Daily news roundups / Featured

2nd half of 6-pointers, USWNT win, more news

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

That the 2012 schedule has been a bit odd is evident by the fact that this weekend’s opponent, Montreal, has played five more games than the Union. Beginning with the mantra “Games in hand,” this article notes that other than the August 24 home game against Real Salt Lake, the remaining games are all against Eastern Conference opponents. “Save for that game, they’ll play proverbial six-pointers for the entire second half of the season, including two games each against the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo, and New England Revolution.” Actually, they’ll face New York only one more time but you get the picture.

Carlos Valdes was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week with Zac MacMath and Jack McInerney receiving honorable mentions.

Sheanon Williams was named to SBI’s MLS Best XI. Amobi Okugo andMcInerney both received honorable mentions. Former Union players Shea Salinas and one “Dan Califf” were also named to the Best XI.

Williams and Valdes are No. 11 and No. 12 on this week’s Castrol Top 20 list and McInerney is No. 17. On the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are McInerney (No. 47), Zac MacMath (No. 55), Lionard Pajoy (No. 57), Gabriel Gomez (No. 67), and Valdes (No. 69).

Valdes says of the past week, which included the All-Star Game and the win over New England, “It’s wonderful for me because I can feel the fans calling my name. I’m so proud to be part of the family.”

An article on the Union website looks back at the history between the Union and New England, who remain the only team never to have beaten the Union other than Montreal.

Looking ahead to the weekend, the writers at MLS Reserves all predict a win for Montreal over the Union. The general opinion can be summarized as “Montreal are too tough at home for the Union to prevail.”

In power rankings news, the Union drop one spot to No. 14 at MLSsoccer.com, who explain, ” That will happen when everyone else in the Eastern playoff race also does well and your victory features a fair share of fortunate breaks.” ProSoccerTalk has the team at No. 12, which is where SBI also has them.

Olympics

USA

The USWNT defeated North Korea 1-0 in their final group game on Tuesday. They next face New Zealand in the quarterfinals on Friday (9:30am, NBCSN). If the US wins, they will face the winner of Great Britain v Canada in the semifinals.

Abby Wambach scored for the game’s sole goal, her third straight in the tournament, after some lovely build-up play that ended with a a nice pass from Alex Morgan. The goal was the first ever scored in a women’s international at Old Trafford.

Wambach said, “I think it was a professional game. We wanted to preserve our energy in the second half by keeping the ball; I think that was pretty clear. Moving forward, the quarterfinal game is the most important thing and we knew we were already through. We put ourselves into a position to go through and possession was the name of our game.” She added, “We would’ve liked to get a few more goals.”

More on the win from ESPN (includes player ratings), Sporting News and SI. Soccer America has player ratings.

By the way, will someone please tell me why the Nike logo is acceptable on the US jerseys but a USA logo is not?

Former Union guy Alecko Eskadarian comments on the latest Hope Solo Twitter flap for SI. Why are people still talking about this?

Men’s tournament

Here’s the schedule for today’s final games of group play for the men:

9:30am – Brazil vs New Zealand – NBCSN, Live Extra
9:30am – Egypt vs Belarus – Live Extra
12:00pm – Mexico vs Switzerland – NBCSN, Live Extra
12:00pm – South Korea vs Gabon – MSNBC, Live Extra
12:00pm – Japan vs Honduras – Live Extra
12:00pm – Spain vs Morocco – Live Extra
2:45pm – Great Britain vs Uruguay – NBCSN, Live Extra
2:45pm – Senegal vs United Arab Emirates – Live Extra

Local

After earlier being named along with teammates Greg Cochrane and Stephen Okai to the All-Conference team, Reading United’s  and former PSP Player of the Week Deshorn Brown has been named to PDL’s All-League team.

Former City Islander and US U-20 international Vincenzo Bernardo has signed with Deportivo Guastatoya of Guatemala’s second division.

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Real Salt Lake lost 1-0 to Costa Rican side Herediano after going down to 10-men on the road. Toronto will host El Salvador’s CD Aguila tonight (8pm, FSC).

Using Tuesday night’s loss to Tottenham as a starting point, Soccer America’s Paul Gardner considers New York’s acquisition of players generally and Tim Cahill specifically. Noting that “the Red Bulls played with their customary lack of style and precision” against Spurs, he continues, “That has been the way the Red Bulls have always played. As it happens, it was the way the MetroStars played before them. Always a team without a style. Seventeen years of formless soccer, players running around, often energetically, usually to no avail.” As for player acquisition, Gardner says, “Predicting Red Bull moves related to player acquisition or dismissal is a waste of time because there is rarely any evidence of careful thought or methodical team-building.” Concluding that Cahill is not the player to bring the team style, he concludes, “If we are to be condemned to a midfield in which Cahill and Dax McCarty pull the strings, then we’re in for more style-less helter-skelter,” before adding, “None of which is to say that you can’t win games that way.”

Following the loss to the Union on Sunday, New England Soccer News says the Revolution will not make the postseason. “Yes, it may only be Jul. 30. Sure, 13 games remain. But it’s time to face the facts.”

Kei Kamara and others discuss the difficulties of being a professional athlete and practicing Muslim during Ramadan. Washington Post has a similar story with the focus on Bill Hamid.

Is Shalrie Josephs headed from New England to Chivas USA? This agent says he is.

Portland Timbers Young Designated Player Portland Jose Adolfo Valencia was arrested for “interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest” on Monday night.

LA Galaxy have loaned Chad Barrett to Valerenga of the Norwegian Premier League.

David Beckham has reached 20 million followers on Facebook.

US

The US Soccer announced on Tuesday that the USWNT will play Costa Rica in a friendly on Sept. 1, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY. The match, which will be the team’s first after the Olympics, will kickoff at 2:30pm, will be broadcast on NBC. Me thinks the expectation is a gold medal celebration in Wambach’s hometown.

Elsewhere

 The Guardian reports that the Glazers have moved to prevent any hostile takeover of Manchester United “by quietly altering the club’s constitution.” Meanwhile, supporters are wondering if Sir Alex Ferguson is among the senior club employees who stand to gain from a share scheme that could be worth as much as $320 million.

7 Comments

  1. JediLos117 says:

    Valdes also made MLS.com’s Team of the Week. Zac and Jack got honorable mentions.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    That’s a great draw for the US Women with Japan, Sweden, France, and Brazil all on the other half of the bracket. Now they just have to avoid overconfidence against the Kiwis and the GBR/Canada winner.

  3. What’s a peace officer?

  4. “Former Union players Shea Salinas and one “Dan Califf” were also named to the Best XI.”

    This line made me laugh out loud at work. I was thinking the same thing when I originally read that article.

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