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  1. Heading into their fifth season, are the Union doomed to life as a ‘small’ club?

    Jan 8, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    American Michael Bradley, here playing for Roma in a Serie A soccer match in Italy, is rumored to be joining Toronto FC of MLS.

    By the time you read this — or at least in the next few days — there’s a good chance that the three best American soccer players (non-goalies) will be on Major League Soccer rosters. Clint Dempsey is playing in Seattle, Landon Donovan is a mainstay with the Los Angeles Galaxy and, apparently, Michael Bradley…

  2. COUNTERPOINT: The Union mascot is a great idea (as long as it’s a moose)

    Jan 3, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    Moose.Mascot.small

    Earlier in the day, Steve Moore — both a hardcore soccer fan and Philadelphia Union supporter — wrote strongly of his opinion that the organization potentially looking into the idea of a team mascot is a very bad idea. This is a counter point. The Philadelphia Union may be putting out feelers as to how…

  3. Union finally working on a new addition this offseason: A mascot (yes, seriously)

    Jan 3, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League

    Philadelphia Union fans are getting punchy this offseason waiting for the team to do SOMETHING to improve for 2014. Well, apparently there is a pulse at PPL Park, and some research being done about a new acquisition. Problem is, it’s not a left back, an attacking midfielder, or anything else the team really needs. It’s a…

  4. thekrisheim’s 2013 Year in Philly Sports

    Jan 2, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

    Delmon Young

    One of our favorite end of year traditions here at The700Level.com is having one of our longest tenured commenters and friend, thekrisheim, reflect back on the year in Philly sports that was. You can read his look back at 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and today his look back at 2013 below. No playoffs, new…

  5. The 700 Level’s 25 favorite Philly wins (and ten least-favorite losses) of 2013

    Dec 23, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

    APTOPIX Lions Eagles Football

    It wasn’t long ago that our year-end lists of best and worst Philly games of the year were chock full of things like playoff clinchers, post-season upsets, and crushing losses when a championship legitimately seemed in reach. Sad to say, the stakes for sports in the city of Philadelphia were a lot lower in 2013,…

  6. The 700 Level’s 10 least-favorite Philly losses (and 25 favorite wins) of 2013

    Dec 23, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT

    Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Jeff Maehl

    It wasn’t long ago that our year-end lists of best and worst Philly games of the year were chock full of things like playoff clinchers, post-season upsets, and crushing losses when a championship legitimately seemed in reach. Sad to say, the stakes for sports in the city of Philadelphia were a lot lower in 2013,…

  7. Is Union midfielder Michael Farfan bound for Mexico? Es posible

    Dec 20, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

    Michael Farfan, Brandon McDonald

    According to a post (in Spanish) on ESPNFC.com, Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan was one of three Major League Soccer players who took physicals today with Cruz Azul, one of the top teams in Liga MX, the Mexican professional league. (If you use Google Chrome, you can translate it into English and make it slightly…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Just Mayor Michael Nutter in London giving Tony Blair a Philadelphia Union jersey

    Nov 6, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT

    Nutter and Blair13

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has been spending some time in London this week in an attempt to get some British businesses to think of Philly when looking for cities to work in in the future. He also apparently saw some bridges and towers and princes and whatnot, and maybe attempted to drum up some tourism…

  12. Relive the best moments of a long, memorable and ultimately disappointing Philadelphia Union season

    Nov 1, 2013, 3:56 PM EDT

    Jack McInerney

    With the Union’s 2013 campaign ending with a whimper (two straight losses and a 3-6-3 record over the final three months effectively knocked them out of playoff contention), it might be hard to remember the good times. The MLS regular season, after all, is an eight-month marathon and how are we expected to remember what…

  13. Union’s motto entering final weekend of regular season: ‘So you’re telling us there’s a chance’

    Oct 25, 2013, 2:37 PM EDT

    dumb-and-dumber1.hackworth2

    How do you know your team’s playoff chances aren’t particularly good? Here’s one way: a couple of days before the final game of the regular season, Union manager John Hackworth quoted that scene from “Dumb and Dumber” when Lloyd Christmas asks Mary Swanson (aka Samsonite) what the chances are that a girl like him could…

  14. 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…

  15. Philadelphia Union midfielder among the Mexican soccer fans that love Estados Unidos ‘forever and ever’

    Oct 16, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

    Terrence Boyd, Felipe Baloy

    In what might have been the most dramatic US soccer moment since this, the Americans scored two stoppage-time goals to stun Panama 3-2 in the final game of World Cup qualifying last night. The drama, though, wasn’t concerning the US, which had already secured a World Cup berth and was fielding a lineup of mostly…

  16. 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…

  17. John Hackworth’s response to Chip Kelly being called longest-tenured head coach in Philly: ‘It does piss me off’

    Oct 9, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT

    Union manager John Hackworth has plenty of pressure on his shoulders this season.

    Hey, have you heard Chip Kelly is the longest-tenured head coach in Philly?? Of course you have! Everybody, including major national sports outlets, was spouting out that “fact” on Monday after the Flyers fired Peter Laviolette. Of course, there are some problems with it. In breathless attempts to get their Tweets out, a lot of…

  18. 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…

  19. 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 —…

  20. 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…

  21. 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…

  22. 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…

  23. Here’s the play that really screwed the Union on Saturday night

    Sep 16, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

    union.header

    I spent a lot of time at sporting events over the weekend and no other play left me scratching my head more than the goal from the Philadelphia Union that was later whistled away. But what happened on Keon Daniel’s free kick that landed in the back of the net but was never counted as…

  24. Hackworth hints at lineup changes – so what exactly will they be?

    Sep 12, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT

    fabinho

    If you take John Hackworth at his word, the Philadelphia Union manager is seriously considering shaking up the lineup for Saturday’s huge Eastern Conference matchup against the Houston Dynamo at PPL Park. This comes as fairly big news because Hackworth, by and large, has pretty much stuck with the same guys this season, unless he’s…

  25. 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…