Daily news roundups

Hack says Union need to win 3 out of last 5, Torres & Kleberson, 2022 WC construction worker abuse

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

In John Hackworth’s weekly Union press conference, the Union coach described what the team needs to do over the last five games of the season if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive. “I think in the next five games you have to get three wins and probably another point along the way. And it’ll depend on what other teams do too. But, I think realistically, you want to get nine to ten points out these next possible 15.”

Hackworth went to great length’s to explain that now is not the time to panic and that he believes the team is playing better than their record would indicate.

“If you guys would have asked me that in February, that we would be in the thick of it, I would take it, for sure. Especially with five games to play.

“I feel really good about the way we are playing…I think we’re in a good spot. We have everything to play for, it’s up to us. I think we’re in a spot that most of us would have taken at the start of the year.”

So, is Friday’s game a must-win? Hackworth said, “The reality is, if you look at our last five games, and you’ve got Kansas City twice in that last five, going a way to Kansas City certainly is gonna be a huge difficult game for us. But I don’t think its one where people are going to say, ‘Philly’s gotta win this one in order to put themselves back into the race.’ You look at the home games in the rest of the schedule and think there’s probably a better chance to do that.”

Asked about the possibility that Roger Torres could see more minutes in the playoff push, Hackworth replied, “Sure, there’s a shot. But how many minutes did you say he played so far this season? In reality, I don’t think we’re in a desperate situation. And I think if you start to reach for straws and play guys who haven’t really represented your team at this point in the year that you’re getting to desperate times. Roger has done well in training over  the last couple of weeks, that’s why he was in the 18 against Houston. But I think it’s unrealistic to say that you’re going to go to a guy that has played under 40 minutes for you all year.”

He responded similarly when asked about Kleberson. “I think every guy on our roster has a very important role to play, but similar to the way I talked about Roger earlier, I wouldn’t expect us to go to desperate lengths and play guys that hadn’t been a part of what we did all year.”

Asked what kind of message he was sending to the fan base by not fielding a player whose arrival was greeted with great fanfare and who takes up a big chunk of the Union’s salary, Hackworth answered, “I’m not trying to send any message to the fan base. I’m trying to put 11 players on the field that, game-in and game-out, give us the best chance to win. And Kleberson has been important to that. But I would go back to the real reasons why he is here and what he has done for the club. And those are different for our coaching staff and for the players in the locker room than they are, for sure, to the people out there.”

You can watch the video of the press conference and read a transcript of what was said here.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George says Hackworth’s script “is sounding tired.”

Jeff Parke says that the remaining games will have a playoff feel, but first things first. “We have to worry about this first game. We all want to get to the playoffs, but we have to take care of the road first to get there. We have a couple of games at home and a couple of games away, every game will feel like a playoff but it’s different because we are playing different teams – we aren’t just gearing up for one team. It’s week-to-week grind, but you can look at it from a playoff stance and say ‘hey, let’s win this game to get to the next game, let’s worry about this first game…That’s how we should be thinking and preparing, and right now we are thinking about this game against Kansas City and that’s it.”

Parke also said that, given how young the Union are, experiencing the playoffs now will be important for the future. “[W]hat many people don’t understand is that a lot of our players haven’t been there before and this is a first time for them. It’s important for this team this season to get to the playoffs so that you can feel that and recognize the importance.”

Previews? MLSsoccer.com and Goal.com have previews, and there’s this video preview from the Union. The Sporting Kansas City website has a scouting report on the Union and a statistical comparison of the two sides.

KC’s CJ Sapong on his return to form, which includes three goals in the last two games.

The latest player salary numbers were released by the Players Union on Wednesday. While the Union’s overall salary numbers — $3,322,942.00 in base salary and $3,643,642.00 in guaranteed compensation — remain the same from the last figures that were released in August after the close of the summer transfer window, they’ve risen one spot to 12th in the league. In case you were wondering, new signing Yann Ekra is on $46,500 a year, the same salary that Chris Konopka was on before he was traded to Toronto. In case you had forgotten, Brazilian midfielder Gilberto “Long Term Project” Dos Santos is at $60,000 in base salary and $80,000 in guaranteed compensation. At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a closer look at the numbers.

Sebastien Le Toux fielded fan questions on Twitter yesterday. Here’s a Storify roundup of the feed.

Brotherly Game looks at the weekend’s schedule and what results would help the Union.

Also from the Brotherly Game, a look at how former Union players fared over the last week.

Local

Two area players have been named to the US roster that will play in the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship in Jamaica, from Oct. 30-Nov. 9 for qualification for the 2014 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. They are midfielders Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.) and Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.). Here’s a Q&A with head coach BJ Snow on the team’s preparations for the CONCACAF championship.

Freshman Matt Mahoney’s first collegiate goal was enough as Temple defeated Fordham 1-0 on Wednesday in non-conference play. Temple’s record now stands at 6-2.

The Drexel women’s team hosts La Salle in a non-conference game tonight at 7 pm.

In the latest NSCAA high school rankings, Wilmington’s Salesianum School moves up one spot to No. 13 while Mechanic’s burg’s Cumberland Valley moves up seven spots to No. 18 in the boys’ rankings. In the girls’ rankings, Cumberland Valley stays at No. 9, Washington Township, NJ’s Immaculate Heart Academy moves up four spots to No. 14,  and Langhorne’s Neshaminy High School moves up seven spots to No. 18.

Brian Farley, the former treasurer convicted of stealing $120,000 from the Lehigh Valley’s Tri Boro Youth Soccer Club, will make a public apology tonight at 7 pm at Whitehall High School’s soccer field. Some 200 people are expected to attend.

MLS

Both MLS teams playing in the CONCACAF Champions League were victorious on Wednesday night. LA Galaxy defeated Cartigines 3-0 in Costa Rica to book their passage to the knockout stage. Former Union man Chandler Hoffman scored the second goal, his first of the season. Houston defeated W Connection 2-0 and now only needs a draw against Arabe Unido in the final group game to advance to the knockout stage.

Following the news that Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave are unlikely to travel with New York to Seattle for this weekend’s top of the table tilt, ProSoccerTalk compares the quality of the turf at Portland (decent), Seattle (passable), and Vancouver (New England-level bad).

Portland owner Merritt Paulson puts the chances of converting Jeld-Wen Field to natural grass at “50-50” and says the biggest impediment is the fact that Portland State University plays it’s American football games there. Paulson also says the team is exploring the possibility of installing terraces at Jeld-WEn’s North End, which would increase capacity by several thousand above the current 22,000.

At MLSsoccer.com, a look at what Chicago will do with Bakary Soumare suspended for one game.

Montreal and its head coach have been fined by the league after its players swarmed the referee during the 3-0 home loss to Vancouver over the weekend. Is this the first time the new don’t mob the ref rule has been used?

Comments from Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen that fullbacks shouldn’t make the kind of money that goalscorers do suggest that Richard Eckersley’s time with the club may be nearing its end. “If you had Dani Alves, Glenn Johnson or Ashley Cole and you could put them on a $500,000, $600,000 or $700,000 contract here, you wouldn’t do it. It makes absolutely no sense to put a left or right back on that amount of money because it destroys your salary cap.”

The San Jose Mercury News reports, “Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch got a shock Tuesday when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle crashed into a concrete barrier about 10 feet from where he was training.” The Earthquakes training facility is next door to the track that Bradley manufacturer BAE Systems uses to test the fighting vehicles. Busch said, “I’m just glad it didn’t come through the freaking fence.”

US

New figures posted on the US Soccer website provide salary information for USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann and USWNT coach Tom Sermanni. Klinsmann’s base salary stands at $2.5 million with performance bonuses available for between $500,000 and $10.5 million. Sermanni’s base salary is $185,000 to $210,000 with potential bonuses of $25,000 to $80,000 depending on how the team does at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Soccer America notes the financial statements also show that US Soccer’s revenue went up nearly $9 million to $64.9 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. Revenue from the US Open Cup tournament nearly doubled.

Aron Johannsson scored a hat trick in Wednesday’s Dutch Cup game. He has now scored nine goals in 12 matches. No word on how many tears Iceland has shed.

At the LA Times, a father weighs in on the ongoing academy v high school debate, and says, “The reality is that the promises of improved development by the academy system are often grossly overstated.”

Concerns have risen that the San Francisco 49ers will pave over youth soccer fields after the team realized it was 5,000 parking spaces short for its $1.3 billion new stadium in Santa Clara.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports on widespread abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar who are toiling to prepare the emirate for the 2022 World Cup.

The International Trade Union Congress says World Cup preparations will leave 4,000 workers dead. According to the Nepalese embassy in Qatar, at least 44 workers died between June 4 and August 8.

The BBC reports that World Cup organizers in Qatar are “appalled” by the findings of the Guardian’s investigation.

That ridiculous Michael Jackson statue was removed from Fulham’s Craven Cottage on Wednesday morning.

Former Philadelphia Independence head coach Paul Riley talks to Michael Lewis at Big Apple Soccer about his hopes to be the next England women’s team coach.

 

6 Comments

  1. Can we talk about Hack’s “mathematical mind”?

    SKC away isn’t a “must win”. The Union need to take 9-10 over the last 5. So that’s 3-1-1, with the L away to SKC.

    So he just guaranteed either a win away to MTL (remember that 5 goal onslaught?), or beating SKC here on the last round of the season AND with a draw away to MTL (where they are a solid 9-3-3). Like, he gets that, right?

    Now if they somehow grab a point in KC, it shifts to either a win away or a win at home. Like Hack, I’m obviously counting on beating TFC here and DCU away (who if they were smart would switch this to the SOccerplex, where our dreams go to die).

    • The problem with the math is that wins over Montreal and SKC don’t really gain us any ground as we need Houston, Chicago and New England to lose on those days as well. So I think the more realistic goal is 2-0-3. Wins over DC and Toronto and 3 draws. That gets us to 9 points AND sends us to the playoffs on an unbeaten streak. In a 2-game series a road draw in the playoffs is as good as a win, and no better place to prep than Montreal and Kansas City.

  2. Hackworth makes himself undefendable. I almost feel bad for those who still stick up for him, bc he doesn’t make the job easy.

  3. As for the salary numbers. It is misleading to say we are 12th in the league. If you take out Valdes and Pfeffer, that drops us to 17th in the league…we’re talking Chivas numbers as far as the players that Hack has at his disposal. If we expect to be contenders, we are at least going to have to start spending in the middle of the pack.

    • I think that you need to pull out all loaned players and all long-term injuries if you want to compare teams by that criteria.

  4. the real alex says:

    The fact that Kleberson and Torres haven’t been a part of what the team has been doing so far this season is a positive to me. That shouldn’t be a reason not to play them. The midfield has been at best mediocre. The fact that they haven’t contributed to the mediocrity means I would like to see more of them. We already know what Keon, Carroll and Cruz bring to the table and it isn’t even close enough to compete. In fact, the way this team has been managed is a big reason why I will be watching home and away games at Ed’s bar next year. I can’t keep giving this team money the way it’s been run, I only have myself to blame – season tickets since year one, 4 jerseys, 7 scarves, 5 hats, 2 jackets, 1 sweatshirt, 1 pair of training pants. I feel like a VISA add but putting my wallet away and telling this team to get their shit together feels priceless. These last two years have been a disaster. And this year only looks good because last year was such a trainwreck. Glad they brought in three veterans their prior teams didn’t have plans for. How about they get someone other teams actually covet for once and shell out a little cash. I know I’m done shelling out mine.

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