Daily news roundups

Eighth place?!?

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

A poll of MLS players ranks PPL Park as the eighth most intimidating venue in the league. “The Sons of Ben may get all the press, but there is life in Chester beyond the River End. They were the new guys in 2010, but these fans already have a reputation.” Eighth?!? Clearly, we all have a lot of work to do in 2011.

Union players on Twitter have been tweeting their happiness upon returning home. From Faryd Mondragon, “on my way home!!!! cant wait to see my family!!!!” From Jordan Harvey, “We made it!!!! Where should dinner be tonight? Need something good,” which was followed later by, “Way to[o] late for a restaurant. Take out at Pagoda it is.” Roger Torres tweeted, “Gracias dios por este lindo aprendisaje y por esta llegada a casa de vuelta Feliz,” which I think means something along the lines of “Thank God for a good preseason training trip, coming home happy” if my translation of the mumbo jumbo Google translate spits out is at all accurate. In English Torres tweeted, “Thanks god. For everything we are here.”

Come Friday morning, both Mondragon’s and Torres’ thoughts were with the victims of the massive earthquake in Japan. Tweeted Mondragon, “so sad for whats going on in Japan, all my prayers for the people affected!!!” I’ll tell you what, if Mondragon is half as good between the posts as he seems to be as a person, we’re going to be fine because Mondragon really seems like a top guy.

From the Union website, a piece on the return of the team from Greece notes that the team will have three days off. Training will resume on Monday.

An article from the Trinidad & Tobago Express says that, while trialist midfielder Keon Daniels was with the team in Greece, “there is some doubt whether the 24-year-old former Petrotrin and Caledonia AIA midfielder will make the final cut.

A preview of the upcoming season on the Union’s website concludes, “The Philly coaches and players believe they could have something special brewing here.” It’s a conclusion followed by a lot of “if.”

One thing is now certain: As first reported last Saturday by The Brotherly Game, while 6abc remains a broadcast partner, most of the Union’s matches will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network. Hm. And we still don’t have FSC in HD or Fox Soccer Plus? Anyway, click here for a printable copy of the schedule.

Chris Gbandi, a former teammate of Carlos Ruiz at FC Dallas, writes that the Union will be a team to watch in 2011. He says of Ruiz, “My roommate at times on the road while in Dallas has reportedly found a new lease on life. I was told that Ruiz re-dedicated himself and is no longer the party animal he once was. If that is the case, defenders in the league should watch out because he’s one of the best finishers I have ever been around.”

In more season previews, WV Hooligan projects MVP candidates for 2011. Of Sebastien Le Toux, “ Philly fans still feel the cold burn of the snub that Le Toux got last season. While I don’t believe he’ll have the exact same numbers as he did in 2010, I do believe 2011 will be a very nice season for him. He’s got a little more help now in Philly offensively, which should free him up for setting things up more.” Yes, his eleven assists last year really do need improvement.

Fantasy soccer league fans may be interested in the new Salary Cap Challenge on the league’s website. A tweet from the Union says, “To enter the official Union league, create a free team and search for ‘Fans of Philadelphia Union'”.

Finally, a piece from the Union highlights ‘Stache Bash, the latest in an admirable history of Sons of Ben charity drives in support of the Bernadine Center in Chester. Bark Tees is donating $8.50 from the sale of every ‘Stache Bash t-shirt, which sell for only $14.99. Click here to order your shirt today.

Independence

Joanna Lohman is interviewed by Play3RSport.com. The interview is available as a podcast or in text form.

MLS

Estranged Toronto FC defender Adrian Cann will rejoin the team today. So much for that option for the Union’s backline.

Orlando SC, the USL team that recently beat the Union and Toronto FC, is reportedly “in preliminary talks with Major League Soccer about becoming a future expansion franchise.”

Elsewhere

Soccer USA has a great piece called The Lament of the Lousy Losers about Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

All of Japan’s J League weekend matches have been postponed in the wake of today’s massive earthquake.

CONCACAF president and crook Jack Warner could be key to Mohamed bin Hammam’s challenge to Sepp Blatter’s presidency of FIFA.

Footy on the Telly™

Friday, March 11
Brescia v Inter Milan 2:30pm FSC
Necaxa v Monterrey 9pm Fox Deportes

Saturday, March 12
Birmingham v Bolton 7:30am FSP
Bayern Munich v Hamburg 9:30am ESPN Deportes
Derby Count v Swansea City 10am FSP
Manchester United v Arsenal 12pm FSC
Almeria v Atletico Madrid 12pm GolTV
Sochaux v Lyon 1pm FSP
Real Madrid v Hercules 2pm ESPN Deportes
Cesena v Juventus 2:30pm FSC
Valencia v Zaragoza 4pm ESPN Deportes
Palmeiras v Sao Bernardo 4:30pm GolTV
Queretaro v Puebla 6pm Telefutura
Jaguares v Tecos 6pm ESPN Deportes, Azteca America
Deportivo Cali v Millonarios 6:30pm GolTV
Pachuca v Atlante 8pm Telefutura
Tigres v San Luis 8pm Telemundo
Atlas v Chivas 10pm Telefutura

Sunday, March 13
Brisbane v Central Coast 1am FSC
AC Milan v Bari 7:30am FSP
Willem II v Ajax 9:30am ESPN Deportes
Stoke City v West Ham 10am FSP
Roma v Lazio 10am FSC
Mainz v Bayer Leverkusen 10:30am GolTV
Espanyol v Deportivo La Coruna 12pm ESPN Deportes

Manchester City v Reading 12:30pm FSC C’mon you Royals!

Villarreal v Sporting Gijon 2pm GolTV
Toluca v Santos Laguna 2pm Telemundo
Parma v Napoli 3:30pm FSC
Sevilla v Barcelona 4pm GolTV
Paris Saint Germain v Montpellier 4pm FSP
America v Cruz Azul 8pm Telefutura

9 Comments

  1. ManU vs Arsenal 12pm Saturday!!! Massive game!
    Arsenal have something to proof after the Barcelona debacle.

  2. Now we need Verizon FIOS TV to add the Comcast Network in HD (as well as Fox Soccer / FS +).

    Soccer in SD = awful

  3. Joseph (aka, Joe) says:

    Ed- i look forward to these Daily Roundups, well… daily. Thank You for them!! 🙂

  4. Captain Thunder says:

    let’s get a petition going for Comcast to provide FSC in HD!

    • Andy Dillon says:

      I sent a tweet to @ComcastCares the other day, and was prompted to send an email directly to [email protected] regarding an ETA for FSC HD to actually be carried/broadcast by Comcast/Xfinity. I received two (2) honest-to-goodness phone calls from them letting me know there are no immediate plans to add this to the high-def lineup, but a request would be placed on my behalf. How nice …

  5. Eight in intimidation factor. What rubbish! No way PPL Park should be outside the top 5. No arguements with Qwest, BMO and Rio Tinto, but HDC, DSG and Crew Stadium???? Me thinks the writer has sniffed too much white-out!

  6. Eighth’s pretty good especially when you consider that a) we weren’t that good last year; b) we’re a second year team; and c) a couple teams didn’t even get to play at PPL.

    That will rise as the team improves.

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