Daily news roundups / Featured

Heads U lose, tails U lose

Photo: Paul Rudderow


What to start with, reaction to the loss to Colorado or reaction to the departure of Carlos Ruiz?

The Colorado game

Nowak on Friday’s loss: “There’s no question we’re pretty disappointed with the result, especially with the chances we had in the second half. We’re disappointed with the red card. I think the two goals we gave up in the first half we could definitely have back. We had enough chances to score and tie the game, even playing with 10 guys. It was a good effort, but we fell asleep in many places and there was really no rhythm whatsoever in the first half.”

Danny Califf on Colorado’s first half goals: “Definitely on their first goal we didn’t do a good job following their runners and being aware,” said defender Danny Califf. “And they took a relatively quick throw-in and he had a great finish. And the second we turned the ball over in the middle of the field, everyone’s going forward, running forward and those two guys [Nyassi and Cummings] are dynamic. We really had no chance. He did a great job finishing too…I don’t think there’s anybody on the field that could have caught him…And that stems from us losing the ball in the middle of the field and allowing them to use the biggest strength that they really have.”

Mondragon said, “We were giving them space and they were making good finishes…It’s a pity we lost this game,” the veteran goalie continued. “I don’t mind losing the home record; I mind to give points away like tonight.”

Nowak on the Williams red card: “The red card killed the whole game.” Nowak continued, “He was fouled on the play and it is just one of those things that you scratch your head. For months we have been talking about dangerous fouls like that, over the ball, but it is just tough and you wonder. I hate the red card and I am disappointed and we’ve been saying this every single week and I’m getting tired of this. Week in and week out and why and how this stuff doesn’t make any sense.”

Williams said, “I thought it was a foul. The referee did not see it that way. I think I tried to walk away from the situation, I think he kept following me around and I lost my cool. That’s my fault. I know better than that. It won’t happen again.”

More on the loss from NJ.com

Apparently some idiots were arrested for starting a fight in section 134 on Friday night. The incident began when one of the idiots threw a bottle onto the pitch from section 135. That idiot and some of his idiot friends then charged into section 134. Unfortunately, the actions of these idiots resulted in two members of the Corner Creeps, the supporters group that sits in 134, also being arrested as they tried to defend themselves. (Full disclosure: I do not sit in section 134 but I have several very good friends who do and are Corner Creeps.) In all, nine were arrested. Hopefully the local authorities will show some smarts and not continue charges against the two Corner Creeps.

Moving from Friday’s loss to Ruiz’s departure, the Brotherly Game notes that the Union are now down to 16 players on the roster with MLS experience to face Chicago on Wednesday, the first of three games in eight days. MLS Talk looks at what the Union need to beef up the roster.


From Philly.com’s Sports in Brief this morning, “Negotiations continue for the Union to sell forward Carlos Ruiz as part of multiple moves the Major League Soccer team is about to make, a source familiar with the proceedings said Sunday.”

Peter Nowak’s first language is not English. His manner of speaking at press conferences isn’t exactly linear. With that in mind, when Adam Cann, the PSP’s man in the press box at Union games, phoned me after Friday’s post-game press conference with Nowak’s announcement that Ruiz was no longer with the club, both of us couldn’t help but wonder: Did Nowak actually just blame Union fans as the reason for Ruiz leaving? Here’s what can be taken as a club endorsed version of Nowak’s words, taken from the article on the Union’s website describing the Ruiz announcement:

“Whatever you guys say, whatever the fans’ pre-bias is, we’re all getting tired right now of saying what Carlos brings to the table…A lot of fans even in the stands have a pre-bias toward Carlos and make bad comments about him being a diver, being that, being that, not working hard, all these little things, and it was getting tired to us. I always believed fans in the stands will stand behind us and are going to cheer for us and all the players we have on the roster, and not having something against a single player. As I said, it’s an unfortunate thing.”

So, the answer to the question of whether Nowak blamed the fans as the reason for Ruiz leaving the club is…yes.

Blaming the fans is a rather unbelievable, almost Nixonian thing to do. For a sense of what those “fans in the stands” feel about the whole thing, take a look at the, as of the time of this writing, 78 comments on the three articles the PSP posted over the weekend—the match report, the Ruiz announcement and what the Union will miss from Ruiz— dealing with the fallout from Friday’s loss and the Ruiz announcement.

SB Nation editor Jeremiah Oshan writes,

“You can take what Nowak said at face value. That would mean he basically got rid of an otherwise productive player — a player he would have us believe he is upset over losing — just because some members of the media didn’t like him and some fans wrote mean things on the internet. If this is, indeed, the case, it would seem that the Union are run more like a youth sports team than a professional sports organization.

“The alternative is to believe that Nowak is simply lying. That there’s another more reasonable cause for Ruiz’s leaving. Maybe he doesn’t like Philadelphia or MLS or Nowak. Or maybe Nowak doesn’t believe his style of play fits in with the rest of the team. There could be a million reasons, quite frankly, and Ruiz is far from the best player to ever have been moved from his team midseason.

“Maybe Nowak is annoyed that fans are critical or that media members question some of his moves. He certainly wouldn’t be the first coach to feel that way. But to then use that criticism as a shield for the real reason you’re making a move. That just seems weak and petty…Either Nowak failed his team by not helping people understand Ruiz’s value or he’s so thin-skinned that he’s using this an excuse to complain about fans. Neither looks good.”

For more local reaction, the Brotherly Game wonders, “Now what?” So far, at least in terms of there being any certainty about Ruiz’ destination, the answer seems to be much of the same: rumors. On Saturday afternoon, tBG linked to an article from the Mexican press in which Veracruz coach Daniel Guzman once again rejected rumors that Ruiz is heading to his club. On Sunday morning, tBG linked to a tweet from Fox Soccer’s Mauricio Cardenas saying that Ruiz is going to Veracruz. Frankly, I don’t care where Ruiz is going other than to know what the Union is getting for him in return.

More Villanova football at PPL Park nonsense: Villanova coach Andy Talley has called the game against Delaware on November 19 “a “test case for us for the future.” Kevein Tresolini reports at delawareonline.com that Talley, “said it’s an opportunity for fans to spread out in the large parking areas, like at Delaware, and tailgate and experience a true college football atmosphere. He added that the decision on moving to the Big East ‘goes much deeper than that.'”

Wondering what the Union players think about the Jurgen Klinsmann appointment as the new coach of the USMNT? Read on.


The Independence clinched second place and secured a playoff spot—which will reportedly be played at PPL Park—with their 1–0 win over Atlanta Beat on Sunday night. More than 4000 were on hand for the win, their team’s first home game since the Women’s World Cup.

Independence defender Kia McNeill gets a hometown profile.

Delran’s Carli Lloyd was among those USWNT players on both teams to be honored before the start of the match. Lloyd did not appear for Atlanta, however, serving a one-game ban for yellow card accumulation. This piece looks at the support Lloyd is receiving to deal with the emotional weight of losing the World Cup final.


The Union loss on Friday combined with the 2–0 road win for Columbus over RSL on Saturday means the Crew is now in first place in the East, ahead by three points and having played two more games. New York, in London over the weekend, remain in third place with 30 points. Sporting KC—who drew 1–1 with seventh place New England—is level at 27 points with Houston—who defeated Seattle 3–1— but have played one less game. Sixth place DC beat San Jose 2–0 and Toronto drew 2–2 with Portland. Last place Chicago had the weekend off.


  1. I like that it seems like we are going to bring in more players. I just HOPE that Nowak goes for younger, dynamic, team players that will fit into our philosophy more than Ruiz (and even Paunovic) did.
    I am still disappointed that Nowak decided to throw away the strides our offense made at the end of last yer by bringing in a lazy poacher like Ruiz. I just hope his transfer choices this time are better.

  2. I disagree. At first I may have not agreed with the Paunovic move, but bringing in some veteran talent is very important to this club, especially with Ruiz gone now. We need some more experienced players if we are going to make the playoffs this year.

    • Paunovic, veteran talent?? more like just an experienced player and that is it and experienced does not mean talent, sorry but when you do not play for 2 years and he has not done anything really with talking about in his career, he is not talent more of a experienced player. And I do not really think we need veteran talent to the team, we have Danny Califf and Mondragon, combined they have plenty of veteran talent, and how well did the 2nd team/ reserve team play in those friendlies? they looked a lot more organized than the first team.

  3. Who’s coming? Any way we get in on the Prince Tago sweepstakes? Lucas Neill? It’d be nice to get at least a few rumors!

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