Daily news roundups

Ready for Chivas, Farfan v Farfan, Big weekend for Reading and OC, more news

Photo: Nicolai Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Chivas USA may be last in the Western Conference but John Hackworth isn’t taking them lightly. “It’s a dangerous one (the game) because Chivas under the new coach, Coach Real, has done a fantastic job kind of restructuring that group…Their organization has improved dramatically. We know it’s going be difficult. It’s a different kind of situation facing a team vs the last four games we had.”

Hackworth explained, “They are clearly a much more defensive team, their line has dropped dramatically, they are keeping a lot of numbers behind the ball. They are being patient, they’re really keying off of being a team that’s really organizing, doing their individual jobs and trying to do it collectively as well.”

Hackworth continued, “It’s a challenge for us because we haven’t been as good against teams that have sat back. We’re a team that likes to attack from the start, but when you sit numbers behind the ball, it’s difficult to break down. It’s something we’ve been working on and hopefully we can break through Friday. The longer the game goes without a goal it’ll make it extremely difficult.”

Coming off of a tough stretch in which the Union dropped seven points, Hackworth said, “The test for us is to try and see if we can rebound from that in a positive way. It’s really important for us to get points in these upcoming games.”

It’s only natural that one of the storylines going into tonight’s game is the return of Gabriel Farfan; not only is he a tough yet technical player who has been missed at left back, he’s an all around good guy who easily interacted with fans with great humor. That his return means he will be playing against his twin brother only sweetens the story.

Garfan said of his return to PPL, “I have nothing but good feelings about my time with the Union. I am extremely excited to see my brother and all my good friends I have here, and obviously coming to PPL for another time will be completely different as a visitor…I absolutely loved the organization, the Philadelphia fans, and my teammates. There is not one bad feeling inside of me.”

He also said of his return, “It’s awesome. I’m really, really glad that I got the chance to have an away game here at PPL Park this season. I still get along with very many fans here so I’m sure I’ll hear some funny comments. But I know in the end—during the game we’re enemies, but afterward I’ll be able to go and give them hugs and move on.”

Garfan said this will be the first time he’s played against his brother Michael. “We did play against each other in the backyard growing up, but never in a game.”

So, what do the Farfans expect from that particular first? “We haven’t talked too much about it,” Garfan said. “I honestly don’t think we’ll run into each other too much on the field either—everyone’s hyping up some crazy brawl or something like that.”

Garfan explained, “I think it’s funny…Honestly, I think I will just see him as any other player. Obviously we both have to be professional. Off the field he’s my brother, but on the field he’s an enemy.”

Michael Farfan said, “I think it’s just like playing any other player. I’m not going to treat him any differently. I’m not going to let him pass me; he’s not going to let me pass him…I don’t think too much about it. We played together. I know his tendencies, he knows mine. But at the same time, I have friends on other teams that I can say the same thing about. I know their tendencies. I can understand how to play him and I know their tendencies. But I doubt that we’ll match up with each other on the field the whole time. I think we might run into each other on the field a couple times, but I don’t think too much about it.”

What does John Hackworth expect from the two brothers? “I’ve watched them scrap in training for a long time, and nobody goes at it harder than those two, so I expect the same. They’re both good pros. They’re going to put their family and personal issues aside and beat each other up a little bit Friday night. But I think it’ll be in a very sportsmanlike way where they’re really competing hard, and that’s what everybody wants to see.”

A return of another sort is another storyline before tonight’s game, namely the return of Carlos Bocanegra to MLS with Chivas USA. Acknowledging that Bocanegra makes the Goats “a lot better,” John Hackworth said, “He will bring instant leadership to that club and do a great job organizing the backline. My expectation is he will play and that just makes it harder for us to break them down.”

But will he play? Jonathan Tannenwald tweeted that Bocanegra had been unavailable for interviews on Thursday because he was “battling an illness.” Tannenwald said, “I would not expect him to play tomorrow.”

The LA Times has a brief story on what the loan of 20-year-old Mexican forward Erick Torres to Chivas USA could mean for the team. This bit will be of interest to Union fans: “Torres is with Chivas USA in Philadelphia, where the team will meet the Union on Friday. However, Torres will not be eligible to play until his international transfer certificate and P-1 Visa paperwork are completed.” Soccer America reports that Torres is eligible for selection.

Match previews from PSP, Union Dues, The 700 Level, CDChivasUSA.com, MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Don’t forget to check out PSP’s preview in our quick reference.

Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report.

JP Dellacamera says that the Union’s upcoming stretch of games “can define their season and their playoff push.”

SBI has released its midseason Best XIs. In the first team are Jack McInerney and Sheanon Williams. In the third team is Amobi Okugo.

With the news that Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio won the FIFA 13 ‘In the Game’ Challenge, it looks like the only way Jack McInerney will make the All-Star team is by a commissioner selection.

At the Union website, Howard Hutchinson reports, “Philadelphia Union Foundation recently donated an installment of $25,000 to Widener University to help fund the Soccer For Success program and continue operations throughout Chester schools.”

Local

It’s a two-game weekend for Ocean City Nor’easters and Reading United that will have a huge impact on how each team finishes divisional play in the PDL season. On Friday, first in the Mid Atlantic Division Ocean City (25 points) is on the road to F.A. Euro – New York Magic while third place Reading (23 points) host Long Island Rough Riders with a 7 pm kickoff. Then, on Sunday, Ocean City hosts Reading for what is sure to be a monster match. Kickoff is at 7 pm at Carey Stadium.

Previews of Sunday’s PDL derby from Ocean City, Reading and Rant Sports.

Reading will be without Steve Neuman, their captain who is back at Georgetown taking summer classes. Center back Damion Lowe will now wear the captain’s armband. Lowe said, “From the beginning I have leadership quality and I just hope to go out there and lead from the front. That’s just my character from when I was younger. It’s just natural for me to be a leader.”

Coach Brendan Burke is confident that Lowe can handle the job. “There’s no one better in our league when he’s on his game and he’s focused.”

At The Patriot-Times, Michael Bullock checks in with Harrisburg City Islanders, who will look to bounce back from a two-game losing streak when they host Richmond Kickers on Saturday.

The men’s teams of Drexel and Villanova have released their 2013 season schedules

MLS

New York have signed defender and former Uganda national team captain Ibrahim Sekagya.

Sporting Kansas City have loaned MLS 2011 Rookie of the Year CJ Sapong to Orlando City, where he is joined by Kevin Ellis. Both started in Orlando’s 2-1 win over Charelston on Thursday night.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson says he would like to have a natural surface at JELD-WEN Field. “If I could do grass, I would do grass. There’s stigma around artificial surface, and it’s something that we’re continually assessing. So never say never. We’re looking at it.” That the field is used by the Portland State University football team in the fall makes things difficult.

More on the efforts of the Sunshine Soccer Group to bring an NASL team to Jacksonville, Fla.

NWSL

The first nationally televised NWSL game of the season will feature Seattle Reign hosting Washington Spirit on Sunday at 8:30 pm on FSC.

Seattle defeated Western New York 3-2 on Thursday night and are now unbeaten in five games.

Ottawa Citizen has a look at the NWSL from a Canadian perspective.

US

Here’s PSP’s preview of Saturday’s USMNT match against Cuba (3:30 pm: Fox, Univision, Fox Soccer 2Go) later this morning.

Stuart Holden says, “I’m ready to go 90 if called upon.”

US Soccer has announced that the USWNT will play Mexico in a friendly at RFK on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Elsewhere

Mexico defeated Canada Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the upcoming week’s live games on TV and online.

NESN reports that the person who attempted to bribe several Belize players into fixing the Gold Cup match against the US was known to officials and was being monitored for trying to fix matches in other countries.

Wired868.com reports that well-known crook and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner “is desperate win a seat in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament, hoping it will give him immunity from extradition to the USA to stand trial for fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.”

7 Comments

  1. Excited to see some Farfan v Farfan action. Since they both are willing to get a bit chippy, I’m sure at least one of them will take out the blade on his twin.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      So if the ref gives on Farfan a red card and then stabs him in the ensuing fight, will the other Farfan help in the drawing and quartering?

      • It would be funny if one Farfan cleans out the other and the ref, being confused by their looks, gives the wrong Farfan the card and everyone goes mental about it.

        Given that tonight’s ref is Jorge Gonzalez, I could see a Union player sent off as that’s his MO.

  2. Chelsea U23 team are playing the Union youth/reserves team on Sunday. Several Chelsea players have been spotted walking around town. Should be an interesting match, unfortunately behind closed doors…

  3. Scott Pugh says:

    My prediction: The farfans will set the record for the quickest two yellow cards in a game, then follow that up with the quickest dual sending off in a game.

  4. Jeremy Lane says:

    Is anybody else blown away by the fact Sapong is not playing in MLS right now?

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