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PPL Park

  1. Show Me Something: After 4 years, Union have 17 home games to convince masses to pay attention

    Mar 14, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT

    Sebastien LeToux, Michael Harrington

    Last Saturday night, after the Union’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers, I got a text from a co-worker friend of mine. Now, this friend is a huge soccer-head. He not only has multiple Liverpool jerseys and listens to multiple Liverpool podcasts (and somehow understands the ridiculous “Scouser” accent), he manually keeps stats in an…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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 —…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…