Set Pieces: Around the Soccer World

A round-up of Union, MLS and other soccer news

If it were up to one writer, two Union youngsters would be on the U.S. U-20 squad in next
year’s U-20 World Cup
in Colombia, and only citizenship timing would potentially hold back
a third.

According to Union Manager Peter Nowak, the third Union rookie in question, Danny Mwanga, has a work ethic to match his abilities.

While he may not have been talking about Mwanga, Nowak also recently said that the Union need to be
more efficient with their scoring opportunities. The Goalkeeper blog on
philly.com offers one opinion on how that might be possible.

Chris Seitz played all 90 minutes in Wednesday’s 1-1
draw, but there was another goalkeeper on the sidelines, former New York Red Bull
and current Harrisburg City Islanders starter Danny Cepero. CSNPhilly.com had a chat with the University of Pennsylvania
product
, who just so happens to be the first backstop in MLS history to score a goal from
open play
.

In other ‘keeper news, U.S. Men’s National Team starter Tim
Howard said he’d consider a move back stateside to play with his former MLS
club.

One former MLS star may eventually be on the way back,
but another is on the way out. Jaime Moreno, the league’s all-time leading scorer, announced Thursday that 2010 will be his last year. MLSsoccer.com looks at
Moreno’s lasting impact
and captures the top ten moments of his brilliant
career
.

With this season being his last and second all-time
leading scorer heating up, the question is: how long will Moreno last atop the all-time MLS goal chart?

With the MLS season getting set for the stretch run, the
English Premier League and many others around the world are set to kick off.
ESPN.com lists five players who will determine their clubs’ fate, while
MLSsoccer.com examines the
American exports
set to do battle in the 2010-2011 EPL season.

With the FIFA World Cup having ended so soon, however, there
may be some fatigue in leagues throughout the world for players who
participated in the tournament.

One player who didn’t play for his World Cup side is David
Beckham, but the LA Galaxy midfielder did return to training Wednesday and is expected
to be back in action for a trip to PPL Park October 7.

Before the Union have to worry about LA, they’ll be focused
on Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids and likely World Cup snub
Conor Casey, who returned to training Tuesday after suffering a blow to the head July 25 against Seattle.

In other news around MLS, Kansas City Wizards President Robb Heineman announced a big signing for the club on Twitter, Chivas USA lost goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for the season, and the 2011 expansion side Portland Timbers announced who their first ever MLS head coach will be next season.

Back at home, 94WYSP's Danny Bonaduce was on the pitch at PPL Park Wednesday and got a warm welcome from the Sons of Ben afterwards, while Union goalkeeper met one of his favorite bands

If you think you and your buddies could do pretty well in a game of 4v4 soccer, Monday is your last chance to prove it.

One squad that has already proven their quality is Union PDL affiliate Reading United AC, who recently became Eastern Conference champions before falling short in the Final Four.

Philadelphia's other affiliate club, the Islanders, will be finishing up their USL-2 campaign Saturday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. While the club disappointingly didn't make the playoffs, their season was far from a failure after an impressive run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals. 

After the USMNT's 2-0 loss to Brazil, ESPN.com says the U.S. suffered a reality check against the Selecao, while Bob Bradley had plenty to say about the loss amidst rumors that the friendly was his final hurrah at the helm of a side that won their group in World Cup play for the first time in U.S. history.

Philadelphiaunion.com News & Analysis:

Play by Play Plus with JP Dellacamera: Thoughts on a Busy Soccer Week

Torres Returns, Miglioranzi Optimistic for Colorado

Larentowicz Returns to Philly as a Pro

Union Satisfied with Form, Not Results

Le Toux Leading by Example for Union