Set Pieces: PPL Park Shines, Le Toux in French

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

PPL Park has received rave reviews in its first year of existence.

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos

One reason the fans have flocked to see the Philadelphia Union this year is to experience the sights and sounds of PPL Park. Since its opening on June 27th, the Union's new home has received sterling reviews from critics and fans alike. Former New England Revolution player and current commentator Taylor Twellman called it the best stadium in MLS.

Reviewers of the stadium have not only raved about the beautiful views of the water, the atmosphere, and the sightlines, but also the adult beverages. The beer selection at PPL Park is impressive, says one Founding Member, with options such as Victory Hop Devil, Golden Monkey, Sierra Nevada, Hoegaarden, and Stella Artois to name a few.  

Away from home the Union fell to D.C. United this weekend, but one cause that should buoy the Union faithful is an initiative to win a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant. The grant would enable the Union to build a natural grass, full-sized and small-sided soccer pitch for the newly formed Chester City United soccer organization. To support 1,500 children by providing a valuable place for the beautiful game and the community of Chester to grow together, vote up to 25 times per day until September 20. 

The Goalkeeper calls for Sebastien Le Toux to feature as a forward more often, opening up a playing time for a deep midfield, including Kyle Nakazawa.

You don't even have to speak Le Toux's native language to enjoy this French documentary on the club's leader scorer.

Another language, Spanish, has united three players on Philadelphia's rosterFred, Roger Torres, and Michael Orozco Fiscal have lived together all season and have created quite a bond on and off the field. 

It was only months ago that the Union were preparing to draft the likes of Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno, Jordan Harvey and numerous other key contributors in the MLS Expansion Draft. While two teams are entering the league in 2011, the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, only one can select first in the 2011 Expansion Draft. After the Whitecaps won a coin toss and elected to select first in the MLS SuperDraft, the Timbers can only hope they strike gold like Philadelphia did with Le Toux.

Moving away from MLS for a moment, one high-profile player who has featured for the USMNT looks like he won’t be coming back stateside any time soon. Word is that Damarcus Beasley has received interest from Hannover in the top flight of German football, where current USMNT member Steve Cherundolo wears the armband.

Another American abroad, Fulham’s Eddie Johnson, speaks his mind about the challenges Americans face breaking into Premier League sides.

With that said, an increasing number of Americans are having success abroad, and Goal.com discusses those who are mostly likely to break out this season.

The most important gauge of American soccer will always be the national team, though, and there are priorities in the coming months even with little on the line until the 2011 Gold Cup. 

Concluding with MLS news, last night’s CONCACAF Champions League match proved once again how difficult it is to to win on Mexican soil, with Columbus serving as the latest victims.

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