Daily news roundups

Notes from Hack’s presser, recaps & reaction to USA-Mexico draw, SoB beer, more

Philadelphia Union

In Wednesday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth covered a number of topics:

  • Noting that the Union is “in the top five in all the shooting metrics,” Hackworth has faith that the goals will start to come.
  • The key to converting all those scoring chances will be consistency and execution.
  • Giving up late goals “has gotta stop.”
  • Players are being too “unselfish” in front of goal. “[Y]ou need to be ruthless when you get those chances on a goal.”
  • Hackworth isn’t surprised that Vincent Noguiera scored. “His quality has shown and has been pretty consistent.”
  • Austin Berry, now back to full training, will have to fight to get his starting spot back from Aaron Wheeler. “Coming back off injury, he has to make sure and prove through training that he’s the best selection.”
  • Sheanon Williams, also back to full training, will also need to fight to get his starting spot back, although Hackworth says, “Sheanon is somebody that we think we need to go forward but, obviously, it’s really nice to have the depth that we’re having and having guys play well.”
  • The team’s depth will come into play over the next stretch of games.
  • Chicago will be a dangerous opponent. “[T]his is not going to be an easy game, it’s going to be a tough environment, and a team that is very motivated to get their first win of the year.”
  • On the injury front, as mentioned, Berry and Williams are back to full training. Cristian Maidana picked up a knock  against Montreal, and Zach Pfeffer and Fred picked up knocks in last Sunday’s closed door scrimmage against New York Cosmos. Danny Cruz is dealing with a heel bruise that’s been bothering him for a few weeks.

Click here for a transcript and video from the press conference.

Hackworth also addressed Maidana’s dip in form. After noting the injury he received in the first half of the Montreal game, and the tough conditions over the last two games, Hackworth said,

I think he’s trying to pull of some plays in moments where they’re just not smart for him, he needs to make better decisions. He’s a technical enough player to execute if the ideas are right. We’re just trying to keep him very positive so that we hope he can get back to the level that we saw before we brought him here and clearly we saw in the first two games of the year.

More on the press conference from Delco Times.

Conor Casey says of his injury delayed start to the season, “Last year was pretty similar. I got injured during the preseason or just after the preseason, and it took me a little while to get back. But I’m confident I’ll be able to have the same kind of season that I did last year.”

Casey is looking forward to seeing time on the field with Jack McInerney. “It was definitely a good pairing. He had a number of goals, as did I. So hopefully this year it will be more of the same.”

David Murphy is first out of the gate with a preview of Saturday’s game in Chicago (5 pm: CSN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirectTV). Look for ours later this morning.

Local lad and Union assistant coach Jim Curtin made 187 appearances with the Chicago Fire between 2001-8. And though it’s been five years since he’s played, he will ceremoniously retire as  Fire player in a ceremony before Saturday’s game.

At the Union website, Curtin tells Kerith Gabriel, “It’s a great thing. It was great to know that the club I started with and gave me an opportunity in this game will officially be the one that I finish with. It is great for closure and is a good finality for me. I will always be remembered as a Fire player, so that is something that again that really means a lot to me.”

The Sons of Ben have announced that Philly’s Yards Brewing Company will be releasing a Sons of Ben “Rowdy Style Ale” at the beginning of May. Very cool.

Yards is also donating $1000 to a charity chosen by a vote on the Sons of Ben website. Cast your vote here.

Local

The Harrisburg City Islanders 2014 season begins on Saturday on the road in North Carolina against the Wilmington Hammerheads (7:30 pm: NSCAATV.com, YouTube). Head coach Bill Becher says his team is ready. “Some of these guys have been going for a month. It’s time. That’s probably the best way to put it. It’s time to get on the field and play somebody.”

West Chester United hosts Maryland Bays on Sunday at 2 pm in a USASA Region I Werner Fricker US Open Cup quarterfinal game.

MLS

Toronto will be without Jermaine Defoe, who has “a slight hamstring strain,” when they face Columbus Crew this weekend. They’ll also be without defender and captain Steve Caldwell, who was suspended by the league disciplinary committee for “serious foul play that endangers the safety of an opponent.” Caldwell had received a yellow card for the play during the 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend. The disciplinary committee also fined fined Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor an undisclosed amount for the violating the league’s policy “regarding hands to the face/head of an opponent.”

Player transactions:

  • DC United have acquired forward Chris Rolfe from Chicago in exchange for allocation money.
  • Colorado have signed Thomas Piermayr. The Austrian defender had been on trial with the club since March 19.
  • FC Dallas have loaned midfielder Brian Span to Orlando City SC. Dallas acquired Span in a weighted lottery on Jan. 9 after the 22-year-old spent two seasons with Swedish first-division side Djurgårdens IF.

At MLSsoccer.com, Pablo Maurer considers how the victory of DC City Council Member Muriel Bowser over incumbent Vincent Gray in the cities mayoral primary on Tuesday could be a blessing in disguise for DC United’s Buzzard Point stadium plan. Bowser had previously stated her opposition to the plan but has since softened her stance.

US

After as fine a first half as we’ve seen in some time featuring a rampant Michael Bradley, the US defense faltered, squandering a 2-0. Two Mexico goals were the fortunate sum of a second half that saw repeatedly dangerous attacks on the US goal. The Union’s Maurice Edu was a 72nd minute sub and put in a good performance. In doing so, he became the first Union player to earn a national team cap while on the Union roster.

Recaps from PSPSI, ASN, Soccer America, Fox Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, Goal.com, and the AP.

Player ratings from ESPN, Soccer America, MLSsoccer.com, and Goal.com.

At ASN, Noah Davis talks to Jurgen Klinsmann about the switch to a 4-4-2 for the game. Klinsmann said, “The hope was that [Michael Bradley] gets into the box. The hope is that he is actually dangerous to score and gives Clint [Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski] help. Often, we had situations where we didn’t give enough support to our forwards. When you look at Jozy [Altidore], often we had him disconnected.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle looks at the US midfield diamond on the night, and notes that Bradley and Kyle Beckerman — whose performance will be a major challenge to Edu’s World Cup aspirations – linked together to complete 96 of 102 passes.

So, that Julian Green kid, what’d you think? At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep says Julian Green showed “rawness and promise” in his US debut. USA Today calls his debut “uneven” but also says we should expect to see him with the team in Brazil.

TopDrawerSoccer reports, “Brian Johnson has replaced Tony Lepore as the U.S. U14 Boys National Team head coach.” Johnson last served as technical director for the Development Academy’s Mid-America Division.

Elsewhere

Dan Coats, the Republican senator who, along with fellow Republican senator Matt Kirk, sent FIFA a letter on March 7 calling on Russia to be banned from participation in the World Cup because of its actions in Ukraine, says he will continue to call for the ban. FIFA replied to the senators’ letter saying that “participation is based on sporting merit, and that only a violation of FIFA statutes and regulations could lead to suspension or expulsion from a competition.”

Reuters reports, “More than one quarter of professional footballers who took part in a survey conducted by the world players’ union said they suffered from depression or anxiety, FIFPro said Wednesday. The problem was even worse among retired players with 39 percent saying they were affected.” Anyone have any idea what percentage of the general population reports suffering from depression or anxiety?

5 Comments

  1. Random question … how long till Vintensity is eligible to play for the USA?

  2. Depression: prevalence in the US 2 to 5%, lifetime prevalence 9 to 10%, outside US 2.8% but up to 8.6% in some countries
    Anxiety: lifetime prevalence in US 5.1 to 11.9%, in Europe 12-month prevalence 1.7 to 3.4% and lifetime prevalence of 4.3 to 5.9%

  3. content material is the best kind of material imo

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    Would kill to see this lineup Saturday:
    .
    Casey—Mac
    .
    Maidana–Edu–Carroll—Nogueria
    .
    Gaddis–Wheeler–Okugo–Williams
    .
    A nice 4-4-2 with Leo coming in later for Maidana and maybe Hopp up top if Casey or Mac is gassed. Thoughts?

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