Daily news roundups

Jack draws first blood, on the CB options, Philly confirmed for summer tournament date, more

Photo: Jason Dalrymple, courtesy of New England Revolution

Philadelphia Union

Jack McInerney scored the first Union goal of 2014 to give his team the lead in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution. You can read match reports from the game at the Union and Revolution websites. Check out the Union’s @TheUMatchDay twitter account for more details from the game, which was played over three 30-minute periods. The Revolution website also has a photo gallery from the game that can also be viewed on Flickr.

The Union used three different lineups for each period, which of course meant that some players may not have been playing in positions one is used to seeing them in. This was compounded by the exclusion of Amobi Okugo. A Union spokesperson told PSP Okugo was left out as a precaution while he is recovering from an injury. Nearing a return to 100 percent fitness as he continues to train with the team, it was decided there was no point in risking a setback for him to see minutes in a early preseason scrimmage.

Two articles addressing the defensive concerns that followed the departure of Jeff Parke complement one another very well. At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead focuses on the potential pairing of Okugo and Ethan White, who have played together with US national youth teams, albeit with White in defense and Okugo in the midfield. “On the field, when he was playing center back, I was always playing center mid. So he was telling me where to slide or where to shift. But if we’re going to be playing together I think we’ll jell really soon and it’s the coaches’ decision whether or not we’re playing together, whether he’s starting or I’m starting or it’s one of the new guys. We’ve just got to make sure our backline is strong.”

White says, “I’m not really thinking about who’s going to take the spot. I mean, obviously, I want it. But I think my job right now is just to come out and perform the best that I can, and make it a hard decision on Hack.”

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George focuses on what the Union’s defensive draft picks Richie Marquez and Kevin Cope contribute to whatever hard decision the coaching staff will have to make. De George writes, “So far in training camp, both have impressed and are adapting well to the tutelage of Union assistant coach Jim Curtin, an accomplished MLS defender in his day.”

Hackworth says in the De George article, “Right now, it’s as real as it gets because clearly we have one center back position that is completely open…I’ve had conversations with Ethan, Richard and Kevin, and they all understand that they have a great opportunity. At the same time, we’ve been honest with them saying, hey, we’re going to look for a veteran center back.”

At CBS Philly, Matt Leon talks to Kerith Gabriel about the Union’s offseason acquisitions in which Gabriel describes about the competition within the squad, particularly at goalkeeper, and how the experience of players like Maurice Edu and Vincent Nogueira can help to elevate the play of their teammates. When asked if there is pressure on the Union to “break through this year,” Gabriel says, “I think that’s the sentiment this year, not just in the technical staff, but within the front office. Everything is being ramped up for 2014.” Sounds like the new Union jerseys are being ramped up too.

You will recall in our roundup on Jan. 17 that we linked to a report that the Union would be playing the New York Red Bulls in Jacksonville at EverBank Field on Feb. 12. The match has been confirmed by the Union and New York. You can purchase tickets for the game here.

The parody website Football France — not to be confused with France Football — has some fun with Vincent Nogueira’s move to the Union (crappy Google translation here).

At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci talks to Ryan Talbot and Tyler Skwara, two Shawnee High School players who played for the Union Academy last year and have just made there college commitments.

At the Union website, a report on a recent presentation to YSC Academy student athletes about the importance of giving back to the community that featured Philadelphia Union Foundation executive director Rick Jacobs as the keynote speaker.

The Brotherly Game roundtables the question of whether the Union have done enough in the offseason to “get them over the line.” Also at tBG, possible Union formations.

The Sons of Ben’s Help Kick Hunger charity event raised $10,108 — its highest total yet — and collected 408.6 pounds of food for Chester’s Bernardine Center. Details on this year’s Stache Bash and St. Baldrick’s day events are forthcoming.

Freddy Adu played 45 minutes in a closed door game between the Blackpool first team and the club’s youth squad. Blackpool interim manager Barry Ferguson said before the game, “Freddy is just over to train and I’m going to have a look at him. That’s as far as it goes at the moment. He’s not played in two months and he’s just come back from Brazil. We’ll see how he does in training.”

Local

Philadelphia has been confirmed as one of the host cities of the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup tournament. Specific fixtures and stadiums have not yet been announced but, as we mentioned on Monday’s round up, World Soccer Talk reported last week that Philadelphia would host AC Milan vs Liverpool on July 30, presumably at the Linc.

University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer player Ana Chevtchenko has been called up by the Russian national team for the friendlies against the US on Saturday, Feb. 8 (3:30pm) and Wednesday, Feb. 12 (7:30 pm). The games will not be televised but will be live streamed on the US Soccer website.

The Mercury News reports on the tragic death of Twin Valley boys soccer coach Dean Secord, who was killed in an automobile accident on Sunday.

MLS

The David Beckham MLS Miami franchise announcement press conference was streamed live at MLSsoccer.com today. Orlando responded brilliantly:

The Miami New Times looks back on what went wrong with the first MLS franchise in Miami, the Fusion.

At MLSsoccer.com, an update on Tuesday’s preseason training camp happenings from around the league has no mention of the Union’s scrimmage.

NYC FC have invited fans to submit designs for the club’s crest that will be a part of “the official New York City FC team badge mosaic to be revealed in March of this year.”

DC United and USL PRO side Richmond Kickers have extended their affiliation for 2014.

Former New York Red Bulls defender Markus Holgersson has signed with Wigan Athletic.

Joe Cole to MLS? How about Shaun Wright-Phillips? Didier Drogba to Seattle?

US

At SI, Brian Straus on the lessons learned from the USMNT’s January camp and win over South Korea.

Jozy Altidore tells the Sunderland Echo, “To be honest, it’s been tough for me, adjusting to the team and everything. I demand more of myself. I’m freezing up in front of goal lately and it’s difficult. The confidence or quick-thinking isn’t there. I’m over-thinking things a little bit…I’m still getting chances, maybe not as many as I’d like, but I’m still getting them and freezing up. It’s something I’ll carry on working on in training because if I didn’t have the ability, it’d be one thing. But I know I have it.”

The US U-18 MNT fell 1-0 to Spain on Tuesday in their opening game at 2014 Copa del Atlantico, conceding the winning goal in the 88th minute. The US next faces Argentina’s U-20 team today before matching up against the Canary Islands on Friday.

Elsewhere

The Union of Central American Football confirmed on Tuesday that the 2014 Copa Centroamericana will be held in the US during September’s FIFA international window. The tournament is for the Central America championship and a Gold Cup qualification tournament.

The AP reports, “Videos warning soccer fans against paying for sex with children at the World Cup will be played on Brazil-bound flights from England.”

Remember that time you forgot to pick up your new Brazilian signing from the airport?

7 Comments

  1. That Orlando tweet is inspired.

  2. Hey PSP! With the off-season done and pre-season in full swing, I’d love to see another article full of polls, followed by data mining out of those polls. It’ll be interesting, I think, to see how opinions on some things changed since the off-season moves. And, of course, there are always new questions to toss our way.

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    Yeah I do like that Orlando City jab. Well done.
    .
    Glad Jack Mac scored one already. Hope he’s in solid form this year. What’s up with Okugo? Any word on what injury he’s recovering from?
    .
    Anyone else think the Union are gonna blow it with the new kits?

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