Daily news roundups

Pre-game for Timbers, big games for HCI & Reading, USA previews, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

A tough stretch of games begins on Saturday when the Union host second place in the Western Conference Portland Timbers. John Hackworth said that getting the win against Chivas USA last Friday helps. “It doesn’t change the fact that we still think this is a really important game for us. But it does ease some of the pressure. It puts guys in a better frame of mind. Guys have smiles on their faces. We try to do that anyway no matter what happens. But you can tell the guys are a little more relaxed and a little more confident.”

The players may be feeling more confident but they know Portland is a real challenge. Sebastien Le Toux said, “They are very good, they always find a way to get points. It’s going to be a big game for us. We need to show we can compete against good teams in this league.”

Hackworth explained, “Portland has done a really good job and the best thing they’ve done is not lost a ton of games. You pile up the points in draws and it’s impressive. They have a good style, they press you hard. And once they get the ball moving they are a good team in possession. They are one of the top teams right now and deserve the credit they get.”

He added, “It’ll be a clash of similar styles and we’ll have to disrupt their game. The team that makes it harder on their opponent will be the one that is successful.

While you wait for PSP’s preview later this morning, check out PSP’s preview our quick reference. More previews from CSN Philly, David Murphy, PortlandTimbers.com, Oregon Live, Prost Amerika, and Goal.com,.

Goal.com predicts a draw.

Portland Tribune puts the spotlight on Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

USMNT assistant coach Martín Vásquez had this to say about Jack McInerney after Tuesday’s win against Costa Rica:

Jack’s been doing good. I think at his age, what he’s been doing for Philadelphia, for his club, that’s why he earned this call. He comes in, the first few days he was a little bit nervous, but that’s normal. I think after that, he’s been working hard and learning to play with international players, guys from Europe and Mexico and guys that are doing well in MLS. It’s good for him to come in. He’s got a lot of potential and he’s got to keep going…

It’s (about) experience, you know, we don’t want to put any pressure on him. We want to make sure he’s ready. If we throw him in right now and he doesn’t have a good game, then it’s not good for him. We noticed just a little bit of nerves, that maybe he wasn’t quite ready just yet, especially when it comes to the other guys that we have in his position. But I think he really does have some tremendous potential.

Michael Orozco Fiscal said of his former teammate, “He’s a really talented player. He always has been and it was good to see him get this experience. It doesn’t matter if you play; just having the opportunity to be here and work with some of the best players in the country it’s a great thing for him to experience. It was the same for me when I came here. He’s a really good player in MLS and he’s going to be a great player for his country in the future.”

John Hackworth on Conor Casey: “With Conor, I just sit back and smile. No disrespect to anyone else in the league, but I watch a lot of games and I like the fact that Conor Casey is on our team. The things he’s doing I think he’s doing better than other guys in the league.”

Will Fabinho, who made an immediate impact with his impressive debut as a sub in last week’s win against Chivas see more time in Saturday’s match against Portland? Time will tell. But Sheanon Williams made this observation about the Brazilian: “The fact that he’s left-footed makes a big difference. It’s tough playing on the left and being right-footed.”

That back pass call that led to Michael Farfan’s indirect kick goal against Chivas USA last Friday is the Professional Referees Organization Play of the Week. The verdict:

In this play it is obvious that this was not a deliberate pass as the ball rebounded to the keeper from a challenge and not a contrived pass.

However, this does not excuse the reaction of the Chivas players who clearly overstepped the mark and Soto’s red card for his second yellow card was his own fault. Very few goals are actually scored from indirect free-kicks inside the penalty area but, on this occasion, the goal was well executed which compounded the referee’s incorrect decision.

Yep. And we’ll take the goal, thanks.

Alecko Eskandarian is now an assistant coach with New York Cosmos, the team his father played on in the original version of the team’s heyday in the 1970s. The former director of the Union’s youth development program says of his time with Philadelphia, “Being part of that definitely lit a fire under me that this was pretty fun and a close second to playing.”

Local

Harrisburg have a big weekend ahead with a game against Tampa Bay tonight before facing Orlando on Saturday. Previews from the City Islanders and Tampa. Look for the latest installment of PSP’s Harrisburg Report later today.

Mid Atlantic Division champions Ocean City close out the season this weekend with two games at home against fifth place Long Island Rough Riders (23 points) on Friday and second place Baltimore Bohemians (26 points) on Sunday. Both games kickoff at Carey Stadium at 7 pm.

Reading United’s weekend’s plans are simple: defeat Central Jersey Spartans on the road and claim a playoff spot. Reading head coach Brendan Burke said, “This will be an important match for us. A result gets us into the playoffs and an emphatic result should ensure a second place finish in the league and a home game in the first round.”

The kickoff for the Reading game has been changed to 2:30 pm due to forecasts of severe weather on Saturday evening.

Reading could use some help from Ocean City when the Nor’easters host Baltimore on Sunday. The Bohemians and United are both level on points with 26 but Baltimore is in second place with a better goal difference.

Check out the latest installment of PSP’s Reading United Report for more, as well as this from wfmz.com.

We named the Nor’easters Dwayne Reid our Player of the Week after a two-game effort that saw him score seven goals, including both goals in Ocean City’s division-clinching 2-1 win over Reading last Sunday. So did the PDL. Ocean City’s Michael O’Keeffe and Ken Tribbett received honorable mentions.

MLS

Montreal Impact have announced that beginning in 2014, season ticket holders will have “club member” status which will give them ““a voice, a power of recommendation.”

Bloomberg Businessweek examines how Sporting Kansas City is using the mobile app Uphoria, which “which turns an attendee’s smartphone into an in-stadium DVR.” Sporting CEO Robb Heineman says of the team’s embrace of such technology, “Our team is all about data. It’s about collecting, repackaging, and utilizing that information to drive incremental revenue.”

Australia captain Lucas Neill appears set to sign with MLS. Explaining his absence from the East Asia Cup, Australia head coach Holger Osieck said, “He’s in contact with two clubs and he’s very likely to sign there, therefore he’s not available for the team.” Currently clubless, the 35-year-old Neill has played for Milwall, Blackburn Rovers, West Han, Everton, and Galatasaray.

Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio could be unavailable for Saturday’s game against Dallas after returning home earlier this week for a family matter.

DC United have acquired US youth international Conor Doyle on loan from Derby County.

Chivas USA have acquired 20-year-old central defender Jaime Frias on loan from—surprise—Chivas de Guadalajara.

Sporting Kansas City have recalled CJ Sapong from his loan to Orlando City, with whom he made three appearances, starting each time.

Redeye Chicago on Mike Magee’s return to his hometown.

We now know which team former Toronto FC captain Darren O’Dea has signed with, it is Ukrainian side Metallurg Donetsk.

Union fans aren’t the only ones who feel snubbed by the All-Star Game roster. Apparently Gambia isn’t pleased either.

Miami Herald writer Joseph Goodman says David Beckham’s expansion team should be in South Beach.

Sacramento’s new USL PRO team also has MLS aspirations. They also now have a name: Sacramento Republic FC.

MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott tells The Sacramento Bee, “We are aware of recent community interest in securing a future MLS expansion club for Sacramento. This serves as yet another strong indicator of the league’s continued growth and overall fan interest in our sport. The league is now evaluating future expansion plans.”

The Examiner seems to think that Oklahoma City is getting a MLS franchise.

Even Edmonton is getting in on the act.

ProSoccerTalk is skeptical as the New York Cosmos’ return draws closer and underscores questions about the team’s ability to draw fans. “The most expensive single-match tickets for a Cosmos game cost $95, nearly five times as expensive as some clubs’. That kind of valuation could leave the club scrambling if it fails to fill seats in its first half-season back from the dead…Could it change with a run of good early results for the Cosmos? Maybe, but it’s hard to see a lower-division team finding its name in lights in Times Square, no matter how many games it wins.”

US

Sales for Sunday’s Gold Cup doubleheader in Baltimore continue to grow, with Baltimore Business Journal reporting more than 50,000 tickets have been sold,m some 25,000 since Tuesday’s USMNT win.

CONCACAF general secretary Enrique Sanz said, “It would not be a surprise to have a sellout in Baltimore knowing the market. Anything can happen.”

Those sales are likely not all being made by US supporters. As Grant Wahl observes, for example, the DC area has a large El Salvadoran-born population. Steven Goff notes that El Salvador plays a friendly at RFK at least once a year, drawing between 10,000-40,000 spectators while a El Salvador U-20 match at University of Baltimore last month drew 10,000 people.

Goff expands his tweet with an article looking at how El Salvador could feel at home on Sunday.

Look for our match preview later today. More previews from MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com.

Omar Gonzalez, one of the four replacements named by Jurgen Klinsmann on Wednesday, won’t be joining the team until after Sunday’s quarterfinal, should the US make it past El Salvador.

The New York Times profiles another late addition to the US squad, Matt Besler.

Soccer America calls Sean Johnson the goalkeeper of the future.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jonah Freedman writes that a US win on Sunday will help to erase the bad memories of the US being eliminated from Olympic qualifying by El Salvador 16 months ago.

ASN has US five players who improved their World Cup prospects in the Gold Cup group games.

Elsewhere

Brazil’s sports ministry has responded to Sepp Blatter’s comments that maybe Brazil was the wrong choice to host the 2014 World Cup, issuing a statement that said, “The success of the Confederations Cup proves the correct choice of Brazil to host the World Cup…As for the demonstrations, Brazil is a democratic country that guarantees its citizens full freedom of expression.”

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who also happens to be president of the European Club Association, and the German Football League have backed Blatter’s plan to reschedule the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for winter. The Premier League opposes the move. A league spokesperson said, “The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football.”

Contrary to what FIFA fat cats like Blatter would have you think, politics have always been a part of the World Cup. Deadspin has a reminder with a look at Argentina and the 1978 World Cup.

 

2 Comments

  1. It is great that Connor Casey is on the team: always fun to watch him. He was a great signing!

  2. ebradlee10 says:

    The Cosmos charging $95 for a ticket is a joke, even if the seat is in Cantona’s lap. People will pay for a quality team and competition, not a name. I predict hard times almost immediately.

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