Saturday, October 8, 2011

Post Game: Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders

This will be a quick post. A better one will come tomorrow when I'm not so tired, but I had to write something about tonight.


Freddy Adu opened the scoring with an opportunistic goal. But Brian Carroll really cemented the win with a breakaway goal in the 70th minute. Le Toux fed Carroll a perfect pass on a breakaway as the Seattle defense collapsed on him, leaving Carroll wide open. And Carroll easily slotted the ball home past Keller.

It was a perfect microcosm of the Union season. Solid defense, and opportunistic offense scoring clutch goals when they had to.

With this victory, the Union all but secure a playoff berth, and put themselves in great position to host a playoff game, and if all goes well, win the Eastern Conference if they can win out.

All in all, a great night for the Union. Congrats on the goals, and their first win on the West Coast.

Philadelphia Union @ Seattle Sounders Preview

Tonight, the Philadelphia Union travel west to face a strong Seattle Sounders squad. The Union are still looking for their first victory on the West Coast, and are also looking to put themselves in a controlling position in the East for the final push to the playoffs.

They face a strong Seattle team, fresh off a 3rd straight victory in the USOC. but Seattle will be without leading scorer, Freddy Montero, due to yellow card accumulation. And the Union have Sebastian Le Toux coming into the prime of his season at the perfect time. Le Toux has scored 7 goals in 6 matches, and looks to lead a Union attack that has seen goals from Farfan and Mapp in recent matches.

But the Union face a Seattle team still alive in the hunt for the Supporters Shield, and are fighting hard to get it. They won't go down without a fight. Despite missing their leading scorer, Seattle still has a potent attack, a strong defense and a veteran goalie.

But the Union aren't coming into this match riding only Le Toux to victory. The Union backline has remains at the top of the East in all defensive categories, and MacMath has performed well since the injury to Mondragon.

So it will be a tough fight for the Union tonight, and any result will be welcome. Points are tough to come by at the end of the season, especially after a 3000 mile flight in the loudest stadium in the MLS. It will be a tough fight for the Union on the road.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Controlling Their Own Destiny

The Union are in control of their own destiny. With a game in hand over Sporting KC, and a matchup against the New York Red Bulls, a team hot on their heels, the Union's playoff future is up to them. But it's a tough road to the end of the season. Lets look at the final 3 games on the Union's schedule.

1. Philadelphia Union @ Seattle Sounders
The Union travel to the West Coast, a geographic area that has not been kind to the Union. In their short history, the Union are winless on the West Coast.  And Seattle is fighting hard for a still mathematically possible supporters shield. So they can't expect a walkover from the number 2 team in the Western Conference. THe biggest plus the Union have going for them in this game are the players sitting out for the Sounders.  Key red card suspensions and likely injury sittings will help the Union in the face of a strong Seattle attack. Also helpful will be the USOC final Seattle won this week. Playing a short week will likely have a comparable effect on Seattle's legs that the travel will have on the Union.

2. Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC
This game looks to be a sure lock for 3 points for the Union. Playing a basement dwelling Toronto FC squad that has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs should be just what the doctor ordered as a stirring home finale for the Union.  The crowd will certainly be behind the Union, and they have performed well at home this season.  Even though it is a mistake to pencil in 3 points against any team, I feel pretty safe chalking 3 up for the Union in this match.

3. Philadelphia Union @ New York Red Bulls
This match could be for all the marbles. In what is fast becoming a fan favorite rivalry, Philadelphia travels north just a few short hours to face a team breathing down their necks in the playoff race. 3 points for either squad will be vital in this match. With a lot at stake, I expect this to be a physical match, and both teams will leave everything on the field. My biggest worry for the Union, besides going pointless in New York, is an injury in the last match before the playoffs.

So the Union have a tough road ahead. But with a game in hand over the teams ahead them, the playoff future looks pretty bright for the Union.