Set Pieces: World Cup and More World Cup

While the World Cup is all the buzz in the soccer world, and rightfully so, there was some news yesterday on the Union front as well. Philadelphia will take on their affiliate club, the Harrisburg City Islanders, on July 27 at Skyline Sports Complex. 

While the first third of the season didn’t go as well as the Union hoped, Sebastien Le Toux has been a bright spot, and not only for his team-leading five goals in only eight games played. 


Switzerland pulled off the upset of the World Cup thus far, taking down Spain 1-0 Wednesday on a Gelson Fernandes second-half goal.
 

It isn’t often that the U.S. and Slovenia are compared in any regard, but players on the USMNT see plenty of similarities between the two World Cup squads who are set to face off on Friday at 10:00am. 

It’s highly doubtful that Slovenia’s Andrej Komac is a New York Jets fan, but he’s following in Joe Namath’s footsteps with a bold prediction for Friday’s match

U.S. Goalkeeper Tim Howard’s reaction to Komac’s guarantee? Talk is cheap.  

Speaking of Howard, concerns over his bruised ribs have lessened, with the ‘keeper returning to practice for the Americans

While Clint Dempsey’s assessment of England’s performance against the U.S. may not be trash talk, he didn’t exactly praise their response to the pressure of the world's stage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a closer look at Dempsey, considered one of the big three for the U.S., along with Howard and Landon Donovan. 

The U.S. vs England matchup received the lion’s share of the attention leading up to the World Cup, but Donovan thinks the Slovenia matchup is more critical to advancement

Donovan isn’t the only one who considers the Slovenia match a must-win for the U.S. 

After winning the 2006 World Cup, Italy certainly has their sights set higher than simply advancing out of group play. But their chances of a repeat may have taken a hit with the loss of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for a time period that will "not be brief." 

What’s the biggest challenge for the U.S. if they hope to advance out of group play? Not taking any match lightly, even when coming in heavily favored against Slovenia and Algeria. 

Vuvuzelas have received plenty of attention so far in South Africa, and broadcasters have taken measures to reduce the constant blare.

In case you missed Union players picking their World Cup brackets on last Thursday’s Live Well HD Network broadcast, check out how their predictions are unfolding.

Who are the worst teams ever to play in the World Cup? Sports Illustrated weighs in, omitting the ‘98 U.S. Squad

Who would you choose for an all-time U.S. World Cup roster? The Philly Soccer Page asks you to cut the roster down from 30 to 23

Want to voice your World Cup opinions? ExtraTime Radio is your answer. Call 888-MLS-Goal at 5:00pm every day of the World Cup to join in on the conversation. 

Should the U.S. switch up its midfield to increase possession and creativity? If so, should head coach Bob Bradley insert José Francisco Torres or Benny Feilhaber

Who must the U.S. stop in order to take three points on Friday? Slovenia's top scoring threat Milivoje Novakovic for one. 

Maicon and Elano were the heroes in the second half for Brazil, managing to break through against a stingy North Korea defense on Tuesday night in a 2-1 win. 

The toughest matchup in the Group of Death didn’t quite live up to the hype despite the starpower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, with Portugal and Ivory Coast playing to a 0-0 tie Tuesday. 

Winston Reid’s stoppage time goal to help New Zealand earn a 1-1 draw against Slovakia was reason enough to rip off his shirt in celebration. The yellow card he received didn’t even phase him. 

Jean Beausejour lifted Chile to a 1-0 victory over Honduras, the first World Cup victory in exactly 48 years for the Chileans. 

Enjoy the U.S.-England match in legos from the last edition of Set Pieces? How about some more World Cup lego action

The ratings for the U.S. vs England match were impressive, but Goal.com doesn’t think they even told the whole story. Is the U.S. becoming a soccer nation