The Union, fresh off of their stunning 2-1 road win over LA Galaxy, host Toronto FC this afternoon at PPL Park (4PM/6ABC). If you watched the game midweek against LA you saw what was undoubtedly a shift in the fortunes of the Union. The Galaxy thoroughly outplayed the Union for long stretches of the game. Robbie Keane could have had a hat trick in the opening 25 minutes, but it was not to be.
Finally, the Union had some luck on their side. Yes, their two goals were incredibly well-taken, but if you're being fair you'd have to say that the Union were fortunate to take the three points. Now, they return home following a cross country flight, and face a Toronto FC team who is unbeaten in their last five.
It will be interesting to see how interim Union boss John Hackworth juggles his lineup. As mentioned, they just came off a cross country flight. On top of that they will host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday in a US Open Cup semifinal. I would imagine we'll see a few new faces out there today in light of the looming semifinal match.
Ray Gaddis is back from suspension, so he could give either Gabe Farfan or Sheanon Williams a rest. Also, Lionard Pajoy, who came off of the bench to set up Michael Farfan's game winner may get the starting nod today. One player who should be field no matter what is Jack McInereny who is in incredible form right now - form highlighted by his stunning back-heel goal against LA.
These two teams are vastly different than the ones who met in Toronto on March 26th. Both teams are rejuvenated after going through coaching changes. Paul Mariner has injected new life into the TFC team since taking over from Aron Winter. The Union have experienced a similar renaissance under Hackworth.
First kick is set for 4PM.
Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?
Well take a look at this.
How about now?
Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.
"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."
Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley.
Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.
"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy.
"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.
To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.
The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it.
The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.
Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents.
After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015.
Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.