Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nowak: Union's starting goalkeeper a game time decision

Union manager Peter Nowak met with a few reporters this afternoon at PPL Park, and not surprisingly the biggest question was who will start in goal tomorrow against Toronto FC.

Nowak: Union's starting goalkeeper a game time decision


Union manager Peter Nowak met with a few reporters this afternoon at PPL Park, and not surprisingly the biggest question was who will start in goal tomorrow against Toronto FC.

Regular starter Faryd Mondragón is back at full health, but backup Zac MacMath has played so well in Mondragón's absence that many observers have wondered aloud whether the rookie should remain between the posts.

Nowak said it will probably be a game-time decision. But he couldn't resist tossing a few sarcastic barbs back at the media before giving his answer.

"Ten players and a goalie," Nowak said when asked who would start tomorrow.

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Which goalkeeper should start for the Union against Toronto FC?
Faryd Mondragón
Zac MacMath

Nowak was then asked which goalkeeper he would pick.

"We have three of them, so we can choose one of them," he quipped.

Rest assured that everyone was taking this with the humor with which it was intended.

Nowak was pressed further for a straight answer.

"I think the answer was fantastic," he said with another laugh.

Then Nowak turned serious, and acknowledged that the players would be the first to find out what tomorrow's starting lineup will be.

"It's not like a quarterback decision in the NFL," Nowak said. "We will make a decision together with [goalkeepers coach] Rob Vartughian and also the two 'keepers."

Nowak did not say anything about whether his situation resembles what the Flyers have gone through for the last decade and a half, but that's because no one asked.

Or maybe it's because the Union have two goalkeepers who are good, instead of two who are (to put it politely) inconsistent. That's a rather different scenario from what we're used to.

I know a lot of you have been talking about the goalkeeper question on Twitter, so I figured I would put up a poll asking who you think should start tomorrow. Cast your vote above, then post a comment telling me why you voted the way you did. 

I wrote on Tuesday about rumors that the U.S. national team would play a friendly against France at the Stade de France if Les Bleus qualified for Euro 2012. That happened, and now the match has been announced.

It will take place on November 11. The history buffs among you will know that's Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. So a match between these two nations carries some significance.

It's also worth noting that both the U.S. and France wear Nike apparel. So it's a fair bet that the company was involved with this somehow.

The U.S. will also play a friendly in Europe on November 15. That opponent has yet to be determined, but personally I wouldn't be surprised if it's a team that did not qualify for Euro 2012. Among the possibilities are Scotland, Switzerland and Austria.

Staff Writer
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Staff Writer
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