Daily news roundups

Mac named Player of the Month, Union D needs to tighten up, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jack McInerney has been named MLS Player of the Month. He is the first Union player to be so honored since Sebastien Le Toux back in September of 2011, which is also the only other time a Union player has received the award.

McInerney was named to SBI’s Bext XI for April.

At Delaware Online, Matthew Waters notes that in the first six games of the season the Union allowed 62 shots, of which 18 were on target for 8 goals. In the last two games, the Union have allowed 33 shots, 12 of which were on target for 4  goals. John Hackworth says the Union defense needs to be more stout against Seattle. “In our first six games we didn’t give up many shots at all. In our last two [matches] it has gone the other way. We want to try to find the way we played in the first six. We have to sure up some of our defensive holes that allowed DC and New England to get opportunities in the first place. That’s something we worked on in training this week, something we are trying to emphasize. We have to do that in order to be successful against Seattle on Saturday.”

Kevin Kinkead has a Star Wars-themed scouting report on Seattle to go along with Saturday’s Star Wars theme day. Goal.com predicts a Seattle win.

Union Dues has a look at Saturday’s game from a Seattle perspective.

At the 700 Level, Dave Zeitlin asks if it is time for Kleberson to play more.

The problem, it seems, that most Union fans have is that Kléberson—and, to a lesser extent Sebastien Le Toux and Gabe Farfan—seems to be below Keon Daniel and Danny Cruz on the depth chart. And, it’s probably fair to say, those are not two of the most popular players on the team…While it’s true that Daniel has a smooth touch and Cruz can use his speed and hustle to stretch a defense like few players can, it’s hard to argue that a more creative midfield would probably include Kléberson and both Farfan brothers playing in front of Brian Carroll and feeding in passes to the fun-to-watch striker tandem of Conor Casey and Jack McInerney.

In an article at MLSsoccer.com, Zeitlin quotes Hackworth on Kleberson:

Kléberson 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’s a good player. But he has not played a full 90 minutes in an awful long time. So we have to prepare to do that. We don’t want to put him in a situation where he’s not ready…I think he’s now in a position where he is ready to take another step forward. But without giving too much away here, we should realize that he’s a player that, with all the experience he has, needs to be fully prepared to play a full 90 minutes. And this league is much different than anything he’s experienced previously in his career.

More on Jeff Parke playing his former club Seattle Sounders for the first time since joining the Union at The Inquirer, CSN Philly, and Union Tally.

David Murphy talks to Sheanon Williams about his signature long throw-in.

The Brotherly Game has a partial transcript from Bakary Soumare’s appearance on the Chicago Fire Confidential podcast that we linked to on Thursday.

Nick Sakiewicz says recent discussions among the Union ownership about expanding PPL Park are part of a feasibility phase of planning and that adding capacity is “off a ways.” Sakiewicz said, “The stadium has been a very special place to be at…One thing I’m very mindful of is to make sure that this place never loses its special intimacy and character. Bricks and mortar and drywall and furniture and fixtures are all the same everywhere. But I think what makes this place special is the way the seating is set up. It feels very intimate, there’s not a bad seat in the house and it’s built for soccer. The last thing we want to do with any kind of improvement is damage any of that.”

Local

Harrisburg is on the road to Rochester Rhinos on Saturday (7:30pm, USL Live).

Former City Islander Bilal Duckett, recalled to New England from Rochester earlier this week, played the full 90 in the Revolution’s 0-0 draw in Portland on Thursday night.

At TopDrawerSoccer, Union development partner PDA’s U-18 team is ranked No. 1 in the country.

PDA’s Kyle Gruno scored the US BNT U-14s’ lone goal in  2-1 loss to Chivas USA U-16s.

MLS

Don Garber says MLS will not be participating in the Copa Libertadores. “Our schedule is so crowded to begin with. With the CONCACAF Champions League, the length of our schedule, the weather, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it’s inconceivable that we could throw another tournament into that.”

Jonathan Tannenwald argues the league would benefit from changing the rules that govern US players returning to MLS from playing abroad. “It’s time to scrap the allocation and lottery systems for Americans coming to MLS from other leagues. It’s time to treat those players like every other player who comes here from abroad.”

In Miami for beIN Sport’s announcement that the network will broadcast La Liga matches next season, league president Javier Tebas talked about the need to increase the Spanish league’s exposure in the US and his take on soccer in the US. Tebas said, “There are some very good players here, [Latin] American as well as American. There are some teams that are on the level of those in Spain or Europe. But what is lacking is the international projection” of MLS.

Tebas also said, “The Americas are more passionate towards the south and less passionate as you move north. I don’t know why the equator divides things like that. But it’s very passionate, most of all in Argentina, of course, Uruguay, Chile. In America and Mexico it’s colder. I can’t explain why [fans] aren’t more heated.”

You want to talk natural grass vs. turf? MLSsoccer.com would seem to hope so, they’ve got a “long-form” story titled “How artificial turf could change the future of soccer in North America,” a “MLS turf timeline,” an article looking back on the MetroStars early struggles with the Astroturf at the Meadowlands, AND a discussion with a veteran groundskeeper about how the US generally lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to natural grass innovations but that MLS does an impressive job. There’s also an article in which Jurgen Klinsmann talks about turf but I’ll stick that in the US section below.

An editorial at the Queens Chronicle on the reported deal in the works that would see Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan fund a 20th MLS franchise and new stadium on park land in Queens says, “This is a plan that absolutely must be stopped.”

An editorial at the Queens Tribune says, “We should not take this indignity lying down. We should unite with one voice to speak out against these crimes against our communities.”

NWSL

US Soccer has admitted that Abby Wambach did suffer a concussion on April 20 in the league match between Western New York Flash and Washington Spirit. US Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe said, “This is a situation that wasn’t handled as we should have handled it. We admit that. We’re going to refocus to make sure referees, players, coaches, everyone has a better grasp going forward of how to handle concussions.”

US

Jurgen Klinsmann says Stuart Holden will be with the USMNT for the May-June training camp and the Gold Cup. Why Holden is an unquestioned addition to the USMNT while Landon Donovan has to earn his way back is not discussed.

Klinsmann also says that playing a Gold Cup match on turf is no problem but when it comes to World Cup qualifiers, the game should be on natural grass. That said, if the qualifier against Costa Rica in September must be played on Saprissa Stadium’s artificial surface, the team can adjust.

At Grantland, Noah Davis looks at how the US development system is doing in creating the next Landon Donovan.

USsoccer.com has a Q&A with USWNT coach Tom Sermanni.

Elsewhere

This year’s Europa League final will feature Chelsea vs. Benfica. On Thursday, Chelsea defeated Basel 3-1 to advance 5-2 on aggregate. Benfica defeated Fenebahce 3-1 to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Did you know that in 2004, Bayern Munich gave a financially struggling Dormund a €2m loan?

Miami could be England’s pre-tournament base ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A referee in Utah has been in a coma since Saturday after he being punched by a 17-year-old player.

The AP reports, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter has urged Asian football to push for more World Cup entries at the expense of Europe and South America, promoting an issue which could help his own re-election prospects.”

Also from The AP, “FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says Qatar can stage the 2022 World Cup in eight stadiums, despite the 12-venue plan required when bidding.”

 

6 Comments

  1. What a joke.
    “Our schedule is so crowed; we can’t possible fit in another competition for all our best teams to lose in!”
    Suck it up, and find a way. We need our teams to get better, and our players to get better. No more walking on eggshells. If its that big a deal, then expand the roster a few more spots. Is that so hard?
    I understand he is looking at it financially, and it really helped the last 15 years. But the league has a firm footing and now is time to take off into the realm of actually worrying about fielding a competitive league, nothing just something that looks good to accounting.

    • George H says:

      I would agree with you if MLS sides were winning the CONCACAF Champions League, but until that starts happening on a regular basis, it makes no sense to play in Copa Lib. The travel schedule would be brutal for MLS squads to play in South America in additional to the other demands.

    • If offered, MLS should jump at the opportunity to join the Copa Libertadores. We could treat Libertadores like Champions League and the Concacaf CL like Europa League. That would allow more MLS teams to participate in international tournaments, instead of the same 4-5 squads every year, without overcrowding the fixture list.

      For instance, if we had 2 Libertadores spots, we could shift the Supporters Shield and US Open Cup winners to that tournament. The SS and Open Cup runners-up could take their place in the CCL. For repeats and Canadian teams (who get their own CCL spot), simply move down the SS standings.

      The biggest problem for MLS is that their offseason coincides with the Copa Libertadores Group Stage. Our players need some time for offseason.

  2. Great One says:

    Hackworth is a joke. Kleberson has played in the WORLD CUP, for one of the best teams in the world. You’re telling me he couldn’t possibly play a whole game in the MLS? Joke. Just tell the truth and people would respect you more.

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