Tag Archive | "international friendlies"

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Photo Gallery: Chivas de G. visit PPL Park

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Breton Bonnette

ASN Philly’s Terry McLaughlin was on hand to document the atmosphere that was Chivas de Guadalajara vs. your Philadelphia Union.

Jack Mac scores yet again

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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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A baby-faced Union cut their teeth against Chivas

Posted on 01 September 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union outlasted visitors Chivas de Guadalajara, 1-0, in a chippy affair all thanks to a Jack McInerney finish and a Brad Knighton acrobatics show. It must have something to do with these Wednesday night international friendlies. The Goats looked the better team for much of the game but a resilient Union midfield helped the Zolos overcome their first in-season international foe. Sebastien Le Toux and Alejandro Moreno were rested as expected for Saturday’s match against Kansas City with Andrew Jacobson and Nick Zimmerman each getting a shot at starting. The back four were left unchanged from Saturday’s win over New England making it clear that Nowak believes, as do the masses, they need the most work.

The pace was frenetic early on, matching the intensity of the ever-present Sons of Ben. It was Chivas, however, creating most of the dangerous chances from the get-go and as if on cue, a defensive mishap in the 3rd minute led to a spectacular acrobatic attempt on net from future Kansas City Wizard Omar Bravo. No luck on breaking Brad Knighton but it was an outright warning of what will hit the Midwest in 2011. Not long after, the Union defense was left exposed. An attack, again led by Bravo, took advantage of a Jorge Gonzalez miscue and almost had a break on a goal. Surprisingly, Bravo sent in a relatively harmless ball that trickled through the penalty box. The Goats continued to pressure the Union defense with Knighton coming up big on several occasions. Fred and Eduardo Coudet helped fuel what little attack Philadelphia could muster but it was the Goats who ended the first half feeling a bit hard-done to not have grabbed the lead.

There were whole changes at the half with only Michael Orozco Fiscal and Knighton sticking around. Right out of the gate, though, the replacements delivered. In the 48th minute, Jack McInerney proved his equalizer vs. New England wasn’t just a flash in the pan. A pretty interplay between Roger Torres and Justin Mapp in the middle led to Mapp and McInerney linking up yet again. The youngster timed his run perfectly and Mapp put a through ball right on his feet. McInerney collected calmly and slotted the ball past Sergio Arias. After the goal, Chivas collected themselves and the game resumed its back and forth nature. The lull in  action allowed Union fans a good look at an incredibly young Union lineup. The first glimpse of new signing Sheanon Williams, a pacy fullback from affiliate club Harrisburg, was a positive one as he showed he wasn’t too shy about getting forward into the attack. Fellow City Islander J.T. Noone, aside from a rocky first touch, also left good impressions on the Union faithful. Aside from McInerney’s early goal, however, the highlight of the half was the introduction of one of Philadelphia’s most promising young talents. Youth national team standout and Philadelphia native Zachary Pfeffer had everyone doing a double take on the roster sheet when it was distributed in the press box. The 15-year old from Dresher, PA and recent call-up to Wilmer Cabrera’s got his chance in the 82nd minute after coming in at right midfield. With a crowd of family and friends in the front row, the FC Delco product got his chance in the spotlight and he fit right in.

The Union youngsters held out admirably in the late going, countering late Chivas surges and keeping the final score at 1-0. Nowak admitted to a little luck being involved but was impressed overall with the ability to get the goal and defend against a relatively organized and in-form attack. It was nice to see the new faces but when it comes to the starting eleven, expect the same old battle against late goals and defensive gaffes to stand front and center on Saturday.

Much more to come including photos, quotes, and player ratings…

Philadelphia Union Starting XI


Orozco F.————-Califf (C)———————-Gonzalez——————-Harvey




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