Down Two Men, Union Hold on for 1-0 Win on Freddy Adu Backheel Goal

Down Two Men, Union Hold on for 1-0 Win on Freddy Adu Backheel Goal

They held on by the skin of their teeth, having to play the final ten minutes or so at a two-man disadvantage due to red cards, but the Philadelphia Union found a way to pull out their first road win of the season by defeating Chivas USA 1-0 on Saturday night. 
Freddy Adu scored the lone goal, a nifty backheel after some hard work by Michael Farfan. 

Video of Adu's goal and all hell breaking loose, below. 

The lone scoring exchange of the night came late in the first half when Freddy Adu deposited some loose change right in front of the net with a nifty little backheel. Leading up to Adu, Michael Farfan flat out broke down his defender, then passed it in front of the net, where Adu found the ball at his feet after a deflection. With no other option but to go for the blind backheel, Adu flipped it in off the far post. 

Marfan's been strong with the ball lately, one of the rare bright spots offensively. 

Led by Carlos Valdes wearing Danny Califf's captain's armband, the defense helped Zac MacMath keep a clean sheet yet again, battling former Unioner Alejandro Moreno all night. Chivas made some dangerous crosses, but the Union weathered each of them. Juan Pablo Angel came on in the 63rd minute and was on the receiving end of a few services, narrowly missing on his first headed attempt. Call-up Raymon Gaddis had a second consecutive strong showing for the Union. Valdes played angrily but effectively. 

MacMath has now backstopped 332 straight shutout minutes. 

An increasingly contentious match that saw a parade of yellow cards devolved as the second half wore on. Keon Daniel was issued a red in the 75th minute, and Gabriel Farfan earned a red of his own in the 85th minute for a studs-up tackle. There was a bit of a scrum after Farfan was sent  off as you can see in the photo above. Tempers were flaring with plenty of shouting and pushing, but I don't believe any punches were thrown.

The U have their first winning streak of the season, and they finally scored from the run of play. Maybe the fireworks at the end can help to gel a team that has seen significant turnover and not a lot of success. Doop it up.

Next week's home matchup against San Jose gets a little tougher without Daniel and Garfan, both of whom have been standouts among the starting XI in the last two games. 

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Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.