Tag Archive | "Celtic FC"

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Philadelphia Union vs. Celtic FC: Player Ratings

Posted on 16 July 2010 by stoma

GK Brad Knighton (5.5)- First start in live action for the Union.  Looked a little skittish early, but seemed buoyed by the fact that he was getting touches in non-pressure situations through the 1st half.

LB Jordan Harvey (6.5)– Celtic appeared to be shutting down the left flank by strategy, perhaps as a result of scouting tape of the Union prior to the match.  Seemed frustrated in the 1st half by the lack of touches and buildup coming through him.  Frustration culminated in a hard challenge to the back of a Celtic attacked in the midfield that earned him a caution in the 37th minute.

CB Cristian Arrieta (6)- Looking more comfortable paired with captain Danny Califf, continued to press closer to the attackers instead of giving space to get comfortable and create. Solid game.

CB Danny Califf (6.5)- Not a lot of action for the central defenders through the 1st half.  Looked a bit shaky on a clearance approximately 30 meters away, but nothing too dangerous came of it.  In the 2nd half, however, the captain really shined.  Early on, with the other 6 field players replaced with youth and only the regular back four intact,

RB Michael Orozco Fiscal (5.5)- Played well on the offensive end when he received the ball in space, but still does not look particularly comfortable pressing up from the fullback position.  Despite his misgivings or lack of natural instinct, he joined the attack in earnest in the limited chances the Union were able to create in the 2nd half.

MID Fred (6)- Really enjoys playing alongside midfielders he can count on to perform holding duties so that he can concentrate on linking the attack, getting into a dangerous position himself, and creating.  Hopefully, we’re beginning to see a shape Piotr Nowak and staff can count on to produce more goals in the last two-thirds of the season.

MID Eduardo Coudet (6)- Making his first appearance in a Union uniform. Played aside Miglioranzi in the center of the diamond the 4 midfielders form.  Seemed a bit uneven at the outset, laying off and going for long balls instead of maintaining the buildup, but showed patience when he found himself in space just atop the penalty box.  He managed to hold the ball just long enough to allow Sebastien Le Toux to find space along the defensive line, then put the ball through beautifully to put Seba in for the game’s only goal.  At 35, not sure what promise this journeyman shows as part of a developing franchise, but on this night, he looked to be a stabilizing force.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (5.5)- Whether with Jacobson, as we had seen in the prior couple of matches, or tonight with trialist Eduardo Coudet, looks incredibly solid when paired with another pure holding midfielder.  The team really takes shape when it’s Migs and another true central midfielder in the middle of the diamond.

MID Roger Torres (5.5) – Lively and energetic, but didn’t really get a chance to produce anything before being injured, carried off the field and subbed for in the 44th minute.   The way he was working channels leads one to believe that he may have created something had he been able to stay on the pitch.

FWD Danny Mwanga (5.5)- The nightmare continued, as he had two consecutive chances early on that were shut down by opposing keeper Dominic Cervi.  As was also the case against San Jose, his touches intended for others around the area were somewhat lacking.

FWD Sebastien Le Toux (6.5) – Was able to find space early, seemed a bit more patient despite the frustration he faced against San Jose last time out.  Paid off in the 23rd minute when he sat level with the center back before receiving a pass from trialist Eduardo Coudet, shaking goalkeeper Dominic Cervi with a hard cut right, and putting it home to open (and close) the scoring.

Substitutions:

MID Andrew Jacobson (6)– Came on for injured Roger Torres in the 44th minute.  Looked eager to shoot; unfortunately, he may have been the only one, as the offense sputtered with the most inexperienced group on the pitch for the 2nd half.

GK Brian Perk (6.5) * ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH *- Came on at halftime for his first appearance of the season, and only managed to completely electrify the crowd while withstanding a late barrage of shots when Celtic’s pride came to life. First impressions are often the most lasting, and we could be seeing the makings of a fan favorite here.  Showed the decisiveness that Chris Seitz lacked at the start of the season right from his first minute.  We join everyone else in waiting with baited breath for his next appearance.

FWD Nick Zimmerman (5.5)- Came on at halftime.   Looks natural at the top of the attack and very apparently enjoys the space he finds.  However, like most of the young attacking talent, he lacks the creative final touches and passes

FWD Jack McInerney (5.5)- Came on at halftime and showed that, despite his youth, showed that he is already the most polished of the teen contingent this side of Danny Mwanga.  Him and practice partner Nick Zimmerman featured some solid combos but were unable to work the final pass to get through to a real chance.  Jack Mac continues to impress.

MID Amobi Okugo (5)- Came on at halftime and looked the most comfortable of the young midfielders.  Presumably, these gentlemen have been working together steadily on the practice field, and Okugo appeared most ready to make that translate over to live game action.

MID Toni Stahl (4)- Came on at halftime and reprised his First Kick cameo, featuring several reckless slide tackles that eventually drew him a yellow card followed by a second and his second sending off in as many appearances for the Union.  We’d be surprised to see Stahl step on the field in a Philadelphia uniform again anytime soon, if ever.

MID JT Noone (5.5)- Came on at halftime for his first appearance in a Philadelphia uniform (or that of any MLS team, for that matter)  Appeared to have some difficulty adjusting to the speed of the game and got knocked off the ball a few times, but the natural talent is evident and here’s hoping we see more of this kid soon.

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Union find win in first ever international friendly

Posted on 14 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union line-up before their first international friendly vs. Celtic FC

On a night filled with traffic, rain, lightning, and much flooding, Union fans braved the elements (about 13,000+) to see their Union beat storied Celtic FC of the Scottish Premier League 1-0 on a well-taken Sebastien Le Toux goal.

Regular starters Alejandro Moreno and Chris Seitz sat out this affair with Brad Knighton taking the reins in goal instead. Eduardo Coudet, a 35-year old journeyman who has been with the team for several weeks now, got his first competitive minutes in front of the Union fans. The midfielder, last seen with Colon de Santa Fe, looked composed and fluid on the ball, a comparable pairing with Stefani Miglioranzi. The difference? He had real vision, threading the through pass that found Sebastien Le Toux for the first goal of the game. Regardless, from the gun, it was all Union. Quarterbacked by trialist Coudet, the Union took advantage of the general sloppiness seen in plenty of European squads as the preseason begins. The Le Toux goal fell in the 23rd minute after a period of dominant possession. Celtic had their first chance of the match in the 33rd minute after Danny Califf stiff arm dropped young Hoops forward Paul McGowan. The resulting free kick was ripped by centerback Jos Hooiveld narrowly missing Brad Knighton’s goal. Celtic started to gain momentum with the remaining minutes of the first half, finding space in the midfield and effectively snuffing out Union attacks, but at the half – Le Toux’s goal still stood as the decider.

The positives of international friendlies? Generally great competition and a chance to either take some chances tactically or solidify the . The negatives? After a tough tackle at midfield, 19-year old Roger Torres has to be stretchered off. Things were getting a bit chippy before Torres went down a  lower-leg injury and replaced by Andrew Jacobson. Fortunately, the diminutive playmaker was able to head off to the locker room under his own power after a while, albeit on crutches. That’s the risk you run with these “friendlies”.

After wholesale changes to the line up in the second half, a much younger looking Union took their turn against the Scottish giants. The pace slowed considerably as both sides were trying to figure each other out. Generally deployed in a defensive, ball-winning role, it was Andrew Jacobson that looked bright early on with a creativity and composure that Union fans weren’t particularly used to seeing. The play overall was docile with neither side controlling the flow. The youth on the Union’s end was apparent up front but third-string keeper Brian Perk came to play. When called upon, he was confident in his decision-making and aggressive in one on one situations. The half came and went with very little to write home about but the youthful Union did their job in keeping Celtic’s attack less than effective (until the last 5 minutes or so). A bit alarming, however, that nothing was produced on the attacking end for an entire half by Jack McInerney and company.

Union fans, what did you take from the 1-0 win? Who was your MVP of the match?

Much more to come…pictures, press conference video, and player ratings.

Philadelphia Union Starting Lineup

————————————-Knighton————————————–

Orozco—————-Arrieta——————-Califf——————-Harvey

————————-Coudet—————-Miglioranzi———————–

R. Torres———————————————————————-Fred

————————Le Toux——————Mwanga————————-

Celtic FC Starting Lineup

————————————–Cervi——————————————-

Misun——————Hoiveld————–Loovens——————–Hinkel

Caddis——————Crosas—————S. Brown—————–McCourt

———————–Rasmussen————-McGowan————————–

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Game Preview: New look Celtic FC the Union’s first international opponents

Posted on 14 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

New coach, Celtic FC legend Neil Lennon is set to take the Hoops through a tour of America startin first and foremost with the Philadelphia Union tonight at 8PM at PPL Park. The former Celtic defensive midfielder takes the helm after a disappointing year in the Scottish Premier League. Famed rivals, Rangers – featuring Americans Maurice Edu and Damarcus Beasley (for now), took the Championship by six points in the end. Any year that Celtic doesn’t win the title is a disappointing one. They come to America to jumpstart their preseason and preparation for the upcoming battle with Walter Smith’s Rangers.

One of their biggest scoring threats Aiden McGeady, however, will have to stay at home as a thigh injury has kept the attacker from traveling. Normal first choice keeper Artur Boruc will also not be on the pitch for tonight’s match as the Polish shotstopper looks set to take his talents to the Italian Serie A with Fiorentina. That means we should see – assuming the countryman gets a sympathetic nod – American keeper Dominic Cervi. As far as additions go, Celtic just added Mexican winger Efrain Juarez for $7 million from UNAM Pumas. He won’t be here in Philadelphia tonight but might join them for future dates on their tour.

CELTIC FC Traveling Roster

GOALKEEPERS: Artur Boruc (POL), Dominic Cervi (USA), Lukasz Zaluska (POL)
 
DEFENDERS: Andreas Hinkel (GER), Glenn Loovens (HOL), Jos Hooiveld (HOL), Darren O’Dea (IRL), Mark Wilson (SCO), Paul Caddis (SCO), Milan Misun (CZE), Charles Mulgrew (SCO), Cha Du Ri (S.KOR), Thomas Rogne (NOR)
 
MIDFIELDERS: Scott Brown (SCO), Joseph Ledley (WAL), Shaun Maloney (SCO), Patrick McCourt (IRL), Marc Crosas (ESP), Aiden McGeady (IRE), Simon Ferry (SCO), James Forrest (SCO), Ki Sung Yueng (S.KOR)
 
FORWARDS: Marc-Antoine Fortune (F. Guiana), Georgios Samaras (GRE), Morten Rasmussen (DEN), Benjamin Hutchison (ENG), Paul McGowan (SCO)

MANAGER: Neil Lennon (1st season in charge)

Giorgios Samaras, Cha Du Ri, and Ki Sung Yueng each played for their respective teams (Greece and South Korea) in South Africa at the 2010 World Cup. That simply means there’s a good chance they might not start or play at all. As for scoring threats, look no further than the lanky Greek striker in Samaras. Along with the injured McGeady, he has the best scoring record of the bunch followed closely by Marc-Antoine Fortune and attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney (formerly of Aston Villa).

Regardless, this match should provide the Union with a stiff test and good run-out vs. one of the better teams in Europe. The idea is to finish the chances they get tonight so that come Saturday vs. Toronto FC, the idea doesn’t seem so foreign to them.

Coach Nowak should throw most of the squad to be seen at a high-level of play – so expect to see a lot of the young ones in Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo as well as fellow rookie Toni Stahl.

See you at PPL. As always, we will have full coverage – photos, quotes, a little video this time, and Player Ratings.

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Valencia bails, Celtic an exciting replacement

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Replacing David Silva and David Villa is not easy. Replacing them when it was pretty certain they wouldn’t play due to World Cup duties makes things much easier. Regardless, Valencia pulled out of their match at PPL Park as well as the rest of their American tour. Glasgow Celtic helped soften the blow for Union fans everywhere. Celtic will visit PPL Park on Wednesday, July 14th at 8:00PM, a mid-week night game that should draw a sell-out crowd.

Celtic finished as the Scottish Premier League runner-ups this season but have 42 league championships throughout the years. Along with Robbie Keane (who may or may not return on loan for the 2010-2011 season), the Hoops also boast the likes of Irish international Aiden McGeady, former Barca youngster Marc Crosas, Scottish international and Bhoys captain Scott Brown, and Greek striker Giorgios Samaras. All in all, a pretty comparable game to the one Valencia was originally prepared to give us.

“Celtic Football Club has enjoyed many successful visits to the United States and we are sure that our match in Philadelphia will be another great occasion,” commented Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell.  “We know Philadelphia Union is a fantastic club and is also drawing some great opposition in the form of Manchester United, so I am sure Union supporters will have some fantastic matches to look forward to this summer”

This game will replace the Valencia game in the season ticket plan, acting as Game A in your package.

What do you think of a Union/Celtic match-up? Think we could match-up against the Scottish giants?

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