Tag Archive | "international friendly"

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The Union to play Spanish giants Real Madrid on July 23rd

Posted on 19 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Jose Mourinho and his star-studded cast of soccer greats will visit Philadelphia on their last stop before heading home after a long tour of the USA. More details will be announced but it will be held at Lincoln Financial Field on July 23rd.

The Philadelphia Daily News has been getting to the bottom of all this:

On Tuesday, a source close to negotiations told the Daily News that scheduling issues and the Union’s desire to play the Spanish Cup champions’ first team and not a group of reserves delayed an announcement. The Union had a prior MLS engagement against Seattle at Qwest Field on the same date, but that game was rescheduled to the last remaining FIFA open date, Oct. 8. Further complicating the rescheduled date was that Qwest Field was scheduled to host an NCAA Division II college football game between Eastern Washington and Western Oregon.

Yesterday, Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz confirmed that everything has been ironed out. He praised all who aided in getting this deal finalized. – LINK

The game will be held on July 23rd, a quick turnaround from the Union’s first scheduled international friendly against American goalkeeper Tim Howard and Everton of the English Premier League. Both games are flanked by important regular season matches against New England (July 17) and the defending champs, Colorado (July 29) so it will be a tough haul for the Union in July. Madrid, at that point in their preseason, will be facing off against other big name North American squads just days before. They’re scheduled to play the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 16th and Chivas de Guadalajara (a Union foe last season) three days later on the 19th.

For more, head here. And for the reaction of Sounders fans, check here (see comments).

I don’t think that anyone will disagree that it’s worth it, especially if there’s something in place to ensure that at least an ‘A-/B+” team is playing for Real Madrid.

What do you think of that busy July – too much congestion? Excited to possibly see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, new midfield general Nuri Sahin, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, and Iker Casillas at Lincoln Financial Field? The list of stars continues – Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Pepe, etc…but does it diminish the importance of the regular season fixtures? We want to hear your opinion.

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Union schedule summer face-off with Tim Howard and Everton

Posted on 27 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Toffees will visit PPL Park on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 in the first of several international friendlies the Union are likely to play this summer. Everton will face DC United only 3 days later at RFK Stadium.

A couple quotes from Everton’s American netminder, Tim Howard (a North Brunswick, NJ native) on the Philadelphia Union:

“Philadelphia Union is a fantastic Club and I’m really looking forward to playing against them. Nick Sakiewicz brought me through the ranks when I was younger, I’m friends with members of their coaching staff and one of my best friends, Danny Califf, plays for them. It’s a Club whose results I look out for and hope they do well. It will be a tough game for us. They will be in the mould of their manager Piotr Novak. He’s a tough, hard-nosed former Polish international who doesn’t back down. I know for a fact from being very close to him that he expects nothing less from his team as well.” – from Everton’s website.

This WILL BE part of the Union season ticket holder package and all holders are invited to attend Everton FC’s pre-game training session on July 19th. Currently sitting 7th in the English Premier League tables, the Toffees have gone on one of their trademark tears working their way up into competition for a spot in Europe next year. Led by Howard and Australian international Tim Cahill, Everton boasts some impressive youngsters as well – namely Jack Rodwell, Seamus Coleman, and Jose Baxter (many of whom you’ll probably see on the 20th).

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Scouting Report: Chivas de Guadalajara

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 8:00PM
PPL Park, Chester, PA

The true Goats released their roster for Wednesday’s friendly at PPL Park and several familiar faces will be present. Aside from Rafa Marquez, if you’re a USMNT follower, everyone’s least favorite current El Tri defender is Jonny Magallon. He’ll be the strongest presence in the back while Omar Bravo, set to join Kansas City in 2011, will man the attack as Chivas tries to get as much out of him before he heads to the midwest. Other big names include vet ‘Bofo’ Bautista and the 22-year old midfielder of the future Patricio Araujo. Both have seen time with the Mexican national team.

Chivas are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Brazil’s Internacional in the Copa Libertadores Final and have failed to transfer momentum into their first fixtures of the Apertura (1-1-2 in their first four games). The Union, on the other hand, fought to a rare 2-1 away win at New England (their second of the year) thanks to the late contributions of Justin Mapp. You can expect to see a peppering of youth with regular starters as Nowak won’t want to risk too much ahead of Saturday’s battle with the rising Kansas City Wizards.

Chivas de Guadalajara

GOALKEEPERS: Luis Michel, Sergio Arias

DEFENDERS: Hector Reynoso, Mario De Luna, Edgar Mejia, Miguel Ponce, Jonny Magallon, Christian Perez, Patricio Araujo, Christian Moran

MIDFIELDERS: Xavier Baez, Dionicio Escalante, Jorge Enriquez, Marco Fabian, Ulises Davila, Sergio Avila, Mitchel Oviedo

FORWARDS: Omar Arellano, Omar Bravo, Adolfo Bautista, Michel Vazquez, Jesus Sanchez, Alberto Medina

If the Goats were to treat this like a league match, one can expect a team like this to show:


Magallon————–De Luna———–Reynoso—————-Ponce



———————————-O. Bravo————————————

Heading to the game? Which Union players do you really want to see more from?

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Union stand tall in 1-0 loss to powerhouse Manchester United

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

An impressive 44,213 were on hand to watch Manchester United eke by the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at Lincoln Financial Field. A Gabriel Obertan finish was the difference late in the match after an entertaining display from both sides of attacking play.

The tempo was a problem for the Union early on but all was quickly adjusted as both teams calmed a relatively frenetic pace and settled for end-to-end attacking soccer. Manchester United threatened early and often with the front work of Danny Welbeck and young winger Gabriel Obertan finding space behind the Union’s fullbacks, namely Jordan Harvey. After the 15 minute mark, however, the Union awoke from their slumber, opening up the game and unleashing a formidable attack led by playmaker Fred. Danny Mwanga put on one hell of show wrong-footing Jonny Evans and turning Fabio on several occasions, a performance that could put him on a few European shortlists.

A youth revolution at the half must have channeled Mwanga’s first half energy as the first 10 minutes of the second half was all Union. Jack McInerney had two early chances, one of which trickled by the left post. Mwanga continued his dominance of a preseason form defender in Jonny Evans.  In the end, however, it was a Jordan Harvey turnover that sunk the Union. At 75 minutes, Danny Welbeck received the ball within the 18 and dropped a quick ball off to an onrushing Gabriel Obertan. Brian Perk, showing his Celtic FC performance was no fluke, cut down the angle but Obertan was able to slot the ball under him to make it 1-0. The Union continued to battle valiantly with a range of opportunities, close and. McInerney troubled the defense, even new trialist Martin Rivas had a flash here and there, but overall the final ingredient was missing. A single finish.

It was refreshing to see the young players get a run out as many impressed but with chance after chance, and this being a running theme for the season, it was disappointing not to see the Union get one. United did not disappoint with efficient, though rarely flashy, soccer. The likes of Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov, and the ever chippy Paul Scholes saw the field to fits of applause and Manchester United started their Tour of America off with a 1-0 win over a team they will surely come away respecting.

Philadelphia Union Starting Lineup


Orozco Fiscal——Califf————–Arrieta—————Harvey


Le Toux————————————————————Fred


Manchester United Starting XI





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Scouting Report: Manchester United, Tour of America

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union will face their second international test in the last week tonight at 7:30PM at Lincoln Financial Field. At last count, there are 35,000+ ready to participate in Manchester United’s third visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

After this match, ten days of solid rest should bode well for a Union squad that as of late has been picked apart by injuries. Alejandro Moreno left this past weekend’s win vs. Toronto FC in the 54th minute after reaggravating a knee injury while youngster Roger Torres and the versatile Shea Salinas will be sidelined for several more weeks with respective ankle injuries. So many Union fans are wondering – where are the reinforcements? Kyle Nakazawa, coming back from a long-term knee injury, could see some minutes tonight while trialists – J.T Noone and Eduardo ‘Chacho’ Coudet – should be on the field for the Union at some point as well. It’s particularly Coudet that Union fans are baffled about. The 35-year old veteran of the Argentine league has been with the club for almost a month now and the transfer window opened almost a week ago – so why hasn’t he signed yet?

Regardless, the test ahead for the Union may be meaningless to some fans. Many are fraught with the fear of more injuries and fatigue but on the other side of things, this could be one hell of a match. The players that take the pitch for Manchester United will be a mixture of young and old, established and those still developing but the Red Devils no matter, will be here to win. We all know the names Ryan Giggs, Nani, Edwin Van der Sar, Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes. Established players – some in their prime and others near the end of respective storied careers. The youngsters, though, will be looking to secure one of the very few openings that United has in their gameday rosters. Those to watch out for?

Federico Macheda: At only 18, the Italian striker has made himself quite a name at Old Trafford. In less than 10 official appearances, Macheda has struck for three goals, one being a memorable curler that won the game in dramatic fashion for United after being down 2-1 vs. Aston Villa.

Mame Biram Diouf: The Senegalese international has yet to really break the ranks but grabbed his first goal in a United shirt in January of last season. Diouf dominated the Norwegian top flight in his several seasons there and will have a tough time breaking through into United’s starting XI. His performance vs. Celtic FC, however, bodes well for his start to the preseason.

Tom Cleverley – Despite a season-ending injury suffered in April of this past season, Cleverley raised his stock significantly with his play on loan with Watford of the English Championship. A midfielder, the 20-year old struck with regularity, scoring 10 goals in a season and a half of play with Hornets earning himself the club’s Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season.

Add a host of other youngsters vying for attention from the venerable Sir Alex Ferguson to the mix and you have a team that will be tough for the Union to overcome. Can our starlets match up? Expect Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, and friends to feature prominently.

Are you excited for the match? Do you think captain Danny Califf can shut down Berbatov? Can Le Toux score against the Dutch legend Edwin Van der Sar?  How do you think the Union will fare?

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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




R. Torres———————————————————————-Fred

————————Le Toux——————Mwanga————————-

Celtic FC Starting Lineup



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


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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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