Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction to Union draw and US win, MLS & NWSL results roundup, WC sponsors concerned, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Well, that was as much fun as I’ve had watching a Union game at PPL Park for a long time, even if it wasn’t a win.

Sheanon Williams said, “To be honest, that’s the first time we tied a game where it actually felt like a tie and not a loss. I think moving forward we can definitely try and improve on this.”

Even though it wasn’t a win, the three-goal fight back was pretty darn encouraging, particularly with the team heading into the World Cup break. Amobi Okugo said, “Throughout the season you go through peaks and valleys. I feel like we went though enough valleys in the beginning of the season. I’m looking forward to the second half of the season where we can turn it up a notch, and I feel like things are going to change.”

Williams said, “Obviously, we talked about this game and obviously going into a long break we wanted to go off on a good note. Even though we gave up the late goal, there’s nothing we can do about that but we are definitely going to be positive moving forward.”

Casey said, “I know the guys we have in our locker room. I know that things haven’t gone well this year, but we’ve had some games that we’ve played really well. There have been games where we’ve played really bad. Today, first half wasn’t good, but second half was really good. Everyone still bleeds. We have a lot of time left. Although we didn’t win today, it’s been two games now that we’ve gotten really good results. Vancouver’s a good team. We get a little break now and we come back and attack the second half of the season.”

Williams said of Casey’s recent hot streak, “The thing about Conor is we just need to provide him with good service. He can finish a lot of goals for us if we give him good service. It’s something that our coaching staff and the team has harped on. He can finish with anybody in this league and it’s good to have him healthy.” More on Casey’s return to form at CSN Philly, Delco Times, and Soccerly.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Delco Times, CSN Philly, South Jersey Times, The News of Salem County, News Journal, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Zolo Times, MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Sun, The Province, Eighty Six Forever, Red Nation, Soccerly, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, Goal.com, OmniSport, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Postgame video and quotes from PSP. Photo gallery from South Jersey Times.

Also at Brotherly Game, Barry Evans on the game-changers in Saturday’s draw.

Local

Conceding a goal nine minutes after the opening whistle, Harrisburg City Islanders fell 1-0 on the road to Richmond Kickers on Saturday. The week before, Harrisburg fell at home to Richmond, 3-2. Match recaps from Penn Live, Richmond Kickers, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Ocean Nor’easters fell 3-1 to Long Island Rough Riders in Saturday’s home opener in league play at Carey Stadium. Recap from Ocean City Nor’easters.

Friday night’s international friendly at PPL Park between Ireland and World Cup-bound Costa Rica ened as a 1-1 draw and was by all accounts an entertaining affair. Recaps from PSP, Philly.com, Irish Times.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, first place New England (23 points) lost its second game in a row, falling 2-0 at home to fifth place New York (18 points). Second place Kansas City (22 points) defeated seventh place Houston (17 points) 2-0 on the road. Third place DC (17 points) drew 0-0 at home against sixth place Columbus (18 points). Fourth place Toronto (19 points) defeated San Jose, 1-0. The Union (15 points) remain in eighth place after their 3-3 draw with Vancouver. Ninth place Chicago (14 points) lost 3-2 at home to Seattle. Last place Montreal ( points) has the weekend off ahead of of Wednesday’s home game against DC.

In Western Conference play, first place Seattle (32 points) defeated Chicago 3-2. Second place Real Salt Lake (25 points) lost 3-1 at home to sixth place Portland (19 points). Third place Colorado (22 points) lost 3-2 on the road to fourth place Dallas (21 points). Fifth place Vancouver (21 points) drew 3-3 on the road with Philadelphia. Seventh place LA drew (17 points) 1-1 with last place Chivas USA (11 points). Eighth place San Jose (16 points) lost 1-0 on the road to Toronto.

Columbus Crew traded forward Dominic Oduro to Toronto in exchange for midfielder Alvaro Rey on Friday.

Miami-Dade County commissioner Xavier Suaraez has come out against the waterfront site being discussed as a location for a David Beckham-backed stadium. Meanwhile, Beckham is back in Miami trying to drum up support and insists the new stadium will not cost local taxpayers any money. A new Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald poll shows 45 percent of area residents oppose the stadium plan while 43 percent support it. Best of all, the latest rumor has Beckham tapping David Moyes to coach the Miami team. The rumor goes something like this: “Beckham is believed to have floated the idea via a third party in the hope that Moyes’ love of Florida — where he owns a home and where he attended England’s friendly against Ecuador in Miami on Wednesday— may tempt him to take a break from management in Europe.” How impressive, an “is believed,” a “floated,” a “hope,” and a “may,” all in one sentence!

A San Antonio Business Journal poll suggests that three fourths of San Antonio residents believe the city can support both a MLS and NBA franchise.

NWSL

First place Seattle (29 points) defeated fourth place Chicago (19 points) 3-1 on Saturday. Second place Kansas City (21 points) topped last place Boston (6 points), 2-0. Third place Washington (19 points) had the weekend off. Fifth place Western New York (14 points) hammered sixth place Portland (14 points), 5-0. Seventh place Houston (10 points) were the 3-0 victors over eighth Sky Blue (10 points).

US

Jozy Altidore scored for the first time in 2014 — Altidore and his teammates insisted the drought was no big deal —  as the US defeated Nigeria 2-1 on Saturday in its final sendoff game before leaving for Brazil on Sunday. It’s the first time the US has gone undefeated in a sendoff series.

Recaps from PSP, US Soccer, ASN, MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, Pro Soccer Talk, The Guardian, Postgame quote sheet here.

Player ratings from ESPN, ASN, Soccer America, MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk,

ASN has five thoughts, US Soccer Players has five points. SI has three thoughts, Soccer America has three takeaways, ProSoccerTalk and MLSsoccer.com has three things, although what Matthew Doyle calls a diamond, J.C. Carnahan calls a Christmas tree.

Actually, there’s a good deal of discussion about the “new system” at SBI, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, and even US Soccer.

Here’s Jurgen Klinsmann’s take on all this formation talk:

All these discussions about different systems are actually not up to speed anymore. The systems are not the key anymore. It was maybe 10-15 years ago. It changed with the best teams in the world lead by Spain. They made every system look stupid because they came up with a 4-6-0 in the last European Championship.

I think the trend is definitely you’re going to away from a systems discussion It doesn’t lead you anywhere. And you have a whole team that knows how to support each other and create stuff going forward. Years ago it was all down to the No.10 to make things happen. Now maybe the No.6 makes things happen, or the fullbacks make things happen.

It all changed over the last [few] years. It sounds always cool when you talk about 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or 4-4-2 diamond but it’s actually useless.

Michael Bradley said of the team’s reaction after the win, “We said to each other in the locker room: The fun starts now. These games are always tricky because they’re important in the sense that you want to use them to sharpen up and build confidence. It’s important to take them seriously, but the reality is they mean nothing. It’s important to get what you can out of them, but the reality is it’s all about June 16 now.”

Tim Howard’s teammates share their thoughts on him earning his 100 th cap in Saturday’s game.

At The AP, Ronald Blum on how the US is off to Brazil “with boosted faith…after going undefeated in its sendoff series for the first time.”

At the New York Times, Brian Sciaretta looks at the new, young members of the US team, “young players expected to contribute now and lead later.”

Two Daft Yanks on the “myth of the inexperienced US Soccer back line.”

At the Washington Post, Michael Caley wonders if the US team’s reliance on crosses will be their downfall.

Apparently, some have been shocked — shocked, I tell you, shocked — that Jurgen Klinsmann said the US will not be winning the World Cup: “We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet. For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament. Realistically, it is not possible.” Shocking! Now excuse me while I get my undies untwisted.

At the New York Daily News, Flip Bondy writes, “Jurgen Klinsmann’s neck won’t be the only one sticking out during this World Cup in Brazil. Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and a FIFA Executive Committee member, will take considerable heat as well if things go off the rails.”

The Kansas City Star says Klinsmann’s approach will have its detractors but he’s been successful.

A headline at Slate reads, “Jürgen Klinsmann Wants to Create an “American Style” of Soccer. Good Luck With That.”

Clint Dempsey shares some of his earliest World Cup memories.

Geoff Cameron’s hometown paper on his journey to the World Cup.

How will Landon Donovan watch the World Cup? “Part of me just wants to sit on my couch and sit there and let the emotions go one way or the other so I am not around anybody. And part of me wants to go to a bar and have a few beers and watch with local soccer fans and experience it all that way. I don’t know.”

The Financial Times on soccer’s growth in the United States.

Noting that ” the state of soccer in the United States is still complicated,” The Washington Post looks at polls that suggest that, while more Americans believe soccer “will become popular,” the number of people who consider themselves fans of the game has dropped compared to before the 1994 World Cup, as has the number of kids playing the game.

At ABC News, Christopher Weiss wonders “Will Hispanics give US Soccer a kick?”

At MLSsoccer.com, Nate Sulat on some of the quirky rules particular to soccer in the US.

A 1-1 draw with England saw the he US Paralympic National Team claim second place in the 9th International Trophy of 7-a-Side Football tournament in Barcelona on Sunday.

Elsewhere

The Cameroon national team refused to board their plane to Brazil after a dispute over bonuses. Eventually, an agreement was reached.

The Sunday Times published more information from the treasure trove of emails and other documents that support allegations of bribery and corruption in the lead-up to the vote that awarded Qatar the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup. The Sunday Times report is behind a paywall, but The AP has a breakdown of the latest allegations, the biggest of which is that $1.7 million in bribes was paid out to Asian football officials.

It seems that World Cup sponsors are beginning to voice their concerns about the ongoing reports of corruption. The Guardian, Soccer America, ESPN, and The AP have reports on sponsors’ concerns.

More on the pressure on FIFA from The Guardian.

The Guardian reports, “Football’s embattled world governing body is considering a plan to make a country’s human rights record a factor in awarding future tournaments in the wake of a string of concerns over corruption and the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.”

Buzzfeed has a great read on the US’s has its very own corrupt soccer administrator, disgraced former FIFA executive committee member and garden gnome Chuck Blazer.

Reuters reports, “Israel has prevented a senior Palestinian soccer delegate from traveling to this month’s World Cup in Brazil, his federation said on Sunday.

5 Comments

  1. I still don’t like Klinsman’s decision to leave Donovan off the team but I have no problem with his assessment of the USMNT chances in the World Cup. It would shock the world if they won. What’s he supposed say he expects it? I’m sure they’ll try like hell but we all know the deck is pretty well stacked against them. Refreshing realism as far as I’m concerned.

    • I agree, there are only 3 countries in the world that can say with any sort of certainty that they have a legitimate shot at winning the world cup.
      Also, this close to Brazil what do you think will motivate that players more…a coach saying that they can win the cup or a coach that says they have no shot?

      • Klinsmann made the statement back in December 2013. The mainstream media has gotten hold of it and won’t let it go until the tournament is over.

  2. The Union finally played like the home team on Saturday. It also looked as if they actually made adjustments at half time, and came out aggressive and hungry to score, a rarity for this team.

  3. Klinsmann has a good point to make about systems, but on the other hand, I think formations might matter more when it’s 94 degrees F and the dew point is 75, and I think he’s smart enough to know that.

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