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“Dogfight”: News, quotes & previews ahead of DC game, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

A derby game, the chippiness of the last game—even if the Union’s playoff of hopes are grounded more in mathematics than in objective reality, motivation to take it to DC United tonight should not be a problem.”If I have to motivate anyone in that locker room tomorrow, something is wrong.” John Hackworth said at Wednesday’s press conference. “This is a rivalry game, it’s a game where we had tension going back-and-forth. We’ve already had three games this year where cards were flying and tackles were flying and emotions were running high.”

Hackworth added. “I guarantee I’m going to use everything I have to throw at them: Playing the last game in this (season) series at home, and we owe it to them. We want to put a little dent in their playoff hopes…Naturally, a home team is going to come out and push and here at home, we want to do the same, and that’s take the game to our opponent.”

Hackworth explained further, “It’s a classic derby game, in that you have two teams in close proximity and there is a lot of animosity between the players and fans. You can feel it and when you get in the game, there’s a charged atmosphere. My personal preference is that we use that energy to produce good soccer but it’s inevitable—neither one of these teams want to lose these games. It’s always going to be a dogfight.”

Danny Cruz, who joined the Union from DC in a little more than a month ago, agrees. “It’s certainly a rivalry game,” said Cruz, who previously played for D.C. United before being traded to the Union for Lionard Pajoy in June. “It’s something we always look forward to and I don’t expect it to be anything but that. It’s going to be a physical game with a lot of emotions running around. It’s good to be at home and have our fans behind us. It’s always important.

That animosity? If you include the US Open Cup match, there have been 11 yellow cards and five red cards over the previous three games.

Hackworth said we might see some lineup changes to give Jack McInerney more support. “I think you’ll see a little bit of a twist tomorrow night. I think you’ll see some guys who’s sole job it will be is to provide Jack with support. Hopefully, that can translate [into a win] for us. We haven’t provided Jack with the support that he needs to be successful and we have to do a better job of that.”

Michael Farfan will be unavailable to lend support because he is serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Hackworth said, “[W]e have a lot of players right there behind Michael who we would love to see give us the production Michael has given us. So this becomes a fantastic opportunity for those guys. It’s been a good battle the last couple of days to win that spot.”

So, who might we expect? Chris Vito writes at Union Tally that he believes it will not be Freddy Adu or Roger Torres who will be in the support role. “My best guess is you’ll see a lineup that, in any sort of configuration, includes Chandler Hoffman, Antoine Hoppenot and Keon Daniel.” Kerith Gabriel writes, “its very likely that both Freddy Adu and Danny Cruz will lend support on attack pinching in from the flanks while a TBA will sit behind all three controlling the midfield. An early probable lineup suggests midfielder Gabriel Gomez, but it’s a guessing game as to who will fill that role.”

The last time DC United won a road game was when they defeated the Union in June in what was Hackworth’s first game since taking over for Peter Nowak. DC defender Dejan Jakovic said, “[W]e got our asses kicked and ended up stealing a win from them. It’s definitely going to be a big challenge for us.”

Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on DC. DCUnited.com has some keys to the match.

Look for PSP’s preveiw later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out these previews from MLSsoccer.com, DCUnited.com, and Brotherly Game.

Soccer America and ProSoccerTalk have picked up on the latest allegations surrounding Peter Nowak.

Local

Former Reading United players Will Bates and Leonardo Fernandes were named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week. Fernandes was also named America East Player of the Week.

Villanova men’s team hosts La Salle today.

MLS

Kansas City handed New York their first loss at home in 2012 with a 2–0 win and are now four points clear of second place Chicago. Columbus knocked DC out of the No. 5 spot with a 1–0 win over Chivas USA, thanks to an 89th minute goal.

Danny Mwanga scored a brace but Portland couldn’t stop San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski from scoring a brace of his own in a match that ended 2–2. All three of Mwanga’s goals this year have come against the Earthquakes.

In a performance described as “superb” and “outstanding,” Brian Perk recorded the shutout in LA Galaxy’s 0–0 draw with Puerto Rico Islanders in CONCACAF Champions League play. Seattle secured a quarterfinal berth with a 3–2 road win over Marathon.

It appears that Brad Knighton has supplanted Joe Cannon as the No. 1 goalkeeper in Vancouver.

It seems Eric Hassli’s status for the rest of the season is in doubt as a result of a tackle from Michael Farfan in Saturday’s draw in Toronto. “If you’re going to kick him off the field, then nobody’s going to benefit,” said Toronto manager Paul Mariner. “We’re not, the fans love to see him play, home and away fans…I’m not saying he’s being targeted, I just wish that was identified on Saturday as a foul, that’s all, because he’s come off the field. If it was a phantom foul then he wouldn’t come off the field.”

Sporting News examines the possible ramifications of the recently announced sale of AEG, both to the LA Galaxy and to MLS.

The Guardian explores why so many Colombian players are in MLS.

Grantland hears Thierry Henry’s inner monologue.

Goal.com looks at the problem of the lack of playing time for Homegrown Players and its effect on player development.

Women’s Soccer

Potomac Soccer Wire looks at how the buzz generated by the Olympic tournament and being the host of the 2015 Women’s World Cup is providing an impetus for the Canadian Soccer Association to help foster a new North American women’s professional league. There are still plenty of obstacles in the way.

US

The USWNT defeated Australia 6–2 on Wednesday night in what was Pia Sundhage’s final game as head coach.

Post match quotes available here.

Elsewhere

In today’s Europa League action, it is Young Boys vs. Liverpool (12:50pm, FSC), Maritimo vs. Newcastle (12:50pm, Fox Soccer Plus), Tottenham vs. Lazio (3pm, FSC), and Inter Milan vs. Rubin Kazan (3pm, Fox Soccer Plus). For the complete listings of today’s games, click here.

That Oscar goal? Oh, my.

The head of the international players union FIFPro says more than a third of players in Europe are not being paid their full salaries.

5 Comments

  1. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    I guarantee I’m going to use everything I have to throw at them
    I better not see that Lahoud guy in the starting lineup then.

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Also, on a MLS level, re: The homegrown article, where is the suggestion for a youth league? More reserve games will help (lol @ us only having 10 anyway) and promoting loans will help (as we should already be doing), but a youth league was just glossed over.
    Realistically, players like Pfeffer, Jimmy and Hernandez (as promising as they are and as much praise as Pfeffer gets) are all still young enough to be playing in the traditional U18 youth leagues they have in England. And that’s where they WOULD be playing.
    I understand this is ‘merica and we’re DIFFERENT!!! but really simple things like this provide benefits for everyone and shouldnt be ignored.

  3. Of course Mariner isn’t saying Hassli is being targeted, because that might imply that one of the most cautioned men in MLS bears some responsibility for his involvement in rough play.

    Speaking of aggression, I hope this match is exciting for reasons beyond rough play. The Jakovic quote is great. If only we can see a similar match to that last home game against them, plus FINISHING!

    And as far as the nearly non-existent playoff hopes are concerned, aren’t mathematics and objective reality the same thing? 😛 Regardless, neither are keeping me very hopeful, but I suppose crazier things have happened in this league.

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