Daily news roundups

Reports/reaction to Chicago draw & McInerney trade, USWNT coach fired, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Draw in Chicago

Once again, the Union gave up a late goal, drawing 2-2 in Chicago. Without the double save on the penalty kick that was the last play of the game, the Union would’ve returned to Philadelphia with no points instead of one.

Needless to say, no one was happy with the result.

John Hackworth said, “I am not pleased with our team at all, and the way we dealt with that. Some really silly decisions that led to the goals, and led to a penalty kick at the very end of the game, and then Zac saves us. It was one of those games where you shake your head at some of the decisions we made and then at the end, Zac saves us and we walk out of here with a point.”

Hackworth also said, “In our locker room, they’re pissed off, their heads are down, they’re frustrated with our performance – as we should be. And yet we know we’re capable of so much more.”

Zac MacMath said, “It’s disappointing. That’s two games in a row we’ve given up a goal in the 80th-plus minute and that’s something we need to continue to work on. Going forward, you can’t give up goals like that.”

Leo Fernandes said, “Disappointed we could not get three points. We were fortunate to get the one point at the end. Zac made a huge save. It was a good performance overall but we have to learn how to hold on to the lead. It is happening too often this early in the season.”

Maurice Edu said,

We just have to pick ourselves up and we have to focus on the next game now. We go back home, we have a game there, and now it’s about reactions. It’s how you react, it’s how you respond to these kinds of situations, these kinds of games. Obviously everyone is a little bit down now because it felt like a game we should have won but now the reality is that this is behind us, and we have to learn from the mistakes we made in this game. Try to correct them at home next weekend and look to finish the game off there. Hopefully get a win there, do the things we did well in this game which was create chances and score some goals. Hopefully minimize the errors and not make the same mistakes we made today in this game.

Recaps from PSP, here.

Brotherly Game named Zac MacMath their stat hero of the match.

Mike Magee admirably responded to a homophobic tweet from some cretin who calls himself a Union fan:

It appears that the original tweet that Magee quoted in his reply has since been deleted and the tweeter has apologized to Magee: “I apologize for my ignorance and have a lot of respect for what you do. I have respect for what you do and regret what i said. Sorry”.

The McInerney trade

Most Union fans were thinking about Saturday’s game in Chicago when the Union announced on Friday morning that Jack McInerney had been traded to Montreal in exchange for Andrew Wenger.

Jack McInerney didn’t see it coming. As he told PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch, “I had no warning or anything.” He explained,

I just came in Friday morning like every other day. I came dressed to travel that day to Chicago. I got there early because I had to do treatment for my ankle and stuff. And I got there and Hack was arriving at the same time and he just pulled me into his office and just said, “Look, this is hard for me to say, but we traded you to Montreal.” And that was pretty much how it went.

And make no mistake, McInerney didn’t want to leave the Union. “I definitely wanted to be here. I’ve been here since the beginning. I’ve grown to know the city and love the city and fans. It’s pretty sad for me and disappointing.”

The timing of the trade announcement was certainly surprising. John Hackworth said, “Sometimes you can’t plan these things out perfectly, and I would just say that the timing of this presented itself in a way that both parties came to an agreement that we each feel is beneficial for us. There were going to be some long-term implications on whether Jack was here long-term or not, and this opportunity presented itself, and it’s just one of those that, I won’t say it was too good to pass up, but we felt it was the right time to make this deal…This move was more about what’s better for our team, our organization and some long-term implications than it was about any individual players.”

As PSP’s Dan Walsh explains, those “long-term implications” come down to dollars and cents.

McInerney’s contract expires at season’s end. His contract has an option year that Philadelphia could have exercised, but it would hike his salary to near Designated Player level (around $400,000) next year…

The Union already have two designated players in Maurice Edu and Cristian Maidana, and Vincent Nogueira’s salary will likely reach DP level next year. With Amobi Okugo in a contract situation similar to McInerney, a DP-level deal for McInerney would have tied up a lot of the salary cap.

Absent a renegotiated long-term deal for a lower salary, Philadelphia had to take McInerney at that price or possibly watch him leave for Europe on free transfer.

In trading McInerney now, Philadelphia gets something in return, rather than let him leave for nothing at season’s end if he pursues opportunities in Europe. And they’ll likely save money in the long term.

So, financial concerns aside, were the Union not happy with McInerney? Hackworth said, “We weren’t disappointed in the way Jack was playing. We clearly have an idea of where we want to go and the type of players we want to bring in. We felt like this was a move that would improve that, it’s as simple as that. We feel like we have performed well in the early part of the year, but it’s a marathon and we want to be prepared for the long haul.

So, what does the coaching staff see in Wenger? Hackworth said, “Right now we see it as a straight swap — forward for forward.” He continued, “[Wenger] is more of a prototypical No. 9 than Jack was or is. That’s where we see him. But he is versatile enough, which we really like. You could put him on the left or right, or drop him into the midfield, and he’d be effective.”

Hackworth explained further, “I think his skill set and what he brings to the team and just his work ethic alone is going to give him a good opportunity here in Philly, and hopefully one given that opportunity he will make the most of and mesh well and help us hopefully he gets the results we desire.”

For McInerney, the trade is an opportunity to learn from Marco Di Vaio, a player with whom McInerney shares many qualities. McInerney said, “I’m excited to play under his wing. He’s one of the best finishers MLS has ever had. I don’t know how it will play out on the field, but if we play together it’s a dream come true. Whether we play together or not, it’s a great learning experience.”

Impact sporting director Nick De Santis said of McInerney, “[W]e feel his qualities and soccer sense fit well within our style of play.” He explained, “It’s important that you have not only one striker that is able to score goals. We don’t depend just on Marco, but he’s scored so many goals and taken a lot of the load. We get a quality player in Jack who has proven he can score goals at a young age. He gives us more firepower up front.”

De Santis said of Wenger, “For a year-and-a-half, every other day, teams have called us [about Wenger] and we’ve always said no. Philadelphia have shown lots of interest in Andrew over the past months, and we came to a point where we told ourselves that the option of getting Jack McInerney required a decision. I think that, in the end, both teams feel good with the decision.”

More reports and reaction from PSP, Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Lancaster Online, David Murphy’s Union Blog, Brotherly Game (1), Brotherly Game (2), The 700 Level, Montreal ImpactThe Canadian Press, Mount Royal Soccer, SI, ESPN, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, and The AP.

American Soccer Analysis looks at McInerney and Wenger’s stats. While it is an admittedly small data pool for the sake of comparison, Harrison Crow writes, “Philadelphia possibly got an undervalued piece in this move.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Benjamin Baer suggests in another statistical look at McInerney that he may get more “big chances” to score courtesy of the service he is likely to receive from Justin Mapp and Felipe.

 Union Academy

The Union Academy teams faced off against their Continental-FC Delco counterparts on Saturday. The U-13/14s enjoyed a convincing 5-0 win with goals from Anthony Fontana, Tonny Temple, Kalil Elmedkhar, Omar Ayala, and Jalen Weatherspoon. The U-15/16s fought to a 1-1 draw, and are now in fourth place in the East Conference. Conor Bradley scored for the Union before Moyinoluwa Opeyemi equalized. The U-17/18s also finished with a 1-1 draw and are also in fourth place in the East Conference. Continental-FC Delco’s tally came from a Chris Gomez own-goal before Mohammed Conde equalized


Harrisburg City Islanders kicked off their 2014 season with a 0-0 road result against Wilmington Hammerheads. Union loanees Pedro Ribeiro and Richie Marquez each went the full 90 minutes and, if I read the report from Penn Live correctly, Ribeiro partnered with Marquez at center back. Cristhian Hernandez played 83 minutes and Jimmy McLaughlin came on as a sub in the 63rd minute. Former Union trialist Clesio Bauque played 75 minutes and draft pick Robbie Derschang played 15 minutes. Former Union man Morgan Langley played the full 90. More on the game from USL PRO, Port City Daily, and StarNewsOnline. You can watch the game on the City Islanders YouTube channel.

Reading United has an alumni report.


In the Eastern Conference, Columbus (9 points) remains in first place despite a 2-0 home loss to visiting Toronto (9 points), who are in second place. Third place Kansas City (8 points) drew 0-0 with Real Salt Lake at home. Fourth place Houston (6 points) were crushed 4-1 at home by Dallas. The Union (6 points) are in fifth place after their 2-2 road draw with eighth place Chicago (4 points). DC United (4 points) ended a 16-game winless streak in league play with a 2-0 win over the visiting New England (4 points), who are in seventh place. Ninth place New York (4 points) drew 2-2 with tenth place Montreal (2 points).

In the Western Conference, Dallas (13 points) is in first place after their defeat of Houston. Real Salt Lake (9 points) is in second place after their draw with Kansas City. Vancouver (8 points) is in third place after losing 2-1 at home to fourth place Colorado (7 points). Seattle are in fifth place after the 4-4 road draw with Portland (3 points), who are now in eighth place. Clint Dempsey scored a hat trick in the game. Chivas USA (5 points) remain in sixth place after their 3-0 loss to LA (4 points), who move up to seventh place. Ninth place San Jose (1 point) had the weekend off.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald reported on Sunday that “Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed” Atlanta will be named as the next expansion city. Tannenwald continues, “Although a spokesperson for the league said that a formal agreement has not yet been finalized, I’ve heard separately that a public announcement could come very soon. One source targeted April 16 as a date to watch for official confirmation.” A report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution later on Sunday confirmed the April 16 date. Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons and the person who would own the MLS franchise in that city, said earlier last week that an agreement was near. Dan Courtemanche, executive vice president of communications for MLS, said in a statement, “We are continuing discussions with Arthur Blank to bring a Major League Soccer expansion team to Atlanta; however, we have not finalized an agreement at this time.”

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner on the league disciplinary committee and its mysterious ways.


On Sunday, the USWNT defeated China 2-0 in a friendly in Colorado. But that news was soon eclipsed by the announcement following the game that head coach Tom Sermanni had been fired. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in the announcement, “we felt that we needed to go in a different direction at this time.”

An unnamed source tells the Washington Post that the players felt they weren’t “learning anything, there’s no vision, no direction, nothing.” It is unclear if the players approached the federation about their concerns.

Sermanni, who had been on the job for 16-months, said, “I was completely blindsided. Maybe I’m losing my intuitive and perception skills, but I didn’t sense a real unease in the team. But I could be wrong in that regard.” He continued,

I would assume obviously there has to be some degree of dissatisfaction among the players, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten to this point so quickly now. But I don’t know, and that’s life. I can say the players have done what I’ve asked them to do over the last year and a half, and that I have no qualms with them in the sense of having poor relations with them.

Sermanni explained,

After the game, I had a meeting with Sunil and Dan Flynn and they basically said they didn’t think things were working out in regard to the team, how it was progressing and how it was being managed, and they had to go into another direction. They didn’t go into any specific reason, but they just felt things weren’t going well within the team. The progress wasn’t where they wanted it to be and things within the team environment weren’t working…

I was surprised by the decision, I can’t deny that, but I’m not walking away angry with it. That happens in soccer. I was surprised with it because I did genuinely feel that we were moving in the right direction.

Director of development Jill Ellis will serve as interim coach, beginning with Thursday’s friendly against China in San Diego (11 pm, NBCSN). Gulati is scheduled to speak with reporters about the decision to fire Sermanni later today.

Delran’s Carli Lloyd talks to Women’s Fitness.


The World Cup stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus hosted its first event last Thursday, a Brazilian Cup match between Vasco da Gama and Resende. Other than the sound system not working and some pitch invaders, things apparently went pretty well.

The Harvard Business School has announced that Sir Alex Ferguson “has been appointed to a long-term teaching position in Executive Education.” The announcement says, “His role starts this spring when he will lecture to senior executives from around the world as part of the new ‘The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports’ program.”


  1. Jeremy Lane says:

    Ribeiro at center back? What? That sounds like a terrible idea, at least as far as the Union is concerned.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I think HCI has a bunch of early injuries that may have prompted the move. Like I said above too, I may have also read the Penn Live report incorrectly.

      • Jeremy Lane says:

        I certainly hope that’s the case (either way) because it is definitely not in his best interests as far as developing his attacking skillset to have him play in the back.

      • Ed,

        I watched the first 60 minutes of the match and Pedro DID play center back. If it ends up being an extended experiment, it’s probably safe to say 99.9% of the fans will be extremely frustrated.
        He looked good moving forward (no surprise), but looked very awkward in a number of one-on-one scrums/challenges.
        The most impressive thing I saw from Pedro was his throw-ins. They traveled at least as far as Williams’ throw-ins, but with seemingly less effort. I’m pretty sure he can stand with two feet planted and get it inside the 6.

      • they should send wheeler out there if harrisburg needs a centerback

  2. Let’s just say that if Sir Alex Ferguson is your teacher, class is going to run a few minutes longer than usual.

  3. Man it kills me to see the eastern conference standings with the 6 points we gave away

  4. If Okugo continues to improve and is even better than he was last year, he should get near-DP money next season to keep him here. With Wheeler’s surprising play he and Berry MAY (still a question mark) be the future at CB, and Okugo and Edu could man the midfield together. Looking at this team right now Okugo is the only remaining original that’s been here all 4+ seasons, and he should be the focal point of the team’s finances moving forward (a la Gonzalez in LA).

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    I know it was sort of addressed already but I just want to throw it out there – “Union loanees Pedro Ribeiro and Richie Marquez each went the full 90 minutes and, if I read the report from Penn Live correctly, Ribeiro partnered with Marquez at center back.” — WTF… Anyway…
    I agree with the feeling of those lost 6 points. If just one of those is a victory we are at the top.
    The whole season basically hinges on the Wenger trade. That may be a bit dramatic, but if this doesn’t work out, we’ll have trouble scoring all year, and the minute Casey “gets a knock” it’ll really dry up. Plus I don’t think anyone would be looking forward to hoping Casey can carry us for a whole year.
    Big game for a lot of reasons this Saturday. Remember we gave up one of our now famous (or is it infamous?) late minute goals at RSL last year.

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