Tag Archives: philadelphia

Dominant Performance Brings Union One Step Closer to Trophy

Jim Curtin strode into the media room for his United States Open Cup (USOC) semi-final post-game press conference, a smile upon his face.

“You guys have heard me ad nauseum about 1-0 games,” Curtin, the Philadelphia Union manager, said to reporters, “but, for whatever reason in this competition, we show true grit, determination, fight and quality in front of goal.”

Curtin’s squad head to its second straight USOC final after defeating the Chicago Fire  on a goal scored by Sebastien Le Toux. The converted winger created space for himself at the top of the box in the 74′, cutting from right to left before using his left foot to slot his shot to Sean Johnson’s left. The ball curled slightly toward the right post, striking it and beating Johnson, the Fire goalkeeper.

“He’s had a heck of a run in this competition,” Curtin said of Le Toux. “[He] came up in a big spot for us. We’ve had moments where we’ve created a ton of chances and it just won’t go in for you… and then Seba makes that play. We were in such control of the game.”

The goal came about as part of a thoroughly dominate game by the Union, as they held the Fire to just three shots, two on target, in 90 minutes of play. For their part, the Union attempted nine shots, though only three were on goal. In the end only Le Toux’s late game opportunity and finish mattered.

“Tonight it’s about the positives. It’s amazing to get back. We did it and I couldn’t be prouder of our players. To stick together as a group, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The former Major League Soccer central defender had departed the field of play to fans singing “we want the cup,” adding to the atmosphere of the game that Curtin credited as influential to the end result.

“I’d like to thank the fans, especially in the River End,” Curtin said. “They were excellent tonight. They were very loud. You get into the 85′ minute and the guys are fatigued a bit, and you hear the ‘we want the cup’ chants and it helps push them on.”

Due to Sporting Kansas City’s 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, which concluded an hour after the Union game, Philadelphia will host SKC on Sept. 30, TBD, at PPL Park. A seeding draw by the United States Soccer Federation determined hosting prior to the semi-final stage of the tournament.

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Edu Laments Chapman’s Call, Praises Team Spirit

SANDY, UT (KR) — Maurice Edu sat with multiple teammates huddled around him, his smartphone illuminating their faces as it replayed the late penalty call that went against him. The group watched numerous times, none of which changed the general consensus of the decision.

“On the field there’s no way it could be a penalty kick,” Edu said to Kessler Reports and Chris Winkler, the Philadelphia Union press officer. “[Mulholland] cut inside, and basically I was facing [the other] direction. I turned the other way and went to body him off the ball. Michael Lahoud was right there to win the ball anyway.

What happened next would rip a win away from the Union on the road against one of Major League Soccer’s best franchises.

“[Mulholland] went down easy,” Edu said. “I don’t know in what game you’d call that a penalty kick.”

Jim Curtin, Philadelphia’s head coach, agreed with Edu during his post-game press conference. Prior to calmly meeting with the media, the typically reserved former defender demonstrated his frustration as he animatedly stormed down the hallway into the locker room.

“Last week I got a call from… PRO,” Curtin said, “that they missed a penalty kick. The ref wound up suspended and I think it might be a similar situation tonight.”

Allen Chapman, who refereed Saturday night’s Union-Real Salt Lake game remained on PRO’s schedule for the third week of MLS play.

Edu, for his part, empathized with his teammates, who he felt had done enough to come away with the win.

“It’s harsh for us,” Edu said. “We have a locker room full of guys who worked their asses off that game and put in a great shift. On another day we get three points from that game. Today we feel a little bit hard done, but all we can do is keep our heads up and focus on the next game now.”

As the team captain, Edu has a large job ahead of Friday night’s home game against FC Dallas. The midfielder has to keep the locker room atmosphere upbeat in the face of two straight games, to open the season, ending in ties due to controversial referee decisions.

Edu thinks that the first team squad has the right frame of mind heading into its next match.

“We’re a positive group,” Edu said. “We believe in our abilities as a group capable of going out there and beating any team on any given day. Today we showed that. As a team there’s only so much we can control.

We were disappointed with the goals we gave up, but in saying that, we scored three good goals and on another we win that game.”

The Union will get their third chance at their first win of the 2015 MLS season (0-0-2, two points) against FC Dallas (2-0-0, six points) look up the record at PPL Park on Friday (7 pm EDT, national broadcast on UniMas).

Carlos Valdes Countdown: Seven Days ‘Till Loan’s End

Here’s the latest update: nothing. There has been no new news on the Carlos Valdes front in the past couple of days.

The center back is still due to end his loan with Santa Fe on December 31, which would mean that he’d return to the Philadelphia Union prior to the 2014 preseason. The likelihood of Valdes actually playing for the Union at all in 2014, or beyond this upcoming year, remains low.

Valdes originally pushed for the move to Santa Fe in order to play in games leading up to Colombia’s World Cup Qualifiers in March, but now his spot on the country’s 23-man roster for Brazil this summer is in question.

To remain in contention for a role with Jose Pekerman’s team, Valdes has himself in a predicament: stay with a team that can’t afford him without paying in increments, which lessens the chance that the Union sell him to Santa Fe, or return to the Union, who won’t play again until March, only three months before the World Cup itself.

Expect Valdes’ time with the Union to have ended with the close of the 2012 regular season. Santa Fe and Valdes’ agent have claimed that the team will be where Valdes will play for at least the first half of 2014, which is where the player apparently wants to continue his career, unless a move materializes to Europe.

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