Daily news roundups

They believe: USA-Belgium previews & news, Cruz & MacMath named to TOW, Kaka joins Orlando, more

Genius image created by Pablo Maurer (follow him at @MLSist)


Deep breaths, deep breaths.

The US faces Belgium today in the Round of 16 at the World Cup (ESPN, Univision, ESPN Deportes, Univision Deportes, ESPN3, Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes En Vivo, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM FC.)

Deep breaths, deep breaths.

The theme throughout the comments from the US team ahead of today’s game is simple: we want more.

Clint Dempsey said,

We are not just satisfied with just getting to the Round of 16; we want to do more. It’s a difficult challenge playing against Belgium, they have a lot of quality players, but at the same time, I think that if we play to the best of our ability, we can get the right result.

Jurgen Klinsmann said,

We worked hard for this moment. We made it through a very difficult group and now we want more. We are very, very hungry and focused and have a lot of respect for the Belgium side, as Clint said, but no fear at all…

I’m very, very positive we have a really good foundation for getting everything out of Belgium. The better team should win and go forward, but we’re doing well. We feel fresh, we feel recovered quickly after every game we played so far, and we have great spirit in our group…We are hungry for more and we want to prove that to the best of our capabilities.

Michael Bradley explained,

There’s still a feeling that now we have more to give, every guy has that much more to find physically, mentally and so we use these few days to recover, to prepare and step on the field on Tuesday against a very good team but knowing that it’s all there for us….

The reality is on the inside we have big belief in ourselves…There’s no feeling of satisfaction at the moment. We want to be here for another few games, we want to continue to push and push and see how far we can take this.

Jozy Altidore is available to play for the US in game after suffering a hamstring injury in the opening group game against Ghana. How much he’ll play remains unclear. Klinsmann said, “We’ll we don’t know how much because we need to see how things go, but he’s available and this is what we want. This is what we hoped for, this is what the medical staff is working since the injury on him and they’ve done a tremendous job day and night with Jozy, so just having him with us tomorrow is huge and how many minutes, we’ll see that through the game.”

Klinsmann said of the appointment of Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi to officiate today’s game, “Well we hope it’s not a concern. We know he did two games already, and he did them very well.  So we hope he continues his refereeing the perfect way he’s done so far.  Is it a good feeling? No, because he’s coming from the same group as Belgium and Algeria. He’s able to speak French with their players on the field, not with us. It’s a country that we beat in the last second in the last World Cup.”

Previews of today’s game from PSP, US Soccer, Daily News, Soccer America, ASN, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, and SI (video).

At ESPN, Chris Jones on the growing belief that the US could advance deeper into the tournament, and the pressure of being labeled a “dark horse,” as Belgium has been labeled.

The Wall Street Journal is concerned that the US will not be wearing its “lucky jersey” — the “bomb pop” — when it faces Belgium today.

SI has a look at the site of today’s game, Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Waffle House is supporting the US team by calling for a boycott of Belgian waffles.

MLSsoccer.com on Kyle Beckerman turning into a “national sensation” with his solid play at the World Cup. The Salt Lake Tribune says of the attention, “Some of it even has to do with soccer.”

From The Department of Stop That Metaphor, a report at Digital Park on soccer’s growing attractiveness to marketers concludes, “While soccer’s popularity still might not yet be as sure a thing as a penalty kick goal amongst the U.S. general public, the sport’s marketability is no longer playing a man down on Madison Avenue.”

the news roundup on June 20 makes clear its origins are as a platoon chant at the Naval Academy Prep School in 1998.

Philadelphia Union

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George describes how, in the short term at least, things are looking up for the Union:

Suddenly, the numbers seem to be telling a very favorable story about the Union (4-7-6, 18 points). The club is unbeaten in its last three league games and last five in all competitions, two of those contests coming under the stewardship of Curtin’s predecessor, John Hackworth. They are 5-2-1 in their last eight matches. They’ve scored nine goals in their last three league contests and 14 in their last five games overall — compared to 14 goals in the first 14 games of the season.

 The win moves the Union to within one point of fifth-placed New York (though in one fewer game) for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It also nudges the Union’s points-per-game total above 1.0 for the first time in nine games.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin with the latest Inside Doop. The big question: who takes a seat on the bench when Vincent Noguiera returns from injury?

Danny Cruz and Zac MacMath have been named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Sebastien Le Toux received an honorable mention.

Cruz’s wonderful run and blast from distance is up for Goal of the Week.

Brotherly Game looks at the stats from Saturday’s win and names Ray Gaddis its Stat Zero, and Sebastien Le Toux its Stat Hero.

You will recall our interview with Union assistant coach Mike Sorber about playing in the 1994 World Cup. The Union have a video segment on Sorber’s time at the 1994 World Cup that includes JP Dellacamera’s memories of the tournament.


At the Inquirer, Bob Ford on the “neediness” of US soccer fans who “crave” affirmation and are also guilty of “rushing things.” Yes, Bob, all that soccer hating, it’s all our fault. Yawn.

Philadelphia Neighborhoods has a look at how the Latino community around Ninth Street in South Philly has been watching the World Cup.


Jack McInerney’s two-goal effort earned him Player of the Week honors. In a post highlighting McInerney’s ridiculous back-to-goal volley, Soccer America refers to him as being with Philadelphia. It makes me sad, that.

Hundreds of fans greeted Kaka when he arrived from Italy at Orlando Airport on Monday. He was officially unveiled as Orlando City’s newest signing this morning.

According to the Daily Mirror, “Frank Lampard will play for Manchester City’s A-League side Melbourne City in Australia next season, ahead of his move to the Etihad club’s Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC…A deal has been agreed and an announcement is set to be made soon.

FiveThirtyEight looks at how the home team is favored when it comes to the amount of stoppage time awarded. Topping the home team advantage list are MLS and the Bundesliga.


The winner of today’s Argentina–Switzerland match will face the winner of the USA-Belgium match (12 pm: ESPN, Univision, ESPN Deportes, Univision Deportes, ESPN3, Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes En Vivo, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM FC)

In Monday’s Round of 16 games, the trend of teams that finished top of their group winning continued, with France defeating Nigeria 2-0, and Germany defeating Algeria 2-1 in extra time.

The Cameroon FA has announced that it will launch an investigation into allegations made by a convicted match-fixer that seven Cameroon players were involved in fixing the results of the group games, particularly the 4-0 loss to Croatia.

At Goal.com, Peter Staunton has a good read on why African players shouldn’t be blamed for disputes over bonus payments at the World Cup given “a long history of incompetence in financial matters in certain football associations.”

What’s this? World Cup travelers are losing things and being targeted by criminals in Brazil? Unbelievable!

Kudos to Univision for issuing a statement opposing the “puto” chant that is so ubiquitous at Mexico games. “Puto” is widely used as an anti-gay slur in Spanish-speaking countries.

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