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Not so good, more news

File photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz


Danny Califf called Saturday’s game in LA “a real test.” The results of that test? The first loss of the season and: 4 shots (all in the second half, three of which happened after the Union were a man up); 0 shots on goal; 0 corner kicks; 21 fouls, 4 yellow cards; 1 red card. Here’s the reaction:

Peter Nowak on the goal: “I would say that in close games, you have to be focused for 90 minutes.You are going to get a certain amount of free kicks coming your way, and you have to be ready for it. We made one mistake and then the game didn’t go the way we wished.”

More from Nowak: “I think the level of energy by our side was not what I hoped. We need to raise our level of intensity and physicality…Before the first goal, I thought we felt too comfortable. [Then] we tried to rush things. We tried to put the ball behind the defense. We need to be more patient. We need to be more smart with the ball.”

Danny Califf: “I don’t think there was enough rhythm with the play from us. I think from both sides it was a pretty physical match and things got a little chippy. We weren’t sharp and it showed. The Galaxy put in a couple of really good set pieces and got a good goal on a set piece. They defended really well and we couldn’t figure out how to break them down…We would have liked to, with a man advantage, be a little bit sharper in the final third of the field. I think we were lacking the final pass a lot of the times. I think sometimes our play out of the back was a little too slow so it didn’t allow the guys in the front the time to complete some of the combinations.”

Brian Carroll: “I think—me included—we tried to look for the killer pass too often, and we had to find feet and had to have more possession and patience in the first half. We had the opportunity once they got a red card to push the game and go forward on the attack and that happened. We needed to be a little sharper going forward.” Carroll said of the Galaxy defense, “They sat in and defended like gangbusters.”

Carlos Ruiz: “We didn’t play good the first half, the second half we obviously played better, but we didn’t find the space to score.”

More from Ruiz: “I think we played too many long balls and that was easy for them because everybody was defending.”

Nowak on what was learned from the loss: “After the last game [against] Vancouver, having two wins is nice,” he said. “If you are not going to work the way you did before, and you don’t recognize the level of intensity and physicality of the game, then it is going to be difficult. I think we found a good understanding that in games like [Saturday vs. LA], we have to raise our level of physicality and intensity, and then from this point we can be a good team. It is three weeks into the season, and the last thing you want is to believe we are already there because we are not.”

Nowak on looking forward: “We still have a couple of guys who aren’t 100 percent fit. If you miss practice here and there, then sometimes the understanding is not as it should be. As I said, we have a busy week, so we need to get those guys back, and the last thing you want after a game like that it to have our heads down. I believe that we have been through this last year when we had a couple of away games that weren’t good for us and the last thing you want to have is pointing fingers.”

In response to a tweet from YSC Sports—”Outstanding game last night in LA, you covered a ridiculous amount of ground. Great link-up play with Daniel in the 2nd half.”—Jordan Harvey tweets, “I agree… Keon was great when he came on. Immediate impact.”

ASN Philly agrees with Harvey, naming Keon Daniel the Man of the Match in their player ratings.

Reaction from the local blog scene:

  • The Brotherly Game highlights the lack of creativity as well as “strange decisions” by the ref. (Bruce Arena agrees. “It wasn’t a game that demanded a lot of cards. I don’t think the referee had good judgment.”)
  • Philly Union Talk says, “after an inaugural season that was short on defense, defense is seemingly the only thing the Union has going for it now.”
  • Union City Blue has mixed feelings about the game—disappointed in the result but not as angry as, say, Union Dues is.

The Inquirer looks at the positive impact the Union have had on Chester’s economy.

New York Red Bulls Watch

Dwayne De Rosario arrived in New York on Saturday morning. He started against Houston on Saturday night on the bench. Substituted into the match at the start of the second half, he immediately setup the Energy Drinks only goal of the match. Referring to De Rosario as “the last piece” after the 1–1 draw, Energy Drinks head coach Hans Backe said, “I think he changed the game in the second half with his final pass for the first goal and also the way he controlled our game. He will definitely be a key player for us.”


In case anyone hadn’t noticed, the Union remain top of the Eastern Conference. As mentioned above, New York and Houston drew. DC lost 4–1 to Colorado. Sporting Kansas City blew a three goal lead on the road to allow Vancouver to draw 3–3. New England drew with Portland 1–1 at home. Toronto did the same against Chivas USA. Columbus recorded their first win of the season on Friday, a 2–1 win over Dalls. Chicago had the weekend off.

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named MLS Player of the Month for March.

It seems a little early for this sort of thing, but Didier Drogba is being linked to a move to MLS with New York as the destination.


The US defeated Panama 2–0 on Saturday in their final group game of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The Union’s Zac MacMath was in goal. Amobi Okugo, who picked up a yellow card in last week’s win against Suriname, was an unused substitute. The team will face host-country Guatemala on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The winner will go to the U-20 World Cup in Colombia in this summer.

The USWNT lost its friendly against England on Saturday 2–1. The Philadelphia Independence midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored the lone US goal. Also from the Independence, Nicole Barnhart started in goal but was replaced by Hope Solo at the start of the second half. Amy Rodriguez played 70 minutes and Lori Lindsey was an unused substitution.


Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has this to say to Fulham supporters who question the recently unveiled statue of Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage: “Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it. If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in, they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.”

The Egyptian FA has abandoned plans to resume league play in mid-April after a Egyptian supporters invaded the pitch during an African Champions League match on Saturday. A disallowed late goal by Egyptian side Zamalek resulted in match officials and Tunisian-side Club Africain players being assaulted by Zamalek supporters.

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