Daily news roundups

Reaction to Union win, Ocean City defeats Reading for title, US-Cuba recaps, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Well, that aquatic win on Friday was something. In driving rain, the Union responded to a first half goal from Chivas that came as a result of Amobi Okugo slipping in the box on the water-logged PPL Park surface with three unanswered goals.

“This was big, it was a really big game. We knew we had to come here and get three points and Chivas is a good team. What they do, they do well. Our guys really dug deep and showed a lot of character to get the win,” said John Hackworth, who was sent to the locker room just before the Union took the lead off of an indirect kick goal in the 82nd minute from Michael Farfan. He added, “Once we scored the first goal, I really thought the second one and maybe the third one would come. We put the game on our terms, and I thought we were going to take it from them, especially here at PPL with the great crowd support the whole way.”

For the fourth time in the past five games, the Union found themselves up a man. The last two times, things didn’t go too well with the Union conceding stoppage time equalizers against Dallas and RSL. Brian Carroll said, “I think it’s definitely something that creeps into your head, and the moment that it does and you’re like, ‘oh shoot, here we go again.’ And it’s probably the last thing you need to think about, but it’s natural, it’s something that occurs, and you have to continue to be mentally strong and fight through that no matter what.”

Amobi Okugo said, “We don’t want to think too much about it, and then you start jinxing yourself and start worrying so much about the goal that’s about to come and you end up giving up a goal. We just want to keep playing. We did a good job finally when they had a man down keeping the ball and keeping the tempo up, and that played a huge role.”

Match reports and recaps from PSP, from PSP. And don’t forget to check out our photo essay from the game.

In addition to lameness of The Trenton Times report on Friday's win being a wire report from The AP - why they couldn't send their own reporter is beyond me - the report is illustrated with a photo of the Union playing the Red Bulls - in 2010! Fail.

The Trenton Times leaps to the head of this year’s You Just Don’t Get It list with their coverage of Friday’s win. In addition to how totally lame it is to run a wire report from The AP on a local major sporting event featuring a local team in the playoff race – why they couldn’t send their own reporter is a reasonable question – the article is illustrated with a photo of the Union playing the Red Bulls – in 2010! Fail.

Most Union fans would agree with ProSoccerTalk that the call that led to Michael Farfan’s well taken indirect kick goal was a head scratcher. We’ll take it.

Farfan said of the goal, “We knew they were going to have pretty much their whole team in the goal, and I figured the only place it could possibly go in or the best chance of going in was above their heads and under the crossbar. I pretty much set out to do that, and luckily it worked…I was pretty confident. I just knew they were going to come rushing out so I just put it over their heads. I just needed to make sure I didn’t put it over the bar, that I put it on target.”

Sheanon Williams said, “That’s probably the most difficult goal that he’s had. The technique to sky it to the top of the net is great. That’s good for him. I think it will build his confidence and hopefully he’ll continue to score more goals going forward.”

How about Fabinho? The recently acquired Brazilian left back put a quality ball into the box that led to the foul that resulted in Farfan’s indirect kick goal and assisted Casey’s 89th minute goal in his Union debut—at left mid. Hackworth said, “I like our starting lineup right now, but Fabinho is certainly a guy that at this time has the potential to be a starter. I did see his cross to Conor. I thought it was a great ball. He’s truly a left back, but in the time he’s been with us, he’s been good at getting forward and serving balls into the box.”

Fabinho said, “Since I am a left-sided player, I always want to put in good balls. That’s my main goal whenever I come in on the left side. I have to hit good, quality crosses.” Keep ’em coming.

In his postgame observations at Union Tally, Matthew De George writes, “Hackworth admitted postgame that he will not be suspended for the next game despite being dismissed tonight.”

Conor “You Can’t Touch Me Because I’m On Fire” Casey (1 goal,1 assist against Chivas USA) and Sebastien “Where Would You Like It” Le Toux (2 assists against Chivas USA) are both up for Top Performer of the Week for their play against Chivas USA. Cast your vote here.

The Union reserves/academy game against Chelsea’s U-23 team in Sunday’s closed door match at PPL Park ended in a 1-1 draw. There’s a Big Soccer thread on the game with the usual mixture of really good info and really infantile comments here.

Local

It was a massive weekend for local PDL teams Reading United and Ocean City Nor’easters, who each had games on Friday before their second meeting of the season on Sunday.

Both teams proved victorious on Friday with big scorelines. Reading was down to 10 men when new captain Damien Lowe was ejected in the 44th minute of the scoreless first half against then second place Long Island Rough Riders. By the final whistle, Reading were 4-0 winners over the visitors who in the 88th minute also had a player ejected. Match reports from PDL, Reading Eagle, WFMZ.com, and Examiner.

In Ocean City, the Nor’easters stormed past New York Magic, who arrived with only eight players. Magic players continued to arrive through the first half but in the end, Ocean City were 6-1 winners, with Dwayne Reid tallying five of the Nor’easters’ goals. Match reports from Ocean City Nor’easters and The Press of Atlantic City.

Friday’s results saw Ocean City in first place in the Mid Atlantic Division with 28 points and a game in hand over second place Reading, who had 26 points.

When the two teams met on Sunday, Ocean City was the 2-1 winner in a tense and at times chippy game. Both of Ocean City’s goals came from Dwayne Reid, whose seven goals in two games has to be some kind of PDL record. The win sees the Nor’easters clinch the Mid Atlantic Division title and a PDL playoff spot for the second season in a row. Match reports from Ocean City Nor’easters, The Press of Atlantic City

Reading announced on Sunday that George Gadebusch and Denise Strohmayr have joined the club’s ownership group.

A breakaway in the 77th minute saw the visiting Richmond Kickers defeat Harrisburg City Islanders 1-0 on Saturday, which saw the home team blanked at home for the first time this season. Sainey Touray headed home a ball from 81st minute substitute Jimmy McLaughlin but the Touray was ruled offside. The result sees Harrisburg drop to fifth in the USL PRO standings on 31 points while Richmond and Orlando, who the City Islanders will travel to face in Florida next weekend, are at the top of the table with 37 points.

Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher said, “I know we’ve got guys that want to win and do whatever it takes, and we showed that tonight. Just didn’t go our way for whatever reason. We did everything right, but sometimes in this game that happens. We’ve just got to regroup, go down to Florida and get results there.”

Match reports from Harrisburg City Islanders, Richmond Kickers, PennLive.com, and The Sentinel.

During halftime, Harrisburg reveled their 10th-anniversary all-decade team.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, Kansas City (33 points) moves into first place with a 3-0 win over ninth place Toronto (13 points). Montreal fall to second place after being crushed 4-0 on the road by third place New York. Montreal and New York are level on points by the Impact have two games in hand. The Union (30 points) are in fourth place after their 3-1 win over Chivas USA. An Adam Moffat brace, including a screamer of a volley from distance, moves Houston (29 points) into fifth place, who defeated sixth place New England (24 points), 2-1. Eighth place Chicago (21 points) fell 3-1 on the road to Vancouver. Seventh place Columbus (23  points) and last place DC (10 points) had the weekend off from league play for international friendlies. The Crew fell 2-1 to Wigan Athletic  on Saturday after DC conceded a last minute equalizer to draw 1-1 with Chivas de Guadalajara on Friday.

Here’s a look at Moffat’s wowzer of a volley:

News came on Friday of former Union captain Danny Califf’s retirement from the professional game. Most Union fans would probably agree that Philadelphia should have been the team with which he ended his career.

Word came on Saturday that Toronto had parted ways with Darren O’Dea. The former TFC captain will be joining an unnamed club in the Ukraine. With the departure of O’Dea and Califf’s retirement, Toronto has cleared something in the order of $615,000 in cap space, which will be buttressed by the allocation money received in the Luis Silva trade to DC. Additionally, O’Dea exit clears up an international spot to add to the one acquired via trade with Chivas USA earlier this month.

The Red Bulls have dumped Digao, the younger brother of Kaka

Did New York mayor Michael Bloomberg accidentally announce that Yankee Stadium will be the home of NYCFC?

NWSL

Sky Blue (31 points) remain in first place after drawing 0-0 with fifth place Boston (20 points) on Saturday. On Sunday, second place Portland (27 points) drew 1-1 with fourth place Western New York (24 points). Third Place Kansas City (26 points) drew 3-3 on the road with sixth place Chicago (19 points), conceding goals in the 90th and 96th minute. In the leagues first nationally televised match on Fox Soccer, seventh place Seattle (15 points) handed a 2-1 defeat to last place Washington (7 points).

My Central Jersey.com has a profile on East Brunswick’s own Heather O’Reilly, who was with Boston on Saturday when they played her former team, Sky Blue FC.

US

It took them far too long to get started—conceding the opening goal to Cuba along the way—but the US defeated Cuba on Saturday 4-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. Chris Wondolowski scored two more goals off the bench to bring his Gold Cup total to five, the first US player to do so in one Gold Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann said, “It definitely helps you to get things a bit more urgent when you suddenly get a goal down out of nothing…I just told them at halftime to speed it up a level or two. We had a lot of movement off the ball, better than the first half, and they eventually [Cuba] were also getting tired. And then the goals came.”

The US next faces Costa Rica, last seen by the US in snowy Colorado, to finish out group play on Tuesday (8 pm, FSC, Univision, Fox Soccer 2Go). Klinsmann said, “We are very well aware of Costa Rica and [they’re] the first real benchmark for us. Everybody has respect for Belize and Cuba, but the benchmark for us starts with Costa Rica.” He added, “We need now games where we’re eye-to-eye with the opponents, where we know it’s going to go down to the wire and therefore we are really looking forward to that match now in Hartford.” Costa Rica defeated Belize in group play on Saturday, 1-0.

Match reports and recaps from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SI, Washington Post, ASN, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, US Soccer Players, Goal.com, Examiner, Gant Daily, and The AP,

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com, Soccer America, SBI, Goal.com,

Following the jersey misspelling in the game against Belize in which he scored a hat trick, Chris Wondolowski had an extra “W” printed on the inside of his shirt when he came on in the second half against Cuba. Hey, why not, right? If it works…

Elsewhere

On Friday it was announced that Pakistani-born US businessman Shad Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, had bought Fulham, becoming the sixth US owner of a Premier League team. While the eggheads at The Guardian were wringing their hands over “the alarming American takeover of English football,” everybody else was wondering what would happen to the Michael Jackson statue outside of Craven Cottage. Former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed said at the press conference announcing the sale of the club, “Michael Jackson will stay—it’s part of the deal,” adding with Khan in earshot, “Are you listening to me about Michael Jackson? You promise now? Otherwise…I will take your mustache off.”

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reports that Qatar is buying 118 Leopard tanks and 16 tank howitzers to beef up security for the 2022 World Cup. If you need a fleet of main battle tanks to secure the World Cup, maybe the tournament should be played somewhere else?

Sometimes, you look up and you just have to pull the trigger:

4 Comments

  1. Phillyhotspur says:

    Rescued by another gift of a RC

    But 3 points I’ll take

    I still don’t get hack’s disinterest in the MF. But one positive has to be Fabinho. A natural LM would be ideal.

    Time to get away from this 433. Work a 4321 or 442 which is built around a deeper MF. Lose the long ball tactics

    Ps great goal by Farfan. That had to be perfect. It was. GS

    • I don’t think the current deployment of players or tactics resemble anything close to a 4-3-3. A Bob Bradley inspired emptybucket quick counter 4-4-2 maybe, but not a 4-3-3. Also they were not rescued by a gift Red Card. The red card was awarded for two yellows, both of which were warranted. You can debate the indirect for the judged intentional passback but that washes the flagrant hand (elbow)ball that was missed in the box a few minutes prior.

  2. Why a “closed door match?” There are many Chelsea supporters locally – wouldn’t the clubs want to promote this kind of event?

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