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

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).