Commentary

USL - Bethlehem Steel FC

Goliath, and little David from Bethlehem

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Head coach Brendan Burke modestly understated the matter when he described his most recent opponent as a big-budget, fully-resourced side. While they lost a third game to them Saturday, the two previous clean sheet victories deserve remembrance and praise.

Interchangeable parts, 2017

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Earnie Stewart's interchangeable parts idea may work better with soccer players than previously thought.

Lessons from the Steel’s loss to Orlando

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As PSP readers struggle to discern a way forward for the Philadelphia Union organization, here are some follow-up thoughts from down on the farm.

Should Bethlehem play in the second or third division?

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PSP explores the question of which division Bethlehem should play in once USL splits into two divisions.

Bethlehem Steel outlook for 2017

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Preseason is over for the Steel. It is time to fearlessly forecast their future. PSP's Tim Jones looks at Bethlehem's projected lineup, how they'll play, and how the Union loanees and Union Academy players fit in.

USL hybrids, profits and imitating baseball

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As professional soccer evolves in the United States, it has begun to imitate the oldest of American pro sports. PSP's Tim Jones explains.

Bethlehem’s problems and solutions may lie on the practice field

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It's rare for Bethlehem Steel's entire starting lineup to practice together before a game. It happened last week, and the results were impressive. PSP's Tim Jones wonders whether this will be a lesson learned and implemented for next season.

Philadelphia Union

Should we feel better now that the Union have won?

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The Union have won for the first time since last August, but is there reason to believe that things will be getting any better?

The Union Academy’s future

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The academic portion of the Philadelphia Union's Academy is of necessity undergoing a transition, as it explores a cutting edge in educational technique while still displaying mainstream, rock-solid, independent school values. PSP's Tim Jones, a retired teacher, explains.

It’s time for major changes at Philadelphia Union

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To keep his job, Jim Curtin needs to do something he rarely does: Change. PSP's Dan Walsh suggests how.

It’s time to hold Jim Curtin accountable

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Nothing is working right now in Chester. Peter Andrews explains why Jim Curtin is the man who deserves the lion's share of the blame for the team's poor start.

It’s time to hold Earnie Stewart accountable

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Forget Jim Curtin. It's time to hold Earnie Stewart accountable for signing players who don't fit the 4-2-3-1 system he and the Union want to employ. PSP's Steve Whisler explains.

Have the Union answered our questions?

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Jim O'Leary asks if we know more about this team after three games than we did in preseason?

What Atlanta United’s early success means for the Union

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Atlanta United's big start poses a stark comparison for Philadelphia Union. PSP's Rob Elder breaks it out.

Loving Jim: Apologizing for Curtin in 2017

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Jim Curtin has a lot to prove in 2017. How Union fans measure that improvement is up for debate.

The Medunjanin manifesto

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It was just one game, but Union fans can now dream about what Haris Medunjanin will mean to the team. PSP's Peter Andrews spotlights what the Bosnian showed in Saturday's preseason match.

No Yaro, no problem?

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Josh Yaro's injury opens the way for someone else to claim a starting center back spot for Philadelphia Union next to Richie Marquez. Who will step up? PSP's Peter Andrews looks at the candidates.

The Union are a veteran team built to win now

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PSP's Dan Walsh looks at how Earnie Stewart quickly turned a young team with a smattering of veterans into a veteran team with a smattering of youth.

Five thoughts on Philadelphia Union

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Matt Polster is expendable, and so is Ray Gaddis. These and other Philadelphia Union-oriented observations, courtesy of PSP's Dan Walsh.

A chat about the 2017 Union: Part 2

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Dan Walsh and Peter Andrews have some thoughts about the 2017 Union. About a week's worth of thoughts, actually. Part two looks at Roland Alberg, Ilsinho, and the rest of the attack.

Union must be smart, not reactive, in addressing the defense

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Philly's defensive issues can be addressed numerous ways. The club should stick to their long-term plan and invest in midfield, not in back.

Will Atlanta United’s tide lift other clubs?

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Atlanta United could shake MLS up with its ambitious moves preceding its entry into the league next season. A big MLS Cup final could similarly raise the league's profile. How will that affect other clubs, like Philadelphia Union?

Blake’s award reflects importance to team, not just skill in net

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Like the rest of the Union defense, Andre Blake was far from perfect in 2016. But his play offered confidence to a team that often struggled for consistency over a long MLS season.

What do the Union need this off-season?

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PSP's Dan Walsh runs down Philadelphia Union's likely off-season needs.

Ken Tribbett’s errors obscure larger facts in Union playoff loss

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Ken Tribbett will have nightmares for years about Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, but there was more to the Union's playoff loss than that, PSP's Dan Walsh writes. Also, a note on the retiring Conor Casey.

Making the playoffs is an achievement. Enjoy it.

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Worry about the offseason when we get there, says Peter Andrews. The Union aren't dead yet.

Union playoff appearance more formality than achievement

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When Roland Alberg was caught on camera apparently telling Tranquillo Barnetta to "f*ck off" during Sunday's loss to NYRB, it seemed to sum up the Union's late season collapse into the playoffs, PSP's Dan Walsh writes. But that wasn't the only thing.

The Union’s collapse is not a regression to the mean

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The Union should be a good team right now. Instead, they're collapsing toward the playoffs so poorly that they don't deserve the off-season, and the coaching staff deserves some of the blame, writes PSP's Dan Walsh.

Union fight to stay above red line

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Two home games. Philadelphia Union need to win. PSP's Dan Walsh looks at the playoff chances of the Union and their top competitors.

The next wave of potential Union Academy breakthroughs

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Auston Trusty and Derrick Jones blazed the trail. Now PSP's Tim Jones takes a look at the wave of Philadelphia Union youth prospects bubbling up through the academy to Bethlehem Steel.

Fabian Herbers and blooding young players in MLS

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The Union consistently gave Fabian Herbers a chance this year. Now, he's paying off.

Tribbett vs. Yaro: Stats and redemption

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The stats show Ken Tribbet is just as good as Josh Yaro, if not better. He'll get a chance to redeem himself Saturday vs. Toronto. Also, a closer look at the playoff race and observations on the Union's Kevin Krantz signing, courtesy of PSP's Dan Walsh.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Steel profiles: Brendan Burke

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PSP's series of Bethlehem Steel player profiles actually starts with the coach.

A quick look at new Steel signing Matt Real

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Tim Jones on new Bethlehem Steel signing, and Union Academy product, Matt Real.

Bethlehem Steel FC’s identity crisis

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PSP's Dylan Gerstley recaps the overarching themes of Bethlehem Steel's inaugural season and sees a team with a bit of an identity crisis.

Jurgen Klinsmann

USMNT fans have plenty to be thankful for, post-Klinsmann

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U.S. Soccer has made a conservative but pragmatic choice in turning to Bruce Arena as the new USMNT coach. This and a few more things to give thanks for.

The source of USMNT malaise is obvious

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Attendance at USMNT matches is down 23%. The USMNT has lost its first two Hex matches for the first time ever. The malaise surrounding the team is obvious. What do you think?

The Rest

Alejandro Bedoya, for club and country

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After Alejandro Bedoya's 75-minute appearance for the United States in their demolition of Honduras on Friday night, Peter Andrews discusses the differences in his game when with the national team and with the Union. Plus, Pulisic!

Presenting: The ‘Iguana vs Snakes’ Footage From Planet Earth II, Complete With Lionel Messi Goal Commentary (Video)

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Anybody who tuned into Sir David Attenborough's latest Planet Earth episode on Sunday evening will no doubt have been left well and truly frazzled by one of the most tense, thrilling and nerve-shredding swatches of documentary footage to ever to have been aired.

We're talking, of course, about the straight survival footrace* between a baby iguana and a marauding phalanx of racer snakes on Fernandina, one of the Galapagos islands.