Daily news roundups

Union take on DC in Open Cup, more news

Photo: Daniel Gadjamowicz

Union

The Cup.US, the official website of the US Open Cup, has a preview of tonight’s Open Cup Match against DC United. Unlike the other MLS play-in match taking place tonight, the Union v DC United match will not be broadcast. (Houston Dynamo is offering streaming video of their match against Sporting KC.) But all is not lost: The Cup.US will have live text commentary from 7pm.

Even though the first place Union will take on the second place Energy Drinks at PPL Park on Saturday, the team is taking tonight’s match very seriously. John Hackworth says “as a team and staff, [we have] decided that this is an important competition for us.” He continues, “We want to put a team on the field tomorrow that can get a result and, at the same time, be mindful of the game we have on Saturday.”

While the question may be whether to field mostly regulars or reserves, the answer is that you can probably expect tonight’s starting lineup to be very different from what the team has fielded so far. Says Hackworth about the game, “It’s a really good way to give some of your players who aren’t in the starting 11 a full 90 minutes to play.”

John Hackworth, Brian Carroll and Jordan Harvey preview tonight’s game.

ASN Philly has game and personnel notes for tonight’s Open Cup Match against DC United.

The Brotherly Game predicts who will start.

Keon Daniel is one player who you can expect to see playing tonight. He made the bench in ASN’s MLS Best XI for Week 3.

Injuries will be a major factor in who is available for DC United tonight. More DC United news and notes ahead of tonight’s game from the Washington Post here. This match preview from the Post includes updated injury information.

Justin Mapp, who missed two games with a strained hamstring, is back training with the team.

Brian Carroll completed 38 of 41 passes against the Galaxy. That’s a 92.7 completion rate. Here’s a neat graphic from the statistical boffins at Opta to prove it.

Carlos Ruiz compares LA and Philly. “Here it’s more like Europe—all the time singing and supporting the team. Over there [in Los Angeles], the people go to the stadium to watch the game and don’t do anything. I like it here. I feel more passion.”

TV ratings for the first three Union games have doubled compared to last year. The numbers are still somewhat meager—current viewership is at approximately 30,000 households with each household estimated to have 2.3 viewers—but trend is undeniably positive. The numbers  for the all important 18-34 male demographic are even stronger.

Season ticket sales have passed last year’s mark. The season ticket cap was increased for the 2011 season so full and partial season ticket plans are still available, including less than 30 in the River End.

Looking ahead to the Energy Drinks, Danny Mwanga talks about the importance of playing at home and his faith in the offense. “It’s just a matter of time for us to get to know each other well and develop together and I’m not worrying bout it at all because I know it’s still early in the season. I’m fully confident that we’ll be fine.”

The Union stay at fifth in the MLSsoccer.com power rankings, drop to sixth (from fifth) in the SBI power rankings, to fifth (from third) in the Match Fit USA power rankings.

New York Red Bulls Watch

According to this report, backup keeper Bouna Coundoul is likely to replace starting keeper Greg Sutton. Sutton suffered a concussion in practice two weeks ago.

ESPN wonders if Dwayne De Rosario is the missing piece in the Energy Drinks’ puzzle.

CONCACAF Champions League

On Tuesday night, Real Salt Lake became the first MLS team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League Final since the confederation implemented the present “Champions League-style” format in August 2008 for the 2009 championship. (The new format replaced the previous knockout tournament-style CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. LA Galaxy and DC United made it to the Champions’ Cup finals with DC winning in 1998, the Galaxy in 2000.) Salt Lake will face the winner of tonight’s match between Cruz Azul and Monterrey (Monterrey lead 2-1 after the first leg) on April 20 and 27 for the title. Here’s a nice history of how MLS teams have fared over the years.

Independence

The Independence are the first WPS team to become an official President’s Challenge Advocate. This compliments the Independence Schools and Community Services (ISCS) Program, officially launched in January 2011.

Joanna Lohman has a new blog entry.

Local

The Inquirer profiles Mandy Moraca, who will be inducted into the South Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame on May 1. More on her fellow inductees here.

The Brotherly Game rounds up the weekend’s development academy results.

US

The US U-20 team face host nation Guatemala tonight at 10pm in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-20 championship. The winner goes to the World Cup. The loser stays home. The Union’s Zac MacMath and Amobi Okugo talk about the importance of the game. You can watch the game live on ESPN3.

Yesterday, Eli looked at the positives that could be taken from the recent USMNT friendlies. This columnist is more of a glass half empty kind of a guy.

Elsewhere

Chelsea v Manchester United in the Champions League at 2:30pm on FSC. Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk at 2;30pm on FSP (replay at 5pm on FSC). Cruz Azul v Monterrey in CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg at 10pm on FSC and Telefutura.

Argentina, hosts of the Copa America, has asked Japan to reconsider its decision to drop out of the tournament.

Coca-Cola has dropped the potty mouthed and whore mongering Wayne Rooney.

2 Comments

  1. Really bummed that we can’t see the Open Cup game tonight. Tried DC United’s website hoping they would stream a broadcast but they won’t. They lay the blame on the facility saying it doesn’t have the capacity to allow broadcasts.

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