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Lineup changes expected, City Islanders eye new stadium, USWNT tops Iceland, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth said at Wednesday’s weekly press conference that there will be lineup changes when the Union take on the Rapids in Colorado. “I would expect some different players in the lineup—maybe not a lot…Certainly, when you get caught on the side of a scoreline like we did, I think everyone expects some changes to be made.”

Will Conor Casey get the start against his former club? “I don’t think there’s any better motivation than a player going back to his own club and trying to make sure that he puts salt in the wound if you will,” said Hackworth. “We would love to be able to play Conor this week because it’s a great motivational factor… but to be honest we haven’t made that determination yet.”

Hackworth said that he expects that the Union could see Danny Mwanga, traded last week by Portland to Colorado, in the game. “It’s the Conor Casey vs. Danny Mwanga show. I’m sure Danny Mwanga is going to be extremely motivated…It will be good to see him, but I don’t think I’ll try to be friendly with him until after the game.”

Hackworth continues to study Saturday’s loss.

I’ve probably never watched a game as many times back as I watched this one…The one thing that still has me a little bit baffled is that we played so good for 40 minutes of that game, and in one moment in the first half, we let our guard down and we get punished because of it…If you look at all the stats, it’s amazing that for 70 minutes of that game, we dictated every area of the game. And for 20 minutes, it was absolutely a different game on the field. And I don’t have an answer for that…I think the guys have to take that next step in their own development so that mentally they can get to and be effective in a 90-plus minute game.”

 New signing Matt Kassel is very happy to be with the Union, particularly after his time New York Red Bulls’ third Homegrown Player.

The whole situation, I would say, was pretty disrespectful. Right now, with Mike Petke as head coach, I think they might have the right group of guys there to run the team in the proper way. But when I was there, it was foreign guys that didn’t really care about younger American players. I think if you talk to anyone who was part of the team that I was a part of, nobody was happy.

Kassel says of his long trial with the Union, “They treated me like family.”

What’s this, another power ranking list?!? SBI puts the Union at No. 16. Hooray!

Sure, the season’s already started, but this Union season preview comes in the form of a beer pairing.

Speaking of beer, if you’re in the King of Prussia area tonight between 5pm-7pm, Michael Lahoud will be at the Tilted Kilt’s Union Happy Hour.

The first 90th Minute radio show of the season will broadcast from Chickie & Pete’s in the Northeast on Tuesday, March 12 from 6pm-7pm.

Local

At Penn Live.com, Michael Bullock has some great quotes from Wednesday’s joint Union-City Islanders press conference announcing the expanded partnership between the Union and Harrisburg City Islanders on the importance of the affiliation for player development and how path-breaking the already existing relationship between the two clubs has been.

Accompanying the announcement, Derek Meluzio has a comprehensive look at players who have benefited from the already existing affiliation between the two clubs.

One priority for the City Islanders is a new stadium, which they hope to accomplish in two years at a projected cost of $5 million-10 million. Harrisburg’s Skyline Sports Complex no longer meets USL PRO’s minimum standards, said City Islanders CEO Eric Pettis. “We have the nicest environment—and the worst stadium. We’ve got to do something to upgrade it.” The link includes video of the press conference.

By finishing second in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the Premier Development League in 2012, Reading United have earned an amateur team record fifth consecutive berth in the US Open Cup. 15 PDL teams have qualified for the US Open Cup and will commence play in the first round on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 with an opponents and locations to be determined.

MLS

Seattle Sounders fell 1-0 on the road to Tigres UANL in the first match of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal contest.

Univision Deportes has bumped up its MLS coverage by 23 matches and will now broadcast 49 MLS games this year, five of which are Union games.

Honduras has called up five MLS players for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers

US

They waited until the second half before opening their account but the USWNT defeated Iceland 3-0 in their first group stage match at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Rachel Buehler, who earned her 100th cap, scored first for the US. Shannon Boxx scored the second goal and Abby Wambach finished out the scoring to record her 154th US goal, just four shy of Mia Hamm’s all-time record. Post-game quote sheet here.

The US next faces China on Friday (9am, iN Demand, UStream, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV, DISH).

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati will run for the seat on FIFA’s executive committee that is now vacant after Chuck Blazer announced he will not seek re-election. His competitor for the seat will be Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean. The election is on April 19.

Elsewhere

SI has a list of the 50 most powerful people in sports. Sepp Blatter comes in at No. 16 while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell comes in at No. 1. I guess they couldn’t fit “in the US” into the headline.

SI’s Grant Wahl has produced a Top 10 list of the most powerful people in soccer to placate snarky commenters like myself. ProSoccerTalk’s Steve Davis has some suggestions for the list.

An 18-year-old Manchester United fan in England has apologized to Nottinghamshire police for calling emergency services to report a crime had taken place after Nani was shown a red card during United’s loss to Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League game.

Talk to a footy fan from abroad and you’ll know that fans in the US have it real good when it comes to the number of games that are available on TV. Gilt Edge Marketing has produced a groovy infographic that lays out the abundance of choices.

9 Comments

  1. …Buehler…Buehler…Buehler…

    (sorry it’s my favorite movie)

  2. The Black Hand says:

    I would like to see Casey start up top. Our first look was quite short but he showed, immediately, that he has no problem mixing it up. We really, really need a big forward, who will not be pushed around by opposing backs. Maybe, a LeToux/Casey pairing to start, with Mac coming on as a sub? It would be nice to see what the three can do together but I don’t think Hackworth will sacrifice his safety net of two defensive mids.

  3. John O'Donnell Jr. says:

    You need two defensive mids when your an attacking team. I’m, yea, maybe not.

  4. So if Saturday’s game is really going to be in a blizzard, can the Union break out their white kits for camouflage?

    • During last week’s game, the defense already looked like they couldn’t see each other. Camouflage would at least have the benefit of the Rapids not being able to see them either.

  5. Is it possible in any way for us to find a consistent lineup that allows players to learn to play together.

  6. The Black Hand says:

    The United fan calling police to report a crime (Nani’s red) is awesome!

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