Daily news roundups

Crew previews, Fred signed, Unioners on HCI roster, more

Photo: Michael Long

Philadelphia Union

Previews of Saturday’s game in Columbus (6 pm, TCN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV) from PSP, Philadelphia Union (video), Philadelphia Daily News, Brotherly Game, and David Murphy’s Union Blog.

Crew blog Massive Report looks at how the team has done in previous home openers and notes a Columbus win would be the first time the team has started a season with two wins. The Columbus Dispatch looks at how the team has coped with having a bye week after opening the season with a road win against DC.

John Hackworth said in Wednesday’s press conference that Brian Carroll has recovered from the flu-like symptoms that saw him miss last week’s win over New England. Carroll says he’s looking forward to playing against his former team. “It’s nice to be back and feeling like myself again. Whoever we roll out there, we are going to be excited to go out there for [the Crew’s] home opener and try to rise to the occasion. You would always like to score against your old team, too. There’s always a little something when you play an old team, but it’s really just about going out and getting your business done on the field.”

Hackworth also said in Wednesday’s press conference that the team was being “cautious” with the decision of whether Austin Berry, who left the New England game early with hamstring tightness, will be available for Saturday’s game in Columbus and that converted forward Aaron Wheeler would be Berry’s replacement if he cannot play. Ray Gaddis, who will likely start for the injured Sheanon Williams, tells Dave Zeitlin of Wheeler, “He’s a student of the game. He’s always asking questions to the other defenders. He’s going to be a great presence in the aerial aspect of the game and winning a lot of corner kicks and goal kicks.”

Gaddis adds, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. That’s always been my mentality. I think we’ll be OK for this fixture against Columbus this weekend.”

Gaddis’ view is something that Maurice Edu has noticed. “I’ve been very impressed with the work ethic and the desire of the guys on this team. Most guys are in early and doing the things that they need to do to be better players. Things like this are what’s going to make us achieve our goals. On the pitch we’ll be a lot more competitive and prepared from that extra work that’s put in. That’s what makes a successful team.”

Edu said he’s embraced his role as a leader on the team. “Being in a leadership role is something that I’ve welcomed here with the Union and something that I’m excited about moving forward. I like to be able to lead by example, but I’ve also worked on being more vocal on the pitch and let guys feed off of the experience I have. I do whatever I can to help this team win.”

Union original Fred is officially back with the club, the team announced on Thursday. While the Brazilian trained with the club throughout preseason, the Union had to acquire his rights via a Waiver Draft. John Hackworth said Fred will add “quality veteran depth to our roster and is also going to be a strong addition to our locker room.”

Leo Fernandes says he learns a great deal from watching, among others, the Union’s Brazilian contingent, including Fred plays. “I think my creativity on the field, my vision, just by watching some of these players have improved my game tremendously…When I play, I want to stand out, I want to be different. I want to do things that people don’t really expect me to do, just be creative with the ball and try to impact the game.

More on Fernandes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Edu NCAA bracketSebastien Le Toux comes in at No. 8 in the latest Castrol Index Top 20 Performers rankings. In the full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Le Toux (18th), Jack McInerney (20th), Amobi Okugo (30th), Austin Berry (39th), and Cristian Maidana (53rd).

Edu, along with Austin Berry, Amobi Okugo, and Sheanon Williams, have caught March Madness and present their tournament brackets on the Union website. You can share a photo of yourself along with your bracket via Twitter using the hashtag #UBracket. Topping Edu’s photo will be difficult.

Local

The Union’s Jimmy McLaughlin and Cristhian Hernandez are now listed on the current Harrisburg City Islanders roster.

At Penn Live, Michael Bullock reports on the progress being made in Harrisburg City Islanders’ plan for a new $14 million stadium.

Harrisburg mayor Eric Papenfuse said, “This new facility, once completed, will upgrade the current facility seating to over 4,500 seats, create a new entrance plaza, a new concession area, locker rooms and restroom facilities, a new scoreboard, and a variety of other amenities designed to allow this facility to be a multi-use soccer field, youth development center, concert arena, and a wonderful destination facility completing the north end of City Island. Furthermore, the financing of this project will not involve any City funds.”

More from Philly Soccer News. Follow @NEWstadiumHBG on Twitter to keep up to date.

The Drexel men’s team has announced that eight new players will be joining the team for the fall season.

MLS

Colorado have waived goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

The appeal against the red card received by Chivas USA midfielder Agustín Pelletieri has been denied.

In related disciplinary-related news, you will recall the ESPN article from Raphael Honigstein we linked to on Wednesday that examined differing perceptions toward diving. His ESPN colleague Jason Davis looks at the motivation behind efforts from MLS to clamp down on diving and asks if the league’s approach is the correct one.

Some 2,000 DC residents sent the DC mayor and city council 27,000 emails in support of the proposed Buzzard Point stadium project. That’s 13.5 emails per person.

The Timbers and the city of Portland have renegotiated their stadium deal for Providence Park because the artificial turf that was laid down in 2011, and was expected to last until 2019, had to be replaced before the start of this season. The old turf will be used for a futsal field in a city park to be named Portland Timbers Field in exchange for the team paying for the construction of the new field.

In Seattle, the Sounders and the Seahawks have announced that the Sounders’ business operations will become independent on April 30, 2014. The teams have shared business operations since the Sounders were admitted into MLS in 2007 and will continue to share CenturyLink Field.

At Al Jazeera America, Graham Parker looks at the competition for players and fans between LA and Tijuana.

Toluca manager Jose Saturnino Cardozo said after his team had come from behind to knock San Jose out of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, “You guys (media) always say that their (U.S. Soccer) level has grown. I don’t understand in what aspect. They don’t play with purpose.”

At ASN, Brooke Tunstall says the reason MLS teams crashed out of the tournament is money. I should think the timing of the quarterfinals at the start of the MLS season when teams are still finding form might also be a factor.

with the Inter Milan one. According to the announcement on the team website, “The winning badge is inspired by the old New York City Subway Token.”

NYC FC director of football Claudio Reyna says the team is still working on finding a site for a new stadium. “We’re still looking, we’re talking to the city. There’s a lot of possibilities for the stadium and we’re continuing to do our job, which won’t be easy but we feel good about it.”

So, where will the team play when it enters the league next season? Reyna said, “We’re close on that. We’ll soon announce where we’ll be playing. Within the next month. We expect to have an announcement within the next month.”

US

Asked about his chances of making the US World Cup roster, Julian Green said, “Guarantees never exist. No, I just want to perform, show my stuff, and if I’m there, I am there. I just want to step on the gas and in the end, we’ll see.”

ESPN announced on Thursday that Ian Darke will lead a team of announcers that includes Jon Champion, Adrian Healey, Daniel Mann, Fernando Palomo and Derek Rae for its coverage of the 2014 World Cup.

Elsewhere

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the week’s upcoming live games on TV, online, and on satellite radio. This week includes El Clasico and the Manchester derby.

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will feature Manchester United vs. reigning champs Bayern Munich, Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid vs. 2013 finalist Borussia Dortmund.

The Guardian reports that British prime minister David Cameron “believes the result of the 2018 World Cup bidding process was ‘sorted’ in advance, with England’s bid team misled by FIFA executives who pledged support, then voted for rivals.”

The AP reports, “Sepp Blatter and other FIFA officials involved in choosing Russia and Qatar as future World Cup hosts are facing questions from ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.”

20 Comments

  1. The amazing thing to me isn’t that FIFA is full of corruption – bribes, kickbacks, whatever. I don’t like it, but I’m certainly cynical enough to get it. No, what gets me is that everybody knows and yet Sepp manages to get four terms in charge – and seems to be gearing up for another run. And if he runs, I have little doubt he’ll win re-election.
    .
    And *then* everybody acts shocked when things don’t change.

    • Well your corruption isn’t worth anything if you can’t keep yourself in power.

    • the whole thing is so frustrating because there isn’t a clear way to address it aside from just hoping that someone ends at the head who decides to open things up and make them more transparent and more accountable. there must be something else to do but i don’t know what it is. i’ve emailed ussf about it before and they don’t even respond

  2. Does FIFA operate in a country? I guess there is no way to make it a legal matter. At some point it would be legitimate to fear that the actual international games would be impacted when run by a corrupt organization.

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    FIFA is a disgrace ladies and gentleman. Unless you would like some sort of migraine, I suggest not attempting to figure it out.
    .
    I would keep Berry out of he’s not 100%. I know it sounds obvious but we need him for the long haul. I am little nervous with Wheeler back there though against Higuain and Arrieta.
    .
    With that said… Is it wrong of me to expect a win this weekend?

    • It is not wrong. Isn’t it great to go into away games deep down expecting to win!

    • At the risk of being a downer, we don’t really know how good this Crew team is. Additionally, the one upside for them of making so few moves is that their team has jelled a whole lot more than a team like the Union has. That means that they’re in a good position to do well early in the season.

      Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think this is a winnable game for the Union, but I’m not going to be upset if we come out with a point, or even label it a fiasco if we suffer a loss. Especially if Berry is out.

    • the only way FIFA will ever change is if people keep thinking about it and talking about it. the corrupt powerful count on people throwing up their hands and assuming it won’t change

      • Except when the corrupt people pay the ones that talk to keep quiet.

      • that is true but you have to ask yourself is it possible or impossible for FIFA to be less corrupt. the answer is that it is possible and because that is the case people should never get to the point where they act and react to things as if it is impossible for it to be different than it is

  4. I have to wonder about sending Jimmy McLaughlin back down to Harrisburg. The Union really could use wide players who are capable of staying wide, and that is what McLaughlin does. He’s still only twenty so I don’t mean to write him off or anything like that, but I find it surprising that considering the good fit that he represents, Hackworth wouldn’t want to keep him around.

  5. Wheeler as 1st center back off bench is indictment of Hackworth’s draft “strategy.” There were 2 starting caliber center backs in draft, plus JJ Koval who played 90 minutes as CB in Champions League in Mexico! Instead we trade up for a goalie we don’t need! Incredible. I predict Crew score 5 goals running at Fabinho and Wheeler. Which will drop Okugo off USMNT radar again. Hack should hire Nowak to run his draft. How in the world is it good for Blake to be sitting on bench?!! Hes not only starting quality, he’s international starting quality. Union have scored 2 goals in 2 games and everyone’s drinking KoolAid. Looking forward to tomorrow’s game with dread.

    • A good piece of satire. Although I’m not so sure you realize it.

    • To be fair, I agree with you about Blake, but we don’t pay him anything since he is GA, and him being on our bench is better than him starting in the opposite goal. Think Aaron Rodgers sitting behind Brett Favre for a few years. MacMath may not be elite, but he’s now a 3rd year starter who may now be expendable within 2 years for a high price.

      • I think that if Union try to trade or sell MacMath in 2 yeras everyone will realize Union don’t think he can bring them any silverware and so he’ll be “damaged goods.” But I hope I’m wrong.

      • i really don’t understand what this means. if a team has two starting caliber goalkeepers the perception would be that it makes sense to trade the lesser of the two. why would it mean one is damaged goods incapable of being on a winning team. macmath’s skills at his age speak for themselves. he doesn’t have some secret curse or jinx or something

      • Let’s not pretend a lot of people don’t have doubts about MacMath. The Union trading up and drafting another goalkeeper at #1 would seem to confirm they have doubts too.

      • i never claimed he was flawless but he is certainly competent. he has a lot of experience for his age and will likely only get better. he is about average in the league at the moment and posted, i believe, second or third best for shutouts last season. and he is 22

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