Daily news roundups

Union’s resolve tested, Edu says USMNT cut “sucks,” USMNT news, more

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Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union will try to halt the flood of goals allowed when they face Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30pm: CSN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV).

Previews from PSP, Brotherly Game, and Goal.com.

Brotherly Game has three questions about Chivas USA for fellow SB Nation blog The Goat Parade.

How are Chivas feeling about the chances of defeating the Union on the heels of their loss to Portland on Wednesday? Midfielder Carlos Alvarez said, “I think it’s a good chance. At the end of the day, when you play soccer you want to come back on the field and tell yourself that you’re good enough, so having a short time to think about [Wednesday] is definitely going to be beneficial for us.”

Throughout the team’s troubles this season, John Hackworth has repeated that the team’s confidence remains strong. In Wednesday’s teleconference, John Hackworth indicated that confidence might be wavering.

The players, I still think they believe in each other and themselves. But it’s hard to believe and to keep that confidence when you’re continually giving up goals the way we’re doing it. You can see on the field that the guys get deflated in those moments.

I don’t want to lie and tell you we’re still very confident. But you have a group of guys that, through these circumstances, have really been tested in their resolve.

“It’s a struggle for them right now,” Hackworth explained. “Players are as frustrated as anybody in this situation. They know they are much better than the results they have been getting…We have to work through things, and these are hard times for us — no question. But we see a light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully it will be recognized on Saturday night.”

Hackworth also elaborated on the revolving lineup in defense. “[W]e feel like we’ve given a lot of guys opportunities. For whatever reason, either that individual performance or team performance has been poor. It makes it really tough. The good news is we have, within the team, guys that are honest about the job they’re doing and honest about their own self-evaluation of their performance, so that allows you a little bit as a coach to try some different lineups.”

Maurice Edu talks to the Philadelphia Daily News about his disappointment in not making the final cut for the US World Cup team.

My goal for this year was to obviously go to the World Cup. For that not to happen, obviously it sucks. A little disappointed in that aspect, but I’m happy to be back here with Philly now and just try to get this team back on track and get more wins in the win column for us…

I thought that I had done enough leading up to that point and in camp as well to be a part of that team. But this is soccer. Decisions have to be made. And unfortunately the call didn’t go my way this time. But that’s not going to deter me from any other objectives or goals I have in mind.

To be honest, I think what’s important now is to not take any credit away from the guys that are going. They all worked their [butt] off to get to that position, to get on that team. For me, it’s congrats to them and it’s about getting behind the team and supporting them and making sure they have our full support going into that tournament.

Edu is the subject of the latest MLS Insider:

Robbie Keane will be joining the Ireland team in Philadelphia after LA Galaxy’s game on Sunday against Chicago ahead of next Friday’s friendly at PPL Park against Costa Rica.

Former Union captain Danny Califf, along with former Union Head of Scouting and Player Development Diego Gutierrez, will be representing the US in the Legends Cup match against Mexico on Sunday. The game will be broadcast at 9 pm but, unfortunately, it looks like Univision Deportes is the only network broadcasting the game.


Harrisburg City Islanders host Richmond Kickers on Saturday (7 pm: NSCAA TV, YouTube). Reading United host FA Euro with a 7 pm kickoff. Look for our preview later this morning. Ocean City Nor’easters are on the road to face Northern Virginia Royals on Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Mackenzie Pluck (FC Bucks; North Wales, Pa.) has been called up for the US U-14 GNT camp in Portland, Ore., that will run June 1-8.


David Villa to New York City FC? That’s what Marca (Spanish, English) is reporting, based on a report from Cope Radio’s “El partido de las 12” (crappy Google translation here). Sports agent Ron Waxman agrees.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Brek Shea was to begin a ten-day training stint with Orlando City on Thursday.

Big Apple Soccer reports, “NYC FC and Manhattanville College announced Friday that they decided to end their proposed partnership for a training facility at the school due to a pending lawsuit.”

Elias Sports Bureau says MLS is the most diverse professional sports league in North America, with some 57 nationalities represented. Next is the NBA (43), followed by the NHL (21).

More on San Antonio’s hopes to land a MLS franchise.


The US plays Turkey on Sunday at Red Bull Arena in their second warmup game before heading to Brazil (2 pm: ESPN2, UniMás, Univision, ESPN3, Watch ESPN, SiriusXM FC). If you’re going to the game and happen to be around Section 233, stop on by and say hello.

If you happen to be in New York today, here’s the schedule of the day’s Fan Appreciation Day festivities.

Clint Dempsey’s groin seems to be ok! Jurgen Klinsmann said Dempsey will “definitely” start on Sunday: “He’s all good.”

Speaking after Tuesday’s game against Azerbaijan, Dempsey said, “I am just a little tight, just being precautionary, just being smart. [My groin] felt tight and I didn’t think it made sense to push it in this game. I’ll be ready for the next game. It’s all good.”

Was the diamond midfield deployed against Azerbaijan “a worthy system, or a bad experiment?

Tim Howard doesn’t see what the big deal is about the midfield diamond. “I think players are more adaptable than people think. We’ve trained on it and trained on it and trained on it. [The formation] feels comfortable to us now. Obviously, Jurgen wouldn’t have put it in place if he didn’t think the players could take it on board. [It] seems like we have. It fits our personnel. We have guys who can fill two or three jobs all over the field, and that’s what a diamond formation takes.”

GQ on why Michael Bradley is the best US player.

Soccer America on Mix Diskerud.

At SI, Tim Newcomb has a look at the three stadiums where the US will play its group games.

Amid lingering concerns about how hot it will be at the World Cup in Brazil, one AP writer remembers how hot the 1994 World Cup was in the US.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has an informative interview with Brian McBride that includes his thoughts on Landon Donovan not making the US World Cup squad, Jurgen Klinsmann, and his memories of some big goals he scored for the US. More from McBride at Philly Soccer News.

At Soccer America, players on the US World Cup team share their memories of previous World Cups.

The Guardian has a very cool interactive look at every World Cup kit worn by this year’s World Cup teams. Very nice to see all of the US kits in one spot (and I dig the red, white, and blue stripes on the shorts of the 1930 kit).

Sporting News says the results of the US at the World Cup “will not determine soccer’s progress.”

Poll results released earlier this week say that only 52 percent of US fans said yes when asked, “Would you feel comfortable is a player in your national team came out as gay.” More on the poll from The Guardian.


Goal.com reports, “UEFA has ordered the partial closure of the Santiago Bernabeu for one match following racist behavior by Real Madrid fans during the 1-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich in April.”

Checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.


  1. I like Mo and I think he’s a good player but for a dude who kept talking the talk about being desperately “motivated” and working his ass off to make the WC squad, he really hasn’t played like it. Beyond the first couple games, I haven’t seen the energy and will of a player who wanted to be a game changer. Instead he seems complacent to let the game come to him instead of bringing the game to the opponent.

    Thoughts on this PSP folks? It’s not like he doesn’t have opportunities to go box-to-box and make runs, but he fails to really provide any off the ball movement that would open up play and show that he has the passion to win and deserve a spot on the USMNT 23.

    • Watch the 1st Seattle goal against us that Wheeler failed to clear. Edu stood and watched Martins walk right past him for the goal. People are wondering why he’s not focusing on his opportunities going forward, yet he’s barely fulfilling his responsibilities as a DM.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I think Wheeler’s failure to make a play on that ball caught everyone by complete surprise and once it fell it was a case of a player moving forward, Martins vs. a player facing up the field unable to turn in time, Edu.
        Not to say that he has lit the world on fire and hasn’t been guilty plenty of times, just that that particular instance Martins was already moving forward and Edu, like the rest of the Union players were utterly dumbfounded by what happened.

      • I think another example was the 35-yard goal Columbus scored against us. Once Anor was a step past him, he just casually jogged back. He knew that Carroll was out of position because Carroll was the one that forced the initial Columbus turnover on the left. We saw Maidana sprinting back after he gave the ball away. If Maidana hounded Anor into coughing up the ball and another Crew player pounced on it and scored, people would have ripped Edu’s lack of hustle.
        I don’t mind being caught off guard by how the play unfolded in Seattle. That’s going to happen sometimes. I mind the full stop as he’s watching the ball float over his head to Martins’ feet. Amobi was caught off guard as well, but he busted his ass to get over and cover for Edu, and he was inches away from saving the play for them. I can deal with lack of talent. I can deal with occasional mental lapses. Giving up on a play? Hoping someone else will bail you out? That’s having the wrong mindset, and it’s inexcusable.
        I’m definitely a Carroll apologist, but I understand why people can’t stand the constant passing to the fullbacks and not moving the ball forward. The only reason that we keep seeing it week after week is that Edu hasn’t played him off the field yet. We wouldn’t need a purely defensive midfielder if his fellow midfielders had shown they can handle his defensive responsibilities, and that simply hasn’t happened yet. Edu has the potential to be a legitimate game-changer. We all saw that in week 1 against Portland. I truly believe he can lead this team. He just needs to actually lead it now.

      • John Ling says:

        “I can deal with lack of talent. I can deal with occasional mental lapses. Giving up on a play? Hoping someone else will bail you out? That’s having the wrong mindset, and it’s inexcusable.”
        Yep. Exactly. Anybody can hustle; failing to do so consistently is – in my opinion at least – the biggest on-field ‘sin’ an athlete can commit, aside from blatant cheating.

    • DarthLos117 says:

      I think his first mistake was asking to play a higher role, I feel he is better as a holding midfielder/CDM role.
      Aside from that, I feel like the game is moving to fast for him. Seems like he forgot the game pace and his positional awareness seems off.
      I feel like he doesn’t see a play through. Like you said no off the ball movement. Like he feels he has done enough with that one pass.

      • John Ling says:

        Mo at center back. Okugo pushed into the mid. Carroll to the bench to serve as a late-game sub to see out a win (and eventually traded to a playoff bound team that can use his skillset). And if I’m going to continue the dream, Carlos Valdes returning after the WC to partner with Edu in the back.
        Williams, Valdes, Edu, Gaddis; Okugo, Noguiera, Maidana, Pfeffer; Wenger, Le Toux.

      • Tracy Kuntzler says:

        Fun squad. That’d be pretty cool.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        I agree on off ball movement. He seems more reactive than creative to me which is common trait with many defensive players (B. Carroll, for example) but not at the level he has been playing abroad or even among the best in MLS.

  2. John Ling says:

    “To be honest, I think what’s important now is to not take any credit away from the guys that are going. They all worked their [butt] off to get to that position, to get on that team. ”
    Classy, Mo! Well done.

  3. Great video from MLS Insider. I gotta say I love his family.
    Great insight from Mo’s mom at that game. This team can’t score.
    I’m waiting for the floodgates to open and all the pent up frustration to transform into goals. Fingers crossed.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Last night I think I saw the answer to the Union’s problems. Both goalies in the hockey game made great head saves. Maybe the Union should hire them to help out on defending set pieces?

  5. In spite of playing under the feckless managing of Hackworth Mo needs to step it up. He has been less than stellar and his effort has looked half hearted at times. Except for a few instances he’s looked like a spectator instead of the dominant game changer he’s been hyped to be. It makes what ever reason he couldn’t really make it on pitch at Stoke City appear evident. I want him to be a star in this league and for the Union.

  6. “We have to work through things, and these are hard times for us — no question. But we see a light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully it will be recognized on Saturday night.”

    Sorry to tell you Hack but that light is most likely a freight train headed your way.

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