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17 December 3:46 pm

So here we are.

After five weeks and well over 1k in total votes, we have our five finalists in the Philadelphia Union #UnionTop10. Thanks to everyone who voted for the five plays that will now be ranked in order to determine the best play – as voted by you – of the season.

Without further ado, here are the plays in order. Check them out and vote for your favorite. Voting ends this Friday, Dec. 19 where we’ll announce the winner via social media.

So will it be…

Week 1: Andrew Wenger’s first Union goal.

It was the finish from Wenger that we love, but don’t forget the pass from Vincent Nogueira to set the whole thing up.

Week 2: Zach Pfeffer’s first goal for the Union.

It was a goal five years in the making that came on the final day of the Union season. Perfectly timed run, met a perfectly timed past for the first League goal ever for the Union’s first ever homegrown player.

Week 3: Andrew Wenger’s goal against San Jose

The touch to create space and the rocket past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch shook up San Jose and made for a wild night and commanding 4-2 result for the Union at PPL Park.

Week 4: Zac MacMath PK saves in U.S. Open Cup semifinals

Arguably MacMath’s most memorable performance in a Union uniform making a pair of monster saves in a penalty kick shootout against FC Dallas to secure the Union’s first trip to a major final.

Week 5: Zac MacMath PK stops on Chicago’s Mike Magee

In back-to-back weeks, you picked a MacMath save and after watching the footage, we can see why. He got his hands on a pair of shots from the former MLS MVP to preserve a precious point on the road.

Which one reigns supreme in 2014? Tell us by casting your vote below.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

17 December 8:55 am

This year, the Philadelphia Union Foundation partnered with Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame for the annual Coats for Chester Coat Drive. A grand total of 2,115 coats were donated to four separate locations in the Chester area: The Bernadine Center, City Team Ministries, Mount Pleasant Church, and St. Katharine Drexel.

On Friday, December 12th, the coats were distributed with the help of the Father Judge Men’s soccer team. At each stop, the crew was welcomed with much gratitude. At one of the final stops, the volunteers were greeted by Darla McCready, from City Team Ministries, whom spoke to the gratitude felt by those that use the coats. It was an extremely successful event that will help to keep members of the community warm this upcoming winter season.

15 December 11:03 am

With its roots deep in the community, the Philadelphia Union Foundation strives to serve as a helping hand to in not only the city of Chester, but in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

Below is a look at some of the recent and upcoming events on the Foundation calendar. To learn more or to get involved, contact the Philadelphia Union Foundation at foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Or visit our website, philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

 

Holiday Toy Drive and Boys & Girls Club Holiday Party

When: Nov. 1-Dec. 15

Union and Foundation collected toys for area Chester children. Thanks to donations, the Union surpassed its goal of 300 toys.

All toys will be distributed to the Boys & Girls Club of Chester for their Holiday Party: http://boysgirlsclubchester.com/index.php

Last year, this toy drive supplied all of “Santa’s Gifts” for the party.

SoB Help Kick Hunger

On Saturday, Dec. 13 the Union's vocal supporters group the Sons of Ben held its annual Help Kick Hunger event at Brauhaus Schmitz (8th and South Sts., Philadelphia).  This is the groups' big fundraising event that they do every year as they look to donate as much food and money to Chester's Bernadine Center ahead of the holiday season.  For more information of the Sons of Ben and how you can get involved, visit the Sons of Ben website.

Soccer 101

With the Soccer 101 initiative, the Philadelphia Union Foundation infiltrates Chester Charter School for the Arts’ physical education classes for two days.

Crew of coaches teach drills, skills and life-skills all through the game of soccer, working with kids ages 5-14.

City Team Ministries Food Sorting/Packing

Lead by food service corporation Ovations, the Union front office will once again take part in City Team ministries food drive by assisting with sorting and packing donated food items.

Location: City Team Ministries, 634 Sproul St, Chester, Pa. 19013

Date: TBD. For more information, http://www.cityteam.org/ or visit the Union Foundation website: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

Toyota Food Drive

On Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., members from the Union Corporate Partnerships department and Technical team connected with the other Philly sports teams down at the Philabundance warehouse to help with a morning of loading and sorting donated foods. The food was then driven from the collection spot, by Toyota vehicles, to the warehouse. Along with a host of Union front office types, Union midfielders Danny Cruz and Sebastien Le Toux donated their time for this endeavor. 

SEPA Hall of Fame Coat Drive

South Eastern PA Soccer Hall of Fame has collected coats since mid-October with a goal of delivering 2,000 coats by the end of its campaign. The collection started at the pre-game festivities of two October Union home games. The coats were distributed on Dec. 12 to several locations in Chester including: Bernadine Center and St. Katherine’s of Drexel Church.

Philabundance Community Service around MLS SuperDraft

This year’s community project in association with the MLS Draft will take place at the Philabundance warehouse in South Philly. Community Relations Conference attendees along with MLS draftees will make their way to the location on Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. to assist in the massive food sorting and packing assembly line that Philabundance runs. MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Philadelphia Union Foundation will make a donation to Philabundance for the efforts in eliminating hunger in Philadelphia.

 

10 December 1:39 pm

It’s week five of the #UnionTop10, just one more week before you select the Final Five winners.

Last week in Week No. 4, it was this pairing between Zac MacMath’s heroic saves in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal against FC Dallas that was matched up against the atmosphere of the fans in attendance in September’s U.S. Open Cup final.

After the dust settled, it was MacMath and his pair of stops against Blas Perez and Victor Ulloa that moved on with nearly 62 percent of the vote. While many of you commented on Facebook regarding the unforgettable nature of the USOC finals atmosphere at PPL Park, MacMath and his efforts will move on.

Coincidentally enough, it’s a pair of saves that are looking to move in this final week of voting as a pair of memorable stops kept hope alive in both matches for the Philadelphia Union. First up, we offer these back-to-back clearances off the line from Carlos Valdes against D.C. United. If you can’t recall this one, so after saving an attempt from Conor Casey, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid quickly restarts play with a long service to Fabian Espindola.

Espindola gets in clean on goal and looks as if his well-placed shot by Zac MacMath was going in until...

So it’s a pair of beauties from Valdes against another huge MacMath moment when he secured the Union a point in the final moments of the club’s match against Chicago earlier this season. On a windy April day and with time winding down, MacMath came up huge against at the time the reigning MLS MVP in Fire midfielder Mike Magee.

Not once, but twice…

Last pairing before YOU select the “Final Five.” Will it be Valdes coming up clutch against United or MacMath coming up huge against Chicago to preserve a point on the road? Vote below and then for the last time when we place the five finalists in order for you to decide the definitive best play of 2014; as always thanks to those that have voted and tell us why you picked who you did in the comments below. Voting  this week is open until next Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Voting window for the Final Five pairings will open Wednesday, Dec. 17 and close with a champion moment crowned on Friday, Dec. 19.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

04 December 12:38 pm
 

We’re now three weeks into the #UnionTop10 after Andrew Wenger won for the second time by beating Danny Cruz his no-angle blast with 76 percent of the vote to move into the Final Five.

Wenger now owns two spots in the Final Five, after edging Sebastien Le Toux in Week No. 1 with his first ever goal for the Union. Another first goal won Week No. 2 as Zach Pfeffer joined the party with his first career MLS goal that knocked off veteran Conor Casey.

Moving on to Week No. 4, we have a pair of moments from the team’s breathtaking run during the 2014 U.S. Open Cup. It’s the heroics of Zac MacMath in the semifinals against FC Dallas versus the atmosphere at PPL Park for the final against Seattle Sounders FC.

First up is MacMath. Of course if it wasn’t for his effort in the semifinals, the Union wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in the championship one month later. MacMath made five saves as the Union forced penalties after 120 hard-fought minutes. But it was his performance there that stole the show. First it was against Blas Perez to give the Union the advantage. Next it was against Victor Ulloa to clinch it.

MacMath's penalty stopping abilities have been well-documented this year, highlighted by stopping each of the first three attempts he saw in MLS this season. By season's end, only Nick Rimando had stopped more penalties. So what makes this so special is the fact MacMath was already in his opponents' head as soon as the game was to be decided by penalties. After getting beat to each side on the first two attempts, MacMath was all over Perez's attempt with a diving stop to his right. His team didn't let him down, scoring on each of their four attempts at it was up Ulloa to score to keep the game going.

And it led to this...

The first finals appearance in team history. With a trophy on the line, the pre-game buzz surrounding the stadium was palpable. Then the players came out of the tunnel for what was arguably the best pre-game atmosphere in PPL Park history. And it never quit, as the Union pushed on deep into extra time. We managed to find video with no voice over so you can really hear the emotion that bellowed from every seat that night. The video is roughly 10 minutes in length, but we don't think you need to watch that much (unless of course you really want to) to get the feeling of just how loud PPL Park was and another reason what soccer is here to stay in the Greater Philadelphia region.

So now it's on you the fans. What did you like more? Was not one, but two penalty saves enough for you?

Or can you believe the scene at PPL Park for the club's first ever appearance in a championship? Vote now and tell us why in the comment section below.

And thanks for all of the votes and keep them coming. We're just two more weeks away from the Final Five.

Contact Union writer Chris Winkler at cwinkler@philadelphiaunion.com

 

26 November 11:41 am

Week No. 2 of the #UnionTop10 is in the books and it was youth over experience as a matchup between homegrown midfielder Zach Pfeffer and veteran forward Conor Casey found Pfeffer moving on to the "Final Five" with over 75 percent of the vote.

Both plays were awesome but you the fans have spoken and so it’ll be Pfeffer and his first ever goal in Major League Soccer that moves on along with Andrew Wenger's first ever Union goal , a winner in Week No. 1.

Now as we move onto Week No. 3, it's another Wenger special up against a great goal earlier this year from Danny Cruz in a commanding win against New England in Foxborough, Mass.

But first, we examine Wenger’s blast against San Jose, his first of two in a 4-2 win over the Earthquakes in August. What makes this one special is the amount power and sheer lack of an angle Wenger has when he blasts this one past San Jose’s Jon Busch.

What’s great on this play is (well, besides the ball into the box from Sebastien Le Toux) is how it looks as though Wenger’s first touch fails him. Playing the ball away from the onrushing defender it gave the illusion that Wenger killed his angle in front of net, but the turn of the hips and hitting the ball dead on made no mistake that it was headed top shelf.

Moving on…

It’s only right to pair that one with another great goal this season, this one from Danny Cruz against New England. Now with this one, yes the shot was insane in its own right, but watch the run from Cruz which starts at the edge of the Revs’ 18-yard-box.

After taking this one basically coast to coast, the speedy midfielder takes advantage of the ridiculous amount of space given by Revs defenders and launches a “Cruz missile” (see what we did there?) that gave Brad Knighton no chance of getting a hand on it. What’s great about this play is that Cruz smartly took advantage of the spacing between him and defender AJ Soares and use what has always been a trademark power shot to put the Union ahead, 2-0 in the eventual 3-1 win.

Okay, you’re up. Which one moves on? Will it be Wenger’s goal from virtually no angle or Cruz’ fast break and rocket shot? Polls are open now until next Tuesday, Dec. 2 so vote for your favorite and tell us why in the comments below.

Thanks for all who have voted so far. We’ll be back with our Week No. 4 pairings next Wednesday, Dec. 3.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

25 November 4:21 pm

Philadelphia Union played an integral role connecting Cozen O’Connor and Orlando City SC with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in a community service outreach effort Saturday, Nov. 22.

Cozen O’Connor attorneys traveled to Central Florida for a retreat and spent their time teaming up to refurbish rooms in a homeless shelter and create Thanksgiving centerpieces with residents. Cozen O’Connor also donated $5,000 to the shelter.

"This collaboration in support of Cozen O'Connor and their community service project in Orlando during their all-attorney retreat is just another example of how Philadelphia Union used the power of relationships to connect Cozen O'Connor, Orlando City SC and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida,” said Rick Jacobs, Philadelphia Union Vice President of Community Affairs. “We were pleased to support this effort."

For more on Philadelphia Union Foundation, visit: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation

19 November 4:19 pm

So YOU our fans have spoken and in Week No. 1 of our annual #UnionTop10 you selected this goal by Andrew Wenger to be the first to move onto the Final Five. In case you can't recall, we paired it up last week against Sebastien Le Toux’ season opener gem against New England; but it was Wenger that proved better according to nearly 59 percent of the vote.

Oh and thanks to the nearly 500 of you that put the two side-by-side and voted.

However we are looking to surpass that number with this next pairing.

Week two features Conor Casey’s fantastic finish in a July 12 match against Colorado, his former club. On an attack that was kick started courtesy of a gorgeous run of play that featured 13 passes among nine different players, Casey cleaned off the drive with a powerful left footed shot. Credit defender Ray Gaddis with the perfect ball into Casey's near post run too.

The play was so sweet that the next day our graphics department diagrammed the whole event:

The next play was one that fans of this club waited for since the day he got signed.

One the last day of the 2014 MLS season, Zach Pfeffer, the Union’s first ever homegrown signing scored his first goal for the club. Who cares if it came in a loss, it was a Pyrrhic victory of sorts for a player who has worked diligently since joining the club as a fresh faced 15-year-old in 2011.

In this one Pfeffer came on as a second half substitute as a spark and rewarded head coach Jim Curtin in the 73rd minute, with a well-timed run and even better finish, handling a pass from teammate Amobi Okugo and making no mistake with his moment of glory.

Now you tell us, which moment moves on? Is it some run of play magic finished off by the head of surefooted striker Conor Casey? Or will it be Pfeffer’s day in the sun against Columbus with the sun setting on the 2014 season for the Union? You decide. Voting is open until Tuesday, Nov. 25 so vote now and tell us why you chose your choice in the comments below.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

12 November 12:17 pm

On Tuesday we announced the launch of the annual #UnionTop10 series arrives Wednesday.

Here we are.

We kick off week one of the five-week "Best of"series with a pairing of two firsts this season. We pit scoring stalwart Sebastien Le Toux against fellow teammate Andrew Wenger. In Le Toux’ it was the goal he scored to kick off the 2014 Major League Soccer season at home with a 1-0 win over New England, finishing off a great run from midfielder Leo Fernandes and scored his first of 12 League goals this season.

What’s really significant about this goal is that Le Toux extended his mark of scoring in Union home openers to four.

In 2010, it was a trio at Lincoln Financial Field against D.C. United, followed up with a penalty kick goal in PPL Park’s opener against Seattle in June of that year. In 2013, Le Toux got the ball rolling in the black third kits against Sporting Kansas City and of course this beauty on March 15 this season…

We pair that with Andrew Wenger, the Lancaster, Pa. native who arrived just before the April 12 match against Real Salt Lake via a trade from Montreal for Jack McInerney. People wondered with Jack Mac coming off a 12-goal season the year before if Wenger could come in and follow suit. Not only did he follow suit, but scored this goal against Real Salt Lake that put the stamp on his arrival to Philadelphia with authority.

What’s significant about this goal is that just minutes before Wenger scored, McInerney in his debut for Montreal, scored to put the Impact up one. But before the grumblings could begin on the loss of Jack Mac and his production, Wenger left no doubt with this thing of beauty.

Now you decide.

Which moment moves on to the Final Five? Will it be Le Toux keeping the streak going or Wenger’s authoritative PPL Park debut? Cast your vote below. Voting is open until Tuesday, Nov. 18 so make sure you have your say on which moment moves on. We’ll host the next pairing right here on philadelphiaunion.com on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

 

10 November 11:47 am
The Philadelphia Union invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to obtain some Union gear during this year's Holiday Auction.
 
Items include:  
  • (1) Full team signed Open Cup Pennant
  • (2) Full Team signed Union Game Pennant
  • Sheannon Williams, signed, Open Cup
  • Michael Lahoud, signed, Open Cup
  • Ethan White signed, Open Cup
  • Amobi Okugo signed, Open Cup Jersey

Visit our store to view more items!