Daily news roundups

Montreal loss sets up big game on Saturday, Le Toux availability “doesn’t look great,” WC seeds, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Union fans will be pleased to know that the Montreal Impact fell 1-0 on the road to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. Montreal is now on a six-game winless streak with five losses including the last three in a row.

Montreal head coach Marco Schällibaum said after the loss, “That’s our reality: We’ve struggled for weeks now. But we can’t stop believing. It’s clear: we have to win against Philadelphia.”

At Wednesday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth said, “For us, we know where we are right now and we have to go to Montreal and feel like we have to get points. There’s no other alternative for us right now…we can’t control what other teams are doing, all we can do is try to control ourselves…Whatever else happens in the league happens, but if we do what we’re supposed to, then we still live to fight for that last game versus Sporting Kansas City here.”

Hackworth said that he is hopeful that the injured Sebastien Le Toux will be available for the Montreal game but added, “To be fair, it doesn’t look great.”

The Union will definitely be without Michael Farfan, who will be suspended for the Montreal game due to yellow card accumulation. Hackworth said, “It’s going to be tough to lose Michael. I’ve been really pleased with Michael over the past three games. It hasn’t been the easiest year for him. But to see him back in really good form and play some huge minutes for us and be so important to what we’re doing, I’m pleased for him personally knowing that as a player he has the capability.”

Asked if his team plays better as underdogs, Hackworth said, “We are certainly a team that has a little edge to us and like to have that chip on our shoulder and that likes to read things about how we aren’t going to be successful. It certainly goes a long way into firing these guys up. When you tell them they can’t do something, they certainly try to rise to the occasion. On the other hand, I do think we are a team that needs to learn how to deal with that role of being a favorite.”

Hackworth praised Matt Kassel for for his play after coming in unexpectedly early for an injured Le Toux against DC. “[H]e deserves a ton of credit because he was so important to us battling back in that game.”

For more from the press conference, PSP’s got you covered with a transcript and video.

There’s a video preview of Saturday’s game on the Union website.

Greg Lalas breaks down Jack McInerney’s goal against DC in this Anatomy of a Goal video.

The 700 Level rounds up reaction among the Union to the dramatic USMNT win over Panama

Philadelphia Magazine has a Q&A with Union sideline reporter and former USWNT star Heather Mitts.


Havertown native and former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Sinead Farrelly scored in Cypriot club Apollon Limassol’s 1-1 draw with Austrian side Neulengbach in UEFA Women’s Champions League play on Wednesday but her side was eliminated from the tournament on aggregate.

The Drexel men’s team secured a 2-0 road win over UNCW on Wednesday to end a four-game winless streak.

In the latest NSCAA boys’ high school rankings, Wilmington’s Salesianum School falls two spots to No. 7, and Mechanicsburg’s Cumberland Valley drops two spots to No. 19, while Father Judge remains at No. 25. Malvern’s Great Valley, Middletown, Del.’s Appoquinimink, and Sewell, NJ’s Washington Township High School received votes.

In the NSCAA girls’ high school rankings, Cumberland Valley fell one spot to No. 8 while Langhorne’s Neshaminy High School moved up one spot to No. 12. Central Bucks East entered the rankings at No. 23.


With the LA vs. Montreal game now in the books, every team in the league has now played the same number of games for the first time this season since I don’t know when.

The win saw LA move into third place in the Western Conference, where the standings are just a tight as they are in the East.

At US Soccer Players, Jason Davis on the dysfunctional Sounders.

DC must win its last two games to avoid setting or tying a new league record for fewest wins in a season. The Washington Post compares that possible accomplishment with the records of some of the worst American sports teams in history.

Xabi Alonso to MLS?


In the October FIFA rankings released today, the US remains at No. 13. Following the release of the rankings, FIFA announced the top seeds for the 2014 World Cup. They are, in addition to host country Brazil (No. 11) and in order of ranking, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay and Switzerland. Uruguay’s seeding is dependent on them winning the intercontinental playoff against Jordan. If they lose, Netherlands will take their spot. More from ESPN.

In case you’re wondering, Mexico dropped three spots to No. 24 in the FIFA world rankings.

US Soccer has posted video of postgame comments from some of the US players following the win over Panama on Tuesday. Clarence Goodson’s comments are particularly insightful. Expressing his surprise that Panama didn’t play more defensively when they had the lead and thus leaving gaps for the US to exploit, Goodson says Panama “should have just played primitive.”

Following the win, the internet exploded with stories about Mexican fans expressing their thanks to their new favorite team, the US. Here’s a sampling from The Christian Science Monitor, New York Daily News, LA Times, The Guardian, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, NESN, UPI, and The APAnother article at the LA Times, which describes the US win as “the worst good news possible,” notes that some of the thanks have not been without a dash of sarcasm, while SI has a more general look at the game’s aftermath.

Rafa Marquez was asked by ESPN Deportes after the game, “Any message to Klinsmann or the USA after they scored two goals in stoppage time?” The former Red Bull and well known jerk replied, “No, none.”

Soccer America has video of Graham Zusi’s goal as called by a Panamanian broadcaster and a video clip of Panama player reactions set to appropriately sappy music.

At ASN, Liviu Bird has a tactical breakdown of Tuesday’s win.

Qualification secured, talk now turns to which players will be on the 23-player roster for the World Cup. Goal.com starts things off with this look from Ives Galarcep and ProSoccerTalk gets on board with a positional look at goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.

Also at ProSoccerTalk, Joe Prince-Wright talks to Tim Ream, who says he has no regrets about moving to England.

Whether it makes you depressed or ticked off, check out this brief but informative look at how soccer has been historically covered in the US by the likes of ESPN and SI.


The AP reports, “Brazilian congressman and former soccer great Romario has launched another attack against FIFA, calling President Sepp Blatter ”a thief’ and secretary general Jerome Valcke ‘a blackmailer.'”

With a tax increase on French clubs set to rise to 75 percent next year, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs are reportedly considering refusing to play games in protest.

In Wales, Peter Edwards placed a £50 bet with a bookmaker at odds of 2,500/1 that his 18-month-old grandson would play for the Welsh national team. On Tuesday, his 16-year-old grandson, Harry Wilson, appeared for Wales as an 87th minute substitute against Belgium, netting his grandfather £125,000, or almost $250,000. Edwards said, “I retired immediately. I told my manager yesterday that if Harry plays I wouldn’t be coming back…I’ve retired one year early. I have come home now and will not be going back. Not bad for a daft bet.”


  1. It’s really tough to listen to and/or read John Hackworth’s comments. It always sounds like coach speak, where he’s just afraid to speak in definites (i.e. we feel like we need to get points as opposed to “we NEED to get points”), but given the consistency it almost feels like he’s just not sure what to say. I’d rather have a “next question” then listen to someone sidestep around an answer like he does.

  2. FIFA’s rankings/seedings are a joke. The Netherlands were runners up in 2010 while Switzerland didn’t get out of the group stage and Belgium didn’t even qualify, but since that was 4 years ago, it barely counts in the rankings. In Euro 2012, Netherlands lost all 3 games by a goal, but neither Switzerland nor Belgium qualified. This means that the Netherlands should have picked up more points than either of the other 2 in qualifying.

    In 2014 qualifying, the Netherlands had a better record (9 wins, 1 draw) than either of those two countries (8 wins, 2 draws for Belgium, 7 wins, 3 draws for Switzerland). However, those countries wind up with a higher ranking than the Netherlands because they ended up in groups where they were getting points for beating a top seeded team (Croatia and Norway) while the Netherlands were getting significantly fewer points for beating Hungary (looking at the pot 3 team since Switzerland and Belgium were both in pot 3).

    This means that if a team like the Netherlands ends up in a group with Brazil or Spain, the other two teams are going into the group with no realistic chance of advancing. Looking at FIFA’s rankings, you could easily end up with a group of Spain, Netherlands, Chile, and USA. That’s three teams who won their group in 2010 and a fourth who finished second to Spain on goal differential. All are ranked in the top 13.

    In 2006, the US was ranked in the top 5 (yes, I know it was the old ranking system) but wasn’t seeded because the past 2 world cup results were factored in. Now, we see teams like the Netherlands made it out of the group stage in 2006 and were runners up in 2010 not get seeded despite having the best record in the world in qualifying (along with Germany)? It just doesn’t make sense. (Expect more rants like this between now and Dec 6!)

    • FIFA is the most corrupt, opaque, and arrogant global organization and it has absolutely no respect for it’s declared mission or the population it is supposed to serve

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      The rant is very welcome, I look forward to more! As Kyle wrote, FIFA is a joke when it comes to creditable governance. The fact that they seem to change procedures, be they in terms of awarding hosting rights or how the rankings are compiled, every WC cycle doesn’t help.

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