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

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

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Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Brian Carroll tied it in 92nd minute and the Union escaped with a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids in a showdown of the Western and Eastern conference leaders.

Carroll ran underneath Fabian Herbers' high-arching header and slotted the finish under goalkeeper Zac MacMath from close range.

The Union (5-3-5) responded only 5 minutes after the Rapids (8-2-4) opened the scoring on Sam Cronin's header in the 87th minute. Cronin made a deep run to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross from the right flank, redirecting it into the far corner of the goal.

Both Dillon Powers and Luis Solignac had shots crash off the crossbar for the Rapids after the 70th minute.

The Union extended their unbeaten streak to seven while the Rapids stayed unbeaten in their nine home games this season.

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

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Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

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USA Today Images

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

The Soul fell on the road to the Cleveland Gladiators, 63-49, at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

The loss was just the second of the season and the first away from the Wells Fargo Center for the Soul. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 25 of 44 passes for 342 yards and seven touchdownsi in a losing effort.

The Gladiators were led by receiver Quentin Sims, who finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and signal caller Arvell Nelson who completed 22 of 36 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, the Soul travel to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.