Daily news roundups

Hack respects Seattle, Kleberson and Soumare update, USOC pairings announced, Timbers make wish come true, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Readers have been on us to ask John Hackworth about Danny Cruz. In Wednesday’s weekly press conference, PSP editor Dan Walsh did just that. Hackworth said,

Danny has been one of more effective players….He’s been one of our more effective players in possession, he’s been one of our most creative players in getting entries into the final third of the field, and specifically the penalty area…He’s the type of player you need to have in this league to be successful. There’s no question that you need some speed, and he brings that, but he brings a competitiveness that is second to none. I don’t know if there’s some serious questions about if Danny Cruz should be not be selected, but those are my reasons for selecting him week in and week out. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be put on the bench in favor of somebody else, but he’s been good for us.

Hackworth went on to stress that Cruz fills an important need on the team, that of being able to stretch opposing defenses, and that “his effectiveness in his touches is significantly better than most of our midfielders right now.”

Walsh also asked if it has been by design that Keon Daniel has been dropping deeper and deeper in the midfield. Hackworth said, “No, not by design at all. We think that’s an issue for us that we’ve gotta solve going forward.” (To hear Hackworth’s full response to Walsh’s questions, cue the playback to 17:50).

Hackworth said of Seattle Sounders, who the Union will host on Saturday (4pm: 6abc, Direct Kick, MLS Live), “They’re going to be one of the best teams we play and we’ll have to significantly improve from our last performance if we want to be successful Saturday night.”

Hackworth spoke about how tough it is to manage expectations in a league with so much parity. “I think every team across the board you see that with because there’s so much parity and so much competition. And on any given day, anybody can beat anybody. And it’s tough from that standpoint especially when people have thoughts that our team is going to be better than it actually is.”

Hackworth also addressed the question of why we haven’t seen more of Kleberson. “Kleberson is a guy that continues to get acclimated here, and we’re trying to get him to a point where we feel he can play more minutes, but we’re not going to force that. He has not played a full 90 minutes in an awful long time, so we have to prepare him to do that.”

Regarding Bakary Soumare, Hackworth said he had nothing new to report. “We’re actively trying to find a solution for Baky and for the Philadelphia Union. Baky’s been a good professional in every aspect. He’s still available for selection. As of now, he’s a Philadelphia Union player and he does his job quite well.”

According to Nick Sakiewicz, “actively” may not be the right word. He says in the same article, “We really haven’t been out in the marketplace with him because we’re hoping he can help our team. In case Amobi gets called into the national team, we’re going to lose him. If Jeff gets called back in, we’re going to lose him. If an injury happens, we’re going to lose them. So right now, we’re hoping the three of them continue to compete for two starting spots and the best guy that practice during the week get the nod. But we have to reevaluate that position in the offseason.”

Soumare talks to the Chicago Fire Confidential podcast about his return to MLS and what his future might hold.

What’s former Sounder Jeff Parke’s read on Seattle, the Union’s opponent on Saturday? “They’re a different group this year. Their backs are against the wall a little bit so it’s going to be a different feel and a different team. At the end of the day, it’s another game and we’re at home and we want to get three points. We respect Seattle and we respect their players and their quality and we know maybe they might be struggling but they have quality…we don’t want to give them any chances or give them any fire or anything they can build the game off with.”

Seattle Times, the Daily Herald, and The Kitsap Sun all have stories on Parke playing his former team. Parke says, “I’m home—this is where I’m from,” he said. “And then Seattle (is where) I’ve played the last couple of years, and I have a lot of great memories being there with that great organization. …. At the end of the day, I definitely want three points, and when I get out there I’m sure that I’ll have a little bit more butterflies because this is against guys that I’ve played with and we had friendships. It’s going to be a different game for sure.”

Kerith Gabriel looks back at the Union’s first ever win over Seattle, which also happened to be the grand opening of PPL Park.

Union Dues previews Saturday’s game.

New England Revolution manager Jay Heaps isn’t happy that Chris Tierney has been retroactively suspended for his reckless tackle on Sebastien Le Toux while Michael Farfan has not been for his stoppage time tackle on Andrew Farrell that left him unavailable for tonight’s match against Portland. “You’re in the same match. You think that if there’s going to be a reaction from the Disciplinary Committee, it’s going to go one way. Instead, it goes the exact opposite. Clearly, we’re disappointed. Quite frankly, we are shocked. It’s a tough one for the entire organization. We feel hard done by this one.”

Local

The first round pairings for the 100th edition of the US Open Cup were announced on Wednesday and three area teams will begin their campaigns on Tuesday, May 14. Reading United (PDL) will host Lehigh Valley Sonic (NPSL) at Don Thomas Stadium with a 7pm kickoff. At 7:30pm, Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) will host New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) at Carey Stadium. Harrisburg City Islanders will enter the second round on May 21 with the Philadelphia Union entering the tournament in the third round on May 28. Check out TheCup.us for capsule previews of the games.

The Press of Atlantic City looks at the Nor’easters prospects both in the Cup and in the upcoming PDL season.

Harrisburg lost 1-2 to Charleston Battery on Wednesday, their first defeat of the season. Union loanee Cristhian Hernandez scored the City Islanders lone goal, bringing his season total after four games to 2 goals and 2 assists.

City Islanders coach Bill Becher said, “We knew we weren’t going to go undefeated, but obviously you want to win as many as you can—especially at home. We just need to regroup…We turn around and play Saturday so we don’t have much time to think about it. There’s still some positives we can take from the game. We weren’t awful, but it just wasn’t as good as the last few games had been…We just didn’t look as sharp. It happens.”

Derek Meluzio writes of Harrisburg’s defeat, “Some days you are the bug, other days you are the windshield. So many things had been going right for the City Islanders you had to expect something bad would come eventually.”

The Spirit has a great profile on Pat Cain, whose coaching career began in 1975 and includes a long tenure at Roman Catholic High School.

MLS

When the Oregon chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation asked 8-year-old cancer patient Atticus Lane-Dupre what he would most like to do, he said he wanted his soccer team The Green Machine to play the Portland Timbers. On Wednesday, 3,000 Timbers supporters were at JELD-WEN Field for an 11:30am kickoff to watch that wish come true.

Young Atticus said, “Usually kids just choose to go to Disneyland with their family or getting something. I chose something that lots of people could do.” Click on the following links to view pictures from the game and more video.

Attendance is down 8 percent across the league compared to 2012. Several factors could be at play, including the early start to the season and the absence of a new expansion team or stadium driving up attendance numbers. Soccer America notes, “[I]f you throw out the three teams whose attendance averages are skewed by playing early-season games at bigger stadiums in 2012 or 2013—Montreal, San Jose and Toronto FC—MLS’s attendance is down only 2 percent.

At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis writes that the league’s restrictive player acquisition policies make it harder for US internationals to return to MLS.

In disciplinary news, Steve Lenhart has been given a two-game suspension. The appeals against the red cards given to Jeff Larentowicz and Brad Davis have been rejected.

Good news everybody, the scoreboard at Crew Stadium is gonna be OK.

Former Union midfielder Justin Mapp and local lad Andrew Wenger both scored in Montreal’s 6-0 thrashing of Toronto semifinal second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship.

Local lad Corey Hertzog came on as a substitute to score the opening goal in Vancouver’s 2-0 win over Edmonton. MLSsoccer.com says Hertzog is more than just a poacher. After watching the video below, I think you’ll agree:

At Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney says the MLS teams playing in the Copa Libertadores only makes sense in theory.

Opposition to the reported deal that is in the works that would see Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, has been directed at that country’s human rights record. New York City Counculman Daniel Dromm said in a statement, “This is outrageous.. This is also a country where gay and lesbian people could be subject to chemical castration. It is totally unacceptable. I urge my colleagues in the City Council and elected officials across the state to join me in saying that New Yorkers won’t do business with a murderous regime and we won’t sell, trade or give away our public assets to those who discriminate and participate in human rights abuses.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Drumm’s statement “raised very valid questions that all of us have to follow up on.”

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff writes, “Getting word a David Beckham-backed effort to bring MLS to Miami is about to pick up a steam and could go public in about a month.”

Washington Business Journal says a land swap may be in the works so that DC United can build a new stadium.

NWSL

After missing last weekend’s home opener due to concussion symptoms, Abby Wambach returned to Western New York Flash as her team topped the previously undefeated Sky Blue FC 2-1.

Local lass Carli Lloyd, recovering from broken bone in her shoulder, can’t wait to get back on the pitch.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann has used 25 different lineups in the 25 games the USMNT has played since he took over as head coach. This article at the US Soccer website notes that this is pretty much the norm in international soccer. “A review of the World Cup champions since 1990 and the European champions since 1996 reveal 11 different countries that have claimed titles. In the year before winning their championship, each of those teams used an average of 30 different players.  In that same time period, there was only one instance of a team using the same lineup twice leading up to the tournament (Spain did it in 2010).”

Elsewhere

It will be an all-German Champions League final at Wembley after Bayern Munich continued their destruction of Barcelona with a 3-0 win in Wednesday’s semifinal second leg. That’s right folks, Bayern defeated Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate. It’s Bayern’s third Champions League final appearance in four years.

Gerard Pique said after the match, “We have to make some decisions in the summer. We are not the best any more. Other teams are. Perhaps we need to work harder. That was hard out there—a bitterly disappointing night.”

Uli Hesse examines concerns that the Bundesliga’s success in international play may be fleeting.

In Europa League play today, it’s Chelsea vs Basel (3pm: FSC, Fox Soccer 2Go) and Benfica vs Fenerbahce (3pm: Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go).

Monterrey came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Santos Laguna 4-2 to claim the CONCACAF Champions League title.

The Guardian reports, “Referees could be given the power to lead players from the pitch and points could be deducted from offending teams under new FIFA anti-racism proposals.”

Reuters reports, “Brasilia police have canceled an order for 17,000 raincoats for use at the World Cup because next year’s tournament will be played in the dry season.”

 

22 Comments

  1. So all Hackworth really said about Danny Cruz was “blah blah blah I have a man-crush on Danny Cruz.” Competency WIN!

  2. JediLos117 says:

    “…And it’s tough from that standpoint especially when people have thoughts that our team is going to be better than it actually is.”
    .
    Hah! I love it!

    • So the problem isn’t the Union per se it’s the fans for having high expectations. On a side note nobody I can think of had high expectations for this team.

      • JediLos117 says:

        Its not the high expectations. That’s fine and the norm.
        .
        Its the unrealistic and irrational expectations the fans have for our current roster and squad.

  3. Man that Portland video was perfect. The fans, the Timbers players heeling it up pretty awesome.

    • Kenso Josh says:

      Yeah, I loved it, though I questioned Portland’s decision to play small goal. They could have used their height and speed advantage on a full pitch with full goals.

  4. Hacks comments overall, though especially about Cruz, make me sick to my stomach.
    Like. literally physically ill.
    Makes me feel like punching something too.
    Why do I care so much!?!?

  5. Great One says:

    This has got to be the most depressing, disparaging, disappointing articles in a long long time. If it wasn’t for that awesome job done by the Timbers coming after the Union news, I may have had to hang myself.
    .
    Danny Cruz is one of the most effective players in possession??? Danny Cruz is one of the best players in the final third of the field??? Danny Cruz’s touches on the ball are the best of all our midfielders??? Either John Hackworth is a completely mindless, blind coach… Or the Union are pathetically bad with no hope of success.
    .
    Kleberson is still getting acclimated to the league? Hackworth and Nick Sak with completely opposing thoughts on Soumare? What in the hell is going on with this team?
    .
    If I wasn’t so in love with soccer and this team in our city, I may never watch again after hearing that press conference. The ONLY positive is that he acknowledged Daniels bad play, and if Danny Cruz is our best midfielder, then maybe Daniel and Carroll will finally sit.
    .
    I know this is a really horrible thought, but after reading this I kinda hope Danny gets hurt, bc that’s the only way he’s not playing.

    • And how about “But we have to reevaluate that position in the offseason.” from Nick!?!?! OFFSEASON. ITS MAY 1st!!!!
      WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT.
      REEVALUATION NOW!!!!
      Recognize Carrol has not been good, that Okugo should be playing CDM and that Soumare should slip into CB.
      Is Nick joking!?!?

  6. neck label says:

    cant wait for that nor’easters game!
    THE STORM IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. George H says:

    Wow, what a goal by Hertzog. Happy to see good things happening for him in Vancouver. He probably could have helped NYRB during his time there, but unfortunately for him, he’s American.

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      That’s such a striker’s goal. If he hadn’t put it on target, the midfielders want to strangle him. 🙂 But that’s what a striker needs, absolute confidence.

  8. We are a cheap team. Period. They don’t want Kleberson to play for fear they will have to sign him next year. WE LACK AMBITION. I am starting to really hate the FO and Nick Sack-o-shit. If Keon Daniel starts again on Sat. I will walk out of the stadium after booing the shit out of Keon’s first seven bad touches. I feel bad for the poor rubes around us.

  9. Kenso Josh says:

    Hey, guys. We sucked last year. We’re a little better this year, and young guys are developing! I’m as perplexed as you all on Cruz- I see the competitiveness, I see that he manages to receive the ball in the penalty area, and then I see his touch let him and us down. So. Hack is a throwback American soccer guy, a “Don’t-mow-the-grass” long ball kind of coach. Is that fair, as a take-away? I’m definitely not excited about that.

    • jpat2411 says:

      re: Hack and the long ball. The issue is this: he states that he wants a possession based team, but a) we do not have the talent and b) we win more when we’re ugly and stretching the field.
      I am willing to give him time – its only his first season as manager – but as a coach myself, I believe it is a coach’s job to put players in the best fit/ best situation for success. Do not force a system on players, develop a system for which players fit.

  10. The Timbers clip was great- although it is pretty clear that we don’t need to worry about them diving whenever the Union play them. There is not one actor among the bunch. Best of luck to the young man.

  11. Is parity holding the Union and Hack back? Or is parity exposing their mediocrity?

    I think Hack is getting a little confused.

  12. John Hackworth– Mangager? NO! Delusional? Yes! He needs to go!!

  13. Hack doesn’t coach to win. He’s coaching not to lose …
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    … his job.

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