Daily news roundups

Vart says U is deep, Burke can’t lose, OC doesn’t blame the Union in USOC protest, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

The US Open Cup fourth round pairings have been announced. The winner of Philadelphia Union vs. Ocean City Nor’easters on Tuesday, May 28 will face the winner of Richmond Kickers vs. DC United on the road on Wednesday, June 12.

Before Tuesday’s US Open Cup match the Union will travel to face Montreal Impact in league play. Filling in for John Hackworth in Wednesday’s weekly Union press conference, assistant coach Rob Vartughian said, “Our focus right now is Montreal, that’s first and foremost. We need to go there and play well. Then we’ll see where we are after that game [about who can play on Tuesday] both from a fatigue standpoint and a body standpoint.”

The Open Cup game means that the Union are playing three games in a week once again. Vartughian said, “I think what we’ve shown over these last 10 days is we’re deep. We have players that have come in and contributed, and we’re happy with that.”

Vartughian said of the tactical decision to shift Danny Cruz to the left and put Michael Farfan on his preferred right against Chicago, “It speaks to some of the player’s versatility, and their ability to adjust in a game’s notice For us it worked, and we’re happy with it, and moving forward it’s something we can look back on. If you’re talking with those three guys, (Farfan, Keon Daniel, Kleberson), all those guys have quality. In moments like this where we have three games in eight days, situations of potential call-ups….we have options there.”

Vartughian said that the only player presently carrying an injury is Michael Lahoud.

Nick Sakiewicz is excited about the New York City FC announcement. “It’s great news. Obviously two ownership groups combining, the Yankees and Manchester City, it’s hard to find better owners to join the group…the best thing about it is for us, we now have another team to dislike in New York.”

Canadian soccer site Red Nation previews Saturday’s game against Montreal and predicts a 1-1 draw. Union Dues also has a preview and predicts a 2-1 Union win. Kevin Kinkead looks back at the Union’s history with Montreal.

Another power ranking? Why not? At SBI, the Union drop one spot to No. 10.

Union fans, would you take Eric Lichaj? He did play a bit of left back for Aston Villa this season.

Carlos Valdes’ Santa Fe is one step closer to the Copa Libertadores semifinals.

Local

The conclusion of David Weinberg’s report at the Press of Atlantic City on Ocean City Nor’easters protest gives a good indication of what the club sees as at stake. Weinberg notes that gate receipts are not shared with the visiting team in the tournament and that Ocean City would expand capacity at Carey Stadium—listed at 3,500 at Wikipedia—to 5,000 with tickets priced at $20. Nor’easter’s generak manager Neil Holloway says, “You’re talking about $100,000 that we would make from this game. That’s enough to set us up for the next three or four years.” Would or could, that’s a lot of money.

Holloway wants to make one thing clear about the protest: “I don’t blame the Philadelphia Union in any way shape or form.”

The Ocean City match report at TheCup.us also has some good information and quotes on why the Nor’easters have filed a protest with US Soccer to have Tuesday’s third round game against the Union played at home at Carey Stadium.

Union assistant coach Brendan Burke is also the head coach of PDL partner Reading United. Between the five Union academy players on Reading and the Union loanees at Harrisburg, Burke said of Tuesday night’s US Open Cup match between Reading and Harrisburg, “I couldn’t really lose.” Still, he’s very pleased with Reading’s win, their first over a professional side in Open Cup play. “It was a relief on my part personally, because we’ve been in that position a couple of times and probably should have won Open Cup games over the past few years. It’s kind of good to crack the second round and get into the third round and get an MLS opponent. For the boys, some of them being their first Open Cup, they were just ecstatic after the game.”

Reading have now scored 14 goals in four games without conceding a goal. That’s 360 shutout minutes. Burke said, “It’s a mentality. We’ve tried to make our training environment extremely intense, and that carries over into these matches. You saw Darius (Madison) chasing laterally 60 yards towards the end of that game. That’s hard work that doesn’t show up on the score sheet, but wins you games. When you’re defending from the front, like our forwards did, it’s difficult for teams to get any sort of rhythm.”

The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look at three U of Penn players—recent grad Jonny Dolezal and Stephen Baker on Reading United and Duke Lacroix on Ocean City—who have advanced to the third round of the US Open Cup after Tuesday night’s historic upsets. More from Penn’s men’s soccer website, as well as another report from The Patriot-News, TheCup.us, and this video report from CBS 21.

 For the City Islanders, the focus is now squarely on league play.

MLS

More on the New York City FC deal:

One consequence of Manchester City’s partnership with the Yankees is the possibility of a Yankees game at City’s Etihad Stadium.

Can MLS grow its TV audience? Forbes explores.

US

Megan Rapinoe’s Lyon faces Wolfsburg in today’s Women’s Champions League Final at Stamford Bridge (delayed broadcast on GolTV at 4:30pm). ASN looks at Rapinoe’s path to the final while The Guardian has a video preview.

Rapinoe could sign on with Lyon for another season.

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley examines why it is still too early to see what kind of impact the NWSL has had on Tom Sermanni’s USWNT roster selections.

US Soccer’s Centennial series continues with a look back at when Mia Hamm scored her 108th goal on May 22, 1998, thus setting a new world goal-scoring record for women’s soccer.

US Soccer.com looks at Clint Dempsey’s knack for big goals.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “Walter the orangutan at Dortmund zoo, a tapir in Leipzig zoo and a pair of otters in Aue favor Dortmund to beat Bayern at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Only Nelly the elephant in Hodenhagen demurred.”

From the Department of I Can’t Believe This Is Already The Rule, UEFA has announced that beginning in 2014-15, the Europa League winner will be awarded a spot in the Champions League.

Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert has criticized awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup, saying it “is not for the good of the game.” More from Soccer America.

2 Comments

  1. Good stuff that beginning in 2014-15, the Europa League winner will be awarded a spot in the Champions League.
    .
    Have seen Lichaj play and was not impressed.

  2. “…Lichaj struggled at times playing at left back, but looked more comfortable later in the year at his preferred right back position.”(-Soccer by Ives) Then what does he bring to us? Gaddis 2.0? A natural LB would be preferable, I think.

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