Tag Archive | "Brian Carroll"

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A night to forget, Union fans endure defeat on two fronts

Posted on 07 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Courtesy PhiladelphiaUnion.com

It’s a double “DOOP” week but for all Union fans, last night was a double dose of defeat. The Union, after a dramatic Brian Carroll equalizer in extra time, fell 4-2 in penalty kicks to DC United to bow out early in Open Cup qualification. To make matters worse, less than an hour or so later, Amobi Okugo and Zac MacMath – on international duty with the US U-20s, fell to a resilient Guatemala. Arguably one of the most talented youth national teams in American history will be missing this summer’s World Cup in Colombia.

The silver lining? Okugo and MacMath return to club action as the Union gear up for the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at PPL Park. Piotr Nowak will be working with some tired players all around, however, as they went in to win this game.

The Union started (anyone that was there, please feel free to correct the opening tactical set-up):

——————————–Mondragon————————————

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

———————–Carroll—————-M. Farfan———————–

Le Toux————————-Nakazawa—————————-Daniel

————————————–Ruiz—————————————-

Bench: Holder, McInerney, Pfeffer, Richter, Agorsor, Torres, Mwanga

The only starters rested were Stefani Miglioranzi and Danny Mwanga. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the first half with each side having chances. It wasn’t until a dangerous Sheanon Williams long throw-in fell to Carlos Ruiz on the back post in that the fun started. It was a 18th minute put back that started the Union off on the right foot. It wasn’t to be, however. Josh Wolff equalized right before halftime and then Valdes, right before the end of regulation, snapped up his second yellow card leaving the Union a man down and with 30 minutes of extra time. A defensive lapse in the 111th minute gifted a goal to Daniel Woolard of United, seemingly sealing the Union’s defeat and keeping them winless in USOC qualification. Brian Carroll made sure that wasn’t the case, at least extending the action a little longer with a last gasp strike that mirrored Danny Mwanga’s equalizer vs. FC Dallas last season. Highlights all here.

Into penalties it went and it didn’t take the Union long to concede defeat. Both Jack McInerney and Roger Torres failed

Courtesy MLSSoccer.com

to convert their penalty kicks, United went four for four, and the Union now had another season to concentrate solely on the regular season. Meanwhile, in Guatemala, Amobi Okugo and Zac MacMath were fighting for a World Cup berth. A win over hosts Guatemala in the quarterfinals would seal the deal. Unfortunately, the hosts weren’t fazed by the American favorites taking the early lead. Okugo showed some real impressive stuff, delivering a picture perfect throughball to Conor Doyle to equalize midway through the second half. Guatemala responded almost immediately and in spite of an American edge in scoring chances and close calls, they bowed out – becoming the first U-20 squad to miss World Cup qualification since 1995.

So, all in all, not a great day for Union fans but the prospect of redemption awaits. Saturday will be a marquee showdown between – as it stands now – two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Will tired legs play a part on Saturday or will a supercharged PPL Park rally the boys to three points? Preview of that match-up to come.

Sidenote: Both a local product (Stephen King, Shawnee HS, Medford, NJ) and a former Union player Fred started for United. Fred played after welcoming his second child into the world earlier that day. Also, for those that were there, please feel free to comment on individual player performances. We particularly would like to hear about Keon Daniel’s second appearance for the club and Michael Farfan, who operated in several positions throughout the game.

SCORING SUMMARY

Philadelphia Union – Carlos Ruiz 18′ (Williams)

D.C. United – Josh Wolff 45′ (Ngwenya)

D.C. United – Daniel Woolard 111′

Philadelphia Union – Brian Carroll 118′

Penalty Kicks:

  • Philadelphia Union – Le Toux – made
  • D.C. United – Pontius – made
  • Philadelphia Union – McInerney – miss
  • D.C. United – Barklage – made
  • Philadelphia Union – Torres – saved
  • D.C. United – Najar – made
  • Philadelphia Union – Nakazawa – made
  • D.C. Uniited – Boskovic – made

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Union seen as contenders for a playoff spot in 2011

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Photo Credit: Terry McLaughlin, ASN Philly '10

The new Major League Soccer season is upon us as the Galaxy and Sounders get ready to kick things off tonight at 9:30PM EST. The Union, coming off a relatively productive first season in MLS, will be looking to take advantage of what looks to be a wide open Eastern Conference this season. The Union will look different this year, that’s for sure and just like in 2010, Major League Soccer pundits out there are almost unanimous as to where the Union will end up in the standings this season.

Last season, it was expected to be a typical expansion year season for Philadelphia but the media and Union fans alike have higher expectations for the Zolos in 2011. Take a look at where media members see the Zolos finishing up this season.

Glenn Davis – CNNSI.com

League Ranking: 12th
Conference Ranking: 6th

“Philly checks in at No. 12 in the rankings because the midfield and defense require further improvement” – Glenn Davis, CNNSI.com.

SBNation.com

League Ranking: 10th
Conference Ranking: 4th

Part of Tier 3 – the “Something to Prove” tier – the Union are improved and should be battled for one of ten playoff spots this season. This projects they’ll be one of the last ones in.

‘After a year in which Piotr Nowak handled his goalkeeping situation in as confusing a way as possible, he now seems to have clear plan: Turn it over to veteran Faryd Mondragon and groom No. 5 overall draft pick Zac MacMath for the future. Compared to the previously haphazard way in which the position has been handled, this seems like a sensible way forward, and simply improving the goalkeeping could lead to a significant leap forward for the second-year Union”. –SBNation.com

Drew Epperley – WVHooligan.com

League Ranking: 12th
Conference Ranking: 5th

We don’t quite agree with the “less talent” on the roster bit or this whole analysis for that matter. The Union are much improved roster-wise and the fact that none of the previews have mentioned the addition of Carlos Ruiz (even in a skeptical tone) is beyond us.

The keeper situation and offense should be set but the defense will be the real worry again for Peter Nowak’s side. They weren’t that great last season and they have even less talent on the roster right now. – WVHooligan.com

Kyle McCarthy – Goal.com

League Ranking: N/A
Conference Ranking: 5th

Keeping with the trend, the defense should improve but the rest of the supporting cast won’t quite get it done in 2011 according to Goal.com. Contenders for a play-off spot but not much more here.

Nowak’s off-season work deserves plaudits with Carroll, Mondragon and Valdes likely to improve the Union’s rickety defensive shape in 2011. The entire group, however, does not inspire quite as much confidence. A lack of creativity in midfield could impair the proceedings going forward if Le Toux stumbles a bit this season, while Ruiz may or may not be up to the burden of regularly leading the line. – Goal.com

MLSSoccer.com

League Ranking: 10th
Conference Ranking: 4th

These Power Rankings were released before the preseason was underway and the signing of Carlos Ruiz but there is no real reason to believe anything would have been changed. “All eyes are on Mondragon” which is certainly the truth.  

ASN’s Outlook: It’s a solid progression. There were times last year when the team was firing on all cylinders and you saw a glimpse of a possible playoff squad. This year there should be some sort of stability and consistency all across the board and a minimization of those defensive errors that plagued us for most of 2010. The media sees the Union as a clear contender for a playoff spot – progress from years before – but something tells me this team will do a bit better than that. They have the ingredients in our opinion with the new additions of Mondragon, Valdes, Carroll, and Ruiz and now seemingly the chemistry to grab a top-three spot in what looks a wide open Eastern Conference. 3rd in the Eastern Conference, grabbing the last automatic Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Our Projected Lineup:

————————–Mondragon—————————-

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

——————-Carroll————Okugo———————-

Le Toux—————————————————–Mapp

——————–Mwanga———–Ruiz———————–

NOTE: Amobi Okugo gets the nod over Stefani Miglioranzi after ASN Philly readers voted him in over Stefani Miglioranzi and the rest of the Union midfielders. He took in 19.27% of the vote to go with Brian Carroll’s 44.04%. This poll, however, was done over a month ago – before the exit of Andrew Jacobson, Eduardo Coudet, and Michael Orozco Fiscal. So who knows where those voters would have gone if all three departures were taken out of the voting. ASN Philly’s guess is that Miglioranzi will be manning the middle with Carroll come this Saturday. Experience says a lot, especially in a season opener away from home.

Questions to Ask:

Where is that defensive depth going to come from? Richter and Farfan have spent some time at defense in the preseason and it seems Juan Diego Gonzalez will 5th defender on the depth chart but the question still looms. Let’s also not forget the age of Mondragon and the fact that rookie MacMath is behind him. It’s a 34-game season this year and depth for all teams will be a huge factor on where you end up in the standings.

Will the addition of Carlos Ruiz help or hurt the production of Sebastien Le Toux? We have heard a lot of talk about Ruiz helping take the load of Mwanga and Le Toux this season but depending on which Ruiz shows up, he could serve to be more of a detriment to the mobility and versatility of Le Toux in Nowak’s offensive system.

How much more will a balanced schedule in the beginning of the season help a re-tooled Union squad? Our guess is quite a bit. The home atmosphere will play a huge role in the improvement of this team. The infrastructure is in place and the Union won’t be dealing with excessively long road trips, especially during the early season “get to know each other” phase that the 2011 Union will inevitably be going through.

You have seen the additions and the departures throughout the offseason and where the media places the Union this season but now it’s your turn…where do YOU see the Union finishing up this season in the Eastern Conference?

[polldaddy poll=4721824]

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POLL: Predicting the 2011 Union central midfield

Posted on 08 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

In the inaugural season, Nowak used an assortment of holding midfielders charged with dictating the pace of the game and  acting as a vital link between the defensive line and the attackers. As a Union fan, from game to game, it was tough to know who you would find in that role – Coudet and Migs, Migs and Nakazawa, Jacobson and Migs, Okugo and Migs. Aside from Miglioranzi, a little bit of consistency should come in the second season but new, fresh faces have arrived. Rookie Michael Farfan and veteran Brian Carroll look to break into the first team (with Carroll being a shoe-in for the most part) and each “second-year” midfielder is well-accustomed now to what the expectations are from Nowak moving forward.

If you were on the sideline, which two would you start to clog up the opponent’s passing lanes and jumpstart any attacks this season? Think there will be other midfield signings on the way?

[polldaddy poll=4520994]

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Nowak continues building and “the List”

Posted on 22 November 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Shavar Thomas cast-off keeps looking better and is still paying dividends 6 months later. Piotr Nowak – a couple minutes prior to the release of the Protected Lists for the 2010 Expansion Draft – made a move that could spell the end for one of the several defensive midfielders the Union have on their roster.

Columbus Crew stalwart Brian Carroll joins the Union in exchange for the Union’s 28th pick in 2011’s SuperDraft, the pick received for Shavar Thomas.  With a deep draft expected, the 28th pick could yield something for the Crew but at 29, and a former USMNT international, it’s quite possible the Union have walked away with a vital piece in Carroll to a future winner.

And now to the list…

The Protected

1.         Califf, Danny  (DF)
2.         Carroll, Brian (MF)
3.         Gonzalez, Juan Diego (DF)
4.         Harvey, Jordan (DF)
5.         Le Toux, Sebastien (FW)
6.         Mapp, Justin (MF)
7.         Nakazawa, Kyle (MF)
8.         Orozco Fiscal, Michael (DF)
9.         Stahl, Toni (MF)
10.       Torres, Roger (MF)
11.       Williams, Sheanon (DF)

The Unprotected

1.         Arrieta, Cristian (DF)
2.         Coudet, Eduardo (MF)
3.         Fred (MF)
4.         Jacobson, Andrew (MF)
5.         Knighton, Brad (GK)
6.         Miglioranzi, Stefani (MF)
7.         Moreno, Alejandro (FW)
8.         Noone, J.T. (DF)
9.         Salinas, Shea (MF)
10.       Seitz, Chris (GK)
11.       Zimmerman, Nick (FW)

Generation adidas Players (exempt from selection):

1.         McInerney, Jack (FW)
2.         Mwanga, Danny (FW)
3.         Okugo, Amobi (MF)

Initial reactions??

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Player Profile: Brian Carroll

Posted on 22 November 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Position: Midfielder

Number: 0

Born: July 20, 1981

Birthplace: Springfield, Virginia

College: Wake Forest

Height : 5’10”

Weight: 155

Previous Teams: DC United, Columbus Crew

Salary: $140,569 (2010)

International Career: 8 caps with the US Men’s National Team

How acquired (Union): Acquired on November 22, 2010 from the Columbus Crew for a 2nd round draft pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft as well as allocation money.

Selected in the 2nd round, 11th pick, of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United.

Stats

2011 with Philadelphia: 

2008-2010 with Columbus: 84 games, 83 starts, 2 goals, 3 assists, MLS Cup champion in 2008

2003-2007 with DC United: 121 games, 106 starts, 2 goals, 11 assists, MLS Cup champion in 2004

Did you know?

Piotr Nowak has a long, prior history with Brian Carroll having introduced him to D.C. United’s starting lineup after he took over in the 2004 season. United ended up winning the MLS Cup Championship that year.

Has two brothers, Jeff and Pat, who both spent time with D.C. United.

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