Daily news roundups / Featured

“Bitter taste,” Uprights at PPL, local HS state semi results, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

Justin Mapp reflects on the 2011 season,

“I think I’ve been on some pretty good teams. This Union team was maybe as rewarding as any season because of how much we improved and got better in a short amount of time. We made the playoffs and that was a huge step for the franchise. Now, we don’t want to take a step back after having tasted the playoffs. We had a great chance to win that round against Houston and I think guys had a bit of a bitter taste because we expected to win. I think this will make us even hungrier. We’ll take it easy and then come back for another challenging season. I think guys are excited for what’s coming in the future.”

Carlos Valdes made SB Nation’s Best XI for the 2011 season. He finished in second place behind Omar Gonzales in their Defender of the Year award.

Faryd Mondragon finished second in the league’s voting for Goalkeeper of the Year behind Kasey Keller with 14.91 of the player’s vote, 18.52 percent of the media vote and 16.33 percent of the club’s vote. Keller finished with 17.39, 26.98 and 29.59, respectively. Mondragon came if fourth place for the Newcomer of the Year Award, won by Mauro Rosales.

Keon Daniel was an unused sub in Trinidad & Tobago’s 2–0 win over Guyana. Daniel started and played 55 minutes in Saturday’s 1–2 loss to Guyana that saw T&T eliminated from World Cup qualification.

Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams both started on the USMNT U-23 squad that drew 1–1 with a side made up of Bayer Leverkusen reserves and U-23s. The U-23s went 1–1–2 in the friendlies played during the camp, which ends today. In the video below recapping the U-23 camp in Germany, that’s Amobi Okugo, if I’m not mistaken, with a terrific side volley at minute 1:04.

Alecko Eskandarian recaps the Union academy season. The U-18s were undefeated.

Union Dues looks at the possible impact of the Expansion Draft.

Photo: Earl Gardner

Most Union fans think the prospect of Villanova playing its American football games at PPL Park is a bad idea. Apparently, with the departure of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia from the Big East, the prospects of Villanova joining that conference, which was the prime factor behind a move to PPL Park, are much dimmer. Hoooray! Nevertheless, as the picture to the right makes clear, American football is coming to PPL Park on Saturday. Booooo!

The position of Operations, Recruiting, and Training Manager for the Philadelphia Union Soccer Schools is open.

For some unknown reason, a photo of Union supporters in the River End was used to illustrate this article about the state of English football.

Local

Penn senior Thomas Brandt finished his college career with a hat trick in Penn’s 3–2 win over Harvard on Saturday. Brandt was named to the CollegeSoccerNews.com National Team of the Week, was named Ivy League Player of the Week and Philadelphia Soccer Six Player of the Week for his performance.

New Hope-Solebury defeated York Catholic 2-1 in the PIAA Class A boys’ semifinals. They face Mercyhurst Prep at 1pm on Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium for the state title.

Holy Ghost Prep lost 0–3 to Lancaster Mennonite in the PIAA Class AA boys’ semifinal.

Villa Joseph Marie crushed Central Valley 5–1 in the PIAA state Class AA semifinal. They will p;lay Mars on Friday at 5pm in Hershey in the final.

After playing to a 1–1 draw against Council Rock North in the PIAA Class AAA boys’ semifinal, Connestoga won 4–1 on penalty kicks to advance to the state final. They face District 7 champion Upper St. Clair at 5pm Saturday in Hershey.

Pennridge defeated Owen J. Roberts 2–1 to advance to the PIAA Class AAA girls’ final. They will face either defending state champion Peters Township or Upper St. Clair at 3pm on Saturday in Hershey.

Haddon Township defeated New Egypt 2–1 to advance to the NJSIAA State Group 1 girls’ final where they will face New Providence at the College of New Jersey on Saturday. More on Haddon Township here.

Haddonfield boys’ lost 1–2 to Holmdel in the NJSIAA State Group 2 boys’ semifinal.

Haddonfield lost 1–2 in overtime to Robinsville in the NJSIAA State Group 2 girls’ semifinal.

Timber Creek defeated previously unbeaten Princeton 2–0 to advance to the NJSIAA Group 3 boys’ state final where they will face Ramapo at 8pm on Thursday at the College of New Jersey.

Moorestown defeated Matawan 1–0 on a penalty kick to advance to the NJSIAA Group 3 girls’ state final. They will face Northern Highlands for the state championship at 12:15pm on Saturday at The College of New Jersey.

Cherokee advance to the NJSIAA Group 4 boys’ final with a 1–0 win over New Brunswick. Cherokee will be playing for their second consecutive Group 4 state championship.

Lenape topped Montgomery 1–0 to advance to Saturday’s NJSIAA Group 4 final where they will face either Montclair or Ridge.

MLS

It’s official: Brad Davis will miss the MLS Cup Final.

The LA Times says David Beckham’s impact on the league can be measured in dollar signs.

Speaking of dollar signs, LA Galaxy have a new 10-year deal with Time Warner Cable to broadcast their games worth a cool $55 million.

Jay Heaps is the new coach of New England Revolution.

We all hate Red Bull and we all enjoy reading accounts of just why the team is so messed up.

US

The US defeated Slovenia 3–2, which is what the score should have been about a year and a half ago in South Africa, with goals from Edson Byddle, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore. All three US goals came in the first half.

Here are player ratings from the game.

Citing a report from the Panamanian Football Federation, SBI reports that the USMNT will play a friendly with Panama on January 25 in Panama City. It will be master course in diving, no doubt.

The US Power Soccer team won the 2011 FIPFA World Cup, its second championship in a row, with a 3–0 win over England. Power Soccer is a sport for severely disabled people who use power wheelchairs.

From the Department of Yawn, Did You Say Something, Whatever comes news that Hope Solo was eliminated from the Dancing With the Stars competition. Back to the unglamorous world of goalkeeping for the USWNT.

The New York Post talks to St. Louis soccer historian Dave Lange.

Elsewhere

North Korea is now the unofficial world champion after defeating Japan 1–0. Japan had been the unofficial champion for 16 games after defeating previous champions Argentina in October 2010 1-0. The match, which took place in North Korea, was described by a North Korean broadcaster as a “proud victory,” although the game was not televised live. It was not mentioned in the broadcast that North Korea is mathematically eliminated fro World Cup qualification.

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