Daily news roundups

PPL undamaged by Sandy, La Salle WT comes up big, MLS semi switch, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Kerith Gabriel reports that PPL Park was not damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The final Castrol Index of the regular season is out and Jack McInerney finished 13th—13th!—in the league. The top five Union players on the list include Zac MacMath (No. 81), Amobi Okugo (No. 95), Sheanon Williams (No. 113), and Carlos Valdes (No. 117). Look for a post comparing the Castrol Index rankings with PSP’s player ratings.

JP Dellacamera writes that how John Hackworth handles the Freddy Adu Situation (now with a capital “S”—from me, not JP) “will give you some direction as to the team’s thoughts for 2013.” Dellacamera expects the club to be on the hunt for one, if not two, strikers and a creative central midfielder.”The new player(s) need not be Designated Players, but in a world where you get what you pay for, the club will have to pony up for the right people.” Yep.

The Dartmouth profiles the post-collegiate career of Lucky Mkosana. Originally drafted by Chicago Fire at the start of this year, Mkosana played with Harrisburg City Islanders and spent the last six weeks of the 2012 MLS regular season training with the Union. Mkosana said of his time with the Union, “It’s been a little harder than when I played with the Islanders, but it isn’t bad. It hasn’t been hard to fit in here.”

Former Union forward Lionard Pajoy came in at No. 2 on the latest Castrol Weekly Top 20.

The latest Union Youth Academy newsletter is available.

Local

Temple freshman Jared Martinelli was named both the Philly Soccer Six Rookie and Player of the Week after scoring five goals in two shutout victories over Fordham and La Salle. Martinelli had earlier been named A-10 Rookie of the Week or the fourth time this season. For the second time this season, St. Joseph’s senior goalkeeper Andrew D’Ottavi was named Defender of the Week.

The Atlantic 10 2012 women’s soccer awards were announced on Wednesday and for the second year in a row La Salle’s Paul Royal was named Coach of the Year. La Salle’s Courtney Niemiec was named Defensive Player of the Year and St. Joseph’s Mo Hawkins received Midfielder of the Year honors for the second consecutive year. Also from La Salle, Renee Washington (M) and Gabrielle Pakhtigian (G) received all-conference first team honors, as did St. Jo’s Christine Neal. La Salle’s Kelsey Haycook (F) and Jourdan McVicker (D) were named to the second team. Olivia McEachern (Saint Joseph’s), Shauni Kerkhoff (Temple), and Erin Lafferty (Temple) were named to the All-Rookie team.

The Archbishop Ryan girls’ team defeated Lansdale Catholic 3–1 to claim their first Philadelphia Catholic League title since 2008.

Science Leadership Academy defeated Philadelphia Academy Charter 4-2 in the Public League Class AA girls’ soccer final.

The NJSIAA announced on Wednesday that all state tournament games would be pushed back a week as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Reading United players continue their strong form in college play. Ryan Finley (Notre Dame) was named TopDrawer Soccer.com’s Player of the Week for the second time in October and was also named the Big East’s Offensive Player of the Week. Deshorn Brown was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week.

A number of Harrisburg City Islanders players past and present have signed on with the Harrisburg Heat of the Professional Arena Soccer League. Yann Ekra, Tom Mellor, and Brian Ombiji are now with the team as are former Islanders Sam Bishop, Jason Hotchkin, David Schofield, and Craig Tyrell. Dave Kern, the all-time leader at the City Islanders in many goalkeeping categories, joins the Heat as a player and assistant coach. Cheltenham’s Christopher Williams, who attended Philadelphia University, is also on the team, as is Tyler Witmer, who previously played for Temple University and is joined by fellow former Reading United player Geoffrey Pezon.

MLS

Houston Dynamo topped Chicago Fire 2–1 and will next meet Kansas City in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Will Bruin had the brace for the Dynamo.

LA will host Vancouver tonight in the Western Conference knockout game (10:30pm, NBCSN). Brad Knighton will be between the posts for the Whitecaps.

The league has announced that DC United and New York Red Bulls have swapped home dates for their two leg Eastern Conference semifinal series with DC now hosting the first game on Saturday. Red Bull Arena has been powered by generators since Hurricane Sandy cut power to the area and area PATH lines have also been affected.

DC United had won the right to host the second leg by virtue of finishing second in the conference. Don Garber said, “This is a tough decision, but one that we think is much bigger than the sport of soccer…This will have a competitive impact on DC. We understand that and deeply appreciate their support. And also understand that it will impact their fans and we will try to do things to minimize that impact.” More tickets will be allocated to DC fans for the second leg in New York and their seating location “will be different than usual,” which presumably means they’ll be moved closer to the field.

PPL Park had been considered as the venue for Saturday’s game but Garber said arrangements could not be made in time due to “the tight schedule.”

Will David Beckham be back for another season in 2013? Beckham said,”Who knows? I’m going to enjoy being in the playoffs again this season and then we’ll see—see how this body feels after the playoffs.”

US

What kind of changes might you expect with the USWNT? New USWNT coach Tom Sermanni says, “You want the team to play a better brand of soccer. In the modern game, you no longer win games just on pace and power. Those gaps have become significantly narrower and that’s where in soccer, you’re technical ability becomes critical. The game is going to continue to go that way.”

Landon Donovan tells ESPN that he needs a break, that he questions his role on the USMNT, and that “he would consider playing elsewhere after his eighth season with the Galaxy ends this year.”

Oguchi Oneywu picked up his first goal for his new team in his first start, scoring the first goal in Malaga’s 4-3 Copa Del Rey victory over CP Cacereno.

Elsewhere

Another racist incident at a Chelsea match.

 

7 Comments

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

    Not that I disagree, but the idea of “one or two ” strikers scares me. After all, thats exactly what we did this past off season. Martinez AND Pajoy. How did that work out.
    Just goes to show talent evaluation and scouting goes just as far as pure numbers and stats. We do need striker help, but can we please avoid the clustering and confusing that we went through this past off season? We do need striker help, but it needs to be the right kind.

    • I prefer strikers that can put the ball into the net. Our beloved Union are lacking in this department.

    • We could use two. Odds are we are losing a striker or two in the off season. And a starter to play off Jack Mac would be a good thing. I also wouldn’t have a veteran Paunovic type off the bench. someone who is a calming mentoring influence that can actually put up minutes.

    • Those were “Nowakian” acquisitions. His cronies are out now and I’d like to think Hack’s connections with U.S. Soccer could get us a scout or, at the very least do a more thorough job of researching. To be fair MLS is a much different game than the Central American one, and many other players have failed to make the transition, we weren’t the first to have this happen, nor will we be the last.

  2. What is up with Landon Donovan?

  3. How weird would it have been to host the NY-DC playoff game at PPL Park? I, for one, would have shown up, just to boo both teams.

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