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Thursday Afternoon Union Freekicks: Preparations for Galaxy Continue

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We're two days away from the Union's away game against the current holders of the Supporters' Shield, the Los Angeles Galaxy. This promises to be a huge test for the Union, who have quickly grabbed an important six points in their first two games. Here are some stories on the Union, MLS, and soccer in general to keep your Thursday going. Be sure to use this as your daily discussion thread.

Undefeated Union Expect Determined Galaxy Squad [Kevin Kinkead - philadelphiaunion.com] Here's a preview of the Union's clash with the talented and experienced Galaxy, who have taken 4 points from their first 3 games.

Mapp's Availability in Doubt for Galaxy Showdown [Andy Jasner - philadelphiaunion.com] The left-sided midfielder is usually a sure bet to feature in the Union's starting eleven, but a hamstring injury has forced him out of action. Three other players are banged up too.

KYW/PSP Philly Soccer Show: Justin Mapp [The Philly Soccer Page] Speaking of Mapp, listen to him here on the PSP's weekly podcast.

McCarthy's Musings: Designated Player model continues its evolution [Kyle McCarthy - Goal.com] The New England-based writer examines the current state of the DP rule.

German Police Foil Attempted Bombing of Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park [Graham MacAree - SBNation.com] This is disturbing news out of Germany as one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world came into serious danger.