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When a point is the point, more Mac love, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin writes, “After the game, Hackworth was not nearly as upset as some thought he might be. One reason for that is simply because picking up a point on the road is never a bad thing. Hackworth also noted that the Union were able to weather a big storm in the first half and pointed out that they showed a lot of resolve in fighting back from a one-goal deficit. But the manager must realize that when you go up a man against a struggling team, you have to win. You just have to.” Yep.

JP Dellacamera writes of the Toronto game, “In the overall analysis, yes, this is a team the Union should’ve beaten. However, on the day, the club has to consider their good fortunes by stealing a point in the depths of stoppage time.” Dellacamera points to the Union’s need to improve their home form, starting against Columbus on Wednesday.

On the Union website, Andy Jasner writes, “The Union could have left Toronto with nothing to show for. Instead, they rallied from deep within and got a coveted point. In the end, that’s what you strive for—points on the road.”

The Sports Network said of Saturday’s draw “Generally, a point on the road would be considered a good result, but if Philadelphia wants to make the postseason, the Union should beat teams that are below them in the table, especially when they could be losing their top offensive weapon later in the season.” It’s becoming an all-too-common observation.

There’s a fantastic picture taken from behind the goal of Jack McInerney’s stoppage time equalizer at MLSsoccer.com recently launched PSP’s photo essay from the game.

At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis writes of McInerney, “[Y]ou show me someone who thought ‘Jack Mac’ would have a league-leading 10 goals by early June, I will show you someone who needs to be on the next plane for Vegas, because they are in possession of an actual, working model crystal ball.”

At Goal.com, Keith Hickey notes Jack McInerney’s rise into the national team picture.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union drop one more spot to No. 13. At SI, the Union drop one spot to No. 12 and, noting “the team has earned only one point in games in which he has not scored in 2013,” wonders where the club would be without McInerney.

At Union Dues, Barry Evans writes that he can no longer stick up for John Hackworth.

The Sons of Ben have a great deal on tickets and transportation to next week’s US Open Cup game against DC United at Maryland SoccerPlex.


Union loanees in Harrisburg get some much deserved attention from MLSsoccer.com.

Ocean City Nor’easters have a preview of Wednesday’s opponent, Jersey Express.

Local soccer apparel company Live Breathe Futbol launch their 40 Years of Rebellion line today at 2:30pm. Union Dues has a report from last Friday’s pre-launch party.


New England’s Diego Fagundez has been named MLS Player of the Week.

Apparently the draw for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League did not go off without a hitch.


ProSoccerTalk reviews last weekend’s games.


After she was booed by the crowd in Toronto when she was subbed in to Sunday’s USWNT game against Canada, Sydney Leroux’s celebration after her stoppage time goal caused a stir. This was followed by her describing the abuse, some of it racial, she has received from Canada fans since committing to play for the US rather than for Canada, the country of her birth.

There was initially some confusion that Leroux was saying that racial slurs were directed at her on Saturday, but it was later clarified that was not the case.

ASN has a tactical analysis of the USMNT’s 4-3 win over Germany.

At Goal.com, Avi Creditor says the pieces are starting to line up for the USMNT.

At Play the Game.org, Roger Pielke, Jr. considers Sunil Gulati’s election to FIFA’s executive committee. “Gulati’s election to the inner circle of FIFA leadership is potentially very good news – for US soccer, for international football and for the governance of sports more generally…However, for those values of good governance to be realized in practice in an organization that has a very poor track record, Gulati is going to have to walk the talk. Will Gulati help to reform FIFA? Or will FIFA turn Gulati?”

US Soccer.com has a Q&A with former USMNT coach Bruce Arena.


Japan drew 1-1 with Australia today to become the first country other than host country Brazil to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Mourinho, Neymar—landing in their new homes.


  1. Great One says:

    I don’t even know what to say about Hackworth anymore. My only assumption as to why no one else plays is that the guys on the bench are just horrifically bad. Otherwise there’s no reaon why they haven’t even been given the chance. If that’s the case, then how are they still in the league?

    • I don’t know if that’s the case, but I think Hackworth put himself in this position. He – and perhaps the front office – was so eager put the Nowak era behind them that they dumped almost every player he was associated with, even players who were servicable. I agree that most of the players Nowak/Gutierrez got didn’t work out, but I feel like one or two at least could’ve provided depth to the bench at this point.

      • Great One says:

        I understand what you’re saying. My point was that: either the guys on the bench are pathetic, given that they don’t get any playing time even though the guys on the field has been awful (especially/mostly in midfield), OR Hackworth is really doing a bad job and not giving opportunities to people who deserve it. It has to be one or the other. Regardless he may have to go, given that (I think?) he is in charge of bringing players in.

    • The Black Hand says:

      He needs to go. This club needs a manager that can get the most out of what he has. Hackworth cannot do that.

      • We are currently in 5th place. With a loss we could drop to 7th place; however, with a win we could rise to 3rd place. Basically we are mid-table in the East and battling for a play-off spot. At the start of the year this is basically where I thought this team would be. I don’t love everything Hackworth has done but he did take over an absolute mess from Novak and had to clean up alot of his trades/signings/cap space issues. In regard to your point, maybe this is the best we can expect from this team. Maybe Hackworth IS actually getting the most out of this team. I don’t see any all-star type players on the bench. Next year we will shed alot of cap space (Kleberson, Soumare, Martinez deal, maybe Torres) and have four good draft picks (at least one of which in the Top 5). By this time next year we should be looking at a very different and better team (and if not – then start the fire Hack talk at that point). Basically I think he and his coaching staff need more time to re-build this team.

      • How long? Any draft pick will take 2 years to come along. So if you are hoping those draft picks will join the team and make an immediate impact, that isn’t likely to happen.

        But lets look at what we have now. A team with no identity, playing badly, with a group of young talented players who are regressing on the field. If we had an incredibly meh team that Hackworth was getting the most out of (like if the team was comprised of entirely Danny Cruz type players playing their very best) I could live with this team. What we have is a team that is not only sucking so much but sucking so much in the stupidest way possible. I mean look at Jeff Parke it seemed like the stupids finally caught up to him during the Toronto game.

        We are lucky to be where we are at now and our problems go beyond personnel, we aren’t using what we got effectively and that is why I have no faith in Hackworth.

      • Erik- your point is well taken about how tight the middle is but how likely is it that with the lack of rest we have had and the lack of willingness for hack to play anyone but our starting XI that we will ascend the table and not sink like a stone. No manager anywhere regardless of talent is immune to fatigue of his players. Man U, Man city, real madrid, barca, bayern. they all rotate. they all play the cards. The point of managing is to manage. hacks not doing this. you must pick “must win” games (ahem toronto) and ones you hope to tie but may lose (Portland) and ones that you could care less about (LA and perhaps OC nor’easters) and then pick lineups to give people rest and experience so when called upon they can play.
        Also its not any players fault if they are continually underperforming on the pitch, its the managers fault for playing them over and over again. No player cuts himself out of or writes himself into the XI. I like hack as a person, perhaps as a scout or player developement guy but manager. NO. managers must rally the troops, must inspire and unite. none, i repeat none of that is happening under the hack era. perfect example is dimatteo at chelsea. yeah he couldn’t cut it when push came to shove over the long haul but he could unite a team and win a champions league and i am not sure benitez was an upgrade. We need a rallying point and don’t have one.

    • I agree with Brian here that the Union FO were too eager to get away from the bad press that they threw away stuff that didn’t need to go.
      More on Black Hand’s point, Hack definitely is not getting the best out of his current squad. One of the reasons that MTL has been so successful is their squad rotation. Obviously, some of the players they have are of a bit higher quality, but MTL is full of fresh legs constantly because Schallibaum knows how important rotation is for both fatigue and morale.
      Hack needing to make the best with what he’s got isn’t even looking at the fact that he needs to do a much better job in the transfer market. The Gabe trade had an upside in terms of value we got for him, the Adu trade was good because it got Adu off the books for next year, but the Soumare trade was an epic fail on his part.
      I would like to see more activity from him on the market as well. With how poor the midfield is, there hasn’t really been enough signings or even rumors that he is actively looking as much as he should be.

      • George H says:

        Good points all. The hidden downside to our lack of squad rotation is the subtle message that it sends to each player.

        To the starters & core group – you’re very important and there is not really competition for your job. Unless you royally screw up or get injured, you’ll be on the pitch.

        To the squad players – you’re not good enough and even if the starter who is playing ahead of you is totally gassed and really fatigued, you still won’t see the pitch.

        I realize that this is an overly simplistic way to look at things (especially with the back four where there is virtually no depth), but the reality is that most players respond favorably to competition and we don’t have that with our current roster.

        Perhaps this is as much of a reflection on Vartughian as it is on Hackworth & Sakiewicz.

  2. Carroll, Cruz, Gaddis, Keon have no business being on the field. None.

    • I disagree:

      Carrol – “The captain”
      Cruz- “Philly Tuff”
      Gaddis- ” has pictures of someone doing something”
      Daniel-“C Dawgs favorite player!!!”

      LOL, had to get C-Dawg back for all the stat talk yesterday!

    • George H says:

      That’s a bit harsh, all of these guys are good enough to play in MLS in my opinion.

      Perhaps not good enough to start for a very good MLS team, but all of them would make the roster of every other team in the league. Unfortunately for us, all four are playing major minutes for the Union right now.

      • I agree regarding carroll cruz and daniel that they would make the 18 at most MLS clubs. To further it. If we had better talent at 1 or 2 of the positions these players play the other players wouldn’t stick out as much. They also make for decent depth at their respective positions.
        as far as ray is concerned I think with time he could become a starting left back for half the league as long as he has some protection in front of him. marfan/keon/cruz have not been giving him that most of the year.

  3. kingkowboys says:

    I think there are two fundamental issues at play with this team and roster. They tried to remove any memory of Nowak and his affiliated players. In doing so they’ve really put themselves in a bigger hole.

    The second issue is that Hackworth seems to have too strong of a connection with these sub/reserve now starting players. I think this stems from being an assistant and his experience with developing young players. He has not transitioned from that role to a professional manager. His personal relationships are preventing him from putting out the appropriate lineup. He basically can’t tell these guys they aren’t doing well enough and they are benched. I think this is why Soumare quickly asked for a trade. He saw the Hack was married to Okugo and Parke was brought here specifically to replace Valdes with no one stopping that transition. He saw the writing on the wall and wanted out while he could still put together a season with another team.

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