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Recaps, reaction, quotes from Union loss in KC, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Not finishing some gilt-edged chances, a blown call, giving up a late goal—it was a familiar refrain as the Philadelphia Union fell 2–1 to Eastern Conference champs Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night.

“It’s kind of been our story all year,” said John Hackworth.

Down 1–0, Hackworth took out Gabriel Gomez for Antoine Hoppenot. Hackworth explained, “To his credit, Gomez played well in the first half  [?!?] but we felt like Kansas City was playing a high line and we thought we could go behind them with Antoine. We pushed Jack [McInerney] up along next to him. It was a little bit of a gamble but when you’re down 1-0, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Antoine Hoppenot’s goal ended KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen’s chance to equal Tony Meola’s record of 16 clean sheets in a season. Nielsen said after the game, “It was a weird game to play, with all the respect for Philadelphia, but they were all over the place. I don’t want to say they were unorganized, but you could feel they didn’t have anything to play for they risked it a little bit more and were maybe a little more lousy on their defending. It was a very, very weird game to play.”

With the win, Kansas City, now unbeaten in 12 games, clinched the Eastern Conference title for the second year in a row.

Recaps and reports from PSP, the Union website, MLSsoccer.com, Philly Soccer News, the Brotherly Game, Kansas City Star, SB Nation Kansas City, The Daily Wiz, ProSoccerTalk, SB NationThe Sports Network, and the AP.

Kansas City Star also has a photo gallery of the game.

Kansas City manager Peter Vermes says his club has set “a standard of excellence.”

Jimmy McLaughlin made his professional debut in the game. “It’s something that I’ll never forget,” he said, “I just wish it came with a win.”

There’s little time for rest for the Union, who play New York in the season final at PPL Park on Saturday. Hackworth said, “We have to recover. This has been our second game in four days. We’ve got some tired bodies in there- mentally and physically. We’re a little banged up- we’ve got some injuries. We’ve got to regenerate. I know we will be ready for New York on Saturday.”

Hoppenot said, “We’re used to it. We’ve had a lot of quick turnarounds. We know what we need to do and we will be ready for Saturday.”

Amobi Okugo added, “New York is a rivalry game. We haven’t beat them this season so we have to give the home fans something to remember going into offseason and to build into next season. We have to get out of this slump that we’ve been in with two road losses and it’s going to be good to end the season at home against one of our rivals.”

Whether Freddy Adu, left of the roster for KC by “a coaches decision,” will play on Saturday remains to be seen, but the game will be the last chance for some Union players to show they ought to be here in 2013. “At the end of the year, the analysis of our current roster is something we’ll look at very carefully,” Hackworth said. “Guys who have performed well for us but might not be the answer down the road…It’s our last look at the guys on our current roster and you can’t overstate that. There are some tough decisions we have to make in that locker room.”

Former Union favorite Sebastien Le Toux hasn’t been seeing many minutes with New York but he’s looking forward to coming to PPL Park on Saturday. “I know I have lots of friends and family that are going to come see me if I have a chance to play,” said Le Toux. “Of course, it’s always a special place for me to play. It’s where I loved to play before I got moved everywhere this year. But it’s a special place for me and I’m always very happy to go back over there.”

Local

Drexel midfielder Nathan Page was named Philly Soccer Six Player of the Week, and Drexel goalkeeper Tim Washam was named Defender of the Week, for the second week in a row. St. Jo’s Tim Lazorko was named Rookie of the Week.

Lansdale Catholic defeated Archbishop Wood 2–0 in the semifinals of the Philadelphia Catholic League girls’ soccer championship to end Wood’s three-year run as champions.

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Seattle defeated Marathon 3–1 while Toronto are out of the tournament after losing to Santos Laguna 1–0.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Columbus Crew says the Hunt family is not looking to sell the team.

It looks like Robin Fraser’s time as manager at Chivas USA is nearing its end.

MLS Talk looks at the history of the Supporters Shield, which “still has few guarantees and little significance.”

New England’s Zak Boggs is leaving MLS after being awarded a Fulbright scholarship to do cancer research at Leicester University in England.

US

It’s official: the 2016 Copa America will be held in the US and the US is an automatic entrant.

At the Four Nations Tournament in Argentina, the USMNT’ U-17s defeated Chile 5–1 on Tuesday. They face Argentina today.

Elsewhere

here for live listings of today’s Europa League games.

Manchester United will open offices in the US.

 

30 Comments

  1. Will we see Freddy on Sat or ever again in a Union shirt?

  2. WHAT FIRST HALF GOMEZ PERFORMANCE WAS HE WATCHING?!?!?!?!?! I understand not waiting to throw your player under the bus, but you can say he struggled a bit or something like that. Wow…

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

    Actually, look on the bright side, surly Gomez and Adu are good enough to bring us back draft picks/allocation money in a trade right?
    They aren’t necessarily bad players, just totally out of place on this team and system.

    • Le Toux has 31 goals in MLS. I guess you are comparing him to Danny because they both run a lot. Cruz isn’t a tenth the finisher Seba is. I understand he is on one goal with the Cows right now, but he buried behind an inform Cooper and a guy named Henry. In the right situation, he can flourish, but you have to make that commitment to leaving him up top in whatever formation you choose. I’m not sure that commitment is still there with the Union.

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        I’m comparing them because their only strength starts and ends with “one of the best work rates in the league.” He scored, but how many where PKs, and how much of it was his guaranteed 90 minutes every game even though he went half a season without a goal? And we’ve all seen his lead touch and misses.
        Though, your last point is 100% correct. I don’t think it’s there either, but I also just think it shouldn’t be. Jack Mac has played his way into starter status with the “young, tons of potential” tag. Let’s find a partner for him with a skillset that actually would compliment him aswell.

    • Gomez maybe. There are probably clubs in MLS that could really use him. The club is so far underwater with Adu’s salary, though, it’s going to be really hard to get rid of him. Unless some owner in the Qatar League has only seen Adu’s highlight reel.

      • James Korman says:

        That is my concern too. Is he on a 1 or 2 year contract? If it’s 2…..uh oh. Very, very difficult to move that salary based on this years production.

  4. I started the season thinking highly of Gomez and was still not completely turned off by him until last night. Last night he was just a waste of a roster spot.

  5. Anyone care to lay odds on Sebastien LeToux’s return? I’d put it at 2/1 now. Would love to have him back in Blue & Gold next season.

    • How bout odds on Orozco Fiscal coming back…would much rather him back next year…a MOF Valdes CB pairing could allow Okugo to move up to D Mid and be dominating. Yeah I’ll take old #9 too

      • I think the MOF thing is a good idea. He’d be a perfect fit if Valdes pushes for a transfer to a bigger league. I’d be fine with bring Seba back too, because I think you can nab him cheap. But, with Le Toux, you have to commit to playing him up top as a striker. No more of this playing him as a winger or wide mid. Is the coaching staff willing to do that?

      • James Korman says:

        I don’t think here is a chance in hell Coach Hack moves Okugo out of the CB position considering is comments regarding same. Add to that the recent talk of Amobi as a potential USMNT CB? No way coach Hack would move him now, right?

    • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

      Personally Le Toux would be a disaster. We already have a Le Toux in Cruz, and I would MUCH rather keep Jack Mac chugging along (who seems to have the same skillset as Le Toux as well, and is 8 years younger and already has better ball skills). And Le Toux would NOT be ok with being a bench player aswell so he would just eat up minutes.
      Just please look at our starter – Jack and subs – Hopponot and Hoffman (sorry Martinez, bye) and realize they are all the same type of player. And then realize so is Le Toux.
      The need at strike is pretty clear – taller, stronger, back to the goal, hold up player.

      • “taller, stronger, back to the goal, hold up player”?

        So, not le Toux, but maybe that guy on RBNY that looks just like him?

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        Adu for Cooper?
        MAKE IT HAPPEN HACK

      • Why, in GOD’S NAME, would NYRB do that?

      • Because if there’s anyone in MLS who’s as bad at player management as Peter Nowak, it’s Hans Backe.

      • Fine Adu and Lopez how could the Red Bulls resist

      • James, I usually agree with you, however, Danny Cruz is no Sebastien LeToux. 6 goals in the past 5 seasons vs. Seba’s 31 tallies. Seba is 6′ tall, Cruz might be 5’8″. Seba is an assist machine, Cruz not so much.

        Yes the addition of our old French friend may slow the progression of Chandler Hoffman, but the Hoff still has GA status. I also think he can make Jack Mac better. Partnered with LeToux, teams will need to pick their poison. No longer would Jack have to fight off hulking defenders alone. Antoine is a super sub for now, I like how the team brings him off the bench to antagonize defenders in the latter stages of a match.

        This team needs a guy that knows how to put the ball in the net and Seba has shown the ability to do that on an MVP calibur level while he was here. And don’t sell short the morale boost the club and the fan base would get following the return of a hugely popular player. Based on need, when LeToux becomes available in a few weeks, the Union will be calling.

      • Le Toux scored goals for us, but he’s not a goal scorer. Had Jack played a full season this year he would’ve blown Le Toux’s numbers away. Besides is Seba comes back it either means Hack is moving away from the 4-3-3 (which seems unlikely, even though he should) or he has to move Jack to the bench. I’d rather see him get a big, physical striker to compliment Jack and a midfield playmaker than bring back Le Toux, which would also mean the front office would have to admit they made a mistake letting him go – or at least admit that Nowak ran things around here. I say move on from Le Toux, get a new guy to come in and continue to build around Jack Mac.

      • Le Toux (2010-2011 RS) – 62 games played, 25 goals, 20 assists = 0.403 goals per game and 0.323 assists per game

        Jack Mac (2012 RS only) – 24 games, 8 goals, 3 assists = 0.333 goals per game and 0.125 assists per game

        How do you define “goal scorer?” It seems to me, that it should include the phrase “scores goals,” which is EXACTLY what Le toux did as a member of the Union.

    • I would say the odds are good. But not for any soccer reason. I wouldn’t put it past the Union to bring him back as a public relations quick fix.

  6. I think most of the fan populace would very much like le Toux back, even if some of the commenters of this website wouldn’t.

    • I loved Le Toux, and wouldn’t mind seeing him again. But signing him makes a statement about how you are going to play. He needs to be up top, no ifs ands or buts.

  7. funny note from the photo gallery, the Kansas City Star call Hoppenot Brian Carroll, and Hackworth Nowak

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