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Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Another Union game, another punch to the gut.

Conor Casey, who now has five goals in the last five league games, continued his early scoring, scored adding a 16th minute opening goal against Colorado on Saturday to the 9th minute goal he scored against New England in the US Open Cup on Wednesday. Two minutes after Casey scored, however, Colorado equalized. While Sheanon Williams would put the Union ahead again in the 31st minute with a fine header, Andrew Wenger’s 74th minute goal was followed five minutes later by Michael Lahoud’s red card for dangerous play in the box and Colorado’s penalty kick goal. Four minutes before the end of regulation time, Colorado leveled the scoreline.

Interim head coach Jim Curtin said after the game,

Nights like tonight are the kind of games you look back on at the end of the year and say, “Oh, if we could have done this.” But I’m a big believer in you are what your record says who you are, and this is, unfortunately, what we are right now: a 3-3 scramble, all over the place game against Colorado. Not really sure how to win yet and it’s going to be a process. You have to learn how to win…

A lot of good performances went to waste tonight. That’s what it felt like. A lot of really good performances by guys really went to complete waste. It’s tough.

If the red card and resulting collapse weren’t bad enough, Amobi Okugo was shown a red card after the game was over and players and coaches from both teams were exchanging the usual post-game greetings.

Okugo said of the red card, “There was no explanation. He gave me a card when my back was turned – kind of cowardly but whatever.” He explained, “Both teams are fighting hard, all the players are putting their body on the line. They came back in the game and we didn’t do a good job holding the lead. At the end, people were voicing their frustration. That’s what happened.”

Curtin said of Okugo’s red card,

The refs were obviously upset and people were commenting on different things to them, but, I think one of them, it got relayed that Amobi might have said something that maybe wasn’t said. At the end of the day it’s not going to do any good complaining to those guys at the end of the game. So, probably a waste of breath and now it’s going to cost us losing Amobi so not smart on his part at all. Again, not going to change anything at that stage so you just got to kind of accept it and take it for what it’s worth.

It remains to be seen if the club will appeal Okugo’s red card. As Kevin Kinkead explains, an appeal “will prove difficult without video evidence, and also considering the verbal nature of the offense.”

So, with New York coming into town on Wednesday, the Union will be without two players. Thankfully, Maurice Edu will be back from the one-game suspension he served after earning a late red card against in the loss to Dallas. The big question is whether Vincent Nogueira is healthy enough to start. Curtin said after Saturday’s game that the Frenchman’s “obviously coming along,” adding, “Probably not the way we wanted to or preferred to ease him in, but we’ll still look at a couple options we can go to, but we’ll take a look at it.”

Match reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com, Inquirer, Delco Times, CSN Philly, South Jersey Times, Burlington County Times, Delaware Online, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Burgundy Wave, Soccerly, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, Goal.com, Stoppage Time Soccer, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP.

Video and transcript of Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference and comments from Cristian Maidana, Sheanon Williams, Danny Cruz and Brian Brown, with additional quotes from Ethan White and Pablo Mastroeni here at PSP.

Our photo essay will be up later this morning. In the meanwhile, USA Today has a photo gallery.

Brotherly Game has game changing moments from Saturday’s draw.

Before Saturday’s game the Union officially announced Brian Brown’s arrival at the club on loan through the end of the season.

His agent, Damani Ralph, a former teammmate of Jim Curtin at Chicago Fire, said of Brown, “He’s a natural left-footer, a great striker of the ball, good at holding the ball. He’s a very powerful player. He’s not a speedster like a Deshorn [Brown], but he’s good at playing with his back to the goal, good at connecting with guys and he’s a good finisher.”

After Saturday’s draw, Curtin acknowledged he wanted to give Brown some minutes in the game against Colorado. “If the game goes how I like tonight and we stay 3-1 up, he probably would have been in at the end, but instead you’re burning two subs trying to hold on at the end.”

No contract offer for Freddy Adu at AZ Alkmaar and so his quest to find a tenth team to play on since becoming a pro continues.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders secured a 3-1 road win over Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday with first half goals from Garret Pettis, assisted by former Union man Morgan Langley, and Union loanee Jimmy McLaughlin. A 90th minute goal from former Union draft pick Robbie Derschang sealed the deal. Match report from USL PRO. McLaughlin is now second among Harrisburg’s goalscorers with 4 goals and 2 assists. Langley leads with 5 goals and 5 assists.

Ocean City Nor’easters hosted Reading United on Friday evening in a game that finished as a 1-1 draw. The result sees Ocean City out of playoff contention. Reading is in third place in the Mid Atlantic division with two games in hand over division leaders Long Island Rough Riders. Match reports from Ocean City Nor’easters and Press of Atlantic City.

A recent survey ranks interest in soccer in the all important 18-34 demographic. The middle Atlantic region consisting of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York comes in next to last with 29 percent of respondents saying they are fans of the game.

Soccer Nation talks to UPenn goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli about her time at the USWNT U-23 camp in June.

New Bern, NC’s Sun Journal talks to 90 year old Philly native Joe Bach, a member of the first soccer team at UNC in 1947, about the growth of the game in the US. Bach still referees 50-60 games a year.

Ed Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, governor of Pennsylvania, and part time American football commentator, offers nothing new in his contribution to the seemingly never-ending flow of commentary pieces on soccer’s place in the US and seems to believe FIFA will have to change the rules of the game for interest in this country to prove lasting. Yawn.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, DC United (31 points) defeated San Jose 2-1 on the road to remain in first place. Second place Kansas City (29 points) defeated last place Montreal (14 points) 2-1 on the road. Third place Toronto (24 points) defeated ninth place Houston (18 points), 4-2. Fourth place New England (23 points) lost 1-0 at home to eighth place Chicago (19 points). Fifth place New York (23 points) walloped sixth place Columbus (20 points), 4-1. Seventh place Philadelphia (19 points) drew 3-3 with Colorado.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (38 points) made it two wins over Cascadia rival Portland in a row, defeating the eighth place team 2-0 in league play on Sunday after besting them 3-1 in the US Open Cup on Wednesday. Clint Dempsey scored the winner in his first game with the club after the World Cup in front of 64,207 at CenturyLink Field. Second place Salt Lake (28 points) lost 1-0 on the road to sixth place LA (24 points). Third place Colorado (27 points) drew 3-3 on the road with Philadelphia. Fourth place Dallas (26 points) had the weekend off. Fifth place Vancouver (25 points) is the latest victim of a resurgent Chivas USA (seventh place, 23 points), losing 3-1 at home. Last place San Jose (16 points) fell 2-1 at home to DC.

Vancouver Whitecaps have re-signed Russell Teibert to a new contract.

Robinho to Orlando?

MLS chief marketing officer Howard Handler talks to Adweek about how the league will use World Cup fever to engage new fans of the league.

At ASN, John Godfrey has five ways MLS can capitalize on World Cup fever.

The Province profiles Rachel Lewis, COO of Vancouver Whitecaps, the only female top executive in MLS.

MLS will be honored with the Award for Leadership in Hispanic Television in the programming category at the 12th Annual Hispanic Television Summit on Oct. 2.

NWSL

First place Seattle (42 points) fell for the first time this season, losing 1-0 on the road to fifth place Chicago (25 points). Second place Kansas City (33 points) was thumped 7-1 by fourth place Portland (25 points). Third place Washington (26 points) defeated sixth place Western New York (23 points) 1-0 on the road. Seventh place Houston (16 points) defeated last place Boston (11 points), 2-1. Eighth place Sky Blue (16 points) had the weekend off.

US

In a video interview at the Guardian, David Beckham says the 2014 World Cup was notable for the strong play of underdogs like Colombia, Costa Rica, and the US. “I expected the U.S. to go even further because they were playing so well and they looked really strong,” Beckham said. “I think they can be proud of their performance. I can see the growth, I can see that there’s a huge amount of interest there. And the fact that the U.S. had a great tournament where the fans got right behind the team, the players.”

The US U-20 MNT will face their counterparts from Chile today at 6 pm in Carson, Calif. in their first game in the NTC Invitational Tournament. The Union’s Zach Pfeffer, Union Academy product Zack Steffen, and Lancaster’s Russell Canouse, are with the team.

Elsewhere

Germany, world champions.

Click here for the tournament awards.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew credited the national development program that began under Jurgen Klinsmann when he was the head coach of the German team with laying the foundation for the team’s fourth World Cup championship.

ProSoccerTalk has a top ten memorable World Cup moments list. The Guardian has 11 things the tournament taught us.

Also at the Guardian, seven disappointing facts about the World Cup trophy.

Reuters reports, “Brazilian police have turned to international agency Interpol to help find the chief executive of a Swiss hospitality company implicated by an investigation into the illegal resale of VIP World Cup tickets.

With the tournament over, Sepp Blatter can now focus on winning a fifth term as FIFA president.

Reuters looks at Vladimir Putin goal of showcasing Russia with the 2018 World Cup. He is reportedly planning to spend $20 billion in preparations for the tournament.

FIFA has confirmed that Barcelona is not allowed to publicly unveil Luis Suarez until after the end of his ban for biting.

One Comment

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Yesterday showed us that it is time for FIFA to take on the issue of head injuries NOW. Teams don’t want to burn a sub and players don’t want to come out. So here is my solution.
    .
    1. For games that have limited substitutions (i.e. not friendlies), add a medical official (or in major competitions, two medical officials).
    2. When there is a suspected head injury, the medical official can remove a player from the game. The substitute for that player does not count against the team’s allotment for the game.
    3. Allow the medical official(s) access to video review. That will allow for additional confirmation that the head injury actually happened and is not on instructions from the coach to fake the injury to allow for an extra sub.
    4. Consider reducing the number of non head injury subs to two per game, especially for those games that cannot go into overtime as part of a tournament knock out stage.

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