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“This is a great day for us,” more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Yeah, we all wanted a Philadelphia Union win on Saturday. But it is time to get over it and savor the fact that the Union are in the playoffs in only their second year. And believe me, I write that because I need to be reminded of that fact as much as anyone else.

Playoff update

If the playoffs started today, the Union would be the second seed in the Eastern Conference, level on 48 points with Kansas City but with an inferior win-loss-draw record. Kansas City defeated New York 2–0 on Saturday to draw level with the Union, which means New York has the last wild card spot with 43 points going into Thursday’s game with the Union. Columbus, who topped bottom dwelling New England on Saturday 3–0, would be the third seed from the East with 47 points. Houston, who clinched at least a wild card spot with their 2–0 defeat of Portland on the road, would have the next-to-last wild card spot with 46 points and play their last game at home against LA. DC’s 1–2 loss to Chicago at home leaves them with 38 points and they would have to win their last two games (Portland and Kansas City, both at home) to have a slim chance at a wild card spot. Chicago would have to win their last game (Columbus at home) to have an equally slim chance.

Union

Match reports from the Union’s 1–1 draw with Toronto from the Philly Soccer Page, the Union website, the Inquirer, CSN Philly, the Delco Times, Delco News Network, PhillyBurbs.com, Press of Atlantic City, Goal.com, SB Nation, plus post-match quotes from the Goalkeeper. The headline in the Toronto Sun reads, “TFC reserves come away with a draw.” Jerks.

Peter Nowak said, “I think that in some capacity, you could feel the nervousness on the field, in some certain moments. They weren’t sure if they were going to be in the playoffs or not, because a lot of scenarios can form…I think they were a little bit scared to win the game today, and you can see the difference between two teams when one team has two weeks off. They were more fresh than us, and they moved the ball pretty well…I wish we could get it in a better fashion. We all wish to have won the game. But some days, you have to accept what it is.”

Nowak also said, “But I believe this is a great day for us. I know it’s not easy working with me sometimes, but the hard work and everything they put on the line paid off. It’s a great day for our franchise, and for this group as well.”

Brian Carroll said, “We would have liked to have done it with a victory instead of a tie, but all the work we have done from offseason to preseason and all throughout the year, it pays off, and you just have to celebrate and enjoy it.”

While noting “the Philly players were not especially pleased to come away with just one point against a struggling squad like Toronto in a game they mostly dominated,” this article describes how clinching a playoff berth has special meaning for Danny Califf and Sebastien Le Toux. Le Toux said, “For me and Danny, it’s great. The fact that we were not great last year and to be in the playoffs this year, it’s a great story. Maybe in 10, 20 years, we can say, ‘Yeah, we were part of the first team.’ That’s something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.” Califf said, “We put in a lot for this team. A lot of us it tied in with this club. To be a part of that from the very beginning and to feel validated that we accomplished one of our goals is big. It feels great.”

Califf knows how important it now is to get a win against New York on Thursday. “It’s important for home field advantage. Seeding is important in that respect but other than that, playoffs are a clean slate. Regardless of how many points L.A. [Galaxy] ran away with, it doesn’t mean anything in their first playoff game—no one is going to respect how many regular season points they had. It doesn’t matter.”

Sheanon Williams adds, “They are not in it yet, so they are going to give it everything they’ve got. We want to be in first place, so we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”

The Brotherly Game says, “Playoffs? Playoffs!? PLAYOFFS!”

MLS

Thierry Henry was red carded in New York’s 2–0 loss at Kansas City, which means he will not feature in their match against the Union on Thursday. Aaahaaa!

Some 64,000 people turned up to watch Kasey Keller’s last regular season home appearance for Seattle.

ESPN says MLS must hold on to Brek Shea. Good luck with that.

Here’s a look at why retired MLS players are reluctant to become referees.

Local

US Club Soccer’s id2 National Identification and Development Program “provides an opportunity for the country’s elite youth soccer players to be identified and developed, while also being scouted for inclusion in U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.” This year the program is targeting boys born 1998-1999 and girls born 1995-1998 and an evaluation camp was held at Union-affiliate Players Development Academy October 13-16. You can read updates of what happened on Day One and Day Two.

US

With the announcement that the USMNT will play France on November 11, here’s a look back at the two previous times the countries met–both matches took place in 1979, as well as the remembrances of Ty Keough, son of US soccer legend Harry Keough, who played in the second game.

Claudio Reyna talks to Goal.com about the changes being implemented in the US development system.

Goal.com looks at how players coming out of academy systems around the world are turning to playing for US colleges in an effort to further their professional playing prospects.

5 Comments

  1. MLS should make every effort to keep him at least through the 2014 World Cup.

    Absolutely, positively NOT. Who are these bums ESPN gets?

    What the MLS needs isn’t to stunt the growth of talented American players. It needs to gain traction internationally. Because as much as they don’t want to admit, soccer is still an international game and the MLS is at best, a low second tier league.

    Sending off our young American stars, who produced in the MLS at an early age, over the Europe where they (hopefully) produce as well will do more to help the league than drowning out their career prospects.

    It will give the league credibility, it will prove that we can actually produce talented young players, and it will prove palying in this league actually has positives. Right now out best bet is to become a feeder league like most other South American leagues. There is NO WAY the MLS will even become a premier, top 5 league. We need to accept that and aim for the best we can hope for – producing young American talent, providing legitimate competition for young South American players, and being a place where real teams can send real players on loan.

    Shea should spend at most one more year here. Though the rumors of being bought by a big team, and being sent back to Dallas on loan would be the best.

    • for sure. hoping shea will be bought by a team where he will have an opportunity to start in 2 years. until then, i’d like a loan to the dutch league where he can continue to work on his tactical acumen (ala jozy altidore).

    • Actually, I think it’s a good point about Shea. What would’ve been better for Altidore? Playing regularly for New York or bouncing from bench to bad situation to bench in Europe until this year? What about Adu? Andrew’s right. If Shea goes to a Big 4 club in England, it’s pine time. If he goes abroad, I hope it’s to Holland or somewhere he’s guaranteed to play.

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