Earthquakes bench overpowers Union

Reprinted from Goal.com, April 30, 2012

Though the Philadelphia Union are still plagued by an inability to mount a consistent attack, the turning point in the team’s 2-1 loss to San Jose on Saturday was the late-game decimation of a seemingly stout back line by Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart.

Entering the match, keeper Zac MacMath and his teammates had strung together a club-record 332-minute shutout streak, effectively sealing off their goal since their visit to Chicago on March 24. With Philadelphia shutting down star striker Chris Wondolowski, San Jose head coach Frank Yallop turned the tide of the game by simultaneously substituting Lenhart and winger Marvin Chavez early in the second half. Continue reading

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Union record first win of young season

Reprinted from Goal.com, April 14, 2012

CHESTER, Pa. – Through three empty efforts to open the season, the Philadelphia Union continued preaching patience. Against the visiting Columbus Crew on Saturday, Gabriel Gomez’ penalty kick stood as the lone goal as the team finally entered into the victory column.

Gomez’ second spot-kick tally of the season gave the Union their first lead in a match since relinquishing a 1-0 advantage over Portland in the season opener. Philadelphia midfielder Freddy Adu created space for himself towards the side of the box, then sent in a low, hard cross into which Crew defender Eric Gehrig turned his arm. The official immediately pointed to the penalty spot, and Gomez hit a soft chip over the lunging Andy Gruenebaum.  Continue reading

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Goal.com Exclusive with Union keeper Zac MacMath

Reprinted from Goal.com, March 29, 2012

CHESTER, Pa — He looks just like a million college-aged American men: tall, lean, Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirt over a relaxed pair of jeans. So what is it that makes Zac MacMath so special? 

Well, MacMath is the starting goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union, and, at 20, the youngest first-choice keeper in Major League Soccer. As if that wasn’t pressure enough, he is also tasked with taking the reins from All-Star Faryd Mondragon, who piloted the Union to their first-ever playoff berth a season ago. Oh, and the team has yet to cull even a single point from their first three matches in 2012. Continue reading

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Union optimistic despite winless start

Reprinted from Goal.com, March 25, 2012

It’s difficult to win soccer matches under even the best of circumstances. As the Philadelphia Union found out Saturday night in Chicago, it’s doubly tough to win when the odds are stacked against you.

Missing midfielder Freddy Adu and right back Sheanon Williams to USA U-23 Olympic camp, and central defender Danny Califf to a knee injury, the team fought valiantly but lost 1-0 in the Fire’s home opener, having no points to show for any of its three matches thus far. Continue reading

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Portland Timbers 3, Philadelphia Union 1

Reprinted from Goal.com, March 13, 2012

Momentum is a fickle mistress, and after 51 minutes of well-played soccer from the Philadelphia Union, she leaped out from under them and delivered a 3-1 victory into the open arms of the Portland Timbers Monday night.

Immediately after Philadelphia’s Gabriel Gómez sliced in a free kick to give the visiting Union a lead early in the second stanza, Portland embarked on an unrelenting half-hour of attack, scoring three successive goals. Continue reading

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Philadelphia Union season preview

Reprinted from Goal.com, March 5, 2012

If a soccer club is traditionally more representative of its supporters than is any other sports team, than Philadelphia’s would be blue-collar, fiercely territorial and easily provoked towards fisticuffs. How appropriate, then, that the Philadelphia Union’s preseason tour of Costa Rica was marred Thursday afternoon by a fight in their finale, a friendly in name only, at A.D. Belén. Continue reading

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Roxborough High School hosts playoff game during memorial for star player

Reprinted from WHYY Newsworks, February 8, 2012ImagePhoto via Ben Goldberg-Morse/WHYY Newsworks

The white basketball jersey, with “Roxborough” and the number “12” on its front, lay draped over an empty blue chair in the gym of Roxborough High School on Tuesday afternoon. There it sat pristinely, never accompanying a player to take a shot, dribble into the lane, or even once, dive for a loose ball.

That jersey belonged to Rashawn Anderson, Roxborough High School’s former star player, who was fatally shot one year ago Tuesday at the age of 18.  Continue reading

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