July 15, 2015 |
Don't tell the Union that the match against AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night at PPL Park doesn't count. It's technically only a friendly, against a team that recently began its preseason training, but the rapid success of Bournemouth and its promotion to the English Premier League adds plenty of prestige to the match. Bournemouth, with roots dating back to 1890, has been elevated to the EPL for the first time in franchise history, a fact that isn't lost on Union coach Jim Curtin.
July 9, 2015 |
It's been a frustrating year for Union forward Fernando Aristeguieta dealing with injuries, but other than that, the native of Venezuela has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Major League Soccer team. And now that stay will officially last at least until the end of the Major League Soccer season. Aristeguieta, who was originally signed to a short-term loan that was set to expire, has signed a new six-month loan that will carry him through the end of the season. He was loaned by FC Nantes of France.
July 9, 2015 |
Through a season of injuries, Union rookie Eric Bird hasn't gotten on the field for a Major League Soccer game. But he said he was grateful that the team allowed him to leave for a few days to attend the Women's World Cup final in Vancouver. Bird, 22, had a special rooting interest. He is dating midfielder Morgan Brian, who at 22 was the youngest member of the World Cup team. The two met while both were attending Virginia and have been dating nearly two years. "It was an extremely proud moment of mine going there," Bird said after the Union's practice Tuesday at PPL Park.
July 3, 2015 |
When the Philadelphia Union concludes its Major League Soccer season in October, it's likely to be the team's last game in Chester's PPL Park. Don't fret, fans. The venue doesn't change. Only the name of the stadium. PPL Corp., the Allentown energy company best known for its electric utility, last month formally spun off its competitive power-generation business into a new company called Talen Energy. The new company, also based in Allentown, includes PPL's retail energy business, which marketed power under the brand name PPL Energy Plus.
June 27, 2015 |
Five set pieces showed how close the Union are to breaking through in an important facet of the game. The plays came in succession after the 25-minute mark of a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday at PPL Park. Three corner kicks didn't find Union players in the box and were, albeit shakily, cleared by Seattle. Then two throw-ins, which served as makeshift corners because of defender Sheanon Williams' ability to muscle the ball into the middle of the field, got the Union inches away from scoring.
June 25, 2015 |
Union coach Jim Curtin sees the benefit in some situations of reliving a loss to iron out mistakes. But he didn't take that approach with his team after its 5-1 defeat against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday. Instead of breaking down that film with his players, Curtin turned the focus to the Seattle Sounders, the top team in the Western Conference that will visit PPL Park on Wednesday night. The Sounders (9-5-2) will be without two of their best players in Clint Dempsey, who is serving a three-game suspension, and Obafemi Martins, who is sidelined with a groin injury.
June 21, 2015 |
Union defender Maurice Edu is looking forward to a rare trip home while playing in a difficult road environment. Edu, who has been the Union's best player this season, will lead his team in Saturday's 10:30 p.m. Major League Soccer match against the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy (5-5-7) at the StubHub Center. The Union (4-9-3) will be shorthanded, missing key offensive players Sebastien Le Toux (Grade 2 MCL sprain) and forward Fernando Aristeguieta (ankle), so that will put even more pressure on Edu and the defense.
June 6, 2015 |
It might seem like a difficult task to play three soccer games in an eight-day span, but Union coach Jim Curtin can't wait for his team to return to the field. And he won't have much time to wait either. Fresh off Wednesday's 3-0 win over the visiting Columbus Crew, the Union play host to New York City FC during Saturday's 7 p.m. Eastern Conference Major League Soccer game at PPL Park. This is the finale of the three-game stretch, which began with last Saturday's 2-1 loss at the Eastern Conference's first-place team, D.C. United.
June 5, 2015 |
SHEANON WILLIAMS took a pass from fellow defender Maurice Edu in his own half and raced up the right side of the PPL Park field. Williams turned on the boosters and danced by two defenders, getting all the way into the box to find Sebastien Le Toux with a quick crossing pass, and the Frenchman found the back of the net. It was Le Toux's second game in a row with a goal after not scoring in the team's first 13. It was the 58th minute. And the remaining 32-plus didn't matter. The Union had just scored its second goal in seven minutes to take a 3-0 lead over a Columbus Crew team that pounded the Union, 4-1, on April 25. The 3-0 score held final.
June 5, 2015 |
Our outsize investments of time, energy, and money in athletes and arenas tempt us to regard sports as more than just games. Politicians are no exception, forever buying and selling the idea that stadiums aren't only a means of providing entertainment and reaping profits, but the linchpins of the economic revivals that have so far eluded any number of American cities. In fact, study after study has failed to attribute any significant economic impact to sports facilities. Chester is one of many towns relearning that lesson, in this case at the feet of PPL Park, a professional soccer stadium surrounded by the same economic wasteland that greeted its arrival five years ago this month.