Daily news roundups

Hack on options against KC, Albright to retire, Williams’ century, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

In Wednesday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth was asked if the team might have to press earlier than they have of late for goals against Kansas City on Saturday. Hackworth said, “We certainly understand where we are and what we have to do. That means we can’t leave it late, if you will, which means we’re gonna have to take a little more risk earlier.”

Asked about the Union’s options to replace the suspended Brian Carroll, Hackworth replied, “We could move Amobi there and that would shift our backline a little bit. We could use Michael Lahoud there, but he’s coming off an injury, so we have to make sure that he’s 100 percent ready to start a game. We could change our formation a little bit and literally not replace anybody in that spot but play a little differently. We have some options, but at this point we haven’t made any decisions yet.”

Hackworth said just who will wear the captain’s armband on Saturday has also not yet been decided. “I would say that we have a good group of guys in the locker room and out of the guys that would most likely be on the field on Saturday — two guys I would look at to immediately would be Jeff Parke and Conor Casey. Sheanon Williams and Amobi Okugo are two young guys who could also take that leadership role on. I don’t think it will be a big deal for anybody and I think the way our team has done it all year long is those guys have acted as leaders whether they wear an armband or not. Whoever wears it on Saturday, and we haven’t made that decision yet, will do the same thing they have been doing.”

Hackworth said that Chris Albright would retire at the end of the season. Asked if Albright would remain with the club in another capacity, Hackworth said, “I don’t know that yet. Chris has got a lot of strengths and talents, so I have no doubt he will be successful no matter what the decision is to do. I certainly think a guy like him, with his roots in this community, is very valuable. But that remains to be seen.”

Saturday will be Sheanon Williams’ 100th appearance for the Union. Williams said, “To have it on the last game of the season and to have it be at home is pretty special.”

Asked about his future plans, Williams said, “If I’m in MLS, it would be great to be with the Union. They’re a team that gave me a chance when a lot of other teams thought I wasn’t good enough. I will always owe something back to the Union.”

Philadelphia Union academy player Kyle Gruno has been called up for the US U-15 Boys’ National Team week-long training camp in Carson, Oct. 26-Nov. 3.

At the Brotherly Game, Andrew Stoltzfus has the good (Kleberson’s pass to set up Fabinho’s goal) and the bad (that it took so long for Kleberson to finally see minutes for the Union) from the loss in Montreal. MLS missing the opportunity to promote itself by scheduling the final games of the season over various start times over Saturday and Sunday (not to mention, presumably, the RSL v Chivas USA  on Wednesday) rather than all at the same time on one day is the ugly.

Brotherly Game also has a roundup of how Union academy players are doing with their college teams.

Local

The Temple men’s team comes in at No. 29 in the latest TopDrawerSoccer.com national rankings. They celebrated with a 1-0 road win over Rutgers on Wednesday night.

At PSP Player of the Week for his play with Reading United, where he was also named to the PDL All-League team in August.

The University of Delaware men’s team snapped a two-game losing streak with a big 7-1 victory over Howard University on Wednesday night.

MLS

Real Salt Lake keeps things interesting in the Supporters Shield race after going level with New York on 56 points at the top of the table following their 2-1 defeat of Chivas USA in their final game of the season.

In CONCACAF Champions League play, a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night with Olimpia sees Kansas City through to the quarterfinals. San Jose advanced with a 1-0 win over Heredia. Houston is in Panama to face Arabe Unido tonight (8 pm: Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go Univision Deportes). A win or a tie will see them through to the next round.

At SI, Brian Straus on the opportunity and burden of playing in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Surprise! The league disciplinary committee did not sanction Clint Dempsey for kicking FC Dallas’ Jackson after he was fouled by him.

In an article that first appeared at The Shin Guardian, Jay Bell has four ways on how MLS can attract more TV viewers.

Tim Leiweke talks to the Toronto Globe and Mail after returning from a scouting trip in England and Italy as part of efforts to make Toronto FC a playoff contender after seven years in MLS.  The former LA Galaxy chief says, “We’re very specific on who we want. We’re down to a half-dozen guys. We are well beyond a star in name and brand only saving this franchise. We are zealots on coming back with at least one of these players that has the character and the quality to change this franchise once and for all, and we’re going to find him.”

In a Q&A with MLSsoccer.com’s Jeff Bradley, Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins confirms the club wants to begin play in MLS in 2015, even though that means beginning their first season at the Citrus Bowl. “Our stated goal has always been 2015 and we’ve always shared that with MLS, so they’re very aware of our goals and vision of bringing the league here in ’15. We’ll stick to that, it’s what we want to do. The timing is right. Everything points to us being a very successful franchise in MLS and we want to get that started as soon as possible.”

In a Q&A with SI’s Brian Strauss, Rawlins explains further, “The earliest we can break ground on a stadium would be some time in the spring of next year, which if we did, that puts us at a potential opening in the summer of 2015. The Citrus Bowl [where City has played the past three seasons] is being completely, not even renovated. It’s being rebuilt. It’s going to have $200 million poured into it. So we would play the first half of the [2015 MLS] season at the Citrus Bowl and then transfer to the soccer stadium around mid-summer.”

Apparently, despite gaining $20 million in funding from Orlando County on Tuesday, Orlando City SC is still $3 million short of the $85 million it will need for a new downtown soccer stadium. WOGX.com reports, “The team hopes to have all the money in place by the time the MLS announces the team as an expansion franchise in the next few weeks.”

The San Antonio Business Journal is concerned that Orlando’s funding victory could reduce San Antonio’s chances to land an MLS franchise.

US

At US Soccer.com, Steve Cherundolo talks about his recovery from knee surgery and desire to be with the US at the World Cup. “Anybody who has ever been to a World Cup knows how special it is, how awesome it is. If that’s something I have a chance to participate in, if I can help the team and the coaching staff deems me that guy who can help either on the field or off the field then I would love to go to Brazil. It’s definitely a goal of mine and if I can stay healthy it’s something I can achieve as well.”

Brek Shea tells the Stoke Sentinel that if he can’t break into the first team at Stoke he hopes going on loan will mean more playing time. A possible loan to Derby County fell through after manager Nigel Clough was fired.

Elsewhere

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure has called for action after being subjected to racist chants in City’s 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow in Champions League play on Wednesday. Toure said, “I’m not just disappointed, I’m furious. I’m very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think UEFA have to take action because players with the same color of skin will always be in the same position. For me, as captain, I was wearing an armband which said ‘No to racism’ and I was totally disappointed…I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don’t know, for a couple of years or a couple of months…The club may say they have to educate the fans but I think it’s enough; too much is too much. We have to stop it now. It’s stupid these people. I don’t know, it just happens in football. It’s unbelievable. UEFA have to take action to right it, otherwise they will just continue.”

ESPN reports, “CSKA Moscow have insisted their supporters did not racially abuse Manchester City’s Yaya Toure on Wednesday, claiming: ‘Nothing special happened.'”

You will recall that last Thursday we linked to a report on the possibility that Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs would go on strike to protest a new 75 percent “super tax” on salaries that exceed €1 million. The French Professional Clubs’ Union announced today that the strike will take place on the weekend of Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

Sepp Blatter has refused to rule out the possibility of running for another term as president of FIFA.

What’s more important, tactics or players? Jonathan Wilson considers and concludes, “The designations we give formations are useful starting point, but that’s all. They give a general idea of the structure of a team and a game and of the relationships of players to each other, but the game itself is decided by the interaction of those bundles of attributes.”

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