Daily news roundups

“A little disappointed”: recaps & reaction to Saturday’s draw, Thorns NWSL champs, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

All of us at PSP wish you and yours a safe and happy Labor Day.

Philadelphia Union

After the disaster in New England, it is surely something that a makeshift Union defense managed to shut down a Montreal Impact team that had scored five goals of their own last weekend. Still, while Saturday’s scoreless draw didn’t feel like a loss, it certainly was a disappointing result in terms of the Union advancing its playoff claim.

John Hackworth said after the game, “I would say we’re a little disappointed not getting the three points there. We executed our game plan and got the chances and didn’t put them in the back of the net, and that happens. But overall, we played a good game, limited a very attack-oriented team and very dangerous team. It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to take it in perspective.”

Hackworth praised the play of Sheanon Williams, who was filling in for the suspended Amobi Okugo at center back, and Ray Gaddis, who returned from injury to take the right fullback spot. “Both Sheanon and Ray were really good tonight. I didn’t get a chance to look at the shots, but I think we limited the number of opportunities that Montreal had significantly. So those guys were excellent. Our whole defense. Jeff Parke was really good organizing it tonight, Fabinho was really good. Zac was good. So team effort defensively that was accomplished.”

Williams said, “Me and Jeff both like to talk, and that keeps both of us alert. That especially helps me playing center back, which isn’t my natural position.”

Jack McInerney was taking the missed header in the 77th minute hard after the game. “That header,” McInerney said, “I’ll finish nine times out of 10 with my eyes closed…It’s one of those things where the team depends on me to score, and when I do get that one chance that they create for me, I have to do it. And I didn’t do it tonight and I kind of let my team down.”

He continued, “When you’re in a little bit of a slump, it’s just kind of a mind game. And right now, I’m kind of in between decisions of what I want to do and that’s what’s really stopping me. If there’s something I knew I could change, then I would have done it the first game I didn’t score.”

Hackworth said, “Honestly I thought we created some really good chances in the first half and the second half, and I honestly think if a team is creating chances it’s the hardest thing to do in this sport is to score a goal. As long as we’re creating them I know they’re going to come.”

Brian Carroll said, “We had a little bit of the better play. On a different night, if their keeper doesn’t come up with those saves, we are winning this game.”

Montreal were happy to get a point. Said assistant coach Mauro Biello, “Philadelphia are behind us, we have two games in hand, and we were able to grab that point. We’re still playing another game against them at home, so keeping those three points on them puts us in a good spot.”

Biello complimented the Union for their defensive play. “Credit to Philadelphia: they conceded five in their last game [in New England], and today played a great defensive game. They didn’t allow us much space. Maybe we were a bit slower than them offensively. So credit to them. They remained compact throughout. We managed the game better in the second half and kept the ball more, but their block was tight and they waited for the counter.”

Match recaps from PSP, PhiladelphiaUnion.com, Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, ImpactMontreal.com, CTV Montreal, The Canadian Press, Mount Royal Soccer, Le Footy Daily, MLSsoccer.com, Gant Daily, Goal.com, The Sports Network, and the AP.

With Saturday’s draw, SportsClubStats.com drops the Union’s playoff chances to 49.9%, down from 58.8% last week. After the New York game two weeks ago, the site had the probability of the Union making the playoffs at 72.6%.

Looking ahead to the next game in San Jose, in case you were wondering, the Earthquakes were blanked 3-0 on the road by the Galaxy on Saturday.

In the latest Top 100 rankings of US players at ASN, Jack McInerney is 33rd, Amobi Okugo 48th, and Sheanon Williams 92nd. Michael Farfan comes in at No. 110. Among MLS players, McInerney is ranked at No. 9, Okugo at No. 19, Williams at No. 50.

Local

Former Harrisburg City Islander Jason Hotchkin, wounded in a shooting in West Chester on Aug. 18, has been moved to a medical facility in the Harrisburg area.

MLS

The Eastern Conference playoff race remains tightly contested after the weekend’s games. Montreal remains in first place with 42 points and two games in hand after the 0-0 draw with the Union, who remain in fourth place with 39 points. New York (42 points) defeated last place DC (14 points), 2-1. Third place Kansas City, also with 42 points, defeated Colorado, 2-1. Fifth place New England (37 points) drew 1-1 with ninth place Toronto (22 points). Sixth place Houston (37 points) drew 1-1 on the road with seventh place Chicago (35 points). Both Houston and Chicago have played two fewer games than the Union. Eighth place Columbus (29 points) fell 1-0 at home to the visiting Sounders.

NWSL

After going up 1-0 courtesy of a long distance Tobin Heath strike in the first half, Portland Thorns played the final 34 minutes of Saturday’s NWSL championship final against Western New York Flash down a player. The visiting Thorns would keep the Flash at bay with Christine Sinclair providing a second half stoppage time insurance goal, winning the NWSL’s inaugural championship 2-0.

US

On Sunday it was announced that Michael Parkhurst will replaced the injured Brad Evans for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Evans injured his calf in Seattle’s win over Columbus.

At Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney looks at how Landon Donovan aids both the US defense and offense.

The qualifier against Jamaica in Kansas City on Oct. 11 sold out in five minutes.

Oguchi Onyewu is looking for a new club after parting ways with Sporting Lisbon.

The official poster and scarf for next Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Columbus have been released and they’re awesome.

Elsewhere

It’s official: Gareth Bale is the most expensive footballer in the world after his €100m transfer to Real Madrid. That’s some $132m in American money.

The Hollywood Reporter notes the NBC Sports Group’s good viewing numbers for their Premier League broadcasts — the opening weekend’s numbers were NBCSN’s highest since the 2012 Summer Olympics — and credits the network’s decision not to “Americanize” the broadcasts.

John Lennon scores with an assist from Michael Jackson while Mahatma Gandhi looks on? Only in Brazil.

 

12 Comments

  1. I like McInerney’s responses above, much more than the body language and attitude he was starting to show Saturday. As long as he keeps his dark cloud off the practice field, I think Coach Hack should tell Jack to shoot on sight, and then put him on the field and let him play his way out of his slump.

    • I think he’s just frustrated beyond the point of self restraint. Not just with his lack of service(who can blaim him) but with his own lack off finishing the few chances he’s got. I think he should have sat 2 games just to let the kid breath deep and collect himself. We also have to remember on top of everything he’s still just 21. Give the guy a little break.

    • Jack hasn’t scored since before the open cup loss to DC. This seems a bit more than just a slump.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        I’m not sure what you are implying. What if not a slump? He was gone over 3 weeks for the call up. He had a ton of hyped expectations with that, his hot streak and all-stars. Even with his absence he has played more minutes than any player other than the backs, Zac and Le2 who has 20 minutes on him. Even slumping he draws defenders, creates chances for others and is the most dangerous guy other than Casey on the field. What???

      • I think you said it best “had a ton of hyped expectations”, but now isn’t living up to the hype. Training with the national team should have improved his performance, not hindered it. I like Jack, he’s a good player, just perhaps not as good as everyone had hoped? Everyone knows his sniper style of play limits his chances to a few yards from goal. Could you see him burying a shot like Rowe did against us last week from outside the box? Look at the play of Erick Torres, another 20 yr old on Chivas USA. His bicycle kick goal was nominated for goal of the week. Do you think Jack has that kind of skill?

      • Jack has a specific set of skills. When he learns to do them consistently well, he will dominate this league, not with bicycle kicks, but in his own way. I’d say that this is a mean reversion rather than a testament to his true talent level. 12 goals as a 21 year old would still be a great season, and that’s only asking for 2 over the next 8 games.

  2. Onyewu needs a team, we need a second CB. Sounds like a good idea to me if we can get him for a free transfer. Oh yeah, we don’t get DP’s to play them.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I thought the same thing. I would love to bring him in… but then remembered that it will never happen. WTF

      • Would it even be possible for us to get him considering that the transfer window is closed? Or does that not count because he isn’t under contract?

      • Kyle if he is out of contract and not with a team he can sign with any one at any time. That’s why I said free transfer because the Union wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee to another team. Bonus for a team like ours who doesn’t like to spend money. But reality hits you in the face because he will expect a decent wage and as said we have a team who doesn’t like to spend money.

      • I guess we would also have to worry about the allocation lottery unless he would come in as a DP

      • Yeah, between the allocation lottery, the previous rights and whatever else goes on behind the MLS curtain, it’s doubtful he’d end up here even if the FO said they would spend the money. Esp. not when his hometown team probably needs a center back even worse than we do.

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