Philadelphia Union Win Home Opener 1-0 Over Vancouver

Carlos Ruiz opened his account with the Union with a 77th minute goal that proved to be the game winner as Philadelphia shut out the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0.

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Philadelphia Union Win Home Opener 1-0 Over Vancouver

Carlos Ruiz opened his account with the Union with a 77th minute goal that proved to be the game winner as Philadelphia shut out the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. It was the Union's home opener at PPL and expansion Vancouver's first ever away game.

The Union goal came after an extended period of pressure from the home side. Sheanon Williams knocked a cross into the box that a Vancouver defender headed out straight to Stefani Miglioranzi, who teed up a long distance shot that ended up dribbling over to Sebastien Le Toux to the right of the keeper. Le Toux calmly passed to a wide open Carlos Ruiz at the other side of the net for the goal to keep the Union undefeated on the season so far. Newly signed goalkeeper and Union captain Faryd Mondragon earned his second straight shutout as Philadelphia, whose defense was porous and goalkeeping suspect last season, has yet to concede a goal this year. The Whitecaps played a man down for the last half hour as Eric Hassli was sent off in the 57th minute for a second yellow card.

The win puts the Union clear at the top of the Eastern conference and MLS as a whole with 6 points. Chicago, New England & New York are all tied for second with 4 points in the young season. LA Galaxy lead the West with 4 points from 3 games. The Union's next game is against that Galaxy squad at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA next Saturday at 10:30 pm eastern.

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The Philadelphia Union Host The Vancouver Whitecaps In Their 2011 Season Home Opener

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. 

Notes:

  • 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.
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