Daily news roundups

Union & USMNT recaps/reaction, Reading makes playoffs, more news

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Second in the Western Conference Portland Timbers came into town on Saturday for what ended up being something of a fair result, a scoreless draw.

Rob Vartughian, filling in on the sidelines for the suspended John Hackworth, said of the draw, “Defensively we were good tonight. I think we minimized chances against a very, very good team. And so from that standpoint, our whole group walks away from it feeling pretty good about keeping a zero…Would we have liked to have come away with three points tonight? Sure…In terms of where we are from a confidence standpoint, I think everybody feels pretty good about what we’re doing.”

Vartughian said further, “In the first half, we chased the game a little bit more than we would have liked to. But I think guys came out of the locker room under difficult circumstances. With the weather and the delay, we had a really good second half. I was really happy with that.”

Zac MacMath thought the rain delay helped the Union. “I think it actually helped us,” he said. “It gave us a little bit of time to get some rest, get our legs up a little bit, and reenergize for the second half. I think we came out flying for a little bit, and finished the half pretty strong.

Danny Cruz said, “Credit to them, they’re a good team. But I felt like we had a majority of the good chances. They had one real good (chance) there in the second half. Overall I think we’re happy with that performance. We obviously wanted three points but we just played a team that’s only got two losses and we came out feeling like we were a pretty good team against them.”

Match reports and previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times Herald, CSN Philly, The Daily Journal, Delaware Online, Philly Soccer News, Union Tally, Phanatic Magazine, MLSsoccer.com, Oregon Live, Oregon Live (blog), Portland Tribune, The Columbian, Eugene Daily News, kptv.com, Stumptown Footy, SBI, Examiner, Sports Mole, Goal.com, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Check out PSP’s video of Rob Vartughian’s post game press conference, locker room interviews with Ray Gaddis, Jack McInerney, Brian Carroll and Amobi Okugo, and postgame quote sheet.

Matthew De George writes that if the Union earn a playoff spot it will come from wins against Eastern Conference teams but that it is the team’s ability to get results against Western Conference teams that will keep them in the playoff hunt.

After Donovan Ricketts shutout the Union, his ninth of the season, MLSsoccer.com wonders if he’s a candidate for league MVP. Zac MacMath has six shutouts and is tied with Ricketts at 61 saves. Chris Vito writes, “Here’s the thing with MacMath: he’s hardly ever going to wow the crowd, but he’s played well enough this season to keep the Union competitive.”

Jack McInerney wasn’t surprised that he didn’t see playing time with the USMNT at the Gold Cup. “I expected it. I was on the bench, so maybe if the situation was right. I knew going in it was just a taste and whatever happens, happens.”

McInerney explained he wasn’t surprised that he was back with the Union early. “Jurgen just wanted me to get in there and kind of get a taste of what it’s like. We talked a good bit. He gave a lot of good information, and we had a good meeting before we left, and he just said that he wanted me to get a taste of what it was like. He said he was really happy with me and that he’d be in touch and that I’d be back eventually.”

McInerney said that one big difference between the international game and league play is the speed of the game. “The level of the game, it’s an entire other level. The tempo is fast, the play is fast, everything is faster. Coming back here, hopefully I can carry it over.”

Freddy Adu came on in the 77th minute in the Bahia derby with Vitória that ended as a 0-0 draw. It was his first appearance for Bahia since May.


There may have been a few moments of uncertainty but the US rolled past El Salvador with a 5-1 win in the quarterfinals of the the Gold Cup on Sunday. The US easily could have doubled the score.

Landon Donovan said, “We’re getting more and more comfortable and the beauty of it is we can score and create chances in a lot of different ways…I think for a team to defend against that for 90 minutes is going to be really difficult.”

Charles Boehm calls Landon Donovan indispensable. Grant Wahl says Donovan has proven he belongs with the USMNT. Brian Straus says simply, “Donovan remains the U.S.’s most consistently creative player by a significant margin.”

Eddie Johnson said of his headed goal that came mere seconds after he entered the game as a substitute, “It was just a good ball. I tried to get into the seams. The coach brought me in, me and Alan Gordon, because of our presence in the air, and Donovan serves a good ball into the box. I was very fortunate to get onto the end of it.”

Johnson calls Kyle Beckerman “the Peyton Manning of soccer.”

Match reports and recaps from PSP, US Soccer, Philly.com, Philly Soccer News, MLSsoccer.com, Yanks Abroad, ASN, Soccer America, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, SI, Goal.com,  and The AP.

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com, Yanks Abroad, ASN, Soccer America, ESPN, Goal.com, New York Times, and Empire of Soccer.

There was an element of revenge in the win for players who had been in the draw against El Salvador that saw the US eliminated from Olympic qualification. Mix Diskerud said of the win, “It means a lot. We were talking about it yesterday and the day before that and we wanted our revenge and we got it, so it feels a little extra good.”

In a tactical analysis at ASN, Liviu Bird wonders if the US could have won better. The answer is yes.

An article from the LA Times that was published before the game says the Jurgen Klinsmann’s patience is paying off.

The US will face Honduras in the Gold Cup semifinals on Wednesday in Dallas.

Goal.com examines how the US performance at the Gold Cup underscores Mexico’s difficulties.


A furious finish in which Reading United scored four goals in 18 minutes to come from behind to defeat Central Jersey Spartans, 5-2, sees the Union affiliate claim a playoff spot in the PDL championship series. Playing—and scoring the go ahead goal—for Central Jersey was Maxime Hoppenot, brother of the Union’s Antoine Hoppenot. More on the game from Reading Eagle.

Mid Atlantic Division champion Ocean City was supposed to have two games over the weekend but Long Island forfeited on Friday. On Sunday, the Nor’easters were leading Baltimore 2-0 when Bohemians forward Peter Caringi scored in the 78th and the 85th minutes. Then, in stoppage time, Baltimore goalkeeper Zachery Kane headed home a last gasp corner kick and the Bohemians were 3-2 winners. Match report from Ocean City Nor’easters and Baltimore Bohemians.

The win means Baltimore finishes second in the Mid Atlantic Division and will now host third place Reading in the playoffs on Tuesday with details to be announced later today.

Reading Eagle has a nice profile on Reading United head coach, and Union assistant coach, Brendan Burke.

Harrisburg City Islanders split the results of the Florida road trip. Defeating VSI Tampa Bay 2-0, they put an end to a three-game losing streak. The good vibrations didn’t last long as they lost the next night to Orlando City, 3-1.  Match reports from the win over Tampa, which featured goals from Lucky Mkosana and Jimmy McLaughlin, from Penn Live, VSI Tampa Bay, USL.com. Match reports from the loss to Orlando—Mkosana scored in that one too—from Penn Live, Orlando City, and BayNews9.com.

The City Islanders are now in third place with 34 points in USL PRO, one point ahead of fourth place Charlotte and eight behind first place Orlando, and return to action for their next-to-last game of the regular season on Wednesday when they host seventh place Dayton Dutch Lions (7 pm, USL Live).

The South Jersey Times checks in with Philadelphia Fever of  the Women’s Premiere Soccer League


In Eastern Conference play, first place Kansas City (36 points) defeated first in the West Real Salt Lake 2-1 with a late stoppage time goal. Montreal (32 points) drew 0-0 at home with Dallas. Third place New York (32 points) drew 0-0 with ninth place Toronto (14 points). Fourth place Philadelphia (31 points) drew 0-0 with visiting Portland. Fifth place Houston (29 points) had the weekend off. Sixth place New England (27 points) defeated eighth place Columbus (23 points) 2-0 on the road. Seventh place Chicago (24 points) crushed last place DC (10 points) 4-1.

Is 24-year-old Ecuadorian forward Juan Luis Anangono about to join Chicago?

Is a soccer war brewing in Oklahoma City between the city’s new USL PRO franchise, set to begin play in 2014, and the proposed new NASL franchise, which would join the league in 2015?


First place Sky Blue (31 points) fell 3-0 to fourth place Western New York (27 points) on Sunday. Second place Portland (30 points) defeated sixth place Boston (20 points) 2-1. On Saturday, last place Washington (7 points) fell 1-0 at home to fifth place Chicago (22 points). Seventh place Seattle (15 points) lost 2-0 at home to third place Kansas City (29 points).


CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb says that discussions about the 2016 Copa America taking place in the US with 10 CONMEBOL teams and six CONCACAF teams to mark the 100th anniversary of the South American confederation are on going. “We’re engaging with them to see what’s best fit for their confederation and for our confederation…It would be great if it was just a matter of naming ten teams or 6 teams and playing a game, but there’s various commercial agreements and various things to work through. So we’re trying to work through that, but from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, this is something that we both want to see happen…We’re hoping that perhaps in a few weeks we’ll be able to announce a formalized agreement with both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.”

Phil Woosnam, a pioneer of the modern professional game in the US and commissioner of the original NASL from 1969-1983 has passed away at the age of 80. Woosnam had 18 caps for Wales and played professionally for Leyton Orient, West Ham and Aston Villa before moving to the US, where he coached the Atlanta Chiefs and the USMNT before leading the NASL. More from The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, US Soccer, Soccer America, MLSsoccer.com, FIFA.com, BBC, and Big Apple Soccer.

A gunfight between rival Boca Juniors supporters groups before a preseason friendly left two people dead. Argentina’s head of national security, Sergio Berni, said, “It was an impressive shootout, more than 100 shots.”

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