Daily news roundups

Who’s the back 4? Hoff’ & Hopp’ with City Islanders. More news.

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Check out our preview of Saturday’s match with Chivas USA (10:30pm, TCN). You can refresh your memory about the Union’s previous matches with Chivas USA with our quick reference.

We linked to a tweet from Dave Zeitlin yesterday that indicated that, with Danny Califf doubtful for Saturday’s match against Chivas USA, Peter Nowak is likely to start the same back four that played against Columbus, which means Garfan on the left, Gaddis on the right, with Valdes and Williams in the middle. Nowak explains, “The old-school formula is never to change the winning team. I think we’re in a position right now where these guys feel comfortable. To mix it up after we worked so hard to establish something, I think it would be very difficult to throw other guys around.”

Kerith Gabriel writes that Roger Torres’ injury will give him the time to reflect and grow stronger mentally. Torres says, “To not have a chance to play, it’s tough, I was working so hard to get more time [on the field]…I want to be there to help my teammates not just with a little bit of time left in the game.”

Marc Narducci reports that Danny Mwanga feels no pressure from the Kai Herdling loan and wonders if the young striker, who has only two shots this season and no goals, is too nice a guy.

Speaking of Herdling, Kerith Gabriel wonders if Herdling coming to the Union is “a case of a disgruntled forward (mind you, who has played only one match for Hoffenheim’s A side) looking for a fresh start in MLS.” He continues, “If that’s the case, then the Herdling experiment will go one of two ways: He’ll adapt to the American game quickly and the Union will have found the cure for its scoring woes. Or the club will have another Eduardo Coudet situation on its hands, in which initial flashes of brilliance fade like Halley’s Comet.”

Kevin Kinkead’s scouting report on Chivas USA says of their season so far, “there’s been a lot of defense and not much offense.” He adds, “Chivas are particularly dangerous running through the midfield and using space on the flanks to get forward.”

Juan Pablo Angel, who has been recovering from a concussion, believes he will “at least available for selection” against the Union.

Goal.com predicts Saturday’s match will end as a draw.

Philly Union Talk says, “With two very stout defenses, Philadelphia and Chivas could find themselves in a bit of a snoozefest. First goal probably wins this one.”

Chris Albright loves playing in Philly. “I’m honored to be here playing in my hometown in front of these incredible fans at PPL Park…I’m a Philly kid at heart and no one wants to work harder than I do for these fans. I’m a passionate player and always have been. These fans show the passion every game and it’s something to see in person. I want to do everything humanly possible to push for them and help the Union win as many games as possible.”

Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz participated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group at the Four Seasons Hotel about sports and the local economy. He credits the continuing success and growth of both the Union and soccer in the US in a poor economy to a simple generational factor. “What happened over the last 20 years, all those kids growing up playing soccer on the Main Line ain’t kids anymore. We had to wait for a market to grow up.”

The report in the Inquirer on the panel discussion also notes, “The Union has a waiting list for season tickets that now tops about 2,000 names. Once that list grows to about 8,000 and 9,000, the team will begin to explore expanding the 19,000-seat stadium that opened in 2010.”


The Harrisburg City Islanders have Union forwards Chandler Hoffman and Antoine Hoppenot with them as they open the 2012 USL season with back-to-back road games in North Carolina against Charlotte Eagles tonight and Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday night. You can watch the match against Wilmington live on USL Nation TV at 7:30pm on Saturday.

Left back Stephen Basso is ready for the season to start and help lead the Islanders back to the league championship final. “We were successful last year, it’s just trying to get the new guys coming in and keep the other guys that are still here motivated and to keep pushing forward, that getting to the championship game last year wasn’t enough.”

Islander’s rookie signing Tom Mellor talks to Upper 90.

The Islanders also recently signed Carlisle, Pa. native Colin Zizzi, who was with Vallecas FC in Madrid after playing at American University.

Here’s a look at what some former Harrisburg players are up to. Ryan Richter, formerly of the Islanders and the Union, scored a goal for Charlotte Battery on Wednesday.

Penn’s women’s team has named Alex Dayneka, Erin BEck and Claire Walker as team captains for 2012.


The league has given Rafa Marquez a three game suspension for breaking Shea Salinas’ collarbone, which is pretty light, if you ask me. Goal.com says the league swings and misses and Union Dues says the leagues has dropped the ball. Steve Davis writes at ProSoccerTalk that the league got it right.

Says San Jose general manager John Doyle, “I’m very, very disappointed that Rafa Márquez only received three games, and that we lose Shea Salinas for eight weeks.”

Speaking of fouls, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Red Bull will “flood certain markets in Western states” with 1.3 million cans of their foul-tasting liquid adorned with Marquez’s image.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber says the league would implement goal-line technology quickly if it is approved by International Football Association Board in July. “We’re interested in being a test league and we hope that we could achieve that. I would be open to whatever it is that could be done to ensure that we have goal-line technology.” He added, “There’s a lot more that we need to learn about it, understanding the process,” Garber said. “The bottom line here is that I would be open to using goal-line technology as soon as it is made available.”

Portland Timbers have unveiled their new $6 million adidas Timbers Training Center. Very nice.

Frankie Hejduk announced his retirement on Thursday. He will continue with Columbus Crew as their first-ever Brand Ambassador.

Women’s Soccer

USWNT captain Christie Rampone says it is vital for WPS to return if the national team is to continue to be successful. “We’ve been top three in every tournament that we’ve entered. But all of the countries are catching up and I don’t want for us to struggle to realize that we need a league here.”

Meghan Lenczyk, the former Atlanta Beat striker who had signed with Philadelphia Independence before the cancellation of the 2012 season, has joined the W-League’s Ottawa Fury.

The Women’s Professional SuperGroup, which is led by former Independence head coach Paul Riley and features quite a few former Independence players including Havertown’s Sinead Farrelly, is participating in the Headers for Hope charity tournament at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday. Among their opponents is Villanova.

Former Independence player Kia McNeill talks about being an ambassador for The Grassroots Project, an organization that “serves to educate at-risk youth from Washington D.C. about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention by utilizing Division I ‘student-athlete’ role models.”

Eight W-League players, all formerly of the WPS, are at the USWNT training camp.


Goal.com says Jozy Altidore’s development may be well worth the wait. It’s easy to forget that he’s only 22.

The LA Times has a deep and informative profile on Hope Solo.

Megan Rapinoe writes in her ESPNW blog that she’s had a hilarious month.

Here’s a groovy video someone created of 50 Rapinoe goal celebrations. Or, as she describes it, a video of her “jumping on a different teammate every time we score. What can I say? I just get super excited.”


Grant Wahl talks to Ray Hudson, GolTV’s colorful commentator, about Saturday’s El Clasico (2pm, GolTV).

Xavi Hernandez says Barcelona will stay the course against Real Madrid. “We try not to change our philosophy. We try to be the protagonists. Madrid have taken various approaches, but we have not changed our style for any match.”

From the Department of Uncool, Premiership club Norwich called the police after a 147-year-old leaked an image of the club’s new kit. Says Norwich chief executive David McNally, “We are the guardians of the football club whilst we’re here and so we will protect our property. And our property in the digital age involves our intellectual property, so we won’t allow anybody to come in and take it from us.” Meow.


  1. Brand Ambassador? “Hi I’m with the Columbus Crew. Yeah, I know, crew is rowing, but whoever said soccer team names made sense?”

  2. The old-school formula is never to change the winning team. From, The Coach who started a 5 man backline in his teams first ever playoff match.

  3. DarthLos117 says:

    As for the Marquez suspension…shame on the MLS!!! He absolutely got off way too easily. He got a 3 game suspension for throwing the ball at Donovan last year and this year he tackles, kicks and breaks an oppenents bones and ONLY gets 3 games! Ridiculous!!! Shame on you MLS!!! Get well soon Shea!!!

    • Well said. I’m assuming it would have been 4 games if Marquez had used a firearm.

      • Was he that dirty in his younger years at Barca and Mexico? I have never liked him, but thought that he was a better player then that. Is he just older now?

  4. did anyone else notice the 147 yeAR OLD?

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