Daily news roundups

Hack on summer signings and Torres, Fabinho working toward start, hazing Jack, HCI drop another, more news

Philadelphia Union

Wednesday’s weekly press conference with John Hackworth contained several topics of interest.

Hackworth confirmed the Union are looking for help during the summer transfer window. “We do have an opportunity here. We’re actively trying to pursue a couple players. But we really have one spot available and it has to be the right player for our team, it has to be a player we’ve gone out and targeted and I can’t say much more than that. We hope we can make that announcement and acquire that player soon. If not, we’re not going to pick up another player just to add them to the roster.”

Hackworth said that Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz are back to training with the team and should be available for Friday’s game against Chivas. Kleberson has also returned to full training but is not at 100 percent. Michael Lahoud may need more time to recover from his sports hernia.

Hackworth discussed the possibility of Oka Nikolov and Fabinho playing on Friday. “I haven’t made that decision yet. As with anybody that we bring in, at two different positions, they’re battling with other players on the roster. We don’t really want to rush a guy, but at the same time if a guy is ready and if he’s done it in training and had the kind of games for him to prepare, we’ll give them a chance. For both of them, we’re happy where they are and haven’t made the final decision on anyone.”

Hackworth also addressed the lack of playing time Roger Torres is seeing. The Union coach said,”We like Roger, he’s here for a reason but he’s not playing for a reason as well.” Hackworth explained, “There are other guys who continue to stay ahead of him and there are guys who have risen above him. Roger understands that, but when he gets an opportunity like he did in Houston, he needs to make the most of it… He’s still a young guy we believe in. We want him to be successful here. But a lot of that has to do with Roger and what he does on and off the field.”

Also addressed was what Hackworth referred to as “the wall,” the stretch of games in July and August that, along with the steamy Philadelphia area weather, can prove to be challenging to young players. “You have the heat and humidity that are tough to deal with every single day, whether you’re training or playing. But you also have the length of the year. Rookies oftentimes, either it’s in July or August, have a hard time and hit that proverbial wall. We have to manage that…I think we have a lot of experience within our locker room that helps those young guys go through that. And a lot of our younger guys have gone through that…Hopefully we’ll manage that well. We’ve done a good job trying to recover and prepare when we have time like this week. Our expectation is that we’ll be able to manage that, but it’ll happen no matter what.”

Fabinho, who has been with the Union “for the better part of the last month,” said of his joining the club, “I’m very happy to be here. I’m working hard to help contribute. Coming from another country to here, it is really good competition and I just want to help the team…When I was in Australia, everyone there spoke very highly of MLS. One of the motivations that I had here was everyone speaking so highly of this league and Philadelphia specifically. Now that I’m here, I just want to put in some good work and help the team.”

The Brazilian left back added, “The guys that are playing right now are really good players and I’m not coming in looking to immediately be the guy. But day by day, I’ll work hard and show the coaching staff that I can contribute.”

Hackworth said the team knows that facing an improved  Chivas USA is “going to be difficult.” Michael Farfan said of the prospect of playing against his brother Gabriel, now with Chivas USA, “It’s like playing any other player. I’m not going to treat him any differently, I’m not going to let him past me, he’s not going to let me past him.”

Look for PSP’s quick reference and match preview for Friday’s game against Chivas USA. In the meanwhile, Kevin Kinkead looks back at the series history against the Goats and Kerith Gabriel recalls how a win over Chivas back in 2011 sparked a five-game unbeaten streak.

Sheanon Williams has been named to Goal.com’s midseason MLS Best XI.

Has Jack McInerney been subjected to any of the rookie hazing that is routine when a new player joins a team? USMNT captain DaMarcus Beasley said, “We haven’t done any rookie things yet, but I’m sure it will come as the tournament goes. He has to do something. But he’s been fitting in great. He’s a good player, a good kid, and he has a lot of talent.”

More from MLSsoccer.com and Atlantic Journal-Constitution on the quotes from Jurgen Klinsmann we linked to yesterday on Jack McInerney’s progress with the USMNT at the Gold Cup.

Hackworth said of McInerney, “And I’ve been texting with Jack. He seems like he’s just soaking the whole experience in. I would’ve loved to see him get on, but hopefully he’ll get a chance here in the next couple of games.”

Brotherly Game has a tactical analysis of the Union’s loss in Houston.

USA Today talks to former professional players from England’s top flight, Allan Cockram and Gary Blissett, who work “with the development team for the MLS’ Philadelphia Union” about their Soccer Sounds training program.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders dropped their second game in a row, and third loss in four games, losing 4-2 to Los Angeles Blues at home on Wednesday night. Harrisburg’s first goal was scored by Don Anding, with Cristhian Hernandez assisting.

Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher said, “We’re giving up too many goals. You can’t give up the amount of goals we’re giving up and expect to win games, no matter how good your offense.” Including June’s friendly with the Union, Harrisburg have now given up three or more goals for the fourth time in little more than a month.

With the loss, the City Islanders fall to third place in the USL PRO standings, three points behind Orlando City. Match reports from USL PRO, PennLive.com, and The Sentinel.

Shorenewstoday.com previews Sunday’s massive showdown between first in the Mid Atlantic Division Ocean City Nor’easters and third place Reading United. Seperated by only two points, a Reading road win would see them back on top of the division. Kick off at Carey Stadium is at 7 pm.

The Press of Atlantic City has a profile piece on Seamus O’Connor, the new coach of the Temple women’s team.

The Drexel women’s team has released its 2013 schedule.

Midfielder Christian Pulisic (PA Classics) has been named to the US Development Academy U-15/16 East Conference Starting XI.

MLS

Portland’s JEN-WELD Field will be the site of the 2014 All-Star Game.

Montreal Impact and MLS have filed an official complaint with Montreal police over death threats received via social media by Impact captain Davy Arnaud.

Chivas USA have been loaned 20-year-old Mexican forward Erick “Cubo” Torres by Chivas de Guadalajara.

Chicago Fire have signed Jamaican defender Shaun Francis. If that name rings a bell, it may be because he trialled with the Union before the start of this season.

Big D Soccer on MLS refereeing, which they describe as hard to fix, hard to watch. I would have gone with hard to watch, harder to fix.

NWSL

Sixth place Chicago Red Stars defeated last place Washington Spirit 2-0 on the road on Wednesday night.

US

Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, two players with the Belize national team, say that they were approached by a man who attempted to bribe them into throwing the Gold Cup group stage game against the US. Crikey, what would the scoreline been like if they had agreed?

The US has scored twelve goals in the last two games. ESPN’s Doug McIntyre explores.

ASN says Jozy Altidore could struggle at new club Sunderland.

Soccer America on the importance of Tab Ramos.

Elsewhere

At SI, Grant Wahl talks to CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb about a number of issues, including having a member country host the World Cup, addressing racism, reforming the confederation and improving its reputation, and why the Gold Cup is held every two years. Webb said of hosting the World Cup, “We have to do every single thing within our power to make sure [the World Cup] comes back to CONCACAF. Which country is the best-suited to host it from an infrastructure standpoint and from an economic standpoint to FIFA’s benefit? At the end of the day, it’s business, and it’s the United States. We need the U.S. [soccer] market to continue to grow.”

A federal prosecutor in Brazil has challenged the constitutionality of the so called “World Cup law,” legislation that FIFA says in needs in place to organize the global soccer tournament. According to a report from The AP, Roberto Gurgel says, “The exception given to FIFA, its subsidiaries, legal representatives, consultants and its employees manifestly violate” the taxpayers’ equal status under Brazilian law… “Legislators cannot favor a taxpayer in detriment to another, but may only identify situations in which there are differences which justify different treatment.”

The AP reports, “Lazio, Genoa, Lecce and eight players, including the Lazio captain Stefan Mauri, are to face charges related to match-fixing, the Italian football federation said on Wednesday.”

15 Comments

  1. So what are the odds we see MacMath get a breather tomorrow night?

    • Zero percent, I don’t think that Hack will sit Zac vs. Chivas.

    • 1:1,000,000

    • Slim to none, and slim just left.
      .
      Nikolov and Fabinho will be receiving, what I affectionately call, the “Kleberson Treatment”.

    • Slim. Since the Punch Game, he’s been punching balls better than I’ve ever seen. And playing fairly well too. Give him credit: He learns.

    • Yeah, but is it just me, or did he start learning after Nikolov got signed? I try not to be to hard on the kid, because that’s what he is. But it seems to me he has stepped up his game now that he had some competition.

  2. HAckworths comments about Torres make me want to punch him in the face. Is he really pulling that crap after we’ve seen how ineffective Lwo is? How limited Farfan and Cruz have been?
    Its insulting at this point.

    • Easy there, James. There will be no punching in the face around here. 😉

      (And yes, I know you don’t mean it literally, but I don’t want PSP to serve as a venue for irresponsible commenters to take stuff like this further.)

    • James: Did you go to the open practice? You would have seen right then and there why Torres is not in the lineup more often. The reasons are various. he needs to mature and channel the energy/focus on the correct targets.
      But he must like him to keep him around and not move him – that is what is baffling to me.

      • i haven’t seen torres in practice but i have seen him play actual games and he’s done that better than what we repeatedly trot out

  3. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    Yeah, I’m sure in the Australian A-League they talk breathlessly about the Union alllll the time.

  4. He’s so unlikeable in these pressers it’s ridiculous. Do you watch the film of these games?

    Player’s that can be cut and it would be an improvement: Cruz, Daniel, Carroll (Amobi should be playing in his spot and I’m 90% percent sure that it hasn’t happened due to the pre home game media where Carroll is featured like a star)and Lahoud.

    • thelonelyswineherd says:

      To be fair, we haven’t really seen Lahoud play at all this season, so I think judgment should be reserved on that for now. And even though I don’t like it, Cruz has been pretty important to our success this season.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Cruz may be ready to go, but he did not look 100% in Tuesday’s open practice. I saw him favoring one leg while taking a breather.

    Other notes from Tuesday’s practice: Casey was under the weather and had the night off. Hackworth said he already knew about 8 of the starters for Friday night with the others TBD based on injury recovery. Hack also told me that he had texted with Jack but had not actually spoken to him since he left for national team duty.

  6. Great One says:

    Hack is definitely better than Darth. But he really does not endear himself to anyone at these press conferences. The fans are not coaches, for sure, but we also aren’t blind.

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