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Quotes & reaction to dismal final showing, Adu, NBC/EPL deal, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

So, the season ended as it began with three losses.

John Hackworth said, “We couldn’t catch a break and we couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities. It’s frustrating.” Tell us about it. Nothing like watching your team get it’s butt kicked at home by its most hated foe and then being mocked by Thierry Henry.

Anyway, Hackworth also said, “This game is indicative of just how much this team has to grow. We create more chances and have had so many good looks at goal and we couldn’t finish. If you don’t to that you are never going to be on the right side of the scoreboard.” Yep.

Match reports and recaps from PSP, MLSsoccer.com, the Union website, The Inquirer, Delco Times, CSN Philly, PhillyBurbs.com, South Jersey Times, Philly Soccer News, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Big Apple Soccer, Once a Metro, SB Nation New York, SBI, ProSoccerTalk, MLS Talk, ESPN, Goal.com, SB Nation, Examiner.com, The Sports Network, and the AP.

In case you were wondering, the Union finished 15th in the league.

Carlos Valdes said before Saturday’s game, “This was the youngest team I had ever been on, and that is something good, but in other aspects it’s difficult to manage. We need to keep this group but bring in some good newcomers for next year.”

Jack McInerney agrees that help is needed. “I think it will be good if we can get someone who can hold up the ball and I can run off of. We really don’t have any size on the team, and it feels like every time we get a corner kick, it’s just a waste, because we don’t get anything from it. Some size, and some speed, would be good for us. During the offseason, we can gain experience from this year, and hopefully get some veterans that can teach us new things and carry it over. We definitely need some more pieces to add.”

Sheanon Williams said, “We’re not far off. We can be a playoff team.”

Many fans would be happy if Sebastien Le Toux was one of those pieces. Le Toux, who expressed his gratitude for the applause he received from Union fans when he was subbed into Saturday’s game, said, “In December I will decide what I want to do. I will discuss with my agent at the end of the year and we will decide if I will be playing here [MLS] or in Europe.”

Of course, the off season won’t just about new players coming in but which players will be let go. Hackworth is quoted in an article about the Adu situation (see below), “Look, we’re going to review the whole season in the next week and start to work right away in making sure players know exactly where they stand. And that process is going to start on Monday.”

Union Dues goes through the Union roster and asks who is overpaid, underpaid, or properly paid.

Freddy Adu

Chatter among fans before the game was focused on a report from Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald that seemed to indicate, based on the original headline of “Union bid Freddy adieu,” that Freddy Adu’s time with the Union was over. At least that’s what I remember what the headline was because it has since been changed to the much more equivocal “Freddy Adu’s future with the Philadelphia Union in question.” Noting that Adu was not included on the game day roster for the second game in a row, the report says, “According to multiple sources, the Union’s coaching staff intends for Adu to remain off the field for as long as he is on the team’s roster.” In other words, the team will permanently bench Adu if they can’t deal him away in the offseason.

As we noted on Saturday, the original report contained no named sources. Nevertheless, it continues, “It has since emerged that Adu has at times been a disruptive force in the locker room, and has unsettled the chemistry of a group that includes a number of promising young players…that prominent figures within the organization are tired of Adu’s lack of commitment and team ethic.”

After several paragraphs recounting Adu’s history and some speculation about what the Union might be able to do with him, the re-titled report eventually finishes with post-game comments from John Hackworth who, unsurprisingly, denies that any decision has been made about Adu’s future with the team. (In another report, Hackworth says of Adu being left off of the gameday roster, “It was just a coach’s decision.”) Sounding like a party in a bad relationship, Hackworth said he and Adu “had a good talk and agreed we just need to have a little bit of separation from the year, and all of the emotions, and things like that. Then we’ll make some good decisions going forward for both of us.”

Tannenwald concludes, “There is certainly time for things to change during the offseason. But for now questions remain as to Adu’s future in Philadelphia.” All of which was true before his report.

Prominent Freddy Adu backer Ives Galarcep soon posted his own report. Describing that Hackworth had “put to rest the notion that the team has already made a decision on Adu, but did make it clear that he and the team still had to weigh their options,” Galarcep continued, “Multiple high-level sources with the Union shot down claims that the team had already made a final decision to part ways with Adu, as well as denying rumors that Adu was a disruptive force in the team’s young locker room.”

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley says Adu could still find a place on another MLS team to once again attempt to fulfill his promise and so resurrect a career that has largely been marked by disappointment. Or not.

This offseason should be fun, no?

MLS

So, with the weekend’s results, the playoff schedule is finally settled. Chicago will host Houston in the Eastern Conference single elimination play-in game on Wednesday (9pm, ESPN2) while LA will host Vancouver on Thursday (10:30pm, NBCSN).

Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy looks ahead to the opening games.

Chris Wondolowski tied Roy Lassiter’s 27 goals in a season record when he sunk a penalty kick in San Jose’s 1–1 draw against Portland Timbers on Saturday. On Sunday, Wondolowski was awarded the league’s Golden Boot award for the second time in three years.

ProSoccerTalk has some good points to make about improving scheduling in the last weekend of the season.

What’s been the key to DC United’s success? Ben Olsen says, “We went boring and we won.”

Read how MLS has screwed Toronto FC in this article from Toronto Star.

More love for Livestrong Sporting Park.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann says the US will “definitely” qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Shin Guardian observes the sunsetting of the era of Landon Donovan.

Klinsmann says of Donovan’s spot on the USMNT, “We have a lot of guys now who are on a different level than they were a year or two ago, and so the fight is on. It’s an ongoing competition, and Landon is part of that. Landon has to measure himself with the other guys.”

Elsewhere

It’s official: NBC has acquired the rights to the Premier beginning with the 2013-14 season. A press release from the network reads, “Although specific programming details will be announced at a later date, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. Additional NBCUniversal platforms and networks will occasionally be scheduled to air Premier League matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices.”

More on the $250 million, three-year deal from ProSoccerTalk, The New York Times, The AP, Soccer America, and Philly.com.

What did Everton manager David Moyes think of Luis Suarez celebration after his first goal for Liverpool in Sunday’s 2–2 draw? “I thought it was great. I actually quite liked that and it is the sort of thing I’d have done if I’d scored. He is going to have to dive in front of a lot of managers now, isn’t he?”

 

8 Comments

  1. I love the fact that Adu’s disruptive locker room behavior is only now coming out. He hasn’t contributed to the team and is not worth the money he is paid. Leave it at that. No need to get personal! Its a cowardly FO move.

  2. Richie The Limey says:

    How is that personal? It is merely professional. As a professional soccer player he is part of the team. Among his professional responsibilities is contributing to the team ethic, and being a positive member of ‘the team’ in the locker room. I fail to see how that is an act of cowardice from the FO.

    I the FO came out and said he is a short-arsed, ugly git with stinky breath and that is why we are trying to get him off our roster, that would be personal. If he is failing at his job (i.e. by not behaving in a professional and team-oriented manner) then the FO have every right to come out and say that. Just like when Porfirio Slowpez was benched and eventually left off the roster because he clearly wasn’t up to MLS standard, when asked about his chances of starting Nowak said (I am paraphrasing) ‘he was playing himself out of a starting job’. Please explain how the FO are being cowardly and personal because I really don’t understand.

    • If they put this out there month ago it would be different. But now that they are trying to get rid of him they put this out there its clearly personal. While they were trying to use him they kept their mouth shut. But now they want to get rid of him so let the character bashing and excuses fly. That’s personal. Its not appropriate get rid of him in a professional manner not with this character assassination.

      • No, I don’t think so. I mistrust the FO as much as anyone but it doesn’t make sense. We devalue him if they want to get rid of him. Why not play him when his presence could help win games and help drive season ticket sales ect.
        The front office throwing him under the bus doesn’t add up and it makes more sense seeing how many times Adu was benched and left home, and how he was on the bench on previous teams

  3. Remember when everyone said that the unbalanced schedule and new playoff format wasn’t fair to the teams in the West? I believe the East won the interconference battle 34-32 with 24 ties. And Vancouver would have been 7th in the East. So much for the dominance of the West.

    • Agreed, you can still say that the West has more teams favored to win MLS Cup, but the bottom teams in the West (including Van) are terrible.

  4. Incredible that NBC won and beat a joint ESPN/Fox and BEIN bid! Guess I can now get rid of Fox+.

  5. It’s great how dead on Jack is when he talks to the media.
    And Re: Hack. While he is right about needing to finish chances, I am worried that his criticism always seems to focus on that. YES, we do need to finish the chances we create, but I feel like he is overlooking over facts. Like our midfield being overrun, like Jack not getting any support, like our lack of ability on set pieces.
    Finishing chances is on that list, but the fact that its ALL we ever hear from Hack is concerning. Hopefully he is trying not to be too critical, because I would hate if he was blind to all the other problems we have.

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