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Moving on…

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Union

The Faryd Mondragon/David Beckham connection continues after the MLS All-Stars 4–0 defeat to Manchester United. In Soccer America’s player ratings for Wednesday night’s All-Star Game, Mondragon’s “6” is the highest rating received, with only Beckham and Jamison Olave sharing that number. “Thwarted Wayne Rooney with a good save,” says Soccer America of the Dragon’s performance, “commanded his penalty area, and wasn’t to blame on the two goals United scored before he departed at halftime.”

Mondrgon’s take on the game? “I am very proud and enjoyed it very much,” he said, “but now the nice party is over and I have to think about Friday because we have a very important game.”

Asked at halftime about when Philadelphia might play host to the All-Star Game, MLS commissioner Don Garber responded with an answer something along the lines of sure, why not? “I am not sure how soon,” Garber said. “Every new team, particularly those who made a commitment to build a stadium, who have a passionate fan base, should have an All-Star Game.” The Goalkeeper has video shot by Marc Narducci of Garber saying the Union “is in the mix”—along with “Kansas City and our new teams in Canada.” I will be very happy for the Union should Philly host an All-Star Game. Other than that, whoopty-f’ing-do.

With the All-Star Game and summer friendlies now but a memory, the Dragon isn’t alone in being focused on thereturn to league play. “I think playing well against Everton and Real Madrid will help because we should feel good about ourselves,” said Danny Mwanga. “Getting back to league play, we have to focus on each match and try to get the three points. Colorado is first up and they have a good club. I know we’ll train hard and get ready to play on Friday.

The Brotherly Game takes a moment to reflect on the Union’s season thus far before looking ahead to the second half.

Independence

The Independence took sole possession of first place with a 1–0 win over Boston Breakers on the road. Veronica Boquete scored in the 83rd minute to break Boston’s six game unbeaten streak and record her second gamewinner in three games, assisted by fellow Spaniard Laura Del Rio.

“Tremendously proud of the ladies,” said Independence coach Paul Riley. “We were not at our best, but we dug in and willed our way to three points. Always tough winning away in this league, and Boston is a difficult opponent pushing for a playoff spot. I’m pleased that we reacted well after the Sky Blue loss and got a clean sheet. All the focus now goes to the Atlanta game. We know the expectations and we won’t let complacency get the better of us.”

The Independence have three games left in the season and are three points ahead of WNY Flash, who have two games in hand. Sunday’s game at Widener University against Atlanta (6pm on FSC) will be their first home game since the Women’s World Cup.

ESPNW looks at WPS’ prospects for expansion.

Local

Penn engineering students led Team DARwIn to victory in the “Humanoid Kid Size” division of the 2011 RoboCup, the humanoid robot soccer championship recently held in Istanbul. The team crushed Japan 8–1. USA! USA! USA!

MLS

Acknowledging that summer friendlies and the All-Star Game lead to schedule congestion, MLS commissioner Don Garber has suggested the league schedule could change. “We’re confined in our opinion by this narrow calendar. At some point we’re going to be able to push that calendar deeper and deeper into March and perhaps in to February. And when we’re able to do that, I think we’ll be able to free up some of the congestion…It goes into how many games we play and how many rivalries we try to have, whether we’re conference-based or whether with 19 teams we’ll ever be able to be balanced. All that stuff is being talked about now.” I have an idea, how about reducing the playoffs in scope so we can push the season in to November rather than February?

Garber believes the league will be one of the best in the world in the next ten years. While saying that the league isn’t there yet, Manchester United’s Anders Lindegaard and Ji-Sung Park don’t disagree. “Overall, it’s not on the same level as we are, with all due respect,” said Lindegaard. “I think the organization of the teams overall has to be better.” “He added, “You have great facilities and beautiful stadiums; all it takes is organizing the game better out here.” All-Star Game MVP Park said, “They need to improve a lot of things, it’s not just one thing, it’s everything. More [talented] players need to come play but I think it will change over the next few years.” Lindegaard is impressed with the progress that has been made. “I was shocked because I heard soccer is your smallest sport out here. If that’s the case, then your other sports must be massive.”

Garber also said that New York may not necessarily be the location of the 20th MLS team.

I’m linking to this article about Wednesday night’s game only because the writer managed to work the word “profligacy” into the headline.

The Brotherly Game wonders if MLS will ever return to the East v West format for the All-Star Game.

This may be the best thing to have come out of the All-Star Game:

Following Seattle’s 1–0 road defeat to Panamanian-side San Francisco on Tuesday in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League playoff, Toronto defeated Nicaraguan champion Real Esteli FC 2–1 at home on Wednesday night.

Shea Salinas was named to the MLS Team of the Week.

Elsewhere

Sepp Blatter says he is not a dictator and has asked for time to address the various scandals surrounding FIFA. “There is a lot of work already on the table. Give us the time to go step by step,” before not adding, “After all, we are a bunch doddering old men who enjoy long lunches.”

FIFA has announced the dates for the 2014 World Cup: June 12-July 13, 2014. The Confederations Cup will take place June 15-30, 2013.

4 Comments

  1. “The Goalkeeper has video shot by Marc Narducci”

    I read this sentence 3 times without seeing the word “video”

  2. If Montreal gets the ASG before we do, then the terrorists have won. Or maybe just nix the ASG altogether … “MAYBE JUST NIX THE ASG” … so our northern neighbors can’t host it, eh?

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