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Friday Morning Union Freekicks: Columbus Tomorrow

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COLUMBUS OH - OCTOBER 24:  Jordan Harvey #2 of the Philadelphia Union collars Brian Carroll #16 of the Columbus Crew as Carroll kicks the ball on October 24 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS OH - OCTOBER 24: Jordan Harvey #2 of the Philadelphia Union collars Brian Carroll #16 of the Columbus Crew as Carroll kicks the ball on October 24 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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We're only about 36 hours from the Union kicking off in Columbus against the Crew (7:30 PM Eastern, The Comcast Network) in a matchup of the two top teams in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference. We'll have our preview up later today, but this one's going to be a big deal. Today's open thread for all things Union and MLS.

Union gearing up for pivotal showdown against Crew [Nick Iuele, philadelphiaunion.com] - Nick (and others) are calling tomorrow's match the most vital match in club history. Admittedly that's not saying too much given that this is only the team's second-ever season, but do you agree?

Big test for Union in Columbus [Frank Bertucci, Philadelphia Daily News] - "It's the most important game of the season so far," Danny Califf said. "It's not too early enough in the season to be saying it. We're approaching it in that manner."

Carroll, Union Ready For Critical Matchup with Columbus [Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060] - "While it is your old club and you have memories and friends there, once you cross the lines it all business and guys just want to win," former Crew player Brian Carroll tells KYW Newsradio.

Union's Freddy Adu preaches patience as he tries to adapt to his new team [Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer] - "The league is very good, and MLS isn't a league where you can just walk in and start right away and do whatever you want," Adu said.

Union's recent moves show club's eye towards future [Dave Zeitlin, MLSsoccer.com] - "We're very excited to have [Adu], and as a young player, he fits in with the mold of the team," Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz said. "I think we're the youngest team in the league by a long stretch, and we'll continue to invest in young players."

Independence coach, players garner awards [Bill Iezzi, Philadelphia Inquirer] - Paul Riley was named WPS Coach of the Year for the second season in a row, while Veronica Boquette was named Player of the Year and Nikki Krzysik took the Sportswoman of the Year award. Congratulations and good luck to them as they host Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and magicJack SC at PPL Park tomorrow in a WPS semifinal.

D.C. manages tie with Chicago after Bill Hamid's injury [Steven Goff, Washington Post] - Bad news for the Union, as Josh Wolff managed to equalize in Chicago in the 73rd minute...although this one feels more like a loss for DC, just as the Union's 1-1 draw in Chicago earlier this month did.