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Pool GK to back up Zac, KC paper expects Sporting win, Nowak on lineups, more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Kansas City Watch

Chris Vito reports that the Union will be using a MLS pool goalkeeper as a backup to Zac MacMath for the Kansas City game.

The Kansas City Star expects Sporting to defeat the Union, saying, while they “might plan on playing the ‘bunker’ game on the road,” the Union haven’t shown “the strength to withstand anyone.”

Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report.The in form Kansas City the Union will face at Livestrong is a different team then the out of form Kansas City that played at PPL in June.

The Union expects Kansas City to go on the attack early.

With eight matches and two concerts in the past six weeks on top of record breaking summer heat, field conditions at Livestrong are a concern. Nowak says, “All I can say is that if the field is not in the greatest shape, that you have to play simple.” Brian Carroll adds, “Both teams are playing on it. Both teams have to deal with it.”

The Brotherly Game chats with fellow SB Nation affiliate and Sporting Kansas City blog the Daily Wiz. Four is the new three!

Union

Predicting the Philadelphia Union starting lineup is about as reliable as an undergraduate’s memory after a night of Jager Bombs. So, why is it that he Union lineup is forever changing? Peter Nowak explained at Wednesday’s weekly press conference, “From game to game, it’s different. It’s not like I try to play with the players’ minds and change the lineup because I feel so. Every game is different. Every game depends on the location, depends on the team, the team’s structure. What we’re trying to do is make sure we put the strongest lineup on the field that can match the intensity of the game.” Taking each sentence in turn, my thoughts are: Yes; That’s reassuring to know; Yes; Ditto; I should hope so.

With the next FIFA international dates just around the corner on October 7 and 11, the Union would have expected Keon Daniel to be called away for international duty with Trinidad and Tobago even if he had been able to re-enter the US after his early September call up. His visa status still in limbo, Daniel will be training with Trinidad and Tobago-based members of the national team on September 26 and 27 before the entire team gathers in Fort Lauderdale on October 2 ahead of a World Cup qualifier in Bermuda on October 7.

We said it Wednesday morning and MLSsoccer.com said it Wednesday afternoon: the Union defense is back. Danny Califf says, “We showed over the last few games the kind of form we were showing early in the year.” Sheanon Williams agrees, “[W]e’re getting back to our old ways.” Califf puts the return to form down to continuity in the backline and to a renewed focus on defending from the up-field players that leads to a total team effort defensively. “Guys you wouldn’t normally think of getting stuck in tackles were getting in tackles. Roger Torres was slide tackling. Sébastien was winning balls. When those guys are committed to defend like that, it’s so much better for us a group.”

We said it Wednesday morning and the Union website said it Wednesday evening: Le Touch is back. Le Toux says, “I’m very confident right now in myself. I’m very fit and I feel very good. Being able to score helps make you feel good. Helping us to win makes it even better.

John Hackworth says the success of a young team such as the Union is founded on the leadership exemplified by Danny Califf and Sebastien Le Toux. “I think absolutely if you’re trying to draw up a recipe for success, in my opinion it’s almost impossible to do it without having veteran leadership. Certainly Danny and Sebastien exemplify that kind of leadership on the field, especially when you look at the roster we had out there this past Saturday.”

Morgan Langley describes his feelings about being subbed into the Columbus game two days after signing with he Union. “I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I’m so…Man, I’m speechless…I heard the staff yell, ‘Morgan!’ and I got up to go in. I never expected to play right away. I was so excited to go in the game. It was a dream come true for me. I was so pumped up. To play in my very first game at PPL Park is an experience I’ll always treasure. I hope it’s just the start.”

Local

Chris Vito reports on the attention given to concussions that result from soccer with an emphasis on the high school level of competition.

The Inquirer rounds up Wednesday’s Southeastern PA boys’ (Go Hatters!) and girls’ soccer results and does the same for South Jersey girls’ soccer.

Girls’ field hockey teams in South Jersey are having a difficult time find enough players due to competition from other sports, “especially soccer.

MLS

Real Salt Lake thumped the Energy Drinks at Red Bull Arena 3–1. DC United drew 2–2 at home with Chivas USA. The results leave New York in fifth place on 36 points, three points behind the Union, and DC in sixth with 35 points.

Wednesday night was a wash for MLS teams in CONCACAF Champions League play with Dallas losing 0–2 at home to Pumas, LA losing 0–2 in Costa Rica to Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Colorado losing 1–2 at home to Honduran side Real España.

In response to reports linking him to a move to MLS, Nicolas Anelka tells the Chelsea website, “I am linked everywhere but—when you are linked—it doesn’t mean you want to leave. I like Chelsea and first of all wanted to stay that’s why I am still here.”

US

News and notes for Thursday night’s USWNT v Canada friendly (8pm, ESPN2).

The friendly is being played in Portland, where Megan Rapinoe played in college. She says that, if she scores, “I want to go saw one of those pieces of wood off. I’d probably get a red card for that.”

Stuart Holden talks to USsoccer.com about his return from injury. What did he feel getting back on the pitch for Bolton on Tuesday? “Relief. Excitement. Joy. It’s everything all together, really.”

Jose Torres will be out for at least two months after under going surgery for a broken bone in his left foot.

Elsewhere

FIFA wants to implement a web-based player transfer system. Welcome to the 21st Century!

UEFA will ask FIFA to scrap August friendlies.

The Guardian wonders if the new women and children only policy in Turkey for games that are under sanction will catch on elsewhere.

For the second time in a week, a Copa Sudamericana match has been abandoned, this time after a referee was struck by an object thrown from the stands.

9 Comments

  1. CB pairing = one player. I’ll stick with that explanation.

  2. Ed, are you a Hatter? If so, I didn’t realize that but I am an alum also. My younger brother plays for the current team, they were pretty fired up after that win yesterday!

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I am a Hatter! Graduated in 1984, played on the Hatboro-Horsham team 8th through 12th grade (and boy was I terrible, although I was captain of the JV squad in my junior year). Sounds like it was a very exciting match on Wednesday and I hear the girls’ team is doing very well too. (When I played, there was no girls’ team although one girl did play on the boys’ team and she was quite good.) When did you graduate?

      • That’s awesome, even more reason to check this site daily! I graduated in ’04, I only played at HH for 2 years (moved from Indiana between 10th and 11th) but I have 2 younger brothers who played their full HS years there, one is a senior captain this year. The boys should have a solid year, a lot of experience since a handful of the seniors have been playing varsity since freshman year. I don’t know much about the girls, but I played for Winderman in 11th grade and he now coaches the girls; he always seems to get the max out of his teams.

  3. mlssoccer.com is listing Williams as out for the KC game with a concussion?

  4. Can someone explain to me (the uninformed) about how Keon can go to Ft. Lauderdale with the T&T team to practice on Oct. 2nd ahead of a game in Bermuda, but can’t get in and out of the US on his own? Thanks.

    • There’s a difference between coming in on a visitor’s visa and a worker’s visa. As you’d expect, the former is much easier to get unless you are Joey Barton.

      I have no idea what is holding up Keon though.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        I thank you, too. When I saw the story I linked to, I didn’t even think about how Daniel could go to Ft. Lauderdale for training with the T & T team.

  5. How great is this total meltdown by the Energy Drinks?

    Particularly what that piece of garbage Marquez had to say afterward:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/grant_wahl/09/22/rafa.marquez/index.html

    Couldn’t happen to a better team!

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