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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Thursday, September 13, 2012

UNION GOING SET-PIECE BY COMMITTEE

(Times / COLIN KERRIGAN)
Freddy Adu has taken them. So has Gabriel Gomez. Even Carlos Valdes has been given an opportunity to put his best foot forward.

The Union have tried more than a few players this season on their set pieces, turning to Adu, Gomez, Valdes and a host of others to send free kicks, corner kicks and indirect kicks into the box to create offense.

And that's the way John Hackworth likes it.

The Union manager said Wednesday during his weekly presser at PPL Park that he'd like to have a few players be available to take kicks off stoppages of play. In the past, Sebastien Le Toux had been that guy for the Union. Without Le Toux, who was traded in the offseason, it's been a carousel of characters electing to take them.

So with 14 days between games, with the Union taking on Toronto FC Saturday in Canada, Hackworth said service delivery became a focus in training.

"Our service has been better. We're working on that," he said.

"That's one thing we're trying to have ... but we still have different set pieces that are good for certain individuals," he continued. "I don't want to tell you service is going to be by any one person."

Hackworth went on to describe why Herculez Gomez was asked to take a free kick Tuesday for the U.S. national team, which resulted in the decisive goal for the USMNT in a World Cup-qualifying match against Jamaica.

"The reason Gomez took that free kick was it was his range and his distance and his teammates respected that," Hackworth said. "We have a similar situation. If we get a deadball situation in front of goal, and it's in Carlos Valdes' range, you'll see him take it. In other spots, we have other guys.

"We're trying to be more consistent. We've been erratic, to say the least."

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September 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM 

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