The Union are set to take on Everton of the English Premier League later tonight at PPL Park, followed by Real Madrid at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday. That's quite a week of meaningless footie right there, and I'm really looking forward to it.
Here's a quick compilation of Union extras that are floating around this week.
First, Tim Howard won't be roving the cage for Everton tonight. His surprise absence isn't sitting well with the Union, who had some barbed words about the way Everton managed the situation. I'm fairly disappointed, as Howard's one of my favorite players to watch, and I was looking forward to sitting very close behind him for a half and watching him shout out assignments for 45 minutes. Didn't Stu Holden tell him that even Wolverine hangs out at PPL Park? [CSNPhilly]
A picture of Tim Howard with a doppelganger was floating around twitter the other night (even made Deadspin), and The Brotherly Game linked that chance meeting in an airport to Howard's Facebook page under a post that's titled, "A funny thing happened on my way to Philly…" Only… he's not playing in Philly? [The Brotherly Game]
Also check out the full story of the man who met Tim Howard in an airport bar while telling his friends how much he looks like Tim Howard. He got to watch the Women's World Cup Final with Timmy, but it came with a price… [620 WTMJ]
Here's a look at the Union's preview of those Everton players who will be in Chester tonight. [Union]
And, interestingly, Everton's guide to the Union. Very respectful of the U. [Everton]
The crew over at FootyHip have some photos and a report from yesterday's Everton training session at PPL Park [FootyHip]
Will Faryd Mondragon be patrolling the other end of the pitch? CSNPhilly contributor Ryan Bright wondered speculated as to whether he might get a night off with three games in six days and Real Madrid looming, but the absence of Howard and a packed house may have the Union thinking they have to pull out all the stops. Faryd had kind of an easy night in New England anyway. [RBrightUnion]
Speaking of Mondragon, he was the lone member of the first place Union to be selected to the MLS All-Star Game, officially giving us another professional sports league about which to gripe about snubs. Soccer By Ives named its All-Snub Team yesterday, and two Unioners were on it—defenders Sheanon Williams and Carlos Valdes. [Soccer By Ives]
Here's an interview with snubbee Sheanon Williams, who is having one hell of a breakout season. [Soccer Banter]
When Real Madrid come to Philly this weekend, will they be bringing their ladies? It seems they can be quite distracting. Everything about this video, including the update posted at the end, is amusing. [Dirty Tackle]
For a great look back at the Union's win over New England this past weekend, check out Philly Soccer Page's player match ratings and analysis. Also check out Ed Farnsworth's look at the Union's season by the numbers, with particular focus on their three road wins. [Philly Soccer Page]
Feels like forever since the last home game. Can't wait to get down to PPL tonight...