Daily news roundups

Union bits, new HCI prez, World Cup draw and MLS final anticipation grows, more news

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Conor Casey tells Dave Zeitlin of his 2013 season, “Being healthy all year was awesome and something I hadn’t had in a few years.” Casey continued, “At the beginning of the year, I don’t think I could have seen myself playing that many minutes. But at the same time, I think when you get older you need those minutes to stay fit and healthy…I think, at this point, every year is big. I have limited years left, and I want to make the most of them. Every year I can perform well will give me a chance to play another year.”

At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead has a report from Tuesday night’s “Path to PPL Park,” a “training, coaching, and information session” that was lead by Chris Albright and Union Academy coaches Chris Brewer and Jeff Cook. Brewer says in the article, “I think part of the culture we’re trying to build here with the Union is to see that there’s a real connection between the first team and the youth academy.”

Ray Gaddis’ recovery against Toronto edged out Conor Casey’s diving-header goal against Columbus in the last round of fan voting for the Top 10 moments from the 2013 season. Next up, Sheanon Williams’ side volleyed goal against Columbus that ended up on ESPN SportsCenter versus the Wheeler-to-Hoppenot game-winning goal on the road against Vancouver.

The Brotherly Game rounds up the fortunes of Union Academy players in the NCAA tournament. Maryland’s Zack Steffen (Downingtown, Pa., FC Delco), Michigan’s Andrew Herr (Millersville, Pa., FC Delco), and Virginia’s Darius Madison (Philadelphia, FC Delco) all remain for this weekend’s quarterfinal games.

The second annual Cocktails & Cleats charity event in support of the Philadelphia Union Foundation will take place on March 12 at Vie.

Local

The Harrisburg City Islanders announced Tiago Lopes as the club’s new president on Wednesday. Among his immediate goals will be a new stadium for the team and strengthening the team’s relationship with the Union. More on Lopes from Penn Live and local21news.com.

Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz said of Lopes, “Tiago Lopes is an excellent addition to the Harrisburg City Islanders organization and we are excited to be working with him. He has worked at every level of professional soccer, including some time at the USL League office early in his career, and brings a breadth of expertise that helps the City Islanders to the next level.”

Lots of locals are on the NSCAA women’s college soccer end of the season all-region lists.

Navy’s Elizabeth Hoerner (Lititz, Pa.) and Morgan Dankanich (Glenmoore, Pa.), James Madison’s Rebecca Sparks (Laurel Springs, NJ), Penn’s Caroline Dwyer (Exton, Pa.), and Saint Joseph’s Maureen Hawkins (Philadelphia, Pa.) received 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s All-Mid-Atlantic Region first team honors. Second team honors went to La Salle’s Courtney Niemiec (Philadelphia, Pa.), Renee Washington (Ewing, NJ) and Kelsey Haycook (Point Pleasant, NJ) and Princeton’s Gabriella Guzman. Receiving third team honors were Drexel’s Melissa Chapman (Lansdale, Pa.), Delaware’s Allegra Gray (West Chester, Pa.) and Chelsea Duffy (Glassboro, NJ), and Penn’s Kalijah Terilli.

Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian), a senior captain at the University of Michigan, has been named to the 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Great Lakes Region first team.

West Chester University’s Noelle Harner (Lewisberrry, Pa.) received 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Women’s All-Atlantic Region first team honors and teammate Carly Yost received second team honors. Also receiving second team honors were Kutztown’s Diana Malanga (Lavallette, NJ) and Bloomsburg’s Tara  Huber (Orefield, Pa.). Third team honors went to Shelbie  Rackley (Shippensburg; Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Michelle Gogolen (East Stroudsburg; East Stroudsburg, Pa.), Alyssa House (Shippensburg; Williamsport, Pa.), Shea Neal (East Stroudsburg; Barto, Pa.), Leslie Henny (Slippery Rock; Litiz, Pa.), and Jenna Fisher (Bloomsburg; Selinsgrove, Pa.).

Messiah’s Ali Rogers (Hershey, Pa.) and Alicia Frey (Dillsburg, Pa.), Misericordia’s Erin Roberts (Perkiomenville, Pa.), and Gettyburg’s Rachel West (Carlisle, Pa.) were named to the 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division III Women’s All-Mid-Atlantic Region first team. Receiving second team honors were MaryKate McCann (Cabrini College; Radnor, Pa.) and Heather Tran (Lebanon Valley, Nottingham, Pa.). Third team honors went to Amanda McGowan (Franklin & Marshall; Lancaster, Pa.), Erin Casey (University of Scranton; Hatfield, Pa.), Dana Sarcinello (Penn State-Berks; Downingtown, Pa.), Macaulay Soto (Messiah; Lititz, Pa.), and Erin McGreal (Misericordia; Douglassville, Pa.).

The Star-Ledger has an article on New Jersey’s NSCAA High School All-America selections, including Washington Township’s Derek MacKinnon.

MLS

Mike Magee has been named league MVP.

Portland’s Diego Diego Valeri was named Newcomer of the Year and teammate Donovan Ricketts was named Goalkeeper of the Year.

At The Guardian, Graham Parker offers his selection of players who missed out on being named to the league’s Best XI.

The Sports Network has a preview of Saturday’s MLS Cup final.

The Central Winger looks at how RSL (56.5 percent) and Kansas City (55.0 percent), respectively the No. 1 and No, 2 teams in the league in terms of possession, differ in how that possession leads to shots on goal. The article includes charts that show the 2013 Union were 14th overall in the league with an average of 47.9 percent possession and 15th in the league in the number of passes in possessions that directly led to a shot at goal at 1.38 percent, which is below the league average of 1.70 percent.

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that the cost of MLS Cup Final tickets on the secondary market have hit an all-time high.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jeff Bradley talks to Hilario “Chico” Grajeda, the man who will be holding the whistle in the final.

The Red Bulls have singed Eric Alexander, Kosuke Kimura, and Péguy Luyindula to new contracts.

The Houston Dynamo have declined options on Andrew Driver, Cam Weaver and Michael Chabala.

More reaction to Don Garber’s comments about expansion. From a St. Louis perspective, there’s this from kmov.com and this from The St. Louis Business Journal. From a Sacramento perspective, this from The Sacramento Bee. Also, The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an article while the San Antonio Business Journal considers Austin being among the possible locations mentioned by Garber.

Speaking of Sacramento, Soccerly reports that a partnership between Portland and new USL PRO side the Sacramento Republic is a “100% done deal.”

A poll in Miami found that 51 percent of respondents support Beckham’s hopes to bring a MLS franchise to that city if the stadium that will go along with the franchise is privately funded.

Just why Miami residents will want a privately financed stadium becomes apparent when you consider what’s been happening in Bridgeview, Illinois, home of the Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park.

NWSL

The 2014 NWSL College Draft will take place in Philadelphia at the NSCAA Convention on Jan. 17.

US

Bruce Arena shares his thoughts on what the US needs from Friday’s World Cup draw. At ProSoccerTalk, what the US wants from the draw.

At US Soccer.com, profiles of the teams in Pot 1, Pot 2, Pot 3, and Pot 4.

The Guardian has a video profile of the US and the other World Cup teams.

Also US Soccer.com, a look at why 2013 was a year for the record books, a video review of the year from Jurgen Klinsmann, as well as a quote sheet from Klinsmann.

Wednesday was a big day for US players in the Premier League. Jozy Altidore scored his first Premier League goal for Sunderland, tallying the opener in the 4-3 loss to Chelsea and Tim Howard shutout his old club to help Everton toward their first win at Old Trafford since 1992.

Elsewhere

ESPN and ProSoccerTalk have “everything you need to know” posts on Friday’s World Cup draw.

At Goal.com, Peter Staunton writes that FIFA’s decision to use its rankings to sort the seeds has harmed the draw before it has even taken place.

At SI, Tim Newcomb has more on the World Cup stadium construction delays.

The AFP reports, “Footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo said Tuesday he is opening a museum dedicated to himself on the Portuguese island where he was born.” To which Ed replied, “Of course he is.”

2 Comments

  1. I disagree with Bruce Arena as to who the US needs to avoid in the draw. While drawing Spain, Germany, Brazil, or Argentina wouldn’t be great, it’s just as important who the other teams in the group are. To me the real fear is that they’ll draw The Netherlands and/or Italy along with one of the top seeds. If they can get weakish teams from pots 2 and 4, that will help with qualifying for the round of 16. Then with luck, they can draw a group like Switzerland’s as their crossover group…

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Oh Christiano… just play for F—‘s sake.
    .
    As for the World Cup draw… it’s all rigged. HA! I’m hoping Sepp and the Boys give the US a little payback for stealing/selling the 2022 Qatar WC vote.

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