Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction from first point at RBA as Union ruins Henry’s birthday, HCI to host start of playoffs, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

How many of you were thinking the Union were going to steal a win on Saturday night? I know I was. Still, that’s a pretty satisfying point.

John Hackworth said after the Union’s 0-0 draw for their first-ever point at Red Bull Arena, “I think it says a lot about our team, the way we’ve approached games this year and our mentality coming into a place where we haven’t even gotten a point, ever. Especially against a Red Bull team that I thought was at full strength tonight and was excellent for long stretches of that match. Credit to our guys for really doing a good job defensively. The longer that game went on, I felt like we opened them up a little bit and even had some chances to find one at the end.”

Amobi Okugo said, “It feels good, you know? It was kind of like a playoff feel. We knew the importance of the game and everyone stepped up, the midfield especially. [Brian Carroll] and Keon Daniel, the amount of [running] they did was big for us. We felt like we had a couple of chances late in the game where we could have won, but the amount of defending we had to do, we’ll take the point.”

Sebastien Le Toux said, “Important result definitely, it’s a good result because we stay close to (New York) and close to the overall standings. Getting a point for the first time, I think it’s overall a good achievement. We deserved the point, we did enough and we managed to stay close to them.”

Sheanon Williams said, “They’re a good team, and they’re a good team at home. We definitely played a lot of defense, but with that being said, I think we had the better chances in the game to maybe get three points. We talked about that going into the game, I think a point here is definitely something that we’ll take.”

Zac MacMath earned his second shutout in a row and ninth of the season, putting him in a five-way tie for most in the league. He said, “Credit to the guys in front of me who made my job easy tonight.”

MacMath added, “I think when we came in at halftime, we were like, ‘These are the games that we have to dig in deep, especially if we get to the playoffs. That was great, and the guys stepped up to the challenge.”

New York’s Dax McCarty said, “Give Philly some credit, they’re a pretty organized team. Their gameplan was to sit back and hit us on the counter, so they let us have the ball and we were fine with it in the defensive third and the middle third and when we got to the attacking third, it just broke down and we couldn’t really create much.”

Match reports and recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, Delco Times, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Examiner.com, New York Red Bulls, New York Post, Big Apple Soccer (1), Big Apple Soccer (2), Empire of Soccer, Gothamist, MLSsoccer.com, SBIGoal.com, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, UPI, and the AP.

The postgame quotes from the Red Bulls locker room are filled with disappointment in Saturday’s result. For example, when asked if he thought the draw felt like a loss, Markus Holgersson replied, “Yeah, definitely. Here at home, we have to win every game, especially against Philadelphia. It feels definitely like a loss.”

Apparently, the disappointment was so great that Thierry Henry, whose 36th birthday was on Saturday, “declined” to talk to reporters after the game. So sad.

Vote for Zac MacMath for MLSsoccer.com’s Top3 Performers of Week 25.

Zolo Times looks at the upcoming schedule and predicts the Union will make the playoffs “by the skin of their teeth, mind you.”

JP Dellacamera has some keys to the Union making the playoffs.


Thanks to a 3-3 draw between Charlotte and Tampa Bay on Friday night, the Harrisburg City Islanders knew they would be hosting their first playoff game of the postseason. Which was a good thing for, despite taking a 1-0 lead 2 minutes after the opening whistle thanks to Coady Andrews’ headed finish of a corner kick, the City Islanders conceded three second half goals to lose 3-1 against the Dayton Dutch Lions in the final game of the regular season. Match reports from Penn Live.com, Dayton Dutch Lions,and USL PRO.

With the playoff picture now set, Harrisburg will host Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 pm.

At Penn Live.com, Michael Bullock talks to City Islanders Gambia-born forward Sainey Touray about his hopes to receive permanent residency status in the US.

Former City Islander Jason Hotchkin was shot in West Chester early Sunday morning during an argument. Details are still emerging but Hotchkin is reportedly recovering in hospital and listed as in stable condition.

Drexel has announced the addition of two players to the men’s team, defender Maty Brennan and forward Joaquin del Rosario.

Midfielder Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, NJ) and forward Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, NJ) are with the US U-17 girls national team in England for a training camp that runs from Aug. 19-29 and also includes two games against their England national team counterparts.


In the weekend’s Eastern Conference games, it took until late on Sunday night before the latest standings were finalized when first place Kansas City (39 points) fell 1-0 to San Jose. New York is level with KC on points and in second place after the 0-0 draw with fourth place Philadelphia (38 points). Third place Montreal is level in points with the Union with two games in hand after defeating last place DC, 2-1. Houston (36 points) is in fifth place with a 3-1 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders. New England (33 points) moves into sixth place with a 2-0 win over now seventh place Chicago (31 points). Eighth place Columbus (29 points) defeated ninth place Toronto (20 points), 2-0.

Before Saturday’s game at Red Bull Arena, New York Red Bulls and MLS indefinitely suspended the Garden State Ultras supporters group’s “privileges for flag poles, banners, smoke, tifo displays and Red Bull Arena day passes to set-up shop for matches” because of the group’s refusal to curb the YSA chant.

Empire of Soccer reports that during Saturday night’s game, “Attempts to test the league’s resolve were met with swift action. As the South Ward unveiled a large “This Is The Life!!!” TIFO across the section, section 133 was noticeably absent in action. When flags did appear in the section, blue shirt security guards made their way down the aisle to confiscate their paraphernalia. Even when the GSU attempted to unfurl their modest supporters club banner, that too was confiscated.”

It was ejections galore over the weekend, several of which are of interest to Union fans. DC United coach Ben Olsen and Montreal coach Marco Schällibaum were both ejected following an exchange between James Riley and Justin Mapp. Because Schällibaum has a history of disciplinary actions against him—he’s served three suspensions this season already—there’s talk that his automatic suspension could be extended to include the game against the Union at PPL park on Aug. 31. Chicago’s Bakary Soumare and New England’s Saer Sane were both ejected after the final whistle during a confusing sideline kerfuffle. Sane’s automatic one-game suspension can’t hurt when the Union travel to play the Revolution this Saturday.

More disciplinary news? Why not? Already automatically suspended one game due to the red card that saw him ejected for a reckless challenge on Colorado midfielder Shane O’Neill, Gabriel Farfan was banned for an additional game by the league’s disciplinary committee and will not be available until Sept. 1 when Chivas USA plays Vancouver.


In the last regular season games of the the NWSL’s inaugural season, Western New York Flash defeated fifth place Boston Breakers 2-1 on the road to finish in first place. FC Kansas City lost 2-1 on the road to sixth place Chicago Red Stars to finish in second place. Portland Thorns finished in third place with a 2-1 win over seventh place Seattle Reign. Fourth place Sky Blue FC drew 1-1 with the last place Washington Spirit.

Western New York, Kansas City, and Portland finished the season level at 38 points but the Flash claims the top spot on goal difference. The semifinals begin on Saturday with Western New York hosting Sky Blue and Kansas City hosting Portland. The winners will advance to the final on Aug. 31.


At US Soccer Players, Jason Davis looks at the differences between the FIFA and Elo ranking systems. Elo, it’s more than rock music with cellos.

MLSsoccer.com has picked up on the Indy Week article we linked to last week about the National Soccer Hall of Fame collection currently languishing in a warehouse in North Carolina. US Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe says the Federation has been contacted “by more than a dozen interested parties about developing a new location for the National Soccer Hall of Fame,” adding,

We want ensure the Hall of Fame will be viable for the long term. And to do that you have to consider location, operating expenses, the size of the building, funding, and many other factors. Who’s involved, where its located, how it’s operated, those are all important decisions. If a new Hall of Fame opens, we want to make sure we’ve done everything we can to ensure it will be sustainable for a long time.

There have been a lot suggestions about where the next Hall of Fame should be located. Some are founded on the idea that it should be were the game has its longest history, which could be a number of Mid-Atlantic locations such as New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Washington DC also comes up because, you know, it’s the nation’s capitol.

And then there are what, to my mind, are short-sighted suggestions such as Kansas City and Portland. In terms of history, they are comparatively new to the game in any historically significant kind of way—American soccer history goes back much further than the first NASL. Perhaps more importantly in terms of the long-term viability of a new museum, both are also comparatively low population metropolitan areas that aren’t exactly world-class tourist destinations, lovely though they may both be. The home of the repository of America’s soccer history ought to be about more than admirably enthusiastic fan bases with dedicated owners of MLS teams, however much both may be the current darlings of large swaths of the mainstream soccer press.

In Mexico City, the U-15 boys’ national team defeated Paraguay 7-6 on penalty kicks to finish in third place at the 2013 Copa Mexico de Naciones.


Looking ahead to the 2015 Women’s World that will take place in six Canadian cities, Monte Stewart of the Canadian Press reports, “FIFA officials gave the thumbs up to 2015 Women’s World Cup soccer tournament venues Saturday…Mustapha Fahmy, FIFA’s competitions director, said no major changes are needed at facilities in advance of the 24-team event. But the key question of turf quality will not be addressed until a year before the competition scheduled to take place in six Canadian cities.”

Jonathan Tannenwald goes behind the scenes at the NBC Sports Network for their opening day coverage of the Premier League.

NBC’s broadcast of the Swansea v Manchester United match on Sunday was the fourth highest rated soccer broadcast of the year.


  1. Call me crazy, but I really don’t feel too great about the differences in mindset when reading the quotes from both teams, even if we were the away team.
    We were happy to get the draw, and a win would have been some kind of miracle/steal. While their team is dejected and pissed off.
    This is a game against a main rival, just ahead of you in the standings, this should be a statement. We will never, ever, be one of the better teams if we are happy to walk out of a game like this with a tie. Ties don’t count in the playoffs when it matters (if we make it)

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      You’re crazy.

    • Yeah well we were AWAY. Taking a point on the raod against a team that has been dominant at home all season is a good result. Tying at home against a team you’ve dominated there is a bad result.

    • If you are a home team playing against anyone you will be upset with a tie. If you are the visitors and you are playing a very good team you will be happy with a tie.

      Despite them having more possession the game was very even, in my opinion. To be honest I think Philly came closer to winning than NY and they should feel pretty happy with the way they played.

    • I have trouble keeping up with MLS and its peculiarities, but I am pretty sure that if two teams draw in a playoff match, the result does count. If the first leg of a two-match playoff series ends in a draw, the team that wins the second match will advance. Please explain what you mean by “Ties don’t count in the playoffs when it matters”

      • A team HAS to win in order to advance in the playoffs, even if they tie the first game as you said. There is no Away Goals rule in MLS – which I agree with – so therefore a team can tie either game as long as they win the other, but they still have to win. So eventually the Union are going to have to play to win. However, in a 2-game series, a 0-0 draw on the road in the 1st game is as good as a win.

  2. Playoffs?! Let’s talk about playoffs.

    I’ve been riding this team all year, well, Hackworth anyway. This sit back and absorb pressure and long ball counter attack stuff is U-G-L-Y youaintgotnoalibi, but, it is MLS effective. Is it Cup worthy effective? No, I don’t think so. However, we need to redefine our goals. We will make the playoffs. Yes, HOU, NER and CHI all have games in hand and have played better and our upcoming sched is not pretty (2 against SKC, MTL, away to NER and SJ & HOU here, only TFC and DCU to cushion the blow). But HOU actually has a tougher schedule and CONCACAF Ch League, they have 6 more matches condensed in the same time frame, some with significant travel. We should be able to fend them off. HOU should worry that either of NER or CHI catch them. We need to focus on staying above 4th.

    And then? Go for it. There is ZERO reason in this parity that the Union can not win the East. ZERO. I’m not saying I suddenly believe in Cruz connecting a pass, I’m banking on RBNY with their late season collapse. NER running out of juice. MTL’s elderly legs giving way in October. Could we get past SKC? Maybe. That’s a tough road game, but it’s possible. Will we get waxed by LAG/SEA or whoever comes out of the West? I’d bet the mortgage on it. But here’s the thing, that’s a freaking CCL spot. That should be the goal. Right now. They should look up from their 4th place hole and say, it’s right in front of us. These guys suck just as much as we do. Let’s goooooooo

    • This! +1

    • Good points on Houston’s challenges.

      I think that people sometimes forget how hard it can be to convert those games in hand into max points late in the season for a variety of reasons (physical fatigue from the long season, increased pressure on all teams down the stretch to win, etc).

      We always assume that those teams will be able to win those matches in hand, but that isn’t always the case. Just look at the 2011 Union team which had a handful of games in hand going into the stretch run and we p*ssed away those points & lost home field advantage in the playoffs.

  3. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    In the abstract, a tie vs a good team at home is fine. But I think most people watching could tell very much that it was a very winnable game. Just imagine what kind of team we could field if we had a 1) midfield 2) a 90 minute Jack Mcinerney (even in his slump I think he could have finished both of Hoppenot’s wtf chances).

    • did the ball not fall directly to Jack with a pretty open net in front of him? did he not scuff that shot pretty sorely?

    • This is a good point. Think of how many of Jack’s goals came as late game winners. I would have liked to see him finish the game, but I appreciate Hack trying to go for the win with fresh legs, I just think that was the game to leave Casey’s quality and Jack’s potential on the pitch.

      • WilkersonMcLaser says:

        Yep. Part of the reason for this is that, realistically, Jack has an easier time popping up into open spaces later in games. This might be because of defenders’ tired legs or a burst of late game adrenaline, but taking him out when he’s had no service is a dumb, dumb move.
        Keon’s, like, one offensive play came in the 90th or something. What’s up with that? How can anyone expect Mcinerney to find the net if he can’t see the ball? And Cruz on the right? What? Why!?

  4. Saer Sane is a really good player and it’s super cool that he will be suspended for the match against the U. Thanks Soumare!!!

  5. Thanks for posting Tannenwald’s NBC report! Was a great start by NBC. Only issue I had with Match-of-the-Day were the monitors they used when they spoke about movement of players. Maybe because I don’t have HD I could not see the players, let alone see the ball, properly.

  6. A win against NE next week and we’ll be in the playoffs. I think the goal for the Union at this point should be top 3. Assuming SKC wins the conference, that would be a good tournament table for us.

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