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Thursday Night Union Freekicks: Disappointing Losses for Union, U.S. U-20s

Coach Nowak can't be happy with the Union's recent run of results. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Coach Nowak can't be happy with the Union's recent run of results. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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The Union are just two days away from their huge clash against their eternal rivals, the New York Red Bulls. Last night Philadelphia fell to DC United on penalties in the first round of US Open Cup qualification, leaving the MLS league schedule as the only thing the team has to worry about during 2011, besides any possible international friendlies. Here are some links from around the league on this calm Thursday night:

Nowak: Controversial USOC Defeat Won't Faze Us [Dave Zeitlin - MLSsoccer.com] Do you think the heartbreaking manner of the Union's loss last night will have an effect on the team come Saturday?

Farfan Shows Versatility in Union Debut [Kevin Kinkead - philadelphiaunion.com] Michael Farfan made his first start for Philly last night, and played at three different positions on the field.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber Says TFC Must Allow Media Access To Locker Room [Jeremiah Oshan - SBNation.com] Toronto FC coach Aron Winter has come under fire from fans and press alike in response to his decision to close off the media to the team locker room after games.

NASL Rule Changes Move Fledgling League Towards FIFA Standards [Jeremiah Oshan - SBNation.com] The newly-minted league will serve as the second division in the American soccer pyramid and begins its season this Saturday. Read about some rule changes that NASL has taken in order to be taken more seriously.

En Route: Distracted USA U-20 side humiliated by host nation [J.R. Eskilson - Goal.com] Read about the US U-20 team's embarrassing loss which eliminated them from qualification to the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. This team included Union players Amobi Okugo and Zac MacMath.