Daily news roundups

Union’s fate is in their own hands, Union academy teams prevail, US moves to 13th in FIFA rankings, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

After emphasizing how important it is for the Union’s playoff hopes that the team defeat Houston at PPL Park on Saturday, John Hackworth said at Wednesday’s weekly press conference, “There’s more opportunities to be in that starting 11 this week than there’s ever been to this point in the year.”

With that in mind, Dave Zeitlin ranks the chances of some players who aren’t regular starters to break into the lineup. These range from Fabinho (75 percent) and Michael Farfan (60 percent) to Kleberson (20 percent) and Roger Torres (1 percent).

At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci writes, “The Union still control their destiny. They will have the home crowd behind them. There will be no excuse for a lackluster effort.”

US Soccer Players says of Saturday’s game, “Philadelphia is clearly talented enough to take one of the two play-in spots in the Eastern Conference; Houston’s road form is even worse than Philadelphia’s. So clearly this is a chance for the Union to get three points and go into their off-week with the chance to get their tired roster a break.

Look for PSP’s preview of Saturday’s game later this morning. In the meanwhile, refresh your memory of past meetings with Houston with our quick reference. More previews from Brotherly Game and Goal.com.

Two Union games make MLSsoccer.com’s list of the top ten remaining regular season games that will help decide the playoffs: Saturday’s game against Houston and the final game of the regular season on Oct. 26 at PPL Park against Kansas City.

Jack McInerney (No. 6) and Amobi Okugo (No. 12) make ASN’s list of the 20 US players most deserving of a USMNT appearance. Sheanon Williams received an honorable mention.

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Michael Lahoud about making his first appearance for the Sierre Leone national team last Friday. “That’s a pretty big deal,” Lahoud says. “That’s a dream come true.”

Soccer America reports, “The Philadelphia Union made its Development Academy debut in impressive fashion, beating up on visiting teams from Richmond with six wins in three age groups by a margin of 30-2. The U-17/18s beat both the Richmond Kickers and Strikers, 6-0, the U-15/16s beat the Strikers, 4-1, and Kickers, 3-0, and the U-13/14s won with a 8-0 win over the Strikers and 3-1 win over the Kickers.”

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders head coach Bill Becher isn’t surprised that good friend and former teammate Bob Lilley, a graduate of Carlisle High School, is returning to the Rochester Rhinos as head coach.

Sports Myriad talks to Matt Driver about the intent behind the recently announced American Professional Soccer league.

MLS

The MLS roster freeze deadline is today at 5 pm.

It looks like the opening of San Jose’s new stadium will be delayed until 2015.

A report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says, “Falcons owner Arthur Blank is in significant discussions with Major League Soccer about bringing an expansion franchise to the city.”

DC United will help promote the District of Columbia version of the new healthcare marketplace set to launch in three weeks that are part of the health care reforms otherwise known as Obamacare. In late June, Republican leaders sent letters to the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association, and NASCAR warning them about helping to promote the health insurance exchanges but didn’t send a warning to MLS. More on the news from the National Review, Politico, New York Magazine, and the Washington Times.

US

In the latest FIFA rankings, the US moves up six spots to No. 13, its highest ranking since 2010. Mexico drops one spot to 21st. More on the rankings news from Deadspin.

Soccer America has a game plan for the two remaining qualifiers. “There are places to be won, reputations to be either established or enhanced. Maybe a dozen players — not counting the three goalkeepers — will be difficult to dislodge from the final 23-man roster; that still leaves at least eight spots up for grabs.”

Matt Besler on missing Tuesday’s game against Mexico because of yellow card accumulation: “It sucked.”

FIFA has launched an investigation in Costa Rica after match observers reported that Costa Rica fans drowned out the US national anthem with boos before the start of last Friday’s World Cup qualifier. Classy.

Elsewhere

The leader of the Qatar 2022 bid, Hassan al-Thawadi, says there is “no reason” why the country shouldn’t host the World Cup. “We’ve worked very, very hard to ensure we’re within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement. At the same time we’re delivering on all the promises that we’ve made. We’re working very hard to deliver it. The commitment is there…[Qatar] is the right place, the Middle East is the right place. We are representing the Middle East, it is a Middle Eastern World Cup, so it is the right place. The Middle East deserves to host a major tournament.”

The Cape Verde Islands have been kicked out of the African World Cup qualifying tournament for fielding a player who should have been serving a suspension. Their spot will be taken by Tunisia, the team the defeated on Friday. Cape Verde is the seventh national team to be sanctioned during Africa’s World Cup qualifying tournament.

2 Comments

  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    I hate Qatar and FIFA for ruining my chance of being old enough and having enough money to see a World Cup in the US. I was only 13 in 1994. Now I have to wait even longer. Jerks.

    • +1. I met my husband at the WC in 1994 when we were volunteers. I had visions of our whole family volunteering together in 2022. That got shot to hell in a hand basket.

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