Union Take on Kansas City in Final Road Tune Up Before Opening PPL Park

Union Take on Kansas City in Final Road Tune Up Before Opening PPL Park

Our man Rev brings the Union preview:

The Union (2-6-1), who have
started their inaugural season with eight of their first ten games on
the road, face Kansas City (2-5-3) tonight (7:30PM/Live Well HD) in
their final road game before opening PPL Park June 27th
following
the World Cup break. The Union hope to rebound from Saturday’s 2-1
loss at Chicago.

Speaking of which, I’ve had
a difficult time erasing the disgraceful affront to free-flowing soccer
the Fire employed last week. If MLS Commissioner Don Garber ever wanted
to sabotage his league and make certain that MLS gains zero momentum
following the World Cup then he’d simply make sure the Fire played
on national television each week. Have I mentioned it was a disgrace?

What can the Union take from
their most recent loss into the game against K.C.? Aside from the
realization
that it’s near impossible to break down ten men who are behind the
ball not a whole lot. Perhaps Peter Nowak changes things up and
reinserts
Roger Torres, who is one of his more creative players, into the starting

lineup. The suggestion is not a knock against Shea Salinas, who has
been excellent in a starting role. I just think with the pace Salinas
brings he’d be a more dynamic and dangerous player coming off the
substitutes bench. Either that or sit down right back Cristian Arrieta,
who has struggled recently, and slide Salinas into that spot as a pacey
player coming forward from the back.

As I mentioned in the last
postgamer I’ve been impressed with the maturation of Chris Seitz.
He’s seemingly bounced back from an awful beginning of the season.
He looked assertive and confident against Chicago, which is nice
considering
how physically imposing he is. His back four needs to eliminate the
one or two devastating lapses they suffer each game.

Offensively the Wizards are
led by Kei Kamara, who leads the squad with five goals. Josh Wolff,
who looks like he should be hanging out at the Peach Pit, gives KC an
attacking presence out of the midfield. While he’s a solid MLS player
I still have no idea how Bruce Arena included him in his World Cup
roster
back in 2006. The KC backline is anchored by Jimmy Conrad, another USMNT

veteran. In addition to being a capable defensive presence Conrad has
emerged as a thoughtful and engaging writer for espn.com. Granted, some of his
ideas were a bit off the wall, but it’s nice to see a player take
a genuine and very public interest in the state of affairs of US Soccer.

Assuming they’ve not already
checked out in anticipation of the World Cup break this should be a
very winnable game for the Union. It’d be nice if they ended their
exodus away from Chester by picking up the three points. Perhaps Danny
Mwanga will be the stoppage time hero once again, as he looks to extend
his three game scoring streak. Speaking of Mwanga, he’s done a fine
job of keeping Jack McInereny on the bench. I’d imagine Jack Mac will
get some time in the upcoming friendly at Reading
United A.C. on June 23rd.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt if Alejandro Moreno, who leads the team in
assists with five, opened his goal scoring account.

Finally, the Union will be
rocking their alternate gold shirts for the first time in franchise
history (pictured above).  

Union Player Most Likely
to See Red
: Fred – who may freak out at just how narrow the pitch
is at CommunityAmerica Ballpark (soccer in a baseball stadium…awesome!)

Final Score
– Union pick up the win 2-1

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

Joel Embiid has been making the NBA look easy. Rookie of the Month honors, five double-doubles in 13 games, seven performances of 20 points or more … all having missed the last two years rehabbing from foot injuries.

Embiid, though, still is a player learning the league. Night’s like Monday’s lackluster showing are going to happen, even if it seemed unexpected against the struggling Denver Nuggets. 

“We’ve been used to seeing Jo have superhuman nights,” Brett Brown said after the Sixers’ 106-98 loss (see Instant Replay). “I thought Joel was down tonight.” 

Embiid tallied a total 16 points (5 for 15 from the field, 1 for 3 from three, 5 for 6 from the line) with four rebounds, one assist, a career-high five blocks, three turnovers and three fouls in 25:32. 

He had a quiet first half with six points (2 for 5 from the field) and one rebound in 9:21. The biggest struggle came in the third quarter. Embiid scored a single point off a free throw and shot 0 for 6 from the floor. By the end of three, he was shooting 18.2 percent. 

The big man said he needed to be better at passing out of the double team. He committed two turnovers in the third. 

“I wasn’t getting to my spot and I wasn’t getting what I’m used to getting,” Embiid said of the first three quarters. “I’m going to go back and watch the tape and see what I did wrong.” 

Embiid bounced back for another Embiid-like offensive effort in the fourth. He dropped nine points off an efficient 3 for 4 shooting in 7:31. Still, it wasn’t enough. 

“I made a couple shots,” Embiid said. “It didn’t help us win, so I don’t think it matters.”

Brown noticed Embiid rushing his game. He also thought Embiid’s balance was off, something the big man has been dealing with all season as he continues to find his legs. 

Embiid will not play in Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies. It is part of his workload management in which he does not play both games of a back-to-back. Expect him to hone in on game film until his next matchup, and get back on the roller coaster that can be a first year in the NBA. 

“It's just part of a young man's growth,” Brown said. “It just happens. I don't think we need to read too deeply into it. I think, in many ways, to expect from time to time not as good of a performance as we have been used to is fair enough.”

Best of NHL: Bryan Rust notches hat trick as Pens score 8 in win

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Best of NHL: Bryan Rust notches hat trick as Pens score 8 in win

PITTSBURGH -- Bryan Rust had his first career hat trick, Sidney Crosby added his NHL-leading 17th goal and the Pittsburgh Penguins raced by the Ottawa Senators 8-5 on Monday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, and Matt Cullen and Justin Schultz also scored. The Penguins poured in six goals over the final 32 minutes after spotting the Senators a 4-2 lead. Matt Murray made 17 saves after coming in for an ineffective Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period.

Pittsburgh has won three straight overall and improved to 7-0-2 in its last nine against the Senators.

Matt Stone had a goal and two assists for Ottawa. Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Dion Phaneuf also scored for Ottawa, which lost in regulation for just the second time in its last eight games (see full recap).

Capitals rally late for OT win over Sabres
WASHINGTON -- Marcus Johansson scored the tying goal late in the third period and got the winner midway through overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

The goals were Johansson's third and fourth in his last five games. He has 11 for the season.

Jay Beagle added the Capitals' first even-strength goal in three games, as Washington snapped a three-game losing skid. Braden Holtby made 31 saves in the victory, the Capitals second over the Sabres in an 11-day stretch.

Kyle Okposo scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season to give the Sabres the lead in the second period. Zemgus Girgensons also scored early for Buffalo, and Robin Lehner made 30 stops for the visitors (see full recap).

Blue Jackets sweep series from Coyotes
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sam Gagner had two goals and two assists to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Arizona Coyotes for the second time in three days, 4-1 on Monday night.

Nick Foligno and Zach Werensky also scored for the Blue Jackets, who won for the fourth straight time and ninth of their last 12. Columbus picked up its 500th win in franchise history in sweeping the two-game season series with the Coyotes.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 17 shots for Columbus.

Arizona backup goaltender Louis Domingue had 30 saves, two days after the Blue Jackets hammered starter Mike Smith with a franchise-record 60 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory in Phoenix.

Arizona struck first 9:28 into the game when Alex Goligoski fed a pass on a power play to Tobias Reider, who slammed it past Bobrovsky's glove side from between the circles (see full recap).