Daily news roundups

Quotes from Toronto draw, Blake call-up, preseason games roundup, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Fans haven’t been able to see much in the way of the Union’s preseason games, so it has been difficult to measure the team’s on-field progress after a banner offseason off the field. On the evidence of Wednesday’s rather dreary 0-0 draw with Toronto, it is clear that, while there were bright spots, the Union are still very much a preseason work in progress.

John Hackworth rightly said, “I think you have to take these games in perspective,” while admitting, “I’m never really satisfied with a 0-0 result.”

He continued,

Just like in most of these preseason games you see some very good things, and those moments you have to be able to build on and be able to sustain those positives over longer periods of time. Clearly, we have some things we still need to improve on but I thought today we created enough chances to easily put one or two in the back of the net today. And I didn’t really feel like they broke us down ever…

There are minor things we need to work on and we will work on them and get them right before Portland. Everyone in this locker room wants to make sure we get out on the right foot. We owe it to ourselves for all the hard work we’ve been putting in during preseason. And to our fans, who want to see us come back to Philly after that match with a win.

Hackworth said of Austin Berry’s 30-minute debut for the Union in the second half of the game, “He’s going to have to build some very quick relationships both with Fábinho [at left back] and Amobi. So it’s good to see him get out there and get a good 30 minutes in. He had to make some plays and get a feel for his teammates and all of those kinds of things. It was a positive step forward.” So there you have it, Fabinho is apparently your starting left back.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Union Tally, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Toronto FC, and the Toronto Sun.

The Union face Montreal in their final preseason match on Saturday although, as of this writing, I can find no information about when the game will be played (1 pm?) or if it will be streamed (probably not). One week later, the team opens the season in Portland.

Just before the start of Wednesday’s game came an announcement from the Union saying that rookie goalkeeper Andre Blake had left the Union camp that day after being called up for the Jamaican national team for friendlies against Barbados and St. Lucia on March 2 and March 5, respectively.

In case you missed it last night, the latest installment of the KYW Philly Soccer Show podcast is now available. Greg and Eli are joined by Kevin Kinkead and Adam Cann to talk about the Austin Berry signing and Union tactics.

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley looks at how coaching changes can lead to steals such as the Union landing Austin Berry.

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle has a season preview for the Union. Describing them a “a playoff team” with a roster that is “balanced and versatile from front to back, and seems to have difference makers at every line,” Doyle writes, “The Union feel like they’re aimed for the top of the Eastern Conference, and while that might be a bit ambitious, you have to give them a chance.” You can view a companion video preview here.

At The 700 Level, Steve Moore writes, “For the first time in four-plus years of existence, the Union will enter the season with  legitimate (and warranted) expectations.” Because of those expectations, the season opener against Portland will be for John Hackworth “either the beginning of something big, or the beginning of the end.”

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders have re-signed midfielder Matthew Bahner.

South Mountain Wanderer has a timeline of soccer in south-central Pennsylvania’s Adams County. “It’s a surprise to some that the sport was even played before recent decades. Adams County is a rural area, little influenced by early 20th century immigration of soccer-playing Europeans. Nonetheless, soccer was for some years the fall sport of choice for all the smaller schools in the county.”

The Penn Gazette on freshman Matt Poplawski, a midfielder on Penn’s soccer team, and his call-up and debut for the varsity basketball team in last weekend’s loss to Harvard.

Philly’s own Kevin Hart puts one past his “cousin,” Joe Hart:

MLS

In preseason action at the Disney tournament on Wednesday, Kansas City topped Montreal, 3-2, while Columbus and Orlando played to a wild 4-4 draw. New York defeated the Fluminese U-23 team, 1-0.

At the Carolina Challenge Cup, Seattle and Houston played to a 1-1 draw. DC United and Charleston Battery did the same.

In the Desert Diamond Cup, Chivas USA and Colorado played to a scoreless draw. New England defeated Chicago, 1-0. Real Salt Lake defeated FC Tucson, 3-1.

At the Rose City Invitational, San Jose fell 2-0 to Vancouver while Portland drew 1-1 with Portmore United.

Player moves:

  • It’s official: Vancouver have acquired Young Designated Player Matías Laba from Toronto in exchange for “future considerations.” Earlier reports had suggested that the move would take the form of a loan.
  • New England have acquired midfielder Daigo Kobayashi from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.

A hamstring injury with Tottenham means that the date of Jermaine Defoe’s Toronto debut could be uncertain. Toronto start the season on March 15 after having a bye on the opening weekend of March 8-9.

As of Wednesday, Mike Magee had still not reported to Chicago’s camp in Arizona.

Former longtime MLS executive Nelson Rodriguez has been named the new president of Chivas USA.

ESPN Senior VP/Programming Scott Guglielmino says the joint ESPN/Fox bid to land the broadcasting rights to MLS and the US Soccer is taking longer than expected, although he is hopeful an agreement will soon be reached. You will recall that in January ESPN/Fox were frontrunners for a a deal with MLS said to be worth an annual average of $70 million over eight years.

More on Austin’s efforts to land a MLS franchise.

San Antonio Scorpions supporters group The Crocketteers has launched an online petition to demonstrate support for a MLS franchise.

After a fan vote, the new USL PRO side in Tulsa, set to enter the league in 2015, has taken the name of its NASL forebearers, The Roughnecks.

US

While there is still no confirmation from US Soccer, the Ukrainian FA has announced that next week’s friendly, which has been moved from Ukraine as a result of the ongoing political unrest in that country, will take place at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. The game will still be broadcast live on ESPN2.

In a preview of the US’ World Cup prospects, Jonathan Wilson writes,”the time for mockery is over and we have to start taking the USA seriously.” However, given a tough group, the lack of a world-class goalscorer, and doubts about Jurgen Klinsmann’s tactical acumen, Wilson writes, “The USA are coming, just probably not yet.”

Freddy Adu is “Weighing up some offers right now.” Apparently, the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks are interested.

Elsewhere

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Europa League games.

The New York Times on a recent study linking chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head, to soccer.

Reuters reports, “Brazilian hackers are threatening to disrupt the World Cup with attacks ranging from jamming websites to data theft, adding cyber warfare to the list of challenges for a competition already marred by protests, delays and overspending.”

The Far Post on the life and death of Justin Fashanu, soccer’s first openly gay professional player.

At the Guardian, a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of soccer movies.

9 Comments

  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Best soccer movie is “Ladybugs”… hands down!! Haha!
    .
    I hope the game Saturday is streamed. I haven’t seen enough of our new team.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Haha…Rodney D taught José everything he knows about managing.

      Would have to give the title to Pelé and, Philly’s own, Rocky Balboa in “Victory”.

  2. Any word on Sheanon? I was expecting a monster year out of him and would hate to see him lose significant time.

    • And I was surprised that Williams is that much better than Gaddis. Gaddis fills in admirably, but there was a significant drop off on attack. Let’s hope he’s ok

  3. Smackey the Frog says:

    Wow at The 700 Level… hyperbole much?

  4. Any body think we should start a write in campaign now to who ever makes the MLS schedule? Away to Seattle, Houston, Portland twice now; home to KC

    • not sure what you mean? ever since we switched to the unbalanced schedule where we only play western conference teams once a season we have alternated home and away season to season. whatever the venue was against a western conference team last year will be the other this year

  5. We’ve only opened at home once, and three times away on the west coast

  6. Southside Johnny says:

    Doyle’s article on MLS pretty much nailed my view of McInerney.

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