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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.

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Categories: Uncategorized

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

MLS Week whatever Picks for the weekend

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re really lacking for content on this site… we apologize.  Work is.. well. Work, and starting to get to us.  As well, i’m in the middle of moving (if you want to help me move tomorrow morning, you’re welcome to do so!)

John took a bye this week.

Without further Adu (see what i did there?)

NY:  Shorter and sweeter version of picks from me.  My thinking has been pretty bad, so I’ll think less, and hopefully get more correct

NY:  Montreal v Portland:  Impact are 1-0-1 at home, they stay undefeated with a 1-1 draw.

DK: RSL vs Toronto – Laughable contest – then again, RSL lost to Chivas.  But I say RSL easy 3-0. 

NY:  New York v New England:  RBNY wins a Flyers-Penguins-esque shootout 4-3 (hooray for no defense!  Henry with a hat trick)

DK: NY vs NE goes 4-3?  Are you smoking crack!?  NY 3-1, if NE even scores.

NY:  Columbus v Vancouver:  Columbus will draw because no one likes going to Ohio, 1-1

DK: Colorado vs Chivas – do i need to say it?  Colorado 1-0

NY:  DC v Houston:  DC’s playing great, scoring lots of goals, they win 3-1.

DK: I actually agree with you for once on this one.  DC over Houston 3-1.  They’re ultimately on fire, god knows why.  Maybe watching the Hunger Games.

NY:  Union v San Jose:  Union will be missing Keon Daniel and Gabe Farfan due to red cards from the Chivas match.  That’s not good.  They’ll be without Peter Nowak because he entered the playing surface during the Chivas match.  That’s not bad.  If Hackworth has Califf back, and starts Gaddis and Williams as his outside backs, Union may have the right lineup to cause havoc on the counterattack.  Porfirio Lopez starting will mean 2 goals for Chris Wondolowski and a loss for the home team.  If Union play Chelsea-versus-Barcelona-style soccer, then I’m going to be very upset.  This match feels like a Union loss, so I’ll pick a 1-1 draw because I’ve been wrong so much.

DK: Am I the only one with faith that the Union will win this one?  We all know that word from Nowak to Hackworth will be to bunker down, and prevent all and any offense from SJE, which means that we ourselves won’t have a defense.  But Nick brings up a good point, it all depends on who they put in in the backline…  I don’t think they’re going to rock that boat, so it all comes down to if we can get a counter attack, or a lucky chance like we did last week.  I say Union wins 1-0 and Wondo the wonderbread won’t get any goals against us.

Categories: Uncategorized

Help Kick Hunger – a blast to remember

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s always fun to get together with 300 other friends who share one common joy – what some could consider obsessive – of a soccer team during the offseason.  Why not, it’s fun to catch up with people when you don’t get a chance to see them regularly.  The even better side is that a fundraiser is attached to this party.

The Sons of Ben, in their 5th year of existence, were able to make a deal to use McFadden’s at Citizen’s Bank Park for the annual Help Kick Hunger event, which in my view means there was a large amount of pull to reserve this location.  Not only were they able to get a large, fun location for the entire group, the Sons of Ben, Bearfight Brigade, and the Philadelphia Union were able to raise $8,300 for HKH – this event alone!  That’s a remarkable feat for any young, small group.  The even better kicker is that another event is not far off to raise money – annual Stache Bash will be coming soon (opening day), and if you enjoy seeing weird looking moustaches, this event is for you.

I’d like to give a thanks to the Philadelphia Union for co-ordinating with the SoB’s and bringing Brian Carroll, Zach Pfeffer and Jimmy McLaughlin. As well a special thanks to the SoB’s who ran, set up, volunteered, and got the prizes to give away.  I’ve done much smaller events like this before, and it’s such a hassle.  What you do is greatly appreciated.  An even bigger thanks to Veljko Paunovic for coming out.  I’m sure he had no obligation to attend, but still came out for the fans.  He is nothing but class, and we here wish him well in his next step in life (hopefully assisting with the Philadelphia Union..cough..cough). 

Some highlights of the night – aside from the ongoing BearFight tournament:
1) The total amount of funds raised.
2) A ‘suprise’ announcement teaser, which includes the Philadelphia Union, MLS, and the City at City Hall on Tuesday.  All are invited. 10:30 AM IN City Hall.  Follow the bunch of people in Union gear.  We can all make assumptions on what it’s possibly about.
3) The presentation of the Serbian flag to Paunovic.
4) The Bearfight Brigade is now sponsored by Monster. 

As for my time at the event – let’s just say the beer was flowing.

You Always Remember Your First…

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Union fans were swept away in the fallout of the bombshell dropped when news of Sebastien Le Toux’s exodus to England was announced on Wednesday, January 18.  It had been a seemingly routine day of roster activity, with four young reserve players not having contract options picked up to make way for new players signed and drafted during this off-season.  The day has been coined “Black Wednesday” (also due to the later-announced retirement of Veljko Paunovic), however because Union have lost their first real star.

Fan outrage has been abundant and vocal, to the same magnatude that they show support for the side.  Union’s Front Office has been besieged with questions of “Why?” and “How could you do this to us?” and the like.  The transfer alone would have been devastating enough for the fan base that has grown to love the Frenchman, but the abruptness with which the news was revealed made the impact all the more shocking.  Many vow that this pain will linger into the season, especially if those assigned to fill those (purple, pink, or yellow) shoes do not produce to a satisfactory level.

However, this is the reality of professional soccer in these United States.  MLS, in the world of football, is a minor league.  Teams in more prestigious leagues will come calling for MLS players that show great ability.  And, those players will go, because playing in a top-5-in-the-world league, such as the English Premier League in this instance, is a footballer’s dream-come-true.  Those of us who appreciate all that Seba has done for this team do not begrudge him one bit for wanting to go.  But, here is what the fan base must realize to move on from this:  It’s just like breaking up with your first girlfriend/boyfriend.

This was a great relationship.  We were always happy to see him, as he was the best part of our (game)day.  The adoration was mutual, and things seemed to be going great.  Together, the relationship was progressing from nothing, to a playoff berth in just 2 seasons.  But, for now, he’s gone, and our world seems crashing down.  I almost expect Punchy the Bear to start claiming that the sky is falling (though he might do that anyway when he’s drunk and I wouldn’t know the difference).  The fan base wonders how the team is going to function at all without their beloved Sebastien.  But, like dating, we must all realize that there are plenty of fish (NO!  NOT CARLOS RUIZ!!!) in the sea, and a new relationship will come into our lives and help us get over this one.  We’ll both move on, because in the world of football, there is no such thing as marriage.  No player stays forever, so we’re in a constant cycle of “dating.”

But this one hurts, because you always remember your first.  And Sebastien Le Toux is the first ever star of the Philadelphia Union.

P.S.-Bolton plays Liverpool at 12:30 this Saturday, so I will be watching the pre-match show with bated breath hoping to see Seba on the pitch.  But even if it’s not this week, I hope to see him perform in an EPL match at some point very soon.  Good luck, Seba!

2011 Season Eulogy

November 18, 2011 1 comment

It’s been just over 2 weeks since Union’s 2011 season came to an end at Robertson Stadium in Houston, TX.  That doesn’t mean that I’m any less bitter about the confusing tactics by Peter Nowak that I believe are most responsible for Houston Dynamo advancing.  It’s also the reason that it’s taken so long for me to write my final post of the season.  Technically, it IS still the MLS season, as Houston plays LA Galaxy in the Home Depot Center for MLS (RBNY-Will-Never-Win-This) Cup.  So, before the season expires officially, I figure it was time that I come to grips with Union’s season.

It started with the nromal pre-season mix of question marks and anxiety, mixed with anticipation, that accompanies each sport’s season.  It’s a popular baseball saying that “hope springs eternal” as a play-on-words because their sport begins in the spring, as does soccer in the United States.  In similar fashion, it felt like hope was springing eternally for this Union side.  We saw their potential coming through the end of year 1, and felt like the additional time spent in training was going to make them a decidedly improved team.

But first place?  Not even I saw that coming.  Not that I’m the most kool-aid-drinking Union fan out there, but I felt really good about the team.  I just didn’t see them taking the league by storm out of the gate, winning in a Tim-Tebow-esque manner (not looking competent, but winning nonetheless).  They took advantage of teams making the same mistakes Union had the previous season.  It was extremely enjoyable being able to chant things like “We’re top of the table” to opposing fans on two levels.  1)  It’s a positive chant that doesn’t involve profanity so it’s great when you can be PG-rated and still make the oppositions’ fans angry, and 2) The utter shock they must have all felt that they were hearing it from fans of a 2nd year franchise that finished 3rd-to-last place in year 1.

They did come back down to earth, though.  Le Toux took forever to score the way we knew he could.  Nowak constantly confused us with his lineups.  The rest of the league got better as the season went on.  Sporting KC got to actually play home matches.  All of these things contributed to Union dropping in the standings, even to the point that they were outside of playoff position.  Those are the times that test the resolve of the fanbase.  No one knew how this mostly young team would respond to this period of adversity, what with the defense being exposed and the offense not rounding into the form we’d hoped for.  Then the captain broke a finger making a save.

The resurgence was nothing short of amazing.  I didn’t give Zac MacMath a lot of credit to start out with because of our checkered history with University of Maryland goalkeepers (yes, I mean Chris Seitz).  And then the first half of the New England match happened.  The only silver lining I could find for Zac was that he didn’t give up any more goals after he put them in a seemingly no-win situation.  Little did I know at the time that that second half would become a momentum-generating event in getting this team back into winning.  They scored 3 second-half goals, and kept New England out of the net all while playing a very stretched attacking style that left massive counter attacking opportunities all over.  The team grew in offensive confidence, and in confidence in their deputy ‘keeper.  The defense seemed to regain their early-season form as a response to not having Faryd Mondragon’s commanding voice behind them.  It was a period that righted the ship and steered it towards the postseason.

Zac Mac’s time in goal was short-lived in 2011, but the fire was lit.  The Union finished strongly enough to qualify for the #3 spot in the Eastern Conference.  That is a remarkable achievement for a 2nd-year franchise built on youth.  A lot of the players we’ve leaned on are not used to playing this many games in a season against full-grown men; veteran professionals.  They had a couple of chances to gain a better playoff position, but the draw in the home finale against Toronto FC and the loss to RBNY didn’t dampen the euphoria of making the playoffs.

They were matched with Houston Dynamo, a team that Union had not lost to in their brief history (2 wins, 2 draws).  So, it SEEMED like the ideal matchup to allow Union to play loose.  However, it lead to questionable starting lineups and two 1-goal losses in the 2-leg playoff round, which sent Union home for the season.  I may never understand why Nowak put two starting lineups out that he had not used at any point of the regular season.  I understand that you can’t use the same guys every single game, but the playoffs are not a time for a 4-4-2 team to put out a 5-3-2 and a 4-2-4.  I don’t even want to type any more about it because I want to remember the Union season as being a successful one.  They improved from 31 points in 2010, to 48 points in 2011.  Sebastien Le Toux proved that he wasn’t a 1-season wonder.  Danny Califf showed that he’s a great leader even without the Captain’s armband.  And, most importantly, this group has developed a hard-working, physically-defensive style that will hopefully keep them in the playoffs for years to come.

Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union (@UnholyUnionNDY)

A Legend in the Making

November 16, 2011 1 comment

Even though we’re still waiting on Nick’s follow up and season review write up (seriously Nick, get off your ass) things feel good surrounding the end of the season and looking back on it.  What a long strange trip it’s been.

A 2nd year team finishing top 3 in a conference (no matter how dumb the conference system is set up), with players we enjoy.  Yes we didn’t play our best at the end, but that was the basic summary of the season – why is Nowak playing players this way, why can’t we find goal, why is Carlos Ruiz on the field… oh, sorry, that problem was already solved.  But once the smoke cleared from our final doop, this season was an enjoyable one.

This year I became a first time Season Ticket Holder of any sport, and got to get a lot of different friends to come to a game and thoroughly enjoy it (thank you Sons of Ben for the atmosphere doing that).  Me and Nick were able to keep the blog going to very few people stumbling across it (created Aug-2010), which in turn now comes to about a hundred or so checking in thanks to linkage from Brotherly Game and Philly Soccer Page.  We started the blog because we didn’t see any fan blogs, and we talked enough about the games that took up work time so we just transposed it to the interwebs – we don’t care about fan base, we just care about having fun and doing our own thing.  BG and PSP seemed more like news outlets than a blog, so that’s one of the prime reasons why we started ours.  But thanks to all of that, and eventually making a twitter, we then started talking to others who created blogs, specifically Murph over at The Union Dues who then got the idea of a podcast (YSA Report) going.  I personally was not a part of many podcasts this year, but being one of the first contacts he made to contribute, and being at the first session, it feels great being able to be a part of creating something.

And that’s a lot of what the Philadelphia Union fan base is about – we’re tied together by the city, by the blood, by the beautiful game.  It’s early in the life span of our great team, but because of that, we are a part of something young, something great, something that is bound to become legendary (maybe in our own minds).  Even if you are not a part of the SoB’s, or a random fan blog, or contribute to alcohol abuse (Punchy the Bear, I’m looking at you) we all look at eachother with the feeling “This is my team, I am a part of it”.  We belong.

This is one large family I am proud to be a part of.  I’ve met so many new people (that I wasn’t expecting to) this year that it’s hard to keep track of, but I feel like I’m better for having met them, and all of those to come.

So until there’s something new to talk about this off-season (will have very sporadic posts), enjoy the holidays, be safe, and –

Jungite aut Perite.

Categories: Uncategorized