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“Oh, it’s huge.” More news.

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union v Houston Dynamo watch

Peter Nowak says, “The playoffs are not about worrying who won their last 10 or 20 games, it’s going to be who wins this series.”

So, we don’t need to worry too much about how the Union played against New York, right? “After our first few training sessions this week,” says Danny Califf, “there definitely won’t be a worry about what happened in that last game.”

While some coaches and players have said that owning Houston in the first semifinal playoff game “is irrelevant in terms of the playoffs,” Kerith Gabriel asks, “[B]ut psychologically, I mean, really, somewhere beneath the surface of all that coach-speak, it must mean something, right?” Califf agrees. “Oh it’s huge. If we can get a good result against these guys I think it’ll be massive for confidence. We match up with them pretty well and I think we’re confident going in that we are going to do the things it takes to put ourselves in a good spot and in the right position to move on.”

Nick Sakiewicz says of reaching the playoffs, “There’s no doubt we believed this was a lofty goal to make the playoffs in our second year. That’s why it means so much for us. We don’t take it for granted.”

Kevin Kinkead offers his scouting report on Houston. Please note: “The Dynamo scored seven goals in their last two games, four of which came from set piece opportunities.”

The Union are garnering international attention with Simon Evans writing an article for Reuters entitled “Union can expect Philadelphia passion in playoffs.”

The Brotherly Game has three preview questions with their fellow SB Nation affiliates in Houston. The main SB Nation site asks where are the storylines for Sunday’s game?

Unholy Union offers its midfield picks to start on Sunday.

The Union will be hosting “Doopin’ to the Cup” parties this evening in Center City at Fado and Tir na Nog from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Freddy Adu, Gabriel Farfan, Carlos Valdes and Danny Mwanga will be on hand to get the party jumping and to give away special Union prizes.

Union

Where would the Union be without Sebastien Le Toux? Danny Califf says, “We’d be struggling probably. He’s carried the load, especially the last 10 games of the year, scoring goals in bunches. Without that production, we’d be a different side.”

Nick Sakiewicz praises Peter Nowak, who he describes as his “first, second and third choice” to manage the Union. Sakiewicz says, “He fits the market, he fits the organization and we feel very fortunate to have Peter, John [Hackworth], Rob [Vartughian] and the whole staff here. I love the locker room and I love the leadership. I’ve never had such a cohesive group of players…He knows he’s got to push like every good leader and set the bar high. But he also isn’t afraid to loosen things up and not take himself or the situation too seriously so the fun goes out of it.”

Sakiewicz says of the radio deal, “This was actually our number one request from our fans coming out of last season. They wanted a radio talk show and they wanted games aired on the radio. All of this needs to be credited to the fans. If not for them calling in and making noise and saying we want to hear about the Union, then this doesn’t get done.”

MLS

Colorado Rapids defeated Columbus Crew 1–0 to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinal against Kansas City on Sunday at 7:30pm.

Seattle Sounders are feeling confident ahead of Saturday night’s 10pm Western Conference semifinal first leg game at Real Salt Lake.

Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales are both expected to start against Seattle.

Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are back to training with LA Galaxy and could be available to face New York on Sunday at 3pm.

SI’s Grant Wahl has his end of the year “Best of” picks as well as his own suggestion for how the MLS Playoffs should be organized. No one from the Union made any of his “Best of” picks.

WPS/Independence

Amid talk of new franchise in Connecticut joining the league, WPS on Thursday terminated the Boca Raton-based magicJack SC. A two-sentence statement read: “After careful consideration, the Board of Governors of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) voted on Tuesday to terminate the Boca Raton based magicJack franchise. WPS will continue to deliver to its players and fans the world’s top women’s soccer league, with plans to make 2012 the most competitive and successful season to date.” magicJack owner Dan Barislow, the focus of much controversy in the 2011 season, told the Washington Post that he hadn’t been able to convince the league that it should be “subservient to the USWNT” in directing its energies toward winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and paying its players a fair wage. Barislow vows, “MagicJack and myself will do everything we can to help our Women bring home the Gold next year [in London]. Our priority has not and will not change.”

Independence coach Paul Riley tells Philly Soccer News that Laura Del Rio and Joanna Lohman will not be back with the team in 2012. With the possibility of the team losing as many as six players to free agency, Riley says the focus is on short term contracts and that re-signing league MVP Veronica Boquette is the team’s No. 1 priority. He also said, with USWNT players once again being unavailable for long stretches next season because of the 2012 Summer Olympics, that the team will sign no more than three national team players.

USWNT coach Pia Sundhage has called up 30 players for a training camp ahead of the Nov. 19 friendly with Sweden. Independence players Amy Rodriguez, Lori Lindsay and Nicole Barnhart were among those called up. Why Jen Buczkowski continues to be ignored is anyone’s guess.

US

Some guy has designed a new US Soccer crest. I don’t like it at all. Frankly, I don’t know what’s wrong with the old crest, pictured to the left. I like me the old timee.

Soccer America looks at what it calls the coaching renaissance going on in youth soccer in America.

Elsewhere

Pele says Brazil is not ready to host the 2014 World Cup.

Who does Pele think is the greatest player of all time? Pele, of course. “I think another Pele is a little difficult because my mother and father closed the machine. There are always excellent players. Maybe one day there will be some player who will play more games than Pele did, or score more goals than Pele did. But I think that is a little difficult.”

FIFA finished the week with $1.85 billion in new television deals fro the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, this on top of $1.7 billion from deals in the Middle East and parts of Asia and Latin America that were signed in March. The guy who runs Infront, the Swiss-based agency brokering these deals, is Philippe Blatter, nephew of FIFA president Sepp Blatter. FIFA, where everything is above board.

Footy on the Telly™

Friday, October 28
High Point v Virginia Commonwealth 7pm Fox Soccer

Saturday, October 29
Everton v Manchester United 7am ESPN Deportes
Chelsea v Arsenal 7:30am ESPN2
Bayern Munich v Nuremburg 9:30am ESPN Deportes
Manchester City v Wolves 10am Fox Soccer
Sunderland v Aston Villa 10am Fox Soccer Plus
Roma v AC Milan 12pm Fox Soccer Plus
Villarreal v Rayo Vallecano 12pm DirecTV
Valencia v Getafe 12pm ESPN Deportes
West Brom v Liverpool 12:30pm Fox Soccer
Barcelona v Mallorca 2pm GolTV
Inter Milan v Juventus 2:30pm Fox Soccer
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid 4pm ESPN Deportes
Santos v Atletico PR 4pm GolTV
Norwich v Blackburn 4pm Fox Soccer Plus
Wigan v Fulham 5pm Fox Soccer
Tijuana v San Luis 6pm ESPN Deportes
Burnley v Blackpool 6pm Fox Soccer Plus
Pachuca v Monterrey 8pm Telefutura
Tigres v Santos Laguna 8pm Telemundo
Irapuato v Leones Negros 8pm GolTV
Atlas v Chivas 9:30 p.m. Galavision
Real Salt Lake v Seattle Sounders 10pm Fox Soccer
Fort Lauderdale v Minnesota (NASL finals) 10pm GolTV
Atlante v Morelia 10pm Telefutura

Sunday, October 30
Gold Coast v Newcastle 2am Fox Soccer
Siena v Chievo 7:30am Fox Soccer Plus
Leeds v Cardiff 9:30am Fox Soccer Plus
Udinese v Palermo 10am Fox Soccer
Cologne v Augsburg 10:30am GolTV
Osasuna v Levante 11am ESPN Deportes
Tottenham v QPR 12pm Fox Soccer
Hamburg v Kaiserslautern 12:30pm GolTV
Santander v Real Betis 1pm DirecTV
Tecos v Cruz Azul 2pm Univision
Toluca v Queretaro 2pm Telemundo
New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy 3pm ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Atletico Madrid v Zaragoza 3pm GolTV
Cagliari v Lazio 3:30pm Fox Soccer
Valenciennes v Lille 4pm Fox Soccer Plus
Philadelphia Union v Houston Dynamo 5pm ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Malaga v Espanyol 5pm GolTV
America v Puebla 6pm Galavision
Southampton v Middlesbrough 6pm Fox Soccer Plus
Colorado Rapids v Sporting Kansas City 7pm Fox Soccer

Monday, October 31
Stoke v Newcastle 4pm ESPN Deportes
Sevilla v Granada 4pm DirecTV

2 Comments

  1. There is no way Nowak doesn’t just play for a tie in this first leg.

  2. i hate pele. if only his mouth had retired when he did.

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