Daily news roundups / Featured

Hoffman on fire in reserve win, Donovan & Shea out of US roster, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Chandler Hoffman lit up the scoreline with four goals in the Union reserves 6–0 win over DC United reserves on Tuesday. Hoffman said, “I consider myself a finisher and the running argument is that we need one on this team, so I hope I showed today that I do have the ability to do that. It’s nice to have success in games like these in front of the coaches. I think the last time I scored four goals was in high school, so yeah, I am happy.”

In this piece from Kevin Kinkead, Reserves coach Brendan Burke praised the performances of Roger Torres, Jimmy McLaughlin, Zach Pfeffer, and Josue Martinez while also providing some critical insight into each players development. Torres assisted the first goal, Pfeffer assisted the second, then McLaughlin and Martinez each traded scoring and assisting the other.

More on the win here. Look for PSP’s photo essay of the game later today.

Danny Cruz expects to be ready to play again by the time the Union travel to face Houston on Oct. 20. He says of the tackle in Chicago that forced him to leave the game, “I think people that know me know I can play through a lot. But that scared me. It was a sharp, shooting pain and something I’ve never felt before. So I was really worried. But everything turned out well.”

At the Daily News, John Smallwood says John Hackworth needs a strong offseason to prove he’s the man to lead the Union out of the mess that Peter Nowak left him with.

“What Hackworth must show this offseason is that he is capable of making the type of acquisitions that will enhance the Union’s growth—not retard it the way that Nowak did last year. It will be interesting to see whether chief executive officer Nick Sakiewicz will give Hackworth autonomy with player personnel, as he did with Nowak. That certainly did not work out well this season, as Nowak made a number of transactions that were unpopular with the fans and did little to improve the quality of the team. It can be argued that Sakiewicz’ hands-off approach to player personnel was as responsible for the Union’s decline as Nowak’s decision-making.”

At the Inquirer, Mike Jensen has an excellent article about the college educations being pursued by Union players Zac MacMath, Amobi Okugo, and Chandler Hoffman, who were drafted out of  college, and Jack McInerney, who was drafted out of high school. Hackworth says in the article,

“I’ve heard people say the best youth players, they won’t enter college. There’s certain cases that’s true, but I don’t think that’s the case at all times, especially in this country. We value that college education, and there’s so much more that goes along with that college education, more just getting that degree and going to class…One thing we have put on our list is [to] make sure our players at least enter an online course so that when they leave here, they still have something they’re working toward. That’s something we’re working on with our homegrown players specifically.”

Zac MacMath comes in at No. 7 in the latest Castrol Weekly Top 20. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 14), Zac MacMath (No. 49), Amobi Okugo (No. 93), Gabriel Gomez (No. 103), and Carlos Valdes (No. 112).

Raymon Gaddis has been named SBI’s Rookie of the Week.

Gabriel Gomez, Jack McInerney, and Carlos Valdes all received honorable mentions for MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.

More power rankings: The Union are at No. 14 at MLSsoccer.com. At Soccer America, the Union move up one spot to No. 13, which is where ProSoccerTalk also has them.

At the Brotherly Game, @UnionRumors recounts various players that were in some way linked with the Union over the past season. What, no Brek Shea for Freddy Adu?

Local

Former Reading United forward Ryan Finley was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Co-Player of the Week after scoring four goals in 2 games for Notre Dame last week.

The Soccertoberfest event scheduled to be hosted by Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday has been cancelled.

MLS

Jordan Harvey is enjoying his return to Vancouver’s starting lineup.

Noting that New York Red Bulls are in the midst of one of their most successful season, the Star-Ledger looks at recent front office changes at the team and whispers that Hans Backe will soon be out and concludes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Orlando City “president Phil Rawlins said the team has been all but promised a MLS franchise in Orlando—if it gets a stadium of its own.” A report released by the club at a press conference on Tuesday projects that a new soccer stadium in Orlando could generate $40 million a year, bringing $1.2 billion dollars to the region over the next 30 years with a new stadium costing just under $100 million. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs visited PPL Park last weekend.

Minneapolis is another city that has expressed interest about joining the league. Inside Minnesota Soccer talks with Lester Bagley, the Minnestoa Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development, about how the NFL team would incorporate the needs of soccer in their new stadium plan.

Meanwhile, MLS is reportedly struggling to find parkland to replace that which would be occupied by the proposed new stadium in Queens. Dnainfo.com reports “a toxic site along the Flushing River is among the parcels under consideration.”

New York police say that the suspect in the slashing murder of Red Bulls youth soccer coach Michael Jones has fled to Mexico.

Reuters reports that Chicago police “have placed former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov under investigation for allegedly assaulting a journalist” who asked him for an interview during Chicago Fire’s 15th Anniversary party on Monday. Stoiuchkov played for the Fire  in 2000-2002.

Peter Nowak reminisces about his time with the Fire.

Women’s Soccer

You will recall from Monday’s news roundup that US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said one city had two ownership groups expressing interest in the proposed new women’s professional league. On Tuesday, Seattle Sounders Women confirmed they are interested in joining the new league, so joining Seattle businessman Bill Predmore, who earlier made public his desire to field a team in the league.

Whitney Engen, the US international and WPS 2011 Defender of the Year when she was with Western New York Flash, has signed with Liverpool Ladies.

US

A Comcast representative tells PSP that beIN Sport’s English language channel will not be available to subscribers in time to see Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Antigua. @ComcastWill told PSP, “Local markets are planning to start rolling out beIN Sports in English in the months ahead.”

It was known that Landon Donovan and Brek Shea were both carrying injuries before they were named to the USMNT roster ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala. On Tuesday, US Soccer announced that both players have been dropped from the roster after being evaluated by the team’s medical staff. The announcement says, “US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has indicated that no immediate replacements will be added to the roster.”

Calling the USMNT as “in shambles” and “a mess,” Business Insider says there’s a real chance that the US will fail to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Goal.com considers whether it is correct for Jurgen Klinsmann to claim that qualification is difficult in CONCACAF.

Sporting News says of Klinsmann’s promise to field “proactive, attacking soccer,” that “14 months into this grand experiment, his rhetoric has caused more problems than it has solved. His desire to elevate the American game, not to mention his instinct for showmanship, has fueled expectations that can’t possibly be met at this time.”

MLSsoccer.com says that recent comments from Klinsmann suggest we should expect a Route 1 strategy in the upcoming qualifiers.

FIFA.com has a Q&A with Klinsmann, who says the pressure to qualify is not a problem.

On Saturday at the AGS Cup in Spain, the US U-17 MNT  tied Mexico 1–1 to finish in second place in the tournament. The US was level with Mexico on points but finished behind them on goal difference.

Elsewhere

Goal.com reports, “FIFA vice president Jim Boyce has claimed that diving is becoming a ‘cancer’ to the game and wants the issue to be dealt with more swiftly in the future.”

The Guardian has a groovy photo gallery of tifo displays from around the world.

 

7 Comments

  1. The replacements for Shea/Donovan should be Pontius and Marfan.

    • R u kidding?! It should be Jozy and Wondolowski. Shea should never have been considered since he does not even get a game for Dallas these days.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I actually like Pontius for one of those spots because he can play out of one of the wide midfield spots, providing offensive punch without losing any physicality. US midfield is THIN!!

  2. Union Rumors says:

    I hadn’t heard about any Shea-Ady (sic) trade rumor, so I didn’t include that. As for the Shea-Adu trade rumor, that was some silly twitter thing that grew legs somehow; more wishful thinking than something actually in the works. Didn’t make the cut. Nor did I include the Califf-returning rumor because there’s no way he comes back as a player. <3 A Friend

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      You know I love you to, but the Adu rumor was my favorite bit of the impossible jumped on by various outlets all season and wishful thinking is often enough behind the linking of players (Ballack) to the club. Anyway, I think the transparency that Hackworth has shown recently in terms of being willing to talk about players who may be training with the club or appearing in reserve matches compared to the secrecy that marked Nowak’s tenure will result in a less sensationalistic and breathless atmosphere when it comes to discussions about players the club may be interested in. I hope so, anyway. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  3. On the bright side, if the US does manage to get knocked out of qualifying in the next week, we won’t have to worry about BeIn sports for next year.

  4. So far, not the best week for JK. The tactical genius announces his team’s strategy on Friday will be to kick the ball into the penalty area, in the air, and hope it lands on an American head, thereby scoring goals. Unless this is an out-and-out juke, it seems unwise, and such mind games don’t really seem like his style. Now it turns out that, um, you know those two guys who seemed hurt? Well, they’re actually hurt and can’t play. Good thing he didn’t just completely disrespect Jozy in public, cause it looks like he might need to…oh, that’s right he did, never mind.

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