Daily news roundups

Statement game, Hack on Kleberson, more news

Photo: Michael Long

Philadelphia Union

Michael Lahoud said of Saturday’s game against New York, “This is a statement game. These are the types of games I want to play in and the type of game our team is made to play in. It’s a big matchup and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be ready…It’s a massive opportunity to make a statement to our arrival and to let the rest of the league know we’re for real. We’re going to go into a tough environment and show you guys we are for real.”

Referencing the dispiriting end of the season loss to New York in 2012, Sheanon Williams said, “I think we all remembered what happened. It was not the way to end a season. We made a lot of changes since then, and we are moving in a real good direction. We’ve had some good success and we want to keep working hard and improving. But when you play New York, there is a higher level of play. We are rivals and want to win. We haven’t had much success at New York and it would be great to keep going like we have. We have to execute and play consistent for 90 minutes. If we do that, we have a good chance to get points.”

Is Sebastien Le Toux feeling more pressure because he’s facing his former team on Saturday? “Pressure, I don’t know. It’s just exciting,” said Le Toux. “I’m just happy to be able to start for this team. I want of course to play my best game and do better than I did last year when I was there…Of course I want to do well, especially when you play against your old team. You always want to do well against your old team, so that’s what I want to do Saturday.”

Union fans will be pleased with some key Red Bulls injuries. Fabian Espindola missed training on Wednesday with a hamstring injury and Thierry Henry has just returned to training after picking up a MCL strain. John Hackworth said of Henry, “We prepared the whole time as if he was going to be on the field. If you look at the history of Henry in this league, you would think that he’s going to play in a game of this magnitude that was this important for the club. So we’ve prepared to have him on the field, and if he’s not on the field on Saturday, I think that’s an advantage for us because he’s one of the best players, if not the very best player, in this league.”

Word is that Tim Cahill also may not be available for Saturday’s game.

Hackworth also discussed Kleberson at Wednesday’s press conference, saying, “It’s great that he’s coming. We look forward to having him. We think his experience and his quality is exceptional and is welcome in our locker room. At the same time, we’re not trying to push anything too fast.”

Hackworth said further:

  • On when Kleberson will play: “I want to make sure to give him a little bit of time to get integrated. Guys have to come in and earn it and one of the last things I want to do is take a guy off a plane and try to insert him in a team that is, at the moment, a solid group.”
  • On where Kleberson will play: “The opportunity presents itself that he could be somewhere between where Brian Carroll and Michael Farfan play—perhaps where Keon [Daniel] is. We want to make sure that we do see him on the training field, and integrate him in a proper way.”
  • On the advantage of Kleberson coming on loan rather than being signed outright: “It is definitely an advantage to have a player of his stature, who is in the later part of his career, come in on loan. That does make sense financially for our organization, where we are. We feel like in this particular situation, we have brought in someone who can add a ton to our team, but at the same time, we’re not putting so much on the line that he’s the one who has to change everything.”

Hackworth said Kleberson could arrive in Philadelphia today or Friday. “Our hope right now, we hope to have him here as soon as possible. We believe everything has been cleared. He has his passport, his visa, he’ll have to get his ITC, but hopefully we will have him here either tomorrow or the next day.

Dave Murphy’s Philadelphia Union Blog see’s the New York game as a golden opportunity. JP Dellacamera warns that New York’s current winless record is a bit deceiving.

Kevin Kinkead looks at the history between the Union and the Red Bulls.

The March to the Match podcast on the league website compares Jack McInerney to Chicharito and calls the Union forward “America’s secret weapon.”

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders have announced that former Swarthmore and Union man Morgan Langley will return to play for the club in 2013. The club also announced that Tom Mellor will also be back.

MLS

Kansas City coach Peter Vermes is uncertain whether Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, who both started for the US on Tuesday, will be available for Saturday’s game against Montreal.

Despite Chicago experiencing their worst start in franchise history, club president Javier Leon is confident that head coach Frank Klopas can turn things around.

Orlando City has made it clear that they want to be announced as an MLS expansion team by the end of 2013. More on Orlando from the New York Times.

NWSL

Former Philadelphia Independence forward Lianne Sanderson scored in Boston Breakers 3-2 loss to Sky Blue FC in a preseason warmup game on Wednesday. Former Independence players Bianca D’Agostino, Kia McNeill, and Joanna Lohman also started for Boston.

US

Mexico coach José Manuel de la Torre offered this sort of-compliment to the US: “They didn’t have a chance throughout the whole game, but they played very solidly defensively and complicated the game for us. It’s not easy to make space with the physical presence [of the US side]. And they have good players.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Simon Borg breaks down the defensive performance of the US. At ASN, Liviu Bird has another tactical analysis of the game.

You already knew that every US player in Tuesday’s draw got their beginning in MLS. Did you know that the last time the US fielded a squad in which every player had an MLS connection in a meaningful qualifier was also the last time the US earned a point at the Azteca way back in 1997?

At Goal.com, Seth Vertelney shares his thoughts on what we’ve learned from the Costa Rica and Mexico games. At Soccer America, Paul Gardner writes, “The problem with the Costa Rica and Mexico games is that the amount of recognizable and praiseworthy soccer played by the USA in these two games was minimal.”

Tuesday’s draw in Mexico was the most watched qualifier in ESPN’s history, earning a 1.4 household rating, or an average of 2.385 million viewers. It also set a new record at UniMas with some 4,800,000 viewers. More ratings numbers here.

Awfulannouncing.com praises ESPN’s coverage of Tuesday’s qualifier. “ESPN covered Tuesday night’s USA-Mexico World Cup Qualifier like it was the Super Bowl of soccer and their coverage delivered with a championship level broadcast.”

Just to be clear, President Obama did not offer Landon Donovan the use of Air Force One to fly to Mexico City for Tuesday’s game.

Abby Wambach is trying to mobilize opposition to the 2015 Women’s World Cup being played on artificial surfaces. “We have to mobilize leadership around the world, it can’t be the U.S.’s fight. This has to be an issue that all players take on as a responsibility…I think it could cross the line to a gender discrimination issue and it’s something we can’t stay quiet on, and our national team will do whatever we can.”

At ASN, Maura Gladys looks at Christen Press’ emergence on the senior women’s national team.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports that Daryan Warner, son of former CONCACAF president and well known crook Jack Warner, is a cooperating witness in an FBI probe into alleged corruption in international football

The Japan Football Association will complain to FIFA about fans directing laser pointers on players.

10 Comments

  1. I think if you look at last years RBNY match, those same Lahoud and Seba quotes are used, though then SLT was on the other side.

  2. It’s FABIAN Espindola, not Roger. Maybe you’re thinking of Roger Espinoza?

  3. The Black Hand says:

    Solid group? The Union midfield? Really Hack????

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