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“This is a real test”

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz


“They really taught us a lesson the last time we went there,” Danny Califf says ahead of Saturday’s match in LA, “We’re looking to show we’re a better team. For us as a team, this is a real test. We’re going against one of the best teams in the league and we’re going to show where we’re at and how far we’ve come over the last year.”

Noting that it has allowed on six shots on goal in two games, Kerith Gabriel describes Union’s defense as “the class of MLS.” His match preview contains some very informative quotes and commentary about the backline but the question remains: With the Union offense producing only eight shots on goal over two games, where will the Union’s goals come from?

The Union need to shut down Juninho. “The guys around him are very technical, they see the field well,” says Peter Nowak. “But in the last three games he was their most dangerous guy. So, we just have to be aware of how he fits into their formation and make it difficult for him.” Stefani Miglioranzi adds, “He’s a sneaky type of midfielder.”

Faryd Mondragon is rightly unimpressed by the two shutouts. He tells Marc Narducci, “We haven’t achieved anything yet, because it’s the same number [of shutouts] the team got last season. It’s nothing different…We haven’t achieved anything different than last season, and we have to continue working.” That’s how you want your keeper to think.

Peter Nowak was the guest on the MLSsoccer.com ExtraTime Radio podcast on Thursday. You can listen here.

Match previews for Saturday’s game from American Soccer News and  Philly Union Talk. Our own match preview will be available after 11:30am today.

WV Hooligan says the Union “have to get on the boards early in this one, bring the pressure to LA. The Galaxy never do well when having to come from behind as it is, so an early goal is key.”

Philly Union Talk contributor Paul the Stray Ferret picks the Union for a third straight win.

Former Galaxy players Stefani Miglioranzi and Danny Califf talk about what it means to return to LA.

While the Union wears suits with the Union crest on the blazer to games, when it comes to ties “Some of the players have very bad judgment in picking out colors,” says Peter Nowak before jokingly adding, “and I do, too.” Last week, the Inquirer reports, Faryd Mondragon bought the entire team and front-office ties in an effort to ensure a  consistently professional appearance, which led Nowak to comment, “It shows the class of the player [that] he doesn’t mind spending a couple of dollars to make sure we look professional.” Agreed. It would also have been classy for the team to simply spend a couple of dollars and issue Union-branded ties to the players and coaches. I know I would buy one if they were available—I wear my Reading FC tie every chance I get.

Sons of Ben VP Matt Ansboro talks to The Brotherly Game about a meeting earlier this week with Union regarding the club’s trademarking of “DOOP.” Ansboro says, “The conversation regarding DOOP was a real good one. We are all very confident in the outcome of the discussions.  We were able to come to a pretty amicable solution for all parties involved regarding DOOP.”

Union fans nervous about the possibility of Villanova playing its American footbal games at PPL Park can take a little solace an article in Thursday’s Delco Times. “We have had conversations with them, but I’m not prepared to give a progress update. No decision has been made,” Nick Sakiewicz said. “We’ve said it from the very beginning—this building is, first and foremost, a Philadelphia Union building. The seats in this building won’t change color. But in the modern day of running stadiums, you have to look to do other events.”

LA Galaxy Watch

Bruce Arena on any hangover from the Galaxy’s thumping at Real Salt Lake: “Believe me, it’s not going to linger. It’s over with now. Now we’re getting on the business of getting the team a little bit better, hopefully getting some guys back.”

Arena says of the Galaxy’s prospects against the Union, “If the same team shows up this Saturday that showed up last Saturday [against Real Salt lake], we aren’t going to win the game. That’s a very good Philadelphia team.”

The SB Nation preview of Saturday’s game has this to say: “A year ago, this would have been seen as the perfect rebound game. After wins in each of their first two matches, though, the Union suddenly look like a team that could give the Galaxy some trouble.” They pick LA to win 2–1.

We mentioned the other day that David Beckham had scored on Faryd Mondragon with a free kick at the 1998 World Cup. Here’s the goal:

Frankly, I don’t think there was much that Mondragon could have done about that one. Anyway, he also came in at number three in this comp of the five best saves of the 1998 World Cup.


You may recall that in the beginning of November of last year that there were reports of a indoor/outdoor soccer facility to be constructed in Northeast Philadelphia to be called Philadelphia Sports Zone. Reports at the time described the project would be managed by Total Concept Sports and would include the involvement of AC Milan. On Thursday, the NEastPhilly.com reported on the unveiling of the planned design of the facility, which also includes American football as well as baseball/softball fields among a variety of other sport facilities. Interestingly, no mention is made of Total Concept Sports in the article or AC Milan. While a “possible opening” date of Fall 2013 is mentioned, along with many individuals, civic groups, organizations and businesses who are supportive of the idea, there is no mention of estimated costs, funding or even a purchase of property for the facility, other than a “possible location” of Torresdale Avenue and Tolbut Street. The article says that architect “[Craig] Schmitt prefaced the presentation by stating that the plans are just a concept design.” Schmitt says, “The final plans will be dictated by the budget, and also the needs and interests of the community.”

Reading United have an impressive record of producing talent for MLS. In this interview on the club’s website, Reading alumni CJ Sapong talks about his time at the club and the transition to MLS.


ESPN has five things we have learned from the recent USMNT friendlies.

Another ESPN piece says the “kids are indeed all right.”


Bosnia-Herzegovina club teams and its national team have been suspended from international soccer by FIFA and UEFA because its soccer federation is organized along ethnic lines and has refused requests to replace its three-member presidency with a single president. Unless changes are made, the country faces expulsion from UEFA 2012.

The Premiership is launching a campaign to clampdown on abuse of match officials. Sir Alex Ferguson thinks the plan is rubbish.

German police have foiled a plot to explode bombs outside Borussia Dortmund’s stadium. The plot is reportedly not terrorist related.

Confirming a story we linked to on January 31, the BBC says a “highly organized network of football fans had a big part to play in the Egyptian revolution.” (Thanks to Guido and Dan for the tip!)

From the Department Of Because We Have The Same Last Name, That’s Why, football freestyler John Farnsworth, otherwise known as the “keepy-uppy king,” will attempt to juggle a ball the entire 26.2 mile route of the London Marathon for charity. Given that my family’s roots in the US date back to the 1640s, I think it is safe to say that John is no relation of mine. That and the fact that he is a Manchester United supporter. (Thanks to YSC Sports for the tip!)

Footy on the Telly™

Friday, April 1
Brazil v Colombia (South American U-17s) 1pm ESPN Deportes
Columbus v Dallas 7pm FSC
Costa Rica v Canada (CONCACAF U-20s) 8pm ESPN Deportes
Necaxa v Chivas 10pm Fox Deportes
Mexico v Trinidad &Tobago (CONCACAF U-20s) 10pm ESPN Deportes

Saturday, April 2
West Ham v Manchester United 7:30am ESPN2
Leeds v Nottingham Forest 7:30am FSP
Borussia Dortmund v Hanover 9:30amGolTV
Stoke City v Chelsea 10am FSC
West Brom v Liverpool 10am FSP
Bayern Munich v Moenchengladbach 10am ESPN Deportes
Brescia v Bologna 12pm FSP
Arsenal v Blackburn 12:30pm FSC
Getafe v Valencia 2pm GolTV
AC Milan v Inter Milan 2:30pm FSC
England Women v USA Women 3pm ESPN2
Villarreal v Barcelona 4pm GolTV
Wigan v Spurs 4pm FSP
Everton v Aston Villa 5pm FSC
USA v Panama (CONCACAF U-20s) 6pm ESPN Deportes
Newcastle v Wolves 6pm FSP
Queretaro v San Luis 7pmTelefutura
America de Cali v Deportivo Cali 7:30pm GolTV
Honduras v Guatemala (CONCACAF U-20s) 8pm ESPN Deportes
Veracruz v Alacranes 8pm Fox Deportes
Santos Laguna v Cruz Azul 9pm Telefutura
Tigres v Atlante 9pm Telemundo
Junior v Real Cartegena 9:30pm GolTV
Los Angeles v Philadelphia 10:30pm TCN
Atlas v Tecos 11pm Telefutura

Sunday, April 3
Napoli v Lazio 6:30am FSP
Fulham v Blackpool 8:30am FSP
Manchester City v Sunderland 11am FSC
Toluca v Monterrey 1pm Telemundo
Morelia v Pachuca 1pm ESPN Deportes
Sevilla v Zaragoza 1pm GolTV
Roma v Juventus 2:30pm FSC
Lens v Marseille 3pm FSP
Santos v Palmeiras 3pm GolTV
America v Puebla 5pm Univision
Paraguay v Uruguay (South America U-17s) 5pm ESPN Deportes
Colorado v D.C. United 7pm Galavision

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