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“Tough to see”: Quotes, reaction, recaps from Union loss, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

“We haven’t learned how to put the ball in the back of the net,” said John Hackworth after the Union lost to DC United on Thursday night. “We’re going to keep trying some stuff, but at the end of the day, we’re going to have to start finishing some of these chances. Otherwise, we’re going to have the same conversation again and again and again.”

Hackworth added, “All we can do right now is keep trying to give guys opportunities and see what our combinations are. Tonight we tried something new. While it created a lot, the quality wasn’t there. We just have to continue to do that. The team didn’t give up. In fact, they almost tried too hard at the end.”

Marc Narducci notes that DC United’s winning goal came from the Union’s top goalscorer. Lionard Pajoy, traded to DC in August, still shares that position with Gabriel Gomez with five goals. As far as I can remember Pajoy is also the first former Union player to score against his old club. Pajoy has two goals since the trade. The Union have three.

Sheanon Williams said of Pajoy’s goal, “He didn’t do that for us, did he? No. That’s how it goes. We can’t finish and they can, that’s the difference from where we’re at and where they are.”

Antoine Hoppenot said, “That’s the one guy we didn’t want to see score. We get criticized on our finishing and we don’t want to see the one guy we let go score, especially with Danny Mwanga scoring twice. The forwards still with the Union aren’t scoring any goals and the forwards not with the Union are scoring — it’s tough to see.”

Jack McInerney said, “It’s tough…But you can’t expect me to be up there by myself every time. Look, I am just doing what I can to help the team…I need someone to play off me and that I can lay balls off too or take that shot from distance and right now we don’t have a lot of that.”

Chris Vito writes that the Union “played as though they had lost their internal spark” and then offers this quote from Zac MacMath: “I can’t pinpoint a time when that actually happened, but it’s definitely not here anymore.”

Williams said, “It’s getting to a point, the last couple games, you either want to play or you don’t. That’s it. Some of us want to play, some of us don’t want to play.”

You’d think a playing for a spot on the team next season would be enough of a spark. Freddy Adu said, “Yeah. Doesn’t matter who you are, man. You’ve got to come out here and play for your spot next year. I’m no different than anyone else. I’ve got to earn my spot like everyone else. That’s the way I look at it, personally, and that’s the way I’m going to look at it until the end of the season and going into preseason because, like I said, I love this team, I love this organization and I want to be a part of this team going into the future. You’ve got to earn your place.”

Match reports and recaps from PSP, MLSsoccer.com, the Union website, CSN Philly, the Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Delco Times, Philly Soccer News, the Brotherly Game, ProSoccerTalk, the Washington Post, United Mania, Black and Red United, SBI, Goal.com, SBNation, and the AP.

SBI has some ideas about what lies ahead for the Union.


With Thursday’s win over the Union, DC United moves into fourth place in the East, two points behind New York, who are on 49 points.

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Houston destroyed CD FAS 4–0. The Dynamo will be in town of Sunday to play the Union (4pm, 6abc). Are you surprised Goal.com predicts a Houston win?

Sporting News looks at the work Kansas City is doing to to become “a major player in US soccer and perhaps, globally.”

Message to Red Bulls fans: When you make a big banner to mock the team that will end up beating you, make sure you check the spelling first.

The proposed MLS stadium in Queens may have more than neighborhood opposition to contend with. Apparently an underground river runs through the proposed site.

Sticking with New York, following a tweet from MLS Rumors, Empire of Soccer reports that the league has filed trademark applications for what is assumed to be two possible names for another New York Franchise, Empire FC and City FC. It must be said: Both names suck.


The general secretary of the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association has denied reports that US Soccer is trying to have the Oct. 12 World Cup qualifier scheduled to be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua moved to Miami due to concerns about the state of the pitch.

The US begins group play in the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan on Saturday (6am, ESPN3)

The National Federation of State High School Associations has come out against the recent ruling that players on US Development Academy teams cannot play high school soccer.

Rich Luker, the man behind the poll that determined that soccer is the second most popular sport in the US among the 12-24 demographic, says of soccer fans in the US, “It is a true community. The only group that comes close are college sports fans or followers of the Grateful Dead. They embrace soccer as a communal lifestyle as opposed to a personal experience or a community that only exists on gameday.” Luke believes soccer’s continued rise in the US is inevitable.

A social scientist says the rise in the popularity of soccer in the US is tied to the success of games such as EA’s Sports FIFA series.


For listings of upcoming live games over the next week for your TV and computer, check out the latest edition of our weekly Footy on the Telly post.

FIFA has issued a warning to the Jamaican Football Federation that it could face sanctions if fans invade the pitch in future matches as they did following that country’s recent win over the US in World Cup qualification.

Mexico will bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

Some idiot tossed what is being variously described as “a firecracker, a mini-grenade and even a bomb” during a Asian Champions League quarterfinal match in Iran. The device exploded seconds after a player picked it up and threw it off of the pitch.

The Special One is becoming The Litigious One.

Brazilians are not happy with the three names that have been selected for the fan vote to name the armadillo mascot for the 2014 World Cup.



  1. Wow I understand the Union players are frustrated but it sounds like the are about to start throwing each other under the bus.

  2. “We’re going to keep trying some stuff,”

    Um, what stuff? Unless the stuff is building out your FO, bringing in some experienced players who can create chances and finish them, then there is zero reason to expect a different outcome. Winless in their last 8 games, with a total of FOUR goals. In matches against Montreal, Toronto and New England, we managed ONE goal, Williams’ golazo from a yard out. Since January we have dealt away LeToux, Mwanga, Pajoy and released Perlaza. You can argue about their quality or lack thereof, but why the hell is Hackworth confused about the team’s inability to finish when they have placed all their chips on one 20 year old kid?

    Whether it was Nowak’s crazy or Hack’s insistence on a youth movement or the FO’s alligator arms to their wallet almost doesn’t matter. Until they change the roster the results will not change.

    We have 7 games remaining, 6 of those teams are in the playoff hunt. 3 are in the Supporter’s Shield race. Only NER at home looks like a win, and that’s more about NER’s incompetence.

    • RE: Changing the roster. I don’t think anyone thinks Hackworth isn’t going to bring in fresh blood, he just can’t do it now obviously.
      I think I will feel better as the offseason evolves, as we get to see Hackworth make his moves and put his stamp on the team.
      As bad as we look, I still think all we need are key veterans in 2 or 3 positions and a more sound tactical approach and we’ll be back as a good team next year.

      • He has made two moves, agreeing to release Perlaza and trading Pajoy for Cruz. It was his team during the just ended transfer window. Nothing happened. Zip.

        There’s a little bit of talent on this team, not as much as we think, but there’s some. 6 players on the field last night played in the final loss to Houston last November (out of 14 who did). It’s more than 2 or 3, this team is now an MLS Reserve team. Outside of Valdes, Williams, Carroll and maybe Marfan, no one else would start for one of the top 3 clubs in each conference. Maybe in 2014.

      • He was thrown into the fire with no staff like a month before the window closed. It’s unfair to expect him to make a major slash in that situation.
        And if you look at it like that, sure. But its really unfair to look at it like that. No team assembles a lineup full of all stars in one season. As far as major needs go, I count a Striker (a top level, DP one), A “real” winger (hell, two even), and a LB.
        With those, I would be happy to see how everything else falls into place.

      • He fired the staff. Hackworth let them go. They weren’t fired when Nowak was. Hackworth chose this path.

      • I think it is kind of naive to think that the support staff that were let go were fully cooperating with the transition to Hackworth as coach.

    • It just sounds like Hackworth saying what he is expected to say. This core is weak, anyone can see that! It’s past being a joke. The is not some podunk sports town and bringing in quality talent should be a given. Yes youth should be served for a selective group of players and not the entire roster. They should be trying to crack the line up not starting. The veteran talent needs to be restocked for next year going into camp. If Hackworth is incapable of recognizing and bringing in such talent for this sports market, his tenure should be short lived.

  3. Man, I dig Jacks soundbites after games. He is 100% right. I mean he pretty much knows exactly what kind of player he is and what he needs to work, which is good.
    For me, all I want to see is a lineup every game that goes all out. That means a LOT of Torres, Adu and Marfan.
    You know what? Hell. I want to see a midfield of Carrol/Marfan/Torres and a frontline of Adu/Jack/Cruz. That is what we need to see from now on.

  4. Are these quotes form the Union or from The French National Team after the last World Cup?

  5. RE motivation to play:
    1. At points in time since this summer, Hackworth was a replacement coach, the season was only half over, he was a newly promoted head coach, the opponent was DC, the team is not winning, and presumably roster changes are a strong possibility… each of these should provide motivation for players to work harder, but the coach needs to turn those moments into actual discipline/inspiration to drive performance. That hasn’t happened in winning or lossing games. Strong similarities to Bob Bradley.
    2. Poor motivation/attendance at bottom of the table at the end of the season… these are exactly the reasons for relegation. That should get management spending, the team working, and fans attending. There’s no anxiety at work here.

    • I always find the talk of relegation to be pretty hilarious as it would not ever work even remotely in the US. Who do you think is not experiencing anxiety from this run of poor performance because it seems to me that everyone from the coach to the players to the fans are all pretty anxious about the whole situation.

  6. I’m just glad to be part of two true communities. Maybe I should start to follow college sports as well. (And it wouldn’t hurt if they played a little Grateful Dead at PPL Park before games!)

  7. Jack Mac has not earned the right to use I and they when speaking about his team. He didn’t play a perfect game either. I am losing respect for him after the last few postgame comments. (a small grain of salt as I do not have the whole story to put in context).

  8. I’m a huge Zac MacMath fan, he’s you and has huge potential and is a class act. However, his comments post game indicate to me it’s time for Zac to let Chase or Chris K to assume the keeper duties for the Union for a game or two. Zac’s comments show me he’s mentally exhausted and frustrated. Some down time may do him well.

  9. The only bad part is that bad attendance wont make this front office get better players, they’ll probably just spend less money.

  10. I’ll second what Hoppenot said- “tough to see”. I’ll add as well “tough to watch”. I am amazed at the edge in control time that the Union shows, and the complete lack of production from it. Even by accident, you would think that they would get a lucky deflection in the box, but that doesn’t happen either. I coached the kids for years that, when you are out of ideas on what to do with the ball, play it into the box and it can lead to a “popcorn” kind of a result- you never quite know where the ball will wind up as it bounces around, and you might get lucky with a goal. It would be refreshing to see even that level of offensive minded attack, instead of late giveaways after bad first touches. Last night looked like a repeat of the last few games, with more players thinking of passes before shots. I was happy to see Carroll’s blast toward the net, and a few other long range pokes, but they should be designed to loosen up the defenders, not the sum of the offense. At times, it looks like the strikers are afraid that they will be charged a fee for each unsuccessful shot that they take.

  11. Money. They need to spend it. However, nothing is to indicate that they will. So we’re looking at more of the same next season.

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