Daily news roundups

USA v Panama news, All-Star Ballot, Carroll & Williams on SI TOTW, more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

US

The attention of the US soccer community turns tonight to Seattle where the USMNT will host Panama in a World Cup qualifier (10pm: ESPN, UniMas).

Previews from PSP, US Soccer.com, SI, Soccer America, and ProSoccerTalk.

Did you know that the US has not lost a home qualifier since 2011, an unbeaten streak of 23 games? ESPN has a collection of USMNT stats and facts ahead of tonight’s game. Soccer America underscores why road success is nothing without home wins.

Herculez Gomez, recovering from a knee injury, has been released from the USMNT camp and joins Danny Williams (also released), Graham Zusi (suspended), and Jermaine Jones (recovering from concussion symptoms) as unavailable for tonight’s game.

ProSoccerTalk says that, without Jermaine Jones, the US central midfield doesn’t have much depth and that Michael Bradley’s role becomes even more important. More midfield discussion Goal.com and SBI.

Aside from roster concerns, much of the attention in the press is focused on two concerns: Is is a disappointment that “only” some 38,000 tickets have been sold for the game (so far), given that 55,000 were sold for last weekend’s game between Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps; Just how terrible is the natural grass surface that was laid on top of the artificial surface that otherwise covers CenturyLink Field?

When Seattle was announced as the location for tonight’s qualifier, some fans predicted that the 42,000 cap on tickets sales was too low and that demand would easily outpace the supply of tickets (the Seattle Mariners are playing at the same time as the USMNT and capacity was set to minimize logistical concerns). Ticket prices may have scared off some fans—the cheapest seats are set at $50—but other factors are also probably at play. As Soccer America notes, thousands of fans can more easily travel by car to qualifiers in multiple cities on the East Coast whereas air travel (and so, a hotel stay) will be a factor for many fans traveling to Seattle.

A commentary piece from Q13Fox.com points to another issue: the tremendous attendance that the Sounders enjoy is likely made up of large numbers of casual fans who are as interested in being part of the “unique community” that makes up the Sounders’ game day experience as they are in the fortunes of their team or soccer more generally. As such, these fans may not have the same emotional connection to the USMNT as they do to their local team.

More on the topic from ESPN.

At the Seattle Times, Joshua Meyers addresses both issues. Needless to say, the players find the temporary surface to be less than ideal, with Michael Bradley saying—wait for it—”It’s not ideal, it’s not ideal,” and Terrence Boyd saying, “When you run fast, when you stop, it’s like the whole grass is moving. It’s just different.”

Michael Bradley explained what would be ideal. “When you talk about playing home games in World Cup qualifying, especially for us, you’d like to be playing on a field where it’s cut real short and you’re able to get some water on the field before the game and that creates just a fast, wet surface that is conducive to how we want to play. Look, clearly there are a lot of things that go into making these decisions. Seattle certainly deserves a game, but I think the field unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired.”

Reports indicate that the temporary surface, which was laid down in the middle of last week, already shows signs of wear from the Sounders game over the weekend. Clint Dempsey said, “The field’s good. I’d rather play on real grass over turf than on turf. The ball rolls good. The only thing that you might notice when [the ball] bounces, it doesn’t bounce as much.”

More from USA Today, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Fox Soccer, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, and The Bellingham Herald.

Chevrolet has signed a sponsorship deal with US Soccer.

Philadelphia Union

The All-Star ballot is now open for voting. Six Union players are on the ballot: Zac MacMath, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Sebastien Le Toux, and Jack McInerney.

Speaking of voting, Conor Casey is up for MLS Goal of the Week.

Three Union players made the All-Star Game regional Best Xi’s lists at MLSsoccer.com. McInerney is on the All-American Best XI, Le Toux on the All-European XI, Conor Casey on the Bald XI.

McInerney makes Avi Creditor’s All-Star list at Goal.com (partnered along with Marco Di Vaio and Robbie Keane). Amobi Okugo just misses the cut.

Brian Carroll and Sheanon Williams were named to SI’s Team of the Week.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 12. At SI, it’s a one spot move up to No. 11.

For those Fantasy Football fans out there, Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Brian Carroll, and Sebastien Le Toux are all on MLSsoccer.com’s “Dream Team” for week 15.

At KYW Newsradio, Matt Leon talks to Chris Konopka.

Empire of Soccer reported on Monday that the New York Cosmos have secured a broadcast deal with One World Sports, a network that you may know as the early morning broadcaster of J-League, K-League, and Asian Football Confederation World Cup qualifiers from PSP’s weekly Footy on the Telly listings. Big deal, right? Well, the report says that JP Dellacamera will be the play-by-play man for the telecasts. Dellacamera tells Jonathan Tannenwald that his first responsibility is to the Union.

The Union Foundation has donated $25,000 to Widener so that the university can continue to run the Soccer for Success program in Chester.

Local

Junior Lone Star defeated BuxMont Torch 4-1 on Sunday to move into second place in the NPSL’s Northeast-Keystone Conference. Now on a three-game unbeaten streak, The Stars defeated Morris County Colonials 5-0 on Saturday.

Kevin Kinkead has an article on local soccer apparel company Live Breathe Football.

And this is great to see:

MLS

PrSoccerTalk’s take on the All-Star Ballot begins, “Something has gone very, very wrong in the universe when D.C. United’s Lionard Pajoy is on the official MLS All-Star Ballot…”

While Graham Zusi is serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation and is unavailable for tonight’s World Cup qualifier, Kansas City coach Peter Vermes has no plans to use him in Sporting’s US Open Cup match against Orlando City on Wednesday. Vermes explained, “Sure, it goes through your mind. But you’ve also got to take into consideration that he’s got to get on a plane. He’s got to fly here. Then he’s got to train a couple of days. Then he’s got to fly back. That’s just putting so many more miles on a guy who’s already got a lot of miles. As much as I’d like to have him here, I’ve just got to be really intelligent about it.”

Alain Rochat, the left back who was traded last week by Vancouver to DC and whose wife happens to be pregnant, has made his thoughts very clear on the transfer process in MLS. “If you ask my opinion, I’d say it’s terrible. This trade thing could be OK in the offseason. You can sit down and talk to the guys. ‘OK, it will be better for you to be traded.’ You know, like something human instead of, ‘OK, we don’t need you anymore.'”

Brett Lashbrook, the former assistant to Don Garber who was recently hired by Orlando City, says his sole focus is on getting the club into MLS.

NWSL

ProSoccerTalk recaps the weekend’s games.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “Fenerbahce faces a second expulsion from the Champions League within three seasons after the Turkish giant and five of its club officials were charged by UEFA in a long-running match-fixing case.”

5 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Ed, I think you mean that the USMNT hasn’t lost a home qualifier since 2001. Not losing one since 2011 isn’t all that impressive 🙂

  2. I understand Rochat not being happy to be traded, but to act like this wouldn’t have happened other places in the world is misguided. Both transfer windows fall during some leagues season no matter where you play.

  3. Earl Reed says:

    How did Sheanon Williams’ tally not get into the mix for Goal of the Week?

  4. No link or comment about the rumor that Keita cut off talks with the Union because of how unprofessional the front office was being?

  5. sieve!!!!!! says:

    Union dues is a rumor site that needs to troll for web hits. Phila soccer will eventually get its skip bayless and/or howard eskin but I am in no hurry for that to happen.

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