Commentary

USL - Bethlehem Steel FC

The Steel should lock in Burke

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Brendan Burke has grown since the beginning of the Bethlehem Steel project, and his departure would be a significant loss.

Three veteran constants in Bethlehem Steel’s 2017 universe

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Three veterans put the competitive steel in the Bethlehem Steel in 2017. They are Cory Burke, Hugh Roberts and James Chambers.

Explaining the Steel’s 2017 road record

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Bethlehem Steel head coach Brendan Burke explains why the 2017 road record is already 250% better than 2016's -- two points and the away records table.

Steel’s Burke comments on USL’s competitive mix

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The 2017 United Soccer League mixes together traditional, stand-alone, independent teams newer and older, with more recent wholly-owned Major League Soccer farm teams. Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke has commented on the "unique mix."

Reviewing the Union organization’s depth chart

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Wondering about moves during the transfer window? PSP attempts a combined depth chart of the Philadelphia Union-Bethlehem Steel-Philadelphia Union Academy professional rosters.

Dare we think Steel and playoffs?

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A club record unbeaten streak, a 6-point season sweep of last year's champions, lying fifth in the table, and achieving these while missing a major defender and two mainstay attackers provokes thoughts of eastern Pennsylvania sports fans favorite "P" word, "Playoffs."

A year on: 2017 Bethlehem Steel Roster v. 2016

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Tim Jones compares a younger, more versatile 2017 Bethlehem Steel roster to the team's inaugural squad.

Memorial Day musings

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Some observations about the Bethlehem Steel and the USL, from serious issues of future stability to a whimsically fleeting table analysis.

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.

Philadelphia Union

Bethlehem Steel won’t leave the Lehigh Valley, but they should still move

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As Columbus Crew SC is ripped away from it's fanbase, a Lehigh Valley native ponders how moving a team could be a good thing.

Youth and pride: If not now, when?

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Shana Tovah! Steve Whisler rings in the Jewish New Year with all sorts of disbelief about the Union's resistance to play their best young prospects.

The Union, the process, and the No. 10

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There has been ample time for Philadelphia Union to acquire help at the No. 10. Through two transfer windows, the Union found nobody. PSP's Adam Cann lays out the problem in depth and takes the front office to task on it.

Doubting the process

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The Union held a town hall meeting for season ticket-holders but refuse to let anyone else know what happened. PSP's Adam Schorr thinks he knows why.

You should be happy the Union aren’t signing a No. 10 this summer

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Steve Whisler is relieved the Union passed on Nicolás Martinez.

On miracles and passion

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Another up and down season has this writer watching the game but not loving it. All it took was a moment of Brazilian brilliance to begin to unlock the love.

The missed opportunity in hosting Swansea City

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Summer friendlies are great money makers, but could the Union have made more money with a different opponent?

Union injury rehabs pose questions for shorthanded Bethlehem side

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By intention, the Steel had one discretionary substitution Saturday. It turns out they needed two. Was it a necessary sacrifice or an unnecessary risk?

The Union ship of Theseus

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When Earnie Stewart took the helm of the Philadelphia Union, he inherited a fanbase so tired of failure as to mutiny against the team's ownership. How each defines that relationship is a significant part of the team's "now" narrative.

The false dilemma: To spend or not to spend

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To spend or not to spend. That was and still is the question. Nick Fishman takes a closer look at the issue.

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?

union

Some Union players still have much to fight for

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Hopes are low for the team finding success with what's left of the season, but there are still several players with things left to prove by the end of the year.

Is tonight’s game a rivalry match?

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In the absence of a true regional rivalry, perhaps Union fans can look further afield to find a match worth getting worked up about.

Who is Elías Aguilar?

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Elias Aguilar was training with the team in Chester yesterday, but what if it was more than just "training"?

The Rest

Player to watch: Andre Blake

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It's going to be an interesting offseason for Union goalkeeper Andre Blake as he enters the last year of his contract.

The best place for impromptu soccer

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Fans' View writer Rashaad Jorden has played pickup soccer all over the world, but there's one spot he enjoys most.

On the current USL league meetings

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USL owners criticize the so-called MLS2 player development sides that make up 37% of USL. Will they stay in Division Two or be dropped to Division Three?

Fixing the Gold Cup

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The Gold Cup is the premier competition for CONCACAF supremacy. It does little to further the US Men's National Team's international agenda, however, and getting "results" in the competition have little impact results in subsequent World Cups.

Bethlehem Steel and the USL to MLS pipeline

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Bethlehem Steel FC has already developed an MLS quality player, with two more potentially on the way. But what should fans really make of the Union's USL setup?

Retro Football: FIFA 97 Soundtrack Featured A Secret Hidden Song – John Motson Commentating/Rapping Over Thumping Techno Track (Video)

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By Mof Gimmers

John Motson has been commentating on football matches since 1971, and in all those hours, he's inevitably said some daft stuff.

However, buried in his gigantic CV is an almost-rap that he did for one of EA's FIFA franchise games.

If you popped your FIFA '97 disc into your stereo, there was an audio track which was only spoken about in the back pages of gaming magazines in the cheats section.

Halfway there: Gili starts, Haris’ defense, direct play, and other notes at the midseason mark

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Giliano Wijnaldum has earned a starting role and why the change in Union fortunes is all about Haris Medunjanin.

Today’s Union Lineup

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Should Jim Curtin use tonight's USOC match against Harrisburg judiciously to experiment?