Union to Open PPL Park vs Sounders

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