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The Union went down two goals in the first half of Wednesday night’s friendly against Harrisburg City Islanders before answering with five second half goals to finish 5–3. Tweets from fans at the game say that Peter Nowak made the starting XI—MacMath; Williams, Miglioranzi, Califf, G. Farfan; Okugo, Adu, Daniel, Le Toux; Paunovic, Mwanga—run laps after the first half.

He did the same with the “entirely new” squad that took the field for the Union in the second half after a hard tackle from Michael Farfan resulted in the tackled City Islanders player forcefully taking offense “and the benches cleared like the Phils!“. Another tweet says a second bench clearing just before the end of regulation resulted in the match official blowing the whistle with no stoppage time.

Pennlive.com confirms the tweets: “The friendly was marred by two bench-clearing incidents in the closing moments, the first ignited when Michael Farfan blasted [David] Schofield right in front of the Harrisburg bench. Once play resumed, Schofield responded by nailing Farfan near the midfield stripe.”

While the Union did not tweet the second half lineup, the goal scorers were Justin Mapp, Ryan Richter, Zach Pfeffer, Roger Torres, and trialist Joe Tait. Joe Tait, you ask, who’s that? He’s a 6′ 1″ defender who apparently can head a goal from a corner—what a smashing idea! The 21-year-old hails from England and played for Lindsey Wilson College, a small Methodist college in Kentucky, and for PDL side Baton Rouge Capitals, where he scored six goals in 12 appearances and won the PDL Defender of the Year award in 2010. He turned professional when he signed with USL Pro team Dayton Dutch Lions in April, 2011. Tait has made at least one appearance with the Union reserves and Union supporter par excellence BarbCV has the picture to prove it.

While Septa has scheduled additional train service for Sunday’s game, Unholy Union’s looks at the weather forecast and says, “This match won’t get played.

Here’s a very interesting look at how local youth players are choosing to enter the Union academy system rather than play for their high school team. The times, they are a’changing.

The Union Dues has a piece from a Union fan who was born in Colombia.

The latest YSA podcast, produced and engineered by PSP photographer and bearfighter Earl Gardner, is now available.


The Inquirer looks at the Independence’s attacking double threat, Tasha Kai and Amy Rodriguez. “Tasha and I work well together,” says Rodriguez. “We are both dynamic; a lot of running goes into our game. We’re both pretty quick on and off the ball, and it causes defenders to pick and choose which player to defend. When defenders match up Tash, that opens me up and vice versa, and that situation is really good.”

Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s opponent in Saturday’s WPS Championship final, WNY Flash.


Former Union and now Vancouver defender Jordan Harvey knows what it means to be on an expansion team. Harvey has three assists in five games with the Whitecaps.

This feature from MLSsoccer.com’s ongoing series from the North American Soccer Almanac looks at the explosion of TV viewing options for soccer fans.

Apparently a proposal was floating around the offices of the NFL in 2007 to start a rival league to MLS. The motivation behind the proposal appears to primarily have been to make use of American football stadiums that are otherwise largely dormant between March and August/September. The rival league reportedly would have used “new, contemporary rules made to enhance scoring and give fans a better experience.” To get a sense of these “new, contemporary” rules, check out this nonsense.


EPL Talk reports that Fox will broadcast the Chelsea v Manchester United match on free-to-air television in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday.

Fox Soccer will be the home of the Europa League beginning in 2012-13. Fox replaces GolTV as the US broadcaster with the new three season deal.

Mexican clubs and the Mexican national team are scouting for players in the US. “Considering how much Mexican-American talent there is in the USA, it makes perfect sense for us to look here,” says Enrique Echeverria, the Mexican federation’s scout for its U-17 team. “Whenever we hear a rumor about a Mexican-American talent, whether in Dallas or anywhere in the USA, we come and check him out.”


The La Liga season will commence on Saturday after the Spanish players’ union and the league reach an agreement to avoid a second week of strike action. Too bad the opening of play in Serie A may be postponed by a strike this weekend after clubs voted down the collective bargaining agreement approved by the players.

Putting an end to a seven-year huff, Sir Alex Ferguson will now talk to the BBC.

Ousted FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam has formally launched his appeal of the decision to ban him from soccer for life.


  1. Could that starting 11 have been a test run for the new england game (minus Macmath, plus Dragon)? Valdes is suspended and Caroll is hurt right? Either way does not look good for us that we couldnt score in the first half with our starters…Okugo may be overrated…we are definitely out of sorts

  2. Does anyone notice that every game we “start the 2nd half” with the youngsters – and the total flow changes.

    But yet, none of them ever make the starting 18 – and we’re stuck with f’ing Migz constantly in the lineup.

    • Yes, the fact that we always preform better in the second half, after making a few subs/tactical adjustments, says A LOT.

      • By few subs you mean entire new 11? What does that say? We shouldn’t start Williams? Califf? Mwanga? Etc? This is a friendly…if it says anything, it says the Union suck and we may be blind to that fact. We shoulda went to Harrisburg and schooled that team from the get go.

      • Union win 5-3 to a “lesser” team = Union suck? So by that logic: Real Madrid beat Union 2-1 = Real Madrid SUCKS! Once again, don’t read too much into the results of these types of games. And don’t sell 2nd and 3rd tier teams short. After all, it’s in clubs like these that we find hidden gems like Sheanon Williams and Keon Daniel… and Joe Tait?

      • Union starters should be able to score on Islanders starters…How embarassing it must have been to make them run laps after the first half?!?! At this point, it’s probably a good thing that they are off this weekend. Their frustrations are obviously showing having two separate bench clearings during a friendly….Also did I read somewhere that the Islanders had two highschoolers in their second half lineup?

    • You can’t put too much stock in a friendly like this. The flow changes because the youngsters have something to prove – the regulars do not, and they’re not going all out in a friendly when they’re in the middle of a playoff race with a league game 4 days away. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but HCI probably played a lot of bench players in the 2nd half too since they have National Division Finals on Friday. As for Migs… that one I don’t have an answer for.

  3. Sure, the Union trotted out a different 2nd half lineup, but so do many teams when participating in friendlies. HCI apparently had a makeshift backline consisting of 2 high schoolers and 1 guy playing out of position (that’s what Nowak would call “versatile”). Or, basically, what JJ said. It would help if I read all the comments before spouting off, huh? Will be interesting to see if Tait is signed considering the Union are all out of those pesky int’l roster spots.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      From the league roster rules:

      “In 2011, a total of 144 international slots are divided among the 18 clubs. Each club began with eight international slots, which are tradable. There is no limit on the number of international slots on each club’s roster.

      “The remaining roster slots must belong to domestic players. For clubs based in the United States, a domestic player is either a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (green card holder) or the holder of other special status (e.g., refugee or asylum status).”


      • Mondragon, Valdes, Torres, Gonzalez, Holder, Daniel, Paunovic, Houapeu makes eight, although Levi may or may not have a green card, so it COULD be seven, and (Little Man) Tait could slide right on in. The spots are tradable … I believe Portland traded w/ LAG in the preseason for a spot or two which will be in their possession for a couple seasons, then reverts back to the Gals.

  4. Benjamin T. says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the weather. The Phillies just announced that they are moving their Sunday game forward a day to Saturday. I imagine we’ll just see our match postponed for a while.

  5. A NFL backed soccer league could have real success, if they took it seriously. It’s pretty clear they wouldn’t have.

    These attempts to “Americanize” soccer crack me up. Isn’t part of the problem MLS has is that they can’t capitalize on the amount of soccer fans in the country? Why wouldn’t you try to capture the market of existing soccer fans instead of trying to get people to buy into a new sport? Just stupid.

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