Daily news roundups

Fabinho appeal, Cruz love, Temple, Penn State, and Delaware in NCAA Top 25, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Judging from Tuesday’s article on the Union website from Kerith Gabriel, the Union are going ahead with the appeal of Fabinho’s red card. We’ll see if there is more information on the appeal at John Hackworth’s weekly press conference, which will take place today at 12:30 pm. [UPDATE: Hackworth said at Wednesday’s press conference that the club decided not to appeal the red card. More on this later.]

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin considers the defensive possibilities against DC United on Saturday if the Union are without both Fabinho and Sheanon Williams, who will be serving an automatic one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. “Could the Union go with a three-man backline with two defensive midfielders? Will they put an untested reserve like Matt Kassel or Don Anding at one of the fullback spots? Or will Hackworth move a natural midfielder with defensive experience like Mike Farfan or Mike Lahoud (if he’s healthy) to the backline? There certainly are a few options but none of them seem particularly appealing at this point of the year.” Yep.

In an article on MLSsoccer.com, Zeitlin writes of the recovery Ray Gaddis made after his turnover following a Union corner kick in the 87th minute led to a Toronto breakaway, “Gaddis said the only thing going through his mind while chasing down Earnshaw was “How bad do you want to make the playoffs?‘” (Emphasis in the original.)

Zac MacMath said of the play, “Obviously he misjudged the ball a little bit on the corner kick. But with his determination, he backtracked amazingly – 20 yards in a matter of a couple of seconds – stripped the ball off of Earnshaw and kept it in bounds after that. It was pretty incredible hard work by Ray.”

A big tip of the hat to PSP commenter Kyle for pointing out this article from Kurtis Larson in Sunday’s Toronto Sun on Danny Cruz. Larson, who relates that Cruz headbutted him in a college game way back in 2007, says, “Philadelphia’s Danny Cruz is the dirtiest player in Major League Soccer — and that’s a good thing…Funny enough, the dirtiest player in MLS is also one of the most effective. Picture former NHLer Sean Avery, only with a bit more talent in his sport…He has the ability to bring the worst out of his opposition. He always seems to be involved in controversial moments that make headlines…Dirty or not, a player’s job is to help his side win at all cost. And Cruz might be the best player in the league at doing just enough to rattle opponents to the point he and teammates can take advantage of those he preys on.”

After securing his league-leading 12th shutout against Toronto, MacMath came in at No. 3 in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 Performer’s rankings. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 10), MacMath (No. 19), Conor Casey (No. 25), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 43), and Amobi Okugo (No. 50).

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep includes Okugo on a list of uncapped players who for Jurgen Klinsmann to consider calling up to January’s USMNT camp. Galarcep says, “If Klinsmann wants a centerback who combines athleticism with good ball skills, he could do worse than consider Okugo, the converted fullback who has anchored a Philadelphia Union defense that leads the league in shutouts.”

Kleberson was named to the bench for MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up two spots to No. 10.

At the Brotherly Game, Andrew Stoltzfus reviews the good (another win to stay in the playoff hunt), the bad (Fabinho and Sheanon Williams being suspended), and the ugly (Cruz’s tackle on Doneil Henry in the first half) from Saturday’s game against Toronto.

Another article on the Union website says Sunday’s River Cup raised “in excess [of] $35,000” for the Philadelphia Union Foundation. Sons of Ben vice president Corey Furlan said in the article, “This year’s event was definitely the most thought out and well produced. It was evident that a lot of planning has gone into making this event better year after year and it’s always such a privilege and a great experience to play on this field. For us to capture a win this year and take home the Cup, really put the experience over the top.”


In the latest NCAA RPI Rankings, Temple comes in at No. 22, Penn State at No. 20, and Delaware at No. 14. None of the teams are in the top 25 in the coaches poll.

The Princeton men’s team defeated Drexel 1-0 on Tuesday.

The La Salle men’s team fell 3-0 on the road to St. John’s.

The Cabrini College men’s team extended its winning streak to six games with a 4-0 road win at Keystone College. The women’s team defeated Notre Dame of Maryland University by the same scoreline.

The Philadelphia University men’s team drew 1-1 with Wilmington. The Philadelphia University women’s team defeated Chestnut Hill 4-2.

The Pennsylvania Roar, the new Reading-based MISL team, will be holding its final open tryout before the start of the 2013-14 season at United Sports in Downingtown, October 14 and 15.


There are three midweek games tonight. In Eastern Conference play, the Houston Dynamo host Sporting Kansas City (8:30 pm, Direct Kick, MLS Live).

In other Eastern Conference news, Tuesday was apparently the day for speculation over who will be the new head coach of the Columbus Crew, currently being led by interim head coach Brian Bliss, the team’s technical director, after the firing of Robert Warzycha. Grant Wahl said that Brad Friedel has interviewed for the job, although the club would not confirm this.

Crew legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto, currently head coach of Argentinian club Lanús, said he would like to return to MLS someday but not right now. “Yes, I know about the opening after Warzycha left. The truth is I have nothing to say. I am happy at Lanús and I have a contract until June 2014. Obviously, in the future, of course I would like to return to MLS. But in this moment, the only thing I’m thinking of is Lanús.”

Sticking with Columbus, Federico Higuain picked up a hip injury over the weekend in the loss against Kansas City that, should the Crew be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend, could see the Argentinian done for the season. Crew interim manager Brian Bliss said, “That’s always a possibility…I don’t want to injure anybody for no reason. But even if we happen to be out of it mathematically, we still want to finish strong. That doesn’t mean rolling out a guy and injuring him for the rest of the season or the rest of the year.”

CHI new 3rd kit


The Chicago Fire have unveiled their new fan designed “Heart on Your Sleeve” third kit. Meh. It looks better than that LA Galaxy monstrosity, anyway.


Former Union man Michael Orozco Fiscal has been called up to replace the injured Omar Gonzalez for the World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica on Friday and Panama on Tuesday. Gonzalez left Sunday’s match between LA Galaxy and Chivas USA at halftime with what has been diagnosed as a left hip strain.

Despite a tweet from Taylor Twellman suggesting otherwise, Brad Davis has not been called up.

The Galaxy have asked US Soccer for the return of Landon Donovan before next Tuesday’s game in Panama so that he will be available for Wednesday’s game in LA against Montreal. The club is reportedly asking for the same with Robbie Keane because Ireland is likely to be eliminated from qualifying for the World Cup on Friday.

Grant Wahl says that, even with two wins in the final qualifiers, the chances of the US making it into the Top 8 of FIFA’s rankings and thus becoming one of the group seeds for December’s 2014 World Cup draw are practically nil. Wahl writes, “As helpful as it would be for the U.S. to get a top seed (and avoid the other top seeds in the group stage), the chances are so slim that I’ll run naked through the streets of Manhattan if it ends up happening.”

Fans in the US are second only to Brazil in requests for tickets to the 2014 World Cup.

Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reports that the US and Iran have agreed to play a friendly next Spring before the World Cup. According to the report, the head of the Iranian Football Federation Ali Kaffashian said, “We have talked with the US Soccer Federation officials and they, too, are interested in hosting this match. The only remaining issue is deciding the time and the venue for it, and whether it would be a game between the two teams or in the framework of a multilateral competition.” You will recall that reports emerged last Friday of a possible friendly between the two teams but US Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe said reports that an agreement had been reached were “premature.”

Kari Seitz, the only referee to officiate in four World Cups, will retire after calling the USWNT v Australia match in San Antonio on Oct. 20.


The AP reports, “A group of about 50 protesters vandalized part of the construction site of a World Cup stadium and chanted anti-FIFA slogans during an inspection by organizers in Cuiaba on Tuesday.” FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke was among those participating in the inspection.

The report also says, “In the southern city of Curitiba, a Brazilian labor judge on Tuesday reversed a ruling that had halted construction at the Arena da Baixada for nearly a week because of workers’ safety concerns. Work resumed, but a new inspection was scheduled for the end of the week.”

Also from the AP, “FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia expects investigations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids to last well into next year. However, Garcia’s United States-based law firm on Tuesday stressed the limited mandate of his work, which some FIFA critics hope could lead to re-running the controversial process which gave the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar.”

Former Chilean FIFA official Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who led the team that wrote the inspection report on the bids for the 2022 World Cup, tells The Telegraph that the emirate won the bidding process before the inspection report was available. Mayne-Nicholls, who asserts there was no evidence of corruption, nevertheless says awarding Qatar the hosting rights was a mistake and calls for a new bidding process to be developed which prevents executive committee members from being able to make deals for votes.

Speaking at the Leadership in Football conference in London, US Soccer head Sunil Gulati has called for changes in the World Cup bidding process.

Believing him to be a secret supporter of rival CSKA Sofia, several dozen Levski Sofia fans crashed the press conference unveiling Ivaylo Petev’s as the Bulgarian club’s new coach and made him take off his shirt before running him out the door.


  1. They’re really appealing the Fabinho red card? The Union should just be thanking their lucky stars they weren’t down to 8 men by the end of the Toronto game, and not trying to annoy the DC any further.

    • Eh… Run it up the flag pole. Unless the MLS decides to give Fabinho another game(they won’t) they have nothing to lose by trying.

  2. It is really sad and frustrating that the 2022 WC was given to Qatar considering the blatant corruption that determined it, the slave labor used there and the totally inappropriate climate. And then there is this-
    I wish there was something I could do about it; I have sent messages to USSF but I’m pretty sure Sunil Gulati has already said he thinks it should be moved.

  3. Sorry, Cruz is the dirtiest player in MLS? Has the writer not seen the ENTIRE Houston Dynamo?

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