Daily news roundups

Road swing begins with a miss, Steels playoff hopes over, Academy results, league wrap, more

Photo: Courtesy of Portland Timbers

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin said after Saturday’s road loss in Portland, “We made a couple mistakes. I think they made a couple mistakes. We got punished for ours.”

Not exactly the way the team and its fans wanted to start of the three-game road swing.

Fortunately, the teams around the fourth place Union in the standings didn’t do much to hurt the Union: first place Toronto drew with second place NYRB, NYCFC drew with Dallas, and fifth place Montreal lost at home to sixth place New England (which only makes the Union’s recent home draw against the Impact sting even more).

Next up is Toronto, who have no doubt noted Josh Yaro’s two yellow cards and subsequent ejection and are thinking hungry thoughts of feasting again on Ken Tribbett in the Union backline.

That Pontius goal was kind of nice though (and also the 300th Union goal scored in team history). Vote for it for Goal of the Week!

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap, postgame), Philadelphia Union (recap, postgame), Delco Times, Philly Voice, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game, Pattison AveVavel, Section 215, Philadelphia Sports Nation, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Timbers), Portland Timbers (recapstatsphoto gallery, postgame), The Oregonian (report, recapcommentary, report), Portland Mercury, Portland TribuneStumptown Footy, SBI, Pro Soccer Talk, and the AP.  USA Today has a photo gallery.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George notes the struggles of CJ Sapong: “Sapong has just one goal from the run of play and two total since mid-May, including a month out with an ankle injury…[On Saturday, Sapong] fired two shots, one on target, a harmless effort into Gleeson’s breadbasket in the 68th minute for his first shot on target since Aug. 20.”

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead wonders if zonal marking is the cure for the Union’s problems with defending set pieces.

Warren Creavalle has been named to Guyana’s 55-player provisional roster ahead of the start of third round play in the Caribbean Cup. Guyana is scheduled to face Suriname on Oct. 8, and Jamaica on Oct. 11 (the Union is off after facing NYRB on the road on Oct. 1 until they host Orlando on Oct. 16). More at Brotherly Game.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George tries to make sense of the Kevin Kratz signing.

Fifty Five One looks at the Union’s history of Designated Players.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin talks to John McCarthy about the bond he has with Cameron McCarthy, the young girl who is recovering from bone cancer.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday’s 1-1 draw with last in the Eastern Conference Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Maurice Edu started for Bethlehem, playing 60 minutes before being subbed out. Recaps and reports at PSP, Bethlehem Steel (recap, quote sheet), Philly Soccer News (Bethlehem, Pittsburgh), USLsoccer.com, Pittsburgh RiverhoundsPittsburgh Tribune, and Pittsburgh Sports Castle.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy teams were on the road to Northern New Jersey over the weekend. On Saturday, the Union U-12s played two games against Cedar Stars Academy-Bergen, winning the first game 21 with goals from Timothy Madden (8′) and Ian Abbey (50′). The team won the second game 51. Sawyer Koza opened the scoring in the 4th minute before Nicolas Rubio scored a brace with goals in the 13th and 23rd minutes. Additional goals were scored by Safiyy Harris (51′) and Nelson Pierre (54′). The team returns to the road next Saturday to face their counterparts from Lehigh Valley United.

On Sunday, the rest of the Union Academy teams traveled to face their opposites at New York Red Bulls Academy. As of this writing, no result is recorded for the U-13 team at the Academy USSDA webpage or on the the Academy Twitter account.

The U-14s were defeated 10 after conceding in the 43rd minute.

As of this writing, no result is recorded for the U-15/16 team at the Academy USSDA webpage or on the the Academy Twitter account.

The U-17/18s suffered what is the worst loss I can remember, being thumped 72 after going down a man following Isaiah Holquist’s sending off in the 26th minute. NYRB opened the scoring with a goal in the second minute but Alexander Soto equalized five minutes later. Red Bull goals in the 20th, 39th, 45th, 47th, 49th, and 54th minutes went unanswered until Emmanuel Perez scored the final goal of the game in the 73rd minute.

The Union U-13s, U-14s, U-15/16s, and U-17/18s are on the road to face Baltimore Armor on Saturday.

City Islanders

At 78th minute equalizer from Bobby Warshaw was enough for City Islanders to draw 1-1 with Wilmington Hammerheads but the team is out of the playoff race. Recaps and reports at USLsoccer.com, Philly Soccer News, Wilmington Hammerheads, and Port City Daily.

Local

In Philly Soccer Six play over the weekend, Temple defeated Fairfield 4-0. Drexel fell 2-0 on the road to Northeastern in their CAA opener. Villanova fell 3-2 in overtime to Butler in their Big East opener. Penn defeated La Salle 10 in overtime. Saint Joseph’s fell 1-0 at home to Navy.

NJ.com and Brick Patch note Brick, Nj native Leah Scarpelli’s callup by the US U-16 GNT.

Black & Red United has a piece on former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Joanna Lohman,who is having a career season with Washington Spirit.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place Toronto (47 points, 13-8-8) came from two goals down at home to draw 3-3 with second place NYRB (45 points, 12-9-9), thereby clinching a playoff spot. Jozy Altidore had a brace for Toronto, as did Bradley Wright-Phillips for NYRB, making Wright-Phillips the first player in MLS history to have two seasons with 20 or more goals.. Third place NYCFC (45 points, 12-9-9) took an early lead and then had to come from behind to draw 2-2 at home with Dallas. Fourth place Philadelphia (41 points, 11-11-8) lost 2-1 on the road to Portland. Fifth place Montreal (38 points, 9-9-11) lost 3-1 at home to sixth place New England (36 points, 9-12-9), Kelyn Rowe scoring a brace. Seventh place DC (34 points, 7-9-13) scored first and then had to come from behind to draw 2-2 at home with last place Chicago (27 points, 6-13-9). Eighth place Orlando (34 points, 7-9-13) was thumped 4-1 at home by ninth place Columbus (29 points, 6-11-11).

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (52 points, 15-8-7) settled for a 2-2 road draw at NYCFC. Second place LAG (48 points, 11-4-15) came from behind to draw 2-2 on the road with sixth place Kansas City (40 points, 11-12-7), Landon Donovan scoring the 76th minute equalizer. Third place Colorado (47 points, 12-5-11) drew 0-0 at home with ninth place San Jose (34 points, 7-8-13). Fourth place Salt Lake (44 points, 12-10-8) lost 1-0 to last place Houston (29 points, 6-11-11), their first home loss of 2016. Fifth place Portland (41 points, 11-11-8) defeated Philadelphia, 2-1. Seventh place Seattle (35 points, 10-13-5) defeated eighth place Vancouver (34 points, 9-14-7), 1-0.

Portland’s Jack Jewsbury has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

NYRB have acquired center back Aaron Long on loan from NYRB II through the end of the season.

Orlando City has announced it has sold out its allotment of 18,000 season tickets ahead of the opening of its new 20,500 seat stadium next season.

FC Cincinnati’s home finale drew 24,376 fans on Saturday. The number marks the third time the USL team broke it’s own single-game attendance record in its inaugural season.

US

The USWNT came from a goal down to defeat Netherlands 3-1 in Atlanta on Sunday night.

Megan Rapinoe, who kneeled again on the sidelines during the playing of the national anthem and was booed when she was subbed into the game in the 64th minute and every time she touched the ball thereafter, says she doesn’t know when she’ll stop kneeling. “Do I kneel forever? I don’t know. Probably not. But I think until I can be more effective in other ways then this seems appropriate to me.”

US Soccer chose not to punish Rapinoe after she kneeled before Thursday’s win over Thailand. ESPN reported, “U.S. Soccer indicated that the situation could be re-evaluated if Rapinoe continued to kneel during the anthem.”

At Soccerwire, Charles Boehm writes US Soccer lacks the moral authority to punish Rapinoe.

Pulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic!

US Paralympic team defender Josh Brunais was the flag bearer for the US contingent during the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Sunday.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “FIFA has appointed new auditors and hired its first dedicated compliance officer in efforts to rebuild after financial scandals.”

24 Comments

  1. I’m looking for 45 minutes from Edu this week with the first team against Toronto.
    .
    I’m looking for 60 minutes from Edu the next week with the first team against NYRB..
    .
    I’m looking for 60-90 minutes from Edu in the 3rd game against Orlando
    .
    I’m most certainly looking for Maurice Edu to be totally integrated into the team smiling and celebrating and understanding his new Holding Role by the final game against NYRB….. otherwise What the Fuck.
    .
    Each of these reentry minutes is ridiculously important to develop any kind of chemistry at game speed. Maurice Edu playing against farm clubs is a diminishing return.
    .
    … the sporting director has made moves to secure the midfield for this ‘MLS playoff push’ … how can we expect the team to have ANY understanding if Edu gets thrown in with 1.5 games remaining and the coach says….’figure it out.’
    .
    oh and Jim…if you’re reading this…if you play CJ Sapong as a starter in the first playoff game…you get what you deserve. CJ Sapong in the playoffs is a sub to hold possession and close out a game AFTER you have the goal needed to advance. To be honest…. and this will ruffle your feathers a bit…. CJ Sapong is a sub period.
    .
    But he works so hard….. he such a hard worker. The sump pump in my basement is working hard too today.

    • It’s tough to plan to play Edu for 60 minutes given that his position is not one you want to plan to use one of your subs on. Instead of that, what about starting him in place of Yaro on Saturday and see if you can get a full game since 90 minutes on D might be doable and will help him get his legs back? (Plus, if you play Tribbet and Edu you really have no backup at center back.)

      • Except he needs to play 6. With Ale as 8. At full speed. BC starts 2d half. The game’s a L anyway.
        He’s a DP. Gotta do it.
        Except Curtin won’t.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I agree that Edu has reached the edge of diminishing returns with the Steel.
      .
      Your 45 expectation is a tad optimistic, though. I’d say his tail will be dragging badly if he goes that long.
      .
      Remember as your raise the integration issue that he practices every day with the first team, unlike his situation with the Steel. Not the same as a game with the regulars, but he’s further along than the first time he took the pitch in Bethlehem with guys he knew but had probably never practiced with.

    • I agree with you re: Edu and Sapong. Only way Sapong starts round 1 of the playoffs is if he scores 4 or 5 goals in the last 4 games. Otherwise he’s riding pine (or whatever those dugout seats are made of). I feel like Curtin is definitely the kind of captain who finds nobility in sinking with his ship, though. ….

    • Forgive me for chiming in when I said I was taking this season off, but I really need this today.
      .
      El P, I’m coming more and more around to your side when it comes to C.J. Which just brought to mind how much I argued against Danny Cruz for so long. And there are so many correlations between the two (though I still think C.J. has more skill, if marginally), that I find my previous position untenable. I could forego an offensive powerhouse if it meant a suffocating defense. For a while now the C.J. project hasn’t been working that way. Do I think a lot of it has to do with how much he’s played and the beatings he’s taken? Yeah, I do. And of course that is on the manager. Do I think all the defensive woes can be blamed on C.J.? Of course not. That’s more about the young (relative) defense. I thought C.J.’s offensive troubles could be put aside while the defense was working. But as of now, when the defense has become suspect, a better option is needed up top.

    • Alberg up top?
      .
      What is your proposed solution?
      .

      • I’ve already argued for Alberg up top but its getting to be too late for that now…
        .
        I’m for Charlie… unless he is physically unable to go 90.

      • That’s what I thought … thanks.
        .
        The one thing I would like to know is how Earnie is weighing Curtin’s substitutions (or lack thereof) against what is available to him in the roster … and his ability to coach this team in the future. i.e. does he get one more season?

      • Jim is only in jeapordy, I think, if he misses the playoffs. Just need to finish in top 6 of 10.

      • I’d love to see Curtin try something crazy like Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2… Something like Marquez Edu Rosenberry — Pontius Carroll Barnetta Bedoya Herbers — Davies Sapong. Get two strikers up top , attacking wings and solidify the middle. Just to keep it interesting. I would like t see a 4-4-2. I think his team needs something new up top. A new look. Less predictable than it has been in the past.

      • I love the 3-5-2, but Rosenberry is a midfielder in that setup.

  2. I have a question. Can someone in the know answer it…
    .
    Is the U12 Academy playing against other U12 teams… and if so, WHY? I see them roundly beating the shit out of other teams… if this is the case they need to be playing up.

  3. Anyone in the Chestnut Hill area today, Andre Blake and then Chris Pontius are doing autograph signings at a new TruMark Financial office at Highland and Germantown avenues. Blake is going to be taking the first shift — 2 to 3:30 or so and Pontius will be there from 3:30 to 5. It’s tough times to get there and get kids there, but I hope they’re not stuck twiddling their thumbs for too long.

  4. CJ is a great kid, works hard, has a good skill set. But boy does he need some time on the bench. I am all for starting the Best XI each week, but a lone striker that doesn’t score doesn’t fit my definition of Best XI. Curtin, like his predecessor, will start a young player like Herbers out of position but won’t give a struggler starter a break, even though that player out of position could replace said starter.
    ——
    Just a reminder that Drogba, he of 10 goals in 20 games, came off the bench against the Union, and he’s not struggling like CJ. Point is that sometimes it’s ok to make adjustments and changes to the XI.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    I posted this is Adam’s EXCELLENT Analysis post, but I just thought I would drop it here too:
    .
    If Pontius has to play up top, then why is CJ even in the game. Dude needs a game to clear his head. How can Curtin not understand this?
    .
    And the recurring theme of the back line consistently getting pushed deep, week after week… again, how has our DEFENSIVE MINDED (and ex-CB) manager… not address this?!

    • My only lame reply is that the defensive manager seems to have shifted his point of view. In recent weeks, though I’m not exactly sure when the change over occurred (mid-season maybe?) Curtain has spoken of going at teams and not bunkering. I’ve gotten the impression that he thinks the Union can out score other teams or if the Union keep offensive pressure up, for most of the match, defense isn’t as much as a priority. I do not remember his quotes to any point of accuracy, but that was the impression that I was receiving. As always, I may be wrong, or someone else may have a better take on it than I.
      .
      For what it’s worth Wolf, I agree with you, I don’t understand why things aren’t being addressed.

      • I believe that shift also came from the new sporting director.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I agree with both of you… I think we would all rather see the Curtin / ES push of let’s score more than the other team, but to ignore obvious glaring issues on defense that are causing you to drop points is completely irresponsible. Even if it doesn’t get fixed you have to try. The consistent same problems show me they aren’t even addressing the issue.

      • Agreed. What’s more concerning is they haven’t had mid week games for some time now, and issues aren’t being addressed. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can say Curtain isn’t a bad coach, he’s just not a good one either. He’s just average. His loyalty to players and his substitution patterns hold him back from being better than average.

  6. The management has one week to figure out how to not play k t at center back. One week to figure it out. It will be really frustrating to see him trot out when we all know exactly what will happen.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah I believe that Portland game was the chance at points in this 3 game road trip. Not good at all, that we got nothing

  7. On a more positive note, since I have nothing positive to say about the Union at the moment, I managed catch the BVB game and was delighted to see Pulisic starting. I’m really trying to temper my excitement, but my word what poise and confidence. He played a wonderful game and I am looking forward to seeing more.

    Also watched Gladbach’s game and that was a quite entertaining match as well. I haven’t had access to Bundesliga until now and I’m quite enjoying the matches I’ve been able to catch. It’s nice to keep tabs on some good US players.

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