Tag Archive | "Brad Knighton"

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Former Union Player Update: The Railhawks continue to roll; all three Strikers get the start

Posted on 24 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Major League Soccer

Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – started and worked a full 90 minutes in the middle for yet another FC Dallas shutout, this time a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake, gathered a yellow card in the process (53rd minute) for persistent fouls
Chris Seitz (FC Dallas) – dressed but did not play in the Hoops’ 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake
 
Fred (DC United) – played the second half in a 2-1 friendly loss to Dutch powers AFC Ajax; Fred had the best chance in the second half for United to equalize but it missed; an 87th minute goal from Vurnon Anita gave Ajax the 2-1 win after Blake Brettschneider had found a 58th equalizer for DC
Shea Salinas (Vancouver) – started and played 83 minutes (replaced by Russell Teibert) in the Caps 1-1 Nutrilite Canadian Championship first leg tie vs. Toronto FC; the winner (second leg is tomorrow night) will qualify for the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League
Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA) – couldn’t solve the puzzle of the Galaxy’s backline in a 1-0 Superclasico loss; started and went the whole 90 minutes; called up for internationa duty with Venezuela as they prepare for July’s Copa America
Shavar Thomas (Sporting KC) – Kansas City continues to lose and their June 9th stadium opening date can’t come soon enough; dropped a 1-0 loss to Seattle, Thomas did not dress and has barely been playing as of late; still called up for Jamaica’s Gold Cup 2011 campaign
 
Brian Perk (Los Angeles) – did not dress for the 1-0 Superclasico win over Chivas USA
NASL

Brad Knighton (Carolina) – the Railhawks can’t stop winning and Knighton is a huge part of that; he leads the league in saves; started and worked a 3-0  shutout against defending NASL champions Puerto Rico; made some big saves in the process; the Railhawks are now 6-1-1 and still sit in first

Nick Zimmerman (Carolina) – started and went 72 minutes (replaced by Brian Farber) in an impressive 3-0 win over Puerto Rico; Etienne Barbara and Jorge Campos continue to register all of the offensive production but according to Railhawks fans, Zimmerman has been just as influential

Eduardo Coudet (Fort Lauderdale) – started and went 90 minutes in a 0-0 deadlock with the Atlanta Silverbacks; had an opportunity to put Fort Lauderdale up early in the second half but the Strikers had to settle for a tie, now 1-2-4

Toni Stahl (Fort Lauderdale) – started and went all 90 in the Strikers’ 0-0 tie with Atlanta; the roster card has him listed as a midfielder in this one as well; the Strikers will face MLS-bound Montreal next on May 28th

Cristian Arrieta (Fort Lauderdale) – Arrieta started for the first time, working 90 minutes in the midfield for the Strikers’ 0-0 tie with Atlanta; almost assisted on what could have been the gamewinner early on; Arrieta was playing one of his former squads, he won USL MVP with Puerto Rico
 
USL PRO

JT Noone (Harrisburg) – started for Harrisburg in a 3-1 loss to Orlando City; went the full 90 minutes, registering a shot on goal in the process; the City Islanders fall to 1-2-2

Foreign-Based

Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis FC) – Pumas wins the Mexican Clausura; no word on Orozco Fiscal

Dave Myrie (Limon FC) – Myrie was named in Los Ticos’ 31-player preliminary squad for the 2011 Gold Cup early on but did NOT make the final roster released on May 21st; Myrie will most likely get a call up for July’s Copa America however; Los Ticos are set to take on Nigeria this weekend in a Gold Cup tune-up

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Former Union Player Update: Salinas grabs two starts, Jacobson and Dallas have a big week

Posted on 17 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

 Major League Soccer

Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

 

Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – worked 173 minutes last week in two FC Dallas wins, a 1-0 shutout of Toronto FC and a 2-0 win over his former team, the Union; he started both and was subbed out in the 83rd minute against Philadelphia; the two wins catapulted the Hoops into the mix in the Western Conference

Chris Seitz (FC Dallas) – dressed but did not play in either of FC Dallas’ wins last week;

Fred (DC United) – Fred was a late sub in DC United’s 1-1 tie with the defending champions; worked 10 minutes to help extend United’s three game unbeaten streak; captained the DC United side in a 1-0 reserve league win over the Philadelphia Union reserves today (5/17), played all 90 minutes

Shea Salinas (Vancouver) – started and went 72 minutes in a Whitecaps tie with San Jose; Salinas was off the field for the 90th minute equalizer scored by Davide Chiumiento; on Saturday Salinas started again versus New England and went the whole game in a 1-0 loss to the Revolution; despite the loss – Salinas earned praise for his dangerous play down the right flank

Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA) – started and went the full 90 minutes in a surprising 3-2 away win over the New York Red Bulls

Shavar Thomas (Sporting KC) – did not dress in Sporting Kansas City’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy

Brian Perk (Los Angeles) – did not dress for the Galaxy’s midweek trip to Philadelphia but dressed in their 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City; backed up Josh Saunders 

NASL

Brad Knighton (Carolina) – followed up his Defensive PLayer of the Week honors with two important wins, a 4-2 home victory vs. Eduardo Coudet and the Strikers and a surprising 2-1 win over Montreal at Saputo Stadium;

Nick Zimmerman (Carolina) – started both games and went 90 minutes in each of Carolina’s aforementioned wins; the Railhawks now sit on top of the NASL tables with a 5-1-1 record
 
Eduardo Coudet (Fort Lauderdale) – missed the Strikers 4-2 loss to Brad Knighton and Carolina as Fort Lauderdale ended their four game away swing
 
Toni Stahl (Fort Lauderdale) – started for the strikers in their 4-2 away loss to Carolina; another scheduled game for Saturday vs. FC Tampa Bay was postponed and rescheduled for late June
 
Cristian Arrieta (Fort Lauderdale) – Arrieta earned his first competitive minutes for the Strikers in the 4-2 loss to Carolina; the former Union defender came on in the 80th minute as the Strikers tried to fight back from a defecit
 
USL PRO

JT Noone (Harrisburg) – signed on May 5, 2011, Noone worked 8 minutes in a 1-1 tie against Richmond this past Saturday; should eventually get more minutes as he settles in

Foreign-Based

Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis FC) – the Mexican Clausura playoffs continue without San Luis FC, still no word on Orozco Fiscal and his future but one can be sure it’s not with San Luis

Dave Myrie (Limon FC) – Myrie may have a chance to head to Copa America 2011 this summer with the Costa Rican national team; the Ticos have yet to accept the Copa America invitation but due to his recent inclusion into the international friendlies, there’s a good chance Myrie will go. If not, there’s always the Gold Cup. The Ticos plan is to send a Senior Team to the Gold Cup in June and a U-23 team to Copa America with a couple scattered senior players.

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Former Union Player Update: Knighton wins NASL honors, Noone heads home, and Chacho strikes again

Posted on 11 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

All former Union players are now accounted for and more importantly, EMPLOYED!

Major League Soccer

Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – started and went the full 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw with DC United, Jacobson has solidified a starting position at holding midfielder in Schellas Hyndman’s line-up (no easy task), the Hoops are now 3-3-2

Chris Seitz (FC Dallas) – dressed but did not play in the Hoops 0-0 tie with DC United

Fred (DC United) – part of two games last week, mid-week he came on for the last 13 minutes of a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders, on Saturday, Fred came on for Chris Pontius in the 81st minute and played 9 plus minutes in a 0-0 stalemate against FC Dallas, earned a yellow card almost immediately upon entry for a reckless tackle, had a late scoring chance that was thwarted by FC Dallas’ keeper Kevin Hartman

Shea Salinas (Vancouver) – came on for Blake Wagner in the 58th minute playing 32+ minutes in a 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire, is fast becoming one of the first players off the bench for Vancouver now that he’s healthy, the Whitecaps are 1-4-4

Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA) – played 72 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA were forced to play two men down after Boyens and Mondaini were ejected early on, Moreno  

Shavar Thomas (Sporting KC) – did not have a regular season game this past week, played 90 minutes in a 2-0 reserve league victory over Real Salt Lake, started at centerback

Brian Perk (Los Angeles) – did not dress for the Galaxy’s 1-1 tie with the New York Red Bulls at the Home Depot Center, also did not play in a May 3rd reserve loss to Chivas USA

NASL

NASL Defensive Player of the Week

Brad Knighton (Carolina)

– won NASL Defensive Player of the Week honors for his role in a 3-1 win over FC Tampa Bay, Knighton started and played all 90 minutes in that match-up, the Railhawks are 3-1-1

Nick Zimmerman (Carolina) – started and played the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over FC Tampa Bay, Carolina will now face Coudet, Stahl, and Arrieta’s Fort Lauderdale squad in a big match-up tonight

Eduardo Coudet (Fort Lauderdale) – Chacho continued his penalty taking clinic, converting yet another (his fourth of the season) in a  1-1 tie with Minnesota that saw the Strikers lose their lead late, they will now face Knighton and Carolina in their last game of a four game road trip, the Strikers are 1-3-1 , he is currently tied for second in the league in scoring

Toni Stahl (Fort Lauderdale) – started for the strikers in their 1-1 away tie to Minnesota

Cristian Arrieta (Fort Lauderdale) – seen in practice photos but still has to appear in the starting lineup for the Strikers

USL PRO

JT Noone (Harrisburg) – signed on May 5, 2011, Noone returns to his hometown and was almost immediately thrown into the fire, Harrisburg had their rescheduled home opener vs. Rochester and Tony Donatelli yesterday and won 1-0, Noone came in off the bench and played the last 14 minutes, the Temple graduate played with the City Islanders last season and was eventually snapped up by the Union, after a couple friendly appearances, Noone was released in the offseason

Foreign-Based

Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis FC) – the Mexican Clausura playoffs continue without San Luis FC, still no word on Orozco Fiscal and his future but one can be sure it’s not with San Luis

Dave Myrie (Limon FC) – did not have a game as the Torneo de Verano is in its final stage with Alajuelense holding a 1-0 lead on aggregate vs. San Carlos, the second leg will be played this Saturday, Myrie is rumored to be moving to another team

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Former Union Player Update: Knighton, Zimmerman, and Stahl all surface

Posted on 04 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

In Major League Soccer

Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – Jacobson dressed but did not play in FC Dallas’ loss to Columbus

Chris Seitz (FC Dallas) – Seitz also dressed this past weekend but did not play in a 2-0 loss to Columbus

Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA) – continued his scoring ways with the Chivas USA’s lone goal (having just returned from international duty with Venezuela) in a 1-1 tie on road vs. Toronto FC, it was his first goal of the MLS season and for Chivas USA

Shavar Thomas (Sporting KC) – came back from international duty with Jamaica and played 8 minutes in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-3 tie with Vancouver, while with the Reggae Boyz, Thomas helped in a 3-2 win over El Salvador on March 31st

Fred (DC United) – played 8 minutes in DC United’s 4-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday

Shea Salinas (Vancouver) – did not dress for Vancouver in a thrilling comeback vs. Sporting Kansas City, recovering from a knee injury

Brian Perk (Los Angeles) – did not dress for Los Angeles in their 1-0 win over Philadelphia

In NASL

Eduardo Coudet (Fort Lauderdale) – will wear #88 for the Strikers, may have played in the Strikers’ last preseason match-up, a 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast University, before their April 9th opener vs. Edmonton

Cristian Arrieta (Fort Lauderdale) – will wear #26 for the Strikers, signed on March 30, 2011,  may have played in the Strikers’ last preseason match-up, a 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast University, before their April 9th opener vs. Edmonton

Toni Stahl (Fort Lauderdale) signed on April 1, 2011, will wear #5 for the Strikers, may have played in the Strikers’ last preseason match-up, a 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast University, before their April 9th opener vs. Edmonton

Brad Knighton (Carolina)close to being signed by the Railhawks, Knighton played a half in a 2-1 preseason win over the Wilmington Hammerheads, should be on the roster for the first game of the season this weekend vs. Puerto Rico

Nick Zimmerman (Carolina)close to being signed by the Railhawks, Zimmerman scored in Carolina’s 2-1 preseason win over Wilmington, it was Carolina’s first goal in the last four preseason matches, should be on the roster for the first game of the season this weekend vs. Puerto Rico

Foreign-Based

Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis FC) – did not dress for San Luis FC’s 3-2 loss to Queretaro, still unsure of his status

David Myrie (Limon FC) – did not dress in Limon FC’s 3-1 win over Puntarenas, they now sit in second place, Myrie was on international duty with Costa Rica, did not play in Costa Rica’s 0-0 tie with Argentina on March 30th

Unattached

JT Noone

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POLL: Knighton waived, is it a good move?

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Photo credit, Terry McLaughlin, ASN Philly

Another move from the Philadelphia Union technical staff that came to no surprise for some but certainly baffled others. The answer to why Brad Knighton had not reported to training camp, which started Monday, was now clear. The owner of the Union’s first ever clean sheet is not in Piotr Nowak’s cards as the turnover of last season’s goalkeeping core is now complete. Brian Perk waived mid to late last season, Chris Seitz lost in the first ever Re-Entry Draft, and now Brad Knighton. Enter Faryd Mondragon, 39-year old Bundesliga vet, and his newly appointed protege, rookie Zac MacMath.

A 25-year old keeper making peanuts in Major League Soccer and with a little bit of first-team experience should have no trouble finding a job. In fact, there is word he already has interest. The attention, however, now turns to whether or not Mondragon and MacMath can carry the load this season. With a 30-player roster, many wonder why he couldn’t have been placated and kept on the roster. Did he want out?

As for further paring of last year’s roster, another training camp absentee is Eduardo “Chacho” Coudet. The journeyman has reportedly been garnering interest in his home country of Argentina and there’s a good chance we won’t see him returning to the Zolos for 2011.

The former Union players list is starting to get relatively long…(see our Profiles section).

Union fans, as always, please share your thoughts below!

[polldaddy poll=4450404]

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Expansion Draft 2010: Hoping for minimal damage

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Guessing an expansion draft is downright impossible. Even more so when it’s two teams with bare boned rosters picking. The task of guessing what expansion squads need and what pieces they already have coming in is still ventured upon – almost begrudgingly – every year. It’s not fun looking around at which Union players many think will be selected but take comfort in knowing that very few of these consensus picks actually happen.

Let’s take a look at who – by the end of  today – will no longer be a member of the Union.

Let’s Talk Soccer

VANCOUVER: Shea Salinas, M/D, Philadelphia. (40k) Been impressed each time I’ve seen him. Dirt cheap too. Philly protects Andrew Jacobson after.

Salinas is a popular pick amongst the pontificators. Philly loses another however…in the last round.

PORTLAND: Brad Knighton, GK, Philadelphia. (40k) Younger option than Gruenebaum and I’ve enjoyed his play in New England and Philly. Competes with Steve Cronin in Portland. Philadelphia is done.

Fox Soccer/Soccer by Ives

9. PORTLAND TIMBERS – BRAD KNIGHTON (Philadelphia Union)

The Timbers go considerably younger in goal than Vancouver, grabbing the impressive and undervalued Knighton to battle Steve Cronin for the starting job. Knighton beat out Chris Seitz in Philadelphia before being inexplicably left unprotected.

Ives doesn’t agree with Nowak’s “if one GK is left unprotected then both should be” approach and we lose Knighton first.

16. VANCOUVER WHITE CAPS – ANDREW JACOBSON (Philadelphia Union)

Vancouver general manager Tom Soehn was head coach at D.C. United when Jacobson returned to MLS from France and will pounce on a solid and reasonably-priced defensive midfield option.

WV Hooligan

11. Portland Timbers – Andrew Jacobson (Philadelphia):

Me: Getting some speed in the midfield would be good for Spencer, I’ve always thought Jacobson could be developed into a very good player when given the proper time.

So, as of right now, it’s Jacobson and Knighton getting plucked by “the majority”. Surprisingly, we don’t lose another in WV Hooligan’s Mock Draft. We’ll take it.

Canadian Soccer News

No explanations here but a couple surprises in Duane Rollins’ take…

PORTLAND: 5. Alejandro Moreno (Phi)

VANCOUVER: 20. Chris Seitz (Phi)

Moreno and Seitz? Would anyone have a real problem with this? Moreno still has a role to play on this team but with the beating he takes every year, I can’t imagine he’ll be having many full 34-game seasons with the Union.

MLS Soccer

12) Vancouver choose Shea Salinas, M/D, Philadelphia Union Salinas is young, cheap, fast and full of running. He hasn’t quite found a permanent home on the field yet, but is capable of giving quality minutes at right back and right midfield. Youth, flexibility and affordability make him the right pick for Vancouver.

Believe it or not, I thought the selection of Salinas would be more of slam dunk than it seems to be with those trying to get in the heads of Spencer and Teitur. And once again, pleasantly surprised with no second pick from the Union.

Goal.com

3. Brad Knighton, GK, Philadelphia – A better option between the sticks than either Cronin or Nolly. After his performances in Philadelphia, he probably deserves an unfettered shot at a number one shirt somewhere in the league.

As it all is undoubtedly a crap shoot, Knighton and Salinas look to be the two most likely to be selected. If you remember last year at all, however, the consensus picks are normally way off. In our collective Mock Draft for the Union’s expansion draft last year (a round-up of 9 of the blogosphere’s mock drafts), only ONE (Andrew Jacobson) was selected.

Get ready for a bit of a surprise today.

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Twenty-Three

Posted on 14 September 2010 by Breton Bonnette

It was a week of decisive performances across the board but an unexpected goalkeeper walks away with Player of the Week honors. It was only his second start of the season and he atoned for an abrupt first appearance by delivering Philadelphia their first shutout win of the season. Los Angeles found steam again this week dropping Eastern Conference leaders Columbus as Beckham took the field for the first time in six months. Landon Donovan took over once again as the Galaxy shoot to preserve their season-long hold on the Supporters Shield. The Red Bulls also showed their dominance as three members made this week’s Best XI but it was pint-sized Dane Richards who continues to show that he can up his game.

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 23

GK: Brad Knighton, Philadelphia – 8.5, ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Making his 2nd start of the season, Knighton did not have to do much to improve upon his debut, the ill-fated sending off against FC Dallas.  But he did much more than improve, energizing the crowd in much the same way he did in the friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara.  Bailing out the defense with acrobatic, steely saves and controlling the box on corners, Knighton did it all in the 1st half.  The 2nd half proved to be no letdown, as the neophyte keeper played the role of field general to perfection.  With one hiccup, an incident in which Knighton almost replicated his sending off in Dallas by diving out of the box and then being forced to leave the area to defend Patrick Nyarko, the backup of the past (at least for the immediate future) still made the most of his opportunity.  Nowak all but confirmed that Knighton would get a second consecutive start on Wednesday in San Jose.  Suffice it to say it is well-earned. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

DEF: Danny Califf, Philadelphia – 7.5

Played heads up defense throughout the 1st half, making 4 strong clearances, most notably a lunging clearance in the 27th minute off a cross from the left corner.  Throughout the match, the captain was engaged, aware, and played within himself.  Perhaps realizing that he had to show real leadership in front of an inexperienced goalkeeper and alongside a piecemeal back four, Danny played flawlessly at the back today and took no chances in helping to secure his team’s first clean sheet of the season, a feat he took great pride in. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

DEF: Kyle Davies, FC Dallas – 7.5

The Hoops continued their unbeaten streak even as essentially their entire starting backline sits on the trainer’s table. Young Kyle Davies, almost forgotten in a sense, stepped in admirably to ensure that Dallas continued to get points out of each and every game.

DEF: Julius James, DC United – 8

Even well before he scored the gamewinner, James was all over the place shutting down the Houston offense. His goal put the nail in the coffin for Toronto FC’s Mo Johnston and Preki who were fired as of today. Could Preki wind up in DC and take charge of the guy that put him under?

MID: Dane Richards, Red Bull New York – 8

Richards has adapted to the quality around and really upped his game. Fantastic news for the Red Bulls, terrible news for the rest of the league. The diminutive winger was always a couple steps away from being one of the most dominated wingers in the league and now it looks like he’s on a clear trajectory to that status.

MID: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles – 8

Donovan made sure the recent disappointment didn’t persist, imposing himself on the Columbus defense and orchestrating most of the Galaxy’s play along with first-year Juninho. It was Donovan’s through-ball to Dema Kovalenko to double the lead early on. That goal wound up being the gamewinner.

MID: Rafael Marquez, Red Bull New York – 8

Before an ankle injury took him out of the game, Marquez was once again the midfield marshal, dictating the pace of the game and linking the midfield and their star duo up front. The injury is apparently minor but Marquez’s impact on the Red Bulls since his acquisition has been anything but that. Moreso than Henry, Marquez’s involvement in every match here on out

MID: Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia – 8

No more adjectives required for the breakout star of the 2010 MLS season.  In the 36th minute, Le Toux managed to start and finish a counterattack, taking a deflection in the midfield and sending it long to Ale Moreno who held it up and fed to Justin Mapp, who found Sebastien streaking on the back side.  All that was left was for Le Toux to completely contort his body and fake far post before slotting home his 11th goal of the season just inside the near post.  Continued the rest of the match as the jack of all trades, dutifully shifting his role to hybrid midfielder/second attacker when Danny Mwanga went off and then closing the match as the sole striker when the team moved into defensive mode to close out the game. – Sam Tomas, ASN Philly

FWD: Alan Gordon, Chivas USA – 8

The big man who recently was forced to switch allegiances within the City of Angels made his presence well-known in the Goats big 2-0 win over the Revolution. Gordon assisted both goals as Chivas USA held on to slim hopes of making the postseason. It could be a nice set-up for Gordon with the Goats – more playing time and lining up with one of the best young strikers in the league right now in Justin “Braunildinho”.

FWD: Thierry Henry, Red Bull New York – 7.5

Not his absolute best but still one huge step above the rest. Henry set the pace of the game early on with a beautiful back and forth with Joel Lindpere (my pick for RBNY’s unsung hero this season). Lindpere backheeled a pass right into Henry’s path and the Frenchman finished expertly from a tough angle. The Red Bulls gained significant ground on Columbus (3-1 losers to Los Angeles) as the race for the Eastern Conference heats up.

FWD: Jovan Kirovski, Los Angeles – 7.5

Bruce Arena’s pairing of Kirovski with Edson Buddle worked wonders this time but the verdict is still out on how it will fare over a late season run to preserve the Supporters Shield they have been working towards all season. Kirovski added a goal and an assist in the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over the Crew with the Buddle/Kirovski duo contributing the majority of the offense and close calls.  

Archives:

Week 22, Best XI

Week 21, Best XI

Week 20, Best XI

Week 19, Best XI

Week 18, Best XI

Week 17, Best XI

Week 16, Best XI

Midseason, Best XI

Week 15, Best XI

Week 14, Best XI

Week 13, Best XI

Week 12, Best XI

Week 11, Best XI

Week 10, Best XI

Week 9, Best XI

Week 8, Best XI

Week 7, Best XI

Week 6, Best XI

Week 5, Best XI

Week 4, Best XI

Week 3, Best XI

Week 2, Best XI

 Week 1, Best XI

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Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire: Player Ratings

Posted on 12 September 2010 by stoma

It was a sea change for the Union vs. Chicago this weekend. A new keeper in Brad Knighton, getting his second chance after a 23-minute appearance vs. FC Dallas a while back was derailed by an errant lunge. A new right fullback in former U-17 product and Hackworth charge Sheanon Williams. A new look to the backline with Juan Diego Gonzalez out with injury. A second sell-out at PPL Park. And what comes of such change? That first shutout win.

Go figure.

As the Knighton era begins and San Jose awaits, the Union find themselves still somewhat in the playoff hunt all thanks to a revitalized Justin Mapp and Sebastien Le Toux’s 11th goal of the season. ASN Philly’s Sam Toma takes a good look at the Philadelphia Union’s first shutout.

GK Brad Knighton (8.5) *ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH*- Making his 2nd start of the season, Knighton did not have to do much to improve upon his debut, the ill-fated sending off against FC Dallas.  But he did much more than improve, energizing the crowd in much the same way he did in the friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara.  Bailing out the defense with acrobatic, steely saves and controlling the box on corners, Knighton did it all in the 1st half.  The 2nd half proved to be no letdown, as the neophyte keeper played the role of field general to perfection.  With one hiccup, an incident in which Knighton almost replicated his sending off in Dallas by diving out of the box and then being forced to leave the area to defend Patrick Nyarko, the backup of the past (at least for the immediate future) still made the most of his opportunity.  Nowak all but confirmed that Knighton would get a second consecutive start on Wednesday in San Jose.  Suffice it to say it is well-earned.

RB Sheanon Williams (6.5)- Showed the speed that this team has been looking for from the fullback position and featured an unknown weapon, the Roberto Carlos 40-yard throw-in.  Defensively, Williams did leave a bit to be desired in the decision-making department, especially late as the Union worked to protect their lead and clean sheet.  Sheanon appeared to tire as the game wore on.  However, the positive far outweighed the negative for the youngster, as his ability to get forward, deep into the opposition’s territory and send a couple of dangerous crosses in to the area displayed the potential of the attack when supplied with speed from the back. 

CB Danny Califf (7.5)- Played heads up defense throughout the 1st half, making 4 strong clearances, most notably a lunging clearance in the 27th minute off a cross from the left corner.  Throughout the match, the captain was engaged, aware, and played within himself.  Perhaps realizing that he had to show real leadership in front of an inexperienced goalkeeper and alongside a piecemeal back four, Danny played flawlessly at the back today and took no chances in helping to secure his team’s first clean sheet of the season, a feat he took great pride in.

CB Michael Orozco Fiscal (6.5)- Playing in the center again for the first time since early on in the season with the injury to Juan Diego Gonzalez, Orozco-Fiscal acquitted himself quite well, teaming with Danny Califf to form a solid center-backing corps in front of Brad Knighton.  Utilizing a bend-but-don’t-break strategy at the back, Orozco-Fiscal was most useful in cutting off angles in the penalty area to prevent attackers on the wing from supplying the middle for dangerous scoring opportunities.

LB Jordan Harvey (6.5)- With Williams pushing high for most of the 1st half, Harvey was able to concentrate on neutralizing the uber-speedy Patrick Nyarko.  Despite a couple of close calls, Nyarko never got into too dangerous of a position as Harvey and Miglioranzi worked to box him in.  Harvey never let Nyarko get into space in the final third and utilize his speed advantage as he used smart positioning and, when forced, made a few heady sliding challenges that proved effective in keeping the ball away from Chicago’s attack where they could use it.  Harvey’s best defensive performance of the year and a third straight successful marking assignment, as he held speed-demons Davy Arnaud of Kansas City and New England’s Sainey Nyasi scoreless (Arnaud did score, but off of a free kick).

MID Sebastien Le Toux (8)- No more adjectives required for the breakout star of the 2010 MLS season.  In the 36th minute, Le Toux managed to start and finish a counterattack, taking a deflection in the midfield and sending it long to Ale Moreno who held it up and fed to Justin Mapp, who found Sebastien streaking on the back side.  All that was left was for Le Toux to completely contort his body and fake far post before slotting home his 11th goal of the season just inside the near post.  Continued the rest of the match as the jack of all trades, dutifully shifting his role to hybrid midfielder/second attacker when Danny Mwanga went off and then closing the match as the sole striker when the team moved into defensive mode to close out the game.

MID Andrew Jacobson (5.5)- Jacobson played strong defensively but tentatively on the offensive end.  Uncharacteristically, he passed on a couple of open shooting opportunities.  Perhaps we have become accustomed to seeing Andrew come off the bench when the team is in need of a goal and he is instructed to provide a spark, but it was still unsettling to see him passive in the final third.  Defensively, Jacobson has a wonderful instinct of how to use his speed to both rectify mistakes and to cover for teammates, allowing them to gamble forward without worry that a miscalculation will mean an automatic break the other way.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (6.5)- Showing why a pairing with a young speedster is optimal relative to the stale coupling with injured Eduardo Coudet, Miglioranzi was able to play much more aggressively and effectively knowing that Andrew Jacobson had the speed to track back and clean up any danger.  As the game settled in, Stefani balanced linking the attack with tracking back to monitor Patrick Nyarko and Nery Castillo, helping significantly to hold the duo scoreless and without any real opportunities.

MID Justin Mapp (7.5)- With his 3rd assist in as many games, Mapp has established himself as the premier playmaker on this team with production never realized by Fred in the same role for the majority of the season.  In addition to finding Le Toux for the game’s only goal, Mapp was all over the field and sparked several counter-attacks by making himself available to receive the ball from the back.  Had to feel nice to play like that against the team that cast him off earlier in the season.  Came off for Kyle Nakazawa in a bit of a defensive replacement in the 77th minute.

FWD Alejandro Moreno (6)- Really showed his value to the Union’s attack, making all the smart touches that would allow Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga to spring free for dangerous runs toward and into the penalty area.  The quintessential Moreno play, really, took place to facilitate the game’s only goal: Ale received a long ball in the air across the pitch from Seba, settled it with his chest and held up long enough for Justin Mapp to arrive from the midfield, receive the pass in stride from Moreno, and find Le Toux streaking uncovered down the back side.  The substitution of Moreno, which occurred when Shea Salinas came on in the 70th minute, was timely, as Moreno ‘s style is not as effective when Le Toux is the only viable recipient of his service.  Once Mwanga came out, Ale’s holding up was simply no longer the best strategy.

FWD Danny Mwanga (5.5)- Seemed determined to take his man on just about every time.  Played well, but held the ball when passing it to the next man would have shown better judgment in several instances.  Took a bad spill early in a collision with Fire keeper Sean Johnson, but was able to make himself available all the way through the 1st half and to the 55th minute, when he came off for Fred.  It was revealed after the game that he had suffered a slight separation in his left shoulder and will undergo x-rays and potentially an MRI to follow.  Chances are he’ll skip the trip to San Jose in order to take just about 2 weeks to recover fully for the home stretch.

CF Fred (5.5)– Came on for an injured Danny Mwanga in the 55th minute.  In an effort to avoid the “shrinking” of the field that playing he and Justin Mapp as opposing wingers has too often resulted in, Fred served the role of alternate striker, then after Nowak went to Le Toux as a stand-alone striker, center forward directly behind Le Toux for support.   If a low cross into the box had reached him, Fred had a sure goal shortly after coming on, but it was not to be.  After that, he smartly deferred ball-handling ability to Mapp for the next 20 minutes and found himself in the middle of several legitimate opportunities.  All in all, a strong appearance in substitution, which may be the best way to use him the rest of the way.

MID Shea Salinas (6)- Back from his stress-fractured fibula after two months out, Shea got right back in the mix, coming on for Alejandro Moreno in the 70th minute.  Eager to show that his rehab has him back to full strength and, more importantly, full speed, Salinas wreaked havoc down the right flank for the entirety of his 20 minutes on the pitch.  His infusion of speed will be a valuable commodity down the stretch for the Union as they continue to harbor hopes of relevancy in the playoff race.

MID Kyle Nakazawa (5.5)– Came on for a gassed Justin Mapp as a marginal defensive replacement to help cement the game in the 77th minute.  Didn’t impact the game a great deal, but put the punctuation mark on the end of the game with a blood-curdling tackle of Freddie Ljumberg in stoppage time.

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Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union vs. Chivas de Guadalajara

Posted on 02 September 2010 by stoma

GK Brad Knighton (8.5) * ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH *- Big game from the backup, redeeming himself after his previous sighting (being sent off in Dallas).  With acrobatic save after acrobatic save, Knighton seemed to thrive on the unusual sight of an opponent launching a shot from distance, as that is nowhere near as common in the MLS.   A highly effective and entertaining performance, Knighton definitely found himself all over the place and recorded the first solo clean sheet in PPL Park history and definitely worked for it, recording 8 saves.  Unscored upon in 3 appearances, Knighton is clearly king of the international friendlies.

RB Michael Orozco-Fiscal (5)- Solid but unspectacular game for Orozco-Fiscal, who found himself concentrating more on defense due to the wide open pace of the game early on leading to several chances for Chivas.  He was able to serve a couple of useful balls when he did push forward, but was not able to work himself high on the pitch often enough.

CB Danny Califf (4.5)- Sometimes it’s tough to tell whether Califf is experiences lapses in judgment or is actually trying to physically intimidate the opponent.  This was one of those times, especially against a physically imposing Chivas de Guadalajara.  A giveaway followed by a forearm shiver to the chest of a Guadalajara attacker in the 15th minute didn’t exactly set the tone, but that’s not important. What’s important is that the captain believed it did…something.

CB Juan Diego Gonzalez (5)- It has become apparent that the clearance problem amongst the defenders is now contagious and has moved from Califf to Gonzalez for the time being.  After misjudging a ball over his head in the 13th minute, Juan Diego was saved from being blamed for a second goal in as many games when the referee decided against whistling for a penalty kick after Califf and Patricio Araujo had their feet tangle inside the box.

LB Jordan Harvey (5.5)- Able to get forward a fair bit during the 1st half; to no avail, of course, because he still can’t manage to settle balls that would put him into space in a timely fashion.  Has at least perfected the art of taking the professional foul when he can’t get back, although he was booked for doing so in the 40th minute.

MID Andrew Jacobson (5.5)- Made up for his lack of size with his blazing speed, finding himself in the ample open spaces that the pace of the game created.  His adaptability gives him the slight edge over Zimmerman for regular time in the midfield at this point.

MID Eduardo Coudet (5.5)- Interesting to see that the journeyman has become the team’s first option for corners and free kicks with Le Toux out.  A solid game, as Coudet once again showed, as he did his first time out against Celtic, that his game is well-suited to an international pace with quick, precise touches.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (5)- A rather ho-hum game for Migs, as he seemed to be going through the motions and trying not to get hurt.  He did manage to muster one of the worst header attempts ever off of Coudet’s corner in the 29th minute, which was at least amusing.

MID Nick Zimmerman (5)- Unlike Jacobson, could not adjust to the fact that he was simply too slight to impose himself on the ball by traditional means.  Routinely pushed aside by Chivas midfielders, Zimmerman could not find his rhythm in his one half of action.

MID Fred (5)- Lots of touches, some gratuitous, from Fred in his half of action tonight.  Especially in friendlies, Fred often looks like he’s showcasing and/or amusing himself.  He dribbles into traffic just to show that he has the handles to dribble back out of it, it appears.  Nothing too productive in Chivas’ part of the field, however.

FWD Danny Mwanga (5.5)- Worked hard, but was not provided any balls to work with.  With Moreno & Le Toux being rested, Danny was the only true forward as the coaching staff used the opportunity to try out a slightly modified shape.  Showed improved touch in the midfield.

MID J.T. Noone (5.5)- With each passing appearance as well as his time on the training ground, Noone is looking less and less like a starstruck kid and more like a player who relishes the competition on the field.  Still needs to work on getting rid of the ball more quickly and having in mind what he wants to do well before attempting to do so, but the improvement is readily apparent.

DEF Sheanon Williams (5.5)- Playing in his first match as a member of the Union following the announcement of his signing earlier in the day, Williams displayed the speed and skill that makes it clear why Philadelphia was intent on signing him from the USL Second Division’s Harrisburg City Islanders.  A national teamer at every age level thus far, Williams has risen quickly in the U.S. since starting his professional career.  A quick back with a good touch and strong instincts, Sheanon should be a good addition for the present as well as the future for the Union.

DEF Cristian Arrieta (5.5)- Showed little rust after having his job wrested from him upon the signing of Juan Diego Gonzalez.  Arrieta, in fact, had a much better showing that either of the starting center backs, leaving one to wonder if he should not be part of a rotation of all three that simply allows the coaching staff to ride the hot hand or hands.

DEF Toni Stahl (5)- Managed to avoid being sent off, which has to be considered progress for Stahl (aka “the 26th man”).  Hopes that Zach Pfeffer will be signed to replace him are most likely to be unfulfilled in the immediate future.

MID Amobi Okugo (5.5)- Made several solid tackles during the early part of the 2nd half, which was running wide open.  Continued to make his case for inclusion into the regular rotation, where he would look excellent paired with Miglioranzi in the center of the midfield.

FWD Kyle Nakazawa (5.5)- Clearly the team’s best option on initiating set pieces, the hype surrounding his free kick ability has been substantiated by his performance.  Also showed improved physicality on the defensive end, not afraid to get into a couple scrapes with the physically imposing Chivas side.

MID Justin Mapp (7.5)- Combined for the second straight game with Jack McInerney to produce an aesthetically pleasing goal.  His ability to drop passes in to the paths of strikers with minimal angle to work with is one of the main reasons he is such a weapon on the pitch when in form.  Further, for the first time, Mapp was a major asset on the defensive side of the ball, tracking back and disrupting the attack of Chivas several times.  This may be a sign that Mapp is getting his legs back under him and getting used to playing regular minutes once again.

MID Roger Torres (6)- Continuing improvement from the youngster, but he still has not been able to put it all together at one time.  Torres showed the dynamic nature of his talents at different times during his half of action, working a give and go with Mapp, controlling the ball and marshalling the attack in the midfield at times, and even ripping a shot from the left side from about 25 yards out that had the crowd salivating as it sailed just over the cross bar.  If and when he figures out how and when to use each of his abilities, he will be scary good, there is no doubt.

FWD Jack McInerney (7)- With a second goal in as many games,  McInerney is showing a continued development in the maturity department, as both goals have come as the result of precisely timed runs into the penalty area and calm finishes.  It was clear from day one that he had immense talent, but if he can keep on learning how to get himself into dangerous positions, the coaching staff will have no choice but to keep increasing his minutes.  Unlike Mwanga, Jack does not have the physical size to allow him to take on big central defenders directly, so the importance that he hone his skill on timing patterns and runs towards the goal is paramount.

MID Zachary Pfeffer (5.5)– Other than the fact that he had to be constantly talked out of freaking out while warming up on the sidelines and that he possessed a grin that covered his entire face just before coming on, the U-17 hopeful looked quite composed on the pitch and even dished out a hit or two.  His touches were productive, if a bit predictable, but the future is clearly bright for the Dresher, Pennsylvania native.  Bonus points because he’s freaking 15 years old.

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Former Player Profile: Brad Knighton

Posted on 02 April 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Brad, I thought you were a goalkeeper?

Position: Goalkeeper

Number: 18

Born: February 6, 1985

Birthplace: Hickory, NC

Height : 6’1

Weight: 180

Previous Team: New England Revolution

College: UNC-Wilmington

Salary: $40,000 (2010), $34,000 (2009)

How acquired (Union): Taken in the Expansion Draft on November 25, 2009 by the Philadelphia Union

Stats

2010 with Philadelphia: 8 games, 2 shutouts, 3-3-1 with a 1.1 GAA

2009 with New England: 6 games, 36 saves serving as back-up to Matt Reis in New England

2007-8 with New England: Big part of the reserve squad

 

Media Scouting

  • “I feel like I’m pretty good in the air and pretty good shot-stopper. But everyone’s a good shot-stopper at this level. I’m really good with my feet; I really work a lot at playing on my feet. I actually grew up playing forward. I started playing goalie when I was 12, so the footwork kind of came along with that. My distribution and taking crosses are also strengths as well” Knighton on his strengths from a 2007 interview
  • Albright replacement Amaechi Igwe did well batting the ball away, Jay Heaps made critical plays, but Brad Knighton was the star of the show, confident under heavy pressure and making seven saves with cat-like reflexes. L.E. Eisenmenger, Boston Examiner

Did You Know?

  • Knighton is holds UNC-Wilmington’s record for career shutouts (24) and best Goals Against Average (1.07)
  • You can follow Brad on Twitter at Bbknighton
  • Knighton went undrafted at the 2007 MLS Superdraft and the Supplemental Draft. Thanks to his college coach, Aidan Heaney (a former Revs goalkeeper in 1996-1997), he latched on with New England and earned himself a contract
  • Spent 8 games on loan with the Portland Timbers of the USL/NASL during the 2008 season
  • Was married in 2008
  • His MLS debut was March 28, 2009 vs.  the New York Red Bulls

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