The final weekend of the MLS regular season kicks off with Sporting taking the field against Philadelphia. The weekend continues through 8pm tomorrow when LA and Seattle take the field. Wouldn't it be great if all these games took place at the same time? Having KC-Philadelphia, Chicago-New York, and Portland-Chivas all kicking off on the same time would certainly add to potential excitment when it comes to the Supporters' Shield.
The Fire got themselves back into playoff contention in what amounted to a "must-win" situation against a club that had beaten them twice this season. Chicago is now six points behind Philadelphia with two games in hand and five points behind fifth place Houston for the final playoff spot. The Fire, Revolution, and Union are likely to be the challengers for the last post season berth if things hold to form.
Sporting Kansas City is back at it tomorrow against the Seattle Sounders at Sporting Park in a rematch of last year's US Open Cup final. Both teams are coming into the game on short rest, Sporting at least will have not had to travel, although they'll have one less day of rest. Seattle played in Philadelphia on Saturday earning a 2-2 draw while Kansas City took care of Chivas USA 4-0.
For the second year in a row, Sporting KC gets to make a "fun" two game road trip going from one coast to the other. Last year Sporting played Seattle to a 1-1 draw before getting beat by Philadelphia 4-0 on a Wednesday/Saturday road trip that saw them on both coasts in a 4 days span. KC gets to do that again this year starting tomorrow in New York.
For the fourth time this season, Sporting KC will get to play a home opener, for the third time it will be on the road. After playing both Philadelphia and Toronto in their home opener Sporting opened Sporting Park last week. This weekend they'll get to do another home opener, heading on the road to play the New England Revolution in their home opener.
Sporting Kansas City end the regular season tomorrow afternoon in Philadelphia, the same place they started the 2013 season. The began the season with a win against the Union, and they'll be looking to end the season the same way. A win against the Union would, at least temporarily, give Sporting KC the lead in the Supporters' Shield race, and would force the New York Red Bulls to win their season finale on Sunday against the Chicago Fire.
NBC Sports article reinforces what many Philadelphia fans have worried about for a while now - poor money management and lack of decent midfield that are killing the Union on and off the field.
An article from NBC Sports Steve Davis really put together the thoughts of many Philadelphia Union fans on the club's woes - both the club's unstable financial situation, as well as its highest-paid and most-decorated player, Brazilian midfielder Kleberson, who inexplicably is riding the pine behind much less renowned (and less expensive) players.
The Philadelphia Phillies are currently on an 8-game losing streak, tied for the longest in the Charlie Manuel era. Chances are, any Phillies wins from here on out are going to be meager consolation wins. The Phillies are once again effectively also-rans with a trade deadline and a lot of tough decisions about to be made that will hopefully better the future.
For the Philadelphia Union, a trade had seemed inevitable for weeks. With Bakary Soumare unpleased about his role on the team, head coach John Hackworth had no issue helping the center back find a new home.
However, it would be Gabriel Farfan, and not Soumare to be the first player traded from the Union this season.
In front of an expectedly low Sunday evening crowd of 12,349, D.C. United dropped their fourth straight game (and fifth overall, all within the first seven games of the 2013 season) to the Philadelphia Union 3-2. It was a game that felt desperate even before the opening kick, but D.C. United made it even more desperate only 11 minutes into the match when they found themselves down by two goals.
On loan from QPR We know what we are. We have an ounce of self-awareness that we dabble often in the dark arts of punnage and hackneyed gagging. It is our chip butty bread and butter. See? Of all MLS fixtures, we find the Philadelphia matchups the hardest when it comes to resisting temptation of woeful wordsmithing.
Ahhhh... the best seat in the house. This feels nice. I'm finally at home for an away game, which sounds like an oxymoron, but I assure you this is correct. The majority of you who are watching it are either in the same predicament, or are enjoying your footie with a pint or two, perhaps some wings or nachos, at your local.
Since arriving in Philadelphia, Brazilian midfielder Kleberson has been patiently awaiting his chance to make his Major League Soccer debut.
That chance may come as early as this Saturday, when the Philadelphia Union play host to Toronto FC.
Speaking at his weekly press conference, Union manager John Hackworth said that he thought about putting Kleberson in during the last match, but decided against it after Columbus equalized in the second half.
The MLS regular season will end the same way it began, with Sporting Kansas City facing the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on NBCSN at 3:00 PM Saturday. Both teams are fighting for similar but different things. While Philadelphia has no option but to win and require help from the up to 4 teams above them, Sporting Kansas City has already clinched a bye in the wildcard round.
Every MLS game today has playoff implications for at least one of the teams. It's a weekend that could turn crazy all around the league. Not all the games have a direct effect on KC, but they're ones to watch for.
Philadelphia at Montreal What we want to happen - Montreal win
Really this result doesn't mean a whole lot to KC, unless you really want to avoid one team over the other potentially in the playoffs.
With only three games remaining it's time for yet another "must win" situation for the Fire. A reduced MLS schedule because of international competition leaves a good portion of the league idle this weekend but Chicago and their most likely challengers for the final spot are in action. The Union are in DC, New England and Montreal face each other but the Columbus Crew are on break.
Come Sunday afternoon, Red Bull Arena certainly won't be short of star power.
Fresh off a 4-1 win midweek over Philadelphia, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and the Los Angeles Galaxy will try to make it 2-for-2 on their East Coast swing with a win over Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and the New York Red Bulls.
Bethlehem Steel FC will not be the last Philadelphia area soccer team the Philadelphia Union pay homage to, as the Major League Soccer club intends to celebrate more of the city's long history with the sport in future editions of their alternate jersey.
Nick Sakiewicz, the Philadelphia's CEO and managing partner, informed Philly Current that the Union want to continue involving teams of the city's past in the club's third jersey moving forward.
The Fire will host the Philadelphia Union on May 11. It's possible Bakary Soumare will be there even if he's not a member of the visiting team. In the latest episode of the Fire Confidential Podcast, Soumare talks about his return to MLS last season and where he could be headed this year. Chicago is in the running but there are issues that need to be worked out before a trade can be facilitated.
This Saturday the 1-3-2 New England Revolution take on the 3-2-2 Philadelphia Union at Gillette. To help preview the game and give a Union perspective, I interviewed Dan Walsh, editor and founder, of The Philly Soccer Page.
Its been a good start to the season for Philadelphia with only one defeat in your last seven games.
Frustrated at a lack of playing time, Philadelphia Union defender Bakary Soumare has requested a trade away from PPL Park, and it looks like the Union are going to shop him around. The prospect is certain to have several MLS clubs salivating, but are the New England Revolution among them?
Speaking solely on Soumare's merits, it's a move that can only improve the Revolution defense.
Talented graphic designer Mark Yesilevskiy is doing special things in Philadelphia. The Bolton Wanderers/Philadelphia Union fan has taken creativity to new heights with his artwork, which features iconic photographs-turned-illustrations of some of the biggest players in the world...without the actual player.
Finally. After failing to take advantage of numerous opportunities to gain ground on playoff contenders the Fire finally capitalized on the ineptitude of the remainder of the Eastern Conference by laying claim to one of the top five spots in the East. By doing so they've put themselves into a position to rely solely on their own results rather than continuing to hope someone else loses or draws in order to move into a playoff spot.
Last Match Final Score: Whitecaps 0 – Union 1 Man of the Match: Johnny Leveron Referee: Baldomero Toledo Attendance: 21,000 (BC Place) Scoring 85′ PHI Antoine Hoppenot (Aaron Wheeler) Match Stats Shots: Vancouver 14 Philadelphia 16 Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 Philadelphia 5 Saves: Vancouver 4 Philadelphia 5 Fouls: Vancouver [.
The Fire did what they had to do in exposing a suspect Philadelphia back line last week and created numerous opportunities to score over the course of last week's match. They only thing they didn't do was finish their chances. On Wednesday night, the Union actually played a decent first half against the Los Angeles Galaxy only allowing a Zac MacMath own goal in a 1-1 stalemate at the break.
Looking at the final numbers after the match you'd be hard pressed to explain just how the Fire managed to drop yet another home game against an opponent that they should have been able to beat. Philadelphia came into this match missing two starters on the back line and one of the replacements hadn't played a regular season match since last August.
Despite missing Obafemi Martins (knee), Shalrie Joseph (hamstring), Steve Zakuani (groin) and Osvaldo Alonso (birth of daughter), the Seattle Sounders certainly did not look like a depleted team early. In the tenth minute, the always explosive Eddie Johnson scored on a corner kick service from Mauro Rosales, and Seattle were up 1-0.
There's been little to report as to Bakary Soumare's future since making public his trade request in early March, but a Tweet from a Chicago based reporter shed some light on what has transpired since.
However, new news emerged that the 27 year-old may be returning to a familiar team in the near future.
After taking a point on the road at Columbus, Philadelphia returned home to PPL Park to take on Toronto FC, and two familiar faces. Former Union captain Danny Califf and 2011 Supplemental Draft Pick Ryan Richter had taken their talents north of the border; Richter would enter in the seventh minute for an injured Darel Russell, while Califf would not see the field.
It's no secret. The Fire are in desperate need of a win. On Sunday they'll get a chance to notch that first victory of the season against a club that has also seen their share of injury and underperformance this season. The New York Red Bulls come to Toyota Park with a record of 1-2-2 after picking up their first win of the year last weekend against Philadelphia.
A lot of fans were disappointed when the New England Revolution lost to Philadelphia last week, and with good reason; it was a sloppy game all around, but the Revs seemed to do enough to at least get out of PPL with a point. Philly basically took the game on their only clear chance in ninety minutes.