Daily news roundups

McInerney named to TOTW & No. 2 on Castrol Top 20, more Union news, trouble in USMNT, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Tuesday was rather a big news day here at PSP with two articles from our exclusive interview with Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz as well as our exclusive interview with Bakary Soumare.

You can watch John Hackworth’s weekly press conference today via live stream at philadelphiaunion.com/live.

John Hackworth says in the latest “Final Whistle” open letter to Union fans, “Selecting Amobi at center back has probably been our most difficult decision because Baky has played very well, but these are the types of [difficult] decisions I referenced earlier in the year.”

Regarding his earlier report that Freddy Adu would be heading to Brazil on Tuesday, Ives Galarcep tweeted:

Sambafootball.com says Adu will take a physical when he arrives with Bahia.

As PSP reported on Tuesday, at the heart of the Union’s efforts to negotiate a payment plan for the money due to Chester in lieu of taxes for 2010 is an estimated $8 million in public works expenses that the club, rather than the city, paid for during the construction of PPL Park. In our report, Chester mayor John Linder says that a proposal to tax parking is directed more at the private lots that have sprung up around the stadium than at the Union’s lots. Looking ahead to the club’s PPL Park expansion plans, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz tells CBS Philly, “We’re not in a position to build anything until we understand what the tax environment looks like here long-term.”

Sebastien Le Toux on this emerging partnership with Jack McInerney: “It’s getting, well, better and better. We are getting to play more together.” Speaking of their play on Saturday, Le Toux said, “Maybe we still need more support from our midfield sometimes, because we feel sometimes we are too much alone on the attack, but I think it was good. We are starting to be more closer to each other, starting to combine more and I am glad it went to him on the corner kick. Even though it was on a set play bit it’s good to know when he is on the ball, he scored, so it’s good for the future of our relationship.”

The Union do not play another league game until March 30 when they’re on the road to New York. John Hackworth says, “Our idea is to make sure we use this two week time between MLS games to improve. We want to improve on our technical aspects, our tactical aspects, and certainly our conditioning level.”

Kerith Gabriel reports that Gabriel Farfan’s hamstring injury is improving and that he could be a full participant in training as early as today. No word on Conor Casey, who also missed the New England game with injury.

Jack McInerney was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Jeff Parke received an honorable mention.

In the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20, Jack McInerney comes in at No. 2 and Zac MacMath at No. 16. The top 5 Union players in the Full Castrol Index are McInerney (No. 4), Amobi Okugo (No. 20), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 23), Michael Farfan (No. 32), and Jeff Parke (No. 92).

In a discussion about the USMNT goalkeeper pool at ASN, Tony Meola praises the Union for sticking with Zac MacMath.

But a kid like Zac, that’s always going to happen, where you’ve got a kid that performed at the youth level, and you get to the professional level, and you don’t know how they’re going to react. The one thing that I will give Philadelphia credit for—they’ve stuck with Zac. And it seems like they’re going to ride it out and let him develop. That’s not easy to do for a team. That’s very difficult for coaches to feel that way. I try to put myself in their shoes. If it was me, how would I react? I would like to think that I could see the potential, especially in a goalkeeper, to say “This is our guy of the future.” But those coaches are hoping they get to the future with those guys.

Player ratings? Why not? MLSsoccer.com keeps the Union at No. 14. At ProSoccerTalk, the Union come in at No. 9 and the fans are also complimented for supporting the team in some pretty dreadful weather.

Reports are scarce in terms of who played, but the US U-18 team, which includes Zach Pfeffer and Lancaster-native Russell Canouse, lost 4-0 to France on Tuesday, Les Bleu tallying three goals in the first 30 minutes. The 11-day tour next includes two games in Romania.

Local

Philadelphia-native Chris Williams, a central defender who once played for Ocean City Nor’easters, has signed with NASL side San Antonio Scorpions.

No area clubs are yet participating in the US Soccer Development Academy’s new U-13/14 age division.

MLS

New York have signed former PSG, Lyon, and French national team striker Péguy Luyindula.

Speaking of French guys and New York, isn’t it interesting how often Thierry Henry seems to pick up some kind of injury before the team goes on the road to play in a stadium with artificial turf? Montreal Defender Alessandro Nesta will also miss the game and is expected to be out two weeks with a strained adductor muscle.

Seattle Sounders have parted ways with right back Adam Johansson.

DC United have announced the loans of Casey Townsend, Taylor Kemp, Michael Seaton, and Conor Shanosky to USL PRO partners Richmond Kickers.

Frank Lampard is keeping the move to MLS option open and insists that such a move would not keep him out of the England national team.

An article at MLSsoccer.com says the league’s disciplinary committee is cracking down on simulation and embellishment. I hope they take a look at the yellow card Amobi Okugo received against New England thanks to Juan Toja’s theatrics.

At SportsDayDFW, Peter Welpton has an in-depth look at the plague of persistent infringement in MLS.

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner continues his argument that Englishman Peter Walton was the wrong choice to lead the Professional Referee’s Organization, that their are plenty of good American referees to lead PRO, even while acknowledging improvements can be made.

NWSL

US Soccer and the players on the USWNT have signed a new collective bargaining agreement, thus allowing USWNT players to start training with their NWSL teams.

US

At Sporting News, Brian Straus has a devastating expose on growing discontent among players in the US National Team pool with Jurgen Klinsmann and their “flagging faith in Klinsmann, his staff and his methods, along with the squad’s absence of harmony.” Strauss writes,

In conversation after conversation, the same themes emerged:

— Klinsmann and chief assistant Martin Vasquez either lack the tactical acumen and game-day chops to successfully lead the team or fail to communicate their wishes effectively.

— Too much time and too many resources are spent on initiatives that don’t translate to the field.

— Constant lineup changes and building resentment over the perceived importance and attitude of the German-born players are harming team chemistry.

The article is a must read for any fan of the US national team. If you’re reading this at work and won’t have time to read the Straus article in full until you get home (and you really should), Business Insider has “The eight most brutal quotes” from the article.

Longtime US captain Carlos Bocanegra, who was not called up for the upcoming qualifiers, has backed Klinsmann, saying that he has “always been up front with players about where they stand and where he sees them going…Not every player is going to be happy with all of the decisions and methods, but he will tell you to your face where you stand. From a coach, that is the best thing you could ask for.”

More reaction from MLSsoccer.com (communication is the issue), ProSoccerTalk (two issues: Klinsmann’s coaching abilities and growing divisions among the players), ASN (should the US stick with what it’s good at), while ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle offers a six-step plan to turn the USMNT’s fortunes around.

Ahead of Friday’s qualifier with Costa Rica, John Henderson of the Denver Post talked to Klinsmann about “the progress of American soccer and its playmakers.” Klinsmann said,

It has a ways to go. We all acknowledge that. The infrastructure compared to South America and European nations still lacks consistency in how we develop the game…We still have a lot of work ahead of us but if you compare it 10 years ago and where the game is today, it’s huge…With the MLS as the driving force, things will improve automatically. The more you do something the better you get at it. The more the kids play, the better they’ll get. We have a lot to do in coaches’ education and player development.

Brad Guzan said of stepping into Tim Howard’s shoes, “For me, I have to go about my business like it’s every other day. You can’t get over-concerned or over-hyped about one individual, although obviously Timmy is a massive player for us. But the rest of us in the goalkeeping group, we have to step up, and I know we will.”

Brad Davis was added to the US roster on Tuesday.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy looks at Costa Rica’s preparations for Friday’s match against the US.

Elsewhere

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be a success. “I am confident that through its economic power and strength of will, Brazil will be ready and deliver a wonderful World Cup.”

Moving ahead to 2022, while the Premier League continues to oppose switching the Qatar World Cup to winter in order to avoid the oppressive summer heat, The Independent reports that Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has suggested that “‘common sense would prevail’ and the finals [will be] moved from their traditional summer date.”

Blatter also says the only person at UEFA who doesn’t want goal-line technology is federation president Michel “Every Day Is Bad Hair Day” Platini.

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino has called for an end to third-party ownership of players rights. “Is it appropriate for a third party to own the economic rights to another human being and then to trade this ‘asset’? This would be unacceptable in society and has no place in football. Footballers (like everyone else) should have the right to determine their own future.”

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb wants the number of seats allocated to the confederation on FIFA’s executive committee increased to four.

12 Comments

  1. if one ever need reason to see the castrol index as meaningless…

    • Kenso Josh says:

      Soccer can’t be analyzed with numbers. At least not well.

    • I think stats and numbers have a great value, but the Castrol Index just confuses the hell out of me sometimes. Even after reading through the “explanation” of how it works it still seems “off.” I think it really overvalues shots/goals and doesn’t give defenders/d-mids a fair chance to get a high rating. Just what I noticed, but someone please correct me if I’ wrong.

  2. The Black Hand says:

    Castrol huh. Michael Farfan(#32). Jeff Parke(#92). Ummm…

  3. Andrew 'Calm' Down says:

    The media is blowing the USMNT situation up despite Boca and the team supporting their coach.

  4. Kenso Josh says:

    That Sporting News article sounds like a bunch of crap. Of course players belly ache when it doesn’t go their way, but they should know better than to do it to the media. This article doesn’t help the team-

    It worries me, because maybe it’s correct- but I’m willing to bet that Jurgen is doing a good job and the team will do well.

  5. Southside Johnny says:

    C’mon, folks. Castrol is just another piece of data. I know I can’t see everything every player is doing on the field all the time. It certainly isn’t the whole picture, but it is another angle to consider. Seems to me when psp looked at it last year there was some decent correlation with player ratings, no?

  6. The article on the USMNT situation is spot on. It is much deeper than just disgruntled players speaking. If you read the whole article you get to Philip Lahm’s autobiography which is a quality, developed European player, how can you ignore his claims? He discusses both Bayern and the German national team as his “evidence” that points to Klinsmann’s reputation. He managed a German team who already qualified due to hosting the cup, and only lasted a year at Bayern before he got the boot. I have heard from someone who was directly involved, that a lot of players were very disgruntled to Klinsmann’s lackluster training sessions, focus on nutrition and fitness as opposed to tactics, changing players workout and nutrition routines from their club situation as well as a focus on motivation and not so much if at all tactics.

    Now people may say well they are professionals, they should adapt. The coaches/nutritionist/fitness coaches at the US camp change how the players eat/work out/ supplement.

    If a player is being called into a national team camp, don’t you think their current routine(nutrition/work out/ supplement) is working for them? How else would they have achieved enough success to be called in? National team camps are about getting the players to play the same style, same ideas and overall be on the same page about the game plan with the coach and other players. How is the player not already motivated enough to be playing on the national, it is one of the, if not the highest level of success that a player can be recognized for. Why would a player not be motivated to play for his/her country?

    Did you ever see a Bob Bradley team unmotivated?

    Why change a routine of a player if it works for them?

    If you think about it from a periodization aspect (periodization is about the mid season lifting and fitness of that sorts and trying to get the athlete to peak at the right time such a playoffs or end of the season) why would a national team focus on fitness? The players/athletes are usually coming from a game that was played a max of 5-7 days prior but often from a game 3-4 days ago (big difference in terms of recovery) Usually the national team plays 2 games with in a 4-5 day period and have to go back after the last game and play another game within 2-3 days which leaves not a lot of recovery time for the players. Why focus on fitness when the players already have the fitness coming from their club game or training sessions?

    • It seems bizarre to me, too. Maybe they could use an expert to help the players deal with jet lag and with high altitude. Beyond that, I’m not sure. If a player is not match fit, he shouldn’t get called to camp. Nutrition? seriously? Nutrition for the team is: make sure there are adequate calories on the table at mealtime. Do other national teams engage in this bullshit?

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