Daily news roundups

Soumare looks set to start, rotation and depth, Ansboro on stepping down, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth said at Wednesday’s weekly press conference of Jeff Parke’s hamstring strain, “It will probably be a much quicker recovery, though he is unlikely to be available on Saturday. Our medical staff is working hard with him to get him back as quickly as possible, but it’s not worth one game. I think we’ll be a little bit conservative, but the good news is it’s not as bad as we first thought.”

In other words, Bakary Soumare is likely to start on Saturday.

Hackworth said, “I think we’re pretty fortunate to have Baky here and in good form. He has trained hard every single day. We don’t have a question on his fitness or anything like that. It will be an adjustment because he hasn’t played game minutes, but we have pretty strenuous training sessions and he’s working awfully hard on his own.”

Soumare said, “If I’m called upon, I’ll be ready. Just like I was ready the week before. Just like I’ve been ready. The thing with Hack, it’s always been that we’re trying to trade you but you’re still a part of this team and if we need you we’re going to call on you so be ready. And this is what’s happening now.”

Soumare appreciates that his season debut could happen against his former club.

It could have been 18 other teams. This is so ironic. But I love it. It’s great. It’s part of the sport where things can happen and it works out. I love Chicago. It’s my home. It’s a club I played for and had a lot of success. I have very close friends on that team. It’s going to be fun more than anything. I’m just looking forward to being back on the field and having fun. I really miss playing.

So, with Soumare looking likely to start on Saturday, what now with the trade talk? John Hackworth said, “It changes a little bit because we’re certainly not going to trade him now that we need him. Baky has an opportunity with us and I hope he makes the most of it. It certainly puts any talk of him being traded on the backburner for the foreseeable future. And you never know what’s going to happen out of that.”

Soumare told PSP, “At the end of the day, lets all be honest with each other: I’m just filling in because we are missing a bunch of guys…Does it put a trade in the back burner, that’s a huge question mark. At this point I just want to enjoy doing something I have not been able to do in months which is play in a real game.”

In the event, Amobi Okugo isn’t too concerned about who his partner will be on Saturday. “It’s going to be different,” he says, “but we have the whole week to prepare. We’re going to have to fly on all cylinders, and hopefully we can get the result on the road.”

The lineup juggling with the defense speaks to the question of squad rotation given that, beginning with Chicago, the Union will be playing three games in eight days. Hackworth said, “We feel like we have good depth and we are ready to do that.”

Hackworth explained, “We have to manage our roster, there’s going to be multiple guys that get an opportunity that haven’t been playing a lot or haven’t been in a starting role…Any time a player, who works so hard every day in training, has a chance to now represent himself in a different role, it’s fantastic. A lot of things in my experience can change once these players get these chances.”

Depth and opportunity underscore Brian Carroll’s thoughts. The Union captain said,

We’ve seen a lot of growth from some of our younger guys. They’ve really stepped up this year, and we’re going to continue to need them to step up and be a more integral part of our team moving forward. It’s such a long season in this league and you have to stay sharp and consistent. You’re going to have good days and bad days. If you work hard and stay consistent, you can get points on days when maybe you’re not at your best. I think this club has a great deal of talent and the will to win. We just have to clean up a few things during certain parts of the games. If we do that, we’ll be fine.

Hackworth had this to say about Roger Torres: “It’s probably frustrating for Roger to not have had an opportunity earlier in the season. Roger’s another young guy that we have a lot of faith in, and hopefully there’s going to be a chance for Roger to get on the field and shine, but the reality is right now that Roger is probably a little farther down in the depth chart than he has been, and he needs to play his way out of that.”

The question of depth looms large for the Union as the Gold Cup draws near. For example, at MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle projects Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, and Jack McInerney as being on the 23-player USMNT roster for the July tournament.

Danny Cruz comes in at No. 16 in the Castrol Weekly Top 20. The top five Union players in the Full Castrol Index are Jack McInerney (No. 2), Conor Casey (No. 30), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 51), Amobi Okugo (No. 62), and Danny Cruz (No. 66).

Cruz has been named to the SBI Best XI for Week Ten.

Union Dues previews Saturday’s game.

Arlo White, who will be calling Saturday’s game, previews the game on the Chicago Fire All-In podcast.

Matt Ansboro, who will be stepping down as president of the Sons of Ben at the end of the season, talks about his time with the supporters group. As of this writing, he’s driving to Dallas to start a new job and all of us at PSP wish him safe travels and the best of luck.


Shorenewstoday.com previews Tuesday’s US Open Cup match between Ocean City Nor’easters and New York Red Bulls U-23s but doesn’t appear to understand that the U-23s are not the same New York Red Bulls team that plays in MLS. Nice that they wrote up the game though.

You can preview our preview of Reading United’s 2013 season, which will be posted later today, with this preview, which, like our preview, happens to be written by Coach Sean Doyle, who also happens to be awesome. Reading begin the season at home against Westchester Flames on Saturday at 7pm.

Reading United have a new fight song courtesy of the inimitable Jeff Mitchell,  along with Dee Miller, Derek Gallagher, and Marisa Salazar, otherwise known as The Hot Box Hooligans.

Area academy programs are well represented in the U-14 girls national team camp in Portland, May 12-19. Called up are Kaitlin Higgins (D, FC Lehigh Valley United; Andreas, Pa.) Michelle Giamportone (M, PDA O’Reilly; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) Sydney Zandi (M, Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.) Rachael Dorwart (F, PA Classics; Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Frankie Tagliaferri (F, PDA Arsenal; Colts Neck, N.J.)


Five of the six midweek games that were played on Wednesday evening had implications for the Union’s standings in the Eastern Conference and, all in all, things turned out fairly well. New York defeated fourth place Montreal 2-1. Second place Houston crushed last place DC 4-0 on the road and is level on points with New York with two games in hand. Fourth place Kansas City lost 1-0 at home to Seattle. More to the point for the sixth place Union, seventh place New England remains three points behind after losing 2-1 at home to Real Salt Lake. Toronto remains in ninth place and five points behind the Union after losing 2-1 at San Jose.

Ben Olsen said after DC’s loss, “Is my job on the line? It better be. I’m the leader of this team. But I have faith in what I’m doing and I’ll continue to go about my work.” DC have given up 17 goals while scoring only four over nine games.

Toronto have secured Israeli international defender Tal Ben Haim on loan from QPR.

MLS Live will be available for free this weekend.

That report on ESPN Deportes that the league was preparing to step in and take over Chivas USA? Not true.


On Wednesday evening, Sky Blue scored in the 88th minute only for Chicago Red Stars to tally in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw.


The US dropped one spot to No. 29 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico dropped two spots to No. 16.

The US opened play in the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship with a 5-3 win over Guatemala.

Jurgen Klinsmann believes the Bundesliga is firmly establishing itself as one of the top three leagues in Europe along with England and Spain.

Here’s an interesting article from Cuba on the possibility of Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso, who defected to the US while with the Cuban national team at the 2007 Gold Cup, playing for the USMNT.

Megan Rapinoe talks with Leander Schaerlaeckens about how differing perceptions of male and female athletes makes it difficult for male athletes who are gay to come out.

USWNT legend Kristine Lily has published an e-Book.

The AP reports that the 17-year-old goalkeeper who punched a ref in Utah has been charged with homicide by assault, “a count issued when an attack unintentionally causes death.” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill wants the 17-year-old tried as an adult. The referee, Ricardo Portillo, slipped into a coma soon after the punch and died a week later.


The Guardian reports, “Everton have confirmed that David Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season after 11 years as manager, with the Scot expected to be announced as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United.”

UPDATE: Manchester United confirmed Moyes is the club’s new manager on a six-year deal.

Ferguson has a flat in New York and is fascinated by US history? I did not know that.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid in the club’s 6-2 destruction of Malaga on Wednesday. Those 200 goals have been scored in 197 matches, a strike rate of a goal every 84 minutes.

EA Sports and FIFA have signed a licensing agreement that will keep the FIFA video game franchise with EA Sports through 2022. FIFA 14 is due to be released in October.



  1. Now there are rumors about us getting Califf as “depth.” Nothing would piss me off more. Love, the guy, but please it wouldn’t sit well with me that we try so hard to ship off a former and potential all star CB in his prime while celebrating the capture of an aged, decrepit PR piece as a backup.
    I was against the LT move when it happened and this would just be LT part 2.
    I’m also going to list my dream lineup here cause if I see it in writing I’ll feel better about this team for like 3 seconds;
    Williams – Parke – Somare – Gaddis
    Marfan – Okugo – Klen – Garfan
    Jack – Casey

    • Wouldn’t surprise me if the Union did make a move to re-acquire Califf. Califf’s desire to (eventually) return to Philadelphia are well known; Hackworth went public early on saying he felt getting rid of Califf was a huge mistake. Now that TFC has five – count them, FIVE – CBs on their roster, where does Califf sit in the pecking order?

      • Great One says:

        Personally, I love Danny, but I don’t see the point in getting rid of a younger player for an old one. Simply bc he won’t mind sitting on the bench? His salary is lower yes, but it’s not small by any means. If we have to get rid of Soumare, it needs to be for a real left back.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Danny Califf was nice while we had him but reacquiring, at the expense of Soumare, is not building a stronger club. It makes no sense to try to re-roster the 2011 Philadelphia Union. Although I would love to get Mapp back.

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      Well, look at it another way. 1) Califf was a pillar of a very, very good defense; 2) Califf was not only a fan favorite, but a leader in the lockeroom; 3) Soumare has yet to show that he’s a better CB than Okugo or Parke or even Califf.
      Now, I realize many of these things could be overcome by events, but I could think of a much, much worse trade. It will be interesting to see how Baky plays but his outing last season was … subpar to say the least.
      Not saying this is the best idea, but there are definitely worse ideas. It would probably be in the form of some kind of player-asst coach arrangement that Hack talked about some months ago.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Sir Alex has a flat in New York? Is there any truth to the rumour that he will take over for Hackworth? 🙂

    • Words can not express how furious even thinking about this makes me

    • If you listen to the Sirius/XM’s Football Show from 7-9am you would have known for a long time that Sir Alex has a flat there. He and Charlie Stillitano are best friends and Sir Alex has on been on the show multiple times. Would not surprise me if he starts to host it during his stays in NYC. Actually, Stan Collymore was on this morning which was ace! Great discussion about Aston Villa and Petrov.

  3. The Black Hand says:

    These next few matches will be a good example of Hackworth’s ability as manager. With the number of matches coming up, in the next couple of weeks, we will (I hope) see a variance in the starting XI. Casey will need to sit, at least, one match. Mac should probably come off the bench, if needed, for one as well. I imagine that we will not see Parke for at least two matches. Carroll should probably be rested for a match,or 25…just kidding…no I’m not.
    It will be interesting to see how Hackworth handles this time, in which he is not able to pitch his regulars. He has to get it right because our schedule is about to be loaded with strong clubs. We have had a very soft schedule but that changes after Chicago.

    • Great One says:

      You’re definitely right here. With 3 matches in a week, some of the guys will have to sit, and beneficially so.
      Casey will almost certainly sit one game, and Letoux will probably start. I don’t see JacMac sitting however. Same with Carroll; even though he is older and could use the rest bc of how much he runs, Hackworth won’t sit him bc then someone else may shine there, and he can’t risk that.
      I’d love to see Soumare start 2/3 games and Torres HAS TO gets at least 45-60 mins total in 3 games right? please? I’d actually love to see a starting pairing of Wheeler and Letoux if they’re going to sit our forwards. These are the types of situations where Hackworth MUST get the guys on the bench some playing time, otherwise they never will, and no one will know what we have.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I think Mac should sit, or risk burning out later. Totally agree about #7.
        Would rather Hoppenot start, using Wheeler as a sub.
        We will see quite a bit of Seba, I think.

      • Great One says:

        I’d rather see Hoppenot than Letoux, no doubt about it. I’m just conceding that won’t happen. I’d like to see Wheeler paired with one of them bc it will offer the bigger player, better holdup presence. Rather than have 2 guys just trying to run behind. (3 if you count our 3rd forward Cruz)

      • It would also be interesting to see a combination of Wheeler and Mac one game. With Casey and Hoppenot playing the other. This would allow the team to play the same style with one of our starting forwards on the field at all times.

  4. Great One says:

    The Torres comment made by Hackworth got me thinking. Of the 9 legitimate Midfielders listed on the Union website, how would you rank them? I know they’re not the same position, but I think it would be a fun exercise (funny fact, the Union site lists Okugo as a M, not even D/M. Seems everyone knows it but Hackworth)
    1. Marfan 2. Okugo 3. Kleberson
    4. Garfan 5. Torres 6. Carroll
    7. Cruz 8. Daniel 9. Lahoud

    • This is highly speculative. Marfan has really looked very good in the last couple of games, but for a whole bunch before that looked lousy. Hopefully the real Marfan is back to stay, but it’s too early to say that yet.

      We haven’t seen Okugo at D-Mid since like, 2011? I have no idea how good he would be there at this point, and I think the people who clamor for him instead of Carroll should recognize that this is a big question mark (not WRONG — but very uncertain).

      Kleberson looked terrific in his first 10 minute sub stint, and frankly terrible in his next. One of those was presumably a fluke — I hope it’s the latter. But again, too soon to know.

      Torres looked terrific in pre-season, but we have essentially not seen him in real competition. Maybe he doesn’t look so good in practice?? Who knows?? But again, totally speculative.

      Maybe if some different guys get minutes in the next 8-game span, we’ll have an idea of how to rank them better.

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