Greg Carroccio

Set Pieces: The Perfect Ending

It was the perfect ending. Beating the New York Red Bulls 2-1 in dramatic fashion with arguably the best atmosphere of the season and fireworks to cap it all off … hard to imagine a better way to finish the home portion of the first season in franchise history.

According to MVP candidate Sebastien Le Toux, the club owed the performance to the home fans.

The victory was almost spoiled in the final minute of stoppage time, but Fred saved the day with a goal line stand, futbol-style. For his efforts, goalkeeper Brad Knighton promised him a steak dinner. Sounds about right.

Getting to this point has been quite a journey for Knighton, who shares a fantasy football league with previous starter Chris Seitz.

Back to Saturday’s win, one prominent soccer writer says that for at least one night the Union looked like the first-place team in the Eastern Conference.

Le Toux was a big reason why, setting up both goals and receiving credit for the second with his 11th assist of the season. If anyone had any doubt, Union Manager Peter Nowak confirms that the Frenchman is the “complete package.”

But will he be the first MVP in MLS history from a non-playoff team? He just might. And deservedly so.

PPL Park received praise for a second straight week, with Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe joining David Beckham in saying the atmosphere is “the way it should be when you play football.”

While the largest opposing supporters group of the season at PPL Park certainly added to the intensity, it also called for stricter than usual security measures. Here’s some behind-the-scenes footage from both supporters groups.

While Philadelphia’s final match of the season against Columbus looms, talk of 2011 has begun in full force. Nowak, for one, is ready to “shoot for the stars.”

His club will be doing so comfortably with the "shock blocking power" of Unequal Insoles.

Meanwhile, Union President Tom Veit hints that a third kit may be in store.

Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz reveals preliminary plans for a world-class training complex in close proximity to PPL Park. The interview with Sakiewicz begins a little past the halfway point in the audio clip.

Moving away from the Union, it’s always big news when a goalkeeper scores a goal, even if it isn’t the 80-yard bomb you might immediately envision, a la Danny Cepero circa 2008.

It’s even bigger news, however, when a player of Wayne Rooney’s caliber appears to be on the move.

Everybody enjoys a good controversy, and a juicy one has emerged relating to the 2022 World Cup bid. FIFA President Sepp Blatter promises an in-depth investigation, while many are calling to delay the December 2nd decision. The U.S. appear to be the clear favorite whenever the decision is made, but here’s a breakdown of the top competition.