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  1. 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…

  2. The Philadelphia Union are piling up the shutouts but they’re not sure if anybody realizes

    Sep 6, 2013, 2:08 PM EDT

    Gaddis

    If you’re a Union fan and somebody asks you about the team’s defense, you might point to how they traded or loaned away top center backs Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes and Bakary Soumare over the past year-and-a-half. Or that they’ve struggled to find a natural left back after sending away Jordan Harvey and then Gabriel…

  3. Union manager John Hackworth is back on the defensive

    Aug 29, 2013, 3:25 PM EDT

    Taylor.Twellman

    To start his midweek press conferences, Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth usually just walks up to the podium and immediately fields questions. But on Wednesday, the Union manager decided he first needed to get something off his chest, launching into a defensive about how Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the New England Revolution was not nearly…

  4. 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…

  5. Wait a Minute, the Union Could Finish the Weekend in First Place!

    Aug 17, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT

    union.team.shot

    If you’ve been following The 700 Level over the past couple of days, you’ve seen Steve Moore’s excellent writeups on how Philly fans can pick an English Premier League to root for. (If you haven’t, stop reading this and go do that immediately.) Honestly, it’s hard not to get excited for the start of the…

  6. The Evster Asks “What Kind of Soccer Fan Are You?”

    Aug 16, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

    Just a guy wearing a horse head.

    Like it or not, soccer fever has swept the US. And while casual fans are experiencing some light sniffles before the new season, a host of white people have become fully consumed by the virus, barfing their brains out in anticipation of this weekend’s fixtures. On Saturday and Sunday morning, they will invade our pubs, wear…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. The Philadelphia Union’s starting lineup is pretty much set – you know, except for one of the most important positions

    Aug 9, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

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

    Well, Union fans, it looks like this is your team. The summer transfer window closed this week with the Union opting to make only a backup goalkeeper (Oka Nikolov), a backup left back/left winger (Fabinho) and a long-term project (Gilberto) their international acquisitions. Part of that is due to salary cap restraints but it also…

  11. Philadelphia Union reserve Matt Kassel injures American hero Brek Shea in exhibition, gets booed by own fans

    Jul 31, 2013, 1:42 PM EDT

    brek.shea

    It’s a rare thing for a player to be booed at home while an opposing player walks off the field to cheers. But last night in an international friendly at PPL Park, Philadelphia Union reserve Matt Kassel managed to accomplish such a feat. In the 27th minute, with the Union trailing Stoke City of the…

  12. When Is the DeSean Jackson + Jack Mac Collab Rap Track Dropping?

    Jul 31, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

    Jack.Mac.Rap

    Mcinerney and desean Jackson need to do a rap album together. @The700Level @PhilaUnion #DOOP — Rich Ransom (@Kingrich3) July 31, 2013 Did you know the MLS All Star Game takes place this evening in Kansas City? Well it does. And now you do. Which seems to be the point of this video featuring a number…

  13. Jack McInerney’s Perfect Burn of Peter Nowak In Lengthy Profile of Union Star

    Jul 26, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT

    jack.mac.trading-card

    Personally, I think it’s challenging for the casual soccer fans like myself in Philadelphia (partial Union season ticket holder going on two seasons) to get as vested in some of the Union players as we do in any of the four major teams. It’s not a knock on the sport per se, but more a…

  14. 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.…

  15. Philadelphia Union shut out of MLS All-Star Game because “it’s a popularity contest” and nobody likes them

    Jul 19, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

    all-star-crossout

    In general, complaining about all-star selections is a fruitless exercise. When fans are involved, the players having the best seasons are rarely picked anyway. Besides, there are typically way more gripes than there are available spots. But still … The Philadelphia Union sort of have a right to be annoyed that nobody on their team…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Battle of the brothers one of a handful of intriguing storylines for Friday’s Union game against Chivas USA

    Jul 11, 2013, 12:41 PM EDT

    farfan-boys

    Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union are not rivals, nor is Chivas USA any good. In fact, the “other” team from Los Angels comes into Friday’s game vs. the Union at PPL Park (7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network) with the worst record in the Western Conference. Normally, then, this might be a blah type of…

  19. The Philadelphia Union have mastered the art of squandering a lead right before the final whistle while up a man

    Jul 4, 2013, 12:25 PM EDT

    USATSI_7328608_138566172_lowres

    You could probably go a whole season without seeing a team give up a goal seven minutes into stoppage time while playing up a man. You could probably go your whole life without seeing it twice. Or you could be a Philadelphia Union fan. On late Wednesday evening/early Thursday morning, the Union surrendered a goal…

  20. 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…

  21. Jack McInerney called up to US national team for first time and can’t even legally have a drink to celebrate

    Jun 27, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

    JACK McINERNEY

    This is a really big deal. Jack McInerney, the Philadelphia Union’s 20-year-old rising star, was named to the Gold Cup roster today, becoming the first Philadelphia Union player to be called up to the US senior national team for a competitive tournament. Quick reminder: a little more than 12 months ago, he didn’t even feature…

  22. New York Hate, a Wawa Encounter, and a Beautiful 3-0 Philadelphia Union Victory over Red Bulls

    Jun 24, 2013, 11:31 AM EDT

    WAWA

    CHESTER, Pa. – In the days leading up to Sunday’s showdown with the hated New York Red Bulls, Union manager John Hackworth had pretty much the perfect Philadelphia experience. Let him explain it. “I had a guy come up to me at Wawa this week,” Hackworth said. “He didn’t say hello. He didn’t introduce himself.…

  23. John Hackworth Thinks the Union Deserve More Respect; What Do You Think?

    Jun 21, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

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

    CHESTER, Pa. – For the second time in the past month or so, Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth did his best Rodney Dangerfield impression and talked about not getting enough respect. He said it the first time before hosting the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 15, before the Union dropped a 4-1 decision to Landon…

  24. 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…

  25. Top Five Reasons to Tune In for U.S.M.N.T. vs. Honduras Tonight

    Jun 18, 2013, 2:15 PM EDT

    Michael.Bradley.USMNT

    It’s been kind of a slow month for the Philadelphia Union, who are in the middle of an 18-day stretch without a league game. But there’s still been a lot of soccer to watch with the US national team gearing up to play their third World Cup qualifier in the past 12 days tonight with…