Manchester United confirms date with Union at the Linc: July 21

May 7, 2010 by

Manchester United has announced a North America tour this summer and one of the stops will be here, in Philadelphia.  The date is July 21st.  The Union have an already pre-scheduled league game on that date and will have to reschedule.  Manchester United will not be rescheduling, they are indeed, one of the most popular and wealthiest clubs in the world.

This will be United’s first visit here in six years.  All games will be staged at non-soccer specific venues.  This tour stop is being brought to Philadelphia through a partnership between CAA, Soccer United Marketing and Lincoln Financial Field. 

July 16: vs. Celtic at Rogers Centre (SkyDome, MLB) in Toronto

July 21: vs. Philadelphia Union at Lincoln Financial Field (NFL)
(Union will move its league match at Colorado scheduled for that date)

July 25: vs. Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium (NFL)

July 28: vs. MLS All-Stars at Houston’s Reliant Stadium (NFL)

Ticket prices for the match are as follows:

$225 – Field
$135 – Row 1
$110 – Club 1
$85 – Club 2
$85 – VIP Midfield
$65 – Midfield
$50 – Sidelines
$35 – Corners
$30 – Endzones

Manchester United fans will be traveling from all over the East Coast and beyond to attend the match, but even though it’s Manchester United’s tour we want to make it clear that they’re coming to our city.  United will most likely be starting many non-regulars and maybe even some reserve players due to the World Cup finishing up.  Don’t look for Rooney or Scholes or Ferdinand to touch the grass, but hey, maybe I’ll see you there.

Preview Matchday 5: Philadelphia Union at L.A. Galaxy

April 30, 2010 by

Philadelphia Union (1-3-0) at L.A. Galaxy (4-0-1)

Date: Saturday, May 1, 2010

Time: 10:30pm ET

Location: Home Depot Center; Carson, CA

Where’s Witt Watching: 6abc/Live Well HD Network

The Philadelphia Union will be making their first of two trips to the Home Depot Center on Saturday evening against the first-place and unbeated L.A. Galaxy.  By far, the best team in Major League Soccer this season.  It will take an unbelievable feat to grab points in this one, after Philadelphia has already lost their last two games on the road, each by a score of 2-1.  Not being outplayed, the Union have looked strong in each of those two games, but one mistake here and there have cost them.  If they can contain the explosive attack of the L.A. Galaxy and possibly penetrate the stingiest defense in the league, they might have a shot.

With L.A. it all starts up top.  Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan are two best forwards in the league, and are on the same team.  If the Union can contain both playmakers, it will turn in their favor.  The defense for the Union has been pretty strong and the foursome of Califf, Orozco, Harvey and Arrieta have solidified their positions in the starting lineup and are looking better each game.  Seitz needs to keep his head.  In Hockey, if a goalie is described as “standing on his head”, that’s a compliment saying that the goalie was all over the place, saving pucks.  In this case, Seitz needs to keep his head on a swivel, watching both Buddle and Donovan at the same time.  He will be called on to make some major saves in this one for sure.

The Union’s offense is at a real disadvantage with LeToux out of the lineup.  The Union’s leading goal scorer and third best scorer in the league thus far this season, LeToux’s injury will obviously hurt the Union’s.  Who will step up?  Mwanga? McInerney?  Or will it be someone like Nick Zimmerman who has looked steady so far in his minutes.  I think Coach Nowak will go with the more experienced Zimmerman and Moreno to start.  It is going to be a loud and intimidating crowd tomorrow night.  The Union must capitalize on their chances, as the Galaxy’s defense has been terrific so far this season.  Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has been in top form, while the Galaxy also sport the best goal differential in the league at a +6.  Omar Gonzalez, last year’s Rookie of the Year in MLS and his college teammate A.J. DeLaGarza have been impressive so far this season and have anchored the backline for the Galaxy.

Prediction: 4-0 Galaxy

It has the makings of an ugly one for the Union.  With LeToux out, I don’t see much from the Union’s offense.  Maybe Roger Torres can provide a spark as he has so far this season, but who will finish?  The most frustrating element from this team this season has been the lack of finishing.  The Galaxy is the best team in the league and will show that dominance once again tomorrow night.  Hopefully Coach Nowak won’t run the boys after the game as he did against New York this week.  As long as they can learn from their mistakes and move forward as a team, that’s all I can ask at this point.

The Union will be making their first trip to the Home Depot Center

Nifty Fifty, LeToux Injury Update

April 29, 2010 by

It’s been a humble beginning, but we have finally arrived at numero cincuenta.  Sebastien LeToux has not yet been ruled out of Philadelphia’s next match against the first-place, unbeaten L.A. Galaxy.  His MCL sprain has checked out much better then first anticipated.  Althought an MRI results have not yet been made available, LeToux should only be out a match or two.  According to Marc Narducci of philly.com, LeToux sported a left knee brace at Wednesday’s training, which mostly occurred on the bike.

“The doctors told me I was very lucky, and it’s not like it’s four to five months of not playing. But it’s something I have to take care of and not rush too quickly and get another injury,” Le Toux said.

Apparently Andrew Boyens, Red Bull defender, made nice with Seba, as he texted him to apologize.

“He texted me to apologize, and I know he didn’t want to do anything bad,” Le Toux said. “It was part of the game.”

How Cute. You can read the whole article here and watch the video of the tackle below.  Here’s to another 50 posts! Cheers. Witt

Post Match Wrap: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls – U.S. Open Cup Edition

April 29, 2010 by
How long will Philadelphia’s top scorer be out?

The Philadelphia Union loss their third consecutive game on Tuesday night in similiar fashion to their loss on Saturday.  2-1 was the final score.  Not only did they lose their third in a row, all on the road, but it looks as if their leading goal scorer has a sprained MCL.  Not good for the Union.  Having trouble already getting the ball in the back of the net, the Union’s top offensive playmaker will be sidelined for awhile.  When the official report comes out today, we will have an update for you.  Here is what Coach Peter Nowak had to say about LeToux’s injury:

“He probably has an MCL sprain, but this is probable and we have to run the tests tomorrow to see what the verdict is going to be. I can’t tell you right now, it’s too early. He feels some pain, we’ll see how the swelling is going to come. He just got hit in (a) stationary (position) and his (left) leg actually got shifted to the right. It was a late play, that’s why (Andrew Boyens) got the yellow. (Le Toux) already played the ball and then got kicked.”
 
I am not going to comment on what happened in the game, it was just lousy.  As expected, Mwanga and McInerney started up top but barely got any chances.  The Red Bulls typical substitutes, started and played well and Conor Chinn put away two unflattering goals for the Red Bulls.  It was nice to see Chris Albright come on and play some after being out for New York.  For Philadelphia, Sebastien LeToux came on in the 64th minute and put one past Red Bulls goalkeeper, Greg Sutton.  Match stats below.
Scoring Summary: 

NY – Conor Chinn (Unassisted) 16
NY – Conon Chinn (Luke Sassano, Sinisa Ubiparipovic) 41
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (Cristian Arrieta) 68

Philadelphia Union — Chris Seitz; Shea Salinas, Michael Orozco, Danny Califf (C), Toni Stahl (Cristian Arrieta 45); Roger Torres (Alejandro Moreno 45), Andrew Jacobson, Amobi Okugo, Nick Zimmerman (Stefani Miglioranzi 45); Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney (Sebastien Le Toux) 64 

TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 8; OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5
 
New York Red Bulls –- Greg Sutton; Luke Sassano, Carlos Mendes (Chris Albright 45), Andrew Boyens, Danleigh Borman; Siniso Ubiparipovic (Irving Garcia 83), Seth Stammler (C), Tony Tchani, Brian Nielsen (Austin da Luz 58); Juan Agudelo, Conor Chinn
  
TOTAL SHOTS: 18; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5  

Misconduct Summary:
 
PHI – Andrew Jacobson (Caution, Hard Tackle) 31
NY – Danleigh Borman (Caution, Hard Tackle) 66
PHI – Stefani Miglioranzi (Caution, Hard Tackle) 76
NY – Andrew Boyens (Caution, Hard Tackle) 81

Round 2: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls; U.S. Open Cup Edition

April 27, 2010 by

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will commense tonight for the Philadelphia Union. It will feature a return match to Red Bull Arena, just 3 days since their last trip to North Jersey, in a tough 2-1 loss. Expect to see many non-regulars for both sides. I expect many of the rookies and back-ups to get looks here tonight.

For those of you who want to see the game on T.V., it will not be televised. However, the New York Red Bulls will be streaming the match live online on the team’s website. You can click on this link at 8pm for a live broadcast featuring MSG on-air talent Steve Cangialosi and Shep Messing. This game is a U.S. Open Cup play-in match, with the winner taking on the New England Revolution in the next round.

Prediction: Union 3-2 Red Bulls

Union get revenge on the road. They win this one with a late goal in extra time. Danny Mwanga or Zimmerman get on the board tonight. Look for McInerney to get some valuable PT.

Preview of Tonight’s game

Preview: Red Bulls, Union meet for rematch in US Open Cup qualifying

More reaction from Saturday’s loss to New York:

Post Match Wrap: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls

April 27, 2010 by

Philadelphia Union (1-3-0) 1 – 2 New York Red Bulls (4-1-0)

These are the types of losses that an expansion side will endure throughout the course of their first season.   Mistakes in your own end, especially inside the box, will lead to many losses.  Hopefully the Union can fix their mental mishaps in the back and get some points.  Seitz’s misplayed punch on the first goal and Orozco’s mistimed jump cost the Union atleast a point in yesterday’s first game at Red Bull Arena, the final score was 2-1.

The Union are shooting themselves in the foot.  They outplayed the Red Bulls in the first half and just about dominated play throughout.  Mental mistakes have cost the team valuable points early this season.  Le Toux has scored 4 goals so far this season and is near the top of the league but not near Edson Buddle who has 7.  Can the Union find someone other than Le Toux to generate chances?  These types of performances are expected from an expansion side, but if they just stop making that one bad play per game, it will turn their season around.  Another very tough challenge comes next in the league, versus the unbeaten L.A. Galaxy.  First though, is a rematch against New York for the U.S. Open Cup qualifier on Tuesday, April 27.

Highlights

Union at Red Bulls scoreless at half

April 24, 2010 by

As I expected scoring chances have been slim but none the less it looks as if something will get in for either side. Moreno has had a few chances already. The Red Bulls have had the best chance so far but the shot hit their own player in the back of the head, it was almost sure to go in.

The Union defense had played well especially Arrieta. Seitz had been steady and playing with more confidence it seems. Good game so far with a lot of midfield prowless. The pitch is excellent as expected a beautiful day on the east coast.

Look for more shots this half. 7-5 in favor of NYRB. Torres needs to pull the trigger and get shots on target. It’s been back and forth so far. I think the Union can get points the way they’re playing. Hopefully a strong second half will pay off. Let’s go boys!

Preview Matchday 4: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls

April 23, 2010 by

Philadelphia Union (1-2-0) at New York Red Bulls (3-1-0)

Saturday, April 24th @ 4:ooPM

Where’s Witt Watching: 6abc/Live Well HD (more on this below)

The Philadelphia Union will make their first of many trips up the Jersey Turnpike Saturday afternoon for a clash with 1st place New York Red Bulls.  The Red Bulls are featuring a new soccer palace, Red Bull Arena.  A beautiful all-soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey.  The Red Bulls are not the same team that finished in last place in the Eastern Conference a year ago and the Union are looking for their first road points ever.

For the Red Bulls it all starts up top with MLS superstar Juan Pablo Angel.  Probably the best striker in all of MLS and certainly the best designated player.  Containing Angel is priority number one and immediately the Union are at a disadvantage in the back without the services of captain Danny Califf.  Califf is sitting out this one due to his booking in the first half of last game against Toronto FC.  The Union will look to Michael Orozco to steady the defense and contain Angel.  We noted yesterday that Red Bulls’s other forward is out with a major injury and will be juggling their usual lineup tomorrow.  Look for Toni Stahl to possibly get another look at in the center back position tomorrow.

The midfield will be tricky for both teams.  Roger Torres has been a highlight so far in the midfield for the Union, but others need to step up their games.  Could Okugo get a start?  One player looking forward to Saturday’s game is forward Nick Zimmerman, a former Red Bull who was selected by Philadelphia in the expansion draft.”I’ve been trash-talking a little bit with some of the guys,” Zimmerman said. “Really, when you step out on the field, you’re focused solely on the game. For those 90 minutes, you’re in a battle.”

The offense needs to start clicking too.  Le Toux and Moreno need to create more chances and on target.  Their first shot against Toronto did not come until 20 minutes in.  Red Bulls keeper Bouna Coundoul hasn’t been too stellar this season, we won’t talk about Seitz, but he has allowed 3 goals in on the campaign, with N.Y. scoring 4.  The Red Bulls rallied against FC Dallas last game at home to win 2-1.  The same score the Union lost to Toronto FC over a week ago.  The Union were frustrated by not getting points out of that one and hope to steal some tomorrow against NYRB.  “We know New York is a much-improved club,” defender Michael Orozco told the Union’s official website. “We have to come out with a lot of intensity and get control of the game. I think we are very much looking forward to getting on the pitch again.”

Prediction: 1-1

I think finding the back of the net will be difficult in this one.  Both teams will struggle to generate good chances.  It will take time for each team to not only figure out their opponent, but their own squads.  It will be a tight, contested battle throughout.  If the Union want to take points from this one, they need to stay disciplined.  Keep out of the referee’s book.  Nowak will be back on the sideline for the Union, hopefully he can control his side.

Television Update

If you watch TV over the air without the aid of cable or satellite, the game will be available on channel 6.2. If you’re a Comcast subscriber, you’ll be able to see the game in HD on channel 245 or in standard definition on channel 246. On Verizon Fios, you can see the match in HD on channel 466 or in standard definition on channel 465. Unfortunately, these channels are not available on DirecTV or Dish Network, but the match will be available in Spanish on TeleFutura as a back-up option. TeleFutura can be found on DIRECTV channel 28, Comcast channel 251, Verizon Fios channel 26, and over the air channel 65.2.

Red Bulls Injury Update ahead of clash with Union

April 22, 2010 by

The New York Red Bulls will be juggling their line-up this weekend as the Philadelphia Union take a trip up the Jersey turnpike.  According to Ives Galarcep with FoxSoccer.com, Red Bulls striker Macoumba Kandji is set to miss two to three months after undergoing surgery for a broken foot.  Kandji broke it in training on Tuesday, ouch, and will be out until mid-summer, yikes.  Not good for your starting striker the past 4 games. 

Salou Ibrahim will replace Macoumba Kandji up top.  The Red Bulls are still trying to sign English forward Luke Rodgers and have already signed Danish midfielder Brian Nielsen.  New York will also be getting back Carl Robinson in the midfield.  New York faced FC Dallas last game and was pressured highly in the mid, with Dallas’ 4-5-1 formation.  The overwhelming number of midfielders, outnumbered the Red Bulls and allowed Dallas to maintain possession.  Look for NY to counter with more possession on Saturday.  The new players for NYRB will be an advantage for the Union.  Although, the Union are still trying to find themselves an identity, it will be tough for New York to gel together with their new squad come Saturday afternoon. 

Look for more in tomorrow’s preview.  Matchday 4: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls.

Grass Atlast

April 21, 2010 by

Photo Courtesy PhiladelphiaUnion.com

PPL Park is growing greener.  The new turf is being laid down this week.  It’s a Bermuda Grass, which is suitable for this climate and the norm for soccer and (american) football.  Heating pipes were installed underneath the surface to keep the soil from freezing, thus preventing the grass from ever dying.  The sod will take time to root itself in, approximately six weeks.  Just enough time for the stadium unveiling June 27th. 

Delco Times: PPL Park growing greener (with video)