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Maurice Edu set for 3-4 months on sidelines as Union suffer a blow

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Earnie Stewart’s hopes of surprising Major League Soccer in the first year of his Philadelphia revolution just suffered a big blow.

Union captain Maurice Edu is set for three to four months on the sidelines with a fracture in his leg. Given Philadelphia’s relatively young back line, his leadership will be keenly missed.

[ MORE: Why Jermaine Jones chose Colorado, and how he might be used ]

Vincent Nogueira and Brian Carroll held down the defensive midfield with Edu missing in Week One, and figure to see plenty of time moving forward.

Edu has played 54 games for Philadelphia since arriving from Stoke City in 2014.

WATCH LIVE: Open Cup semifinals – Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake, Philadelphia vs. Chicago

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Ahead of the two U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday, let’s take a look at both matchups.

[ MORE: All of PST’s latest MLS news ]

Four teams from Major League Soccer have made it this far, as the Philadelphia Union host Chicago Fire at PPL Park and Sporting Kansas City welcome old foes Real Salt Lake to Sporting Park.

Below is a brief primer on each match, plus links to stream both matches online via U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel.

Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire – 7:30 p.m. ET, live online via U.S. Soccer

The Union love a good Open Cup run, don’t they? All might not be well for Jim Curtin’s side in MLS play but they were runners up last year to the Seattle Sounders (courtesy of a crushing extratime defeat at their own stadium) and host Chicago at PPL Park on Wednesday. Their route to this semifinal has been a complicated one, as they’ve rallied to win twice when down to 10-men and have also come through two penalty shootouts unscathed. Captain Maurice Edu is likely to return for the Union as they aim to make the final for the second-straight year.

As for Chicago, their MLS form leaves a lot to be desired too as the two bottom teams in the Eastern Conference square off. What’s all that about? Anyway, the winner of this match knows that they will host the U.S. Open Cup final, and Chicago’s boss Frank Yallop is adamant his side can rise to the occasion and bring the Open Cup back to Chicago for the fifth-time in club history to equal the competition’s record number of titles.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake – 8:30 p.m. ET, live online via U.S. Soccer

These two familiar foes will lock horns at a packed out Sporting Park on Wednesday with plenty stored in the memory bank. Remember the 2013 MLS Cup final which went to an epic 10-round penalty shootout in KC where Sporting prevailed? This could be very feisty as RSL have already beaten SKC twice this season and drew on the other occasion against Peter Vermes’ team.

RSL rested several starters at the weekend and were demolished 4-0 by the Vancouver Whitecaps, but head coach Jess Cassar has defended that decision. For Sporting KC, they will definitely be without Roger Espinoza and Amobi Okugo and Graham Zusi could join them on the sidelines. A lively home crowd and a rested Dom Dwyer could give SKC the advantage they need to reach the final.

Swiss star Barnetta moves to MLS; Orlando City signs a pair of Europeans


It’s a busy day in the transfer window inside of Major League Soccer, headlined by a three-time World Cup roster member beefing up an Eastern Conference midfield.

Tranquillo Barnetta is set to join Maurice Edu in the Philadelphia Union’s engine room, as the 30-year-old Bundesliga veteran makes his move on a free transfer.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

Barnetta, was on the Swiss roster for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, though he did not feature in the most recent edition. On top of his 74 caps and 10 goals for Switzerland, Barnetta spent 2004-2015 in Germany’s top flight. His best offensive season came when he scored 7 goals for Bayer Leverkusen in 2007-08. He more recently was Schalke property, enduring an up-and-down trio of seasons which included a loan to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Orlando City picked up a Swiss player of its own, and added a former Real Madrid youth player as well. The first player is Adrian Winter, a 29-year-old  attack-minded midfielder who comes by way of Swiss Super League side FC Luzern. As this video shows, he’s got a rocket for a right foot.

The Lions also added 6-foot-3 center back David Mateos, who spent more than a decade at the disposal of Real Madrid, only playing twice for the First Team. After loans at AEK Athens and Zaragoza, Mateos spent the last two seasons with Ferencvaros in Hungary.

Barnetta is almost a lock to see some degree of success with Philadelphia. Orlando’s signings certainly carry more questions marks. How do the top flights in Switzerland (UEFA coefficient 13) and Hungary (UEFA coefficient 28) rate compared to Major League Soccer?

2015 Major League Soccer power rankings, Volume V: ‘Caps cap, Quakes shake up the Top Five

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There’s been a lot of moving and shaking going through the MLS power rankings as June comes to a close with plenty of head-scratching and fist-bumping through a streaky and even league.

Parity continues to reign in Major League Soccer, and we see some serious movement of the sneaky variety. For example, do you realize San Jose has lost just once since April 17, and it was against a very good Toronto FC?

Or that FC Dallas’ derby win over Houston was just its second win overall since the last Texas takedown on May 1?

[ MORE: Portland thumps Seattle 4-1 ]

The challenge becomes how to rank these teams. Reeling Seattle has to fall from the top, but just a bit or a total free fall? Consider the team was on a 6-1-1 run the last time we did our PRs, and part of its three-game losing skid — four in five — has come without suspended Clint Dempsey and injured Obafemi Martins.

Those absences certainly play a massive role in where the club stands, and those players will be back, so do we slot them higher than current form or give the current run its just desserts?

Plus when we last met, Orlando City and New York City had yet to go on recent tears, and sat Nos. 19 and 20 in our rankings.

Less talking, more ranking. Feel free to debate in the comments section.

source:  1 UP 2 Vancouver Whitecaps: Began a four-game road trip with a loss to Montreal, then spun off three-straight wins over L.A., New York Red Bulls and New England. Octavio Rivero is back on the map, and the ‘Caps will bid for their second four-game win streak of the season this weekend before a massive litmus test against KC on July 12.
source:  2 Sporting KC: Easy, fans, you did jump 12 places last go-round. The only blemish in recent weeks is an understandable but still very frustrating loss to Real Salt Lake which came off a 15-day layoff.
source:  3 UP 5 Toronto FC: Take away a loss to a then-raging New York City FC, and Toronto has looked as good as anyone. A derby win against Montreal capped a batch of wins that included DC United, Portland and San Jose (not one of whom is going poorly). And if those didn’t convince you, TFC held DC on the weekend for four of six points from the last two meetings.
source:  4 UP 1 DC United: Doing just fine, but hasn’t beaten high quality competition in a while. You have to run back to May to find wins worth holding up. Still, you can only play who’s on your schedule, and Seattle and Dallas are up next.
source:  5 UP 3 San Jose: The derby win over L.A. is nice, but don’t discount that the Galaxy had played on Wednesday and San Jose had a week off. That said, I’m a believer in the Earthquakes now and moving forward. One loss since April 17, and that came against TFC.

6 UP 1 L.A. Galaxy: Have a legit argument to be higher up, as they can easily dismiss their loss to San Jose as coming against a strong, rested opponent. And by easily dismiss, we mean as a result, not as a derby loss. That still stings.
source:  7 UP 12 Orlando City SC: Adrian Heath has his charges in order after an early-season swoon. Their only loss since May 13’s loss to DC United came to Montreal last week.
source:  8 UP 2 Portland Timbers: There may be no hotter team in Major League Soccer, but we’re hesitate to latch onto the club due to their schedule run. As we said with DC, you can only beat who’s on your schedule, and Portland has done that. Toss in a win over Seattle when the Sounders were at full-strength, albeit in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and we’re getting there. San Jose’s up next, and a win would make us believers.
source:  9 DOWN 3 FC Dallas: Fortunate to not drop much further. A three-game Eastern Conference swing could have them in a bad, bad spot when we meet again, or Oscar Pareja’s men could use the stretch to restore some faith.
source:  10 DOWN 9 Seattle Sounders: Woof. Another team without a win of true quality dating back to a Cascadian victory over Vancouver in mid-May.
source:  11 UP 1 Columbus Crew: Unbeaten in three is a start, but this is far from the tour de force we expected after last season’s revelatory campaign under Gregg Berhalter.


12 DOWN 8 New England Revolution: Jermaine Jones is as important as we thought he was. Get well soon.
source:  13 DOWN 2 New York Red Bulls: From May 10’s win over NYC to Sunday night’s victory over the same opponents, New York went 1-4-1, and is still in fourth place in the East because, well, the East refuses to stand up.
source:  14 UP 6 New York City FC: After winning just once through 13 matches, Jason Kreis’ boys picked up wins No. 2, 3 and 4 in a row before Sunday’s dispiriting derby loss.
source:  15 Montreal Impact: Now in a playoff spot (if we ranked by points per game). Have to get points against New York City and Columbus before a two-match run versus Seattle and KC.

16 DOWN 3 Houston Dynamo: Back-to-back losses have cooled our brief Dynamo enthusiasm. Bring on Cubo, soon, please and thank you.
source:  17 UP 1 Philadelphia Union: Better than they’ve looked, can Maurice Edu possibly overcome their poor start to the season? A gauntlet is up ahead.
source:  18 DOWN 2 Real Salt Lake: Just one win in six, but it was a big one against hot Sporting KC.
source:  19 DOWN 5 Chicago Fire: Four losses in a row makes them 1-6-2 in their last nine.

20 DOWN 3 Colorado Rapids: Eleven points back of a playoff spot before the calendar finds July. It’s just not a good season.

MLS roundup: U.S. stars lead Toronto, Canadian rookie paces Orlando City (video)

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Home teams went five for six as a busy MLS Wednesday wrapped up most of its action by 10 p.m. ET, leaving just Portland and L.A. to duel in California.

Only DC United found points on the road, all three in fact, as the East’s top squad picked up a win in Chicago.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

How’d the rest of the matches shake out? Glad you asked…

Toronto FC 3-1 Montreal ImpactRECAP

Ambroise Oyongo’s goal looked to give the Quebecois side an advantage in its attempt to pick up a first MLS win at BMO Field, but TFC’s trio of Designated Players soon took over. First it was Sebastian Giovinco to Michael Bradley. Then, Bradley to Jozy Altidore. Finally, “Seba” converted a PK he won to make it 3-1. TFC now has the second-best points-per-match in the East.

[ WATCH: Bradley to Altidore for a match-winning goal ]

Columbus Crew 2-1 New England Revolution

A wild 200 seconds or so to start the match had us set for a thriller between the 2014 MLS playoff foes, as Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara traded goals. The red-hot Kamara netted his 12th of the season, off an Ethan Finlay feed, to account for the match’s only other goal, though, and we’ll leave it to to adequately describe a bit of included controversy:

But the goal didn’t come without controversy. What looked like a handball on Jeremy Hall wasn’t called in the New England box just seconds before the goal, and when Finlay received a cross from Waylon Francis the ball seemed to hit his arm as well. But referee Fotis Bazakos again stayed silent.

Chicago Fire 0-1 DC United

Hey guys, Conor Doyle scored a really nice goal, and DC proved that good teams often win games they might not deserve to see wind up in the win column.

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Real Salt Lake

Mike Grella scored in the fourth minutes, and RSL saw red twice in a loss at Red Bull Arena. Demar Phillips and Javier Morales were ejected.

source: Getty Images

Orlando City 2-0 Colorado Rapids

Cyle Larin and Kaka both scored nice goals to set the expansion side in the win column once again. Kaka’s eight goals are great but expected; What Larin has done as a rookie is incredibly promising not only for Orlando City and MLS, but for Canada. He has six goals in his first 847 minutes for Orlando, adding three goals in four matches for Canada this year. Wow, this kid can play… and he’s 20.

Philadelphia Union 1-0 Seattle SoundersRECAP

This one wasn’t a beaut by any stretch of the imagination, as Maurice Edu missed a PK and CJ Sapong was denied a goal for a questionable foul on Andrew Wenger. Fortunately for Philly, Seattle was all out of sorts without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, and Sapong’s sixth of the season was enough for a ‘W’.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers — 11 p.m. ET