Defending Champs In Town As Union Host Rapids

Defending Champs In Town As Union Host Rapids

The defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids face the Union tonight at PPL Park as part of Fox Soccer Night in America (7:30PM/Fox Soccer). The Rapids sit in fifth place in the West, with 31 points from 23 games. The Union, with 31 points, are tied with Columbus at the top of the Eastern Conference table (the Union have two games in hand on Columbus).

It's been 12 days since the Union last played a league match -- a 3-0 dismantling of New England. Sure, the friendlies against Everton and Real Madrid were entertaining, but with the MLS All-Star Game in the rearview mirror it's back to the business of winning MLS games.

The Rapids, who have only dropped one of their last six games, most recently tied New England 2-2 and took apart New York 4-1. Colorado has picked up four points in their last two games despite losing leading scorer Conor Casey for the season with a ruptured achilles. Casey suffered the injury July 16th on the turf in Seattle.

Sanna Nyassi, who is not much of a goal scorer and was ikely was going through an out of body experience at the time, picked up the goal scoring slack with a hat trick in the win over the Red Bulls. Caleb Folan, Omar Cummings, and local product Jeff Larentowicz will also pose danger for the Union back line.

One of the players who will be tasked with shutting down the Rapids offense is Gabriel Farfan. Farfan stepped into the left back void created when Jordan Harvey was shipped to Vancouver.

While I was extremely critical of the move I've come to really appreciate the subtlety of G. Farfan's game. It's plain to see that he possesses a high soccer IQ. He anticipates plays and reads the game incredibly well. He also provides more technical ability to build an attack out of the back.

I would never knock Harvey's effort or willingness to run all day. However, Gabriel Farfan is more suited to the sort of tight passing, work your way out of trouble, combination play Peter Nowak seems to want from his outside backs.

Now, knowing how these things work out watch Farfan have a miserable game.

Here's the lineup I hope we see tonight: Mondragon, Williams, Valdes, Califf, G. Farfan, Mapp, Nakazawa, Carroll, Daniel (only because he's a bit more responsible defensively than Torres), Le Toux, and Ruiz.

Final Score Prediction: Union stay unbeaten at home with a 2-1 win.

The Toni Stahl Memorial Union Player Most Likely to See Red: I am coming awfully close to retiring this award. They've been way too disciplined. At this point I am just randomly picking names. I'll say Ruiz sees red after mixing it up with Pablo Mastroeni.

Flyers tickets cheapest on resale market since at least 2010

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Flyers tickets cheapest on resale market since at least 2010

After skating to their best record in four years, the Philadelphia Flyers quelled the notion that they would show the growing pains of a rebuilding franchise in 2016. A playoff berth in Dave Hakstol’s first year as head coach brought about the emergence of a new noisemaker in the crowded Metropolitan division, one that stretched the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games in the Quarterfinals.

The Flyers will look to build on the success of last season by relying more on budding players Shane Gostisbehere and Ivan Provanov while veterans Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Boyd Gordon all look to lead the team back to another postseason. And while excitement continues to build in Philadelphia, fans can find comfort in the fact that Flyers tickets on the secondary market are the least expensive they’ve been this decade.

On TicketIQ, a leading online aggregator that pools both primary and secondary market listings to give consumers the most transparent buying experience, Flyers tickets are averaging $108.32 across all 41 home games at Wells Fargo Center this season. That marks a 12.4 percent drop from the $123.64 average at the beginning of last season. It is the cheapest home average the Flyers have posted since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data.

While Thursday’s home opener served as one of the NHL’s most expensive games this week, a March 15 matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be the most expensive Flyers home game this season. That game currently owns a $183.16 average, 69 percent over the season average, and the cheapest available tickets are priced for $73 each. Other top-priced games at Wells Fargo Center this season include January 4 against the New York Rangers ($163.62 avg./$57 get-in) and October 29 against the Penguins ($156.36 avg./$90 get-in).

For those looking for tickets to the cheapest Flyers games this season, an October 27 matchup with the Arizona Coyotes is the least expensive home game to attend. Tickets are averaging just $63.50, 41 percent below season average, and the get-in price is $16. Back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets on November 15 and 17 follow, with tickets starting from just $20 each at both contests.

For the best deals on Flyers tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Fans can save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings in the only engagement-based loyalty program in the marketplace. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving today!

Brett Brown says he 'misspoke' about Ben Simmons' January timetable

Brett Brown says he 'misspoke' about Ben Simmons' January timetable

MIAMI — Scratch that January timetable for Ben Simmons, at least for now.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said on Friday night that he “misspoke” earlier in the day when he said that Simmons, the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick for 2016, is on schedule to return from foot surgery in January.

This had been the first time the Sixers put a timetable on the return of Simmons, who rolled his ankle when he landed on the foot of another player during an intra-squad scrimmage on Sept. 30.

On Friday night, before the Sixers played the Miami Heat, Brown said he misspoke on Simmons because he was “just getting excited about when he might be able to come back. There were so many dates and speculation that as a coach you sort of hear what you want to hear at times.

“I did mention a January hopeful return, and that was premature. That was a coach doing a lot more wishing than receiving instruction.”

Simmons, a 6-10, 240-pounder from Australia, was the national Freshman of the Year last season at LSU and then decided to bolt for the pros after just one collegiate year.

In six NBA summer league games earlier this year, Simmons averaged 10.8 ponits, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

“We will play this out,” Brown said of Simmons. “Everything is on track with his rehab. It’s only been two weeks since the surgery. Over a short period of time, we will be better prepared to give a statement that will map out his future.”