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Righto then, back to business

Photo: Earl Gardner


Kaká on the Union: “I was impressed with the Union. They played very well. They gave us a tough match. They’re a very good team. It wasn’t easy. We were happy to win this match. They played very good in the second half.”

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka played for Colorado Rapids in 2006. “This game has been the weakest we’ve played of all three,” Karanka said. “We can see though that there has been progress, and that’s a positive. We had a very good game against the Galaxy, so all that progress is what we’re taking from this tour. It has been a great experience and a great stay in the US.

John Hackworth describes the game in eight words: “No one got hurt and we played good.”

Hackworth added, “We had two fantastic opponents in our hometown, it was a great week, lots of fun. We did what we wanted to do by getting a lot of guys valuable minutes and we can’t say enough about the crowd. It was fun. We’ll go back to work on the league side on Friday…This game was a great opportunity to get a lot of guys on the field, get some valuable experience in an international game.”

Danny Califf said, “It was disappointing to come out with some nerves in the beginning, and we put ourselves behind the eight ball. We did a really good job coming back and regaining our composure and putting together a really good performance against a team that really brought their full roster.”

Michael Farfan on his goal: “I passed it to Danny, and Danny passed it back. I saw [Mejias] was a little off his mark, so I just chipped it. It felt great, one of the best teams in the world. It was a great opportunity for all of us.”

Jack McInerney said, “We’re just trying to get better. We capped off a good week and we want to get ready for Colorado on Friday.”

Justin Mapp said, “All in all I think we gained some respect tonight.”

Faryd Mondragon tweeted: “What a special night for everyone, the whole Philadelphia Union last night as a Franchise as a team and the best FANS showed we are HUGE!!!”

Gabriel Farfan tweets: “Thank you for the support last night! Regardless of the score, it was a beautiful night & glad I could share it w you all.”

Kerith Gabriel nails it: “There are few times when one can say a loss speaks volumes in favor of the loser. But it can be said emphatically in the case of the Union.”

Ryan Howard meets his idol. Photo courtesy of Real Madrid.

Check out the PSP’s match report if you haven’t already. “Valiant” is the word used to describe the Union’s efforts in the headlines of the CSN Philly and Brotherly Game match reports.

More match reports from ESPN, SBI, MLS Talk, Philly Soccer News, the Mercury, phillyBurbs.com, the Morning Call.

The Soccer Guys conclude, “MLS watch out, the Union are a team of the future.”

The Goalkeeper wastes your time with 966 words of strained comparison between a college basketball game that took place four years ago and the Real Madrid friendly before springing his “main point” about “the real meaning of Real Madrid’s visit”: “the game was fun.” Some 91 words latter a “what really matters” is tacked onto the main point: maybe some of those at the Linc “will decide to go to a Union game later in the year.” Next time the Goalkeeper decides to “uncork” a long post, maybe he can do everyone a favor and put the bottle back on the rack.

Here’s a take on what these friendlies are about from the Wall Street Journal. What, no mention of college basketball?

Brian Hickey suggest the NFL could learn a thing or two from  the likes of the Union v Real Madrid friendly.

There can be many reasons for not being able to get to as many games as you would like, which makes the ones you can see all the more special.


The Independence’s six-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night, losing 2–0 to Sky Blue. (Look for the PSP match report and player ratings later today.) At a time when WPS is looking for a Women’s World Cup attendance bump, only 1500 were on hand.


Ryan Howard exchanges jerseys with members of Juventus before Sunday's game. Photo courstesy of Philadelphia Phillies

The City Islanders drew 1–1 with LA Blues.

With the chance to win the Mid Atlantic Division and host the Eastern Conference playoffs, Reading United lost on the road to Central Jersey 3–2 on Sunday. The team must now win a play-in game against Jersey Express on Tuesday to quailfy for the PDL’s round of 16 for the fourth straight year.


Columbus drew 0–0 with LA on Wednesday and defeated Portland 1–0 on Saturday to draw even with the Union, who have two games in hand, with 31 points. Also on Saturday, New York drew 2–2 with Dallas to go to 30 points. (The Union now have four games in hand on New York.) Kansas City beat Toronto 4–2 to move to fourth place on 26 points. New England drew 2–2 away with Colorado while Chivas USA blanked Houston 3–0.

Landon Donovan is out of the All-Star game with a calf-injury. Word is that his spot will not be filled by another player.

David Beckham says he wants to remain in MLS for another two years.


After receiving a lifetime ban from soccer, Mohammed Bin Hammam calls Sepp Blatter a dictator. Hammam said of the FIFA ethics committee decision against him, “This is actually the act of the dictators, and you have witnessed through history the dictators, when they think this or that person is a prominent one to replace him, the first thing they do is execute him.”

Whistleblower and garden gnome model Chuck Blazer welcomed Hammam’s punishment. “I believe vote-buying is unacceptable and I felt that had to be said widely and clearly and I am very glad the ethics committee has confirmed that, regarding bribery, we have zero tolerance,” Blazer said. “It sets a precedent and one that I fully support.” He continued, “It’s a very good day for football in that it has been demonstrated that the process we adopted five years ago with the ethics code and committee is able to work, ” before not adding, “Are you going to eat that?”

Jonathan Wilson breaks down Uruguay’s victory in the Copa America final.


  1. Check out Alex Morgan’s goal for Western New York from this weekend…

  2. Mondragons tweets are always hilarious.

  3. That piece by The Goalkeeper is just strange. There is almost nothing that actually bears out the comparison except the size and volume of the crowd. The most comparable thing about the “three things of consequence” is the number of things of consequence. And that number is completely arbitrary!

    1) The UNC game mattered to UNC. If Madrid lost to the Union, nothing happens to them except additional windsprints and a crappy flight home (which they probably got anyways, if reports about Mourinho’s take on the game are to be believed).
    2) The UNC game was a blowout! Is there no game where Penn put up a good fight against a much bigger, stronger and tradition-laden opponent? If not, skip the analogy and write about the game.

    Here: “I cover soccer and college basketball. It’s exciting when one of the traditional powerhouses travels to take on a smaller school/soccer club. The smaller clubs fans should not expect to win, but both clubs make mucho moolah and it is a fantastic fan experience. So everybody from Seattle who told me they don’t like friendlies should relax and have fun and UPenn should put up more of a fight next time so I have better material to work with for future analogies.”

    Or just write about the soccer. It was pretty great.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      In the post, the Goalkeeper writes about “the big paycheck [the Union] landed from hosting Real Madrid.” First, wasn’t it actually the Eagles who were hosting Real Madrid? Second, how big was the “big paycheck” the Union received? Was it as big as RM’s? As big as the Eagles? Third, what good is 1000+ words if you then have to use Twitter to explain to everyone what the point of all those words was in the first place?

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