Freddy Adu Comes Full Circle, Returns to Major League Soccer

There is something to be said about coming full circle, as former teenage soccer prodigy Freddy Adu is about to find out.Believe it or not, it’s been eight years since Adu signed his first professional soccer contract, so it seems almost like an anomaly that, when Freddy is introduced as the newest member of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Philadelphia Union this Friday, he will do so at the tender age of 22.Yes, eight professional contracts, some serious soul-searching and numerous helpings of humble pie later, the prodigy has matured, not only into a man, but also into the player that many thought he could be.Over the last year or so, Freddy Adu has been given a new lease on his soccer life.It started when former U.S. National team coach Bob Bradley added Adu to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster. Freddy repaid the selection by coming off the the bench in the semifinal against Panama and helping set up Clint Dempsey’s winning goal.Then, in the Gold Cup Final against Mexico on June 25, there were some who said he was the best player on the pitch, despite the national team's 4-2 loss.Adu’s recent resurgence certainly had caught the attention of ...
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Philadelphia Union Shutout as Sporting Kansas City Extends Unbeaten Streak

All the technical training in the world can’t prepare a club for a goalkeeper who stands in his head, and as a keeper coach nothing pleases me more than to watch a goalie defend his domain. That was the case tonight (June 22) at PPL Park where visiting netminder Jimmy Neilson helped keep his Sporting Kansas City (SKC) teammates from being blown out by the Philadelphia Union. The Union actually peppered Neilson with 19 shots, seven of which were on frame. Nielsen came up big in the 27th minute when Philadelphia striker Jack McInerney fired from close-range and again two minutes later when he dove to his right to knock away a well-taken free kick from striker Carlos Ruiz.The Union kept pressing after the break, nearly breaking the deadlock in the 72nd minute when a cross from Le Toux found Ruiz, who headed it off the crossbar.  Five minutes later, Justin Mapp fired from point-blank range, but once again Nielsen was up to the task. Obviously, if you are a Union fan you would expect your club to beat the last place team in the Eastern Conference and not settle for 0-0 draw. Well, there is something you should know about SKC. At the moment, ...
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Philadelphia Union Sign Former La Liga Striker Veljko Paunovic

Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz proved once again why he is one of the best front office men in Major League Soccer (MLS). Not content with his clubs first place standing atop the leagues Eastern Conference table, Sakiewicz today signed Serbian striker/attacking midfielder Veljko Paunovic. Paunovic, who last played for Partizan FK of the Serbian Super Liga, spent a majority of his professional career playing for seven different clubs in Spain’s La Liga where he scored 70 goals in 297 matches.Not quite sure what the 32 year old still has in his tank, but his experience and leadership can’t hurt, especially for a team in search of more goal scoring.  Let’s face it, a few more goals here and there this season and Philadelphia could have a comfortable lead over NY Red Bull atop the conference Table. So far this season, the Union has scored just one goal in seven games and been on the losing end of a clean sheet three times. Defensively Philadelphia has been solid, allowing a conference low 11 goals, second only to Real Salt Lake who leads the league with only seven goals allowed.It will be interesting to see where Union Coach Peter Nowak plays ...
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Philadelphia Union Midfielder Justin Mapp Named MLS Player of the Week

Despite boasting the third best record in Major League Soccer and holding onto the number one spot in the Eastern Conference since pretty much opening day, it has taken the Philadelphia Union almost 11 games to get their first MLS Player of the Week Honoree.No, it wasn’t team leading goal scorer Carlos Ruiz, or 2010 Team MVP Sebastien Le Toux. Heck it wasn’t even dynamic young forward Danny Mawanga. Considering his two goal performance in Sundays 6-2 win over Toronto, Danny was certainly a candidate.The answer is Philadelphia Union midfielder Justin Mapp, as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters for his two-goal performance in Sundays win over Toronto.“It’s an absolute honor to accept this award and I’m very pleased about it,” said Mapp in a posting on the team's website. “However, the biggest accomplishment this weekend was for the team. It was very important for us to have gotten the three points on the road and to have scored all those goals. It was a key win for the team, and even though I’m pleased about the award, I’m just proud of the team’s performance this weekend.”Read more MLS news on
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Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Union to Play for Another Club

Chester, Pa. (May 23, 2011) – Philadelphia Union forward Carlos Ruiz has been called up to join the Guatemalan national team for the upcoming 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, which runs from June 5-25. Ruiz, who scored his third goal for Philadelphia in a 2-1 victory over Chicago on Saturday, last played for Guatemala in an international friendly on March 28 against Bolivia. In the match, he scored his all-time leading 42nd goal for his national team. Prior to the match against Bolivia, Ruiz had been retired from international competition since 2009.“It means a lot to me to come back to the national team after two years and play such an important tournament like Gold Cup”, said Ruiz. “We have a very good team with young talent and some international players such as Guillermo Ramirez, Marco Pablo Pappa and me. We will have the big responsibility to set up a good example for the youngsters on and off the pitch, and I’m confident we will make a difference in this tournament and in the future World Cup Qualifier." Ruiz debuted with the Guatemalan National Team on November 11, 1998 in a friendly match against Mexico. He netted his first goal ...
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2010 MLS Expansion Draft: Are The Philadelphia Union Taking a Gamble on Goalies?

Philadelphia Union has revealed their list of 11 players that will be ineligible for selection during MLS Expansion Draft 2010 on Wednesday, November 24, 2010.  Additionally, Union’s youngsters Jack McInerney, Danny Mwanga and Amobi Okugo will also be left out of the unprotected list as Generation Adidas players cannot be drafted.  Interesting to note that the team has left both goal keepers, Chris Seitz and Brad Knighton unprotected in addition to fan favorite Fred. Also, the team has added newly acquired mid-fielder Brian Carroll to their protective list. Philadelphia Union’s Protective Players: 1 Danny Califf DF 2 Brian Carroll MF 3 Juan Gonzalez DF 4 Jordan Harvey DF 5 Sebastien Le Toux FW 6 Justin Mapp MF 7 Kyle Nakazawa MF 8 Michael Orozco Fiscal DF 9 Toni Stahl MF 10 Roger Torres MF 11 Sheanon Williams DF Generation adidas Players (exempted from selection): 1 Jack McInerney FW 2 Danny Mwanga FW 3 Amobi Okugo MF Unprotected Players: 1 Cristian Arrieta DF 2 Eduardo Coudet MF 3 Fred MF 4 Andrew Jacobson MF 5 Brad Knighton GK 6 Stefani Miglioranzi MF 7 Alejandro Moreno FW 8 J.T.Noone DF 9 Shea Salinas MF 10 Chris Seitz GK 11 Nick Zimmerman FW Read more MLS news on
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FIFA World Cup Selection Team Continues Visit: United States Looking Good

As of  last check  over 1,007,987 soccer fans had cast their vote on the Bid City Leader board, at, this in an effort to help lure either World Cup 2018 or 2022 here to the United States. Soccer fans in Houston, Texas, led the crusade with over 72,000 votes. Is your city in the Top 10?   Rank City Supporters 1 Houston 72,714 2 Miami 69,125 3 Tampa Bay 62,517 4 Los Angeles 62,051 5 NY/NJ 57,556 6 Philadelphia 48,922 7 Seattle 41,269 8 Atlanta 39,709 9 Washington DC 35,696 10 Baltimore 34,010 If you would like to help the cause and have not yet voted, you can do so at  Earlier this week, a FIFA inspection team led by Harold Mayne-Nicholls arrived in the United States to tour our facilities and attend events related to the U.S. bid. The delegation, which is expected to remain stateside until Sept. 10, will travel with members of the USA Bid Committee to five U.S. cities. Currently the United States is one of nine countries bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, but at the moment most critics agree that England is probably the front- runner to entertain the 2018 World Cup. Nonetheless, the USA bid committee forges on and has assembled a group of powerful board members to boot.  A board that includes the likes of former president Bill Clinton, who is also its honorary ...
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Philadelphia Soccer Fans Finally Finding Their Niche

Why waste your time and money building a soccer specific stadium near Philadelphia? Professional soccer never has and never will survive in an area where the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies are king. No, but it can certainly co-exist. For as long as I have lived here in the Delaware Valley, that has always been the mantra: soccer sucks and no one cares. News Flash! People do care and there is evidence that professional soccer can not only survive in Philadelphia, but also thrive, thanks in part to the sixteenth member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the friendly confines of PPL Park. Last night, the Philadelphia Union not only hosted, but beat one of the top club teams in the world, thanks to a 1-0 result over visiting Chivas de Guadalajara. The Mexican side not only brought their attacking style of play, but also several hundred of their spirited fans, which only added to the electrifying atmosphere on this balmy summer night. “Two things I hear when people walk in here [PPL Park],” said Union President Tom Veit. “Oh, what a great building and then oh, what a great atmosphere. You can’t build that, you can’t create that, it’s gotta be organic, its gotta happen ...
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Philadelphia Union Completes 24-Man Roster: Sign Def/Mid Sheanon Williams

Philadelphia Union today announced the signing of defender/midfielder Sheanon Williams, thus completing the 24-man roster permitted by Major League Soccer regulations. The Union could expand their roster up to 26 men with the signing of two home grown players. The 20-year-old joins the Union from the Harrisburg City Islanders, Philadelphia’s USL-2 affiliate. Per Major League Soccer and team policies, the details of the signing will not be disclosed. A product of the U-17 Residency Program, Williams represented the United States in two youth World Cups, the U-17 World Cup in Korea (2007), where he played for former head coach and current Philadelphia Union Coach John Hackworth, and the U-20 World Cup in Egypt (2009). Raised in Boston, Mass., Williams is the second player to join the Union from the Harrisburg City Islanders.  J.T. Noone was signed by the expansion side on July 30, thanks to a partnership signed by these two organizations last February. Philadelphia Union CommunicationsRead more MLS news on
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Despite Slow Start, Philadelphia Union Still Big at the Box Office

Life as an expansion team in professional sports is rarely rewarding, but despite the fact that the Philadelphia Union are currently 2-6-1 and 14 points behind division-leading Red Bull in the league standings, their supporters still love them. Just five hours after single game tickets went on sale for home games at PPL Park, the Philadelphia Union’s first match in their new stadium sold out. The Union is scheduled to actually play their first game at PPL Park at 5pm on June 27 against the Seattle Sounders. “The incredible reaction we just saw to the first match at PPL Park reaffirms once again the excitement and passion that we witnessed from Union fans during our first two home games,” said Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz. As a matter of fact, the team is already accepting $50 deposits to join the season ticket waiting list for the 2011 season. These deposits can later be applied to tickets when and if they become available.   There is a limit of six season tickets per account. Individual and group (15 or more) tickets for all other matches at PPL Park are still available. Individual tickets range from $25 for corner seats through $150 for field level ...
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