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Preseason ’13: Union back to Florida, in Disney Classic, USMNT roster, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union’s preseason plans for 2013 have become clearer and the news is good. Instead of jetting off to Mexico, Greece and Costa Rica far from the eyes of local fans and media, the Union will participate in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Feb. 9-23. Kerith Gabriel reports at the newly named The Daily Doop (careful of typos!) that the tournament will include DC United and Sporting Kansas City, as well as the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies and the USL’s Orlando City. Toronto FC is also said to be participating but that has not been confirmed.

The Union press release says they will be playing against “four other Major League Soccer teams” and the tournament website says the “action-packed event will feature eight professional teams.” If my math is correct, that means at least one more MLS team is to be named. Last year the tournament featured Vancouver, Houston, Kansas City, Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Orlando City, and Swedish first division side BK Hacken. I also think, but am not sure, that this means we’ll be able to see the games streamed at ESPN.

The club also announced its second annual preseason fan trip, Feb. 15-18. Also offered for the first time is a a Fantasy Camp option to take place on Feb. 14. PSP was at the inaugural fan weekend earlier this year and it was a great time.

The Union have been named SBI’s MLS Team of the Week.

Vote Gabriel Gomez and Antoine Hoppenot for Goal of the Week.

Carlos Valdes and Jack McInerney were named to ProSoccerTalks’s Team of the Week. Gabriel Gomez was named to SI’s Team of the Week.

At the Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin notes that Jack McInerney is now the third Union player to score in three consecutive games, a feat previously accomplished only by Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga. A goal against Houston would make McInerney the first Union player to score four games in a row. McInerney is currently averaging one goal every 194 minutes this season—one goal every 206 minutes in his Union career—compared to Le Toux’s Union career average of one goal every 223 minutes (which includes a 2011 season that was very much enhanced by penalty kicks).

Keon Daniel delivered some lovely crosses on Saturday, including one from a free kick that led to McInerney’s gamewinner. Daniel said of his crosses, “I have always had that on my résumé.”

The goals in consecutive games record discussed above isn’t affected if US Open Cup games are included in the accounting. Cup ties do come into the picture when discussing consecutive wins. As we noted in the beginning of August, the first time the Union won three league games in a row was in July with the road victory over LA and the home wins over Toronto and Montreal. Kevin Kinkead notes that win streak was interrupted by the USOC loss to Kansas City so a win against Houston on Oct. 20 would be the first time the team has won three games in a row in all competitions.

The latest “The Final Whistle” open letter to Union fans from John Hackworth is here.

Danny Cruz should be ready to play again in time for the upcoming game against Houston, as should Freddy Adu.

JP Dellacamera reviews the Union’s recent run of good form.

Power rankings: the Union are at No. 14 at Goal.com and SI. At ESPN they move up one spot to No. 13.

Local

Look for our Philly Soccer Six college roundup later this morning.

Catch up with how former Ocean City Nor’easters are doing in the professional ranks here. You can see how some are doing in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s rankings here.

Don’t forget, Harrisburg City Islanders first annual Socctoberfest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13.

The Daily Pennsylvanian checks in with Christian Barreiro. After being picked by New York Red Bulls in the 2012 SuperDraft, Barreiro played for PDL side Baltimore Bohemians before going to the NASL’s Puerto Rico Islanders.

MLS

Chris Wondolowski has been named Player of the Week. It’s the fourth time he has been so honored this year.

Attendance at the Seattle v Portland match boosted the Sounders season average to 43,755, more than double that of the Seattle Mariners. The Sounder’s attendance average would place them sixth in the Premiership.

Opponents to the proposed stadium in Queens may have an ally in the US Tennis Association.

Women’s Soccer

Former Philadelphia Fever head coach Stuart Gore has been named the head coach of the University of Northwestern Ohio’s new women’s soccer program.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann released his 24-player roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala on Monday, a roster that omitted Jozy Altidore, who has been very in-form with his club team AZ Alkmaar, nd is tied for the lead in goals scored in the Eredivisie with eight goals.

Despite admitting that club form is “absolutely important,” Klinsmann said, “I communicated to Jozy I was not happy about his latest performances with us, maybe even over the last 14 months. I think Jozy can do much, much better. The reason he’s not coming in is mainly because of his performances in Jamaica and at home, also in training, and also certain things that went on through the May-June camp. We decided to bring in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon and give them a chance to show how much they have improved. They’re both doing very well in MLS right now.”

Also not on the roster are Terrence Boyd and Chris Wondolwski. Klinsmann said, “That is more tactical. I spoke to both Wondo (Wondolowski) and to Terrence. We wanted to bring in Eddie and Alan because both are really strong in the air. We expect two difficult games where the opponent will probably play more defensively. They will probably get a lot of numbers in their box or in front of their box to play more defensive against us, so we need to have [the forwards] force things with crosses coming over the wings and be really strong in the air.”

At SI, Grant Wahl spoke to Altidore before the roster release. Acknowledging that his club’s refusal to release him for the May-June camp hurt him, and that his club team plays a different formation than the USMNT, Altidore said of his relationship with Klinsmann, “I’m the student here. I’m the player and I’m learning always. It doesn’t matter if I don’t understand. I have to get on the same page as the boss and all the senior players, not the other way around. I’m not a guy who can walk into the team and say, ‘Guys, adjust to me.’ That’s not my mindset. I’m trying to get on the same page as them, and until I do that I’m sure I won’t be playing. I want to try and do that as quickly as possible. I want to score great goals for the national team and be dominant for them. But unfortunately it’s not so easy sometimes when the styles of play are much different.”

More on the roster from Sporting News, ESPN, Goal.com, and ProSoccerTalk.

Klinsmann says that Landon Donovan’s knee, injured in LA’s loss to Real Salt Lake over the weekend, appears to be improved.

Goal.com doesn’t expect the qualifiers to be pretty.

Elsewhere

The Guardian considers how the football world can put an end to diving.

They’ll be no Great Britain team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

6 Comments

  1. DarthLos117 says:

    I love animal abuse. Look how happy that fattie looks…I mean the gator…

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

    Well the Walt Disney preseason is a great first step in the first “Im not Nowak” preseason for the club. Not only is it obviously better to be playing against actual talent, but being able to watch all those games and maybe even sneak in a few minutes for our HG players is a big thing and I look forward to it.

  3. I hope that Klinsmann is right but if they do not get thru with the most prolific goal scorers at hime (Jozy & Wondolwski) then Klinsmann has to go.
    /
    Barreiro’s dad is a SOB and travels to all the Union games from Baltimore. Say hello to him during a SOB tailgate or game.

  4. I’m really looking forward to watching the men play…at 3 a.m. when BEIN Español gets around to replaying the match, assuming their website is correct and Comcast’s channel guide is wrong.
    *
    It’s true that Altidore has not looked so hot for country in a while. But forwards are not really a problem. As I look at the lineup, I am more concerned about the midfield.
    *
    Tranquillo, Guido! If the team fails to qualify for the world cup finals, Klinsmann will be fired. It doesn’t matter what roster he picks, if they do not earn a trip to Brasil he will be gone.

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