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Faryd Mondragon

SPORTS
December 9, 2011 | BY KERITH GABRIEL, gabrielk@phillynews.com
'IT'S ONLY the beginning. " Peter Nowak told that to reporters via conference call yesterday when asked about the Union and its signing of 21-year-old Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez. But he also said that the club is "exploring every possible option to make the team better" and is in the process of signing three to four additional players this offseason. Martinez, acquired from Costa Rican club CD Saprissa, has been a goal-scoring menace. However, Nowak said Martinez still has "a couple of holes in his game" and will need to "develop.
NEWS
July 2, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
WASHINGTON - For the second game in a row, the Union played a wide-open offensive affair, but, unlike last week's 3-2 win over visiting Chivas USA, this time they settled for a draw. Carlos Ruiz's goal in the 84th minute helped the Union escape with a 2-2 tie Saturday against a new-look D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The Union twice came back from one-goal deficits. "That's why we have Carlos Ruiz, to score goals like that," said Union team manager Peter Nowak, who has been annoyed at criticism of his forward.
SPORTS
July 22, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Union defender Carlos Valdes is improving his English and knows enough to be diplomatic when the difficult questions are asked. When asked about his omission from the Major League Soccer all-star team, Valdes clearly understood the question but didn't want to create any waves. "I came here to play at a high level, and that is what I have tried to do," he said in the locker room following Wednesday's 1-0 win over the English Premier League team Everton in a friendly at a sold-out PPL Park in Chester.
SPORTS
July 3, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - For the second game in a row, the Union played a wide-open offensive affair, but, unlike last week's 3-2 win over visiting Chivas USA, this time they settled for a draw. Carlos Ruiz's goal in the 84th minute helped the Union escape with a 2-2 tie Saturday against a new-look D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The Union twice came back from one-goal deficits. "That's why we have Carlos Ruiz, to score goals like that," said Union team manager Peter Nowak, who has been annoyed at criticism of his forward.
SPORTS
March 20, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
HOUSTON - With key additions, the Union are expected to be a more formidable offensive team this year. But it was the unlikeliest of players who jump-started both the offense and the season. Defender Danny Califf, who went scoreless in 28 games last season, scored the Union's first goal of the season in the fifth minute on Saturday night. The goal stood up as the Union began their second Major League Soccer season with a chippy, 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in front of a crowd of 19,385 at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.
SPORTS
May 11, 2011 | By KERITH GABRIEL, gabrielk@phillynews.com
ESPN play-by-play man Glenn Davis called it "the most expensive match in Major League Soccer history. " Davis was referring to last Saturday's late-night pairing between Red Bull New York and the Los Angeles Galaxy, which the Union will host tonight at PPL Park. Five designated players between the two teams and a combined club salary average closing in on $440,000 per player battled to a 1-1 tie at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. It's an expense that towers over the current average salary of the Union ($131,876)
SPORTS
April 22, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Union saw a 1-0 lead end up a 1-1 draw after the visiting Seattle Sounders scored the equalizer during second-half stoppage time on Saturday, two words came to mind. Last year . In 2010, The Union saw a number of wins or ties turn into losses by allowing late goals, many seemingly preventable. The team became somewhat snakebitten during an 8-15-7 inaugural Major League Soccer campaign. Yet this clearly isn't last year, when the Union often outplayed opponents but didn't have the result to show for it. Fast forward to now and the Union are 3-1-1 and entered Thursday leading the Eastern Conference with 10 points.
SPORTS
October 26, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Faryd Mondragon admitted that while he was sidelined for seven games, the inactivity was tough to take. The Union captain had suffered a broken finger in a 2-1 Major League Soccer loss Sept. 3 at Real Salt Lake. In his place, rookie Zac MacMath more than held the fort, going 3-0-4 and showing why the Union chose him as the No. 5 overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Still, the 40-year-old Mondragon provides a veteran's presence that is even more valued in the playoffs, when defenses tighten and goals seem to be more difficult to come by. Mondragon promises to be a huge presence as the Union begin the first of their two-game aggregate-goal semifinal series with the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at PPL Park.
SPORTS
December 1, 2011 | By KERITH GABRIEL, gabrielk@phillynews.com
PERHAPS A BIT harsh for those involved to admit, but see Major League Soccer's upcoming re-entry draft as fall cleaning for the seller - and a garage sale for the buyer. Sometimes you find a gem in the process, but mostly you're just buying someone else's unwanted clutter. Yesterday, MLS released its master list ahead of Monday's first stage of the two-tiered draft that happens via teleconference with collective technical staff members among the league's 19 franchises. The second and final stage is set for Dec. 12. How the draft works, essentially, is that clubs can draft players off the list but must exercise the option or extend what's called a "bona fide offer" to the selected player.
SPORTS
August 14, 2011 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
There was an even greater buzz than usual at sold-out PPL Park on Saturday night, with the Freddy Adu era beginning for the Union after the attacking midfielder signed with the team and participated in his first practice Friday. Even though Adu stole the pregame spotlight, he later was upstaged by teammate Sebastien Le Toux, along with Dallas midfielder Brek Shea early and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman late. Le Toux scored twice on penalty kicks, Shea concluded a stellar week in the Philadelphia area by scoring one goal and creating plenty of pressure, and Hartman came up with two difficult saves late in the game as the Union and Dallas played to a 2-2 draw before a crowd of 18,881.
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