Last year the Philadelphia Union opened PPL Park with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders. This season the Union welcome one of MLS' two new expansion team the Vancouver Whitecaps, to the stadium.
The Union (1-0-0) opened the 2011 MLS season with a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo (0-0-1), in Texas. Center back Danny Califf, who had officially lost his captain's armband prior to the game to goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, scored the lone goal for the Union. A long throw-in by right back Sheanon Williams caused confusion in the Dynamo defense and allowed Sebastien Le Toux to get a shot off in the box. The ball careened off the crossbar and dropped to Califf, who muscled his opponents away from the ball and slotted it home.
In somewhat more impressive fashion, the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-0) beat Toronto FC (0-0-1) 4-2 in the opening of their own MLS account. Designated Player signing Eric Hassli scored a brace (two goals) to lead the Whitecaps over Toronto in the first ever two-Canadian-team match in MLS history.
The Brotherly Game, SB Nation's Philadelphia Union blog, will have a live game thread for comments and reactions during the game.
- Zach MacMath and Amobi Okugo are both on USMNT-u20 international duty. 2011 SuperDraft first overall pick Omar Salgado, who received his International Transfer Certificate yesterday, is also with the team.
- Union left midfielder Justin Mapp is listed as doubtful. No other Union player is listed.
- Two top Whitecaps defenders are on international duty. US international Jay Demerit will be playing Argentina and rookie Michael Boxall will be out of the country when the Whitecaps and Union face off. Boxall will be with the New Zealand National team for the first time.