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USOC Final – IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!!!!

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

9/16 – PHILA UNION vs TBD (looking at you Chicago)…

 

 

screw off seattle.  This is our house.

Categories: Uncategorized

Actually a Tale of 2 cities – SKC and Philly biased previews

June 22, 2012 1 comment

This guy I know through a friend and some other people used to work AT Livestrong Park for SKC.  Every now and then I like asking for some input for the blog when we play together.  He’s even coming to the game – so if you see him with me, please don’t give him our “friendly welcome” …

Eh, what am I saying, GO FOR IT!  And onto the 2 sided preview

SPORTING Perspective (Who cares…)
Phillip Bupp

We can piece together Sporting Kansas City’s gameplan for Saturday’s Union game based on their gameplan from last Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Sounders.  Sporting benched starters Kei Kamara, CJ Sapong, Graham Zusi, Julio Cesar and Seth Sinovic (Matt Besler is out for a few weeks due to appendicitis) in favor of Jacob Peterson, Soony Saad, Peterson Joseph, Michael Thomas and Michael Harrington along with Lawrence Olum starting in place of Besler.  The game was much more important than the final score for a couple reasons.

This was a test for Sporting to determine what kind of depth they have.  With games in hand against their top opponents in the Eastern Conference, Coach Peter Vermes used this opportunity to use their final non-conference game of the season to see how his bench can play in a hostile environment of over 40,000 people after traveling to the West Coast.  For the most part, the team performed wonderfully and drew the Sounders 1-1 with a primarily backup squad.  If anything, the starters were the ones who were making mistakes and having bad games.  Aurelien Collin played his usual aggressive style but took lots of risks after getting a yellow card in the 16th minute.  It was a miracle that he didn’t pick up his 2nd yellow because he didn’t let up his play.  Until Graham Zusi came on in the 50th minute, Roger Espinoza seemed lost and somewhat unprepared commanding the midfield.  After Patrick Ianni’s beautiful goal, the usually calm and reserved Jimmy Nielsen was shown screaming at Espinoza which I felt was undeserved as there was nothing anyone on Sporting could really do.  It was a nice set piece and nicer goal by Seattle.  Backups Jacob Peterson and 19 year old Soony Saad had exceptional games early on as Peterson scored a terrific goal and Saad was on target with most of his shots and was much more physical than ever (which has been a weakness of his).  Knowing that the bench players can perform when called upon is better to know now than finding out late in the season and it gives Vermes a great dilemma and start thinking about giving these players more starts and more playing time.

The other aspect learned from the Seattle game was that it showed how important Sporting views future games on the schedule.  Sporting will play five games in thirteen days so the players will have to have a breather at some point especially since they have to endure 2 cross country trips within a week.  The Seattle game became the sacrificial lamb of the stretch and they got away with a point on a night that had New York also drawing and Real Salt Lake blowing a two goal lead and losing to the LA Galaxy.  It would be safe to assume that barring some sort of injury or exhaustion from players, Vermes will play the Starting XI (except Besler and possibly Bobby Convey) against Philadelphia and somewhat close to the Starting XI for their US Open Cup game against the Dayton Dutch Lions with possibly a couple changes to the lineup.  As far as what Philadelphia should do, they should keep in mind that one more yellow card means that Aurelien Collin will receive a one game suspension for too many yellows.  If he’s suspended and Besler doesn’t come back, the two Center Backs will most likely consist of Konrad Warzycha and Lawrence Olum, both primarily Midfielders converted to Center Back, which have a combined total of nine MLS appearances and two starts.  Julio Cesar can take a spot if necessary but that would sacrifice some strength in the Midfield.  In other words, Sporting can’t afford Collin to get another yellow so I would target him and the inexperience of Olum and go through the middle if I’m the Union.  I predict a 2-1 Sporting win with goals from Collin (off a Zusi corner) and Sapong.

UNION ASPECT ( The one that matters)

Now, let’s not get started on the whole “Our season is blown” and “Why bother” comments.  There is rejuvenation, there is hope, there is a chance – that something might happen.

Hey, I’m in the “Throw all the reserves out there against SKC and focus on the USOC on Tuesday” camp, but that’s just me, especially considering not that many people in the stadium probably know (or care) about the USOC match and how there actually is some figment of a chance.  It’s something salvageable, right?

Rejuvenation- We have a new coach.  He put a lineup in that made sense against DC.  Hell, they played like a damn team.   I can’t say much more than that (especially cause of the copious amounts of beer prior, and firewater, and some licourish vodka). He put McInerney in, who was likely mere moments away from handing in his 2 week notice (I know, he can’t, just saying).  Hackworth even stated “Sheanon is a left back, he’s going back into that position”.  Does this mean no more strikers as defenders and goalies as midfielders?  No more darts at a roster chart?  Consistency?  Hope – see everything I just stated.  Chance – This game should be a matter of pride.  Again, we shouldn’t go balls to the wall, but this is SKC, this is the 2nd best team (with 2 games in hand) in the Eastern conference.    This is the team that I feel deep down, we all want our team to be.

What better way to have pride than to come away with at least a point?  Kansas City is already established this season.  They have their standing position to protect, and even improve.  As of now we almost have nothing, going forward – unless there is a huge shift in the standings – we’re going to be the spoiler team, at least that’s going to have to be our mindset – get into the game and ruin the teams above us.  Also, if memory serves correctly, SKC was in the same boat we were at this time of the year last year, were they not?

Our game last week put our team into perspective – we have a lot of work to accomplish until we become an actual team, but they are slowly starting to get together.  DC didn’t put up their best game against us, and we put up an aggressive – yet haphazard one – at best.  It’s new beginnings, and it’s the silver lining.  This game Saturday IS the proving ground for us and Hackworth.  Yes, a week and a half is a short time for a coach to get things together – but I feel this is the turnaround.

Prediction – 1-1 draw where our defense excels greatly.  Lahoud will get a yellow card.  McInerney will get a goal.  Adu will do his little 5 foot shuffle.  The only downside – and this is because of having Nowak as a coach it is what we expect as our gameplan – is if we play their game and focus only on defense… But I feel that if we come out like we did against DC last week, and avoid the counterattack, it will be a great game.

Ch-ch-changes

June 14, 2012 2 comments

Well, we might as well talk about it…

Turn and face the strain

A quick look back on Nowak before our preview of the DC match-

May 2009 – Named the head coach of the incoming Philadelphia Union.
Brought DOOP into our every day vocabulary.
Petitioned Danny Mwanga to stay in the United States, and subsequently was the Unions first (and first of 2010) draft pick ever.  Never heard from the kid since.
Introduced us to the fan favorites of Old Serbian and Big Quick Mondragon.
Lost track of loan information (MOF)
Was unaware of visa information (Daniel)
Smited Superman (David Myrie)
Turned a rag tag bunch of motley into a 2nd year playoff competitor.
Collected more (allocation) money than the monopoly guy. 

Rumor (rather word is, cause it’s obvious in legal contractual dissolvements) is that Nowak got paid plenty to leave.  Not sure if his application to another job is grounds for dismissal, but as some joked along with the rumor that he had applied to Hearts in the Scottish Premier league – he would take the allocation money with him.  Well, it seems if he did get a payout, that’s likely true. 

So, what now? 

After finally getting rid of the coach who took bath salts towards the end of the 2011 season and ultimately cannibalized his own players, where do we go from here with the leftovers. We already have the talent – Valdes, Gomez, Williams, Carroll, Daniel, Torres (whenever he comes back…), Marfan, Garfan, Martinez.  I will lump Adu into this category if he has another stellar play, and Pajoy once he gets two more goals – I do like Pajoy, it just seems that (like Ruiz) the game strategy for the team doesn’t fit into any play with him (which is a coaching fault… cough).  We have a team with talent and stars, but what will happen. 

Where will Hackworth lead this team?  Is he better at developing talent where it seems that Nowak has only stifled it due to some egotistical maneuver that is contrary to any child development guide (See: Mwanga, Adu – twice!, and McInerney)?  Is he going to field a team that will benefit the team – play to their strengths as opposed to plugging in holes like you’re playing FIFA 12 and chosen a random team (I’m getting the hang of it)?  Not only that – the bottom line question of course is – will he give us results – will he give us wins. 

Now none of this “He’s a Nowak lacky”.  If you were put in charge while your boss was away for only one week, you’d do what your boss wanted you to do.  Why?  Well, it’s not your team, you’re his assistant, and you want to keep your job.  Hackworth’s been assistanting and coaching since 93 and started with colleges.  He’s been the 2nd in line, as well as the man in charge throughout his career – especially for our U-17’s. For now, time will tell.  This is a new leaf.  This is a new day.  We got what we were asking for because, well, we didn’t like what we saw anymore.  Too much inconsistency (even with success) and then a complete nuclear melt down will result in a quick turnaround.  This is our first growing pain.  This is our first MAJOR (non-player) change.  Will the team go through another overhaul? Will we bring in a (semi) big name?  How much allocation money is left?  

The better question… 

Will we score goals?

A Tale of Two

May 30, 2012 2 comments

It was the worst of times.  It was the best of times.  It was a disgusting humid day.  It was a stormy cool night.  It was just regular south Philly.  It was beautiful downtown Chester.  It was the 2nd worst team in the MLS.  It was a 3-0 USOC game.

If you didn’t go to the USOC match of the Philadelphia Union last night, well, our apologies.  Why?  Cause it was an awesome good time.

This is the 10th time total, and 1st time this year, that the Union have scored 3 or more goals in competition (preseason and friendlies don’t count… seriously).  The last time we witnessed this was vs DC on September 29th where we won 3-2… I of course, don’t remember this game what so ever.  Interesting stat (and a relative no shit) Union are currently 9 wins and 1 draw when scoring 3 or more goals over the passed 2 seasons – undefeated.  What does that tell us?  Well, score more, duh.

The game started off rocky with even less of a crowd than some were hoping for, but the SOB’s that were there came in strong for the crowd.  Must say it was weird looking at the stands and river end as empty as they were.  With the looming storm to come, and the recent results that have suffered the Union, it was an ominous feeling.  Even though Rochester was a USL (considered lesser league) team, doesn’t mean they were to be taken lightly.

And for the first 2 minutes it seemed like that would have been the case as they pressed the ball offensively at the start of the game.  Not many real chances as the majority of their play was forced out of bounds, but with how poorly the Union have appeared to play, it didn’t look like a great start to what many are hoping what will right the ship.

And then we got the ball.

I couldn’t see much from my perspective, other than we were pressing and shooting.  We were making attempts on goal!  Soon enough we then got a corner kick, and that once in a blue moon chance off a corner, the Union got a goal in the 5th minute.  Goal … Josue Martinez?  Wait what!  Really, why he isn’t getting playing time is beyond me (and it looked like Mwanga is back to not getting playing time).

Needless to say, any ominous feelings we had left until the lightning delay of game came in the 22nd minute.  There was no pouring rain or even sign of lightning (I was facing the river, so I couldn’t tell if there was) for another 5 to 10 minutes or so, but good call on the officials and stadium staff on ushering all ‘indoors’ before the worst of it came.

This lead some (ala me) to wonder if we could keep up the pressure on what appeared to be a mismatched Rochester Rhinos team – which by the way was their 3rd consecutive road game.  Tough break.  Well, soon enough Adu scored off an assist from Martinez – and all was right with the world once more.  A PK in the 73rd minute helped cement our lead from any possible late counterattach by the Rhinos (this of course before hearing about New England’s extra time 3-0 lead, being tied with 9 minutes left… snicker).

Some remarks on the play:

Okugo is not a CB.
The Wonder twin powers pressing up the sides were a thing of beauty… meaning…it freaking worked for once.
Martinez, play him.
Marfan has skills.
Daniel was playing up to par.
Lahoud… was he on the field?  Seriously.
With as many chances as Carroll had he should have gotten one on frame (and in net).
Shots!?  OMG
Konopka came through in goal, but scarily came close to giving the ball away on stupid played passes.

Highlights of the night:

“You’re just fat unicorns”
“We all laugh at the yellow soccer team, the yellow soccer team, the yellow soccer team”
“Who wears short shorts, keeper wears short shorts”
90% of the River End moving to Seaport Drive side.
Both SoB sections (those left in the river end and those opposite of them) chanting AT eachother “Not singing”, “empty seats” and so forth.
The 15 degree drop in temperature once it rained.

Even though we dominated, this was clearly a mismatched (and probably fatigued) Rochester team.  We looked rather okay as a team, but I for one don’t feel comfortable with our level of play to match the likes of our next USOC opponent – DC United.

Which to note, DC is one of 3 teams where we have scored 3 or more goals in one game against TWICE. 4/10/10 and 9/29/11.  Twice in five matches.  Decent odds, don’t you think?  It all likely depends on the team DC will field.  (Other 2 teams with 3 or more goals in 2 games – New England, Chivas).

Some Players that we used to know

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Parody. It’s stuck in my head. And I felt like changing some words.  And yes, this is multiple weeks delayed, as well with the anti-nowak sentiment… but it was an idea i had.  Sue me (please don’t)

Parody of Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know

Now and then I think of when they were with us
Like when we all said “Union til I die”
Told ourselves to trust in you
The only hope you gave was doop.
But that was before and it’s an ache that we still go through

You can get addicted to a certain kind of losing
We stay there til the end,
Always the end
So when we realized you do not make sense
All we could do was bang our heads
We all think it will be better when its over

You didn’t have to sell them off
Destroy the team and act like nothing had ever happened
we don’t even need you though
and you treat us like morons and it feels so rough
you didn’t have to stoop so low
have your trainers tell them on their way to practice
guess they didn’t need to know.
selling off some players that we used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you talk of money
Making us believe that we will get something out of it
What happened to the game we play
Sick of hearing every word you say
You say that things are coming slow
And you wouldn’t want us hung up on some captain that we used to know

Preview: Philadelphia Union @ Toronto FC

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

When: Saturday 5/26 at 4:30
Where: BMO Field

If the Union don’t fucking win…. (click here)

Link: ZWR.

Philadelphia Union Vs the New York (Jersey) Energy Drinks

May 10, 2012 1 comment

When: Sunday 12:30 pm – mother’s day brunch time… (remind me to call mother)
Where: PPL Park
Weather: High of 79 with a mix of sun and clouds.

Here comes a time when, in normal circumstances, Nick would take over this blog and post a hysterical post about the upcoming match… but, in light of circumstances, that can’t happen.  Not only because of the terrible way the Union have been playing, but also Nick is currently at a funeral – also no picks to be made this week.

RIP.

If you want funny click here – as we will always reference this post when we play NY, it’s sort of our “can’t get any better than that” post.  Took 40 minutes to come up with the post, and we (read: I) was laughing at during every second of it.  It’s not as relevant anymore (kind of is though), but what the hell.

NY – 2nd in the eastern standings. 20 goals forward, 14 against. 6 wins, 3 loss, 1 tie.

Union … we all know the story.

The one redeeming factor currently is that we are tied for 4th in the least amount of goals allowed (Seattle, SKC, and Vancouver are ahead, in respective order).  Tied with us are Chicago, and Houston.  Not too shabby one would think.  But, we are tied with the least amount of goals forward – only Chivas has as few goals as us… Yes, we’re tied with Chivas.  My little quip about Chivas east is coming true… crud.

NY’s tied for 5th with most goals allowed (15 – tied with LA) and tied for 2nd with DC with the most goals (20, SJE has 21).

Why is this important?  I don’t really know.

Rookie GK Ryan Meara for NY is someone we should fully take advantage of scoring on when given the chance.  That is of course hoping that there’s a completely open defense with NY (is Rafa Marquez still suspended? I mean, he did get off light… as in i can’t believe it’s not raping light).  But, being able to take advantage of a still fairly green keeper and possibly mismatched defense – requires actual offense.

Random side note on Meara, he went to high school with my girlfriends brother at Fordham… not really relevant, but I find it an interesting tidbit.

So what should we expect this Sunday at the game?

Expect to be sober (early time = short tailgate)

Expect Pajoy to play.

Expect us to be pissed off.

Expect missed shots.

Expect untaken shots.

Expect a game that we long for more.

Categories: Uncategorized