Union to Open PPL Park vs Sounders

Stadium Opening a Rematch of the Union's First-Ever Game

The Basics

Philadelphia Union (2-7-1, 7 points, 8th
in East) vs.
Seattle Sounders (4-6-3,
15 points, 6th in West)

All-time Record: Seattle
lead the series, 1-0-0

TV Info

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

What’s At Stake

The larger-picture
story here is the opening of PPL Park, the Union's new soccer-specific stadium
in Chester, and it is poetic justice that Seattle come to town for a rematch of
Philadelphia's MLS debut in march. But there are also heavy consequences for
the season at stake as the World Cup break comes to an end for both teams.
Philadelphia will want to put in a cultured, energetic performance to entertain their fans. Equally important, however, is beginning to lift themselves
out of their current position at the bottom of the East. Seattle, meanwhile,
come into the match suffering from much-publicized underachievement, going just
1-3 in their last four league matches.

Last Meeting

The Sounders are
the first team the Union ever played. The two sides met in the opening match of
the season at Qwest Field, and Seattle took a convincing 2-0 result from the
expansion Union. Philadelphia saw midfielder
Toni Stahl sent off in the
first half and weren’t able to recover from playing a man down. The Sounders,
in front of a loud soldout crowd, got goals from
Brad Evans and Freddie
Montero.

Heroes &
Villains

Tyrone Marshall vs. Sebastien Le Toux. Marshall has been pretty solid for the
Sounders so far this season and he’ll be charged with the task of shutting down
Le Toux, one of the league’s up-and-coming strikers. With five goals so far this
season, the tricky Frenchman could prove to be a handful for the 35-year-old
Marshall.

Freddie
Ljungberg
vs. Union Fans. After the first meeting between
these two sides, a skirmish of words broke out between the Swedish midfielder
and Union team manager Peter Nowak. The fiery coach accused Ljungberg of
simulation on several occasions. Ljungberg denied Nowak’s claims and, well, the
bad blood was aboil. Obviously, the fans on hand at PPL Park will take
Nowak's side, and they’ll happily give Ljungberg an earful every time the ball
comes his way.

Stat That Makes
You Go “Hm...”

Seattle have only
15 points so far this season, compared to 25 at this point a year ago.

He Said It

“I’m really looking forward to this
game. The bottom line is winning, and I think the guys will be rested and
anxious to play well in front of our home fans.” — Philadelphia Union forward
Alejandro Moreno
on his team’s first match at PPL Park