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Sak backs Hack, wants to add “one or two more quality players.” More news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

In an article at the Daily News from John Smallwood, Nick Sakiewicz has strongly backed John Hackworth to continue as head coach of the Union and says the team needs to add “one or two more quality players to help them and support our staff so they can continue their good work.”

Acknowledging “the ball is not bouncing our way at the moment,” Sakiewicz said via email from Europe, “most everyone can see that we are playing good soccer and deserve more points than we have.”

The Union CEO continued,

We are very confident in our players and staff that, under John’s leadership, this core group will continue the good work they started just 22 months ago and get the ball bouncing our way, which means putting the ball in the opposing team’s goal more often. Now is a time to get behind our players more than ever, add one or two more quality players to help them and support our staff so they can continue their good work.

Sakiewicz explained,

The team, in only its fifth season of existence, has made a lot of positive progress, particularly over the last 22 months under John Hackworth’s stewardship. During this time, he has cleaned up a poorly managed salary-cap situation created under previous management, signed some very good, quality midfielders this season, put together a talented group of young coaches that are driven to win every day and built a clubhouse culture focused on playing an attractive style of soccer that our fans want to see.

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin writes that it “seems highly doubtful” that Hackworth’s job is in jeopardy at the moment. “While it’s true manager Peter Nowak got canned after a slow start in 2012, there were deeper issues at play there. And the relationship between Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz and Hackworth seems to be a far better one. Barring an all-out collapse or some off-the-field issues cropping up, the Union manager will almost certainly get at least a full season with his new-look team – as he should.”

At the The Sports Network, Brian Wright reviews just why Hackworth’s “seat may be warming with Union.”

Andrew Wenger believes the goals will come. “I like the vibe we all have in training. We just have to bring that into the games and carry it over. I know it will come. We’re having good training sessions. We just need to bring that effort and intensity into the games…I see so much talent here in this locker room. I think it’s simply a matter of time before it all clicks…The chances are there for me and other players here and we just need to capitalize. I believe that once we get the first one, a bunch more will come. We’ll get going and get on a roll. We just have to keep working. We have to keep creating chances. It takes a little thing here or there.”

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel highlights some promising play from Danny Cruz in Saturday’s loss to Montreal.

In the latest power rankings at Soccer America, the Union tumble three spots to No. 13. At Sports Illustrated, its a four-spot drop to No. 13.

No Union players on MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.

Fred posted a photo on Instagram of Union players supporting Barcelona’s Dani Alves after the banana incident at Villareal on Sunday.

Union players support Alves

Maurice Edu spoke about the incident on the latest edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, saying, “you think in this day and age in 2014, you would hope that this wouldn’t be happening.” Edu said of Alves’ response, “I think he did really well in the way he went about it. He’s kind of thrown it back in their face in some ways and his post-game comments about how he was thankful to the fans because the banana gave him the potassium to make those two crosses that led to the goals…I think he went about it in as good a way as possible but I think it’s really sad and unfortunate that in this day and age, these things still go on. ”

Here’s a roundup of support for Alves from players from around the world. Villareal announced on Monday that the racist who threw the banana on the pitch has been identified and banned from El Madrigal stadium for life.

The Sons of Ben will be joined by DC United supporters groups The Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava when they honor Eric Shertz at the memorial tailgate before the Union’s next home game on May 10 against DC. The tailgate is open to all and is free of charge (food will be provided but you must bring your own beverages) but you do need to register, which you can do here.

Local

Some 140 third and fourth graders from the Chester Upland after-school youth development program will play in a Play Day in Chester round-robin soccer tournament outside of PPL Park today.

Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.) has been called up for the US U-18 WNT camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., May 11-18.

Penn State’s Brittany Basinger has been called up for the US U-20 WNT camp that will also be taking place at Chula Vista at the same time ahead of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada in August.

MLS

The Guardian has five things learned from last weekend’s games.

In a poll at Atlanta Business Chronicle, readers have picked Atlanta Phoenix as the name for the expansion franchise in that city with a not exactly overwhelming 29 percent of the vote. In second place was Premier Atlanta (terrible), followed by Atlanta Blaze (also terrible).

Remember that church in Orlando that wanted $35 million for a parcel of land necessary for the Orlando City SC stadium project that is valued at $690,000? Fox 51 reports, “Negotiations between the City of Orlando and the Faith Deliverance Temple over the last piece of land needed to build a Major League Soccer stadium in downtown are not going well, according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. A source at City Hall tells FOX 35 there was originally some hope a deal would get done, but the mayor does not see much chance at that deal now. ‘My understanding of the proposal from the church is they’re back at wanting $35 million.'”

Capital New York has an engaging look at the less than desirable fact that NYC FC will be playing its first three seasons at Yankee Stadium rather than a stadium of its own.

Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. isn’t sold on the the idea of a soccer stadium on his turf. He says in a Q&A with Crain’s New York, “On the soccer stadium as a whole, I’ll say this: I’m not there yet. That said, I am open-minded. As I said in my State of the Borough address, with a good community-benefits agreement, with proper community engagement, I think we can get to a place where folks understand the economic benefits of the stadium. But those benefits have to be real and be felt. It can’t just benefit the royal family of Abu Dhabi [who co-owns the franchise] or the Yankees.”

San Jose Earthquakes will host Atletico Madrid on July 27 at Candlestick Park.

US

CONCACAF is scheduled to make a joint announcement with CONMEBOL on Thursday in Miami. Could it be the long anticipated confirmation that the US will host the 2016 Copa America, the 100th anniversary of the tournament?

In a good read from Kevin Baxter at the LA Times, Jurgen Klinsmann says of the US ahead of the World Cup, “I think we are very well prepared now.”

Landon Donovan talks to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle about playing in the World Cup and his future.

The Daily Mail mentions Jozy Altidore as among those making a case for worst forward of the year in its Worst XI list for the 2013-14 Premier League season.

SBI looks at the USMNT’s depth chart at center back.

At the Potomac Soccer Wire, James Kilpatrick looks at the new US U-21 team and how it could impact the performance of the US at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Soccer America notes, “A record 15 Americans who grew up in the U.S. youth system — including six from Tijuana — played in Mexico’s Liga MX” this season. “It’s the largest group of Americans to play in a top-level foreign league in a season, breaking the record set in 2006-07 when 14 Americans (including Giuseppe Rossi) played in the English Premier League.”

Remember that terrible Reuters poll that claimed 66 percent of Americans don’t plan to follow the World Cup? Turns out the poll was only conducted in English. As FiveThirtyEight SPorts notes, “The number of Americans age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home increased by 158 percent from 1980 to 2010, to 59.5 million people, or 20.6 percent of the population. For 62 percent of those nearly 60 million Americans, their language was Spanish or Spanish Creole.”

Elsewhere

The second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid kicks off today at 2:45pm (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, SiriusXM FC). Real Madrid leads 1-0.

CONCACAF has signed on again with Traffic Sports to handle all of its sponsorship rights in a deal that will extend through the 2021 Gold Cup and 2022 CONCACAF Champions League.

The Economic Control Committee of the Spanish football association has concluded there was no misconduct from Barcelona on the transfer of Neymar to the club.

Reuters has begun a series of previews on World Cup teams. Here are takes on Costa Rica, Honduras, Nigeria, Iran, Uruguay, and Italy (1) and Italy (2).

A flare wielding fan in Poland has learned that the burning sensation produced by pepper spray is sometimes rather more strongly intense than expected.

14 Comments

  1. Hack believes. Sak believes. Wenger believes. I did too but my faith is running pretty thin right about now. We need results. Blind support I can give but asking me to believe things will turn around is another matter. I’ve never wanted to be wrong more in my life but I think it’s going to be a long fruitless season.

  2. It’s the fault of the ‘previous management’? Uh, Nick? You *were* the previous management!

    • I laugh every time I see Sakewicz fall back on this little nugget. It’s like someone wrote down this talking point for him (probably on his underwear so he doesn’t lose it), and the absurdness of it is completely lost on him.

  3. I want David Moyes as coach.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    If the Atlanta Phoenix fails in Atlanta will they move to Arizona and become the Phoenix Atlanta?

  5. If we want to get thru to Sakiewicz and get him to address issues about Hackworth’s ineptness as a coach then it’s got to be financially. I may be alone but I am not attending anymore games with Hackworth as manager and I’m not buying anymore merchandise. Why continue to financially support inept, feckless and delusional behavior. Hackworth talks about depth but the drop off after the perceived starting XI is significant. He talked about new players adjusting to the culture and the style of play in MLS needing time. That is acceptable, however you have a nucleus of players that have been with the team or in MLS who are not buying into Hackworth’s lame tactics. That being said those same nucleus of players have no excuse for the same lazy, sloppy, and stupid mistakes that have plagued this team for some time now. These issues are not unique to this year,nucleus of players or it’s coach and must be delt with. He champions the likes of Danny Cruz who is lucky to be on an MLS roster let alone starting. This by no means is a knock on Cruz but is an insight into the delusions of John Hackworth. The lineup that started the season should have been kept together to gain chemistry and consistency, baring injuries with smart thought out in game adjustments. The only change should have been Williams coming back as starting RB and and Gaddis as LB. No way in the world should Wheeler be a starting CB. Not being able to score with all of the so called dominance in the final 3rd is unacceptable to me this all comes down to Hackworth’s ineffectiveness!

    • I’m extremely frustrated with the past several games and i’m not sticking up for anyone in the front office but do you honestly believe that they don’t care that they aren’t doing well? do you really think right now they don’t think there is a problem and that the only way they will understand that there is a problem is for people to boycott the team? obviously you can do whatever you want but this logic doesn’t pan out in my opinion

  6. If anyone is interested in a good in depth look at the Union and questions we’ve all had… check out ALL THREE POINTS podcast.

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