Daily news roundups

Slump avoidance and more Union news, Dempsey on his return, USMNT roster, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Kevin Kinkead notes that Conor Casey’s strike rate is one goal every 150.1 minutes, which is fifth best in the league for players with more than 1,000 minutes.

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin notes the Saturday’s win over DC was the Union defense’s third shutout in four games. The defense is also helping out offensively, with Sheanon Williams—who made a critical goaline clearance in the 57th minute—recording his eighth assist of the season, which ties him for third most in the league. Zeiltlin writes, “It’s a lot to ask for the team’s fullbacks to save goals on one end and help score them on the other—but it is an important recipe to the team’s success.”

Williams said of his big save, “Any time something dangerous like that happens I like to get behind Zac just in case. This was one of those times where being in the right place came at a good time.” He added, “We know what our job is. Our job is to get shutouts. And that’s what we did.

Soccer America says the key to the Union’s success so far this season is “its ability to avoid long slumps” and concludes, “It’s not a viable candidate to win the conference but failing to make the playoffs would be a terrible disappointment.”

Brian Carroll said of the team’s ability to avoid slumps so far, “Guys are backing each other up and lifting each other up as a team. It’s something we try and pride ourselves in. It shows we’re coming together as a group. It shows we believe in each other. It’s something we believe in trying to correct because we don’t want to go and give two away. It’s something we always try and focus on in bouncing back after a loss.”

At the Guardian, Richard Farley says of the Union, “While watching the Union gives little impression this is a conference title contender, with 10 games left in the regular season, they continue to put themselves in position to take advantage of other’s slips. Just as they were in the right place on Saturday to capitalize on a Ben Olsen’s changes, they’re now within one weekend’s fortune of sitting on top of the East.”

Aaron Wheeler tells KYW’s Matt Leon, “I’ve learned a lot, especially sitting behind Conor Casey. Just learned a lot as far as hold-up play and just learning your part within the team and whether you want to contribute more or whatever, you have to just be able to do whatever your role is.”

Wheeler also is impressed by the fans at PPL Park. “I had no idea the atmosphere that they create here. The fans were great again (Saturday) night. I really wasn’t aware of it until I got here, but it’s phenomenal.”

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union remain at No. 12. ProSoccerTalk has them at No. 8.

Three Union players landed on MLSsoccer.com’s fantasy league Dream Team this week, Fabinho, Sebastion Le Toux, and Conor Casey. Apparently, Le Toux leads the league in Dream Team appearances with five. The Union player with the next highest number is Amobi Okugo with three Dream Team appearances.


The Harrisburg City Islanders’ final game of the regular season is Saturday on the road against Dayton Dutch Lions, a team that, depending on midweek results, will be fighting for the eighth and final USL PRO playoff spot. Harrisburg is already assured of a postseason spot and will look to finalize a third place finish.

City Islanders head coach Bill Becher said, “We know what we have to do. We know we’ve got to go get a win. And we want to go into the playoffs that way. We don’t want to get third or fourth place by going in through the back door, we want to go win the game and feel like we earned it. We’ll put in a good week here and I think we’ll be ready for the game.”

Michael Bullock reports at Penn Live.com that Becher will not play Union loanee Greg Jordan on Saturday because Dayton’s home field is artificial turf. Jordan played his first game since receiving a knee injury back on June 8 in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Tampa.

PDA’s Daniel Barbir, Kevin Silva and Thomas McCabe have been selected for the U-17 residency program in Brandenton.

Among the 31 U-14 players called up for the training camp taking place Aug. 17-25 at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif. are two defenders from PDA, Evan Godfrey (Millville, NJ) and Kyle Gruno (Saddle River, NJ).


At SI, Grant Wahl talks to Clint Dempsey about his move back to MLS. Good read.

Landon Donovan has been named Player of the Week after scoring a hat trick against Dallas.

Michael Lewis talks to MLS director of player programs Alfonso Mondelo about the question that many observers are wondering about with the recent news that the league plans to expand to 24 teams by 2020. The question is not which cities will win an MLS franchise, but where will the quality players come from to stock those teams?

Mondelo says, “That’s the big question. Would we have to import more talent to the league? Or will little by little all of the youth academies really begin to develop quality professional players. I still think we’re a bit away from that…Right now, there’s not enough depth on our teams. Once you go past probably the starting 11 or 12 players, there is really a drop of the quality of players. So where are those players going to come from?”


A look at the NWSL playoff picture with one regular season game remaining. First place Kansas City is only three points ahead of Western New York, Portland, and Sky Blue, who are level at 38 points.


What’s this, the USMNT roster for Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina has been released and Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan aren’t on it?

Jurgen Klinsmann said, “For the most part we wanted to leave the MLS players behind because it’s a long way to go for a mid-week game in the heart of the season and many of them were with us a lot during the summer. This gives us a chance to look at some different players as well…I told (Sounders head coach) Sigi Schmid that it’s no problem to leave Clint off this roster. It’s been a long week for Clint and he is still in preseason and getting a rhythm, so we leave him in Seattle and get him ready for the games in September.”

Brad Evans said of Dempsey’s absence, “Yeah, a little bit of a surprise for me, but I think everything happened so fast in Seattle with his signing, and it was like this every day for four days, every minute, every minute. I think he got a little bit sick, and so I think that’s why he’s not here this week, his body needed a little bit of rest, and I think it’s good for him to get the fitness.”

Among those different players getting a look are John Anthony Brooks, Cody Cropper, Aron Johannsson and Bobby Wood, who are all with the senior team for the first time.

Soccer America notes that only Brooks is expected to start.

At Yanks Abroad, Brian Sciaretta talks to Cropper. At MLSsoccer.com, Greg Seltzer talks to Johannsson.

Michael Orozco Fiscal has withdrawn from the roster after suffering a hamstring injury with Puebla on Sunday night. No replacement will be named.

At SI, Brian Straus has an in-depth look at Klinsmann’s “experimental” roster.

ASN has a report from Monday’s training session in Sarajevo.

Here’s a list of the top 25 US soccer crowds of 2013.


  1. I don’t know how Castillo contines to make the US roster, he shows nothing. Also, Seattle is in trouble come September when they lose Evans, Johnson, and Dempsey right before the playoffs.
    The Union D has been steady all year, with some shaky moments, but strong. Macmath has come on as of late. Those things, as well as some stellar forward play have saved the Union this year.

  2. I think it was the 2nd or even 3rd time that Williams saved a ball from going in.
    Incredible the amount of shut-outs they have had this year. The defense and Zac deserve tons of praise. On bigsoccer someone posted a graph with the point totals for this and the previous seasons: we just now surpassed the totals of 2011 at this point in the season! (the scoring of first Jack, and now Connor has of course helped as well!).
    Great interview with Clint. Amazing the journey he has been on! Also gives good insight about his decision to leave the EPL.

  3. Its truly incredible how many points this team has earned

  4. I find it a little funny that we’re ranked 12th, seems a little low. Just think of we didn’t give up two 98th minute goals, tied for the Supporters Shield.

  5. I can’t figure out why Jurgen has any MLS players on tomorrow’s roster, especially since it is only 2 players and they both play for one team. I sure hope that the travel for Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans doesn’t hurt Seattle on Saturday when they play Houston.

  6. SI.com has the boys’ ranking up to number 8 as well.

  7. I think 12th is about right for this team. As easily as you can say a couple of late goals (and getting later every time) knocked us back a few points, we stole a few earlier when we were outplayed.

    Plus, if you look at the points per game, we’re about the 11th ranked side. We’ve played more games than some of the western teams who had some champions league matches,etc, earlier.

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