Daily news roundups

Jack’s ambition, Seattle out of CL, USWNT wins, Dortmund tifo, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Jack McInerney comes in at No. 4 in the latest Castrol Top 20. In the full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are McInerney (No. 5), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 27), Amobi Okugo (No. 39), Michael Farfan (No. 50), and Jeff Parke (No. 102).

You will recall that McInerney was described as the “American Chicharito” in a recent ExtraTime Radio podcast. The Union’s leading goalscorer—three goals in five games—isn’t buying the hype and says simply, “I play like Jack.”

Not that McInerney lacks ambition. Asked if he is targeting the Golden Boot award, McInerney says, “It’s definitely in the back of my mind. That’s something I want to do…Some guys will fall off and hopefully I’m not one of those. But if I keep putting myself in good spots, I’ll be there at the end.”

The Jack love continues in the power rankings at MLSsoccer.com, where the Union move three spots from No. 15 to No. 12. The ranking description reads, “Jack Mac! Even though he’s just 20 years old, he’s entering his fourth season as a pro and looking every bit the part of a veteran up top. His off-the-ball movement is DP-level, and his finishing is getting there as well. The pairing with Conor Casey looked natural.”

The Union are at No. 11 in ProSoccerTalk’s power rankings, which is where SBI also has them, up one spot from No. 12.

After making the grade at SI and ProSoccerTalk, Amobi Okugo has also been named to the Team of the Week at MLSsoccer.com. He receives an honorable mention from SBI.

Kevin Kinkead looks back on the Union’s series history with this weekend’s opponent at PPL Park, Toronto.

JP Dellacamera says of Toronto, “At one point when a team would play Toronto at home, you might figure on an easy three points. That is clearly not the case with this year’s club. The Union can’t and won’t take Toronto lightly.”

Union fans unable to attend Saturday’s game against Toronto or watch the local broadcast will be pleased to learn that the game is this week’s Stream of the Week at MLSsoccer.com. Note this about the free stream: “You need Adobe’s Flash player to watch the MLS Stream of the Week. This means it is not available on all devices. But we will add features and improve the service going forward.”

More on the Union’s new ticket deal with Redbox.

Local

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader talks to the folks behind Clarks Summit Pickup Soccer.

MLS

To the surprise of no one other than perhaps the most devoted Sounders supporter, Seattle was eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League after drawing 1-1 on the road with Santos Laguna (2-1 aggregate).

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy says that, despite Seattle’s elimination, the draw at Santos Laguna “constituted a significant step forward in a genuine house of horrors for American and Canadian teams.”

The Galaxy are on the road tonight when they face Monterrey tonight, who defeated LA last week 2-1 with a pair of late goals. Galaxy forward, globe trekker, and mathematician Landon Donovan explains, “The reality for us is that we have to score two goals any way you slice it, if we’re going to advance. We could still score two goals and not advance, but if we don’t score two goals we have no chance of advancing.” Kickoff is at 10pm on FSC.

Omar Gonzalaez as DP? It just might happen.

Here’s a look at how Vancouver’s move to a more possession-oriented gameplan means more opportunities for poachers like Reading, Pa.’s very own Corey Hertzog, who scored his first MLS goal last Saturday.

This look at the challenges of maintaining a playable pitch at Stade Saputo, which will host its first Impact home game of 2013 on Saturday, is yet another element in the many reasons why North America is unsuited to follow FIFA’s international calendar.

The Colorado vs. Real Salt Lake match on NBCSN over the weekend drew only 41,000 viewers, the lowest numbers of the season so far.

US

The USWNT easily defeated The Netherlands 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday with a lineup that refreshingly absent of many of the usual suspects. Tobin Heath opened the scoring for the US with Christen Press, now on six goals in seven senior team appearances, netting two more.

Elsewhere

Today’s Champions League quarterfinal action includes Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2:30pm, FSC) and Juventus vs. Bayern Munich (2:30pm, Fox Soccer Plus). Whether Lionel Messi will play after his hamstring injury in the 2-2 against PSG last week is still up in the air while Juventus, who lost 2-0 at Bayern in the first round, have never overcome a 2-goal deficit in Champions League play.

Tuesday’s quarterfinal games were wild affairs with Galatasary defeating Real Madrid 3-2 but being eliminated from the tournament 3-5 on aggregate. After a scoreless first game, Dortmund scored two stoppage time goals to defeat Malaga 3-2. Replays showed four Dortmund players were offside for the winning goal, although Malaga’s go-ahead goal also appeared to be offside. Malaga’s Qatari owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani blamed “racism” for the loss.

Real Madrid’s semifinal appearance means that Jose Mourinho has now tied Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of seven Champions League semifinals.

Legendary seems too inadequate a word for Dortmund’s tifo display.

UEFA have proposed a ten-match ban for any player found guilty of racially abusing another player. If fans are found guilty of racially abusing players, the first penalty will be to close that section of the stands from which the abuse took place.

In related news, Dynamo Kiev must play a European club competition game next season behind closed doors after its fans were found guilty of racially abusing Bourdeaux players in a Europa League game in February.

“Short-term employee benefit” payments  to “key management personnel” at FIFA—defined as “members of the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee and the FIFA management, in particular the directors”—climbed 13.6 percent in 2012 to $33.5 million.

4 Comments

  1. Since I actually watched Colorado-Salt Lake, I feel like I was in select company. Is there a commemorative scarf or plate that I’ll be getting sent to me?

  2. I think the stream of the week will be blacked out in this area, no?

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