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Hop or Roger? Reading in playoff, more news

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Philadelphia Union

Chris Vito writes at Union Tally that the success of Antoine Hoppenot has diminished the minutes available to the now healthy Roger Torres. Read and feel free to discuss below.

Vito also gives the Union a mid-season report card.

Dave Zeitlin notes in The Inside Doop, “Despite their losing record (6-9-2), the ninth-place Union actually own a positive goal differential of plus-one. That’s tied for fourth best in the Eastern Conference.”

Aston Villa have released their roster for their summer tour of the US and you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget that, if you are a season ticket holder, Wednesday night’s friendly is included as a free bonus game.

Season ticket holders can attend an Aston Villa open practice tonight at PPL Park, with gates opening at 5:30pm. Following the practice, Sons of Ben FC will play Aston Villa supporters in a friendly.

Power Rankings, you say? Sure: At Goal.com—who says, “This group reeks of confidence in the wake of Peter Nowak’s dismissal”—the Union jump up two spots to No. 12. ESPN praises the Union’s “increased mental fortitude that after coughing up a horrific equalizer against Montreal, Carlos Valdes had a stoppage time winner.” ESPN has the Union advancing four spots to No. 12. At Soccer America—”The Union is the hottest team in the league? Strewth!”—the Union move up two spots to No. 13. SI says, “Another game, another gritty win,” and moves the Union up one spot to No. 13.

Carlos Valdes was named to ProSoccerTalk’s Team of the Week.

Here’s a look at how Zac MacMath turned things around after the US Open Cup loss.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The US Soccer Development Academy has released its end of the year awards and Union academy goalkeeper Zach Steffen (FC DELCO) has been named the U-15/16 East Conference Player of the Year. Bryce Cregan (D, PA Classics) joins him on the All-East Conference U-15/16 team. Quincy Thomas (D, PA Classics) and Christiano Francois (F, Players Development Academy) were named to the All-East Conference U-17/18 team.


Reading United will host Jersey Express in a playoff match tonight for the fourth seed in the PDL Eastern Conference playoffs. First kick is 7pm at Albright College’s Gene Shirk Stadium in Reading. Tickets are only $5 and kids under 6 and anyone under 18 wearing their club/high school shirt gets in for free. Look for our match preview later this morning.

Three La Salle players are on the Mid-Atlantic Division champion Ocean City Nor’easters.

The deadline to register for West-Mont United Soccer Association’s “Battle at Hilltop” Soccer Tournament has been extended. For more information, click here.


It’s official: Kenny Miller has signed with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Toronto’s Danny Koevermans is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Surprise! Chris “Man on Fire” Wondolowski has been named Player of the Week.

The Guardian has five things we learned from last weekend’s games.

Montreal Impact’s Marco Di Vaio spoke to Gazzetta Dello Sport about playing in MLS and said of the league, “In MLS the players are real animals, and they run like crazy. But tactically they have to improve. To make the jump in quality the league needs other European players, but especially coaches that can bring different ideas.”

MLS Reserves says the MLS All-Stars “have a serious chance of winning” when they play Chelsea next week.

Here’s another look at efforts to get people to attend Montreal Impact home games.

Remember that post PSP did at the beginning of June that looked at the Union’s playoff prospects through points per game? The Shin Guardian just did the same for the league.

Here are the latest attendance figures for the league including an interesting look at where Seattle would place in attendance in some of the world’s top leagues.

Happy birthday, Danny Mwanga.


SBI talks to NASL commissioner David Downs about the New York Cosmos and league expansion. Downs says, the league is in “advanced discussions with six or seven groups that are targeting either 2013 or 2014” to join the league.

Women’s Soccer


Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu are leaving Rangers after the club was relegated to Scotland’s fourth division.


SI previews the men’s Olympic soccer tournament.

An internal audit by the Asian Football Confederation has given rise to new allegations of bribery against former confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam. The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland is set to rule on FIFA’s lifetime ban of bin Hammam later this week.

FIFA will meet today to appoint a prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption related to the voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

Sepp Blatter has written to a German newspaper in an attempt to clarify remarks he made in an interview that appeared to suggest that the voting for the 2006 World Cup, hosted by Germany, was rigged.

Manchester United (1: $2.23 billion) and Real Madrid (2: $1.88 billion) top the Forbes list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s culture secretary, says there’s too much cursing on the pitch.



  1. Re: Antoine vs. Roger, it’s hard to argue with results. Hoppenot has scored or assisted goals in almost every appearance. I’m a Roger fan, but unless Hop hits a bare patch, he’s first off the bench, no question. Now, that’s not to say Roger can’t get on the field, but it can’t be at Hoppenot’s expense.

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Not sure I follow the Hop vs Torres article, considering they play different positions. We need more flash at Midfield, we put in Torres. We need more flash at forward, we put in Hop.

    • Well, right, but I think the point is that, Hoppenot has taken over as the super-sub, which used to be Roger. This is actually a kind of holdover from the Nowak era, when if something wasn’t going right, Nowak just threw on his next-best offensive player, regardless of position or formation. Then the Union would finish games with four forwards, etc. That’s no longer the case, thankfully.

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      Oh well yeah Hop is now our supersub but that term is sensationalistic anyway. I hope Hackworth is smart enough to properly identify the right problem area during a game and put in the right sub based on the problem. Hop ain’t going to help a thing if Marfan is having a bad game or Lahoud is playing like an offensive blackhole.

      • Lahoud is an offensive (and defensive) black hole. Worst pickup ever (besides the fact of what we gave up to get him).

      • Agree. No ideas going forward. Would like to see Torres start instead of him. Maybe then Jack would get some good passes and score in the first half. We only seem to score in the last 10 minutes lately and need to step it up in the first half, or at least before our supersub enters the game.

  3. Playing them both turns our already small lineup even smaller. Here’s what I’d like to see:

    Keon Torres Marfan
    Carroll Gomez

    Garfan Valdez Okugo Sheanon


    Sub: Hop for McInerney 65 minute sub.
    Pajoy for Keon 75th minute

  4. McMohansky says:

    Excited to see Eric Lichaj and Brad Guzan. After Aston Villa’s horrid year I was surprised to read Brad Guzan resigned for another 3 years. He played really well when Shay Given went down, and many people thought it was sufficient top-flight audition to secure a starting role elsewhere. Unfortunately, Guzan won’t be displacing Given at AV anytime soon, unless new manager Paul Lambert is planning on moving him.

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