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Ruiz promises improvement, more news

Union

Carlos Ruiz on tonight’s game: “I am tired of hearing that we are struggling as an offense, so we are going to use this game to show just how much we have improved in that department.” So that’s why he’s immobile on the pitch, he’s tired.

John Hackworth on filling in tonight for Peter Nowak: “For me personally, Peter and I have worked together for four years, side by side. For either one of us, it’s really not different. It’s a big game but every game in this league is a big game. From our standpoint, nothing changes really.”

In addition to our own as always excellent match preview, you can read more previews from MLSsoccer.com, JP Dellacamera, The Brotherly Game, ASN Philly and The Union Dues. In the head-to-head preview at Goal.com, the Philly guy predicts a 2–1 win for the Galaxy while the LA gal predicts a 1–1 draw.

The Union website has a very informative scouting report. Bottom line: a win means the club is back in first place; a loss means the first losing streak of the season.

Video previews from the Union website and Philly.com.

You have no doubt heard by now that David Beckham has not made the trip to Philadelphia. After all, in the words of Landon Donovan, “you can’t expect someone his age to play three games in a week.” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said to fans who may be disappointed about Beckham’s absence, “We’re sorry about that. We didn’t put together the schedule.”

More on the absence of David Beckham:

John Hackworth: “We don’t approach that we’re going to beat David Beckham, we approach it that we’re going to beat the L.A. Galaxy.”

Sheanon Williams: “They still have guys who can swing balls in and we have to still be aware. We’ve only given up goals on set pieces and it’s something we need to be better at.”

Sheanon Williams tells KYW Newsradio what the keys to beating LA are: “Keep the ball a little bit more, put a little bit more pressure on them higher up the field, and don’t let them get too much of a rhythm—because that’s where I think they start to hurt teams when they get most of the possession and build up a rhythm.”

The online betting site SBRforum has the Galaxy beating the Union 2–0: “I don’t think the Union have the offensive prowess to keep up with the Galaxy on Wednesday.” They correctly predicted the Timbers win last week.

Before you print the download of the official cheer card for tonight’s game, make sure you have plenty of blue toner.

In this weekend’s power rankings roundup. MLSsoccer.com ranks the Union at no. 6, noting that Ruiz seems to have stymied the offense: “Expect changes in the coming weeks” (RSL at no. 1). Soccer America ranks the Union at no. 4, noting “the attack is looking static” (Energy Drinks at no. 1). SBI keeps the Union at no. 4 (RSL no. 1). Goal.com also has the Union at no. 4, saying “Odd to see the focused Peter Nowak skip a regular-season game against Los Angeles on Wednesday night to go play in a charity match in Poznan, Poland” (RSL at no. 1). FINALLY, someone says it! In all of the rankings, LA comes in at no. 3.

Of course, the only number that really matters is where the Union are in the Eastern Conference and that’s no. 2.

Many have wondered about why Juan Diego Gonzalez was left behind in Philly when the Union traveled to Portland. John Hackworth explained on Tuesday, “It’s not as much about Juan Diego as it is about the Farfan brothers. When you have them playing at the level they have, that’s really what happened there.”

Hackworth also praised Sheanon Williams for his impressive performance filling in at center back against Portland. “There’s nothing new about Sheanon playing center back. I know a lot of people said he did really well and gave him a lot of praise and asked why we didn’t do this before. It’s interesting. It shows how versatile he is.” In addition to playing center back at University of North Carolina, Williams played center back for Hackworth against Portugal with the US-17 team.

The IllegitimateS are feeling poetic in this ode to the Union, Doop: Onto the Union’s Success.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders won their home opener on Tuesday night 1–0. Chase Harrison had a monster game between the posts, making five saves in the last 15 minutes of the match.

There’s a new installment of the always informative Home Grown Hopefuls column at the Brotherly Game, which notes that Zach Pfeffer recently appeared for FC Delco, scoring a goal in their 3–2 loss to fellow Union academy partner club PA Classics.

13-year old Bryan Franco, who lives in Reading, was playing for the Berks County-based FC Revolution in a match in Delaware County when an opposing player told him to “go back to Africa.” When the co-owner of the club, Mike Moyer, heard about the incident, he told Todd Hoffard, the club’s former goalkeeping coach who now does that job for the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls’ Senegal-born keeper Bouna Coundoul and Thierry Henry, both of whom have been victims of racial abuse themselves, soon heard about the incident and invited young Bryan to a Red Bulls practice. After the practice, Coundoul and Henry met with Bryan for an half hour. Henry’s advice? “Just let them do that. Just don’t do anything, and then score and smile at them.” Before Coundol and Henry are Red Bulls, they are two class men.

On a totally positive note, Reading United participated in Tuesday’s City of Reading’s Youth Fun Day. Over 300 kids attended the event. “Giving back to the community is an integral part of our mission at the United,” said Ryan Lineaweaver, Reading United’s Assistant General Manager. “Our time with the students not only helped them learn about the game of soccer, but also taught the players and students the importance of community engagement.”

MLS

The MLS Cup final will be played in LA at the Home Depot Center. Again. Yawn. Local reaction mainly seems to be about the game being scheduled at the same time as the Eagles v Giants game for the second year in a row.

West Bromwich Albion becomes the sixth Premiership club to announce a summer tour in the US. The Baggies will play San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers in July.

US

Four Philadelphia Independence players have been named to the USWNT World Cup squad: Nicole Barnhart, Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe, and Amy Rodriguez. Former Indpendence defender Heather Mitts is also on the team. Barnhart is from Boyertown, PA.

Also on the squad is Delran’s Carli Lloyd, the hero of the 2008 Olympics for her winning goal against Brazil for the gold medal.

Elsewhere

New allegations that Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup hosting rights with millions of dollars in bribes are—surprise!—strongly denied by Qatar.

President of CONCACAF, FIFA vice president and well known crook Jack Warner says he “laughed like hell” when he heard of the latest allegations that he is an utterly corrupt piece of shite.

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