The Philly Soccer Page Archives for January 2012

Analysis and player ratings: Union 1-2 Earthquakes

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

With a road game in Seattle followed by the first of three grudge matches against the Red Bulls, Saturday's home game against the depleted West Conference leading San Jose Earthquakes should have been a chance for the Union to jump on their weakened guests and claim their third consecutive victory.

Philadelphians abroad: Gaudette steps in

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Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Galaxy

It had been six years since Bill Gaudette had started a game in Major League Soccer. His start Saturday proved an eventful one.

Gaudette filled in for starter Josh Saunders and held Dallas to one goal in a 1-1 draw with Dallas. He faced his first shots in the game's first minute and stopped four shots on the day.

Photo essay: Union 1-2 Earthquakes

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 PSP photographer Nicolae Stoian was on hand for Saturday's loss to San Jose. Here's some of what he saw.

Getting ready for the game.

Gabriel Gomez limbers up.

Kai Herdling in his first start.

Zac with the punch clearance.

“Pretty gutted at the moment.” WPS kaput? More.

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Check out PSP's match report, which also contains a number of illuminating quotes from the coaches and players.

John Hackworth said after the game, "It was really tough loss to lose a game like that in injury time after fighting so hard to come back and equalizing.

Match Report and Quotes: Philadelphia Union 1-2 San Jose Earthquakes

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Match Report

Substitute Stephen Lenhart's stoppage time goal ended the Union's unbeaten streak at three matches as the Western Conference leading San Jose Earthquakes stole three points at PPL Park on Saturday night. It was a busy 30 minutes for Lenhart, who also broke the scoreless deadlock in the 76th.

Garfan suspended for 3 games

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

We won't be seeing Gabriel Farfan for a while.

Farfan will miss three games due to suspension and be fined and undisclosed amount of money, Major League Soccer announced Friday afternoon. Farfan earned a red card last Saturday against Chivas USA when he went studs up with a two-footed tackle into Chivas defender James Riley, who walked away with a halved shin guard for his troubles.

Preview: Union vs San Jose Earthquakes

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What: Union vs San Jose Earthquakes

When: 7:00pm ET

Where: PPL Park

Records: Philadelphia: 6-2-3 (1-1-1 at home); San Jose: 5-1-1 (2-0-1 away)

Something you didn't expect to hear a month ago: Look out, here come the Quakes.

Building the Fever

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Ask Philadelphia Fever head coach Stuart Gore what it's been like since he was named head coach of the Philadelphia Fever and his answer is quick and honest.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind."

Which is understandable when you realize that since being named coach of the new WPSL Elite team in early February, Gore and assistant coach Jamie Scott have been combining their regular work as coaches for Atlantic Soccer Factory with trying to build a competitive team from scratch, all of which means a lot of 18 hour days .

No extra suspension for Garfan, Pep quits Barca

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

In case you missed it, Peter Nowak was fined and suspended for two games for leaving the technical area and initiating contact with an opposition player during last Saturday's win against Chivas USA. The next time he'll be on the sidelines will be against Schalke.

Footy on the Telly, April 27-May 3

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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, April 27
1:00pm Toulouse vs Montpellier Fox Soccer 2Go
2:00pm Groningen vs De Graafschap Eredivisie.

Nowak fined, suspended two games

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

MLS announced on Thursday that Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak has been suspended for two games and fined $5,000 for leaving the technical area and initiating contact with an opposition player during Saturday night's win against Chivas USA.

Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser was also fined $500 for leaving the technical area but was not suspended.

Union v San Jose quick reference

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

All-time record: 1–2–1
At PPL Park: 1–1–0
At Home Depot Center: 0–1–1
Goals for:Â 2
Goals against: 3

Did you know...
San Jose Earthquakes' 2–1 win on July 10, 2010 was both the first home loss and first loss at PPL Park for the Philadelphia Union.

The Great Pickup Game List

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Photo:Daniel Gajdamowicz

One of the most common questions we get here at PSP is: Where can I find a good pickup game?

Typically, we'd point people toward this great list of pickup games in the Philly area, which is linked under our Local Soccer menu on this site. Often we'd invite them to the games we play in.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Frank Yallop

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Photo: Courtesy of San Jose Earthquakes

There's no rest for the Philadelphia Union as the top team in the west, the San Jose Earthquakes, come to town this Saturday. And the KYW Philly Soccer Show previews it.

In Part 1, KYW's Greg Orlandini and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch sit down with Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop.

Nowak, Union await discipline verdict, Valdes in Best XI

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Still awaiting official notice of his suspension for entering the field of play in last Saturday against Chivas USA, Peter Nowak said at Wednesday's weekly press conference, "I don't really want to go into details before the whole situation with the verdict and we see what happens.

Player of the Week: Michael Farfan

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Michael Farfan is nasty.

No, not his demeanor. (Although James Riley might argue otherwise about his brother.)

It's what he does with the ball. The way he threads through defenders like the ball's attached to his foot. The way he makes them look like fools.

Marfan, Valdes honored. Nowak=Reid? Summer plans.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Big thanks to the Philadelphia Union players, coaches and fans who attended Tuesday night's Team Dinner event for a wonderful time. Great people doing great things.

Philadelphia Union

Michael Farfan and Carlos Valdes were named to MLSsoccer.

How Zac and the D are getting it done

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Zac MacMath recorded his third consecutive shutout on Saturday night, a feat never before accomplished by a Philadelphia Union goalkeeper. (The Union had back-to-back shutouts three times in 2011, twice with Faryd Mondragon and once with MacMath. They didn't record a shutout in 2010 until Brad Knighton's on September 11, the only other of the season coming 2 games later.

Discipline problems, Zac in Team of the Week

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Philadelphia Union

Starting with the positives, Zac MacMath is named to SI's Team of the Week for Week 7.

We all knew that Peter Nowak would serve a one game suspension after he was ejected from Saturday's game for entering the pitch during the pushey-shovey that followed the tackle that led to Garfan's red card.

Analysis & player ratings: Chivas USA 0-1 Union

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union/Getty Images

Heading across the country to take on a Chivas USA who despite their poor home form have looked much improved in 2012, the Philadelphia Union would have taken a victory any way they could get it. That's a good thing considering that, although they recorded their second consecutive victory and first road win of the season, they were largely outplayed by their hosts and suffered two important ejections which could hurt them badly in the coming weeks.

Philadelphians abroad: Noone is back

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Temple alum J.T. Noone resigned with his hometown Harrisburg City Islanders and celebrated Friday with a game-winning goal.

Noone buried a penalty kick in the 51st minute to lead Harrisburg to a 2-1 win Friday over the Charleston Battery. Noone, who spent half a season with Philadelphia Union, recorded four assists last season in 21 games for Harrisburg.

Late reaction to Sat’s win/suspensions. More.

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Philadelphia Union

Peter Nowak says of Saturday's win, "It's a tribute to our boys. Even with two red cards, we didn't give up much. We deserved to win."

ProSoccerTalk says of the game, "Expect multiple suspensions for some late ugliness—and stupidity. Peter Nowak led the charge off his bench and onto the field as several players imposed themselves on a situation that referee Juan Guzman appeared to have in hand.

Nowak: “A good recipe”, Marfan’s moves are “vicious”, more news

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Shades of 2011 last night as the Union rode a beautiful goal to an ugly victory. Freddy Adu is off the mark, Michael Farfan should be on Sportscenter, and Philadelphia is up to 6th in the Eastern Conference standings. Gabe Farfan and Keon Daniel were both sent off and Peter Nowak joined them in the locker room and supplemental discipline is possible for all.

Match report: Chivas USA 0-1 Union; Nowak, Daniel & Garfan ejected

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It's hard to imagine the assist being nicer than a backheeled goal. But Michael Farfan set up Freddy Adu's winner with a hypnotizing run, and the Union held on to earn their first road win of the season over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Philadelphia is now unbeaten in their last three, and Chivas USA remains winless at home.

Preview: Union at Chivas USA

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What: Philadelphia Union at Chivas USA

Where: Home Depot Center, Carson, CA

When: 10:30pm ET, Saturday, April 21

TV: The Comcast Network

With their first three points in the bag, the Union head to the west coast with hopes on beginning their first winning streak of 2012.

Who’s the back 4? Hoff’ & Hopp’ with City Islanders. More news.

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

We linked to a tweet from Dave Zeitlin yesterday that indicated that, with Danny Califf doubtful for Saturday's match against Chivas USA, Peter Nowak is likely to start the same back four that played against Columbus, which means Garfan on the left, Gaddis on the right, with Valdes and Williams in the middle.

Footy on the Telly, April 20-26

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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, April 20
12:00pm Energie Cottbus vs Bochum My Sports Germany
12:00pm FSV Frankfurt vs Greuther Fürth My Sports Germany
12:00pm Eintracht Braunschweig vs MSV Duisburg My Sports Germany
2:00pm NAC Breda vs Roda JC Eredivisie.

Junior Lone Star to play Reading United, OC Nor’easters

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Philadelphia's Junior Lone Star will prepare for their National Premier Soccer League season opener away at Lehigh Valley's FC Sonic on May 18 with a series of preseason warmup away games that includes encounters with PDL sides Reading United and Ocean City Nor'easters.

Two other PDL teams, Jersey Express and newcomers Boston Victory SC, are also on the schedule.

Union vs Chivas USA quick reference

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

All-time record: 2–0–2
At PPL Park: 2–0–0
At Home Depot Center: 0–0–2
Goals for: 7
Goals against: 4

Did you know...
The Union's 1–1 draw with Chivas USA on July 3, 2010 was the second time the club had earned points on the road.

Goals, shots and where they come from

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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

In 2011, the Philadelphia Union played 9 games before they conceded as many goals as they did in the first 3 games of 2012. Coming off the heels of two shutouts and the Union defense seemingly settling into the kind of form we've all come to expect after 2011, attention has sharpened on the Union offense.

No Califf, Mwanga likely. Nowak on Herdling. More news.

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

CALENDAR UPDATE: The kickoff time for the Mother's Day derby with New York Red Bulls at PPL Park on May 13 has been moved from 1:30pm to 12:30pm. The game will be shown live on ESPN2.

Chris Vito reports that Danny Califf will not be ready to play when the Union travel west to play Chivas USA while Danny Mwanga is probably ready.

In pictures: Union Reserves 0-4 Crew at PPL Park

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Match summary by Eli Pearlman-Storch, photos by Paul Rudderow

Following the Union's first victory of the 2012 season, the Union reserves were forced to endure a rough beating against Columbus, losing 4-0.

With Aaron Schoenfeld handed the start at striker in the day's first team match, Emilio Renteria was still fresh for the reserves, with only 22 minutes played.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Sheanon Williams

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The Philadelphia Union put one in the win column for the first time this year, with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew, and the KYW Philly Soccer Show talks with one of the keys to that victory.

In Part 1, KYW's Greg Orlandini and Philly Soccer Page writer Eli Pearlman-Storch are joined by defender Sheanon Williams.

Tactics: Adu in the right place against Crew

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

It was The Usual Suspects before Saturday's match against Columbus: 1) What kind of crazy will be on the lineup card? 2) Is it worth hanging the netting on the PPL Park goals anymore? 3) Where will Freddy Adu play? 4) What will Freddy Adu do? And, depending on which side you come down on, 5) Why doesn't anybody else realize how amazing/awful Freddy Adu is?

Gaddis on start, Carroll in Best XI, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

MSNsportsnet profiles Raymon Gaddis after his first start with the Union. Gaddis says of the start, "I had to get my feet under me just because I hadn't played in a game with the first team. I was excited and was trying to get the ball as much as possible those first couple of minutes to get my touches underneath me and get comfortable with the pace of the game.

Former Jr. Lone Star player signs with Swedish club

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Former Junior Lone Star FC's forward, Anthony Allison, has signed for Swedish Division II Norrland club Harnosands FF for the 2012 season.

Allison signed his first professional contract with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2010 before signing with IFK Sundsvall of Sweden's Third Division last season.

Herdling: What position? New USA jersey, yay or nay? More.

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Photo: Courtesy TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Philadelphia Union

The Union confirmed on Monday that they have signed Kai Herdling on loan from 1899 Hoffenheim ahead of the close of the transfer window on Monday night.

Herdling is listed most places—from Wikipedia, to fussballdaten.de, soccerway.

Player of the week: Sheanon Williams

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Photo:Â

Sheanon Williams broke his mouth, played out of position at the last minute, and put in an excellent 90 minutes to help secure a clean sheet. That seems good enough to make him PSP's Philadelphia Player of the Week.

The speedy Philadelphia Union right back was asked shortly before Saturday's match against Columbus to  shift over to center back after starter Danny Califf aggravated a hamstring injury in pregame warm-ups.

Analysis & player ratings: Union 1-0 Crew

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Click here to view the embedded video.

At three of the possible four levels, the Union turned in a very strong performance in defeating Columbus 1-0. Goalkeeping, defense and even the recently maligned midfield were sharp and productive as the Union did just enough to see out the victory.

Quotes & reaction from 1st Union win, German loan, more

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

It may have been more "whew" than "WOO!" but a win is a win.

Peter Nowak said of the the win, "I think it was very important to the confidence. They start to see now that the work pays off and we got to keep going."

He said further, "I think this was extremely important for the guys in the locker room to have the feeling of getting three points.

Philadelphians abroad: Convey’s conundrum

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

This past weekend's match between the top team in each conference featured a Philadelphian playing yet another new position.

Now in his first season with Kansas City, Bobby Convey is being deployed at left wing in a 4-3-3, the only new starter for the league's best and only undefeated team.

In pictures: Union 1-0 Crew at PPL Park

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PSP photographer Paul Rudderow was on hand for Saturday afternoon's Philadelphia Union 1-0 win over Columbus Crew at PPL Park. Here's a look at what he saw.

Peter Nowak and his staff at the beginning of the match.

Peter Nowak gives a hug of thanks to one of our veterans.

Match reports, Gaddis & Califf news

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If you read one match report, read Eli's excellent recap.

If you read more than one, here are some good options: 700Level, CSNPhilly, MLSSoccer, SBI, PhillySoccerNews, the Examiner, the Inquirer, and Goal.

Second-round SuperDraft pick Ray Gaddis made a fine debut last night. More on Gaddis' debut and Danny Califf's absence from Dave Zeitlin.

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 Columbus Crew

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

They had to scrap it out until the end, but the Union kept a clean sheet and most importantly earned their first victory of the 2012 season, winning 1-0 over the visiting Columbus Crew. The Union were the better side throughout, but the margin was only a 37th minute Gabriel Gomez penalty, after Crew defender Eric Gehrig handled a Freddy Adu cross in the box.

Important goose news, Adu & Pajoy ready to score

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A quick round-up of links you can read to your friends during the tailgate:

Unholy Union has some goose news: Oh...and remember, columbus fans ht a goose and couldnt make it. Chant as necessary. Opposi.g player announcements, instead of "sucks", yell "goose"

It's crazy, but Freddy Adu might play a soccer game so it must be time to ask whether this is the moment that he becomes everything he is supposed to be.

Torres surgery successful, out 6-8 weeks

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Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Friday afternoon that Roger Torres underwent successful surgery to repair injuries to his left knee sustained in Monday's Reserve League match against New England.

The press release reads in part:

"Chester, PA (April 13, 2012) Philadelphia Union midfielder Roger Torres underwent successful surgery on Friday morning after sustaining an MCL sprain and minor meniscus damage in a 4-2 reserve league win against the New England Revolution on Monday.

Breakdown: Union vs Crew

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

What: Philadelphia Union vs Columbus Crew
Where: PPL Park
When: 3:30pm ET
TV: NBC Sports (formerly Versus)

The Columbus Crew have six points. The Union have one.

Clearly, points don't tell the whole story.

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Robert Warzycha

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

On the latest edition of the KYW Philly Soccer Show, Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha is the guest.

In part one, KYW's Greg Orlandini and PSP's Eli Pearlman-Storch chat with the Crew coach about how he is getting his team ready for the Union. He also touches on his relationship with Union coach Peter Nowak, whom he played with on the Polish National Team.

Torres to have surgery, more news

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Look for our match preview of Saturday's game against Columbus and a Philly Soccer Show podcast interview with Crew coach Robert Warzycha later this morning.

Philadelphia Union

Kerith Gabriel tweeted on Thursday that Roger Torres is "to undergo surgery Friday on the MCL in his left knee.

Footy on the Telly, April 13 – April 19

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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, April 13
12:00pm Greuther Fürth vs St.

Union vs Columbus quick reference

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All time record: 1-3-0
At PPL Park: 1-1-0
At Columbus Crew Stadium: 0-2-0
Goals For: 4
Goals Against: 7

Did you know...

The Union have scored exactly one goal in each of their four meetings with the Crew.

September 17, 2011: Philadelphia Union 1–0 Columbus Crew

Click here to view the embedded video.

Union to play Schalke 09

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The Philadelphia Union announced on Thursday that they will host Bundesliga side Schalke 09 at PPL Park on Wednesday, May 9, at 7:30pm.

Union season ticket holders will have access to a presale beginning today at 2:00pm. The presale will end on Monday, April 16 at 11:59pm.

Individual tickets ranging in price from $25 for Supporters tickets to $50 for Midfield tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 16 at 10:00am.

Visualizing Union passing stats

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Yesterday we looked a basic passing statistics over the first four games. In the scatter plot below, we can see a simple pattern emerge along positional bands, much as Rolando De Aguiar demonstrated in a post last December looking at passing statistics from 2011.

Junior Lone Star 2012 schedule released

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Junior Lone Star FC have released their 2012 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Schedule schedule. Playing in the Keystone Conference of the Northeast Division, Junior Lone Star starts off their 2012 campaign with four away games over a ten-day period, beginning with 2011 Keystone Conference runners-up and 2012 Lamar Hunt U.

Torres out 8-10 weeks, ASG PPL expansion test run

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Kerith Gabriel reports at the Daily News that Roger Torres will be out "for 8 to 10 weeks."

Peter Nowak says of the injury, "It doesn't look good. His knee went completely to the side. I knew from the beginning there was something wrong.

Official: MLS All-Stars to face Chelsea at PPL

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MLS announced on Wednesday morning that the MLS All-Stars will face Chelsea at PPL Park on Wednesday, July 25 at 8:30pm.

Philadelphia Union season ticket holders will have access to an exclusive pre-sale starting today at 2pm.

Union coach Peter Nowak will skipper the MLS team against Chelsea.

Union passing numbers so far

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Since MLS made available detailed match statistics provided by OPTA early in the 2012 season, PSP has published a number of posts in which we try to better understand what was happening on the field with the Philadelphia Union through the use of various statistics. These posts have been something of an evolution, ranging from a closer examination of what happened in a particular match in order to better understand what went right or wrong, to trying to understand larger trends, be they for the team as a whole, across positions, or for individual players.

Chelsea, no Torres, closed doors Reserve game

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union issued a press release on Tuesday in which they said team and league officials will be holding a press conference today at 11:30 to discuss "the competitive aspects of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game," which seems like a fancy way of saying the All-Star Game opponent will be announced.

In pictures: Union Reserves 4-2 Revolution Reserves

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The Philadelphia Union Reserves put on a dominating performance on Monday at Chester Park and PSP photographer Earl Gardner was on hand to capture the action.

Chase Harrison warms up before the match.

Chris Konopka looks on during warm ups.

Player of the Week: Andrew Wenger

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Philadelphia Union had the week off, but if they didn't, you'd be hard-pressed to beat out a guy who scored his first career professional goal to give his team its first ever Major League Soccer win.

So naturally, Montreal rookie Andrew Wenger is PSP's Philadelphia player of the week.

Wenger, a rookie from Lititz, Pa.

Reserves roll Revs, Califf & Co. roll Easter Eggs, more

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Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union reserves were impressive in their 4–2 win over New England reserves on Monday morning. Josue Martinez scored two while Antoine Hoppenot and Cristhian Hernandez each had a goal. New England scored first from a Kenny Mansally penalty kick when Chase Harrison leveled Blake Brettschneider early in the first half.

Philly abroad: Convey, Wenger game-winners

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Photo courtesy of Montreal Impact

Philadelphia-area players turned the tides in Saturday's two biggest games in Major League Soccer, as Andrew Wenger scored a game-winner and Bobby Convey created one with a beautiful assist.

Wenger's goal came in a nationally televised (in Canada) match between Toronto and Montreal, giving the Impact their first-ever MLS win by a 2-1 score.

Union at White House. Is it Saturday yet? More news.

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Danny Califf, Brian Carroll and Zac MacMath are participating in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House this morning.

The Union will play their PDL-affiliate Reading United on Saturday, June 9 at at Albright College's Shirk Stadium. The game comes during the two week break for World Cup qualifiers.

Best of MLS, PPL experience, TFC keeps Union off bottom

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Easter greetings from Sheanon Williams.

No doop this weekend but @ChrisVito kindly points out that Seba Le Toux threw down another marker, giving him as many goals as the entire Union team.

MLS action was consistently awesome this weekend. If you missed any of it, here are full highlights from every match.

Garfan rising, Nowak says shoot, more news

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Photo by: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

I know, no Philadelphia Union game this weekend, it totally sucks. But there are still lots of games to watch. Click here for our listings of the week's upcoming live soccer on your TV and computer.

More on Gabriel Farfan's claim for the starting spot at left back.

Footy on the Telly, April 6 – April 13

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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, April 6
8:55pm Reading vs Leeds United Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
11:30am Swansea City vs Newcastle FSC, Fox Deportes
12:10pm Barnsley v West Ham United Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
1:00pm Beira-Mar vs Academica de Coimbra Sport TV Americas
3:15pm Vitoria Setubal vs Vitoria Guimaraes Sport TV Americas
6:10pm Arsenal vs Olimpo TyCSports
8:30pm Vélez Sarsfield vs Independiente TyCSports
9:10pm Morelia vs Atlas Fox Deportes, Azteca America

Saturday, April 7
6:55pm Kilmarnock vs Celtic Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go
7:00am MSV Duisburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt My Sports Germany
7:00am FSV Frankfurt vs St.

Tacony v True Blues in 1913 American Cup final

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Philadelphia-area teams were an ever-present force in the American Cup throughout the 1910s. From 1910 through 1920, Philadelphia-area teams would appear in nine American Cup finals, winning the final six times.

1913 marked the first time the American Cup final was held in Philadelphia. And, as the Fates would have it, a Philadelphia team, Tacony FC, who had won the tournament in 1910, would be competing in the final.

Nowak on shuffling, Keon ready to go neon, more news.

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Much of the discussion at Peter Nowak's Wednesday press conference centered on the tinkering with the lineup. Nowak made it clear that he believes it is wrong to call such moves shuffling. "The term shuffling is an overhaul of the lineup from week-to-week and that's different than what we're doing.

Nowak quits Twitter?

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

"Even old dogs can learn new tricks. Looking forward to interacting with the best fans in @MLS. Be gentle on me! #Doop"

So began Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak's foray into the world of Twitter last August.

Unfortunately, such interaction appears to have come to an end because @Peter_Nowak no longer exists on Twitter.

Philadelphia player of the week: Danny Califf

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Photo: Earl Gardner

So yeah, it took us two years to figure out we should have a Philadelphia Player of the Week award.

And yeah, it then took us four games into the season to start writing the posts. We could tell you that's because we wanted to wait till the team got its first point in the standings, or that we consciously refused to write this post because the first three weeks didn't have anyone deserving of it.

Suspension for foul on Valdes. Power rankings. More.

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Photo by: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

After reviewing footage of his elbow to the head of Carlos Valdes in the 65th minute of Saturday's draw, the league has suspended Vancouver's Atiba Harris for one game and fined him for violent conduct that endangered the safety of his opponent.

When will the shots come?

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Peter Nowak said of the Philadelphia Union's offensive struggles after Saturday's draw with Vancouver, "I think that it's the whole package, it's not just that they're afraid to shoot, it's just more the whole situation of why don't I take the safe pass instead of be more opportunistic and take a chance on the shot on goal.

Philadelphians abroad

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It might seem odd for two Philly guys to be happy about playing for a soccer team in Charleston, S.C., but if there's anything Ryan Richter and Tony Donatelli should keep in mind, it's recent history.

Richter, a LaSalle alum who played for Philadelphia Union last season, and Donatelli, a Temple grad who moves from minor league Rochester, both signed with the Charleston Battery of the USL last week.

Califf named to Best XI. Power rankings. Twitter fun. More.

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 Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Danny Califf says of the hype leading into Saturday's game, "I think there was a lot of hoopla leading up to the game but once the game got underway, Union fans were cheering for the Union."

Califf, in the starting lineup after a two game layoff, was named to Goal.

Analysis & player ratings: Union 0-0 Whitecaps

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Photo: Earl Gardner

First the positives for the Union.

They kept their first clean sheet of 2012 and outside of two incisive runs from Sebastien Le Toux, the Whitecaps had very little offense of which to speak. True they were without target man Eric Hassli and midfield maestro Camilo Sanvezzo, but the Union's four man backline, finally reunited, got the job done.

Union v Whitecaps in pictures

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PSP photographer Earl Gardner was on hand for Saturday's draw with Vancouver Whitecaps. Here's some of what he saw.

Former Union goal keeper Brad Knighton returns to PPL Park.

Harvey all the time?

Peter Nowak & the coaching staff.

Fans, idols, and managers

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When I was about eight years old, my mother took my younger brother and me to Yankee Stadium and introduced us to third base coach and future general manager Gene Michael. As two boys growing up just outside New York City, we should have been thrilled to meet our hometown team's coach, but we didn't really care.

Califf: “Confidence is really key.” More news.

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Check out PSP's match report and report on Peter Nowak's post-game press conference. Look for our analysis and player ratings as well as photo essay later this morning.

OK, let's get this out of the way. Here's Le Toux on the reception he received at PPL Park on Saturday: "There was a lot of emotion before the game, especially when I came on the field and at the end.

Nowak emphasizes confidence gained, progress made

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Photo and video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

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In the post-game press conference after the Philadelphia Union's scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps, Peter Nowak's theme was one of positives.

From putting an end to what he described as "the negative series" that has been the team's start to the 2012 season, to the confidence that Zac MacMath and the defensive line will gain from recording a shutout, the improved play of the defense, to the fighting spirit that the team displayed on the field, Nowak emphasized that the team is making progress.