Showing posts with label Major League Soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Major League Soccer. Show all posts

Friday, April 19, 2013

Union Face Neighbors DC United on April 21st Live on ESPN2

The Philadelphia Union Face Nearby Rivals DC United in a Sunday Showdown

The game, which will be live on ESPN2, takes place at RFK Stadium in DC at a time when they really need points.

DC United currently sits in last place in the eastern conference with only one win, and one tie this season. They have been defeated 4 times already.

The Union are in the middle of the Eastern conference at 6th place with 8 points. This  is much better than last season already, and they have shown good signs of improvement.

What makes this game exciting is that it will not only be available on ESPN2 at 5pm E on Sunday April 21st, it is also a fast growing rivalry that will surly have some sparks, and perhaps more.

DC is often better known for its longer lasting rivalry with New York. But the fact that Philadelphia sits in the middle, makes them an instant rival for both teams.



This game will certainly be exciting and full of entertainment and drama.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MLS News for 2013 Season

Transfers News and Schedule for 2013 Season

As most players enjoy a break from soccer, the coaches are still hard at work negotiating and navigating the tricky transfer market.

One of the biggest news stories this off season is the return of S├ębastien Le Toux to the Philadelphia Union. In an odd situation last year Le Toux was traded away from the Union despite being the teams highest scorer over the last two season.

After a season playing for Vancouver and then New York, the Union fired their head coach Peter Novak, and brought in John Hackworth who started the wheels turning to get Le Toux back.

The Union had a rather dismal 2012 season which saw them add several good players, but lack a center forward. Bringing S├ębastien Le Toux back to the team not only makes the fans happy, it also gives the Union a target center forward with a goal scoring track record.

Home Game Openers for 2013 Announced

The schedule, and more importantly the home game openers for next season, have been announced by the MLS.

All teams will play at home no later than week 4, with most teams getting their home opener in the first or second week.

The Philadelphia Union will have their home opener on March 2nd, one of the first games of the 2013 season. They will face Sporting KC in what will certainly be a test to see if the Union have made improvements since last year.

While waiting for the 2013 season to get underway, many may be interested in the Preseason schedule

More MLS News coming soon!.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The MLS Cup 2012 - Last game for Beckham

Beckham confirms that the MLS Cup 2012 will be his Last at the Galaxy

david beckham galaxy 2012Super soccer star David Beckham has had a great run in the MLS while playing for LA. Several seasons of hard work culminated last year when the Galaxy won the 2011 MLS Cup. Some thought Beckham would hang up his boots then, after accomplishing one of his major goals - winning the Cup. 

But Beckham returned in 2012 and LA are in the final yet again. It was not as easy to get to the final, and Beckham has decided it will be his last game as a player for LA. 

I am sure his teammates and all the Galaxy fans hope Beckham s final game ends in a win.

What has Beckham done for the MLS?

Beckham has done quite a bit to help Major League Soccer reach where it is today. He was one of the first big soccer superstars to come to the MLS (other than Pele years ago) and opened the door for people such as Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane to follow. 

He also helped to lift the level of play by presenting an example of what quality free-kicks should be like. How many different MLS players have now had a chance to see a world class set-piece taker whip a ball into the box? Nearly all of them.

Looking to the Future of the MLS

With Beckham on his way out, there is a space left open, not only on the Galaxy, but in the MLS for a new superstar to fill. It is hard to tell who or how many world class players may be attracted to the MLS and where they might end up, but it is clear the MLS is becoming more and more of a world class soccer league. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

The MLS Cup 2012 - LA Vs. Houston

The MLS Cup 2012 is set to be a rematch of last year's Cup

The LA Galaxy defeated Seattle 4-2 in a two game series to advance to the MLS Cup while Houston beat DC United 4-2 as well, over a two game series.

The Houston Dynamo will play the Galaxy in LA at the Home Depot Center on December 1st to see who will win the MLS Cup 2012.

A Flashback to the 2011 MLS Cup

LA played Houston last year for the MLS Cup and got the win after a tremendous season in which they won the Supporters Shield (most points during the regular season).

Beckham-holds-2011-mls-cup
Beckham Holds 2011 MLS Cup
It was a sweet victory for LA as stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan as they had played exceptionally over the entire season.

It was the Galaxy's first Championship win since signing Beckham several seasons earlier.

The final score for the 2011 MLS Cup was LA Galaxy 1, Houston 0. What can we expect for this year?

Reaching the 2012 MLS Cup - Houston and LA

Both Houston's and LA's path to the MLS Cup was anything but pretty.

LA Struggled for the first third of the season, losing games both at home and on the road. They looked nothing like the unstoppable force they had been the year before.

However, after the Euro Cup in the summer, International Star Robbie Keane came back to the Galaxy on a scoring rampage. He ended the season with 16 goals and propelled LA into the playoffs, although they finished a slightly humiliating 8th place overall.

Houston also had some struggles during the regular season losing many of their road games. But, with a strong home record (and a new stadium), they did just enough to reach the playoffs in 9th place overall, and last in the Eastern Conference.

Once LA and Houston reached the 2012 MLS Playoffs, they turned into totally different teams, each defeating the top team in their conference and powering through the rest of the competition, leading to a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup Final.

What to Expect in the 2012 MLS Cup Final

In 2011, the game ended in a tight, 1-0 victory for the Galaxy. I would expect with the Galaxy playing at home again, and the likes of Robbie Keane playing up front, they come out hard against Houston and try to score early and often.

Houston is a veteran playoff team with MLS Cup wins in 2006 and 2007, not to mention last year's near win. They will hold their defensive lines and try to take advantage of set pieces and bursts of possession.

It is shaping up to be an exciting game and will be live on ESPN on December 1st. Don't miss out!

Friday, October 26, 2012

MLS News- Final Games of the 2012 Season

2012 MLS Season Concludes this Weekend

Major League Soccer wraps up it's 34 game season this weekend with no teams unsure about their playoff positions.

For some, such as the Philadelphia Union, their playoff hopes were shattered weeks ago. All 10 playoff spots are already secured with five teams from each conference. 

While it may seem like an anticlimactic ending to the season, I see it more as a calm before the playoff storm.

2012 MLS Playoff Standings

Here are the standings from each conference:

Western Conference
  • San Jose
  • Seattle
  • Salt Lake
  • LA
  • Vancouver

Eastern Conference
  • Kansas City
  • D.C.
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Houston 
While some jostling of playoff positions could take place this weekend, for teams like the Union it is more about pride, and building for next season.

The MLS Playoffs will come quickly once the season ends, so keep an eye out for many exciting games before the MLS takes it's winter break.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Union Win with Two Goals from Freddy Adu

The Philadelphia Union ended an 8 game win-less streak in their home game against the Houston Dynamo.

The Union have been struggling with goals recently, scoring only 2 goals in the last 5 games. But they got three goals in their 3-1 win over Houston at PPL Park.

Freddy Adu scored two goals to put his season total at five.

His first goal came from a cross by rookie Ray Gladdis, who sent the ball into the box and eventually to the feet of Adu who put it in the back of the net.

Adu's second goal came from a PK, which he converted.

Unfortunately, the night ended for Freddy Adu with a possible injury.

The Union needed all three points if to keep any hopes of reaching the playoffs alive. Mathematically they could still make the playoffs, but it is long shot.

The Union's next MLS game is against a surging Columbus Crew who are striving to reach the playoffs. Can the Union be a speed bump in their path? We will have to wait and see in next week's game.

Highlights of the Union's 3-1 win over Houston:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

MLS Action Heats up as Playoffs Draw Near

With just weeks left in the MLS regular season, games are starting to really heat up with playoff spots on the line.

Only 10 points separate 3rd place Chicago Fire from 11th place Montreal Impact, who have a total of 40 points.

While San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting KC appear to be battling it out on their own for the Supporters Shield, they are only 7 and 5 points respectively, ahead of Chicago.

For many teams now, a win can mean reaching the playoffs, and a tie or loss might mean missing out on any chance of winning the MLS Cup.

Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, Portland, New England, Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids may already be out of playoff contention as these teams all have less than 30 points. They are now playing for pride, and develop a better team for next season.

As I watch the EPL with their relegation system, I can't help but wonder how much harder the bottom teams would play at the end of the season in the MLS if they knew the last 3 would be dropped from the league.

I think the MLS needs to become a little stronger before that occurs, but it does make for great entertainment.

Be sure to follow the MLS as it reaches the last weeks of the season, and team compete for playoffs and the MLS Cup.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Philly Union News and the Origin of the Word 'Soccer'

PPL Park - Source:  Something Original
The Philadelphia Union grabbed a valuable point on the road when they played DC United to a 1-1 ties on August 19th, 2012.

The Union Had a handful of chances in the first half but only managed to get up by one goal. DC United came back in the second half to score a goal making the game 1-1. There was significant late drama at the end of the game including three red cards, and a missed penalty by DC United. With the penalty miss, the Union happily took the one point as they strive to earn enough points to reach the playoffs this season.

The Union are currently in 8th place out of 10 teams in the Eastern Conference of the MLS. DC United is sitting in the last playoff spot at 5th place. The union have had several encouraging wins in their last five games, but the last two have been small stumbles from a team that must get points if it wants to make the playoffs.

Catch the highlights to the Union's drama filled tie vs DC United from MLSSoccer.com

And current MLS Standings for the Union

The Origin of the Word 'Soccer'

I recently discovered that the word 'soccer' was not created by Americans who wanted to spite the English by making up a new name for European football. In fact, the word actually came about as a nickname for football that was created by a university student in England.

Read my full article on the Origin of the Word 'Soccer' to find all the details.

Because of my discovery that soccer is as English as calling the sport football, I will proudly refer to the game as soccer, whether I am in America or a pub in England. I hope not to upset anyone with this, but how can anyone be upset if Englishmen created the word soccer, and used it for nearly one hundred years before it caught on in America?

My biggest question is why soccer is not still used in England today. It is simply a nickname for the sport, which has become unpopular to use because, as far as I can tell, it is used in America.

Anyway, I hope this will give a few people a moments hesitation the next time they try to correct someone for calling football, soccer, and soccer, football.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Does the MLS All-Star Game mean to Major League Soccer?

Tonight, (Wednesday, July 25th, 2012) The MLS All-Stars will play the European Champions, Chelsea in a friendly at PPL Park in Philadelphia, PA.

The question that tends to come up each year around this game is, what does this game mean? Well, depending how you look at it, this game can mean a lot of things, or very little.

Most MLS fans see this game as a yardstick comparing the MLS to other clubs around the world. In past games, the MLS All-Stars have had mixed results. Sometimes they win, other times they lose. But this game does seem to have some extra expectations. Maybe because Chelsea are European Champions., Or perhaps it is because more and more stars from around the world are playing in the MLS. Either way, the result of the MLS All-Star game will have reverberations around the league, and even the world.

The MLS All-Stars do have a challenge on their hands. Although they are a team made up of the best players in the league, they have little experience playing with each other. Chelsea, on the other hand, has much more experience playing together and even though they might not have all their players, they have a formidable lineup.

In the end, if the All-Stars lose, I don't think much will be said about it. After all, Chelsea did win the Champions League. But if the MLS All-Stars win, I think it will be one step closer to bringing Major League Soccer up to par with the rest of the world, as well as gaining a little respect.

The MLS All-Star game will be live on ESPN and ESPN3.com at 8:30pm Wednesday, July 25th.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Union Future Looking Bright with Three Game Winning Streak

Union-ppl-park
PPL Park Home of the Philadelphia Union 
courtesy Philadelphia Union 
The Philadelphia Union are on a three game winning streak at the midpoint of the MLS season.  In each of their wins the Union displayed good passing and possession and most importantly, goals, which brought them each win.

In the Union's Major league Soccer game against Toronto FC on July 8th 2012, they recorded an impressive 3-0 victory over their opposition. Although the Union are just one place ahead of last place Toronto, in their last meeting Toronto was the victor.

The Union played well throughout the game against Toronto and goals by Adu, McInerney, and Farfan sealed the victory. This was the Union's second win in a row, after surprisingly beating the Galaxy 2-1 the week before.

While the Union's victory over Toronto was complete, they faced a more difficult challenge in the form of the Montreal Impact, who they played on July 14th 2012 at PPL Park.

Goalkeepers Zac MacMath for the Union, and Donovan Ricketts for Montreal each made invaluable saves during the first 80 minutes which kept this MLS game scoreless. But in the 82nd minute, Lionard Pajoy broke the deadlock and knocked a lose ball into the back of the Impact's net.

But Montreal came level just minutes later when an Impact corner kick was curled in at the Union goal, deflected off a player, and ended up in the back of the net. A 1-1 tie was not what the Philadelphia Union wanted or needed as they try to salvage their season and win games. So in extra time, defender Carlos Valdez took it into his hands and grabbed a late game winning goal (his first of the season), to give the Union the full 3 points they need.

Watch full match highlights of the Union's 2-1 win over Montreal.

The Union seem to have found the scoring ability they lacked for most of the season. If they can continue to win games, they are likely to make the playoffs, and have a chance for the Cup.

Philadelphia will play Aston Villa in a friendly on Wednesday, but return to MLS play on Saturday as they take on the New York Red Bulls. The game against New York will be broadcast live on ESPN at 2:30 PM EST July 21st.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Union Secure 2-1 Win Over LA Galaxy

The Philadelphia Union beat the LA Galaxy 2-1 after a stoppage time goal scored by Michael Farfan. It was an important victory for the Union as they attempt to get their season back on track with new coach John Hackworth.

Union Win 2-1 vs LA
The Union faced an immediate onslaught for the first 20 minutes or so as the Galaxy pressed them and took several shots. But Philadelphia made it through the initial push, and began to settle in and pass the ball around. The half looked to end scoreless but just before the whistle, Michael Farfan made a drive to the end-line past his defender and sent a low cross that Jack McInerney elegantly back-healed into the side netting on the far end of the goal. And before anyone knew it, the Union were up 1-0 at halftime.

The Galaxy made a few changes, notably to their back line, and came out in the second half looking for an equalizer. The Union did well and kept the Galaxy from scoring until the 73rd minute when a ball sent across the goal found Chad Barrett who finished it to make it 1-1.

LA continued to look for goals but it was the Union who got the late winner.

In the 95th minute, Michael Farfan got the ball just outside the area and dribbled towards goal under minimal pressure. a low curling shot to the back post left the Galaxy keeper no chance, and give the Union a 2-1 victory.

This victory is crucial for the Union after an unfortunate loss last week in Houston as they try to make up for lost points. The good news for the Union is they have been playing very well recently and have 3 games in hand on the Montreal Impact who are 1 point ahead in the Eastern Conference Standings.

The Philadelphia will play Toronto on Sunday and plan to extend their winning streak to two games.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Union Stun Sporting KC 4-0 at PPL Park

Most improbably, most unexpectedly, the Philadelphia Union trounced one of the best teams in MLS, Sporting KC, 4-0 on June 23rd.

let me put this huge home win into perspective. Before the match began, Sporting KC had conceded the fewest goals in the league. Not only that, but the Union had scored the fewest goals in the MLS as well! All that changed at PPL Park when the Philadelphia Union systematically beat SKC, scoring two goals in each half.

Jack Mclnerney scored two goals in the first half to pave the way for the Union's first win in weeks.  Antoine Hoppenot and Lionard Pajoy also got on the scoreboard with a goal each. 

While the Union's season has been very disappointing thus far, is this a turning point for the team? I think it can be if the team chooses to do better and play as well as they have the potential to do. With the recent change of head coach for the Union, this win is a very positive result. 

As a Union fan, this dominating win for the Union is very inspiring. check out the highlights for the Union's 4-0 win vs. Sporting KC, or watch the video below!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MLS Full of Action After International Break

After a few weeks off, Major League Soccer is back in full swing with plenty of action and news after week 13. Some teams in the MLS came back strong after the break, either turning around what had been a string of poor performances, or continuing their winning ways. Other teams found themselves struggling  to win. Here is a roundup of some of the interesting games from week 13 of the 2012 MLS season.


Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC
Sporting KC was one of the teams coming back from the break that continued to win games. KC played Toronto FC beating them 2-0. Both goals in the game were exciting finishes, with the second an extraordinary volley powered into the net by Julio Cesar. Check out the highlights to see the volley for yourself or watch the video below. Unfortunately for Toronto, they continue to lose this season with only one win in 13 weeks.





Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA
With a resounding 3-0 win, Real Salt Lake maintain their top position on the challenging western conference. The attacking power of RSL was too much for Chivas who conceded multiple chances, and thee goals to RSL. In the western conference where many of the teams are vying diligently for playoff spots, Chivas will have to make changes if they hope to do the same.


LA vs. Portland Timbers
LA Galaxy grabbed 3 much needed points beating the Timbers 1-0. The Galaxy have not found this season anywhere as easy as last, when they won the MLS Cup. But a solid win may help kick-start their push towards the play offs in a few months. The Portland Timbers will hope to make up points in their next match, an exciting game against Seattle.


DC United vs. Philadelphia Union
I was really rooting for the Union in this game, hoping a change in head coach might be enough to help them get a much needed win, but DC United won 1-0. The Union showed themselves as a strong team, controlling much of the midfield, but a quick goal by DC was all they needed to win, and top the Easter Conference ahead of Sporting KC. DC United has been a team hard to beat for many competitors. The struggling Union will hope to get some points when they play Sporting KC next, but I don't think I would bet on it.


Major News:
Besides a few signings and transfers, the biggest news is Philadelphia Union coach Peter Novak parting ways with the team. Last season went very well for the Union under Novak's control. But this season has been dismal and disappointing for all involved. The Union's assistant coach will take over until a permanent head coach is found.


The Union's performance this year has been puzzling. they are currently second to last, with only  Toronto below them, and they even lost to Toronto a few weeks ago. I hope they change of their Coach will give them some new energy to at least pull together for the rest of the season and look towards the next. 


See full MLS standings here





Saturday, May 26, 2012

Union Struggling to Replace Key Players

Lets face it, the Philadelphia Union are having a hard time playing as a team and scoring goals. I think one of the factors influencing the Union's performance is the instability of their lineup and holes left by key players.
Although coach Peter Novak often shifted players around last season, the Union had a lot of stability in their defense with few changes occurring. This resulted in one of the best defenses in the MLS for 2011 led by veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.

PPL Park home of the Philadelphia Union
It is a different story this year. Young Zac MacMath has taken over the starting goalkeeper position and after a few shaky games, has done quite well. But losing their veteran goalkeeper and captain is hard to replace.

Yet he was not the only vital player traded away. Sebastien Le Toux, the Union's leading goalscorer in 2010 and 2011, was traded away at the beginning of the season. Then, about 5 games into the 2012 season, the Union's current captain and central defender, Danny Calif was traded to Chivas USA in a curious fashion.
Le Toux scored more than 50% of the Union's Goals

These three players made up the heart of the Philadelphia Union last season, and removing them has left a hole too big for any other players to fill. The Union's Coach has brought in a number of new players and several of them have been looking pretty good, but no one has been able to replace the goal scoring ability of Le Toux, or the leadership of their veteran goalkeeper and central defender. 

In the end, many hoped the 2012 season would bring an opportunity to make a run at the MLS Cup after reaching the playoffs last year. However, it appears to me that this will be a building season allowing newly acquired players to try to fit in and get accustomed to things in Philadelphia. 

So far, the Union Coach has been shifting players around, and trying different formations without much to show for it. Hopefully they will find a combination that works and keep their best players for next year, instead of trading them away as they did last season.

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Team? Philadelphia Union!

Yep, you guessed it, I'm a fan of the Philadelphia Union.

I have been keeping track of Major League Soccer (MLS) since about 2004. I originally started following it because I just liked to watch the highlights of the games, and the MLS website did a great job putting up video highlights after each game.

During the next few years I kept track of the league, but had no real favorite team. In 2007, I moved to Pennsylvania and rumors of a team in Philly started to swirl around the same time. Finally, in 2010, Philadelphia got their very own professional team, the Union. I was an instant fan of the union mostly because of my proximity. In the next few seasons I was able to go to several games at PPL Park and thoroughly enjoyed these games.

I currently do not live close enough to Philadelphia to go to any games, but I still enjoy checking on the team each week to see how they are doing. I believe, no matter where I live, I will always be a fan of the Union.

I think it makes watching Major League Soccer much more interesting when I am cheering on one or a few particular teams. For those reading here, you might already have a favorite team, if so, post it in a comment! If you don't have a favorite team, look around at teams near you, or at a team you really enjoy watching. If nothing else, be sure to check out the Union's website and consider them!

I'm a Union fan, and I look forward to cheering for them in their next game! Who will you cheer for?