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.