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Califf: “They brought all the horses”, Olympic call-ups, more quotes & news

Photo: PortlandTimbers.com

If you can take your face out of your hands long enough to read it, PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch has a match report from last night’s Union season opener. It ain’t pretty.

More match reports from the Union, The Inquirer, The Guardian, ESPN, PhillySoccerNews, Goal.com, USAToday and the DelCo Times.

OregonLive has a nice photo essay that, if nothing else, proves Josue Martinez was on the field for at least part of last night’s game.

Andy Jasner of the Philadelphia Union writes that the team stays positive despite the loss.

Matthew Doyle of MLSSoccer says Peter Nowak is already trying to put this one behind the team.

NBCSports has three questions about the Union, none of which were really answered last night.

Eric Goldstein thinks the Union’s fan base will continue to grow.

Player quotes

TheGoalkeeper got to throw some post-game questions at Union players. My favorite part of these interviews is that Danny Califf, Freddy Adu, and Zac MacMath (whose flub on the first goal made it onto Deadspin) are all asked if this is the Union’s most difficult road game of the season. How is that answerable? Also, please predict the price of gas in September.

  • Califf on the defense: “Certainly a couple of goals were unfortunate situations. I think that overall, if you look at the game, it wasn’t so poor. There are certainly positives that we can take out of this game both offensively and defensively. Once they got the crowd into it and they started feeding off that in their home opener, give them credit for that – they brought everything tonight.”
  • Califf on momentum: “They brought all the horses. The game was pretty back and forth, and we opened it up. The timing of their first goal was not great for us, coming on the heels of our goal, and it kind of gave them the momentum right back. Then we were chasing the game after that.”
  • Califf on Portland’s wing play: “Yeah. I think that their outside midfielders were dropping deep to get the ball, and they had a little more space to run into at our defense. If you give Alhassan and Nagbe and those guys a little time to run, you’re going to be in trouble.”
  • Adu on chance creation: “We had a good amount, we had some possession. But at the end of the day we’ve got to create some chances out of that. That’s why we play the sport – to score goals and win games. You don’t win games if you don’t score goals, so we have to find a way to get better at getting balls up to our forwards. I thought we had some chances, but we just didn’t pull the trigger today on a couple of occasions when we were open. That’s going to come as the games go on.”
  • Adu on shooting more: “I know that’s something that Peter’s going to work on. That’s something that we’ve talked about and are going to focus on. Being cleaner on the ball, and also pulling the trigger whenever we get a yard or two. Because in these kinds of games, you’re not going to get much space. You’ve got to find a way to pull the trigger and get the ball on goal.”
  • Adu on the Olympics being a possible pre-game distraction: “No, I wasn’t thinking about it at all. I was completely focused on Philadelphia and what we were trying to do.”
  • MacMath on that first goal: “It was unfortunate. It was a little lack of concentration. But I tried to forget about it and keep us in the game after that.”
  • MacMath on what changed in the second half: “They brought it to us. I think we might have been a little bit tired, but overall, once I let in that first goal I think we just lost our confidence a little bit. Then they got a second and they got a third.”

Nowak quotes

The Goalkeeper also had some questions for Peter Nowak before the game.

  • On expectations: “I think that winning is going to determine where the team is going to go, and the sooner that you start it, the better.”
  • On Roger Torres’ absence: “Unfortunately, he picked up an ankle injury when we started our trip to Costa Rica. Then he was in and out. Especially with the turf and rain and stuff [in Portland] we didn’t want to risk anything, so he didn’t travel with us.”
  • Hilarious answer to the ridiculous question: Would you rather have one guy who scores a lot or four guys who score some: “That’s not … I won’t have a guy who will score 15 goals or 20 goals [this year]. But from year to year, you’re not going to tell me today that Robbie Keane is going to score 15 goals a year. So whatever name you’re going to throw in there, there’s not probably one in our league who you will say is going to score 20 goals.This is just pure speculation – I think the decision was as it was. We believe in the stability and the youngsters. We’re going to grow together, and sometimes that’s not a popular decision, but someone has to make it.”

Junior Lone Star FC is headed to the semi-finals of the Eastern Pennsylvania State Amateur Cup after knocking off Quakertown 4-1. The first goal was a long time coming: “After series of misses in the beginning of the match, a break-through finally came in the 30th minute when forward Moses Jackson received a remarkable through pass from midfield maestro Joe Joe Jappah to open the floodgate of goals for the Stars.”

Amobi Okugo and Freddy Adu were called up to the final 19-man U-23 Olympic camp in Nashville. The players flew directly to Nashville following the Union’s loss to Portland. Okugo and Adu are likely to miss the next three games (March 18 vs. Colorado; March 24 at Chicago and March 31 vs. Vancouver).

You are really testing the limits of your “5 Things Learned…” column when Things 4 and 5 are “Some players were good” and “Some were bad.” Not exactly revelatory analysis.



  1. “I won’t have a guy who will score 15 goals or 20 goals [this year].”

    …because I sold him for allocation money.

  2. DarthLos117 says:

    I have a feeling our keeper is gonna make Fridays espn not top ten plays of the week…

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I don’t have nearly as much problem with a keeper dropping a ball in the rain as I do with the complete lack of hustle that the team showed. They simply allowed way too many opportunities to Portland and were lucky the score wasn’t 5 or 6 to 1.

      • DarthLos117 says:

        Fixed for you: “I have as much of a problem with a keeper dropping the ball in the rain as I do with the complete lack of hustle that the team showed.”

  3. I have more problems with Portland shooting 17 times vs UNION shooting 5 times. Zack made 4 saves per the recap Portland’s keeper made 1. It’s 11 men out there the Keeper the last line of defence but not the team. The ball got past ten other player to get pass Zack who in my mine played a good game. Keeper let 1 ball the team let 2 balls as a hold for not clearing them and as a Team the UNION only put the ball in the net once

  4. Califf, “They brought all the horses”. Duh. That’s what other teams are supposed to do. But we are supposed to bring all of our horses, and to knock them off of theirs.

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