Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction from dispiriting Union loss in LA, league results, US news, more

Philadelphia Union

Sunday’s 4-1 loss to LA — a scoreline that really could have been even worse — sees the Union at a new low, having now allowed 9 goals in the last two games.

It was a display in which it seemed as if the Galaxy were playing the role of the Pacific Ocean, with wave upon wave falling upon the Union in the role of an eroding California coastline.

Conceding a soft opening goal from a restart two minutes after the opening whistle set the tone of the match, with silly errors from the Union gifting the home side possession and goals.

Two of those goals were from Landon Donovan, his 135th and 136th in MLS, making him the league’s all-time leading goalscorer. So out of synch was the Union defense that Robbie Keane said of Donovan’s goals, “He could have been in the hotel room, and he would have scored those two goals.” (If you’ve got 11 minutes to spare, here’s a video compilation of all of Donovan’s league goals.)

Said John Hackworth of the Union’s performance, “Inexcusable start, to give up a goal on a restart in the second minute. Then it took us a while to get into it. Finally, we get going and we start playing well. [But] we were never truly that dangerous in the first half. That was a problem. You think coming out at half time that you’ll have a chance to correct some of the things in the first half, and we gave the Galaxy too many easy opportunities. And they put the game away.”

Danny Cruz was blunt. “Shitty result, we didn’t play well at all. From the very beginning we give up a goal two minutes into the game, and we had to play from behind the entire time…Then three minutes into the second half we give up another goal. It’s unacceptable. If we don’t clean it up, things aren’t going to turn around.”

Maurice Edu, back with the team after falling short of his quest to make the US World Cup team, said simply, “We let ourselves down.”

Recaps and reaction from PSP, here at PSP.

Photo galleries from USA Today and Getty Images.

More on the Union lamenting giving up an early goal to LA at MLSsoccer.com.

At Brotherly Game, Barry Evans looks at the game-changing moments in Sunday’s loss.

Given the Union’s recent performances, is it really a surprise that the Union remain dead last in ESPN’s power rankings? At Soccer America, it’s a one-spot drop to No. 17. At SI, it’s a two-spot drop to No. 17.

Brotherly Game has some free forwards from the Premier League the Union might consider.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has a long form piece on how the Union and the Sons of Ben embraced Gabe Shertz after the recent passing of his father, Eric.

Lancaster Online looks at Penn Legacy’s affiliation with the Union.

The Union Academy teams has the holiday weekend off.

Local

Reading United — and Union Academy product Darius Madison — continued their strong start to the season with a PSP, Reading United, PDL, and Baltimore Bohemians.

Reading are on the road to face Rochester Rhinos in US Open Cup third round play on Tuesday. You can read our preview here.

Ocean City Nor’easters were off this weekend for the championship weekend of the USASA National Amateur Cup. You will recall from Friday’s roundup that Ocean City lost 2-0 to NPSL side Sonoma County Sol in Thursday’s semifinal. On Saturday, they played NTX Rayados through 90 scoreless minutes that saw both teams down to ten men after a double red card in the 70th minute. The teams went straight to penalty kicks after stoppage time with Ocean City goalkeeper Colin Webb (Indiana University) making two saves to give the Nor’easters the 3-1 win to claim third place.

At Penn Live, Michael Bulloch talks to Harrisburg City Islanders coaches and players about Landon Donovan being cut from the US World Cup roster.

At the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeff Gammage talks to area residents whose origins are in Brazil about their mixed feelings about the World Cup. On the one hand, people want the Brazil team to win the World Cup. On the other hand, there are real concerns that the enormous amounts of money the Brazilian government is spending on hosting the World Cup given the poverty in the country.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Charlie Stillitano, the man behind Relevant Sports, the company that is behind the Ireland-Costa Rica game next week at PPL Park, and the Inter-Roma game at the Linc in July.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, first place New England (23 points) defeated third place DC (18 points), 2-1. Second place Kansas City (18 points) drew 2-2 with seventh place Toronto (13 points) after conceding in stoppage time. Fourth place Houston (17 points) lost 3-0 on the road to San Jose. Fifth place Columbus (16 points) had their first win since March 29 with a 2-0 home victory over eighth place Chicago (12 points). Sixth place New York (14 points) lost 2-1 at home to visiting Portland. Ninth place Philadelphia (11 points) lost 4-1 to LA. Last place Montreal (7 points) lost 4-1 to Colorado.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (26 points) drew 2-2 with fifth place Vancouver (17 points). Second place Salt Lake (24 points) drew 0-0 with fourth place Dallas (18 points). Third place Colorado (18 points) thumped visiting Montreal, 4-1. Sixth place LA (15 points) thumped Philadelphia, 4-1. Seventh place San Jose (13 points) thumped visiting Houston, 3-0. Eighth place Portland (13 points) earned their second win of the season with a 2-1 come-from-behind road victory over New York. Last Place Chivas USA (10 points) had the weekend off ahead of Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.

Kansas City’s Chance Meyers is out for the rest of the season after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left ankle in Friday’s draw with Toronto.

Reuters reports, “ESPN is considering selling online access to live Major League Soccer games to consumers without pay TV subscriptions, an experiment that could help the sports network find ways to generate revenue outside the traditional pay television system.”

Apparently, some Indonesian corporate criminal who once had “an indirect, passive minority interest” in DC United no longer does.

Robinho to New England?

The Washington Post reports, “Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday asked the D.C. Council to approve a complex series of land deals that would allow the city to gain control of an expanse of land a few blocks from Nationals Park for a major league soccer stadium.”

An editorial at The Washington Times says of the proposed stadium deal for DC United, “There are too many moving parts before the deal can be signed, sealed and delivered, so stakeholders should pay close attention.”

Minnesota Vikings VP Lester Bangley says, “One of the things we intend to get done is secure an MLS franchise. We’ve gone to [Seattle] and met with their ownership and front office. Same thing with Sporting KC, we’re going there next week. We’re continuing our discussions with franchises as well as Commissioner [Don] Garber. More on MLS hopes in Minneapolis here.

More on Las Vegas’ efforts to land a MLS franchise.

NWSL

First place Seattle (23 points) drew 2-2 with sixth place Western New York (11 points). Second place Chicago (16 points) defeated eighth place Houston 3-1 on the road on Friday. Houston (4 points) then was on the road themselves on Monday, losing 3-2 to fifth place Washington (13 points). Third place Kansas City (15 points) defeated last place Boston (3 points) 2-0 on the road. Fourth place Portland (14 points) lost 1-0 at home to seventh place Sky Blue FC (10 points).

US

Following the release last week of the final 23-player roster, the US will face Azerbaijan tonight in the first of three World Cup warm-up games (10 pm: ESPN2, UniMás, Watch ESPN). On Sunday, June 1, the US face Turkey at Red Bull Arena. They then face Nigeria on Saturday, June 7 in Jacksonville.

Interestingly, Berti Vogts, who was recently announced as an adviser to the USMNT and is the former head coach of the German national team, is the head coach of the Azerbaijan team. The AP reports, “He is quick to clear up a couple of things: Klinsmann hasn’t asked him to make any tactical adjustments based on better preparing the Americans even though his Azerbaijan squad has faced all three of the United States’ World Cup opponents; and Klinsmann offered the idea of this match.”

Vogts says in the AP report, “First, I’m the national coach for Azerbaijan. Proud to play here against the United States. It’s a huge match for Azerbaijan, and I hope the match also will help the United States.”

Vogts says of his role as adviser to the US, “I’m not a coach. Maybe Jurgen [has] some questions for me about special things. I give him a clear answer. That is my part.”

Jurgen Klinsmann says of Vogts, “He’s been a big mentor throughout my life and he just has an outstanding soccer brain, an outstanding knowledge — the way he reads the game, the way he analyzes things. [The] tremendous experience he has is without question a huge benefit for us.”

Vogts will certainly have a busy schedule over the next two weeks.

Looks like we may see Klinsmann doing some experimenting with the backline tonight. More on the possibility here.

Look for our preview of the Azerbaijan game later this morning. ProSoccerTalk has a preview. ASN has “6 Big Questions” before tonight’s game. Soccer America has some more questions.

Landon Donovan on not making the 23-player US roster for the World Cup:

I think if I’m being judged based solely on what happened in camp, then I absolutely deserved to be going to Brazil.

I think I was at least as good as everybody else in camp. I think you guys that know me well know I’m pretty honest when it comes to my assessment. When I say I don’t play well, I didn’t play well. When I say I played well, I think I played well. I think I trained and played very well in camp. I think I was one of the better players. If I had gone in and thought I didn’t deserve it, I can live with that. But that’s not the case here.

I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I’m human, and I wanted to go. I really wanted to go. I’m at peace with it. I respect the decision. I just feel in my heart that I deserved to be there. That’s the pill that’s hardest to swallow.

At the LA Times, Kevin Baxter has reaction on Donovan’s omission from those who did make the team.

At Soccer America, Mike Woitalla on “the nonsense behind Klinsmann dumping Donovan.”

Clarence Goodson believes he should have made the team. “I asked Jurgen for an explanation. It was something that he was unwilling to give me. He said that he would speak with me after the World Cup about it, and I said that I thought I certainly deserved an explanation. And it was something that he was unwilling to give.

Also cut was Michael Parkhurst, who said, “I don’t think there’s anything I could have done more. I don’t think there was anything negative on my part that made him (coach Jurgen Klinsmann) not choose me. I just think that his mind was set up even before the camp was started. That makes it a little easier to swallow knowing I don’t think I could have done anything else.”

Jurgen Klinsmann said of the tweet his son Jonathan posted mocking Donovan’s omission from the final roaster,

Hugely disappointed. I called him right away, he realized just a few minutes after that what he has done. He came out of school kind of fooling around with his classmates, and they just went off on Twitter not being aware of that he’s actually followed on Twitter.

He has a huge admiration for Landon. He’s actually a big fan of his since many many years, he has his jersey in his room and he realized what he’s done. He was devastated yesterday. Obviously as a father you put him in line, and he owes him a huge, huge apology. That was highly disrespectful, and I think he got his biggest social media lesson he could imagine. It was very disappointing.

Who wants some profiles? San Jose Mercury News has one on Chris Wondolowski and another on Omar Gonzalez. At The AP, Aron Johannsson is the subject. At USA Today, it’s Jozy Altidore. At Wall Street Journal, it’s Clint Dempsey.

At SI, George Dohrmann looks at the US World Cup squad’s relative lack of Latin American influence.

At ProSoccerTalk, Kyle Bonn says the hopes of the US in making it out of their group “likely hinge on Germany domination.”

Are you going to Recife for the USA-Germany game? SI has some background on the city.

At the Miami Herald, Linda Robertson how the growth of soccer in the US is accompanied by growing expectations for the US at the World Cup.

At the AP, a look at Fox’s efforts to bring “American voices” to their broadcasts of the world’s game.

Elsewhere

Real Madrid, Champions of Europe.

The AP reports, “Players’ union leaders want UEFA to ease the punishment imposed on Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for breaking ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules. FIFPro Europe President Bobby Barnes hopes UEFA can find ‘some way of lessening the blow’ to avoid excluding players from Champions League squads.”

The Wall Street Journal on the Brazuca.

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