May 27, 2011 MLS--PBPP: Union Prepare For Toronto, Then Ruiz Absence (from philadelphiaunion.com)
PBPP: Union prepare for Toronto, then Ruiz absence Philadelphia looking for second straight multi-goal game By JP Dellacamera philadelphiaunion.com May 27, 2011 First things first, the Union will worry about taking one to three points from Toronto on Saturday. Then they will deal with the loss of leading scorer Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz will play his final Union game for at least a few weeks as he departs on Monday to join his national team, Guatemala, as they prep for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. Guatemala is in Group B and should advance, so Ruiz and his team could at least make it to the quarterfinals, which take place on the weekend of June 18 and 19. He might miss anywhere from three to five Union games. In one way, it’s a tough time to see Ruiz go. First of all, he’s the only one on the team who has scored more than one goal. Second, it seemed like in the last game, he and Sebastien Le Toux were more on the same page than in previous matches. Manager Peter Nowak has been looking for more chemistry from this duo since the season started. More chemistry will lead to more offensive efficiency. Ruiz leaving now though could turn out to be a good thing if it opens up more playing time for others like Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney, and untested Chris Agorsor and Levi Houapeu. Mwanga and Le Toux had some good chemistry last year, and might be able to reconnect with more playing time together. Whether Ruiz left for the Gold Cup or not, at some point Philadelphia need some goal production from both Le Toux and Mwanga, their two top scorers from 2010. The Union will take on Toronto FC at BMO Field Saturday. Manager Peter Nowak could also opt to bring in other talent if he feels the offense could use a boost. In camp, and rumored to be signing is attacker Veljko Paunovic, an experienced Serbian midfielder/forward who has had extensive experience in European soccer, notably in Spain. The Union don’t comment on rumored signings, so all we know is that Paunovic is here for now. He suited up for the club in a recent reserve match. For Saturday, the Union need to do what they did vs. Chicago, and that’s move the ball. Get everyone involved in the offense. I would like to see more of Justin Mapp taking players on, becoming a factor in the game, like he did last Saturday. If Philadelphia creates good chances, they can have a second straight multiple goal game against a Toronto defense conceding an average of 1.42 goals per game. From a defensive standpoint, Philadelphia should be more than able to hold their own against a Toronto team that’s averaging less than a goal per game. Toronto have some good young players, but ever since they traded Dwayne De Rosario to the Red Bulls they have been easier to defend. DeRo was a player that had to be watched at all times. Toronto doesn’t have a player now of De Rosario’s stature. Enjoy the early kickoff on Saturday (12:00 p.m. pre-game show, 12:30 p.m. kick on Comcast SportsNet), then settle in for what should be a great UEFA Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United on FOX.
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