Daily news roundups

“A big wake up call”: recaps & reaction to pounding in NE, HCI playoff run ends early, more

Philadelphia Union

How are you this morning? Yeah, me too.

The weekend’s results were promising in the lead-up to Sunday night’s demoralizing loss to New England were certainly encouraging with both Kansas City and New York falling on the road to present the Union with a prime opportunity to move to the top of the Eastern Conference table. In the week before the game there was further encouragement from the two major Union storylines in the press: the good form of the Union defense and how Sunday’s game would have a “playoff feel.” Looking back over last week’s roundups, there are at least nine articles that highlight some combination of the two themes. Good times, those, good times.

And then, in the span of 15 second half minutes, Philadelphia rolled over and died, allowing four goals in the process.

The decision by referee Allen Chapman to disallow Conor Casey’s go-ahead goal was clearly incorrect and proved to be the turning point of the game. But that doesn’t change the fact that New England sliced through the Union midfield to attack the Union defense with all too depressing speed and ease. If they had finished a couple of sitters that they missed, the already terrible scoreline would have been even worse.

John Hackworth said after Sunday’s pounding, “It’s hard. I think there are some plays that are made early in that second half and we felt like we did all the right things coming out of the locker room at halftime. We had the momentum, get the equalizer and feel like we got the go-ahead goal, twice. For whatever reason, the officials felt otherwise. It is incredibly hard to take that part of it because it changes so much. You have to give New England credit because they were really good. Kelyn (Rowe) has two fantastic goals. They kept going after it. Obviously momentum dramatically shifted after that. Strange, strange night. We are just left wondering how, at this level, some of that can happen.”

It is true, Kelwyn Rowe did have two fantastic goals. What was particularly fantastic about them to Union fans — and by fantastic I mean absurd, nonsensical, unbelievable, unthinkable, strange, peculiar, odd, weird, bizarre, outlandish, grotesque — was the space and time with which he had to take the shots that led to them. Rowe said after the game, “I was definitely surprised (by the space in the middle). I saw that they dropped off a lot in the first half. Juan (Agudelo) took a lot of their backs away and I was able to find the gaps in behind and create 10 yards of space for myself.” Mercy.

Rowe continued, “We got them running a little bit. That killed them off and opened them up a little bit toward the end of the second half. That’s when the floodgates opened.”

The brief postgame quotes from the Union that are currently available focus on the need to move on and regroup:

  • Hackworth: “A loss is a loss. At the end of the day, that’s not what we came up here to do. We have to keep it in perspective. We’ll do what we do after every game. Win, loss or draw; we’ll go back, look at the video, try to make a lot of corrections and get a game plan ready for next week.”
  • Danny Cruz: “We don’t have a choice but to come back tomorrow and prepare for [the next match]…we’re better then what we were tonight and we get to prove that at home next week, hopefully.”
  • Brian Carroll: “We have to stay together and get a good game plan together. Sometimes, results like this are a big wake up call and you can react one of two ways: you can let it get you down or you can stay strong and stay together and fight harder and do well for the rest of the season, and we have to find a way to do the latter part.”

All of which is true. The troubling part is how quickly and easily the Union rolled over against New England. That they will have to find a way forward without Amobi Okugo and possibly Keon Daniel when they host Montreal — who hammered Houston 5-0 on Saturday — just makes things harder.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George lays out why Sunday’s loss could be “a turning point for the worse in the Union’s season.” He concludes, “Look at the Union schedule. They’ve got a hot Montreal team next and then a trip to San Jose. It’s very likely that they could come into the Houston game Sept. 14 still short of 40 points. And if that happens, then the playoffs will have passed them by.”

So, from defensive praise and “playoff feel” to intimations of doom in less than a week. It’s a funny game sometimes.

Match recap and postgame quote sheet from PSP. More recaps and reaction from Philadelphia Union.com, Philly Soccer News, Union Tally, Zolo Times, Brotherly Game, New England Revolution.com, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Boston.com, Boston.com/Corner Kicks, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, New England Soccer News, The Bent Musket, MLSsoccer.com, SBI, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.comSports Mole, The Canadian Press, The Sports Network, UPI, and The AP.

The soccer blogger at Boston.com says, “Luck played a role in this game. At least one of Philadelphia’s shots that found the back of the net should have counted. Conor Casey’s shot probably should have counted. At the time that that goal was scored, Philadelphia had all the momentum. If Casey’s goal counts, the Revolution probably don’t go on to win, especially by five goals to one. Luck plays a role in every game. Make no mistake, between minutes 50 and 60, the soccer gods were on the Revolution’s side.”

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy writes, “Credit the Union for a good response after the interval to equalize, but the utter disintegration in the wake of the second disallowed goal (Sebastien Le Toux was correctly ruled offside on the first point of contention, according to the replays) applied a rather rough finish to the evening and underscored the need to focus on improvement, not the referees, in the wake of this defeat.”

At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis writes, “No matter how frustrating a situation becomes, a good team simply does not lose its cool. Philadelphia certainly did Sunday night outside Boston, where John Hackworth’s team collapsed under the frustration of watching two goals disallowed against New England.”

Before Sunday’s game, Dave Zeitlin had a story at MLSsoccer.com on the possibility of Fabinho taking over for Ray Gaddis at left back.

Zeitlin had another article at The 700 Level on the Keon Daniel enigma.

Montreal will be without head coach Marco Schallibaum when the Impact face the Union at PPL Park on Saturday. On Friday, the league announced that Schallibaum, who has been ejected from three games this season, would serve an additional one-game ban following his ejection from Montreal’s game against DC United on Aug. 17 for “repeated misbehavior.”

Major League Lacrosse had its championship game at PPL Park on Sunday. According to Twitter, they really did a number on the pitch.

On Sept. 8, PPL Park will be the site of the opening of the Beyond Soccer event — “a full-day event focused on the unique role the world’s most popular sport can play in driving social change” — part of the larger Beyond Sport Summit & Awards taking place in Philadelphia. Nick Sakiewicz says, “At the core of our values is that soccer is a catalyst for social responsibility. We are excited to welcome like-minded people from around the world to our world-class facility to share best practices in this area.”

Local

The Harrisburg City Islanders’ postseason came to an early end with a 3-1 home loss to the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday. To say it was the kind of match in which the referee played an all too important role would be something of an understatement. Still, the City Islanders had their chances, chances that unfortunately were not finished.

Looking back on the season, Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher said, “We started strong. We scored the most goals in the league. We were exciting. We were dangerous. And I think we had higher aspirations than where we finished. I thought we legitimately had a chance to win it all and were good enough, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait another year.”

For more on the game, check out Michael Bullock’s recap at Penn Live.com, Jeffrey Kaufman’s recap at Cumberlink.com, the recap at USLPRO.com, as well as recaps from PSP and Philly Soccer News.

Charlotte goes on to face the Richmond Kickers, who defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 1-0 on the road in their quarterfinal meeting, in the semifinals on Saturday.

The good news to come out of the quarterfinal loss is that the team raised some $7,200 to help pay for the medical expenses of former City Islander Jason Hotchkin, who was wounded in a shooting in West Chester last weekend. More on the fundraising effort from fox43.com.

Ocean City honored the Nor’easters on Friday by presenting them with a ceremonial piece of the boardwalk.

PhillyBurbs.com has five high school girls’ soccer players to watch.

MLS

It was a bad weekend for road teams in the Eastern Conference this weekend. Montreal (41 points) moved into first place with a 5-0 hammering of visiting Houston (36 points), who drop to sixth place. New York (39 points) is in second place after losing 3-2 to Chivas USA on the road. In third place is Kansas City (39 points), who lost 1-0 to seventh place Chicago (34 points). The Union (38 points) remain in fourth place after losing 5-1 to now fifth place New England (36 points). Eighth place Columbus (29 points) was thumped 4-0 away by Real Salt Lake. Ninth place Toronto (21 points) was the only Eastern Conference teams on the road to see some joy, drawing 1-1 on the road with last place DC (14 points) on a 60th equalizer from local lad Bobby Convey.

Some 67,385 people were on hand to see the Seattle Sounders defeat the Portland Timbers 1-0 in Clint Dempsey’s home debut.

Vancouver’s Kenny Miller has retired from the Scottish national team in order to focus on the Whitecaps playoff run.

The tentative $300 million deal that was reached last week between DC politicians and DC United for a new stadium — with the city paying for the cost of the land and the team’s owners for the stadium — has its critics at Slate and Think Progress.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Orlando City Lions officials, and officials from Orlando and Orange County, are mum on proposals that taxpayers receive partial ownership for the club in exchange for ponying up public money to pay for the construction of a new stadium.

NWSL

Next Sunday’s championship final will feature the Western New York Flash hosting the Portland Thorns. In Saturday’s semifinal games, the Flash defeated Sky Blue FC 2-0 while FC Kansas City went from winning 2-0 at the half to losing 3-2 in extra time. Delran’s Carli Llloyd tallied both of Western New York’s goals.

Sunil Gulati tells the Soccer Wire there will be no expansion in the league in 2014. “On expansion, I don’t say slow and steady – I think I’d probably say steady and slow. Let’s get this stabilized. Let’s get all the wrinkles out of this system and then we can talk about growth.”

At the Inquirer, Kate Harman talks to Havertown native and former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Sinead Farrelly. Now with FC Kansas City, Farrelly credits former Independence coach Paul Riley with helping her land with her current team after a difficult time following the demise of the WPS.

At the New York Times, Jack Bell looks at the possible scenarios that could result from the ongoing discussions between the New York Red Bulls and Sky Blue FC.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann says a summer of positive results means he will have some tough decisions ahead for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The pool became deeper. We have more flexibility. I think we have more players now that understand what the demands are, and actually fulfilled their roles very positively and are ready to match those demands. It’s been great to see how players came along over the last two years and make the decisions for us even more difficult. That’s a good thing. The tricky part now is how to unite the rosters from the Gold Cup and the games from May and June. There are going to be very tough decisions. There are players in every single position that are not far away from each other. Players all have their strengths and weaknesses, and if they are not called in for the games against Costa Rica it doesn’t mean that any of those guys are out of the picture by any means.

Roma have reportedly rejected an $9 million offer from Sunderland for Michael Bradley.

Michael Orozco-Fiscal scored this weekend in Peubla’s 2-1 loss to Cruz Azul.

Elsewhere

Sepp Blatter expects that FIFA’s executive committee will soon vote to switch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter. “It was wrong to say, `Now we have to play in summer,’ because in summer you cannot play there. Therefore the ExCo now shall take the decision – and they will take it – that in summer you can’t play in Qatar.” FIFA: Where the result of an election is a foregone conclusion.

 

20 Comments

  1. Hackworth has officially entered” OMG, I can’t believe we’re stuck with this guy” territory.

  2. I have been negative about many aspects of the team for a while. But at least I’m consistent. The amount of batshit crazy this last game has stirred up among the fanbase is amazing.

  3. The bad decisions by Hackworth on this game began with Torres not on the roster, switch to a 4-3-3 (4-5-1), taking Jack out of the starting lineup, keeping Keon and Cruz in the lineup (kudos to Danny on a well played goal), bringing Lahoud on for Keon, not adjusting after NE ate the middle up, not adjusting after Casey has no one to pass to all game, not bring on a sub until way too late, not warning players to stay away from cheap fouls with the game over…. Did I miss anything, is that enough?
    .
    Zac actually didn’t have a horrible game, those goals were all nice. The midfield is just so amazingly bad it’s almost
    Comical. That we have almost made NO changes to it all year unless injuries forced the hand is a joke. Anyone can see that whatever we are doing isn’t working, doesn’t Hackworth have to at least try something else?

    • I see Casey running his butt with NO ONE to pass to and then the Revs go up 2-1, then 3-1 and I’m like “ok well now we bring Jack on.” Then it’s 4-1 and I’m like “ok, well now he has to bring Jack on.” Then it’s 5-1, some time passes, and Jack finally comes on with 15 minutes to play. That says one of two things about Hackworth to me: “I have no idea what to do” or “this game is lost, oh well.” If it’s the former, I’m not surprised since he’s shown he lacks the understanding to adjust to in-game situations. If it’s the latter, Casey should’ve been off that field when it was 4-1, as he’s older and prone to injury. Very poorly managed regardless of on-field play.

  4. Hackworth: “A loss is a loss. At the end of the day, that’s not what we came up here to do. We have to keep it in perspective. We’ll do what we do after every game. Win, loss or draw; we’ll go back, look at the video, try to make a lot of corrections and get a game plan ready for next week.”

    Which means expect the same lineup next week as I see no reason to make changes.

    Give me a break. His tactics all year have been awful and the “competition” in the squad he talks about is laughable. There should be wholesale changes for the next game, but we all know the only change will be Okugo because he is suspended.

    • Hackworth needs to shut up and resign. It’s time for the media to stop prancing around obvious issues. If Hackworth gets his feelings hurt, so be it! He is not a pro coach. This was all him. How does a team sitting on the precipice of first place just tank like that? “A loss is a Loss.” Just what I expect from a mediocre wanna be coach who has not clue!

  5. On the bright side…actually, there isn’t one, but, just for fun:
    .
    1) Danny Cruz scored a legitimately nice goal.
    2) We didn’t lose to Chivas.
    .
    In other news to add to our depression… With Seattle’s average ticket price of about $56, their game last night pulled in around $3.9 million – about a million more that the Union’s entire yearly player salary.

    • Gosh, thanks for the pick-me-up post here!

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      If you put a better product on the field and stop insulting the fan base that is waiting to be treated to a quality team… we could raise a lot more money too. It’s getting very hard to justify Hackworth as a manager.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Yes, the otherwise lost in traffic, invisible man, defensenotmyjob, one man train wreck, 3 for 47 shots, Danny Cruz, scored a beauty.

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      I hate to be a downer — and I’m all for a better on-field product — but we delude ourselves into thinking that a prettier brand of soccer will make the Union as much of a force in the local sports landscape as the Sounders have done in Seattle.

      • I am not deluding myself on anything, I just want to stop clawing my eyes out watching a game.
        Though I have stopped introducing friends to soccer via the Union because it’s sooooo ugly.

  6. This would probably be the game that calls for a lineup shakeup to send a message. We all know that won’t happen. I’m interested to see how the team responds to this loss down the stretch.
    .
    It’s becoming painfully obvious that the team is freezing out Kleberson and treating his acquisition as a salary dump for Adu. This truly frustrates me. If the guy is hurt, then don’t put him on the bench. I find it hard to believe that he’s less fit than Lahoud, who looked awful out there. If the team has no future plans for the guy that’s fine, but he could still make an impact this year.

    • Maybe now that the Harrisburg season is over you bring those kids up and throw a couple out there. Maybe I’m delusional, but when I see Kelyn Rowe out there I think, “Couldn’t that be Cristhian Hernandez?”

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    Hackworth is Andy Reid. No ability to adjust… especially in game. Michael Lahoud?!?! WTF. He should never be an option… ever.

    • Andy Reid at least took responsibility for poor performances. Still waiting for Hackworth to say, “I’ve got to do a better job”, and “I need to put my players in better position”. Because those lines actually apply here. At least apologize to the fans like Petke did.

      • Andy Reid only gave lip service to taking responsibility. How often did he tell us he had to do a better job of clock management, but nothing ever chamged?
        .
        I’m not sure which is worse – the Andy Reid lip service or the John Hackworth completely ignore it, at least externally.

  8. As much as this last game sucked, and I cannot defend some of the in-game decisions and non-decisions, I think we need to look at some of the decisions Hack has made and reflect on whether he has to go.
    —–
    1. Starting Jack all season – despite the recent cold spell, a good decision
    2. Signing Casey – a total coup. Has been a stud all year.
    3. Signing Fabinho – also a positive move IMO
    4. Getting rid of Adu – also a good move for this season and, critically, next season with the $ that will be free
    5. MF selections – I have not been in love with those selections. I do not, however, believe Torres is the solution. He has never been a 90 minute player, and he cannot seem to beat Farfan for that spot. What is more significant in the precipitous drop in the quality of Farfan’s play this season.
    6. Dumping Soumare – this is, IMO, a decision that is not getting enough attention, but likely will this week (w/ Okugo out). With the way Soumare played when given the chance this season, I cannot fathom how any rational observer would think the U is better served by a Parke-Okugo-Carroll central defense than a Parke-Soumare-Okugo option.
    7. Offensive substitutions – Hack’s offensive substitutions have been generally effective over the course of the season. How many goals have offensive subs scored? How many game winners?
    8. Right now is where those 4 points needlessly surrendered to Dallas and Real SL come back to bite this team. They could realistically get zero or 1 point from their next 3 games. Do we really want to be in a situation where we have to get 3 points in the last game of the season against KC? I think not.
    —–
    So, overall, Hack has not been as awful as it seems many think. Certainly not “Special One” quality, but not awful.

    • 1)Starting Jack – this was a no brainer, as our other options were SLT and his 5 goals of 2012 and
      2)Casey – who was coming off a major knee injury and signed to a low risk/high reward prove you’re healthy deal. If he wasn’t, we’d be reliving 2012 and lamenting that the U didn’t sign enough forwad depth.
      3)Fabinho has been a bargain, necessitated by dealing away the starting LB for magic beans and inserting a young RB with the wrong foot there.
      4)No certainty that $$ will ever be used.
      5)MF – our MF is a laughingstock. While Torres may not be an answer, Kleberson showed he was familiar with the concept of passing. Gilberto was a signing brought in for what I don’t know.
      6)well, you nailed this one.
      7)Hack’s sub strategy has been pretty weak. Hopp scored and Wheeler had an assist. Otherwise we know with certainty who is coming in and when. (Marfan 65′; Hopp 78′;and mystery intro at 85′)
      8)right again, we lament the points that got away, but forget the ones we stole ourselves

      No. I think he has been on his best day an ordinary coach. Bereft of creativity, sorely lacking in roster building, and if you look at the regression in the play of Farfan and Torres, it calls into play his narrative of being a strong developer of youth. He will, however, be here next year.

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