Daily news roundups

Hack: Union need to stay focused, aren’t taking DC lightly. More news

Photo: Barb Colligon

Philadelphia Union

In Wednesday’s weekly Philadelphia Union press conference, John Hackworth said that one of the key takeaways from last Saturday’s comeback draw with Toronto was the need for more effective leadership.

There was a couple of incidents against Toronto where I would’ve preferred there be some better leadership out there, not better because I don’t want to criticize Brian or anyone else, but I think there was a place for guys to say, hey look, this is clearly what’s happening in this game, let’s settle down. Let’s not worry about all this B.S. that’s going on. You can’t control the officials; you can’t control the antics. Not our problem, let’s focus on us. And we’ve talked about it already. Every guy in that locker room I think feels the same way.

The need to keep a cool head is especially true given that the Union face DC United on Sunday, the focus of what may be the Union’s most intense on-field rivalry. Hackworth said,

There is this animosity that no matter what, whether it’s a preseason game or a U.S. Open game or a league game, it seems to get the better of both teams. I would just like to think that because we’re thinking along those lines and I know D.C. is thinking along those lines, perhaps maybe some of the craziness that happens is at least toned down a little bit and we can concentrate on playing a good soccer game.

Hackworth also said that, just because DC have been struggling at the start of the season, the Union isn’t taking them lightly. “We know how tough this is going to be because on the outside; people might not be giving them respect, but from our locker room we’re giving them a lot of respect. We understand that they’re going to probably be playing their best or at least bring that emotional energy because they need to.”

Hackworth said the team is wary of two former Union players, Lionard Pajoy and Carlos Ruiz, who now are with DC. “[Pajoy] has been really good against us. He has had some frustrations this year, so it’s a little scary because a player of his quality you think is due [to score]…Carlos is slowly ramping up with them, I would expect him to play a pretty big role on Sunday. We’ve just got to prepare for those guys, but the fact that we know them is good.”

By the way, it was announced on Wednesday that Ruiz is the first recipient of CONCACAF’s new President’s Award.

So, given the challenges Sunday’s game presents, is Kleberson ready to be selected to start? Hackworth explained, “Kleberson has put himself in a position where he definitely is deserving of being selected. I think we still need to be patient and try to judge whether it makes sense for him to play a role as a starter or coming off the bench. I don’t think we’re ready to make that decision yet.” I’ll take that to mean we should see the Brazilian coming in off the bench.

Danny Cruz, who joined the Union from DC in the swap for Pajoy, is particularly looking forward to Sunday’s contest. “I love everything about this rivalry. I think there’s no secret there is bad blood between the clubs and it’s good. I mean it’s good for the league; it’s good for both organizations that everybody is so passionate about it from the coaching staff, to the players, to the fans, to even the ownership…You better believe we are going to get there best game of the year this weekend.”

Boston-native Sheanon Williams plans to honor his hometown in the wake of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing. “I’ll definitely have something on my shoes. I haven’t decided what yet. It definitely hits home just because I grew up there.”

DC United blog Black and Red United wonders if we may finally see the partnership between Dwayne De Rosario and Rafael Gladiador.

Jack McInerney received an honorable mention in SBI’s MLS Best XI for Week 7.

In a review of how first and second year MLS coaches are doing, WV Hooligan’s Drew Epperley gives John Hackworth a B-.

PPL Park will host the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship in 2014 and 2015. The 2014championship will take place on April 25-27 of that year.


Harrisburg City Islanders will host the Union in their annual summer friendly on Tuesday, June 18 at Skyline Sports Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm.

Derek Meluzio has a Q&A with Jimmy McLaughlin, who is on loan from the the Union to Harrisburg.

The documentary about Philadelphia’s Anderson Monarch will be available on iTunes on May 7. The film will also soon be available on other platforms such as Sundancenow and Amazon.


Sporting Kansas City move into first place in the Eastern Conference after their 1-0 road win over the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday evening. New York’s Juninho received a straight red card for kicking the ball at Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who promptly fell writhing to the ground, during a stoppage of play.

In case you’re wondering, the Union, in sixth place, and New York, on fifth place, are level on 8 points with the Union having two games in hand.

More praise of left back and local lad Greg Cochrane, selected by LA Galaxy in this year’s draft. Sigh.

The father-in-law of New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis remains in critical condition after suffering severe injuries to his ribs and his legs in the twin bombing at the Boston Marathon. The girlfriend of the Revolution’s Chris Tierney, who was also injured in the blasts, was in stable condition on Tuesday and would soon be leaving hospital.

At the Guardian, Graham Parker wonders if MLS can escape the violent side of global soccer. Parker’s article comes after the incident on Saturday in which FC Dallas defender George John was struck by a beer can thrown from his club’s supporter section after he scored the late game-winning goal against LA Galaxy and Sunday’s attack on a Timbers fan by a group of San Jose Earthquakes supporters.

Soccer America wonders how MLS benefits from NBC’s plans for covering the Premier League.

At Medium.com, Jack Pierce examines perceptions versus realities in terms of where MLS stands. “It has devolved to the point where there is a growing perception that the game is not that accessible to new enthusiasts because of this groundswell of elitism being displayed. No one just talks about the games on the pitch.”

At Soccer 365, Richard Snowden says MLS is decades away from reaching its 2022 goal of being one of the top leagues in the world. After describing the various financial constraints that prevent the league from competing on the international market for top talent, Snowden argues that the real issue is domestic talent. “The biggest problem, by far, is the lack of skill exhibited by products of the American developmental system.”


At ASN, Maura Gladys writes, “it’s the numbers that will make or break the league,” and says survival will equal success.


John Hackworth and Sheanon Williams agree that the US U-17s failure to qualify for the U-17 World Cup for the first time ever is not a trend. Hackworth said, “I don’t think it’s a trend at all. Unfortunately, the world as a whole looks at when countries make World Cups as the benchmark whether something’s working or not. And I don’t think that’s the case…Knowing young players, we need to be careful what we say about them and how we value them based on one game.”

Williams said,

For them not to make it and the added pressure of them being the first team not to make it is really tough,” the Philly fullback said. “But I’m not worried about it because it can happen. We were supposed to qualify for the Olympics. We didn’t. It happens. Once you get down to the quarterfinals, it’s win or go home and they lost a game…I think that we’ll get back on track. I think even more emphasis gets put on it now that we didn’t qualify. It’s just something that usually for the US doesn’t happen twice.

At ESPN, Jason Davis looks for some positives from failed US U-17s campaign.


The AP reports, “FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has acknowledged there is no back-up plan if the venue scheduled to host the opening game of the Confederations Cup isn’t ready in time.”

Forbes reports Real Madrid has surpassed Manchester United as the most valuable sports team in the world. Forbes puts Real Madrid’s value at $3.3 billion.

Forbes also has a list of the best-paid players.


  1. JediLos117 says:

    Good result for Union yesterday in New Jersey.
    I’m sure y’all know how much I love this site and disagreeing with everybody but I got a suggestion/request…
    …anyway you could get your match previews out two days prior to game instead of day before? I feel like it’s a great feature that creates great dialogue and has potential to create more if released earlier.
    Thanks all PSP staff for your time and effort, it greatly appreciated! Doop!!!

  2. More effective leadership!?!?! Who is the one who made Carrol captain!?!?!?
    Hackworth is not impressing me.

    • Sean Doyle says:

      Oh no, here we go again.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Round 57…I’m ready! You first.

      • JediLos117 says:

        I think its funny cuz in a passive aggressive way, Hackworth is calling out Carroll (and the rest of the team) openly.
        Clearly Coach Hack thinks Carroll (and the rest of the team) needs to be more verbally aggressive…Im actually impressed he said something in the media about it.
        Historically Carroll has let his play do the talking. Now he needs his play AND his emotions and words lead and inspire.
        I want more passion specifically from Carroll and MacMath. I only see leadership and fire from Okugo and Williams regularly. Casey showed some last game.
        McInerney and Le Toux seem to both pout.
        We need the team to be a reflection of our passion and will.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I agree. We need vocal leadership, on the field. I’m not sure what led Hackworth to name Carroll, as captain. It seemed as if Carroll got the armband by default.

      • josh for da U says:

        Feels like Hack is setting it up for future weeks to strip the arm band from Carroll if he dont step up

  3. A. Stanford says:

    Why would/how could the Union take DC lightly? For the vast majority of this season, we’ve played sloppy, uninspired soccer that’s been somewhat masked by late goals after they’ve decided to wake up. Until they show even the slightest consistent glimpse of the attractive attacking soccer that they claim to favor, the Union can’t afford to take any MLS team lightly.

  4. Ugh. Hack’s quotes about Kleberson really, really worry me…

    • The Black Hand says:

      It’s insane. He was the one midfielder to show a hint of poise…lets definitely sit him. We can’t have that kind of quality showing.

    • WTF? Not starting Kleberson is ridiculous. I’ve gone along with most of Hack’s decisions but not starting our new DP at a position that’s been weak thus far is friggin’ maddening! Hack is being weird on this one. Is he blind? I assume he’s watching the film?!?

  5. “Let’s not worry about all this B.S. that’s going on.” That’s one way of putting it. I’d LOVE to see Hackworth bluntly call out Toronto for their “antics” and build up the drama for the June 1st game. D.C. is our biggest “on-field” rival but that and New York seemed forced at times. Maybe this can build a rivalry out of hatred and pure disdain, even if the play is lacking (or downright pathetic).

    • I don’t know. The DC-Union games get really nasty. It doesn’t feel forced to me. I remember Sheanon Williams’ comment last year, when he said, We don’t like them, and they don’t like us.

  6. The Black Hand says:

    Cruz is fired up…

    • Hey, who knows, he might actually put in some effort and at least TRY to get a red card this time around…his last few attempts were rather pedestrian if you ask me 😉

  7. If BC is not the captain, who is? Parke? Not sure SW is ready for it yet.
    I normally try to catch the conference. Did anyone ask point blank about BC’s awful play as of late?

    • The Black Hand says:

      I would probably give it Parke. I don’t think Hackworth will make the change. It would be too evident that He got it wrong. He will try to stick it out with Carroll.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *