Daily news roundups / Featured

Players on the mend, Mitts joins Union broadcast team, LA advance to CCL semis, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

At Wednesday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth revealed that the Union have been dealing with several injuries since the Colorado game. Conor Casey, as was already known, did not travel with the team because of a hamstring sprain he picked up in the home opener and is now “almost at full recovery.” Gabriel Farfan suffered a hamstring pull of his own during the pre-game warmups. Danny Cruz received a broken nose during the match and Sebastien Le Toux came out early after being cleated on his ankle. “On top of that,” Hackworth said, “he tweaked his back a little bit.” All of the players are expected to be available for Saturday’s match at PPL.

Hackworth also made clear he recognizes that the Union midfield is not where it needs to be in terms of consistency. “My personal opinion is that our midfield hasn’t exactly clicked the whole time, but it hasn’t been a problem for us. They didn’t play well, but I know what those guys are capable of doing individually and as a unit. In a lot of ways, you say they didn’t play well, but they kept Colorado off the board for 98 minutes. They did something right. They did a lot right.”

Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on New England. Kinkead says, “New England appears to be turning the corner after disappointing in their last three campaigns.”

Amobi Okugo was named to SBI’s Best XI for Week 2 and as a sub for the EA SPORTS FIFA Ultimate Team of the Week.

Union Dues talks rivalries.

It’s not too late to buy tickets to the SoB St. Patrick’s Day tailgate ahead Saturday’s game against New England.

Heather Mitts has announced via Facebook her retirement from the game. In the announcement, the former Philadelphia Charge, Independence, and US international defender says “I will be working as a sideline analyst & ambassador for the Philadelphia Union while taking part in other soccer related projects. I also look forward to starting a family and becoming an ultimate soccer mom.” She begins the sideline analyst past of her future on Saturday.

Kerith Gabriel talks to the recipient of the first annual Philadelphia Union Foundation “Building Blocks Award,” Pat Trippley-DeMiranda, founder of the William Trippley Youth Development Foundation. The Trippley foundation is named after her son, a promising soccer player from Chester who was murdered in 2004.

Local

Derek Meluzio of the Harrisburg City Islanders blog Upper 90 reports on the “keeper wars” at the start of preseason training.

Lehigh Valley’s NPSL club FC Sonic is one of four teams participating in the inaugural USASA National Amateur Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, May 24-26.

Participating in the conclusion of the US Youth Soccer National League this weekend in Las Vegas will be Penn Fusion (U-15 boys), Lower Merion Soccer Club Lightning (U-16 boys),and Lehigh Valley United (U-16 and U-17 boys).

MLS

While LA Galaxy cruised past Costa Rica’s Herediano 4-1 to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, a series of shockingly poor defensive mistakes saw Houston fall 3-0 to Santo Laguna. LA now face reigning champions Monterrey in the semifinals in early April while Santos will battle Seattle. This is the first time two MLS teams have reached the semifinals.

More background info for the Rivalry Week matchups, this time for Dallas vs. Houston and Montreal vs. Toronto.

Obafemi Martins says, “I can’t wait to meet the player, fans and officials of Seattle Sounders,” but first he needs to sort out his work visa.

New York’s Roy Miller says he intentionally encroached on the penalty area when San Jose was taking a penalty kick resulting from his hand ball because he believed if Chris Wondolowski converted the attempt, it would have to be retaken. As it was, Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles saved the attempt and the encroachment resulted in San Jose taking the penalty kick again, which was successfully converted. That Miller’s encroachment wouldn’t have mattered if Wondolowski had successfully converted the first attempt has probably now been patiently explained to him by everyone from head coach Mike Petke, to his teammates, the cleaning lady at the team’s hotel, the bus boy at the team’s breakfast, the taxi driver who drove him home from the airport, and a couple of kids on the Red Bull’s U-13 academy team is probably a given. Here’s hoping that Miller plays with similar smarts for Costa Rica when they face the US next Friday.

Speaking of the Red Bulls, the Wall Street Journal says they are trying to build a MLS team, not a European one.

Apparently, MLS has changed the tie-breaking rules for the end of the season standings.

US

Mexico has named its 23-player roster for the next round of World Cup qualifiers, which includes hosting the US at the Azteca on March 26.

At US Soccer Players, Tom Dunmore reviews the history of home advantage for the US in World Cup qualifiers.

The US has been drawn into Group C in this year’s Gold Cup where they will face Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica. Group play begins in Portland on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field against Belize. They’ll face Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah on July 13 and finish the group stage against Cuba at Rentschler Field in Hartford on July 16.

At the Gold Cup press conference in Chicago, Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed that Brad Guzan is next in line to fill-in for the injured Tim Howard.

The US drops one spot to No. 33 in the latest FIFA rankings.

Two first half goals from Alex Morgan saw the US defeat Germany 2-0 to win their ninth Algarve Cup championship. Post-game quote sheet here.

Elsewhere

Sepp Blatter says UEFA’s plan to have Euro 2020 hosted by 13 countries lacks “heart and soul.”

Oliver Kay of The Times reported he had a big scoop in the form of Qatari-backed “Dream Football League.” After denials from the Qatari FA, it turns out Kay may have been reporting a big spoof.

Bayern Munich and Malaga advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

For full listings of today’s Europa League games, check out Footy on the Telly.

 

6 Comments

  1. Josh for da U says:

    I sort of think Colorado kept theirselves off the board for most of that 98 minutes

  2. Looks like the Unions broadcasting is coming together. Moreno is a huge improvement over Bradley but watching him struggle with how to describe the horrible play of the Union and somehow seem constructive was obviously giving him problems.

  3. I can be a soccer mom!

  4. Players on the mend, Mitts joins Union broadcast team, LA advance to CCL semis, more

  5. Players on the mend, Mitts joins Union broadcast team, LA advance to CCL semis, more

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