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“Just clicking” — Reports & reaction from Union’s big win

Photo: Paul Rudderow

For the first time since April, Philadelphia Union have won two games in a row. That warm and fuzzy good times feeling — welcome back, old friend. We’ve missed you.

Philadelphia Union

Match reports from PSP, the Union website, MLSsoccer.com, Daily News, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Soccer By Ives, ProSoccerTalk, the Guardian, Goal.com, the Sports Network, SB Nation, The Canadian Press, the AP, and Philly Soccer News.

In addition to PSP’s match report, check out our postgame press conference and locker room interviews videos on our recently launched video page. This week we have interviews with Jack McInerney, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan and Antoine Hoppenot. Our photo essay of the game will be coming later this morning.

John Hackworth said of the Union attack — 10 goals in the last 5 games compared to 8 goals in 11 games under Peter Nowak —”I think we have good attacking players. I think they feel like they have some freedom to go to goal, and we’ve been encouraging them to go to goal. Fortunate for us, they’re finding the back of the net, and that means everything…We’re doing it with a lot of different guys, and we’re very mobile in our attack. I think that makes it hard for opposing defenses. But at the end of the day it’s the players that are making the plays, and that’s fantastic to see.”

He added, “The connection to the guy next to you in front of you and behind you, there are a lot of guys on the same page right now and they are playing for each other. That’s what a good team is all about.”

Sheanon Williams said, “I think everybody is just comfortable. I think everyone is playing freely, and that’s been good for us. That’s what we’ve been needing…I think that all year we’ve been capable of scoring goals. It’s just that, this is the time when they’re falling for us. We’re going to continue to ride that.”

Jack McInerney said, “I think we’re just clicking. We’re in the right place at the right time. We’re just being there and getting a little bit of luck. I think if we win a couple more games, it will sort of put the first half of the season behind us. It’ll be a bit of a fresh start because we’ll be right back in the race with everyone else.”

Hackworth said of Adu, “He was really good. I’m happy for him. We all know that he’s capable of that kind of game, and for him to go out and do it was fantastic. That second goal was really good, but he created a lot early in the game.”

Most of us would agree with Freddy Adu that he just had his best game in a Union jersey since joining the club last summer. “Sometimes you just get in a zone. I just wish I was in that zone all the time.”

A candid Adu said of his goal, “That’s another thing I haven’t done enough of is making runs off the ball and into dangerous positions. I saw Gabe had the ball, and I just took off. I didn’t think about anything else. I just took off, and he put it in the perfect spot.”

He added, “Today was just one of those days where my teammates did a great job finding me in dangerous spots. And when I did get the ball, I was aggressive. That’s what I felt like I haven’t been doing in the last couple of games. Even if I lose the ball, it doesn’t matter – I just have to go at the guy and make him uncomfortable.”

Hackworth said of Antoine Hoppenot, “He’s electric coming off the bench.” Love that kid.

Speaking of candid, ProSoccerTalk writes of those Freddy Adu step-overs, “In an eight minute stretch before his goal, he fell in love with them, dancing over the ball while heads up with Jeremy Hall. The first series drew awes from the crowd. The second: Mild rumbling. The third: Nothing.”

Kyle McCarthy writes of the Union, “By keeping the ball and pushing the tempo at all times, John Hackworth’s side showed how much freedom can help a side thrive. Philly isn’t a finished product yet…but this performance represents the latest in a series of signs that the stodgy old order has yielded to a more promising future.”

Union Tally says that, with Sunday’s win, the Union’s season has come full circle.

NJ.com praises Jack McInerney.

In case you missed it, the hosting rights to the US Open Cup final were announced on Friday. If the Union defeat Kansas City, and Chivas USA defeats Seattle, the Union will host the final.

Press reports say that Peter Nowak was recently in Poland for what he said was “only a private visit.” Nevertheless, the question of whether he is looking to become the coach of the Polish national team was in the air.

Nowak said he would like to set up an appointment with the Poland Football Association but one has not yet been made. “It would be a very tempting offer, but also demanding. A great challenge! And I never was afraid of challenges,” he said, adding if his country needs him, “I’m available.”

Nowak also said that the fact that he has lived abroad from Poland for so many years wouldn’t prevent him from being effective as the national team coach.

One report says, “Some Union players have accused him that he has a murderous workouts.” Nowak responded, “That’s not true.” (For the original reports in Polish, click here, here, here, and here.)

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders pulled out a 3-2 win on the road against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday night with two goals in the final ten minutes of the game. The Down again late the next night when they played host to Antigua Barracudas, a stoppage time goal from Sainey Touray salvaged a point for a 1-1 draw.

Touray, whose 81st minute goal on Friday was the equalizer against Pittsburgh, said of his late heroics, “It’s awesome.”

Ocean City Nor’easters won their weekend series to remain top of the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division and clinch a playoff spot. On Friday they defeated New Jersey Rangers 2-1. On Sunday, they defeated Westchester Flames 5-1 to make it a eight-game winning streak.

Deshorn Brown, PSP’s most recent Player of the Week, recorded a hat trick in Reading United’s 5-1 win over Westchester Flames on Saturday night. Reading is now tied for second place in the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division with Jersey Express, who they will play away on Wednesday night.

Reading hosts Ocean City on Friday, July 13 at 7 pm in what is sure to be a fine match.

Reading United’s women’s team has clinched a spot in the USL’s Super-20 League North American Finals.

Four people were wounded and one killed after gunfire erupted at an annual soccer tournament in Wilmington, Del. on Sunday afternoon. Details are still emerging, although police captured two suspects and a third was found dead from gunshot wounds.

Philadelphia Fever

After defeating FC Indiana to win their first match of the season on Thursday, the Fever faced Chicago Red Stars on Saturday. The Fever fell 1-0 after a 66th minute goal from Lauren Fowlkes, formerly with the Philadelphia Independence.

MLS

In Eastern Conference action, the Union’s 3-0 win over last place Toronto pulls them within four points of eighth place Montreal, who came from behind to defeat seventh place Columbus 2-1 on Sunday. In other Sunday games, third place New York’s winless streak at sixth place New England now stands at 18 games after they lost 2-0. Fourth place Chicago were defeated 2-0 at home by LA Galaxy. On Saturday, Kansas City moved into a share of first place with DC United after a 0-0 draw with fifth place Houston. DC had the weekend off.

DC United will reportedly have new co-owners, pending league approval, in the persons of Erick Thohir and Jason Levien, minority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani and Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan exchanged jerseys and embraced after Saturday’s game. It was the first time the two players had faced each other in a game since Mullen broke Zakuani’s leg last April.

The Guardian looks at five things learned from the weekend’s games.

SI hands out some mid-season awards.

Former Union midfielder Andrew Jacobson wore the captain’s armband for the first time in FC Dallas’ scoreless draw with San Jose.

Carlos Bocanegra says, “I’d 100 percent consider playing in MLS again.”

Frank Lampard says he is not headed to LA Galaxy. “There’s nothing in that at all.”

Alexi Lalas says many European clubs still stigmatize American players.

Here’s a listing of the ratings of the league’s nationally televised games so far.

MLSsoccer.com’s Food Week series continues with the importance of staying hydrated. With the kind of heat we’ve been having, you don’t have to be an athlete to get something out of this article.

US

NJ.com talks to local lass Carli Lloyd and says the USWNT is looking for redemption at the Olympics.

Megan Rapinoe says the reaction to her coming out has been mostly positive.

Charlie Davies is now playing for Danish Superliga side Randers.

Grantland’s look at the future of soccer in the US continues.

Elsewhere

The trial of John Terry, accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, began today.

More on soccer analytics.

12 Comments

  1. A breath of fresh air. Im happy =)

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I’m still not sold on Adu. While it was nice to see him score, I think there were several opportunities he could have done better with. There was a play in the second half where he had a lot of clear space down the wing but instead of taking it, he basically slowed down so the defender could get to him and he could take the defender on one on one. While he was able to beat the defender, it did not seem like the best play to make. Rather, it seemed he wanted a chance to show off rather than make the play that would help the team the most. The other thing I noticed was on the first corner kick (while the score was still tied 0-0 but the Union had been having the better of the play), Adu walked the first half of the way to the corner and then very slowly jogged the rest of the way. This was a time to continue pressing and getting over there quickly would have shown a better attitude.

    • You guys just can not be happy that adu played well. Can not admit he is a good player. If jack had a goal and a few other good plays we would be applauding. He is a DP with a modest salary in comparison. I think his comp is somewhere around 550K. with two goals and 1 assist lets compare his numbers to others. Henry 8.5 million- he doesnt have 30 goals and 15 assits. David beckham- 25 Million- enough said. landon donavan 2 million- doesnt have 7 goals. torsten frings- only 1 assist and 1 goal and i believe makes more than freddie. Though all these players give different things it just shows that he is on par or better as far as productivity for his salary. Again always ask for more but set acceptable expectations.

      • Josh Kensington says:

        By the logic of goals+assists/cash Adu has to be one of the worst players on our team (Gomez, Pajoy, Marfan, JMac, Hoppenot, Garfan, Okugo are all better in that ratio) and your point may just be that DPs are bad deals.

      • Some DP are definitely bad deals. Though the point was these players are supposed to bring something that goals and assists can’t quantify. I will leave it at this. No one can settle the ball on our team the way adu can. This is a non-quantifiable skill that others can learn from/emulate.

      • -nickt.- says:

        adu has not shown that he’s worth the money or dp spot.

      • Correct, they can’t be happy. There are always some fans who believe they can prove their knowledge by hating on “hyped” players.

      • He’s actually down to $400k this year. If he regularly plays like he did against Toronto, it’ll be hard to argue he’s not worth it.

  3. jpat2411 says:

    Adu is the type of player who has to have the ball at his feet to be effective. He said himself that he hasn’t been making runs off the ball (never did or does). He’s too slow to play thru, and doesn’t defend really well either.
    In games like LA-Adu will be invisible, because without possession, he doesn’t create. In games like TFC, he is able to gain possession and make things happen.
    I’m not judging his play – just stating what I have seen in almost one year of Adu in Phila.

  4. This is just me digging for something to complain about, but it bothered me when McInerney was subbed off – and got a deserved standing ovation – he didn’t seem to acknowledge the fans. If I’m the only one bothered by that, this is simply a rant and I will move on with my life.

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