Extra Time: Union Charge Rhinos, Torres Nearing Return

Extra Time: Union Charge Rhinos, Torres Nearing Return

Photo by Earl Gardner

seeing the Union allow Toronto FC to earn points for the first time in
10 matches this past Saturday, we won't pretend that last night's 3-0
win in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup play wasn't a relief, even if it came
against a minor league team. It wasn't out of the question that they
might lose to the Rochester Rhinos of the USL Pro League… not with the
way they played just a few days earlier in Canada. 

Josue Martinez got the U on the board early, scoring
in the fifth minute, and Freddy Adu made it 2-0 after a long weather
delay. Adu also converted a PK in the second half, giving the Union a
3-0 lead that would stand. 

More on the match, some meaty links, and a fun video below. 

know much, if anything, about the US Open Cup? Philly Soccer Page has
previously run (and updated for this year) a great primer on it. Worth a
read whether you're into soccer or just a Philly sports history buff.
[Philly Soccer Page]

Due perhaps to a combination of factors including a
non-league match against an unknown opponent, the threat of bad weather
that ultimately came, and the Union's disastrous season to date, less
than 4,200 fans were announced to be in attendance, though Chris Vito of
the Daily Times thought there might be only 1,000 there at the start.

Even better news than the win, Vito also reports
that Roger Torres expects to return to the field in time for the Union's
June 9th friendly
against affiliate club Reading United. The
inconsistent offense could use a boost from the talented playmaker, who
has been on the shelf since early April after knee surgery. It's been a
long six weeks… [DelcoTimes] 

Speaking of the offensive inconsistency, Kerith
Gabriel looks at the Union's feast or famine attack, which was in Feast
Mode last night. [Daily News] 

PSP also has a nice summary of the action from last
night, which is where we first saw Earl Gardner's great picture of what
we assume was a passing apocalypse.

Union affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders beat the
New England Revolution last night, and the LA Galaxy also lost in Open
Cup play. Next up for the Union is DC United on June 5 (in Maryland).
Jonathan Tannenwald has more on the Harrisburg win

The US Women's National Team played China at PPL Park this past weekend, winning
the Olympic tune-up, 4-1. The following video (from 2010) has nothing to do with that, but it's kind of hilarious. Via the Sons of Ben on Facebook:

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals


SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry scored 36 points as the Golden State Warriors closed out the Western Conference Final against the injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0.

Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third straight NBA Finals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals.

"It's great to be one of the last two teams standing, we'll see how it goes," said Kevin Durant, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds.

San Antonio's only lead came on the opening possession when Manu Ginobili tossed in a left-handed scoop shot. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.

Unsure if the beloved veteran will return, the crowd serenaded Ginobili with "Manu, Manu" chants as the game came to a close.

"An amazing competitor, even more fun playing against him," Durant said of Ginobili. "He was phenomenal this series."

Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee. San Antonio didn't go down without a fight despite the injuries.

Anderson dove on the court for a loose ball that the Spurs had tipped away defensively, pushing the ball upcourt to Patty Mills who fed Ginobili for a 3-pointer that pulled San Antonio to 108-94 with 7 minutes remaining.

The effort made Spurs coach Gregg Popovich smile and clap at times, but the Warriors' depth and talent proved too much for short-handed San Antonio.

Golden State shot 56 percent and were 14 for 39 on 3-pointers.

Draymond Green had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors.

Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge closed out a disappointing series with his second eight-point effort against the Warriors.

Ginobili finished with 15 points in 32 minutes.

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home


The loudest noise made by the Phillies' offense on Monday night was the thud — clearly audible above the small crowd — that Odubel Herrera created when he smashed his batting helmet on the dirt infield after grounding out to third base to end the seventh inning.

Herrera's frustration spoke for an entire team. The Phillies were hammered, 8-1, by the Colorado Rockies (see Instant Replay). They were out-hit, 13-3. The loss was the Phils' 18th in the last 22 games and they have been outscored 126-89 over that span.

The loss left the Phils at 15-27 for the season, matching their worst 42-game start since 2000 when they finished 65-97 in front of tiny crowds at Veterans Stadium in Terry Francona's last season as skipper.

Over the last two games, both losses, the Phils have just six hits.

"Three hits today, three hits yesterday," manager Pete Mackanin said. "You're not going to win a lot of games getting three hits."

Aaron Altherr had two of the Phillies' hits, both doubles against Colorado rookie Jeff Hoffman, who was very impressive with seven walk-free innings and seven strikeouts.

Herrera went hitless in three at-bats and is hitting just .200 in the month of May and .232 overall — not what the front office expected when it signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension in the offseason.

"It's very frustrating because I feel like I am being selective and waiting for my pitch, but when I make contact things don't happen," Herrera said. "I feel like I'm swinging the bat well, but I'm just missing."

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff gave up nine hits, seven of which were singles, and four runs over six innings. Four of the hits that Eickhoff allowed came in the third inning when the Rockies scored three times. Two of the runs scored on a flare double and the other on a groundball through a drawn-in infield.

"I executed a lot of good pitches," Eickhoff said. "I got a lot of the contact I wanted. The ball just didn't land in the gloves."

Eickhoff did not walk a batter. He struck out four.

Despite being 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts, the right-hander believes he has made strides his last two outings. He gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings in his previous outing at Texas. Prior to that start, he worked on fixing a mechanical flaw in his delivery.

"These past two have been night-and-day different," he said. "I felt great today and in Texas and I'm going to keep that positivity going."

Finding other things to be positive about with this team is becoming difficult.

This Phillies team was not expected to contend; it is still in a rebuild. But things weren't supposed to be this bad, either.

"I'll tell you what, I'm getting frustrated, too," general manager Matt Klentak said before the game. "This team is better … there is more talent on this team than we've shown in terms of our record.

"We'll pull out of it. We will. That's what talented players will do. I'm not going to tell the fans they shouldn't be frustrated. We've gone through a tough stretch.

"But I'm not ready to call it regression. I think there's been a lack of consistency on our team in general, with some players more than others. There's been a lack of consistency, but especially for young players, two months is a relatively small sample size to categorize it as regression."

At 29-17, the Rockies have the best record in the National League. They have 16 road wins, which is one more than the Phillies have overall. The Rockies are in town for three more days. This ugly start could get even uglier.