Matchday 6: Union Look to Put Together a Winning Streak

Matchday 6: Union Look to Put Together a Winning Streak

The Union, fresh off picking up its first three points of the season, travel west to face Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center (10:30PM/The Comcast Network). In the last pregame post I wrote that the Union needed to pick a style of play and stick with it. Well, with consecutive shutouts it certainly looks like Peter Nowak has opted to focus his attention on the bolstering the defensive third.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the current shutout streak is the fact that the Union held Columbus scoreless without Danny Califf and with rookie Raymon Gaddis making his first career MLS start. Sheanon Williams, who shifted to center back in place of the injured Califf, was at a physical disadvantage against the taller Crew forwards, but managed to hold his own. Gaddis was shaky, but the rookie possesses enough pace to overcome the bulk of his miscues. Hopefully his MLS debut jitters are behind him and he can settle down and play a more composed game. 
The offense remains a work in progress. The lone Union goal against Columbus came on a Gabriel Gomez penalty kick. Freddy Adu, who played his best game in a Union kit, served a dangerous ball into the box, which was handled by Eric Gehrig. Gomez converted a cheeky chip right down the middle for the lone goal of the game. Scoring from the run of play has been a major challenge for the U - as they've scored a single goal (Lionard Pajoy against Colorado) without the benefit of a whistle stopping play.
With that being said, there were some positive signs last week. Brian Carroll returned to his customary lone holding midfielder role. The move freed Gomez up to be more positive in his play. Whereas in previous weeks you'd rarely see Gomez cross the center circle - against Columbus the Panamanian pushed forward towards the edge of the Crew penalty area. The move opened things up for the Union, and allowed Gomez to contribute to the attack.
Another positive development was the play of Adu. Freddy was confident and aggressive on the ball. You saw him take on defenders and perform the sort of multiple step-overs your accustomed to seeing him unleash when wearing a US uniform. I am still not quite sure why Nowak took him off so early last week, but Adu was by far the most dangerous Union player.
Chivas enters the game in fifth place in the Western Conference (3-3). Strangely, the Goats are 0-3 at home and 3-0 on the road. Something will have to give tonight as the Union has yet to pick up a road point. Former Union man Alejandro Moreno is still plugging away in MLS. Moreno is one of four Chivas players to score so far this season.
Juan Pablo Angel, who was so dangerous when wearing a New York Red Bull shirt, is available for selection tonight by Chivas manager Robin Fraser. Angel has missed time with a concussion, but if chosen by Fraser could present a challenge for a Union back line who will be without Danny Califf for a second consecutive week.
Chivas is not a particularly high scoring team - scoring four goals in six games - so it's not out of the question for the Union to earn a point, or three, despite traveling cross country for the match.
Lineup I'd Like to See: Zak MacMath, Gaddis, Williams, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Carroll, Keon Daniel, Gabriel Gomez, Michael Farfan, Adu and Pajoy.
Final Score Prediction: The Union earn its first road point of the season with a 1-1 draw.

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.

But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.

Slightly.

They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.

Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.

You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter:

Are we there yet? Philly Sports Talk examines the state of the Sixers

Are we there yet? Philly Sports Talk examines the state of the Sixers

All week on Philly Sports Talk on CSN, we examine how our teams got to this point and where they are in the rebuilding process. 

On Tuesday, Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato takes a look at the state of the Sixers

How did we get here?
By now, you all know about “The Process.” The Sixers last competitive season was five years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012. They began dismantling that group, and the following year, went 34-48 under Doug Collins. 

The Sixers then entered a three-year period of dismal basketball with a revolving door of players coached by Brett Brown that culminated in a 47-199 record. During that time, they stockpiled injured players, draft-and-stash prospects and a handful of future picks through transactions made by then-general manager Sam Hinkie.

Hinkie stepped down from his role with a memorable 13-page resignation letter last April. The Sixers hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, marking a new chapter in the organization. 

The 2016-17 season was the first glimpse into the potential of “The Process.” They finished 28-54, including a 10-5 month of January. Joel Embiid made his NBA debut after two years. While he was limited to 31 games because of (another) injury, he quickly proved he can dominate when healthy. Dario Saric came to the NBA two years after being drafted in 2014 and emerged as a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate after Embiid was shut down for the season. The Sixers landed the number one pick in the 2016 draft and are waiting on the debut of Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in training camp. This season, the Sixers established legitimate pieces for their future, rather than players who could be on the summer league team. 

Are the Sixers on the right path back to prosperity?
The Sixers are on the right path back to prosperity, and it starts this offseason. They have the third pick in the 2017 draft, with the possibilities of adding another young talent or packaging the pick to land a more established player. The Sixers have flexibility with plenty of cap space — which they could use to acquire a key free agent. The team has maintained they will not rush into making a trade just for the sake of it  — Jahlil Okafor’s future with the Sixers is still uncertain — or spending money just because it’s available. The Sixers showed flashes of potential last season. If they gather the right pieces this summer and — a big “and” — they stay healthy, the Sixers will continue to move toward an upward trend of rebuilding with the longer-term goals (this isn't happening overnight) of becoming a contender again. 

Coming Wednesday: A look at the Phillies' rebuild