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SPORTS
September 17, 2014 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Staff Writer
I WON'T exaggerate and claim that if the Union beats Seattle tonight at PPL Park and captures the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it will be as big as if it makes the playoffs and wins the MLS championship. The MLS Cup is the ultimate goal of professional soccer in the United States. It is this sport's equivalent of winning the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup or NBA Finals. In comparison, winning the Open Cup would be like winning the . . . well, there is no real equivalent in any other U.S. professional sport.
SPORTS
September 16, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seattle Sounders forward and World Cup veteran Clint Dempsey said he has great respect for the Union and understands the challenge his team will face in the U.S. Open Cup championship Tuesday night at PPL Park in Chester. The Open Cup is open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States. The Union are aiming for their first championship of any kind in the five-year history of the team. Dempsey, the U.S. captain since May 2013, became the first American to score in three World Cups when he netted a goal 30 seconds into the June 16 match against Ghana.
SPORTS
September 16, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Union are one win away from earning the first championship in the five-year history of the team. Interim manager Jim Curtin showed how much Tuesday night's U.S. Open Cup final meant to the Union when he held several regulars from the starting lineup Saturday in a 2-2 Major League Soccer draw with the New York Red Bulls. The outcome left the Union tied for the fifth and final MLS Eastern Conference playoff spot with six games left. The full starting lineup is expected to be ready Tuesday when the Union host the Seattle Sounders in the title game at PPL Park.
SPORTS
September 9, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
THE UNION'S playoff push reached new heights over the weekend, ensuring that the club entered this week in its best Eastern Conference standing of the season. After capping a home-and-home sweep of Toronto FC with Saturday's 2-0 victory, the Union was tied for third place in the 10-team conference. With 36 points, it entered this week ahead of its next opponent, the New York Red Bulls (34) and Toronto (33) in the standings, though the Philly club has one more game than each of those teams.
SPORTS
August 23, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Union defender Carlos Valdes is beginning to get his legs back, but he concedes there is still some progress to be made. Valdes was on loan to two different teams for 19 months before returning to the Union on Aug. 4. In 2011, he helped lead the Union to their only Major League Soccer playoff spot, and the next year, he was on the MLS all-star team. Before Valdes returned to the Union, his most recent action came when he played the entire game during Colombia's 4-1 World Cup win over Japan on June 24. Colombia eventually advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Brazil, 2-1. Valdes took some time off after the World Cup. His first game in his return to the Union was a 2-1 win over Montreal on Aug. 9 at PPL Park.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Union signed Algerian World Cup goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi on July 30 and said he would be the starter as soon as he was ready. That time apparently has not arrived. Because of visa problems and a minor car accident, Mbolhi had been delayed in Paris. He was expected to arrive in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Interim manager Jim Curtin strongly suggested that Zac MacMath would be in goal for the Major League Soccer game against San Jose at 8 p.m. Sunday at PPL Park. The Union will not practice Thursday, but Mbolhi is expected to go through an individual workout.
SPORTS
August 10, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
After earning a tie last week at defending Major League Soccer champion Sporting Kansas City, the Union face a rare challenge - battling complacency. At 5-8-9 and with 24 points, the Union are just three points out of the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Under interim manager Jim Curtin, the Union are 2-1-3 in MLS games and are playing their best soccer of the season. Now they will face the team with the worst MLS record when the Montreal Impact visit PPL Park at 7 p.m. Saturday.
SPORTS
August 8, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TANNENWALD, Philly.com
PORTLAND, Ore. - Maurice Edu didn't get to go to this year's World Cup, but the Major League Soccer All-Star game gave the Union's star midfielder a taste of what his U.S. national team friends experienced. Edu played the second half in the All-Stars' 2-1 win over German powerhouse Bayern Munich. He was tasked with locking down the result after Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan helped the All-Stars overturn a 1-0 halftime deficit. That would have been a difficult task no matter who was on the field for Bayern, the reigning Bundesliga and 2013 UEFA Champions League winners.
SPORTS
August 6, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Union continue to make major upgrades in an effort to qualify for the Major League Soccer playoffs for the second time in their five-year history. Less than a week after signing Algerian World Cup goalie Rais Mbohli, the Union have brought back defender Carlos Valdes, who had been on loan overseas. In 2011 and 2012 Valdes was a valuable member of the Union's defense. He helped the team qualify for its only postseason berth in 2011 and made the MLS All-Star Game in 2012. Valdes, 29, was a member of Colombia's World Cup team this year and started one game in the team's win over Japan.
SPORTS
August 6, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Union goalie Zac MacMath has started every game for the last two years, but his role soon will change. When the Union signed two-time Algerian World Cup goalie Rais Mbohli last week, interim manager Jim Curtin said that the 28-year-old keeper would be the starter as soon as he was in game shape. Mbohli didn't make the trip to Kansas City for Friday's 1-1 draw. It's possible he could get his first start in the Union's next Major League Soccer game, Saturday against the Montreal Impact at PPL Park in Chester.
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