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College Cup. Courage to shoot. Cisse wonderstrike.

Photo: Earl Gardner

NCAA College Cup

PPL Park will be the location of the 2013 NCAA College Cup, the Division I men’s soccer championship. Villanova is the hosting university. Nick Sakiewicz said, “We are very proud and excited to be able to host yet another great NCAA event at PPL Park. We believe, as does the NCAA, that PPL Park and its strong geographic location in the Greater Philadelphia region is the perfect spot to host college soccer’s pinnacle event. It is only fitting that this event be played in one of the best soccer stadiums in America, PPL Park.”

The College Cup will take place at PPL on Dec. 13 and 15, 2013.

Philadelphia Union

Calling Saturday’s loss “an unjust result” and the low number of scoring chances “unacceptable,” John Hackworth says, “When you have that feeling, you want to get out and play again to right the wrong…Hopefully we go out and play a good game, perform well and have a little chip and edge to us. Traveling all the way to Seattle against a very good team, it’s a huge ask for us. But we’re ready.”

Hackworth added about the loss to San Jose, “We know when we let a game like that slip away the burden of pressure falls on our shoulders a little bit more.”

Hackworth said further about the need to take more opportunities to shoot, “When the opportunity is there, you don’t have to tell a 10-year-old or a seasoned pro…The eyes get big and you know it’s on…but you have to have the courage to take it. And there’s a couple times in this first part of the season where players passed it. They’ve looked to the next guy. It happened Saturday night (in a 2-1 loss to San Jose). We’re reinforcing it: ‘Hey, when you get this chance, we want you to take it.’ We need to create more of those opportunities, we need to take those chances and that’s a good recipe for how we’ll get some long-term success.”

Asked if the Union have a bunker mentality when they score a goal, Hackworth said, “We [as a club] always talk about when we get the goal can we get the next one to kill the game, [but] it just hasn’t happened for us this year.”

Danny Mwanga said of the San Jose game and looking forward, “We are disappointed, but we also know we can turn this around. We maybe have to trust each other a bit more. I think a couple of early goals would be a confidence booster.”

Hackworth says of Kai Herdling’s quick start for the Union, “If you’re a good player – and Kai is certainly a very experienced and quality player – it doesn’t take a guy long to figure it out. He’d adapted very fast. He’s a very technically gifted player, very composed and I think he sees the game at a very high level.” Described as “a good player” and “a really nice guy” and “really positive” by Amobi Okugo, Herdling says, “I hope that I can help the team on offense so that we can get more goals.” I like the way he thinks.

Danny Califf says having some defensive depth this season helps when it comes to returning from an injury. “I don’t know if it makes it any easier, but it’s good we have those options. It’s better for the team and better for us in the back knowing you can feel comfortable taking the time you need to get 100 percent right from your injury, as opposed to really trying to push it and take an extra risk you’re going to re-injure yourself because you don’t have that depth.”

He also says of having to watch the team on TV when recovering from an injury, “I try to be by myself so I don’t hurt anyone when I start throwing things.”

A day after receiving the same honor from MLSsoccer.com, Gabriel Gomez receives an Honorable Mention in SBI’s MLS Best XI for Week 8.

The Goalkeeper breaks down the recent ESPN rankings of the payrolls of professional sports teams around the world to see how the Union fits in with other Philly sports teams.

RSL Soapbox has the Union ranked No. 7 in the East. Union Dues has them at 17th in the league.

Jimmy McLaughlin talks about his path to the Union in this video.

on April 16.


Following their opening weekend road trip that resulted in a win and a draw, the Harrisburg City Islanders kickoff their home season on Friday against the Charlotte Eagles.

The Patriot News profiles Harrisburg City Islanders and former Union and Temple All-American midfielder JT Noone.

Harrisburg is getting a second professional soccer team, the Harrisburg Heat of the Professional Arena Soccer League, who return after dropping out of the MISL nine tears ago.. The league currently has 15 teams in the US and Mexico which will play on a regional basis and hopes are that a Philadelphia franchise will be added soon. The Heat is scheduled to play its first game on November 17. Check out their website here.

ESPNHS has a profile of Downington East midfielder Kelly Kerrigan, the 2010-11 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year.


New England moves up to fourth in the East with a 2–1 win over Colorado at home. Second in the East DC was punished 5–3 by San Jose on the road with Lenhart and Wondowloski both scoring a brace, giving the mophead four goals in two games. Seattle blanked LA 2–0.

The league released a statement on Wednesday condemning the recent comments by Simon Borg about women fans of soccer that said he would be suspended for seven days. The statement also said “Mr. Borg and the entire MLS Digital group will receive additional sensitivity training promptly.” Reaction from Huffington Post, Jezebel, Goat Parade, Rant Sports, and  From a Left Wing.

In this week’s OPTA spotlight, the subject is San Jose and their crossing.

Red Bulls manager Hans Backe explains why the club won’t release goalkeeper Ryan Meara to join the Ireland U-21 squad, “I just told him we will turn it down…He wants to play; I don’t want [it], so that’s why…It’s stupid. I’m not commenting on it.”

Women’s Soccer

Megan Lenczyk, who was set to join the Philadelphia Independence from the Atlanta Beat before the cancellation of the 2012 WPS season, has signed with Paul Riley’s New York Fury.

CoCo Goodson, the defender picked 12th overall by the Independence in the league draft before the cancellation of the 2012 season, has signed with San Diego SeaLions of the WPSL.


Jozy Altidore was knocked unconscious and sustained head and back injuries when he fell and struck his head on a sideline advertising boards in a AZ Alkmaar match on Wednesday. Altidore has scored 18 goals for the Dutch club in all competitions this season.

Sporting News’ look at possible selections fro the USMNT continues with a look at the midfield.

The USMNT will host Jamaica in Columbus for the second match of the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on September 11.

The USWNT U-17 team kicks off World Cup qualifying against the Bahamas today in Guatemala City.


Fabrice Muamba made an emotional return to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Wednesday to watch his team play Tottenham. Muamba had a heart attack on March 17 when Bolton wast playing Tottenham away. Supporters of both teams chanted Muamba’s name when he walked on to the pitch to greet the crowd. A tearful Muamba said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you – not just the Bolton fans but the whole country. The support has been overwhelming and I’m just grateful I can walk again and do things normally again. I wish I was playing.” Bolton lost 4–1.

Lionel Messi broke the 39-year-old record set by Gerd Muller for the most goals scored in all competitions in a European season when he tallied the third goal of his hat trick against Malaga on Wednesday. He is now at 68 goals with two games remaining in the season. ProSoccerTalk has some comparisons, including video, between Messi and Muller (who was one of my favorite players when I was a wee lad).

I think we may have found our goal of the year winner:


  1. Wow, we may not like Nowak but atleast he isn’t a total jackass like Backe. “Its stupid.” Yeah sure, someone like Meara who was on no ones radar months ago gets a chance to play for a national team and hears his coach call his joy and aspirations stupid. What a bum of a manager.

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