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Union-Seattle previews, White to City Islanders, 2016 Copa America in US, more news

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Philadelphia Union

How do you fancy the Union’s chances of getting back on the right track when they face Seattle Sounders on Saturday (10 pm: TCN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV)?

Maurice Edu said of Seattle, “They’re in a good run of form right now. You know what to expect when you go to Seattle. For us, it’s exciting. You want to go and play against good teams. You want to go and play in front of good crowds and good atmospheres, and I think if you can’t get motivated for that game and get up for that kind of challenge then you’re in the wrong sport. I think all the guys will be eager to go out there and try to get a good performance and a good win.”

Ray Gaddis said of trying to contain Clint Dempsey, “Just keep him in front of you, contain him. He can score goals, he can play make. … If it’s not one way he’s trying to beat you, he’s beating you another way. We have to be cohesive as a team.”

Edu said more “flair” is needed if the team is to avoid being shut out for the third straight game. “I just think it’s being a little more creative in the final third. We just need to sometimes change it up. Be a little more creative. Whoever it is in the final third, take the initiative to create a shot for yourself. Change things up a little bit. Add that little flair to the game.”

Edu said for himself, “I need to try to get forward more and try to support the attack a little more and not leave that role just to Vincent [Nogueira]. Before I was playing box to box but starting a little deeper and timing my runs from there. Maybe I should start a little bit higher so that way, going forward, we might have a little more numbers in the attack. And hopefully that can lead to some more opportunities.”

Ray Gaddis said of trying to contain Clint Dempsey, “Just keep him in front of you, contain him. He can score goals, he can play make…If it’s not one way he’s trying to beat you, he’s beating you another way. We have to be cohesive as a team.”

Brad Evans is back from injury and looking to start on Saturday. Video with Evans here.

ASN’s Mike McCall says Saturday’s match is a must-see if only to watch players like Edu, Evans, and DeAndre Yedlin who are fighting for roster spots on the US World Cup team.

Previews from PSP, Daily News, CBS Philly, Delaware Online, Brotherly Game, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Goal.com, Examiner, The Guardian, WhoScored.com,

Here’s a video preview from the the latest edition of KYW Philly Soccer Show.

Fellow SB Nation blogs Brotherly Game and Sounder at Heart ask each other three questions ahead of Saturday’s game. Stoppage Time Soccer does the same with a Union and Sounders perspective.

Sounder at Heart also has a nice graphical comparison of the Union and the Sounders.

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle puts Maurice Edu’s chances of making the USMNT’s World Cup roster at 70 percent. Doyle believes Edu will be used to man-mark Cristiano Ronaldo when the US plays Portugal.

In the latest rankings of the top 100 US players at ASN, Maurice Edu comes in at No. 30, Amobi Okugo at No. 44, Sheanon Williams at No. 91, and Austin Berry at No. 96.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders host Charleston Battery tonight at 7 pm (NSCAA TV, YouTube). Previews from USL PRO and Charleston Battery.

At Penn Live, Michael Bullock reports that it is likely that Union centerback Ethan White will be loaned to Harrisburg for tonight’s game, although the report says, “None of the paperwork has been finalized yet.”

With Pedro Ribeiro, who had been covering at centerback for the injured Coady Andrews, out with a hamstring injury, the City Islanders could use some defensive reinforcements. Also at Penn Live, Michael Bullock talks to Matt Bahner, the midfielder who after Ribeiro’s injury, place his place for the final 20 minutes of the win in Sacramento and has also been filling in at right back.

Bullock’s report also says that Union loanee Cristhian Hernandez is unlikely to appear in tonight’s game due to a knee injury.

MLS

At MLSsoccer.com, Mechanicsburg’s Bobby Warshaw, formerly of FC Dallas and now with Gothenburg in Sweden, has a good read on the relationship between players and the media.

Colorado Rapids have announced Ciao Telecom as the team’s first shirt sponsor.

St. Louis is getting a pro team that will play in USL PRO beginning in 2015. The name of the team will be announced at a later date. The last pro team in St. Louis, AC St. Louis, folded after one year in the new NASL. More on the news from USL PRO and Soccer Made in St. Louis.

More verbal sparring in Miami, hooray!

US

Jurgen Klinsmann will call 30 players into the pre-World Cup camp to compete for the 23 spots available on the World Cup roster. “We definitely will go with 30 players. These 30 players will all go into Stanford because of the situation. The timing is still complicated: Some come back from injuries, some we still need to see and evaluate in the camp. So we decided to take advantage of this whole 30-man roster. It makes it a little more tricky with the training sessions, but we have good quality work prepared for them.”

The call-ups will be announced no later than May 12 with players beginning to report to camp on May 14. The final roster is due on June 2.

Just a few days after receiving the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Associations Player of the Year Award, Tim Ream was named the Player of the Year by the club itself.

Goal.com looks at centerback depth in the USMNT player pool.

ASN looks at the world class skills of six USMNT players.

25,000 tickets have been sold for next Thursday’s friendly between Canada and the USWNT in Winnipeg (7:50 pm: ESPN3, ESPNW.com).

Elsewhere

It’s official! On Thursday, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL announced that the US will be the site of the 2016 Copa America, the 100th anniversary of the tournament.The announcement said,

The Centennial Cup America will be held in cities across the United States in the summer of 2016, kicking off on June 3 and culminating with the Final on Sunday, June 26.

In the 16-team field, CONMEBOL’s ten Member Associations – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – will be joined by six competitors from CONCACAF, including host and 2013 Gold Cup champion United States, and six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico.

It will be the largest soccer tournament hosted by the US since the 1994 World Cup.

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said that the venues for the games have not yet been opened for bidding but The Miami Herald reports, “Among the stadiums being considered as hosts are Sun Life Stadium; the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.; MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.; the Citrus Bowl in Orlando; RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.; Stanford (Calif.) Stadium; and Reliant Stadium in Houston.”

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle on how hosting the tournament benefits US Soccer and US fans alike.

At SI, Brian Straus looks at some of the obstacles in the way of making a Pan-American tournament a permanent thing.

More on the news from ESPN, SI, Fox Sports, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, Soccer America, MLSsoccer.com, and Reuters

Ten-men Benfica held off Juventus to draw 0-0 (agg. 2-1) and advance to the Europa League final on May 14. Valencia won 3-1 (agg. 3-3) on Thursday but Sevilla advances to the final thanks to a fourth minute stoppage time goal from Stephane Mbia.

Some 1,000 people participated in a protest in support of the Villareal supporters who threw a banana on the pitch in last weekend’s game against Barcelona. Arguing that the offender, one David Campayo, was “lynched” by the media, an unnamed family member said, “One thing is the error he has made, which he will pay for; another is the lynching, which has been disproportionate.” The Guardian has video from the protest.

Don’t forget to checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

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