Set Pieces: A Dangerous Duo, Sons of Ben

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

Following the Union’s 1-1 draw against Colorado Saturday,
there was plenty of talk about a certain non-call in stoppage time. After
review, the Philadelphia Daily News and The Goalkeeper blog on have
handed in their verdicts.

Despite the call, the match wasn't spoiled for thanks to the Sons of Ben, beautiful weather, yet another hook up between Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux that resulted in a goal, and, oh yeah, the Captain Morgan's Party Deck.

Speaking of ties, we may not be seeing them at future World
. Period.

With goals in his last two matches, Mwanga has vaulted himself into a chase for the MLS rookie scoring

For his impressive accomplishments in
relatively limited minutes, one prominent soccer writer is already prepared to
hand Rookie of the Year honors
 to the number one overall pick.

Assisting on Mwanga's most recent goal was none other than Le Toux,
who has amazingly had a hand in 18 out of 23 goals in league play for the
Union (nine goals, nine assists). While the MLS Insider blog is mentioning the Le Toux-Mwanga combination
in the same breath as Donovan-Buddle and Henry-
Ángel, one beat
writer wonders if the Frenchman -- a Week 20 Best XI member -- can possibly challenge for MLS MVP
honors on a club looking at a steep climb to make the playoffs
 (in Week 20 Notes at bottom of article).

Henry may still be without a goal in four MLS matches, but the
world-class striker has some advice for American soccer fans: Stop selling
your domestic league short

Sooner or later, even the most anti-MLS soccer -- or football -- fans will have a hard time denying the league's ever-improving quality, boosted yet again Monday when the San Jose Earthquakes signed the first Designated Player in club history.

The influx of DPs has clearly helped MLS’ image both
worldwide and domestically, but the league can also invest in its own as a
method of fostering growth
and convincing up-and-coming stars that staying put
is just as attractive as fleeing to Europe.

On the topic of American soccer competing on the global
stage, looks at why many U.S. fans see Bob Bradley as an impediment to
the USMNT’s ultimate goal of winning a World Cup and emerging as a world power.

Heading back to Philadelphia and PPL Park, the Sons of Ben
are receiving plenty of media attention, in part for controversial
, but more so for the spirited displays of fandom that help make the
Union’s new home an authentic and enthralling soccer experience

For their efforts and unyielding support of the Union, one blog named the supporters group one
of the top five 'Best Philadelphia Fans
,' calling them the “main reason you have
to get yourself to a Union game this year.”