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Steve Moore

  1. MLS players coming and going while Union sit by and watch

    Dec 18, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

    "I'll take TWO (new left backs?)," says Union manager John Hackworth.

    So, this is the first Philadelphia Union post in a while. Have I decided to stop writing about the Union for The Level? No.¬†Am I too busy dealing with a 2-year-old and a pregnant wife to write about the Union? Well … yes .. but, no. All has been quiet on the Union front because…

  2. Snowballs fly in Washington, Baltimore — classless Philadelphia Eagles fans likely to blame

    Dec 8, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT

    APTOPIX Lions Eagles Football

    In the pantheon of overblown/overdone/dead horse beaten things in Philadelphia sports, “they threw snowballs at Santa” is right up there with booing Michael Irvin and cheesesteak B-roll on national television. So far at least, we have heard no real horror stories from today’s game at the Linc. Judging by Twitter and online reactions, everyone seemed…

  3. LeSean McCoy pulls Eagles sleigh to incredible win over Lions

    Dec 8, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

    LeSean McCoy

    Go ahead, walk outside in the snow right now. Try not to fall. Now, get up. Dust off the snow. And try to cut, juke, and make 300-pound tacklers miss you. LeSean McCoy can. McCoy ran for a team record 217 yards as the Eagles came back from an early hole to beat the Detroit…

  4. The ‘Group of Death’ for United States in World Cup? It’s put up or shut up time for the red, white and blue

    Dec 6, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT

    Clint Dempsey and Cristiano Ronaldo will battle in the Amazon rainforest next June.

    Come in off the ledge, soccer fans. All is not yet lost. If the World Cup is the most anticipated event on the soccer calendar, then the World Cup draw is a close second. The draw happened Friday morning, and, um … things could have gone better for the Red, White and Blue. First, a…

  5. Circle your calendar — the Union’s 2014 schedule is out and it’s home-heavy late

    Nov 25, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

    The Union will open 2014 in front of little Owen Dell, here wearing ear muffs before Sunday's game against Real Salt Lake, and the Portland Timbers. (Photo USA TODAY Sports)

    It’s been a while since we discussed Union soccer here at the Level. That’s largely because there wasn’t much to talk about after the team collapsed down the stretch and missed out on the playoffs (Real Salt Lake will play for MLS Cup at Sporting KC on Dec. 7, in case you were curious). And…

  6. Halloween candy, ranked

    Oct 31, 2013, 10:02 AM EDT

    halloween-candy-by-phanton-kitty

    In sadly predictable fashion, my usual area of expertise — the Philadelphia Union — spent the last two weeks of the season totally imploding when they had their playoff destiny all to themselves. The MLS playoffs kicked off Wednesday night without the Union (you’re going to cringe when I say this, but I’m predicting the…

  7. Three big misses the Union will regret if they miss the playoffs

    Oct 18, 2013, 11:59 AM EDT

    MLS: Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake

    From afar, if you simply looked at this year’s standings with two games to go and last year’s standings, you’d call this season a success for the Union, whether they make the playoffs or not (this cool graphic shows the Union’s form this season). The team already has 10 more points than it earned all…

  8. Breaking down the play that kept Union in playoff hunt — no, not the Kleberson goal

    Oct 11, 2013, 12:20 PM EDT

    raymond.gaddis

    Lost in the Kleberson-induced euphoria of last week’s win over Toronto FC was a play less than 10 minutes earlier. A play that could be the defining moment of the Union’s season, should they find a spot in the playoffs. With nine Union players pushed forward for a Sebastien Le Toux corner kick in the…

  9. Kleberson (?!?!?) saves Union season with an unreal free kick (UPDATED with lots of video)

    Oct 5, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT

    The Union’s forgotten midfielder — and expensive bench-warmer — Jose Kleberson came on in injury time Saturday night. With the Union down a man, Kleberson hit a free kick that somehow went up over the wall, down, and fell inside the post. PPL Park went ballistic and the Union kept their playoff hopes alive. The…

  10. FIFA14 and Union vs. Toronto FC: Surprisingly realistic

    Oct 4, 2013, 3:25 PM EDT

    Conor Casey rips a shot (he missed).

    Because I have no idea what to expect from the Union these days, and because Toronto FC is so horrible and nondescript that I know very little about them, I decided to see how Saturday’s game at PPL Park (7:30 p.m., Comcast Network) would go in a FIFA 14 simulation. As it turns out —…

  11. Home expectations — and Hackworth’s need to meet them — harming the Union

    Oct 2, 2013, 10:21 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Lahoud (13), defender Fabinho (33), midfielder Michael Farfan (21) and forward Conor Casey (6) try to block a free kick during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Sporting KC in Kansas City, Kan., Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    Homefield advantage is one of the most popular talking points in any sport. In many of those sports, there is a tangible advantage to being the home team. Home baseball teams get to hit last and can even alter their stadiums to suit their strengths. Home hockey teams get to make the last line change…

  12. Why Union fans are frustrated: It’s not (all) about the losing

    Sep 27, 2013, 1:03 PM EDT

    Roger Torres, Chris Birchall

    We haven’t had a ton about the Union here on the Level in the last two weeks. Partly because the team had a bye last week and partly because my friend and fellow contributor Dave Zeitlin had a baby last week (congrats, Dave!). There is another reason, however, and it’s related to the one word…

  13. Eagles as West Bromwich Albion? This “Pick Your Team” Thing Goes the Other Way, Too

    Sep 19, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT

    Screen shot from The Guardian.

    The Union are on a bye week. Their playoff hopes, which seemed so promising less than a month ago, are now gasping for air in the deepest portion of the Delaware River. The only thing positive that came out of Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to Houston was my nearly 2-year-old son’s initiation into Lot A…

  14. USA-Mexico, Dos a Cero, and the Cap On a Great Football Weekend

    Sep 10, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

    An official holds up a red card against Mexico in the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match against the United States, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-0. (AP Photo)

    Sports fans love to talk about bandwagoners. That word has a negative connotation in nearly every sports context, and “real” fans love to rag on anyone they think just bought their first replica jersey at the team store. “Yeah, well I had an Eagles onesie AND a Rodney Peete jersey!” I join in often when…

  15. Breaking News: It’s a HUGE Football Weekend (not that football, the other kind)

    Sep 6, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

    Costa Rica US Soccer Wcup

    With my friend Davey taking care of today’s Union coverage, I’ll troll the soccer haters even more before the weekend arrives with a quick preview of a HUGE five-day stretch for your United States men’s national team. Many seemed to appreciate our quick preview of the last USA-Mexico games, and the Stars and Stripes have…

  16. Down the Stretch They Come: What the Union Need to Do to Make Waves in MLS

    Aug 23, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

    Jack McInerney

    With just one game a week (usually) and 34 games to play, it seems like the Major League Soccer season goes on forever. But, if you can believe it, the Union have just nine games left before playoff positioning is decided. And the Union are right in the thick of that chase, and are even…

  17. Pick a Club (Top 10): How Your Philly Fandom Determines Your English Premier League Soccer Allegiance

    Aug 16, 2013, 9:35 AM EDT

    At left, former Eagles coach Andy Reid and current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. At center, Everton's Marouane Fellaini. At right, former 76er Andrew Bynum. (AP Photos)

    Part 1 of our English Premier League Preview got a lot of great feedback on Thursday. Even the anti-soccer trolls left their dark basements to enjoy the sunshine, because they were nowhere to be found. Yesterday, we went through the 10 teams likely to finish in the bottom half of the 20-team league. Today we…

  18. Pick a Club: How Your Philly Fandom Determines Your English Premier League Soccer Allegiance (Bottom 10)

    Aug 15, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

    EPLTeamPick1700Level

    Let’s face it, Philly sports are in a bad place right now (except for the Union!). And things will only get worse in a few weeks when the Eagles’ season kicks off (just admit it already). But I’m here to help. The English Premier League season begins Saturday at the bright-and-early time of 7:45 a.m.…

  19. Sebastien Le Toux — The Perfect Major League Soccer Player

    Aug 13, 2013, 9:38 AM EDT

    Sebastien Le Toux

    Before being selected by the Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft, Sebastien Le Toux was an MLS also-ran. His biggest claim to fame at the point was that he was the first-ever player signed by the Seattle Sounders. Now, he’s a fan favorite, an integral part of a team on an upward path, and…

  20. MATCHDAY: Jack Mac is Back as Union Host Portland Tonight

    Jul 20, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT

    400px-TimberJoey

    That guy over there is Timber Joey. He is — quite literally — the Portland Timbers’ mascot. He stands in front of the supporters section at home games and slices off a piece of that huge log for every Portland goal. Timbers fans then toast him with organic fermented tofu beer made with non-flourinated water.…

  21. The Strangest Union Goal Ever: An (Indirect) Explanation

    Jul 18, 2013, 9:19 AM EDT

    USATSI_7338023_138566172_lowres

    One of the best things about going to Union games the last three-plus years has been meeting lots of great people who DIDN’T grow up around the game. There are plenty of people — including my semi-regular tailgate crew (I promise to get down there early again sometime soon, guys) — who don’t wake up…

  22. Conor Casey a Rare Philly Phenomenon — A Player Who Is Far Exceeding Expectations

    Jul 17, 2013, 9:31 AM EDT

    SOC - Dynamo vs Phildelphia

    Hey, it’s been a while. I’m Steve, and I like soccer. Pleased to meet you. Seriously though, apologies for the lack of posts the last few weeks. Real work got in the way (you thought blogging was a real job?), but hopefully things have settled down and we can get back in the groove. I’ve…

  23. PPL Park Beverage Power Rankings (Oh, and a Big Union Game)

    Jun 29, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

    Photo and hand by Enrico

    The new beer stand in Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park might be the city’s gold standard for sporting event beverage selection. But PPL Park is a close second, mostly because the Venn diagram comparing soccer “snobs” (like me) and beer “snobs” (also like me) has a rather large overlap. So if you don’t have…

  24. Mrs. Jrue Holiday – Lauren Cheney – to Represent Soon for The Stars and Stripes

    Jun 21, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT

    (Pardon my awful PhotoShop -- it's Friday)

    If you watched any of the United States women’s soccer team last night before the NBA Final, you likely saw Lauren Cheney playing a starring role for the stars and stripes in a 5-0 rout of South Korea. A game in which Abby Wambach became the all-time leading women’s scorer in the international game. In…

  25. Union Sign Veteran Goalkeeper To Kick Zac MacMath in the Shorts

    Jun 19, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

    Oka Nikolov, 39, is coming to the Union from Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga.

    The Union have been so up and down this year that it’s hard to find one single thing to gripe about on a regular basis. The defense is good then the defense is bad. The attack is strong then the attack is anemic. John Hackworth doesn’t know how to make a lineup then John Hackworth…