Daily news roundups / Featured

Real-Celtic at Linc, Toronto fallout, USOC, more

Photo: David Cooper, courtesy of Toronto Star

Breaking: Real Madrid will play Celtic on August 11 at the Linc.

Philadelphia Union

The Union host Rochester Rhinos tonight in US Open Cup play at PPL Park. Here’s a preview from the Rhinos and another from Philly Soccer News.

Kerith Gabriel writes, “It’s cliche to say things can’t get any worse. But if the Union comes up short against a hungry Rochester Rhinos team Tuesday night in the U.S. Open Cup, ‘worse’ would be putting it gently.”

Peter Nowak said after Saturday’s humiliating loss to Toronto, “I’m extremely disappointed with that performance. I mean we have a couple good games – we play the way we wanted to and today was completely the opposite…So we make two steps forward and three steps back.” A couple of good games? We have lost four out of the last five games with a draw the only difference, right?

While noting that no one played particularly well for the Union, Nowak said of Adu, “There’s a lot of things [Adu] can bring to the table but he needs to be focused and involved in the play. He needs to have the touches, the feeling for the game. I think a lot of that today was missing. We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure it’s not just about the skills and the vision he has, but his work toward the team concept.”

Gabriel Farfan praised the play of backup keeper Chris Konopka, “He was big time.”

PSP’s match report, and analysis/player ratings.

More match reports and recaps from the Union website, the Inquirer, Philly Union Talk, the Brotherly Game, Philly Soccer News, Goal.com, the AP  For a Canadian perspective, there’s Toronto FC blog Waking the Red, Toronto Star, The Canadian Press, the Haliburton Echo, the Spec.com, the Record, and Canada.com.

At The Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin wonders “Is this the bottom?”

The Guardian says of the Union’s loss to Toronto, “for one day at least they are unwilling stars in the game no-one in the league wanted to be part of – the game where Toronto got their first points.” In the article, Danny Califf says that the turnover of players at the Union hasn’t helped team camaraderie or chemistry.

SI says of Toronto’s win, “It’s not to say that defeating a club as in shambles such as the Union (on a late goal that was the result of a horrible defensive lapse) signifies a complete change of fortune for TFC.”

In ESPN’s power rankings, all that is between the Union and the bottom of the table is Toronto. The same is true at Goal.com. At Soccer America, the Union are the bottom.

The Phanatic Magazine adds its voice to the chorus calling for the departure of Peter Nowak.

The Delco Times takes a deeper look at the city of Chester’s proposed tax on tickets and parking at PPL Park. Mayor John Linder says, “We’re still investigating all potential revenue streams. They understand that. We understand that we cannot expect any of these institutions to bear the total burden of financial responsibility for the city…There’s been a lot of things said that could give it a different tone. The bottom line is the city has a right to investigate and explore these revenue streams.”

The Delco Times report says that Nick Sakiewicz “declined to elaborate on comments he previously made opposing the taxes.” Sakiewicz said when news of the proposed taxes first came out that they would cost the Union ten percent of its gross revenue and would halt development plans including stadium expansion and the building of a training facility as well as new offices. Sakiewicz said, “These taxes would effectively put us out of business over time.”

Evan Weiner, an opponent of public funding of sport stadiums who spoke out against the deals that led to the building of PPL Park four years ago, looks at the proposed taxes and says, “I told you so.”

Local

Here’s a preview of tonight’s US Open Cup match between Harrisburg City Islanders and New England Revolution.

The City Islanders defeated the Union’s Open Cup opponent, Rochester Rhinos, 1–0 on Friday. Former Union player Morgan Langley scored the goal with JT Noone recording the assist.

Reading United defeated Central Jersey Spartans 3–0 at home on Friday night with Ryan Finley leading the team with two goals and six shots. On Sunday night, Reading defeated Brooklyn Knights 3–2 to move to the top of the Mid Atlantic Division.

Ocean City Nor’easters defeated Central Jersey Spartans 2–0 on Sunday night in their home opener.

At the Patriot-News, Michael Bullock’s excellent Going Deep series looks at locals who have played for the City Islanders, the history of pro-soccer in south central PA, and the high standards Ben Olsen left for local players to reach for.

NJ.com describes how the Philadelphia area is a big supporter of soccer.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference standings, the Union remain in ninth place after losing 1–0 to last place Toronto. DC moves to first place with a 3–2 win over seventh place New England. New York are in second place following their 1–1 draw with Chivas USA last Wednesday. Kansas City defeated San Jose 2–1 to remain if third place. Columbus moves into fourth place after a  2–1 win over Chicago, who are level on points with the Crew but now in fifth place. Houston move into sixth place with a 2–1 won over LA. Montreal remain in eighth place after falling 3–2 to Colorado.

The Players’ Union released the latest salary information on Friday. The New York Times and Forbes take a deeper look at the numbers.

Canada.com notes how Toronto and LA, each at the bottom of their respective conference, “lead Major League Soccer in million-dollar-plus salaries.”

Women’s Soccer

NJ.com takes a look at the Philadelphia Fever, who lost 3–2 to Chesapeake Charge on Sunday.

The Equalizer considers how the absence of a top flight pro league can harm the finding of talent for the USWNT.

Many are calling for increased support from US Soccer. Says, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, “To think the Federation, a nonprofit governing body, would have the kind of resources to make those investments, is misplaced…Those are the decisions you have to make in a world of finite resources. Running the professional game has really been left to private entrepreneurs.”

The Onion weighs in on the demise of WPS with all of the drollery you’d expect.

US

PSP’s match report and photo essay from the USWNT’s 4–1 win over China at PPL Park. Post-game quote sheet here.

Former Philadelphia Independence star Amy Rodriguez said after Sunday’s game, “Tonight was so great, we had such a great time, especially myself playing in front of these fans tonight that I have experienced two Women’s Professional Soccer league seasons with. It’s just so special and really motivating tonight. The environment, the fans, it was so electric. It motivated us and keeps us confident and I think it showed on the field.”

Soccer America looks at how the USMNT thumped Scotland and ProSoccerTalk looks at why the win matters. Post-game quote sheet here.

Boyertown High School grad Nicole Barnhart was named as the No. 2 goalkeeper for the USWNT at the Olympics. Barnhart played for the Philadelphia Independence last year.

Vineland, New Jersey native Jill Loyden was named over the weekend as an alternate goalkeeper for the USWNT at the Olympics.

US Soccer has announced it will make the U-17 and U-20 WNT positions full-time and will also hire a full-time assistant coach to oversee youth development for younger age groups.

Elsewhere

Italy’s Euro 2012 camp was raided early Monday morning by Italian police searching for information relating to the ongoing match-fixing scandal. Defender Domenico Criscito withdrew from the Italy squad after coming under investigation and Juventus manager Antonio Conte is also under investigation.

4 Comments

  1. NOWAK OUT

  2. More than 3,000 players from as far away as Canada and Illinois descended on the Downingtown area over the weekend for the 13th FC Delco Players Cup Tournament. On the boys side there were 2 local Champions: the U15 Lower Merion team and the U17 Cherry Hill team and 3 Finalists: the U9 Rose Tree team, the U12 and U14 Lehigh Valley teams. Congrats to all of them battling against tough opposition in blazing heat.

  3. Even when Nowak is rightly criticizing the team’s performance, he’s still in la-la land. He never criticizes himself, never admits that his decisions are as much at fault as his players for being unable to execute his ineffective formations and game plans. But in the end, if you give fifth graders a calculus test and they fail, is it really the students’ fault?

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