Daily news roundups

Big win over the Crew, Academy teams sweep, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Truly, who among us saw that coming?

Following their season opening loss on the road to Dallas, and coming on the heels of the news that Maurice Edu will be out for at least three months with a stress fracture, the Union were on the road again on Saturday to face MLS Cup finalists Columbus in the Crew’s home opener. In seven previous games there, the Union had managed but one point, being outscored 17 goals to 8, including last April’s demoralizing 4-1 loss. Then, just before the kickoff, came word that Vincent Nogueira was injured and would not be playing.

So, what do the Union do? They hand Columbus their first loss in a home opener in 10 years, of course, thanks to a Chris Pontius brace and another outstanding outing from Andre Blake, who now leads the league in saves with 14 after his 6-save night on Saturday.

Jim Curtin said after the win,

I thought we did a great job putting them under pressure and making it a little bit uncomfortable for them. They’re always going to create chances, so in those times we needed Andre [Blake] to bail us out and I thought he did. Our group is happy to get our first win here but at the same time not satisfied, I think we had a chance there to maybe get the third goal and make us breathe a little easier on the sidelines, but it’s MLS, this is how games go. They get a little crazy at the end of regular time, but I’m happy to get three points.

Curtin said of Pontius, “He’s always solid. Today, I think he raised it to another level … Chris is a guy who took a leadership role tonight, put the team on his back a little bit and got us two big goals.”

Pontius said after the game, “It feels good. A goal is a goal and any way you score it, it just feels good. More importantly, to get the W is the main thing. We wanted to be a confident team going into our home opener next weekend, and I feel like we found a good rhythm at times tonight.”

The Union have now gotten that all-important first win of the season, and they did so on the road against an opponent universally expected to win. If they can carry that “good rhythm” into Talen Energy Stadium in Sunday’s home opener and get another win, it could be the start of something UNion fans haven’t seen in far too long: momentum.

Match reports and more at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Delco Times, Philly VoicePhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Crew), Columbus Crew, Columbus Dispatch, Columbus UndergroundMassive Report, Prost Amerika, Pro Soccer Talk, SBI, and the AP. Philadelphia Union, Columbus CrewUSA Today and Massive Report have photos from the game.

Andre Blake and Chris Pontius were named to ESPN’s MLS Team of the Week.

Writing at Philly Voice before Saturday’s win, Kevin Kinkead considers the Union’s formation options with Maurice Edu out.

Keegan Rosenberry and Joshua Yaro make ASN’s list of 11 MLS players with breakout potentialAt Philly.com, Rosenberry talks about his MLS debut against Dallas.

At the Ocean City Nor’easters website, a Q&A with Ken Tribbett.

At Goal.com, Fabian Herbers talks about coming to the US from Germany to go to college and play soccer.

The Union have announced a new partnership with Uber that will see a dedicated drop-off and pick-up spot in Lot E.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Eric Ayuk equalized in the 75th minute, one minute after NYRB II scored, as Bethlehem Steel drew 1-1 at the Red Bulls’ training center on Friday. Bethlehem captain Ryan Richter said, “We had a really big test [Friday]. It’s the first one against a team in our league. We have a lot of Union players with us [Friday] and will through the preseason. So far in our friendlies we have done very well and training has been fantastic. Our coaches have a really good plan. It’s tough to tell because no one has really played together. We’re working hard to get everyone on the same page.” More on the game at Allentown Morning CallPhilly Soccer News, New York Red Bulls, Big Apple Soccer.

I missed this post from earlier last week, but the USL website has a profile on Bethlehem Steel defender Mickey Daly, who joined the team from Sacramento Republic.

Philadelphia Union Academy

It was another strong weekend for the Union Academy teams facing off against Continental FC Delco in US Soccer Development Academy East Conference Atlantic Division play on Saturday with each Union team victorious.

The U-13/14s won 2-0 with first-half goals from Nicholas Blacklock (35′) and Michael Pellegrino (40′). The U-15/16s won 3-1 with goals from Justin McMaster (35′), Daniel Bloyou (40′), and Darius Lewis (67′). The U-17/18s won 2-0 with goals from Raheem Taylor-Parkes (86′) and Anthony Fontana (90′).

The U-15/16s are now second place in the Atlantic Division with an 11-3-3 record and 36 points, three points behind first place NYRB, who have a game in hand. The U-17/18s are also in second place with a 10-3-4 record and 34 points, one point behind first place NYRB, who also have a game in hand.

Local

Lancaster’s Russell Canouse debuted for Bundesliga-side Hoffenheim on Saturday in the team’s 1-0 win over Wolfsburg, coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute.

Trenton, New Jersey’s Matthew Olosunde has signed with Manchester United’s U-18 squad. The US youth international was previously a member of NYRB’s academy.

Nick Noble returns between the posts for Harrisburg for the 2016 season.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, First place Montreal (6 points, 2-0-0) defeated last place NYRB (0 points, 0-2-0) 3-0 in their home opener. Second place Toronto (4 points, 1-0-1) came from behind to draw 2-2 on the road with third place NYCFC (4 points, 1-0-1). Were there ticket problems at Yankee Stadium? Yes, there were ticket problems. Fourth place Philadelphia (3 points, 1-1-0) defeated ninth place Columbus (0 points, 0-2-0) 2-1 on the road. Fifth place New England (2 points, 0-0-2) drew 0-0 with eighth place DC (1 point, 0-1-1). Sixth place Orlando (2 points, 0-0-2) drew 1-1 with seventh place Chicago (1 point, 0-1-1), who finished the game with ten men.

In the Western Conference, first place San Jose (6 points, 2-0-0) defeated sixth place Portland (3 points, 1-1-0), 2-1. Quincy Amarikwa scored this beauty  for the Earthquakes and former Union man Jack McInerney scored for Portland in the 89th minute. Second place Kansas City (6 points, 2-0-0) defeated ninth place Vancouver (0 points, 0-2-0), 2-1 on the brace from Dom Dwyer. Third place Houston (4 points, 1-0-1) crushed eighth place Dallas (3 points, 1-1-0) 5-0 in a game that saw six yellow cards and former Union man Andrew Wenger score his second goal of the season and also record two assists. Fourth place Salt Lake (4 points, 1-0-1) defeated last place Seattle (0 points, 0-2-0), 2-1. Fifth place LAG (3 points, 1-1-0) lost 1-0 on the road to seventh place Colorado (3 points, 1-1-0) thanks to a goal from Marco Pappa in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Vancouver has acquired former Union man Andrew Jacobson from NYCFC in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money.

NYCFC has acquired 23 year-old Colombian forward on loan from Colombian forward Steven Mendoza from Corinthians “until the end of the 2016 season with an option to purchase.”

Chicago has signed second round SuperDraft pick and midfielder Alex Morrell.

Portland has announced Gavin Wilkinson as its new President of Soccer.

Soccer America has more on the improving viewership numbers from the opening weekend game broadcasts, including international broadcasts.

At MLSsoccer.com, a nice story on RSL supporter Ryan Terry, who got help to pay for hospital bills via a GoFundMe campaign after a life-threatening illness from former and current players, coaches, and fellow fans from around the country. “I saw [Brian Dunseth] and Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore and I was seeing Seattle fans and Philly fans and New York fans. I mean, I knew there were a lot of people in Utah that would get involved, but I had no idea that outside of Utah it would be so amazing.”

Vice Sports on the numbers involved in the building of Orlando City’s new stadium: “The passionate Orlando City SC fans will soon have a soccer-specific temple to watch and worship their team. But they should also disregard the overly positive soundbites about the new deal: taxpayers are squarely holding the buck. And soon, they may come to regret it.”

US

The US U-17 WNT has qualified for the U-17 Women’s World Cup. On friday, the team crushed Canada 5-0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s championship in Grenada. On Sunday, the team defeated Mexico 2-1 in the tournament final.

The USWNT game against Colombia at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, April 10 has sold out. Excellent!

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “FIFA banned three more former South African Football Association officials on Monday over match-fixing in friendly games ahead of the country’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup.”

During Dortmund’s game against Mainz on Saturday, two fans suffered heart attacks, one of whom died at the stadium. As word soon spread the legendarily loud stadium fell silent. At the end of the game, the massive supporters section led a stirring rendition of “You Never Walk Alone” in tribute. The footage of the tribute — which you can see in reports at Fox SoccerThe Guardian and Vice Sports — is beautifully moving.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week. The interview began like this

Stephen Colbert: “You are America’s top crime fighter. Are you the Batman?”

Lynch responded. “I’m not the Batman. I am the FIFA slayer.”

Wonderful.

Loretta Lynch FIFA Slayer

13 Comments

  1. pragmatist says:

    FIFA Slayer. Classic. Keep at it, Ms. Lynch.

  2. Excited for the April 10th game. We have 41 people attending from our U9/U10 girls team, should be fun.

    • April 10th?! How about this Sunday!! After watching this team on Saturday I can not wait for Sunday!

    • 41 people from a U9/U10 team?
      you should issue an advisory to whoever is in charge of keeping the Turkey Hill ice cream in stock

      • 41 Total People from two teams, including parents and other siblings. But I still imagine lots of Turkey Hill ice cream will be consumed.

  3. When is Tranquillo coming back?

    • “Taking it day-to-day” is what Jim C. said at the press conf. last week (i think- could have been about a different player). We’ll probably know more by this Wednesday i’d assume…

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Who played for the Steel against Pink Heiffers in the preseason match last Friday remains quite elusive. richter is quoted and Ayuk is cited as the goal scorer.
    .
    None of the sources, cited above by Ed have anything more specific about the Steel side.
    .
    Does anybody know anything?

    • Looks like Bethlehem Steel FC’s PR department is not as efficient as the Red Bull’s (they have their match report with starting line-up up on their site).

  5. It seems like the Union dominates its match-ups with Continental (the successor to FC Delco).

    Is that because the Union is getting the best Philly area talent, because they are successfully importing talent from other areas, or both?

    • Both I imagine.
      .
      Used to be the only place the best players in the ‘greater’ area could go was FC Delco…. Not that way anymore.
      .
      Union skim the top talent… as it should.

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