Thursday Afternoon Union Freekicks: Jamaica Tomorrow

June 8, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on the sidelines against Antigua & Barbuda during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. USA defeated Antigua & Barbuda 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Union, MLS, and U.S. National team related news and notes...

The U.S. is in pain heading into World Cup qualifiers [Frank Isola, Goal.com] - "Injuries and fitness have robbed the United States of most of its best midfield heading into a pair of matches with Jamaica."

Shorthanded U.S. has plenty at stake in Jamaica home-and-home [Grant Wahl, SI.com] - "For the U.S. national team, the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying is a lot like the old five-game NBA playoff series: It shouldn't be a huge challenge, but the shortened nature of the six-game round means one or two crazy bounces can spring a trap and put you on the verge of disaster."

Union get creative to solve scoring issues [Ryan Bright, CSNPhilly.com] - Per Bright, Hackworth says "[this] week we are tracking every single goal scored in training, those stats aren't going to lie. So going into next week, we'll have a pretty good idea who is finding the back of the net on a consistent basis for our team."

Union plan to go to finishing school on two-week break [Dave Zeitlin, MLSsoccer.com] - "As soon as Saturday's game in New England ended, Philadelphia Union winger Danny Cruz began to plot out his plans for the extended two-week break until Philly's next game. It didn't take him long to figure it out."

Vancouver's Knighton seizes starting spot, keeps cool [Martin MacMahon, MLSsoccer.com] - "It was a big moment - it's the first time under Rennie that Knighton earned the nod ahead of Cannon when both were available for selection in an MLS match - and the 27-year-old showed well, dealing with balls into the area comfortably while having little chance of stopping top-class goals from Juninho and David Beckham."

New England 2 - 0 Columbus: Imbongo Helps Revs Snap Winless Streak [Corey E. Major, The Bent Musket] - The Revs' ten-match winless streak is finally over, and remarkably they did it against the Crew, who have been buoyed by recent signings Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain.

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