Daily news roundups

Jack Mac call-up today, challenges as Union ready for Dallas & road swing, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Happy birthday PPL Park!

Philadelphia Union

The only thing missing from Jack McInerney’s call-up to the USMNT for the Gold Cup is the official announcement, which will happen today around 11am. McInerney will be available for Saturday’s home game against Dallas before reporting to the US camp on July 1.

More on the expected McInerney call-up from The Inquirer and South Jersey Times.

Keon Daniel, who has already been called-up by Trinidad & Tobago, will not be available for Saturday’s game. Daniel said, “I’m always happy to play for my country. I think it’s an honor for every player. We haven’t been in a tournament for a while and I think the whole team is eager to play in a tournament like this—a major tournament…It will be sad for me to miss [MLS] games because I love being here to help my teammates. But life goes on and that’s why we are a team and not one player.”

John Hackworth described Daniel as having “his most consistent year as a professional at the highest level,” and said of the effect his call-up will have on the Union, “We’re going to miss (Daniel), but I think the most logical player (to replace him) would be Michael Farfan,. I think it’s an opportunity for Farfan to come back to a more natural position for him.”

Hackworth also said that Leo Fernandes and Roger Torres are central midfield options.

Turning to Saturday’s game against Dallas (5:30pm, NBCSN)—the start of a four game stretch that Hackworth said the team has talked about as “being pivotal to our success all year long”— there are a number of concerns.

Speaking at Wednesday’s weekly press conference (click here to watch video of the press conference), Hackworth noted that it important that the team put the euphoria over beating New York for the first time in two years behind them. “It is a challenge, there’s no question. We need to try to do a really good job of staying focused and not still thinking about New York. So far this week, I think the team has responded very positively. From what our staff can tell and in the conversations we’re having in our training, we’re fully focused on Dallas.”

In addition to Daniel being away on international duty, the Union midfield has been thinned by injuries:

  • Danny Cruz continues to recover from the challenge that saw New York’s Lloyd Sam receive a straight red card. Hackworth said, “He’s been evaluated and had an MRI. While he doesn’t have a fracture, he can’t train right now,” adding, “We’re not counting (Cruz) out yet. If I know Danny well, he’s going to do everything he can to put himself in a position to be back on the field for Saturday.”
  • Kleberson’s recovery from a thigh injury has not gone as hoped. “Kleberson is not at the same place that he was last week, and that’s a negative,” Hackworth said. “You would think that he would be progressively getting better, but that’s coming along a lot slower.
  • Michael Lahoud continues to recover from a sports hernia.

Hackworth said if Cruz is unable to play on Saturday, “We have guys who are ready. A lot of those guys give you similar things to what Danny does.” Mentioned were Antoine Hoppenot, Leo Fernandes, and Don Anding.

Saturday’s game is the beginning of a three games in a week that includes road games against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday and Houston the following Saturday. Hackworth said, “I think we’ll be smart because we have to be. Anytime you’re faced with the selection challenges that we are going into Dallas and then knowing on the back side that we’re going to have to really tough road games, I think we have to play really smart. We have to know that this stretch of three games is going to be very difficult to get through and how we manage our roster at the time being and down a few members is going to be important.”

Hoppenot said, “We look at these next three games as being the most important of the season. Even at the beginning of the season, we knew this was going to be the deciding point of our season.”

Look for PSP’s Union v Dallas quick reference for stats and highlights from past games between the two teams later this morning. In the meanwhile, the Union website has a series history and Union Dues has a preview.

Conor Casey has been named to the FIFA 13 Team of the Week.

Local

Reading United defeated Westchester Flames 4-1 on the road on Wednesday night. Mario Pinto had a brace, Jason Plumhoff had a goal and an assist, and Damian Lowe also scored a goal. The win puts Reading back in first place with 20 points in the Mid Atlantic Division, where they are the only undefeated team. On Sunday, they host second place Jersey Express (18 points).

At The Patriot-Times, Michael Bullock looks at Sainey Touray’s impressive season for Harrisburg City Islanders.

In U-15/16 group play at the US Development Academy playoffs in Frisco, Texas, PDA defeated Crossfire Premier 2-1. FC Delco remains winless after losing 4-0 to FC Dallas. PA Classics are also winless after losing 2-1 to Houston Dynamo.

US Open Cup

It will be an all MLS US Open Cup semifinals. In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Chicago Fire pummeled USL Pro side Orlando City 5-1 at home while Real Salt Lake easily dispatched NASL club Carolina RailHawks, 3-0. DC United defeated New England Revolution 3-1 and Portland managed the on road win of the quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over Dallas.

The semifinals will take place on August 7 with Chicago hosting DC and Real Salt Lake hosting Portland.

MLS

BBC Sport has a good story on former Union forward Danny Mwanga gaining US citizenship. Remember when we all used to speculate about his USMNT prospects? Hopefully, that will again become a topic of discussion, even if he no longer plays for the Union.

Red Bulls midfielder Juninho had this to say about the quality of the soccer in the US:

In the United States, soccer is a bit different. My club’s technical quality is not fantastic. I thought that we were stronger. Right now, we are third [in the league]. We need to finish in the top four to make the playoffs. At the organizational level, it’s top notch. Physically, it’s impressive. Technically, It’s comparable to Ligue 2 in France.

ASN wonders who won the Mike Magee for Robbie Rogers trade. ProSoccerTalk seems certain they know they answer.

Brazilian Young Designated player Rafael and DC United “have mutually agreed to terminate his contract.”

Montreal captain Davy Arnaud, out since May 1 after suffering a concussion, played in a Reserve League game on Wednesday.

Orlando mayor Buddy Dwyer says the city could be awarded an MLS franchise as soon by the end of the summer.

More on Sacramento’s hopes to have an MLS franchise. Of interest is this quote: “[S]ources say MLS will cap at 24 teams.”

NWSL

Sky Blue FC moved into sole possession of first place with goals in the 85th and 92nd minute to draw 2-2 on the road with third place FC Kansas City. Last place Seattle Reign picked up their first win of the season with a come-from-behind 2-1 road victory over fifth place Boston Breakers.

ASN looks at a few players who have improved their USWNT prospects in the first half of the NWSL season. It’s a somewhat disappointing appraisal if you’re looking for new faces.

US

The US plays Ghana today in their final group game at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey (12:47pm: ESPNU, ESPN3, Univision Deportes). To give themselves the best hope of advancing, they need a win.

Head coach Tab Ramos said, “We knew coming into this World Cup that we were in a very difficult group. We wanted to make sure that we went into the third game with an opportunity to advance, and I think we’ve put ourselves in position to do that. We’re very happy where we are and now it comes down to one game.” The US lost 4-1 to Spain before drawing 1-1 with France in earlier group play.

For more on on the scenarios that would see the team advance, click here.

U-20 midfielder Will Trapp is profiled at the US Soccer website.

At the New York Times, Jozy Altidore blogs about how the month of June was for himself and the USMNT. “I think it’s safe to say—and obvious for those watching us—that we’ve really continued to develop a chemistry with one another and grown as a team with each match.”

Altidore will be available for a chat on ESPN SportsNation today at noon.

ESPN talks to Tim Howard about the competition he will face at Everton.

Elsewhere

Brazil defeated Uruguay 2-1 in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal. Spain faces Italy today (2:30pm, ESPN, ESPN3).

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters who tried to break through the 1-mile perimeter surrounding the site of Wednesday’s semifinal.

That news recently that Lionel Messi was under investigation for tax fraud in Spain? Apparently he just made a €10 million payment.

How many Americans do you know of who are playing professional soccer in Afghanistan?

 

9 Comments

  1. No Keon this week and MAYBE no Cruz?!?!?! Christmas comes early!

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    One piece of bad news for the USMNT. I just read that Steve Cherundolo reinjured his knee in practice this week and will require surgery tomorrow.

  3. So 4 midfielders out and Torres still won’t sniff the field?

    • My new new new theory is that when Hackworth said “Come into camp in shape” what he meant was “Grow 6 inches” and he is pissed that it never happened.

      • My theory is Torres F’d Mrs Hackworth. That’s the only reason I can think of for why Roger is behind 1 of the beer guys at PPL on Hackworth’s depth chart

  4. Great One says:

    Not to mention, and I’m a Keon hater but still, I don’t think even the biggest Keon fans would say this has been a “consistent” year from him.
    .
    Also, these other guys can do what Danny does? If so why aren’t they playing instead of him? He certainly spreads the field, but if these other guys do too then they have to have better touch from him.
    .
    Hack is just so maddening with the crap that he actually says. I think that’s half the reason people have such disdain for him. Don’t insult our intelligence.

    • I’d agree with Hack’s comment (for once actually). Keon has been consistent, other than one or two matches where he played relatively well(grading on the curve), he’s been awful in the other 10-12. Very model of consistency.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Looks like Ghana managed to embarass the U-20’s in additon to what they’ve done to the senior national team the last two world cups.

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