Daily news roundups / Featured

National team call-ups, Soumare ready, anatomy of a goal, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Kerith Gabriel reports that Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Gomez, and Keon Daniel will all be called up for national team duty for the FIFA international friendly day on August 15. How this will affect selection for the home game against Chicago on August 12 and the away game against DC on August 19 is unclear at the moment.

John Hackworth said at Wednesday’s press conference that Bakary Soumare is ready to play, which make Valdes being away on international duty easier to deal with. “Baky is ready, so I’m hopeful that makes my job, and my coaching staff’s job, hard for Saturday. I think that’s a great thing for us no matter what. He’s looked really good. I told you guys last week that I thought he turned a corner. Having him available for selection is huge for us.” Asked if there was a chance Soumare could debut against Montreal, Hackworth said, “Chance? For sure.”

Addressing concerns that Soumare would bump Amobi Okugo, Hackworth said, “I try to express upon the players that it’s up to them and how they train every single day, and that’s what we’re going to do. At the same time, you look at our two centerbacks — Carlos has been fantastic, All-Star-caliber the whole time and Amobi has been arguably as good as anybody in the league — and we’ll make sure we’re very careful about the dynamic. When we make a change, it’ll be for the right reasons.”

Chris Vito writes at the Delco Times, “It’s expected that Okugo would bump either Michael Lahoud or Gabriel Gomez, who have shared defensive midfield duties, from the lineup and pair with Brian Carroll.”

Hackworth said of Saturday’s road game, “I know Montreal is going to have revenge in their mind. Losing the way they did I’m sure left a sour taste. Last time out was a really good soccer game and I expect the same, but we are going up there to win and we are going to press them.”

Speaking of his journey from Peter Nowak’s doghouse to Hackworth’s starting lineup, Jack McInerney joked with reporters on Wednesday, “Goal scorers get all the money and all the glory. I’ll take that every time.”

McInerney said of his recent form, “I scored three goals right away then went three, four games without one. Being the forward, you’re expected to score and carry the team. There is definitely some pressure but I was able to get one last game and hopefully start to put another streak together.”

Hackworth said of McInerney in Wednesday’s weekly press conference, “We’re happy for him and hope he continues to evolve as a player and as a really important player for this team…Your center forward should be the guy you lean on to put one in the back of the net when you need it. McInerney had a good game the other night but in other areas, he wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him previously. But that’s what goal-scorers do, they stick around.”

MLSsoccer.com’s breaks down McInerney’s gamewinner against New England in this excellent installment of Anatomy of a Goal :

Hackworth said of the Union’s recent string of late winners, “This is the third time, I believe, we have scored a game-winner in injury time. I think we are breaking down teams over the course of 90 minutes, and when you do that, opportunities arise. The good thing about our locker room right now is that [knowledge] has made us very humble.”

Will Antoine Hoppenot start on Saturday against Montreal? Hackworth said, “A guy like Antoine did really well in his first start, but now we’re going away and playing in a very tough environment against a team that has been very good at home. So we have to think about what can allow us the chance to have the most success there.” I’ll take that as a no.

Hoppenot said, “If he wants me to play 30, I’ll play 30. If he wants me to be a practice player, I’ll be a practice player. I’ll play 90 if he wants me to play 90. I’m ready for anything…I like coming off the bench. But I like starting, too. I just like playing.”

Hackworth seemed to suggest that Lionard Pajoy is more likely to start in Saturday’s road game. Hackworth said of Pajoy, “Honestly, he’s one of the best guys I’ve been around in just making sure whenever he’s asked to do something he does it 100 percent.”

With the closing of the secondary transfer window last Friday, download PDF here). From this we now know that Jorge Perlaza is making $115,000 in guaranteed compensation while Bakary Soumare is making $280,000. The salaries of the rest of the players on the roster remain the same.

The Goalkeeper notes that the Union’s total player salary outlay of $3,559,810.25 puts them at No. 11 in the league for total payroll based based on guaranteed compensation and that Freddy Adu’s $519,000 a year in guaranteed compensation puts him at No. 19 in the list of the top 25 player salaries in the league.

Observing that the Union have received three yellow cards for simulation in the box, Union Tally wonders “when do the negatives (like bookings, or a reputation for taking a dive) outweigh the positives (like the chance to pick up a PK as a result of getting an ankle clipped)” when it comes to going down in the box. McInerney says in the article, “I don’t think we’re going to pull back. Sometimes if you go down, it’s kind of like — after that — you want to go down if there’s contact. But we’re not going to hold anything back or change the way we’re playing just because we start to develop a thing around the league…It’s the referee’s decision. If there’s a reputation going around the league, there’s nothing we can do. We’re just playing the way we feel comfortable.”

Union Dues does the (Zac Mac)Math.

MLS UK wonders if any of a number recently released Premiership players might fit the Union’s needs as a Designated Player.

Registration is open for the MLS Futbolito 2012 tournament that will be take place on August 12 at the new field, built by volunteers during the All-Star Game week, at Science and Discovery High School in Chester. The Union is one of eight MLS teams that is co-hosting the tournament around the country.


Men’s tournament

Group play in the men’s tournament concluded on Wednesday with Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Senegal, Brazil, Honduras, Great Britain and South Korea advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Look for our recap later this morning.

One of the storylines of the tournament was Spain’s goalless exit.

Luis Suarez has lashed out at fans who booed him during the playing of Uruguay’s national anthem ahead of his team’s 1-0 loss to Great Britain in Cardiff. “I think it was a total lack of respect from the crowd to boo when we were trying to sing our national anthem. I think those things should not happen.”

Women’s tournament

In the wake of the gamesmanship in badminton which saw eight doubles players from China, South Korea, and Indonesia expelled from the tournament by the sport’s governing body for trying to lose on purpose in order to better their next round pairings was echoed in Japan’s scoreless result against South Africa on Tuesday. Japan defender Azusa Iwashimizu said, “It was the coach’s instruction that we wanted to stay in Cardiff and come second in the group, so I knew that the bench were getting information about the other match and I had been told. So it was difficult to play, but I understood his idea because it is something we needed to do in order to get a medal.” Reuters reported, “FIFA ruled that no action would be taken because there was no collusion between the teams.”

USWNT coach Pia Sundhage says to expect a different lineup in Friday’s quarterfinal game against New Zealand. “You will see different starting lineups. I truly believe that you need everybody to win the next game.”

Sundhage had called the defensive breakdown late in Tuesday’s win against North Korea “naive.” Hope Solo said, “I wouldn’t use the word naive. We just weren’t paying attention to the details like we normally do. All we needed was a tie and I think we kind of knew that. The energy was a little low, but we know how to pick it up. It’s all about peaking at the right time.”

With the prospects of a new professional league uncertain, Solo says she is considering playing in England. “It’s not necessarily about the play, it’s about bringing the game to a whole different level globally, the women’s game. So I would think about staying right here in England and helping build the sport here, the beautiful game where the game has such a rich history, yet the women’s game is lacking.”

Here’s a look at how the Olympics is helping to raise the profile of the women’s game in Britain. ESPN explains how USWNT is a big part of this rising interest and that the team has many fans in Britain.


Harrisburg City Islanders two-game winning streak was snapped by first place Orlando City on Wednesday night, losing 4-2. Three of Orlando’s goals came from Harrisburg’s failure to clear rebounds. Here’s a photo gallery from the game.

Reading United and Ocean City Nor’easters are both up for PDL end of the year honors. Reading’s Deshorn Brown is up for MVP and Ocean City’s John McCarthy is up for Goalkeeper of the Year and Tim Oswald is up for Coach of the Year.

La Salle women’s team began its first day of preseason training on Wednesday.

Three local players have been called up for the US U-14 Boys’ National Team camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif Aug. 5-12. They are Omar Ayala (Defender, FC Delco; Norristown, Pa.), Josh Burnett (Midfielder, PDA; Glen Ridge, N.J.), Kurtis Orrson (Midfielder, Lehigh Valley United; Mountain Top, Pa.)

US Open Cup

GolTV announced on Wednesday that they will broadcast the US Open Cup final between Kansas City and Seattle (August 8, 9pm). The new deal will see GolTV broadcasting the next three Open Cup finals.


Seattle Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer had some illuminating things to say about the Designated Player rules.

“There isn’t a 100-page rulebook on DPs at this point, so it’s a bit of a work in progress. I think ultimately, it’s my understanding that the league’s position was that if we were to loan Alvaro out for instance, outside of the league, we would effectively have four designated-players under our control if we brought another one in. In that regard, you could start stockpiling Designated Players, loan them out all over the world, let them improve or find the optimal time when you needed an outside midfielder back and make a transaction.”

Toronto FC put a pasting to El Salvador’s Club Deportivo Aguila, defeating them 5-1 in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday night. Seattle host Caledonia tonight (10pm, FSC).

US Soccer Players considers whether Real Salt Lake’s Champions League campaign is a redemption story.

Vancouver have signed 33-year-old center back Andy O’Brien from Leeds United.

David Beckham is back from Olympic duties in time to play Real Madrid tonight (10:30pm, ESPN2). He’ll be back in London for the closing ceremonies on August 12.

MLS all-time career scoring leader Jeff Cunningham has started training with his new club, San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL.

Grass-roots soccer coalition MLS4MN is lobbying to ensure that the design for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is soccer friendly.


The Clint Dempsey speculation can continue after he fails to join Fulham in preseason training in Switzerland.


Roberto Carlos has retired.



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

    A midfield of Carrol, Okugo and Marfan is sounding better and better.

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      It does, although I was really starting to think of Okugo as a genuinely legitimate contender for a USMNT future at CB. He has the tools, the distribution (oh, the distribution!), and that right sprinkling of attacking ability to make him a very interesting prospect.

      • Stefanio Miglioranzi says:

        Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the size. At least not against clubs that can play in the air. He’s a fine CB against a Carribbean IDE, but his USMNT future is at DM.

  2. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    Aside from being 35, can someone tell me why Cunningham has been plying his trade in NASL and Guatemala? Has he really had such a drop in form that an MLS side won’t take him in? That seems pretty remarkable for the MLS all-time leading goalscorer.

    Not that he should be picked up in MLS for nostalgia’s sake, but I find the whole situation a little weird.

  3. One thing to add on Adu’s salary, since I don’t plan on writing another salary post in response to the latest figures (which are simply a post-transfer window update of figures release a couple of months ago), is that the “guaranteed compensation” figure is not necessarily what he’s making this year. His base salary is $400,000. The additional $119,000 is a figure that takes the signing bonus received last year (and other bonuses if there were any) and averages it over the length of the contract. So he’s not as high paid this year as some say.

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