Daily Doop: Mike Lahoud's return "home," Academy kid gets national look and more

A rundown of the best stuff on philadelphiaunion.com right now

PPL Park panorama

Photo Credit: 
Marie Sciocchetti

Happy Friday to all. 

As the holiday weekend fast approaches, so does the Union’s next game against Montreal this Saturday (7:30 p.m., purchase tickets). But before we jump ahead, here’s a look back at some things you may have missed on philadelphiaunion.com this week.

By the way – and yes this is completely off topic – did anyone watch the UEFA Champions’ League group pairings on Thursday? Is it me or was the fact that there was so much drama around the fact that the tiny balls that housed the teams and the groups were impossible to open hilarious to anyone else?

If you missed it, it’s even tougher to find as UEFA doesn’t have a recap of the draw on their site and YouTube doesn’t show the full scope. Maybe it’s just me – and it probably is – but I found that hysterical.

Anyway, let’s get back on track. Here’s some of the top content right now on philadelphiaunion.com:

1. Lahoud’s life. Union midfielder Michael Lahoud (@mikelahoud) has had an interesting past few days. Earlier this week, it was announced that he received a call-up to join his native Sierra Leone for a FIFA World Cup qualifying match next Saturday. Lahoud will head to Sierra Leone following the Union’s match against Montreal. However, Lahoud fled the country during a violent Civil War close to 21 years ago and hasn’t been back since read more.

2. This is the diary of…Union academy standout Chris Gomez (@chrisgomez03) spent the early part of August getting evaluated by U.S. national team coaches and scouts at an invitational Combine in Oregon. Over the four days, the U-16 defender chronicled the experience and noted how it only added to his confidence level heading into what should be a challenging 2013-14 season for the Union Academy and its slate of matches. It’s a good read by Gomez; check it out read more .

3. Shuffling the deck. Union writer Kevin Kinkead (@philUnionKevinK) takes a look at the loss of defender Amobi Okugo due to suspension and examines who can step into that role. Okugo will miss Saturday’s match in addition to next Sunday’s match against San Jose (11 p.m., ESPN2) but as Kinkead notes, whether it be due to injury, suspension, etc. someone has risen to the challenge and filled the void nicely. Think Fabinho (@fabioalves_3) with Raymon Gaddis (@raygaddis) out…Or Aaron Wheeler (@aawheelz12) in his minutes…read more.

4. Return to form. Despite being 10-8-8 (38 points) in MLS play this season, the Union has very much found itself as an underdog. That’s fine for this team which has compiled a 10-win record so far and is looking to match a franchise best against Montreal; the odds say it’s possible too, given the Union have yet to lose a pair in succession this season, showing resolve – especially at PPL Park read more.

5. Odds and endlines. Just a reminder for those of you venturing out to PPL Park this Saturday to get here early to enjoy Party on the Plaza which kicks off two hours before game time. Also, tomorrow night is “90s Night” at the Park, so break out that Hypercolor t-shirt and those neon track suits and have some fun. Also, remember pogs? You know, those little circular things you could collect, trade, share and do pretty much whatever you want to with? Dress up for 90s Night and head to Party on the Plaza. Early contestants will receive limited edition Union POGS! Want to download a few Union POGS of your own? Click herehttp://www.philadelphiaunion.com/sites/philadelphia/files/POGS_DIY_sm.pdf

Season ticket sales for the 2014 season are currently underway so reserve your seats today. To thank our season ticket supporters and to commemorate our fifth season, we are offering one (1) preferred parking pass to both new and renewed season ticket holders good for the entire season.

Also, check out philadelphiaunion.com later Friday and Saturday for a Scouting Report of Montreal from Kevin Kinkead and the official Match Preview from yours truly.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com