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Philadelphia Union

10 April 4:59 pm

These days, 5-3-2 is usually seen as a sign of respect when facing an opponent far superior in strength (e.g., anyone vs. Barcelona).

But to win in Fantasy Soccer: Manager, perhaps it's best to think that you are playing Messi & Co. each week. The FS:M Dream Team has lined up with five defenders four out of five weeks thus far. Ironically, this formation is producing more points for teams than the 4-3-3 and 3-4-3. I myself have been lined up mostly in a 3-4-3 thinking that midfielders and forwards would get me the most points. Fail.

Player HAWAIIFAN13 proved the benefits of the 5-3-2. In Week 5, he rode the formation to 106 points, the second highest score recorded by a team this year.

So what does this mean for the rest of the 2012? Do the stats suggest taking a completely different approach and start dumping midfielders (and even forwards) for defenders? You be the judge.

Players averaging 5.0 points or more per game (by position)

Defenders – 27
Goalkeepers – 12
Midfielders – 10
Forwards – 8

The numbers above should make your decision a little easier. At this point in the season, there is more security in starting defenders than there is at any other position. Honestly, it’s not even close. Forwards and midfielders can be a huge investment, and so far, most of them aren’t living up to the asking price.

Need help with your squad? Tweet your MLS Fantasy Soccer questions to @Ben_Jata

06 April 4:23 pm

New England Revoltion derrotó como visitante al flamante campeón de la MLS, LA Galaxy. San José hizo lo mismo en Seattle. Vancouver Whitecaps sigue invicto y no ha recibido un gol en contra hasta ahora… esta temporada ha sido simplemente impredecible.

Aun así, vamos a tratar.

A partir de la esta Jornada 5, el grupo de Tiro Libre: Kristel Valencia, el Gringo Simon Borg, nuestro productor (e incansable fan del Arsenal FC) Carlos Rodriguez, y yo ofreceremos nuestras predicciones de los partidos a jugarse cada fecha.

Tendremos aciertos y tendremos fallas, pero los invitamos a que nos acompañen en esta travesía y nos den sus predicciones cada semana por este medio o por Twitter en @FutbolMLS.

¿Quién será el Walter Mercado del fútbol?

ESCUCHA: Víctor Bernárdez (SJ Earthquakes) y Olman Vargas (Columbus Crew) en Tiro Libre

JORNADA 5

PARTIDO

Kristel Valencia
Editora

Edgar Acero
Editor Asociado

El Gringo Simon
Editor Senior

Carlos Rodriguez
Editor de Video

MTL v TOR
(Sabado, 12 ET)

CLB v NY
(Sabado, 3 ET)

EMPATE

EMPATE

SKC v LA
(Sabado, 4 ET)

EMPATE

EMPATE

SJ v VAN
(Sabado, 7 ET)

EMPATE

DC v SEA
(Sabado, 7:30ET)

EMPATE

RSL v COL
(Sabado, 9 ET)

POR v CHV
(Sabado, 10:30ET)

EMPATE

Correcto/Total

 

3/7

 

 

3/7

 

 

6/7

 

 

2/7

 

 

04 April 5:13 pm

With NBC Sports continuing their great coverage of MLS for the first time in their history, check out the awesome "All Rise" promo video below.

Make sure you tune into their next nationally televised game between Philadelphia and Columbus at 3:30pm on Saturday April 14.

Hands up if your enjoying the coverage so far…..oh I see David Beckham is a fan of the production on NBC Sports!

10 March 12:10 am

Last year, before the season started, I very cleverly predicted that LA would win the West, the Shield and the Cup. I predicted that Houston would win the East. And I came up with a few other good ones that panned out.

Unfortunately I made these predictions on Twitter, and 4000 posts later, I was no longer able to have my moment of glory. Not gonna make the same mistake this year.

Western Conference
Real Salt Lake

Eastern Conference
Houston Dynamo

Supporters' Shield
RSL

MLS Cup
Seattle Sounders

US Open Cup
Chicago Fire

MVP
Fredy Montero

Golden Boot
Chris Wondolowski

Defender of the Year
Geoff Cameron

Rookie of the Year
Luis Silva

Coach of the Year
Martin Rennie

And the most important question... will another forward come out of the blue and rack up double-digit goals? Wondolowski and Dom Oduro have done so in the last two seasons. This year's version will be... Tommy "Disco" Heinemann.

Feel free to bookmark this and throw it in my face 9 months from now.

Cheers, and enjoy the soccer.

19 February 3:16 pm

In their final day in Florida, the Philadelphia Union held a light practice in front of about 100 fans. While there wasn't much action in the regeneration session, four Union players put on an odd feat of strength and coordination. We present the quad-push-up.

17 February 2:05 pm

The Michael Ballack-to-MLS drumbeat is getting a little bit louder now, it seems.

Goal.com is reporting today that the former Germany captain is in discussion with the league to bring him to MLS this season, citing unnamed sources from both sides of the negotiation. The article lists five teams that would be interested in Ballack's services: Chicago, Montreal, New York, Philly and Seattle.

Based on comments from the player himself, though, it seems that his most likely destination is the Red Bulls.

Fans in New York shouldn't be leaping for joy just yet, though. For one, even players that have shown a legitimate interest in the league have been known to spurn MLS (see: Anelka, Nicolas). Secondly, even if Ballack does sign, his contract with Bayer Leverkusen doesn't end until June 30, and his agent, Michael Becker, said that he won't be leaving before the Bundesliga season is done.

14 February 8:24 am

The Philadelphia Union -- in particular, manager Peter Nowak -- have taken a few hits this offseason. Understandly so, considering some of the messy player transactions, such as the sudden flight of goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and the bizarre Sebastien Le Toux situation. I'm still not clear whether Le Toux was forced to go to Bolton or if he just failed and tried to pass the buck. Either way, he's with Vancouver now.

This all comes on the heels of a late overseas training stint for Danny Mwanga, Kyle Nakazawa's trade to LA, Veljko Paunovic's retirement, and the loss of Justin Mapp in the expansion draft. Plus, don't forget the explanations given by Nowak about Carlos Ruiz's transfer to Mexico. 

But there has to be a method to the madness, right? Nowak seems sure. He tweeted this out on Monday in response to a fan's question:

That response -- "Yes" -- is so perfect. So simple. So Nowakian.

Lest any of the second-guessers forget, Nowak and the Union are still on the correct trajectory for a club born just two years ago. That is, in Year 2, they improved over Year 1, and even made the playoffs.

So despite the departures and the confusing aftermaths, at some point, everyone needs to have a little faith and give Nowak the benefit of the doubt. After all, he's succeeded everywhere he's been. And so far, he's succeeding in Philly.

08 February 6:54 pm

 

En nuestra última edición del podcast Tiro Libre tuvimos el placer de platicar con el volante colombiano de San Jose Earthquakes Tressor Moreno, quien jugó para la selección Colombia como #10 entre el 2000 y 2008. El volante aseguró que aún espera con tener un llamado al seleccionado nacional y esto me puso a pensar: ¿será Tressor el mejor mediocampista colombiano que tiene la MLS actualmente?

ESCUCHA EL PODCAST TIRO LIBRE

Después miré los nombres y me di cuenta que la respuesta no tan simple. En 2011, Diego Chara brilló con los Portland Timbers y es el único jugador colombiano en la MLS en haber sido llamado a la selección de su país en los últimos años. Joven, fuerte y preciso. Puede que él sea el mejor...

Pero, ¿y David Ferreira?

El ‘torito’ de FC Dallas fue, indudablemente, el mejor jugador de la MLS en 2010. Una dura lesión lo marginó de las canchas en 2011, pero se espera que regrese este año. Seguro que este señor jugador tiene que ser el mejor… yo ya ni se. Eso sin contar la maestría del emblemático ex capitán del Millonarios Rafael Robayo (ahora con Chicago Fire) o el también seleccionado colombiano Jaime Castrillón, proveniente del Independiente Medellín (ahora con Colorado Rapids).

La pregunta es fácil, pero la respuesta no: ¿Quién creen que es el mejor actualmente? Al final de la temporada 2012 veremos si la mayoría tuvo la razón.

01 February 4:17 pm

It's been a frustrating few days for Union fans.

As has been well documented here at MLSsoccer.com, Philadelphia parted ways with 2011 stalwarts Faryd Mondragon and Sébastien Le Toux this week. From the very start, neither move went over particularly well – a massive understatement – within the club's core fanbase, which has been making plenty of noise online and elsewhere in the wake of losing their offensive and defensive MVPs from last season.

Particularly frustrating for MLS fans in the city of Brotherly Love was the way Le Toux characterized his treatment by the club. The Union's reponse was simple: They are building for the future and Le Toux was in the final year of his contract. The trade was simply a calculated business move with Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney waiting for their time to shine.

The following tidbit from manager Peter Nowak didn't exactly endear him to fans attached to Le Toux, though – “feelings are not included in my job description.”

Feelings are certainly a large part of Union fans' job description, however, and they've apparently been giving Nowak an earful (monitor full?) on Twitter today.

So much so that Nowak felt compelled to clear the air a little bit. The following tweets are Nowak's response Wednesday afternoon. Clearly, some people are having a hard time keeping their emotions in check.