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All-Stars shine, USWNT come from behind, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

All-Star Game

Well, that was certainly a good time. Good play, good goals including a stoppage time winner, great crowd, plenty of entertainment, near perfect weather, and the local guys won.

Be sure to check out PSP’s match report from the MLS All-Stars 3-2 win over Chelsea.

Yep, the MLS All-Stars shined on Wednesday night, but for us locals, it was our fair stadium and the tremendous Philly soccer support that truly shined. Well, all of that and the numbers on the back of the MLS players’ jerseys.

The atmosphere at the game was tremendous—enough cannot be said about raucous din in PPL Park that began before the opening whistle and the River End did itself proud—as numerous mentions in various reports on the game make clear. I think my personal favorite chant of the evening was probably “You’re not English over there.”

Chris Wondolowski said, “This is a great atmosphere. The fans are dedicated, loyal and loud. I love playing here.”

Ben Olsen said, “The fan base here in Philly has been fantastic. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s nice that they were on my side a little bit today, and that will last maybe a couple more weeks.”

But the loudest roars of the evening were reserved for when Carlos Valdes and Michael Farfan entered the game.

Valdes said, “I just want to say thanks to all the fans for their support. I’m very proud, very excited about this night. It’s one of my best nights of my life.”

Farfan, who came on for David Beckham, said, “It was exciting. I mean, this is something you dream of as a kid. To play against the European champions, it’s an amazing feeling, especially to do it at home in front of the Sons of Ben and my friends and family. It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. To have all these fans cheering was an amazing experience.”

John Hackworth said of the the support the fans showed Valdes and Farfan, “It gave me goosebumps. It was incredible. It’s fantastic. It was great for our fans to see that, and for them to embrace Carlos and Michael in that way was fantastic.”

Ben Olsen said of Valdes, “He’s a stud.”

Eddie Johnson said of his stoppage time game winner, “That’s what coach brought me here for. I’m just trying to pay him back for selecting me to the team.”

Credit is very much due to Jay DeMerit, who, despite having a game on Friday, played the full 90 after Aurélien Collin had to leave the match in the 36th minute for what was later reported to be a facial fracture. Olsen said, “It means I’m going to get a bunch of calls from Vancouver really pissed off. That‘s what that means.”

More on the game from the Daily News (Gabriel), Daily News (Smallwood), Inquirer, Delco Times, Union Tally, MLSsoccer.com, Sporting News, Fox Soccer, the AP, Soccer America, Goal.com (including player ratings), SI, ProSoccerTalk, and SBI.

How’s the game being reported in Britain? Match reports from The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, the Daily Mail, The Sun, and the Chelsea website.

Chelsea, who lost to the MLS All-Stars in 2006, was impressed with the 2012 edition.

ProSoccerTalk considers the large number of Chelsea fans who were in attendance. “It’s an odd thing, really. I mean, Major League Soccer is the ‘home team,’ such as it is…That’s not a problem here in Philadelphia, where the club gets sensational support…Still, here’s the American soccer condition; lots of fans, with their club support spread literally across the world.”

San Francisco Chronicle has a slideshow of photos from the game. Images No. 9 and 10 show Carlos Valdes battling Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku. More Valdes in images No. 13 and 15.

Photo’s of one of the pre-game events from Philadelphia Magazine.


Only 15 minutes into their first group stage match at the Olympics, the USWNT was down 2-0 to France. Forty-nine minutes later, the US scored the final goal of their 4-2 victory.

So, what was the mood on the pitch when the team was staring at a two-goal deficit? Hope Solo said, “We weren’t fazed at all. We were ice cold. We knew France was good but we know we’re better.”

Alex Morgan said, “Me and Abby looked at each other and we were like ‘All right, a goal each.'” After Wambach put the US on the board with a powerful header, Morgan went on to score two goals. She’s now at 19 goals in 16 games in 2012.

But it was Delran, New Jersey’s Carli Lloyd who scored the game winner with a terrific blast from 25-yards out. “It was a great pass by (Megan) Rapinoe,” Lloyd, who came into the match earlier for an injured Shannon Boxx, said. “I knew that everyone was crashing in toward the goal and nobody was marking me. I took a touch, set myself up and couldn’t hit it more perfectly than I did.

More on the win from FIFA.com (1), FIFA.com (2), MLSsoccer.com, Sporting News, Soccer America, Fox Soccer, ProSoccerTalk, NBC 10, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, the AP, SI and SBI.

In other Group G play, the North Korean team refused to take to the pitch for nearly an hour after the South Korean flag was displayed on the stadium jumbotron before their match against Colombia. After the error was corrected, the team defeated Colombia 2-0.

In Group E, Brazil cruised past Cameroon, 5-0 while Great Britain edged out New Zealand 1-0. In Group F, Japan topped Canada 2-1 and Sweden defeated South Africa 4-1.

The men’s tournament gets underway today. Here’s a preview.

ESPN looks at soccer at the 1908 London Olympics.

Philadelphia Union

Dave Zeitlin has an excellent must-read profile piece on John Hackworth.


In Day 1 of the US Youth Soccer National Championships, the CRUSA/FC Bucks Fury U-15 girls team lost 4-1 to Kings Soccer Academy. The FC Penn Strikers U-18 girls team came from behind to defeat LaRoca PT 4-2.



  1. Wondo to union? A man can dream…

  2. Olsen did a great job putting that team together and coaching it.

  3. I was also really impressed with the home support yesterday. I could hear the SoB’s on the tv before the game even started.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      They did a tremendous job, the stadium was really rocking. Such a great night for the league, the Union, and Philly soccer.

      • Hope you could also heard the Chelsea fans in section 120. Great atmosphere there with some brilliant songs. River End looks realy small from the other end.

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