November 5, 2011 |
HOUSTON - It was a simple statement, nothing that will appear on bulletin boards, but it helps explain why the Union's long season has ended and the Houston Dynamo will be in Kansas City, Kan., on Sunday to play Sporting in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference final. After his team's 1-0 win over the Union on Thursday night at Robertson Stadium, which gave Houston a 3-1 edge in the two-game aggregate-goal Eastern Conference semifinal series, Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis explained why his team is still are playing soccer and the Union's long and successful second season is history.
November 4, 2011 |
HOUSTON - For his last trick, Peter Nowak put out an opportunistic lineup and prayed it'd make him a footballing wizard. Then again, the Union boss was left with little choice, his club had to pull a rabbit out of a hat if it had any chance of advancing after the second leg of a two-game conference semifinal series last night. Needing to go on the offensive in order to rebound from a 2-1 deficit in the aggregate goal series, Nowak's 4-3-3 formation consisted of forwards Sebastien Le Toux, and draftmates Jack McInerney and Danny Mwanga on the attack.
November 3, 2011 |
HOUSTON - Put yourself in Sheanon Williams' shoes for a moment. You've scratched and clawed your way onto an MLS club. Then that club, fueled greatly by your tireless efforts, makes the postseason in only its second season of existence. Would you be satisfied? Could you honestly look back and say before the biggest game of your franchise's history that just being there, with all it took to accomplish, is enough to put your mind at ease? If you said yes, take Williams' shoes off. They don't fit you. While that might constitute a good season for many, for the Union's overworked, undercompensated (league-minum $42,000 this season)
November 1, 2011 |
PETER NOWAK has a penchant for trying new things - on the fly. His latest shocker came Sunday in the first of a two-game aggregate conference semifinal against Houston when he tried this latest formation: the 5-3-2. There have been a host of different lineups and formations from the Union manager during the course of his MLS coaching career. To his credit, many of them have proved successful. But this one, designed to provide an extra body on defense, threw many for a loop.
October 31, 2011
OK, SO WHEN is a playoff loss not a total loss? Well, when you're playing the first leg in Major League Soccer's conference semifinals. The wild-card round is one-and-done, as will be the conference finals and the MLS Cup game for the title. But the conference semifinals are a home-and-home series, and that presents the chance for second life. The Union lost, 2-1, to the Houston Dynamo yesterday in front of a sellout crowd at PPL Park in the franchise's first-ever postseason appearance.
October 30, 2011 |
Union midfielder Brian Carroll kept an impressive postseason streak alive when the Union qualified for their first-ever Major League Soccer playoff berth. Now in his ninth MLS season and first with the Union, Carroll has been a member of teams that qualified for the postseason each year. While he didn't play in the playoffs his first year with D.C. United in 2003, since then he has appeared in 18 playoff games and started each one. Carroll was on two MLS Cup champions, with D.C. United in 2004 and the Columbus Crew in 2008.
October 30, 2011
When: 5 p.m. Sunday . Where: PPL Park, Chester. TV: ESPN2. At stake: First of two-game, aggregate-goal series. Game 2 is Nov. 3 at Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET Regular season: Houston: (12-9-13, 49 points , second place in the Eastern Conference); Union (11-8-15, 48 points, third place in the Eastern Conference). Coaches: Houston - Dominic Kinnear (100-67-81 overall, 73-53-60 in Houston); Union - Peter Nowak (61-49-46 overall; 19-23-22 with the Union)
October 30, 2011 |
Five yellow cards and three goals, all before halftime. Such was the case last night when the Union opened the first leg of its two-game playoff series against Houston at PPL Park. In the 16-year history of the MLS, an average of 2.2 goals have been scored in tightly contested playoff matches, and in this affair three found the back of the net in the first half. However, the score line didn't end favorably for Philly, as Houston took the first match, 2-1, courtesy of a gritty Calen Carr game-winner in the 30th minute.
October 28, 2011
Various activities are planned leading up to the Union's first-ever MLS Cup playoff game, the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Houston Dynamo at 5 p.m. Sunday at PPL Park in Chester. It's the first of a two-game series, with the rematch Nov. 3 at Houston. Here are some of the activities: Friday 5:30-7:30 p.m., "Doopin' to the Cup" parties at both Fado Irish Pub (1500 Locust St.) and Tir Na Nog (1600 Arch St.) in Philadelphia. Among the players expected to attend are Freddy Adu, Gabe Farfan, Carlos Valdes, and Danny Mwanga.