Set Pieces: Looking Towards the Future

According to SI.com, Sebastien Le Toux, Peter Nowak and Danny Mwanga are all in the running for MLS year-end awards. With a hand, or should we say foot, in 14 out of the Union’s 18 goals in league play this year, it’s no wonder Le Toux is considered the midseason favorite for Most Valuable Player according to one writer.

Mwanga and midfielder Roger Torres are both included in ESPN Soccernet’s list of top five young guns in MLS. The future is bright in Philadelphia. 

Speaking of the future, the Union’s U-17 squad fell to Seattle on Saturday, ending their chances of winning the SUM U-17 Cup. Tonight’s 6:00pm match against Dallas will determine whether the “Zolitos” finish third or fourth in their group. 

For US U-17 national team coach Wilmer Cabrera, the tournament has been a perfect opportunity to do a little scouting.

With the MLS All Star Game on Wednesday, MLSsoccer.com asks readers to weigh in on how the squad would fare in the English Premier League.

The All Stars, which include Le Toux, trained together for the first time Monday.

While the All Star Game will be another opportunity for MLS to showcase its ever-improving quality, it’ll also be the debut of “Chicharito” in a Red Devils kit.

The New York Times calls the growth of soccer in the U.S. “steady", with the World Cup contributing to the sport’s emergence domestically.

In interview with the Houston Chronicle, MLS Commissioner Don Garber says that the league’s goal is to become one of the top soccer leagues in the world, and in order to do so must have the best American players and some of the best international players, 20 to 24 teams, and all of them playing in stadiums they own and control.

Union President Tom Veit also spoke about growth, but he was focused on the Union, saying “it’s like watching a kid grow up.” Veit also thinks that some soccer fans in Philadelphia were converted to Union fans during the Manchester United friendly, as evidenced by the fact that he witnessed some people changing sides over the course of the match.

The700level.com takes a look at the Union's long-term strategy in their midseason overview of the club's progress.

Before the Union return to MLS action against New England on Saturday, the club heads to Harrisburg for a friendly on Tuesday against the City Islanders, one of two affiliate clubs. Here are five reasons why the friendly will be a great event for all in attendance.

The non-call when Mwanga’s jersey was pulled from behind against San Jose was one topic of conversation during U.S. Soccer's Referee Week In Review for Week 15.

MLS has had a ton of recent success in international friendlies, including the Union’s cumulative 1-1 draw vs Celtic and Manchester United, Kansas City’s 2-1 win over United, New York’s 2-1 win over Manchester City, San Jose’s 0-0 draw against Tottenham, DC’s 4-0 romp of Portsmouth FC and four straight SuperLiga wins. While the improvement of the league may fall on deaf ears abroad, MLS' double-win against United and City on Sunday should serve as a wake-up call, says Goal.com.  

In case you missed it, KYW Newsradio 1060 and Philly Soccer Page have an in-depth interview with Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, which Sakiewicz called “one of the best soccer interviews I’ve done in a long time.” 

Looking for a good soccer movie? A number of the year’s best are highlighted in this preview of the Kicking and Screening festival, which took place Sunday.

PPL Park will welcome local heroes this Saturday, followed by Delaware County residents the week after. If you live in Delaware County, $15 tickets to the match against the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew are on sale now.

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If you haven't signed the online petition to bring the World Cup to Philly in 2018/2022, be sure to do so now. If you already have, have at it again.

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