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A New Game In Town

William Kelly

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A game for the history books?

Manchester United will be in Chester, Pennsylvania today to play the new Philadelphia Union Soccer team in their just opened stadium. While the Philadelphia Eagles are the local NFL football team, the Union has developed a quick and solid fan base and the recent Olympics have helped create interest in the sport that is now most popularly played on the local level in schools, though it still behind baseball, football and basketball in player and spectator interest.

Let me get this straight - only the goalie can pick up the ball with his hands, except when throwing the ball in from the sidelines, right? - BK



http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/blogs/soccer/article_58f67792-947c-11df-9f9f-001cc4c03286.htmlPHILADELPHIA — Pay a visit to the Manchester United website and you'll be greeted by a notice that you've entered the home of the world's most popular footballmag-glass_10x10.gif team.

That's "football" a what Americans call soccer.Think New York Yankees, think Dallas Cowboys, think Boston Celticsmag-glass_10x10.gif. While you're doing that, most of the rest of the sporting world is thinking Manchester United.

With a fan base claimed to be at 333 million that includes 222 support clubs in 24 countries, Manchester United rolls into the Lincoln Financial Field Wednesday night for an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Union of the MLS.

A crowd of more than 40,000 is expected to attend. Among those who are looking forward to the experience is some young Union players.

"In the States they don't show a whole lot of European soccer but when they do, it's more of the likes of Man United, Real-Madrid and Barcelona, and teams like that," said Danny Califf, a Southern Californian who plays for the Union.

"Growing up, Manchester United is probably the team you're most familiar with, so it's always been kind of in the back of your head what it would be like to play against them.

"It's a great opportunity, and I think it's going to be fun."

This is the preseason for Manchester United, which is prepping for a run at another English Premier League title. A founding member of the League in 1992, Manchester has won 18 league championships, along with numerous other European championships.

The Union, on the other hand, is playing in the middle of the MLS season, and the players are hoping to show themselves as to tough competitors against one of the world's best teams.

"I don't go into any game expecting to lose," Califf said. "I expect that we will play well."

The Red Devils are in a five-city tour that will end with a matchup against the MLS All-Stars in Houston July 28. They opened the tour on July 16 with a 3-1 win over Celtic. There also is a game scheduled for July 28 in Kansas City. This will be the third visit by Manchester United to Lincoln Financial Field. They are the team that opened the Linc in 2002 with a game against Real-Madrid. But it will be the .......

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While in play, only the goalie (or referees) can touch the ball with their hands, except during throwins when the ball must have left the hands of the throwerinnerer before any foot crosses the line onto the field. Once the ball is (correctly) placed for a free kick play is on and again no fielder can touch it with the hands.

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