Daily news roundups

“I had a couple of comments about his performance”

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz from Union loss to DC United in 2010

Union

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfIR8RgcQ9w[/youtube]

The Union was knocked out of the US Open Cup last night in what, if the telegraph, I mean Twitter and live text commentary reports are any indication, turned into a very wild game. You can read the excellent match report by the PSP’s Adam Cann here.

Peter Nowak said after the match, “First of all of course I’m proud of these boys because you can see that they put in a tremendous amount of work, and [play] after the red card is never easy…My major problem with the whole game is the officiating. As much as I want to stay away from that during the last year and this year, the stuff that’s happening on the field is not where it’s supposed to be. I think for both teams it’s difficult if the referee is starting to be bigger than he really is, so I think all these red cards, yellow cards, calls this way or another—there was I think very poor officiating. I’m sorry for both teams because as I said they put in 120 good minutes for the game and then even with the PK’s at the end, but it shouldn’t end up being this way.”

Nowak was ejected from the game after Brian Carroll equalized late in extra time. “I was celebrating and he told me to leave the field and I’m just like ‘we scored a goal, we celebrated’ and that was it. After he threw me out I had a couple of comments about his performance today—not abusive comments, but about his ability to ref the game.”

From reading game previews yesterday, it was easy to be left with the impression that the Union would be starting quite a few guys that normally see the beginning of a match from the bench. After all, John Hackworth said of 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.” As it turned out, the only changes were the start of Michael Farfan and Keon Daniel and only Farfan went the full 90—or, as it turned out, 120—minutes. The subs used in the match? Roger Torres, Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney. In fairness, Hackworth also said before the match, “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.”

With the Energy Drinks coming to town on Saturday, it is easy to see what the debate among Union fans will be over the next few days: Will the Union suffer on Saturday from the gamble to play so many starters in a Wednesday night US Open Cup match? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment area below.

Read the match report from the Washington Post for a sense of the game from a DC United perspective. United coach Ben Olsen says in the report, “I’m obviously glad we won, but we’ve got to win that game outright. We’ve got to be a little bit savvier in how we deal with games and manage games. Up a man, we get that second goal, it shouldn’t be an issue anymore.”

Sebastien Le Toux reported on the status of that ankle injury before Wednesday’s match. “I’m 100 percent. We’ve had tape on it, but since the first game against Houston I’m 100 percent. I want people to know my injury is fine. We can make excuses about why we haven’t been scoring goals, but for me I know it’s not my ankle, it’s because I have to progress more and go about my game.”

The Union have announced a Union Junior Supporters Club program with membership priced at two levels, $20 (Blue Kit) and $35 (Gold Kit). Both memberhip levels include some cool swag like a Union pencil, decal, magnet and bumper sticker with the more expensive option including a t-shirt and autographed player card. The notice on the club’s website does not mention the ages the cut-off age for membership. My favorite UJSC chant? “You suck, poopy pants!”

New York Red Bulls Watch

Defender Chris Albright and goalkeeper Greg Sutton are unavailable against the Union due to injury.

US

The US will not be attending the U-20 World Cup for the first time in eight opportunities after losing 2–1 to CONCACAF U-20 Championships host nation Guatemala in the quarterfinals. The Union’s Zac MacMath and Amobi Okugo both started with Okugo assisting on the lone US goal.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_cPnZMkqDk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Viewership in the US of Europe’s top leagues has grown to rival that of the NHL and regular season college basketball. Stephen Master, vice president of Nielsen Sports, notes that the numbers are particularly impressive given the times at which European soccer games are broadcast live and the fact that Fox Soccer Channel is in only about 40 percent US cable-subscribing homes..

Local

John R Boles, former midfielder and coach at Temple, has passed away at the age of 65. Boles also played professionally for Philadelphia Ukranians, Philadelphia Spartans and the Delaware Wings.

MLS

Eric Hassli was shown a second yellow in Vancouver’s match at home against New England Revolution for removing his jersey after scoring a go-ahead goal from—get this—a penalty kick after his team was already one man down for an earlier red card to midfielder Gershon Koffie, demonstrating that Hassli is not only big, but big and stupid. Though the Revolution’s AJ Soares was sent off after Hassli, the visitors managed to score in stoppage time for a 1–1 draw. The match report in the Vancouver Sun says, “Hassli—who has been sent off in his last two games and won’t play against Houston this weekend—thought he wouldn’t get a card for his celebration because he wore a second Caps jersey under the one he threw away.”

Toronto coach Aron Winter, who hails from the Netherlands (via Suriname), informed the Toronto media in a letter on April 2 that the club’s locker room would be closed to reporters following games. Not so, says MLS commissioner Don Garber. “We recognize that many coaches come from a European environment where there’s less access to the locker-rooms because that’s the culture. Well, that’s not the culture that exists in North American sport.”

Sporting KC knocked Houston out of the US Open Cup on Wednesday night thanks to an extra time goal from former Reading United player CJ Sapong.

15 years ago on Wednesday, MLS played its first game, a 1–0 win for San Jose Clash over DC United. That Joe Strummer guy was the shit.

CONCACAF Champions League

Real Salt Lake will travel to Monterrey for the first game of the CONCACAF Champions League final on April 20 after Monterrey draws 1–1 with Cruz Azul (3-2 aggregate). The return leg in Salt Lake is on April 27.

Elsewhere

Lionel Messi’s official Facebook page gets nearly 7 million “likes” within seven hours of being launched.

LeBron James has bought a minority stake in Liverpool FC.

FIFA has a profile on Arthur Wharton, the first black professional soccer player.

5 Comments

  1. Couldn’t be more disappointed with the U20s. I want Rongen’s head on a platter. Stayed up late watching the contest with Guatemala and what a pathetic display. The US was SOOO dominant through the entire match and lacked the cutting edge of every American team. The defense was a complete shambles and while they only had a few chances, every Guatemala attack was dangerous and MacMath made a lot of saves. He couldn’t be faulted on either of the goals from a shot-stopping point of view, but with respect to positioning and communicating with his defensive line, he has A LOT to learn. Okugo was excellent in midfield and the ball he played through to Doyle for the goal was world class.

    Still this is the kind of result that should get a coach fired. Must-win game and they came up woefully short. Should have been 4-0 not 1-2.

    And the diving and simulation and play acting. If playing the game at home didn’t help the Guatemalans, the referee certainly did. Every close contact they hit the deck, writhed, cried, ran at the referee. Every US free kick (of which there were about 1/4 of what there should have been) they threw the ball away. Final proof of a clear officiating bias is Zarek Valentin getting a yellow for time wasting in the 88th minute. A player on the team thats losing cant waste time. It just can’t happen. Disgraceful.

    I wish I could unsee that whole game. Would have gotten a better night’s sleep.

    • I was so blown away by that yellow card, I think that clearly showed which side the ref was on if he did not show it enough throughout the entire game, the ref was absolutely horrendous and I agree that this match was must win and the coach should be done but the US’s finishing was almost as wasteful as Robinho’s, thats saying a lot. lol but the positives where Okugo’s assist and both Okugo and Macmath starting, they are young and need game time and they will not get that much back home.

  2. Josh Trott says:

    At least you saw our man get an assist.

  3. Eli, agree on the poor U20 defense: shambolic! But I fault Zac on the first goal. He was right there and should have punched the ball away before it hit the Guatemala’s head.

    Losing against Guatamala??!! Not so much a coaching issue. More an issue with the whole ‘Academy Program’ which does not seem to be working.

    • Agreed. He could have gotten a first to it. I’d rather see proper marking so that Kitchen or Agbossoumonde heads clear and there is no problem.

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