Daily news roundups / Featured

Ruiz gets Gold Cup call-up, more news

Featured photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Union

Two goals. Two sweet goals. A win. First place in the East.

Top of the morning to you!

On Saturday, Carlos Ruiz learned that he has been called up for the Guatemalan national team squad for the Gold Cup, which runs June 5 through June 25 with Guatemala’s first game on June 7. Guatemala has two other group matches on June 10 and June 13 so, at a minimum, Ruiz is likely to miss the Union matches against Colorado (June 4, away) and RSL (June 11, home). I don’t know when the Guatemala camp opens, but presumably Ruiz will be available for this Saturday’s match in Toronto. If Guatemala makes it out of its group, Ruiz could also miss Vancouver (June 18, away), Kansas City (June 22, home) and Chivas USA (June 25, home).

Justin Mapp says of the Carlos Ruiz goal, “That’s got to be up for the goal of the year…A left-footed turnaround? It was pretty special.” Indeed.

The Ruiz wonder strike came off of his left foot. “To be honest,” said the naturally right-footed striker, “I never know when I shoot with my left what’s going to happen and where the ball is going.” He added, “I was thinking just to shoot on goal because if I stop the ball or think twice, I could have lost it.”

Happy birthday, Carlos!

Ruiz says of his partnership with Sebastien Le Toux that “sometimes we play almost the same and we make the same runs.” Ruiz continued, “We talked this week and we came to a conclusion that we are going to play off each other. If it is better for the team, we are going to stay after practice to get better…He [Le Toux] is a great player for this team and I have to understand how he plays. He had a great year last year and he wants to play the same way. If I can help him, for sure I will.”

The ESPN Chicago Fire blog says Carlos Ruiz “simply had one of those goals where you just tip your cap and try to move on.”

Chicago’s Dominic Oduro said of the Ruiz goal, “It was a great goal. Nothing you can do about it. It just happened at a bad moment.”

Lest anyone forget, Michael Farfan’s goal was pretty awesome, too. Believe it or not, it wasn’t a designed play. “It was spontaneous,” said Kyle Nakazawa, whose free kick-pass to Farfan set up the goal, “we were on the same page.”

That the Union scored twice indicates a capacity to bounce back that has been all too absent this season. That Ruiz’ goal was a game winner rather than a tieing goal is thanks to a brilliant goal line save from Sheanon Williams. “Sheanon made a great save, it was the save of the day,” said Peter Nowak. The IllegitimateS call Williams the MVP of the season.

Nakazawa came into the match to replace Amobi Okugo, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the fifth minute. Said Okugo, “I’ll get it checked out more [Sunday]. I’m hopeful that it’s not that bad.” And so say all of us.

Danny Mwanga didn’t dress for Saturday’s game thanks to a nagging left hamstring strain and right shoulder knock he picked up against Dallas. “It’s still a little sore, but the season is still young,” Mwanga said, “it doesn’t make any sense to rush it. I don’t want to injure myself further and hurt any chance of getting back on the field.”

“I don’t really look at the standings,” says Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz. “I am focused on our next game, Toronto, now. To me, we need to get enough points to get ourselves into the playoffs, and then it is anybody’s game at that point. I mean it: I don’t look at standings.” Well, that makes one of us.

Chicago keeper Jon Conway is the from Media, the son of Union season ticket holders and a FC Delco product. His reception at PPL was about what he expected.

Independence

After taking the lead off of a Tasha Kai goal in the 44th minute, the Independence conceded a Lauren Cheney goal to the Breakers in the 48th minute to finish 1–1 in Boston. “Four out of our five games so far have been away from home,” said Coach Paul Riley, “and we are in third place, so I am satisfied.”

Riley calls the come-from-behind win in Atlanta “a defining moment of the season.”

Philly Soccer News talks to Independence keeper Val Henderson.

Local

The Union may be out of the US Open Cup, but two local teams are still in it. Reading United qualified with a 4–1 win over Ocean City on Friday. Local amateur team Phoenix SC, winners of the PA Open Cup, defeated NJ Open Cup winners Go Soccer 3–0 on Sunday to qualify.

Phoenix head coach Blair Thomson said after the match, “I think it’s great, great for the kids because they’ve worked so hard…We have only had two losses since last August. We are hoping that we can take the next step. It’s quite exciting.”

Just after learning they had qualified for the USOC, Reading faced the USMNT U-17 squad and thumped them 3–0. Since starting on May 7, Reading have outscored their opponents 15–3 in four games of league play, 18–3 in all competitions.

Harrisburg City Islanders lost 3–1 to Orlando City at home. “We’re leaving points on the field,” City Islander coach Bill Becher said. “Ten minutes left in the last two games, we’re winning and tied, and we end up tied and losing. We’ve gotta do a better job closing games out.”

Seven Philly Soccer Seven players are with Ocean City Nor’easters for the 2011 season.

MLS

The Union’s win over the Fire made them the only team in the Eastern conference to earn three points over the weekend. Houston and New York drew 2–2. Kansas City lost 1–0 in Seattle. New England lost 2–1 at San Jose and Columbus lost 1–0 in Portland. Toronto, who had drawn 1–1 with Vancouver away on Wednesday, drew 0–0 with Colorado on Sunday. DC United had the weekend off from league play so they could lose 2–1 to Ajax in a friendly.

Thierry Henry says he has not spoken to Robert Pires about coming to MLS. “I don’t know why he said that. Robert likes to talk, maybe because they haven’t offered him another contract at Villa? But I did not speak to him about coming. I called him and said, ‘Why did you have to mention my name?’ I think he’s 37 soon. I think he should talk as a grown man. I played with Robert for a very long time. He likes to talk on the field with the ball, sometimes without the ball outside of the field. You should ask him why he said that as I have no idea.” Hilarious.

FIFA did not award the artificial turf at Qwest Field a two-star certification, which means (I think) it is ineligible for FIFA-sanctioned international matches. A study was then commenced to see if natural turf could be put in. Because this would require the stadium to be out of service for eight months, it seems it is very unlikely that Qwest Field will be surfaced with real grass.

US

USMNT coach Bob Bradley is expected to release the 23-player roster for the Gold Cup this afternoon. While you’re waiting for the announcement, you can take a look back at the 2007 and 2009 rosters.

In what just may be the first instance of him having something interesting to say in years, this post for some alternatives.

Elsewhere

In a 1,672 word statement released on Monday, Qatar strikes back at allegations that its 2022 World Cup bid committee engaged in bribery. “To have this achievement tarnished by completely unsubstantiated and false allegations and for those allegations to be propounded by the Parliament of the United Kingdom is something we find distressing, insulting and incomprehensible.”

6 Comments

  1. This just gives me another reason to hate Lalas…

  2. Jeremy L. says:

    I am blown away that the Farfan goal was improvised. That is truly awesome. Way to be, Kyle, way to be.

  3. Hey Philly, RU still in the Cup?

  4. Adam Cann says:

    I hope they remake that Valdes birthday photo at the end of the year and replace the cake with an MLS MVP trophy.

  5. I guess Gonzo wasn’t invited to the exclusive, Colombian-only birthday party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

%d bloggers like this: