Daily news roundups

Recaps and reaction to Orlando draw, league results wrap, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin said after Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Orlando, “A clean sheet is good.”

And it is, especially on the road. Given how few clean sheets the Union has kept this season, Saturday’s defensive performance is, like Curtin said, “a positive, something to build on.” It was encouraging to see the clean sheet came with the return of Michael Lahoud and the never before tried center back pairing of Richie Marquez and Steven Vitoria from injury. Brand new signing Warren Creavalle also put in a tidy shift of work.

But not finishing any of the numerous chances the Union had is, of course, not good, even if it was the first time since the 1-0 home loss to Toronto on May 4 the team hasn’t gotten on the board in league play. So, in this season of looking on the bright side, ending a three- game losing streak during which the team gave up 8 goals with a scoreless draw is what we have to take, never mind the points dropped in the increasingly hopeless playoff hunt.

Attention now turns to Wednesday’s US Open Cup semifinal, a game that is now the most important of a disappointing season. Curtin said Saturday’s defensive effort “builds some confidence…fixing the defensive side of things.”

Wednesday’s opponent, Chicago Fire, are having an equally disappointing season in league play. On Saturday, they lost 1-0 on the road in Portland and the talk coming from them isn’t one of positives and confidence building as they look to the semifinal.

Fire defender Eric Gehrig said after Saturday’s loss, “I think everyone’s a little pissed off right now and I think that will help motivate us going into the game on Wednesday. I think there was a little bit more to be had in tonight’s game and I think everyone in that locker room can’t wait to get back out there Wednesday. It can’t come soon enough.”

Curtin said Wednesday’s game “is a do or die game, loser goes home, so [we] have to have a survive and advance mentality. If both teams take care of business at home in the Open Cup, we host the final.”

That too would be something to build on.

Recaps and reports from Saturday’s draw in Orlando at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philly.com, Delco TimesPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel, Philly Sports Network, The Blue and Gold Blog, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Orlando), Orlando City, Orlando Sentinel, My Fox Orlando, The Mane Land (recap, ratings, takeawaysphoto gallery), City Soccer Talk, Orlando Soccer Daily, O Town’s 11, SBI,  Women United FCRapid News NetworkSports Mole, iFree Press, and the AP. USA Today and Getty Images have photo galleries of the game.

American Soccer Analysis includes CJ Sapong among a list of five players who “could find themselves in Europe in the not-so-distant future.”

At the Inquirer, Mike Jensen has a nice profile piece on Zach Pfeffer.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders defeated Richmond Kickers 3-2 on Saturday night with goals from Yann Ekra, Brett Jankouskas, and Dante Leverock. Both of Richmond’s goals came from the penalty spot, the second in the 86th minute.

Harrisburg announced on Friday the signings of Kyle McCord, Andrew Lubahn, and Anthony Donatelli for the remainder of the season.

Former City Islander and Union man Morgan Langley scored a stoppage time goal for Irish Premier League side St, Patrick’s on Saturday after coming off the bench in the 82nd minute. It was Langley’s second goal of the season.

A preview of the Temple women’s team’s 2015 season.

Local lad, LA Galaxy defender, artistic genius. Ladies and gentleman, Dan Gargan:

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (44 points) defeated sixth place Montreal (28 points), 1-0. They become the first team in MLS history to win after taking only one shot in a game. Second place NYRB (36 points) defeated eighth place NYCFC (24 points), 2-0. The match was apparently preceded by some infantile, wannabe hooliganism. Morons. Third place Columbus (34 points) defeated Colorado, 2-1, on the road. Fourth place Toronto (31 points) was defeated 3-1 at home by Kansas City. Fifth place New England (31 points) had the weekend off. Seventh place Orlando (28 points) drew 0-0 with ninth place Philadelphia (23 points). Last place Chicago (22 points) was defeated 1-0 on the road by Portland.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (42 points) spanked eighth place Salt Lake (29 points), 4-0, with former Union man Jordan Harvey registering two assists. Second place LA (40 points) defeated sixth place Seattle, 3-1, handing the Sounders their eighth loss in nine games. Third place Dallas had the weekend off.  Fourth place Kansas City (37 points) defeated Toronto 3-1 on the road. Fifth place Portland (36 points) defeated Chicago, 1-0, at home. Seventh place Houston (31 points) defeated ninth place San Jose (26 points), 2-1, with former Union man Sheanon Williams assisting the game winner. Last place Colorado (24 points) lost 2-1 at home to Columbus.

Kansas City announced on Friday it had “acquired allocation money from Toronto FC in exchange for Herculez Gomez’s right of first refusal within MLS.” Shortly after, Toronto announced the signing of Gomez.

Vancouver acquired acquired right back Jordan Smith on loan from Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa through the end of the season with an option to buy. The club also announced the loan of striker Erik Hurtado to Norwegian side Mjøndalen IF through the end of the season.

Seattle signed 31-year-old Paraguayan international forward Nelson Valdez from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Colorado signed Irish international defender Sean St. Ledger, who was released cut by Orlando City. They then announced defender Shane O’Neill had been transferred to Cypriot side Apollon Limassol. Soon after, the Rapids announced the signing of Honduran international defender Maynor Figueroa, who played for Hull in the Premier League last season.

MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott is scheduled to meet with St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman to discuss the possibility of building a stadium for Minnesota United in that city.

Charlotte Business Journal reports, “An informal campaign to land a Major League Soccer franchise seems to be snowballing.”

18,227 people attended the NPSL championship final in Chattanooga between Chattanooga FC and New York Cosmos B. Sadly, the home team lost, 3-2, but former Union homegrown player Cristian Hernandez, and former Union youth technical director and current Cosmos B head coach Alecko Eskandarian, took home championship medals.

US

The Confederation’s Cup play-in game between the US and Mexico at the Rose Bowl, originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9, has been moved to Saturday, Oct. 10 at 9 pm ET.

The USWNT will play Brazil in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl as part of the ten-game World Cup Victory Tour on October 25. Can’t get enough of that turf!

At Top Drawer Soccer, Will Parchman on the scouting crisis in the US Soccer: “Nine full-time scouts and 100 in the entire network for a nation two and a half times the size of the entire European Union. A crisis indeed.”

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has launched an internal investigation of alleged corruption, two people familiar with the matter said, in a development that may signal greater cooperation with criminal probes by U.S. and Swiss authorities.”

CONCACAF is reportedly nominating U.S. lawyer Samir Ghandi and Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani to join FIFA’s new reform task force. The AFC is reportedly nominating Former former Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper.

Reuters reported on Friday, “The head of North American soccer’s governing body CONCACAF has been fired following the FBI investigation into corruption allegations at FIFA, a source and his lawyer said.” Enrique Sanz had been put on “”indefinite leave” by CONCACAF following the indictment of Jeffrey Webb and had been “provisionally suspended” from all soccer-related activities by FIFA.

Police in Germany are looking for a motorcyclist who shot the windshield of Hertha Berlin’s team bus. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Sportsmanship. One of the many things I love about soccer.

61 Comments

  1. JC is an idiot for putting Maidana on the wing for BArnetta.

    Anyone with half an eye could see CHaco does his best work in the middle of the field.

  2. Kudos to the New York Red Bulls who trolled Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard and then beat them 2-0:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2543965-new-york-red-bulls-troll-andrea-pirlo-and-frank-lampard-in-derby-with-city

  3. The scary thing is… WE ARE STILL IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT.
    No team in the bottom half of the table actually put and distance on the Union. Hell our 1 point got us out of last. So we have to keep this up for a few more weeks in the hope that we can stagger our way into a playoff spot.

    • We need to stagger into last place for the potential Jordan Morris sweepstakes even if the chance he signs with the MLS are incredibly thin.

      • I love your optimism…but he won’t play a minute in MLS. And if he decides to stay, for some weird reason, you can bet the Mr. Garber will make damn sure it’s not in Philly.

      • He will sign a homegrown contract with Seattle when he’s ready so no chance he comes to the union.

    • Sieve! We are not in the playoff hunt…were you in the sun all day yesterday? Kidding.

      • We are not in the playoff hunt and yet we are in the playoff hunt. 5 point separate us and Montreal. Sure teams have plent of games in hand but on paper we are in the hunt and have to play as such.

      • That’s the type of thinking that got Ed Wade to hold onto Billy Wagner instead of trading him for the offered package of Kelly Shoppach, Bronson Arroyo/Jon Lester and this kid named Youkilis . . .

      • No one is offering the Union anything like that for any of our players.

      • Just use the word “mathematically” when talking about the playoffs. We all know it’s not happening, but technically…

    • We need to average 2+ PPG to make the playoffs if the other teams in the east maintain their current PPG. We are not in the playoff hunt.

  4. I’m pretty sure Orlando is pretty pissed with that 0-0 draw at home. I’m not sure how Carroll and Lahoud starting together (they played very well though) does anything to further this team both this year and going forward. I would much rather have seen Maidana/Barnetta grow some chemistry in the middle and have Ayuk continue to grow outside. Also, I know we’ve beaten it to death, but honestly anyone at PSP or other insiders who read this… what is the reason Blake can’t play? Is it solely because Curtin just doesn’t like him? Something at practice? I mean he’s behind two guys that started the year (essentially) not even in MLS, and he’s a NUMBER 1 OVERALL PICK. Somewhere in there is a huge failure.
    .
    This game can’t be seen as anything other than a waste of time. The only things I can see as a positive going forward is Marquez/Vitoria working much better together than anyone would have guessed. Sapong continues his strong play and Crevealle looks to be a solid bench depth option.
    .
    Otherwise, hooray we took a point on the road.
    .
    Besides that… LETS GET IT WEDNESDAY BOYS!!!

    • I’d argue for something of a 4-5-1:
      Sapong
      Barnetta-Carroll-Maidana-Lahoud-LeToux
      Fabinho-Marquez-Vittoria-Gaddis
      Blake
      .
      I think Lahoud is underrated on this squad. He and/or Carroll can make way for Nogs and/or Edu when then come back. But the goal should be to get our best XI on the field. And do it by any means necessary.
      .
      You could also make an argument that due to positional discipline, Lahoud could start ahead of Edu. But that’s a discussion for another time…

      • That lineup, which is almost what we used Saturday, will pretty much always get the result of 0-0. Bunker in, try to take out their key offensive guy, try to strike on the counter. I get it in a normal situation. My point was just that I don’t think this does very much for the team as a whole right now. We don’t need a 0-0 draw. We need to see what we have going forward.

      • If you move Barnetta on the wing with Maidana central, that alone will create more opportunities.
        Plus, if you work Nogs into that midfield, you create more chances.
        We have a grand total of two guys that can finish on this team: Sapong and Ayuk. The goal is to find out how to maximize the opportunities to get them in position to score.

      • I have a hunch Saturday was as much about not getting hurt, coupled with seeing if the Marquez-Vitoria pairing could play together effectively.
        .
        That doesn’t mean Curtin won’t keep putting Barnetta in the middle and Maidana wide, of course….

    • I don’t think it was a waste of time when it got Lahoud, Marquez, Vittoria, and Barnetta some game minutes ahead of Wednesday, especially if Edu isn’t ready to go by then.

      • The Chopper says:

        I don’t think we should really start muttering about where Chaco and Barnetta are positioned at the moment.

        In games and training these guys will find their comfort levels and what works best. It’s just important to start getting them all on the field (sadly for now without Nogs) and let it start to figure itself out.

    • I don’t think we are going to see Blake until the season is officially over. Curtain and Crew are set on salvaging something from this season. Whether it’s the Open Cup, or a sneak in playoff birth. Unlike most of us, they don’t believe the season is over. And to be honest, nor should they. I don’t want a team that quits.

  5. “Second place LA (40 points) defeated sixth place Seattle, 3-1, handing the Sounders their eighth loss in nine games.”
    .
    If the Union want to hope for some good luck, they can cross their fingers, rub their lucky rabbit’s feet, and whatever else that Seattle continues to slide and fires Siggi at the end of the year. Then, because they’re such a well-run operation, Nick would have no problem convincing Mr. Schmid to come coach our team… Right? Guys? Anybody?
    .
    “Kansas City announced on Friday it had “acquired allocation money from Toronto FC in exchange for Herculez Gomez’s right of first refusal within MLS.” Shortly after, Toronto announced the signing of Gomez.”
    .
    sigh Nevermind…

  6. I posted this earlier but I like to see what you all think. This is with the Union with all options healthy and available:

    Sapong
    Barnetta, Maidana, Le Toux
    Noguiera(the link), Edu
    Fabinho, Marquez, Vitoria, Creavalle
    Sylvestre

    I also think with this XI the bench has more depth.

    • All options healthy, I’d prefer Blake over Sylvestre. And as much as I love Le Toux, I think I’d also prefer Ayuk over Seba.

      • I think Ayuk is our cheaper somewhat inexperienced Danny Cruz replacement with more potential upside.
        I think the Union think that too.

      • scores goals, does flips. i’m fine with that.

      • I’m sorry Sieve but I can’t let the Cruz comparison slide. Ayuk has talent and ball handling capabilities, neither of which Cruz has ever shown. Sorry, but just, no.

      • He is a spot starting energy guy. Same function as Cruz.

      • John O'Donnell says:

        He’s 18, was Cruz that far along at 18?

      • So lets go form vs function then. Ayuk has form. Cruz didn’t function. Ayuk is not a Cruz replacement. More like upgrading from 1.0 to 2.3.

      • I agree in general, but in this setup we have more offense and could use Le Toux’s hustle and work ethic working back.

      • Or, Open Cup aside, we can let Ayuk take his lumps now and learn on the job.

    • I don’t want to overreact about Creavalle. I know Ray’s been out of form (Saturday was much better), but I’m not in a hurry to dump him.
      .
      The thing that scares me the most is Edu at CDM. He has proven to be his most undisciplined at that spot. If he can track back after his charging runs, then I’m fine with it. Otherwise, Lahoud can man that spot and provide the solid Defensive cover.

      • I doubt he is getting dumped. From what I read Creavalle was a Hackworthesque experiment at right back and he is really a midfielder.

      • The Union love versatility…

      • I see your point however to me it’s more about his supporting cast, coaching and their lack of soccer IQ. If this team is healthy they could field a moderately good team moving forward. Edu has played the position and has been excellent at it. He’s played on the world stage. I think he knows something about playing the position. It’s the supporting cast and coaching that has stifled Edu’s creativity. Edu and Noguiera could be a dynamic duo if this coach and staff had a clue and a plan. It’s laughable. The Union has a real talent in Edu. He has been willing to play CB for the good of the team. Edu is not dumb and knows if asked he will cover the back 4 while Noguiera does his thing. However I’ve seen Noguiera also get himself in bad spots to lose the ball. Edu’s talent and mobility could help with that if Noguiera would alternate with him when the situation dictates it. I’ve been to games and I’ve seen Edu patiently try and get certain players to get into position. Noguiera and Maidana have both bogged down plays because of a lack of foot speed,strength and agility. I’ve seen players not cover when Edu moves forward like anyone else with basic common soccer sense would do if the coaches made it a priority. His skills would be welcomed anyplace else in MLS but in Philadelphia it’s an issue. Why is that? This is the type of thing that frustrates the hell out of me. This team is consistently the worst team in MLS. To me it’s because this organization from owner to coaches has an astounding lack of soccer acumen, insight and is stuck on stupid. It is too willing to accept mediocrity because the fans will show up anyway. As for Gaddis, unless he learns to position himself and to play the ball in the air with proficiency he’s going to struggle. Creavalle has Rays speed and can help on offense and recover. He can also play the ball in the air competently. He’s basically Williams without the throw in power. LB needs to be upgraded and there is no excuse that this BS organization can give for not doing it. This is all just my opinion and I do see your point. Sorry to be sooooooo wordy!!!;)

      • Maybe, when it comes to Edu, we don’t feel the way you do. I certainly don’t. Let me say first, he has done yeoman like work in the back. He has swallowed his desire to play ‘his position’ and has done everything the team has asked. But, when it comes to his desired position, I feel he’s lacking. He makes those ranging runs forward and mopes back. I don’t think his passing skills are great, mostly average. He can be a shut down guy, but it hasn’t shown enough. He has bad man marking on corners and set pieces.
        .
        Edu is a good all-around player. But he’s not spectacular. Unless he’s in the back, he really doesn’t make the players around him better. And, for me, he’s best at the CB position.

      • That’s cool. We don’t agree.

      • Agreed on that. Hey, I hope I’m wrong and you’re right. It be better for the Union.

  7. The Chopper says:

    You know, it’s kind of funny that one of the recurring themes we discuss here is often a lack of depth for the club. Well, let’s look at who is playing at the moment.

    Marquez, Ladhoud, Carroll, Fabhino, Ayuk, McCarthy. That’s six bench players in the starting lineup. The depth wasn’t the problem. It was the quality and health of the starters.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I’d argue that Marquez and Fabhino no longer count as depth, the former because he’s proved he should be starting and the latter because there is no longer anyone remotely near him on the depth chart for his position.
      .
      Good thing the trade window closed before the Union accepted any of those big offers they were going to get for him when he was protected in the expansion draft.

    • Ayuk is a spot started. and your list lrfy out Pfeffer who is also a spot starter.

  8. Well everyone is sitting here talking about all the spots of where to play people and how things should be done I still see glaring holes.

    1. The fact that people disagree whether or not Edu should be in CDM or CB or even on the field. This says one thing to me Edu needs to be traded or let go so we can get the salary back. We know him and Nogs don’t fit in the middle and if your not going to keep him at CB time to let him go.

    2. One good game from Vittoria does not mean much right now. Personally I think he is to slow for the MLS and is not good in the air for a 6’5″ defender. When loan is up let him go open up the salary.

    3. Lahoud could be solid, but is hurt almost every year. Can’t rely on him time to let him go as well.

    4. Carroll is very consistent and holds the team together but is to old must be let got and replaced.

    5. Crevalle played one game for 15 minutes hardly showed that he is a start on this team or in this league. Nothing more then bench depth and salary to let go at end of the year in my opinion right now. (this could change if he shows something throughout the end of the year).

    6. We still have no left back.

    7. A 4-2-3-1 is not the way to go with the possession oriented players this team is picking up in Nogs, Chaco, Barnetta, Ayuk and Sapong up top.

    8. We still have no goalkeeper and Blake does not exist in more than words and pictures.

    9. Defense should be built around Marquez and who e wants to and can play with.

    10. Need new ownership with a plan and money.

    However if you look at some of the disposable players I listed it opens up about 1.2 million dollars in Salary for this team. Plus you get rid of M’bohli and Valdes contract and your looking at 2 million open at the end of the year.

    • 1-10 agree wholeheartedly. Only question, who’s making this work? No, really, I hope you have an answer. haha. Wouldn’t be nice if we had real ownership for the Union. Ahhhhh wouldn’t it be nice. Just some wishful thinking.

      • It would be nice. I’m certainly available for fulfilling the GM position, but unfortunately I don’t have the money to support the team. No one in this FO can make this plan work thats for sure.

  9. Andy Muenz says:

    Just curious how many people here are planning to suck it up for another season and renew now that the window is open. I ponied up this morning.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Haven’t renewed yet. Definitely on the fence about it so the 7% discount isn’t enticing enough for me to make my decision now.

    • I’ll be there. I’m starting to think this team is gonna get 10 years out of me before I legitimately consider not renewing. And hey, 7% off is better than 0% off, right?!
      .
      Plus… AGAIN… if the Union do it right (they won’t), they have real money to spend next off season, and maybe we’ll have a GM… oh god, why do I get my hopes up… Haha

      • Bless you all for thou walk in the valley of sham. Where the owners will hear no plea of discontent. Where ye shall fear no last place, nor exit of The Open cup in the final round. Where rumors of international players landing on Penn’s shores bear sub-million dollar players. Where promises of youth and talent to come, bear no fruit. Bless thee, for thee walk though the Valley of Delaware.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Adding the money that I’ve spent through 6 seasons and thinking what else that I could have spent it on was definitely eye opening for me.

        The elephant is wise. The couch is comfy, the beer selection is always very good and I don’t have to fight Blue Route traffic.

    • This is my airplane banner flying over the seaboard now: ‘Watch from home make your displeasure known.’
      .
      PS: I’m still a supporter.

    • I’m in.

    • Thinking seriously of not renewing. Getting much more joy watching EPL games, so why bother getting frustrated with this organization that breaks promises over and over.

    • Out and still out. I won’t be back until they hire a sporting director. Even with the freed cap space next year, this team just seems destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

    • Still on the fence.. Seeing them actually make some moves is encouraging, and I still enjoy going to the games.
      7% does nothing for me, to be honest. I want to see some significant organizational changes.

      Oh hell.. I’ll probably renew lol

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Defensively, Ayuk has qualities mindful of Cruz, determination, physicality, fearlessness, but I don’t think of Danny as an occasional ball winner. Offensively the major point of comparison is speed, but the major differences are that Ayuk’s feet are good enough to beat a defender 1 v 1. Cruz can only do it with speed. Ayuk has step overs, speed, and can – basketball terminology here – can hook a tight defender while carrying the ball and turn on him, putting the ball and himself ahead of the man. Cruz has no comparable moves.

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