Daily news roundups

“It’s awesome”: Recaps & reaction to Union’s USOC semifinal win, Ribeiro named USL PRO PotW, more news

Philadelphia Union advance to US Open Cup final

If you’re looking for me on Sept. 16 around 7:30 pm, you’ll find me at the US Open Cup final at PPL Park.

On short rest after playing on Saturday, and then flying 1,500 miles on Monday, the Philadelphia Union defeated FC Dallas 1-1 (4-3 on penalty kicks) after finishing 120 minutes of play with the scoreline level at 1-1. Amobi Okugo put the Union ahead in the 47th minute before  leveled in the 81st. Zac MacMath then made two penalty kick saves after extra time. The Union will now host the winner of tonight’s meeting between Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire (10:30 pm, ussoccer.com).

Interim head coach Jim Curtin said after the game, “That was kind of like a heavy weight boxing match where guys were battered and bruised. They had some crazy injuries and had to burn all three subs by halftime. We were the last team standing. They put in a great effort, Zac was huge in the penalties. I’m happy, you know, I had eleven men out there the whole night. We knew that’s what it would take to come in here to Dallas, play in a tough environment, and the guys played like men.” By the way, the Union are now 7-1-3 in all competitions under Curtin.

MacMath said after the game, “It’s awesome. It’s a feeling that this club has never had before, and I know our fans at home are really excited. We’re happy to bring it back for them.”

MacMath said of the Dallas goal, “They were playing a lot of balls in-behind our defense and I tried to play a high line and get off my line as much as possible to defend against that. Unfortunately, [Castillo] got to it first and made us pay. It’s tough because I felt like I let my team down, so I am just really happy that we were able to battle past that and I was able to do the little things to make this happen.”

Okugo said of MacMath’s penalty kick heroics, “We didn’t want to try to get in his head. He’s been saving PKs all season. We knew that if we made ours, he would at least get one. And he did a great job getting two.”

Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said of his team, “We emptied ourselves. The players did on the field and that’s something that I’m very proud of. They left everything on the field really. It was one of those performances that encouraged you and made you feel not just proud but honored to belong to this club and this group of players.”

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.comTheCup.us, Inquirer, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Soccerly, Brotherly GameFC DallasDallas Morning News, Dallas Soccer News, ESPNSoccer America, SBIProSoccerTalkGoal.comTouchline TalkUSA Today has a photo gallery from the game.

And, in case you’re wondering:

More Union news

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George has a great read on Amobi Okugo. Okugo says of his long-term plans,

Philly is the place I call home. I can see myself in Philly for a long time, but Philly has to value me. They have to want me here too. All relationships are two-sided. It can’t be a one-way street. From that standpoint, I’d love to be in Philly. From a career standpoint, I’d like to play in Europe. So it depends on what happens.

More power rankings! At ProSoccerTalk, the Union move up seven spots to No. 11 (they haven’t done MLS power rankings since before the World Cup).

In view of the ongoing Ebola epidemic, the Confederation of Africa Football has ordered that the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier scheduled to be hosted by Michael Lahoud’s Sierra Leone against Democratic Republic of Congo  on Sept. 10 will be played on neutral ground. A statement on the confederation website says, “The Sierra Leone Football Federation has already taken steps with its Ghanaian counterparts to host their game in the latter’s territory.”

San Lorenzo, Carlos Valdes’ former club, hosts Paraguay’s Nacional tonight in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores tonight. The teams are level at 1-1 after last week’s first leg.

Philly Mag talks to Jake Panasevich, the Union’s yoga trainer.

Local

Pedro Ribeiro, on loan from the Union to Harrisburg City Islanders, has been named the USL PRO Player of the Week. Joining him on the Team of the Week are Robbie Derschang and Yann Ekra. Antoine Hoppenot and Richie Marquez received honorable mentions. More at Penn Live.

In the Fall FAB 50 high school boys soccer rankings at Top Drawer Soccer, Washington Township (Sewell, NJ) comes in at No. 7 while the Haverford School comes in at No. 9. In the girls rankings, Lenape High School (Medford Township, NJ) comes in at No. 5, while Pennington School (Pennington, NJ) comes in at No. 7 and Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) comes in at No. 14.

MLS

New England have acquired  forward Andre Akpan and allocation money from New York Red Bulls in exchange for forward Saer Sene and an international roster spot.

The Goat Parade reports that Chivas USA president Nelson Rodriguez has outlined three requirements for  new owner: The club stays in Los Angeles, the owner must commit to building a new stadium, and the managing director of the club must be based in Los Angeles.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson says no public money should be expected in the construction of a new stadium that could house a MLS franchise in that city.

The Guardian on the flourishing soccer culture in San Diego.

US

The US defeated China 3-0 on Tuesday to advance to a quarterfinal meeting with North Korea in Toronto on Saturday in the Women’s U-20 World Cup. Lindsey Horan scored a first half brace and assisted the third goal, which was scored by Rose Lavelle. Postgame quote sheet here.

USWNT coach Jill Ellis has named her 19 player roster for the friendly against Switzerland in North Carolina on Aug. 20 (7:30 pm, ussoccer.com).

At the New York Times, Abby Wambach says of efforts to change the playing surfaces at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada to natural grass, “It’s a gender issue through and through. This being the pinnacle of our sport. We feel like we should be treated just like the men.”

It’s official: The US will play Ireland in a friendly in Dublin on Nov. 18.

Grant Wahl reports, “The U.S. men’s national team won’t be playing World Cup quarterfinalist Colombia in a friendly on Sept. 9 after all. After a verbal deal had been reached between the two countries to stage the game in San Antonio’s Alamodome, Colombia did not sign the contract by Monday’s deadline, two sources familiar with the deal told SI.com.”

Fabian Johnson to Barcelona?

ASN talks to Tab Ramos about the US Olympic team, player development, and MLS.

We posted a commentary piece from PSP contributor Carlo deMarco yesterday considering the proposed schedule change for men’s Division I college soccer from a player’s perspective. Soccer Observer has an article that examines how women’s Division I soccer could also benefit from such change.

Elsewhere

The New York Times reports, “A leaked recording of a meeting of Russia’s top soccer executives appears to show them panicked at the possibility that their clubs might be ejected from major European competitions and Russia might be stripped of the 2018 World Cup as they discuss a vote to admit three clubs from Crimea into the Russian league.”

The Guardian talks to Asian Football Confederation vice president Moya Dodd about increasing the representation of women in soccer’s governing bodies. “To have the world’s most popular game accessible by only half of the world’s population is not an equilibrium, it is not a sustainable position.”

7 Comments

  1. Southside Johnny says:

    Hmmm. So in DeGeorge’s piece Amobi utters essentially the same “I love y’all, but show me the money or I’m out the here” remarks that JackMac was so often maligned for along with a healthy dose of cynicism about the suits in the FO. I wonder how that will play for him. Sounds like he wisely keeps his bags packed.

    • Can you blame him? The franchise has not necessarily rewarded guys for their effort and loyalty — witness the Mwanga trade, the McInerney trade, the jettisoning of Le Toux and Calliff, and most recently the replacement of Zac MacMath. Regardless of what one things about the value of the trades, I think his attitude is entirely warranted.

      The counterexample, of course, is the re-acquisition of Le Toux. So I think that when Amobi says, “I would consider staying here if they value me” — meaning, with a nice long-term contract that shows it — he has every right to do so.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        I don’t blame him a bit nor did I blame Jack.

      • This isn’t even a LOL Union this. This is simple fact. Soccer players want to play in Europe. That’s how it works. The better league are there, the bigger players and the bigger paydays.

        It has nothing to do with the Union being cheap.

    • Both Amobi and Jack are talented young players. However, Amobi brings so much more to the table with his character, personality and work ethic. His appeal with the fans is far greater than Jack’s ever would be.

      I hope that the Union at least make Amobi an attractive offer to stay here.

  2. Curtin Impact: “at ProSoccerTalk, the Union move up seven spots to No. 11 (they haven’t done MLS power rankings since before the World Cup).”

  3. Is there a link for tickets yet? Couldn’t find one on Union site

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