And So It Begins...Union Open Season In Houston

And So It Begins...Union Open Season In Houston

The Union open their 2011 season tonight in Houston against the Dynamo (8:30PM/6ABC). Although the road was unkind last season the Union did manage to pick up their first ever road win in Houston last May. Danny Mwanga was the hero that night, netting the game winner in stoppage time.

As detailed in our season preview post a number of new faces will make their Union regular season debut this evening. Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, center back Carlos Valdes, midfielder Brian Carroll, and forward Carlos Ruiz will likely be in Peter Nowak's starting eleven.

Nowak will have a full complement of players to choose from as the Union are healthy to start the season. Sebastien Le Toux had an MRI on his ankle early in the week, but he should be fully fit tonight.

On the flipside, Houston will likely be without Brian Ching, who is battling a hamstring strain. It's disappointing that he likely will not play as I was looking forward to seeing how the Union handled a player who is as good in the air as Ching.

Without Ching the Dynamo will rely on Dominic Oduro, Jason Garey, and rookie Will Bruin, who was drafted eleventh overall in 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Brad Davis is the string puller for the Dynamo in the midfield. He racked up 12 assists last season, which led Houston.

Ruiz, Le Toux, Mwanga, and the rest of the Union will be facing Tally Hall, an inexperienced goalkeeper who will be making just his sixth career start. Hall takes over for longtime Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad, who retired to become the goalkeeping coach for D.C. United (only to unretire and assume a role as a player/coach for Ben Olsen down in D.C.). Union fans are well aware of how young goalies can struggle, so it will be paramount for the Union to test Hall often.

With all of the new additions Peter Nowak has much more flexibility in terms of shape/formation. His back four will likely consist of Jordan Harvey, Danny Califf, Valdes, and Sheanon Williams. Roger Torres, Justin Mapp, Carroll, and Le Toux are the most likely midfield candidates (perhaps deployed in a diamond formation with Le Toux up at the top). Ruiz and Mwanga should combine together up front.

Regardless of formation the Union should be a better and more organized side as compared with last year. Looking back, it's amazing that Toni Stahl and David Myrie started the opener in Seattle last season. Yes, that happened.

Danny Califf picking up a yellow card a minute into that Seattle game happened as well. Here's hoping they've figured things out and don't go down a man 41 minutes into the opener like they did last season (oh, Toni Stahl).

One final housekeeping note: With Vancouver and Portland entering the league Houston, at least for the time being, has moved to the Eastern Conference.

Final Score Prediction: I may be caught up in the excitement of opening night, but is it asking too much for the U to pick up a road win AND keep a clean sheet tonight? I think they come out and set the tone for the entire season tonight. Union Win 2-0.

The Toni Stahl Memorial Union Player Most Likely To See Red:  Purely out of habit I'll go with Califf.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Best of NBA: Curry, Thompson, Durant lead Warriors comeback over Pelicans

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Best of NBA: Curry, Thompson, Durant lead Warriors comeback over Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS — Klay Thomspon scored 31 points, Stephen Curry added 28 and the Golden State Warriors easily erased a 15-point first-half deficit en route to a 128-120 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Kevin Durantadded 22 points for the Warriors, who won for the first time this young season after dropping their opener to Houston. New Orleans is still looking for its first victory after two games, shooting well early in both games before fading in the second half.

Anthony Davis had 35 points and 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, while fellow big man DeMarcus Cousins also had 35 points.

The teams combined for 34 3-pointers, with the Warriors hitting 18. Thompson was 7 of 12 from deep.

After trailing by double digits much of the fourth quarter, the Pelicans pulled as close as five points down on Cousins' 3 with about three minutes to go. But Thompson responded immediately with a 3, and Golden State remained comfortably in control from there (see full recap). 

Ball flirts with triple-double, Lakers hold on to beat Suns​
PHOENIX — Lonzo Ball barely missed a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second NBA game and the Los Angeles Lakers held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 132-130 on Friday night.

The Suns had a chance to tie it with 1.2 seconds to play, but T.J. Warren missed the first of two free throws. That meant he had to miss the second intentionally and hope for a rebound, but the Suns couldn't get a decent shot off before the buzzer.

Ball, the No. 2 overall pick this year who is a week shy of his 20th birthday, took over down the stretch, scoring eight points in a 2 1/2-minute span. His final basket during that run, a floating layup, put Los Angeles ahead 130-122 with 1:35 to play.

But the Suns came roaring back behind Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, whose 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left cut it to 131-130. Brandon Ingram made one of two free throws to give Phoenix one last chance and Warren was fouled by Ingram on an inbounds play.

The free throw was off the back of the rim, though, and the Lakers survived (see full recap). 

Nets beat Magic in first game without Lin despite Vucevic’s career-high 41 points
NEW YORK — Jeremy Lin was in the hospital Friday, rather than joining his teammates for their home opener.

The Brooklyn Nets are going to miss him, but they showed they still have plenty of firepower without him.

D’Angelo Russell, Trevor Booker and DeMarre Carroll all scored 17 points, and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 126-121.

Brooklyn had six players in double figures, three more with nine points and got 64 points from its reserves to bounce back after yielding 140 points Wednesday night in a season-opening loss to Indiana.

Lin ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee late in that game and had season-ending surgery Friday morning (see full recap). 

James and Korver heat up from 3, Cavs beat Bucks
MILWAUKEE — Lebron James had 24 points and eight assists, and Kyle Korver hit three straight 3s in a decisive third-quarter run to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-97 on Friday night.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs. Their 15-5 spurt over the final 4:25 of the third quarter, sparked by Korver's long-range shooting, opened a 13-point lead. Cleveland led by double digits most of the rest of the way to spoil the Bucks' home opener.

The defending Eastern Conference champions started the season with a second straight victory over an East contender after beating the Boston Celtics in their home opener.

Korver finished with 17 points and was 5 of 6 from 3-point territory.

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting, along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points (see full recap).