Game #6 Preview: San Jose at Philadelphia

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union return to action after a welcomed week off when a trip to Real Salt Lake was rescheduled due to the Royals participation in the CONCACAF Champions League (an unfortunate loss). Sebastien Le Toux and the rest of the squad that was around last season will be looking to one-up the visiting San Jose Earthquakes, a team that had their number last year. Fans will remember the late Arturo Alvarez heartbreaker at PPL Park and this weekend’s DOOP day will hopefully be a time for payback.

San Jose Earthquakes (1-3-2) at Philadelphia Union (3-1-1)
Saturday, April 30, 2011
PPL Park, Chester, PA, 4:00PM, 6abc

Philadelphia Union Projected Starting XI

—————————–Mondragon—————————-

Williams———–Califf—————–Valdes———-Harvey

——————-Miglioranzi————Okugo——————-

Mapp———————————————————-Daniel

———————-Le Toux————–Ruiz———————

DOUBTFUL: MF Gabe Farfan (R little toe dislocation); PROBABLE: DF Jordan Harvey (L hamstring strain), MF Brian Carroll (R hamstring strain), MF Justin Mapp (L hamstring strain)

San Jose Earthquakes Projected Starting XI

——————————–Busch———————————

Hernandez———Opara———-McDonald———-Corrales

——————————-Cronin———————————

Stephenson——-Dawkins——–Wondolowski——–Convey

——————————–Sealy———————————–

OUT: MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DOUBTFUL: DF Tim Ward (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Joey Gjertsen (R groin strain), MF Matt Luzunaris (L hip flexor strain)

Game Notes:

The Union will remember Quakes forward Steven Lenhart. a [a part of the Columbus Crew last year, for his showing at PPL Park. The blonde-fro’ed target forward struck twice with his head to lead Columbus to a victory. The Earthquakes also shared similar success against the Union in 2010. At PPL Park, a last gasp Arturo Alvarez gamewinner stunned Union fans and in the return leg, in San Jose, the Union never really threatened in a 1-0 loss. The good news is – the Union are much improved – and Steven Lenhart will likely play the role of super sub or not play at all.

The Quakes are on a four game winless streak (0-2-2) with their last two games being losses to New York and Chivas USA respectively. A players-only meeting was held as coach Frank Yallop threatened to shake up the line-up. Union fans must remember, however that they’re also a team that came only one win away from reaching the MLS Cup final in 2010 so bad form or not, the Union need to take it to them. 2011’s Earthquakes have conceded the most shots in Major League Soccer so far (91) but it’ll mean nothing if the Union can’t create.

Philadelphia native Bobby Convey is coming off of his best season in Major League Soccer since his return State-side after a spell with Reading in England. He has to regain that 2010 form but you can expect, part of a team hungry to right their wrongs, that he’ll be a big part of things on Saturday. It’s hard to believe the Penn Charter product has worked almost 250 competitive matches over a career spanning 11 years now. He was drafted by DC United in 2000, then becoming the youngest player ever signed by Major League Soccer.

The Flyers will be starting their series with the Boston Bruins at 3:00PM on game day. It shouldn’t affect game day attendance too much but you never know.

Brian Carroll, out the last several games with a right hamstring strain, could see time against San Jose but there is no reason to believe that he will start. Amobi Okugo has played well filling in for the vet and as long as he continues to do so, Carroll can make sure he’s 100% ready to return. There’s also the possibility – though not listed in the injury report – that Stefani Miglioranzi may miss the match with a knock taken in the Union’s draw vs. Seattle.

Kerith Gabriel, over at Philly.com, takes an in-depth look at the Union’s league-leading defense and it’s transformation from leaky to impenetrable in just a season.

In case you missed it, Timmy Howard and Everton FC will be visiting PPL Park in late July. Part of the season ticket package!

YSC Sports and the Philadelphia Union recently hosted the last leg of Sueno MLS and the finalists will be announced on Sunday, May 1st on Republica Deportiva. Over 400 youngsters took part in tryouts, assessed by coaches including Reading United AC and Union Reserve coach Brendan Burke, as they fought for one of five spots to earn a trial and a ticket to the “Final Event” held in Dallas.

Just as the Union were surprised by their week off, affiliate club Harrisburg will have to wait a little while before their 2011 home debut. They were scheduled to take on the Rochester Rhinos but flooding has forced the city of Harrisburg to close down City Island. Rescheduled date to be announced.

Predictions for the scoreline this weekend? If both Miglioranzi and Carroll have to sit this weekend or at least come in off the bench, who would you have start?

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