Union

Union's Rosenberry, Pontius, Bedoya invited to USMNT January camp

Union's Rosenberry, Pontius, Bedoya invited to USMNT January camp

Union regulars Alejandro Bedoya, Keegan Rosenberry and Chris Pontius will join 29 other MLS players at the U.S. Men’s National Team’s annual camp on Jan. 10 in Carson, Calif.

“We’re excited for all three of them,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “It’s a great accomplishment. We expect good things from all of them going into 2017.”

The least surprising name to join the camp for the Union is Bedoya, who has earned 53 caps over seven years with the USMNT. The national team starter was signed by the Union from FC Nantes in France during the second half of the 2016 season.

“He’s the seasoned U.S. National Team mainstay,” said Curtin, who mentioned how Bedoya’s experience will rub off on Rosenberry. “He’s called in every time they play a game, and Keegan is getting his first taste of it.”

Rosenberry, 23, takes another step in his skyrocketing career with the invite. After being selected third overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Rosenberry, a right back, played every minute of the Union’s regular season, scoring two goals with two assists.

“Keegan’s big ambition was to be part of the national team,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said. “He was thinking in terms of years and years and it took one year.”

While a USMNT call-up is new for Rosenberry and old hat for Bedoya, it’s a pleasant surprise for eight-year MLS veteran Pontius. The 29-year-old attacking player trained with the national team from 2009 through 2011 but has yet to make a full cap. He’s coming off a career-best season — 12 goals and six assists in 33 games. 

“He’s rejuvenated his career and gotten back in the national team,” Curtin said. “One of his goals when he sat down with Earnie and I was an X-amount of goals and an X-amount of assists and to get back into the U.S. National Team. To his credit, he accomplished that.”

The camp, which features all MLS players, was put together in part by new USMNT manager and former LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, who also ran the program from 1998 to 2006. Unlike his predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann, who favored European-focused players, Arena was expected to lean more towards high-caliber MLS players, putting Rosenberry and Pontius on the list.

The camp will serve as a large part of Arena’s preparation for spring World Cup qualifiers.

“They can be there to support each other,” Curtin said. “January camp is a long one. The one thing I learned from that is players come back from the national team and it raises the level of training sessions. Those guys are always flying when they come back in.”

Alejandro Bedoya's early strike puts Union in U.S. Open Cup semifinals

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Alejandro Bedoya's early strike puts Union in U.S. Open Cup semifinals

CHESTER, Pa. — Alejandro Bedoya scored in the fourth minute and the Union didn’t look back, easily eliminating Orlando City SC, 1-0, in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday at Talen Energy Stadium. 

With the win, the Union advance to their third semifinals appearance in five years, where they will face the winner of Louisville FC and Chicago Fire. The priority location draw for the semifinals and finals will take place on Thursday. The semifinals will begin on Aug. 8. 

“In four years in this competition with this group, we haven’t been beaten in regulation, in 90 minutes,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “We’re a tough out in this competition. Hopefully we get another couple home games and get a break in that regard. Two wins from lifting our first trophy as a club.” 

• Bedoya made it look easy. Off a short corner, Haris Medunjanin’s cross was headed on goal by Fafa Picault. Earl Edwards Jr. made the initial save but it bounced out to the captain, who roofed it from the crease for the 1-0 Union lead and eventual win. 

• Orlando City SC, which entered the match with nine losses in its last 10 MLS games, defeated D.C. United in penalty kicks to reach the quarterfinals. The Union topped the Richmond Kickers and New York Red Bulls on the way to Wednesday’s match.

• Orlando looked like a team that had lost nine straight recently, though the Union couldn’t put the struggling visitors away. The Union finished the match with 53.9 percent possession and 18 shots. Still, it was another game in which the club lacked killer instinct despite territorial domination, resulting in only one goal.

• That domination was powered by the play of Picault, who was the Union’s offensive engine. Late in the second half, Picault beat his man in the box but placed his shot just wide of the right post. It was one of four shot attempts for Picault.

• Despite playing hero on Saturday against the Fire, David Accam struggled on Wednesday. He was active but had little effect, and was replaced in the 60th minute by Marcus Epps. Accam finished with one total shot. 

• It should be noted that Mark McKenzie, a rookie, pocketed Orlando forward Dom Dwyer for the entire match. Dwyer, who couldn’t gain an inch in possession, was forced into trying to draw calls. He was held without a shot attempt. 

“He was a beast,” Curtin said of McKenzie. “He’s a big reason we got a shutout tonight.”

• With the help of that effort from McKenzie, Andre Blake earned the four-save shutout. He wasn’t tested much, but was good when he needed to be.

Union stun Fire in 95th minute on David Occam's buzzer-beater

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Union stun Fire in 95th minute on David Occam's buzzer-beater

BOX SCORE

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- David Accam scored in the 95th minute, and Cory Burke had two goals to help the Philadelphia Union beat the Chicago Fire 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Accam dribbled through a pair of Chicago defenders and sent home a right-footed shot just inside the left post for his first goal of the season. His game-winner came a minute after the Fire appeared to have salvaged a draw with Bastian Schweinsteiger heading home Diego Campos' corner.

Burke scored on a rebound in the 73rd minute that made it 3-2 for the Union (7-9-3) and a header at the end of first-half stoppage time that made it 2-1.

Aleksandar Katai made it 2-all for the Fire (6-9-5) in the 69th minute with a low hard shot that skipped twice into the far corner.

Nemanja Nikolic tied it at 1 for Chicago in the 39th minute, powering a penalty kick past goalkeeper Andre Blake. Mark McKenzie brought Katai down at the left corner of the penalty area to send Nikolic to the spot.

Haris Medunjanin opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the 31st minute, pouncing on a defensive miscue and finishing with the outside of his foot.