Daily news roundups

Parke: “We’ll see what we’re made of” against SJ, Hack praises Kleberson, news from CR, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

In an article about his stellar play filling in at center back against Montreal, Sheanon Williams said of the adjustments he needed to make partnering with Jeff Parke, “All week I’ve been calling him Amobi, just from playing next to Amobi. There was a little bit of an adjustment trying to get the names right.”

Williams described the Montreal game as “a good warmup” for facing San Jose’s triple threat of Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart. Jeff Parke said, “It’s going to be a whole different ballgame. We’re away, against a team that likes to bang and be physical. We’ll see what we’re made of.”

John Hackworth praised the team performance of the Union midfield and defense in last weekend’s draw. “I think it’s just guys trusting each other to play the role. Every time we’ve done that this year — and we’ve done it for the most part — it’s been good. And we saw it two weeks ago when we were in New York. We played the same kind of collective team on both sides of the ball, and when we do that, we give ourselves an opportunity to be successful. And when we don’t, and guys try to do a little something out of their normal responsibilities, that’s where we get in trouble.”

Hackworth also praised the willingness of Kleberson to get involved in the Union attack in his brief appearance against Montreal. “It’s a good opportunity for (Kleberson). Whether it’s taking the shot or whether it’s penetrating off the dribble or providing that final pass, we definitely need to have the threat from our midfield. It was good to see it out of him.”

At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead looks at the excellent return of Ray Gaddis against Montreal from an ankle injury.

Kinkead also has a look a the series history between the Union and Sunday’s opponent, the San Jose Earthquakes. Look for our quick reference later this morning.

Wondering what the goal of the academic portion of the YSC Academy is aimed at achieving? Head of School Dr. Nooha Ahmed-Lee said, “Our educational curriculum is focused on developing skills of critical thinking, collaboration, character, creativity and confidence.”

At the Brotherly Game, reaction to the article we linked to yesterday from ProSoccerTalk about the role Kleberson could play in the Union’s playoff quest that referred to the Union as the most cash-strapped team in the league.

Local

Although Jason Plumhoff netted a pair of goals, La Salle lost their home opener on Wednesday, falling 5-3 to Loyola (Md.).

The men’s and women’s opening games this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania will be played at the Dunning-Cohen Champions Field at Penn Park because the renovations at Rhodes Field are not yet complete.

Here’s a preview of the Penn men’s team ahead of Friday’s opening match against Stony Brook.

SBI has a good read on New Hope native and Reading United captain Steve Neumann, who is starting his senior season with Georgetown.

Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble is up for USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year.

Longtime Harrisburg-area broadcaster John Wilsbach is the new owner of PASL club the Harrisburg Heat.

MLS

The Columbus Crew did the Union a favor on Wednesday night defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 with former Reading United forward Ryan Finley scoring the opening goal. A Dynamo win would have seen them move one point ahead of the Union’s 39 points and into fourth place. With the loss, they remain at 37 points and in sixth place.

Gabe Farfan was subbed in for the final 10 minutes of Chivas USA’s 1-0 road loss to Seattle on Wednesday evening.

Toronto FC have fired general manager Kevin Payne, who joined the club in November.

New England general manager Michael Burns says the reason the Revolution rejected overtures from Stoke City to acquire Juan Agudelo before the closing of the summer transfer window is simple: New England want to make the playoffs and they have a better chance of doing that with Agudelo.

The Central Winger has a statistical look at just how big a contribution Agudelo is making.

At MLSsoccer.com, Agudelo talks to Jeff Bradley about moving to Stoke, the Revolution’s playoff hopes, and more.

The mayor of San Antonio has sent MLS a letter backing a move by the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions in the the top flight.

NWSL

OregonLive.com on how the city of Portland has embraced the Thorns’ NWSL championship. “After all, it’s been 36 years since the city’s only ‘big league title,’ the Trail Blazers’ 1977 NBA championship.”

US

Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN Radio Formula that he isn’t pleased with the selection of Mexican referee Marco Antonio “El Chiqui Dracula” Rodriguez to officiate Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. “I don’t doubt that Marco Antonio Rodriguez is a great referee. But at the same time there is something I can’t get out of my head. I have eight players with a yellow card and four days later we face Mexico. Truthfully, I don’t like this.”

Klinsmann said of lingering resentment in Costa Rica about the Snow Game, “That was not our fault. I didn’t call God to give us some snow. It was difficult for both teams to play that game but I think you have now a situation, Costa Rica (with) 11 points, close to the World Cup, we have 13 points, close to the World Cup. We both want to get there and I think it’s going to be exciting.”

Concerns about the referee aside, the US expects to win. Tim Howard said, “The expectation has changed. We’ve won games on the road, not just here but in Europe as well. I think the way the team is structured now and how we’ve pressed to win the ball when it turns over instead of sitting back, we’ve created that expectation.”

Goal.com has a preview of Friday’s game. Look for ours later this morning.

The US is one of seven countries that could book their ticket to Brazil with victories in the latest qualification phase.

Soccer America has three lineup questions.

Jeering throngs at the airport, egg throwing, not providing practice balls or training facilities, taxi drivers promising to create a traffic jam to delay the the USMNT’s arrival at the Estadio Nacional before Friday’s qualifier: gamesmanship is apparently a national pastime in Costa Rica. More from ESPN and MLSsoccer.com.

It’s all a little new for Aron Johansson. “It was a little more than I expected but I guess they are excited for the game. So are we…I was told it’s going to be a big game because of the snow game in the US. The fans are going to be really excited and they’re going to do their best to disturb us from the game, but we’re concentrating on the game and the three points.”

Omar Gonzalez said of the gamesmanship, “It’s pretty much the same. What you get every time you come to one of these places.”

ASN’s Noah Davis took a jog through San Jose and found little in the way anti-American displays. “It made me wonder how much of the anger is a media construction and/or a strange, perhaps misguided plan by the Costa Rican federation to look tough and save face, and how much the people here actually feel. I suspect it’s a little of both: less than the officials would like us to believe but more than I saw on my run.”

At SI, Grant Wahl writes, “It’s kind of a shame that the gamesmanship storyline is dominating here heading into Friday’s qualifier, because the people I’ve met in Costa Rica are extremely welcoming. This is a gorgeous country, with lush green hills, good food and people who have a ready smile, a quick wit and an appetite for conversation.”

English-language Costa Rican news website The Tico Times has filed an injunction against the Costa Rican football federation with the country’s supreme court because it was denied press credentials to cover the game

Elsewhere

NBC’s Premier League coverage continues to get strong numbers.

Lionel Messi and his father have made a $6.6 million “corrective payment” to the Spanish government after being accused of tax fraud.

There was a pitch invasion after Bristol City defeated Bristol Rovers 2-1 on Wednesday in England.

2 Comments

  1. “I didn’t call God” ha, very diplomatic Jurgen. I would have said “the match was actually stopped and you punks begged for the restart cause you could smell a goal coming for you, except it didn’t, and then you lost, and what is Spanish for ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too?'”

  2. my brother, a thorns fan in portland, had quite a different take on the city’s reaction to the thorns win. i believe the word chosen to describe the reaction was “underwhelming”.

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