Breaking News reports Carlos Valdes will return to the Philadelphia Union "next week"


Escape from Bizarro World - Stats Ahead of the Playoff Push

Peter Nowak spent the last week advising John Hackworth and Rob Vartughian through a walkie-talkie.  Juan Diego Gonzalez saw minutes against Barclays Premier League side Everton FC and reigning Copa Del Rey winners / destroyers Real Madrid - no goals were allowed while he was on the pitch.  Marc Zumoff sat in with Bob Rigby on a Union telecast.  17 year old academy player Christian Hernandez, Everton U18 / England YNT striker Chris Long, Sons of Ben vice president Corey Furlan, and ticket sales account executives Nico Abelende & Alex Carrington have scored the only goals at PPL Park in the month of July.

July 15th marked the opening of the transfer window, but it feels like silly season has been here for a while now.  Ready to get back to the grind?  Hit the jump for some numbers as the Philadelphia Union aim for the playoffs...

Record after 19 games: 8 wins, 7 draws, 4 losses - 31 points
24 goals for, 16 against.
The Union have posted 7 shutouts (5 wins, 2 draws) and they have been shut out in all 4 of their losses.

Chris Seitz (0 shutouts) and Brad Knighton (2 shutouts) combined for 8 wins, 7 draws, 15 losses and 49 goals allowed last season.

Some teams only have 11 matches left, while others are just passing the midway point... but if the season ended today, the following teams would qualify for the playoffs:

Eastern Conference 1 - Philadelphia Union
Eastern Conference 2 - Columbus Crew
Eastern Conference 3 - New York Red Bulls
Play-in Winner

Western Conference 1 - Los Angeles Galaxy
Western Conference 2 - FC Dallas
Western Conference 3 - Seattle Sounders
Play-in Winner

Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, and Chivas USA would qualify for the play-in matches.  The lowest seeded play-in match winner would face the Supporters Shield winner (regardless of conference) in the two-legged quarterfinal round.

Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders lead the league with 13 different goal scorers this season.  Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps have the fewest with 7.

Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz, and Sebastien Le Toux have combined for 102 of the Union's 219 shots, 39 of the 75 shots on goal, 10 of the 21 assists, and 12 of the 24 goals scored.  Le Toux is 14th in the league in shots taken, Ruiz is 27th.

Real Salt Lake only allowed 20 goals last season - all but 3 teams (Philadelphia Union, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake) have already let in 20 goals.

29 players have scored 5 or more goals this season (including Carlos Ruiz and Danny Mwanga) - 10 were born in the USA.

23 players have recorded 4 or more assists this season (including Sebastien Le Toux) - 8 were born in the USA.

The New York Red Bulls (129) need one more corner kick to double the Union's corner kick total (65).

6 Union players have been called for offsides so far this season:
Carlos Ruiz (16)
Sebastien Le Toux (16)
Danny Mwanga (5)
Jack McInerney (3)
Justin Mapp (1)
Veljko Paunovic (1)

Union's Most Frequent Foulers:
Sheanon Williams (27)
Danny Califf (22)
Carlos Valdes (21)
Kyle Nakazawa (21)
Danny Mwanga (16)
Sebastien Le Toux (16)

Union's Most Frequently Fouled:
Sheanon Williams (30)
Sebastien Le Toux (22)
Carlos Valdes (18)
Carlos Ruiz (16)
Danny Mwanga (15)

52 penalty kicks have been awarded this season and the Union have only taken one.  Chivas USA and San Jose Earthquakes have not been awarded a single spot kick whlie DC United have taken 7.

55 red cards have been shown and only two have been earned by Union players.  Every team has at least one, the New England Revolution lead the league with 6.

3 Union players have yet to earn a card during their time on the pitch:
Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Sebastien Le Toux

7 field players have played every minute of every game:
Heath Pearce, Drew Moor, Jeff Larentowicz, Chad Marshall, Todd Dunivant, Jack Jewsbury, Sebastien Le Toux

7 goalkeepers have played every minute of every game:
Matt Pickens, Kevin Hartman, Tally Hall, Jon Busch, Kasey Keller, Stefan Frei, Faryd Mondragon

6 players on the Union roster have yet to play a league match, though everyone but Levi Houapeu made an international friendly appearance.  He was listed as "out" ahead of the New England Revolution match with a right ankle strain.

Now that the Everton and Real Madrid friendlies are out of the way, the U can fully focus on the remainder of the season.  Our youngsters missed out on the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but what happens if people start to take notice of our talent and a few players are called up for national team duty over the next couple of months?  There are FIFA dates coming up in August, September, October, and November (all of which fall within the MLS season).  Leave your thoughts below!

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