Daily news roundups

Fire previews, Union’s big “European-style” academy plans, Hack fined, Lloyd set for return, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Look for our preview of Saturday’s Union vs. Fire match (1:30pm, NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra) later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our quick reference for stats and highlights from the Union’s past battles with Chicago.

Previews from MLSsoccer.com, CSN Chicago, On The Fire, and Goal.com. Union Dues has a Chicago perspective on the game.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy predicts a draw.

Bakary Soumare says playing against his former club, where he still has many ties, “makes it special, not stressful.”

Gabriel Farfan is expected to start at left back with Raymon Gaddis sliding to right back to replace the suspended Sheanon Williams. Farfan says of the new backline, “I think we have a bit of everything. I think we have people that can attack. I think we have a big body in the back with Baky. We have composure on the ball. Everyone brings their little aspect to the table and I think it’s going to be a good combination.”

Injuries and suspensions aside, three games in eight days means opportunities for players who have not seen much playing time. Amobi Okugo says, “People are going to have to step up, myself included. These games coming up are really important for us.”

Jack McInerney says, “We have guys here who will step up when their name is called. I think it’s all in how you prepare and in this locker room, we all pull for each other.”

Chicago is feeling confident that their midfield can handle the Union without the suspended Jeff Larentowicz.

LA captain Robbie Keane is targeting Wednesday’s game between the Union and the Galaxy for his return from an ankle sprain.

At Delco Times, Chris Vito has a must-read article on the Union’s plans to open a “European-style” academy program by the fall. The program would include college prep courses along with two training sessions a day for up to 40 select athletes, grades eight through 12. The academy would be based at YSC Sports and “state of the Art” classrooms are already under construction at a nearby business park.

Nick Sakiewicz says in the article,

My dream someday is to field a starting XI from this region, with kids that grew up in this town. With 35,000 boys in this area between eight and 18, that’s very possible…

There are two things you need in developing young stars: time and patience. Time is something everybody has. Patience is something very few have. As a fan, it’s “I want to see it now. I want to see a trophy now.” That’s the hardest part of investing in this strategy, but we believe it’s the right strategy. We’re building this for the long haul, not the short-term. That’s how you build something sustainable that’s competitive each year.

Zac MacMath tells Marc Narducci that Jack McInerney is “like a gnat in front of the goal. He annoys defenders, has a lot of power on his shot, and gets in a good spot.”

McInerney doesn’t mind the comparison. “I am kind of in and out and will be there and all over you for a couple of minutes and then fade out. That could be a good description and I will take it as a compliment.”

ProSoccerTalk notes that, if you combine 2012 with 2013, McInerney is currently No. 9 on the goalscoring chart with 14 tallies.

Kerith Gabriel sheds some light on what the Union coaching staff sees in Danny Cruz. Rob Vartughian says, “Danny plays with an energy and urgency that make him very difficult to deal with. He plays every play at a sprint and that commitment makes teams uncomfortable.”

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner says he’s a big fan of John Hackworth but he could do without the complaining about officiating.

Speaking of complaining about officiating, John Hackworth’s comments earned him an undisclosed fine from the league’s Disciplinary Committee.

Speaking of the Disciplinary Committee, committee chairman Nelson Rodriguez explains that Eddie Johnson escaped retroactive sanction for kneeing Antoine Hoppenot because, “Though Johnson’s actions could be seen as some as being in a threatening manner, they lack excessive force, brutality and did not credibly endanger the safety of Hoppenot.”

From the new adidas Originals Collection.

From the new adidas Originals Collection.

Union Dues has a report from the pre-game chalk talk from last Saturday.

The Delco Times has an interesting article on the background of the 50/50 raffle the Union inaugurated last weekend.

Midweek games can put a cramp on the tailgating, what with people having to work before the game and all. The Union have made things easier for Wednesday’s game against LA with the first Party on the Plaza of the season. Between 5:30pm and 7:15pm, fans can enjoy food and drink specials at Toyota Plaza like $1 hot dogs, $2 water, iced tea, lemonade, and sodas, $3 burgers, and $4 draft beers.

Adidas has launched an “Originals” line of jerseys, described as “A brand with a distinctive old-school feel, adidas Originals is a collection of casual sports apparel and is adidas’ heritage line.”  What do you think of the Union version, now available for only $44.99?

Click here to vote for the River Cup in the AIGA Philadelphia’s 2013 PDA Peoples Choice Awards.

The new Five in Five show hosted by Heather Mitts made its debut on Thursday.

Local

Tonight’s Harrisburg vs. Antigua Barracuda game at Skyline Sports Complex at 7pm is also the first Craft Beer Night of the season at the City Islander’s home stadium. The featured brewer is Troegs.

At Penn Live.com, Michael Bullock talks to Greg Jordan, on loan to Harrisburg from the Union.

Don Anding is expected to return on loan to Harrisburg.

Don’t forget that Reading United kickoff the 2013 PDL season on Saturday night against Westchester Flames at Don Thomas Stadium at 7pm.

Tuesday’s US Open Cup match between Reading United and Lehigh Valley Sonics will be at Oley Valley High School, Oley, Pa.

MLS

If you watched the midweek games on Wednesday one lasting impression was that there sure were a lot of empty seats. Soccer America considers the cause for concern.

Vancouver’s Omar Salgado is undergoing further surgery on his right foot.

Is DC United owner Erick Thohir, who is also minority owner of the 76ers, looking to buy Inter Milan?

Here are some details from the meeting earlier this week between Chicago Fire and Robbie Rogers.

NWSL

Delran-native and USWNT superstar Carli Lloyd says she’s “ready to go” and could make her debut for Western New York Flash against FC Kansas City on Saturday. Lloyd has been recovering from a broken bone in her shoulder she received at the Algarve Cup in March.

US

Jozy Altidore scored the game-winning goal in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven in the final of the Dutch Cup on Thursday. Altidore said, “I’m just so happy to win something. I told the guys, it’s not everyday you get in this position. You never know—I may never get this chance again in my career. It’s been a tough season, with a lot of ups and downs, but it’s great to win a championship.”

The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that the USMNT will play Guatemala in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, on July 5 against Guatemala as a warmup for the Gold Cup.

Elsewhere

Ah, the majesty of the FA Cup (Saturday, 12pm: Fox, Fox Deportes, SiriusXM FC). Pity I’m gonna miss the second half to watch the Union.

ESPN and Fox Soccer will broadcast the upcoming friendlies in St. Louis and New York between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Deportivo la Coruna president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro says that final-day games in La Liga are fixed.

 

26 Comments

  1. Southside Johnny says:

    I can’t believe Rodriguez could look into the camera and utter that bullshit with a straight face. He needs to consider a political career. Johnson is a total punk.

    • I would also wonder whether Hoppenot is starting to get a reputation as an instigator/embellisher in these kinds of encounters. This is probably like the fifth incident with him the DC has had to review.

      • frankswild says:

        I don’t ever remember Hoppenot embellishing in any games when guys go after him. Especially in this situation where it is clear that Johnson is throwing a knee into his chest; Hoppenot can’t simulate anything to make that appear to be the case.

      • Yea he is getting a rep. you can only be in the middle of so many incidents before the refs and the league take notice.

      • I doubt it. I have not seen him embellish or simulate.

      • As a Union fan, I haven’t seen it either (though fans in Seattle, Montreal, KC and a few other places would beg to differ). But at some point someone in the league office is going to wonder why Everybody Hates Antoine.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He is a pest. He does the little things to get under opponents skin and try to gain a slight advantage. Being greatly undersized, he was forced to pick up a few tricks along the way.

      • Sorry, but I must disagree, again. Jeremy has already covered this issue in detail.
        https://phillysoccerpage.net/2012/10/10/raves-antoine-hoppenot/
        Haven’t you ever had to defend someone who is quicker than you? it’s so easy to foul, even if you don’t try. Getting fouled is not the same as instigating. Falling is not the same as diving. Frequent diving earns one a diver’s reputation. That’s not the case with AntHop.

      • I’m with you. My original post stems from wondering what the league thinks about him. He’s doing something that makes other players not just foul him, but want to kill him. Like Jeremy says in that article: ‘this is where I wish he was mic’ed up, just to hear what it is he says to opposing players that riles them so completely’. If the DC starts to get a Steve Avery vibe about Hoppenot, other people are going to get away with what Johnson got away it; that’s what worries me.

      • We may be out of hockey for the season but I believe that would be Shawn Avery

  2. “Danny plays with an energy and urgency that make him very difficult to deal with. He plays every play at a sprint and that commitment makes teams uncomfortable.”
    What is this, 2002!?!?!?
    That’s pretty much the exact opposite mindset we should be cultivating and promoting in our coaches.

  3. Love the Adidas shirt, though it might be the absence of “BIMBO” across the front that I find most appealing.

  4. It’s going to be awkward when our backline has the best game of the season for our defense and midfield.

    • I doubt that will be the case because Baky is so rusty. But it is very possible with Gaddis on this proper side and Garfan boming up the wings. All Baky has to do is play a solid smart game and we could have a shut out.

    • JediLos117 says:

      Its an interesting thought.
      .
      We are playing an offensively impotent Chicago Fire. They are averaging less than 1 goal scored per game (0.75). They have score more than one goal only once this year (3 against RBs in a 3-1 W). We average 1.55 goals against per game.
      .
      So if they score one goal only…our defense would have a better than average outing while allowing their offense to also top their average output.
      .
      We have only one shutout all year…clean sheet will equal our best defensive performance of year.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        The last three teams the Union played were all averaging less than 1 goal per game and all three scored 2 against the U.

  5. Love that the Union are setting up a full-time Academy program. As a season ticket holder since the club’s inception, I would rather the club invest in regional youth development instead of paying for a DP type player who could help in the short-term. I just hope the Union have the institutional fortitude to stick with this plan for the next 10 to 15 years, regardless of results at the senior level.

    • It’s a fascinating notion, but you must admit they’re up against long odds. Who would attend? What local parents would send their boys to such an academy? Imagine it’s a success and produces a truly quality youth squad…who’s the competition? FC Delco, Ukranians, PA Classics? because if it really is a success, it should be far, far better than all those teams. Regular flights to London then?

      • The competition part could definitely be a problem, but i don’t think you will have a problem finding parents who want to send their kids to this type of set up. It also depends on what costs are involved. I didn’t find anything in the article about if they want payment for the program, or if it will be free. That also will influence how well the set-up works.

    • I wonder where they are going with this. I suspect they are out to develop players and then sell them.
      But will they put that money back into the team with a core of veterans that teams need to win or just become a good enough to compete but not good enough to win moneyball team.

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