Toronto Sun and The Sports Network. At ESPN and ProSoccerTalk the Union is at 14th. SI has the Union at No.

Philadelphians abroad

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Photo courtesy of US Soccer

You've all read the weekly Americans Abroad roundups on various sites, ranging from Sports Illustrated and Yanks Abroad to MLSSoccer.com.

Well, PSP is now going to start doing the same with players from the Philadelphia area.

Of course, what's a Philadelphian?

Califf: “They brought all the horses”, more quotes and news

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Photo: PortlandTimbers.com

If you can take your face out of your hands long enough to read it, PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch has a match report from last night's Union season opener. It ain't pretty.

More match reports from the Union, The Inquirer, The Guardian, ESPN, PhillySoccerNews, Goal.

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland Timbers

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Philadelphia Union did not get off to the start they were looking for in 2012, slumping to a 3–1 defeat at Portland's Jeld-Wen Stadium on a rainy Monday night.

Goals from debutants Jean-Andrew Baptiste and Kris Boyd brought Portland back after the Union's Gabriel Gomez, making his own debut for Philadelphia, gave his side the lead with a powerfully struck free kick.

Match Preview: Union at Portland Timbers

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Time: 9:30pm ET

Place: JELD-WEN

TV: ESPN2

Referee: Baldomero Toledo (or "Baldmero," as he's known in the Portland media guide)

Is it really time for the 2012 season to begin?

Put a Snake on it! The winners!

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As you know, in Portland, you can put a bird on something and call it art.

We do things a little differently here in Philadelphia.

So we invited Philadelphia Union fans to "Put a snake on it!" for a chance to win a limited edition Philadelphia soccer history poster, designed by PSP's Ed Farnsworth and screen printed by local artist and Union fan Jake Henry by hand on archival-quality paper.

Union news & match previews: Let’s doop this thing!

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The offseason is a brutal mix of rumor, speculation, and roster rebuilding. If you checked out after November, we understand. But here is some PSP original content you might have missed: Eli examined possible Union formations, focusing on the 4-4-2, the 4-3-3, and the 4-2-3-1.

The 2012 Union: Looking at the predictions

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We here at Philly Soccer Page take a lot of pride in our news roundups. We're all Union addicts anyway so, if we're spending our free time trying to find Philadelphia Union and other soccer-related news from across the web, why not share the fruit of that labor with you, the reader? Saves you a some time doing it yourself and we can always rely on you bringing our attention to something we may have missed.

Union v Portland quick reference

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Photo: Earl Gardner

It is tough to provide much meaningful information about the match history of the Philadelphia Union against the Portland Timbers considering that the teams have only played one another twice. From a Union perspective, it becomes harder still when you consider that five of the starters in either of those two games (Mondragon, Le Toux, Mapp, Ruiz, Paunovic) are no longer with the club.

Seba scores, Nowak & Gomez quotes, RSL downs LA, more

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The offseason is a brutal mix of rumor, speculation, and roster rebuilding. If you checked out after November, we understand. But here is some PSP original content you might have missed: Eli examined possible Union formations, focusing on the 4-4-2, the 4-3-3, and the 4-2-3-1. We also looked at Union players with the most to prove and came together for a two-part (part 1; part 2) roundtable to talk about the upcoming season.

Gomez love, Peppy Le Tou?, Garber on promotion/relegation, more

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Photo by Earl Gardner

The offseason is a brutal mix of rumor, speculation, and roster rebuilding. If you checked out after November, we understand. But here is some PSP original content you might have missed: Eli examined possible Union formations, focusing on the 4-4-2, the 4-3-3, and the 4-2-3-1.

4-2-3-1: Control the center of the park

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Photo:Â Daniel Gajdamowicz

Following the analysis of both the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 formations, PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch takes a look at the 4-2-3-1 in the final installment of a three-part series about potential Union formations in 2012.

2012 Starting XI

While a 4-2-3-1 may not seem the most likely setup for the Union to employ in 2012 given their stable of young strikers, it provides an opportunity to dominate the center of the pitch, an area where they struggled in 2011.

2012 Eastern Conference preview

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Everyone else has season previews. Why not us?

But this is a Philly site. Forget the Western Conference. We're keeping it simple and focused. And guessing at the order of finish.

1) Sporting Kansas City

In the Eastern Conference, there is Kansas City and everyone else.

Chelsea? Set pieces. Previews & Predictions. Le Toux said what? More

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Chelsea in Philly?

At ESPNsoccernet.com, the last sentence of a report on word of a Chelsea vs. Celtic friendly at Yankees Stadium this summer says, "[I]t is understood Chelsea, who enjoyed a successful tour of the United States in 2009, will also play matches in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Seattle.

Footy on the Telly: March 9 – March 15

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Friday, March 9
12pm Greuther Fürth vs Alemannia Aachen My Sports Germany
12pm Union Berlin vs MSV Duisburg My Sports Germany
12pm Paderborn vs Bochum My Sports Germany
2pm Ajaccio vs Olympique Marseille Fox Soccer 2Go
2pm Roda JC vs VVV Eredivisie.

KYW Philly Soccer Show with Timbers coach John Spencer

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Photo: Courtesy of Portland Timbers

After a controversial and seemingly endless offseason, the Philadelphia Union is set to take the field Monday, on the road, against the Portland Timbers. The KYW Philly Soccer Show is here to help get you ready for the game.

In part one, KYW's Greg Orlandini and Philly Soccer Page writer Eli Pearlman-Storch talk with Timbers' coach John Spencer.

The Lost XI

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Photo: MLSSoccer.com

Roster turnover. Throughout the Union's brief two year life in MLS, it has been one of the unavoidable topics surrounding the team. Each season has seen a drastic overhaul of the lineup and this year is no different. With the opening kickoff in Portland only days away, PSP takes a moment to check in with all the former Union players to see where they've landed for the 2012 season.

Califf: Portland will be “crazy.” It’s raining previews & predictions. More news.

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Danny Califf says of Monday's game, "It's always really exciting every time the games come around," said Califf, who will be 32 on March 17. "It's the first one, especially when things are buzzing. Portland the place is going to be crazy. They're going to be flying.

USWNT settle for third place, Germany tops Japan to claim Algarve Cup

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A hat-trick from Alex Morgan propelled the USWNT to a 4–0 win over Sweden to claim third place at the 2012 Algarve Cup on Wednesday.

But the thoughts of many US Soccer fans—and the team—surely lingered on the 1–0 loss to Japan on Monday in the first meeting of the two countries since the US lost to Japan in the 2011 Women's World Cup final.

2012 Union roundtable, part 2

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

The PSP writers discuss how the Philadelphia Union look ahead of the start of the 2012 season. You can read part one of the roundtable here.

How much will the Olympics affect the Union?

Ed: Before the last camp ahead of the Mexico game when five players were regularly getting the call, it seemed like the answer would be a lot, particularly if MacMath was going to be away.

Califf on Costa Rica, Gomez, Torres make top 10s, more

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Gabriel Gomez makes Goal.com's list of 10 MLS newcomers to watch. Goal says Gomez's biggest weakness is his inability to stick with one club for an extended period of time. So yeah, he's pretty good on the field.

Alecko Eskandarian says he looks forward to seeing Cristhian Hernandez's "cultured left foot" making an impact at PPL Park for a long time.

No balance? No problem for Philly

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Last year the Philadelphia Union lost a total of 8 games.

Six of those losses came against Western Conference competition, including the team's only defeat at PPL Park (who woke up Pablo Mastroeni for that one?).

Unbalanced is good for the east.

Le Toux: Trade was “ridiculous.” Season previews. More news.

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Sebastien Le Toux talks to MLS Reserves about leaving the Union,

Nobody was talking to me or telling me what was going on until February 1st. I found out quickly that Philadelphia did not want to sign me and a trade was going to happen.

Union sign Cristhian Hernandez

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Monday the signing of forward Cristhian Hernandez. The 18 year old Hernandez becomes the Union's third Homegrown Player signing.

Born in Mexico, Hernandez will take an international spot on the Union roster and will be eligible to appear for the club in the season opener in Portland

Union fans will best remember Hernandez for scoring the late goal in the 1–0 victory over Everton in last summer's friendly at PPL Park.

2012 Union roundtable, part 1

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The PSP writers discuss how the Philadelphia Union look ahead of the start of the 2012 season. Part two will appear on Wednesday.

Despite the Union defense finishing second in the league in 2011, we've seen some defensive tinkering in the preseason. What formation can we expect to see most?

Valdes on life without the Dragon, soccer’s rising popularity, more

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Look for part one of our Union roundtable later today.

Carlos Valdes says of the departure of Faryd Mondragon, "Faryd taught me a lot of things. His experience was very important for us. Maybe now we are more motivated."

Local

Penn Live have a Q&A with former Union player Morgan Langley, who has returned to Harrisburg City Islanders.

Le Toux award, Twellman on concussions, more

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Jack McInerney, Freddy Adu, Danny Califf and Zac MacMath preview the 2012 season in the above video. Here is the quick summary: Young guys are gonna act like young guys, but they'd better learn to act like veterans too.

PhillyUnionTalk says the take-away message from the team's preseason scuffle is: Don't tread on me.

SoB clubhouse plans in trouble, Belen manager quotes, more

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Union

A special email message to Sons of Ben members states that issues with a land title mean the Union's largest supporter's group will not be able to secure a new home prior to the 2012 season.

The message cites "developments beyond our control" before expanding to say, " some legal problems with the title to the property surfaced that prevented us from finalizing the deal.

USWNT makes it two-in-a-row at Algarve Cup group play

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On Wednesday, the USWNT defeated Denmark 5–0 in their opening group stage match at the Algarve Cup in Portugal on the back of two goals from Alex Morgan. After scoring a first half stoppage time goal of her own, a goal that was assisted by Morgan, Abby Wambach was subbed out. She said after the win, "It's great to get to sit on the bench and watch your teammates evolve and grow up and get the experience.

1913: Innisfails of St. Louis comes to Philly

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When, a year after it had won the American Cup, Tacony FC traveled to St. Louis in 1911, they came back from two goals down to draw 4–4 with St. Louis champion St. Leos in what newspapers called a "blue ribbon" match to decide the "national championship." With the draw, talk of a national champion ended.

Union sign Konopka, fracas in CR, new pro ref organization, more news

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Philadelphia Union

The Union announced on Friday morning the signing of goalkeeper Chris Konopka.

From the Department of Is It March 12 Yet, handbags in Costa Rica between the Union and Belen resulted in the abandonment of team's final scrimmage game with them down 2–0 in the first half.

Handbags in Costa Rica

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The Union's scrimmage with Belen on Thursday ended in the first half after a scuffle broke out with the Union already down 2–0.

A report on the Belen website (crappy translation here; did the first goal come from a PK?)) accuses the Union of engaging in "anti-football." The report continues, "What most annoyed the Belemitas was the attitude of the coaching staff who, from the beginning, did not stop shouting insults not only to the players but also the Belen referee and his assistants.

Footy on the Telly, March 2 – March 8

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Friday, March 2
12pm MSV Duisburg vs Greuther Fürth My Sports Germany
12pm Ingolstadt vs Union Berlin My Sports Germany
2:30pm Bochum vs Dynamo Dresden My Sports Germany
2:45pm Blackpool vs Hull City Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
3:15pm Benfica vs FC Porto ESPN3, Sport TV Americas
5pm River Plate vs Quilmes GolTV
5:10pm Newell's Old Boys vs Belgrano TyC Sports
7:15pm Banfield vs Godoy Cruz TyC Sports
8pm Junior vs Itagüí Ditaires TV Colombia
9:10pm Estudiantes Tecos vs Tijuana Galavision

Saturday, March 3
7:45pm Liverpool vs Arsenal ESPN2, ESPN3
9:30am Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern München GolTV USA, My Sports Germany
9:30am Hannover 96 vs Augsburg My Sports Germany
9:30am Freiburg vs Schalke 04 My Sports Germany
9:30am Hertha BSC vs Werder Bremen ESPN 3, ESPN Deportes
10am Manchester City vs Bolton FSC
10am West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Blackburn Rovers vs Aston Villa Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Queens Park Rangers vs Everton Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Stoke City vs Norwich City Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Wigan Athletic vs Swansea City Fox Soccer 2Go
10am Birmingham City vs Derby County Fox Soccer 2Go
12pm Palermo vs Milan FSC, Fox Deportes, RAI Internazionale, ESPN3, Fox Soccer 2Go
12pm Mallorca vs Osasuna GolTV USA
12pm Getafe vs Málaga DirecTV
12pm Rayo Vallecano vs Racing Santander DirecTV
12:20pm Leeds United vs Southampton Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
12:30pm Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz 05 ESPN Deportes, My Sports Germany, ESPN3
12:30pm Xanthi vs Panaitolikos ERT World
12:45pm ADO Den Haag vs Heerenveen Eredivisie.

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.