Daily news roundups

Union drop to 7th after loss in Houston, HCI loses, league wrap, NWSL playoff picture clear, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union’s unbeaten streak in all competitions ended at seven games with the 2-0 loss to Houston on Frday night.

While the game will be notable for being the occasion of the MLS debuts of Andre Blake and Pedro Ribeiro, the loss more importantly means dropped points in an increasingly tight Eastern Conference playoff race. In fifth place at the start of the weekend, the Union are now in seventh place.

Jim Curtin said after the game,”We’ll have to regroup and get back on track. We have seven of our last ten at home now, so it’s positive in that regard.” While seven of the remaining ten games being at home is certainly a positive thing, it will be vital that the Union doesn’t drop points in those seven games if they want to be in control of their post-season destiny.

Recaps from PSP, here at PSP. Photo galleries from the game at USA Today, Blue City Photography, and Photography by Eric.

Brotherly Game looks at game-changing moments from Friday’s loss.

More on Blake and Ribeiro’s debuts from MLSsoccer.com and Playing for 90.

In ESPN’s power rankings, the Union remain at No. 11: “Against Houston, the Union looked a bit weary after its midweek exertions in the Open Cup, but the 2-0 loss still amounted to a blown opportunity, and there’s a huge logjam for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.” Yep.

Looking ahead to the Union’s upcoming games, Goal.com observes, “A winnable game against San Jose awaits next week, followed by back-to-back meetings with Toronto FC — a run of matches that could catapult the Union in the standings, or bury them.”

Playing for 90 says Zac MacMath should remain the Union’s starting goalkeeper despite the expected beginning of the Rais Mbolhi era.

Reports from the Union website and Delco Times on last Thursday’s Safe Playgrounds event at Chester’s Showalter School.

ESPN on Freddy Adu’s latest adventure abroad, this time in Serbia.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders fell 3-1 in Orlando on Saturday, ending their four-game winning streak. Former Union draft pick Robbie Derschang opened the scoring in the sixth minute with an assist from Union loanee Leo Fernandes. Other Union players seeing minutes were Zach Pfeffer, who started and played 64 minutes, and Antoine Hoppenot, who started and played 85 minutes before being subbed out for Cristhian Hernandez. Reading native Corey Hertzog had an assist on Orlando’s second goal. Recaps from Orlando City, USL PRO, Penn Live, Orlando Sentinel, and O-Town’s 11.

United Soccer League of Pennsylvania is on of the area’s most storied amateur leagues. As it prepares for the start of its 56th season, the league, which is sanctioned by the US Adult Soccer Association, has announced the the addition of three new clubs, bringing the league roster to ten teams. The new teams are Lancaster City Football Club, South Jersey Elite Barons, and a new amateur side from Ocean City Nor’easters.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place Kansas City (42 points) thumped third place Toronto (32 points), 4-1.  Second place DC (40 points) brushed aside Colorado, 4-2. Fourth place Columbus (30 points) thumped LA, 4-1. Fifth place New York (28 points) had the weekend off. Sixth place New England (27 points) drew 1-1 with visiting Portland. Seventh place Philadelphia (27 points) lost 2-0 to eighth place Houston (25 points). Ninth place Chicago (25 points) lost 1-0 on the road to last place Montreal (17 points)

In the Western Conference, first place Salt Lake (42 points) defeated second place Seattle (41 points), 2-1. Third place Dallas (39 points) crushed eighth place San Jose (24 points) 5-0 on the road. Fourth place LA (34 points) fell 4-1 in Columbus. Fifth place Vancouver (33 points) drew 0-0 on the road against last place Chivas USA (24 points). Sixth place Portland (31 points) drew 1-1 in New England. Seventh place Colorado (30 points) lost 4-2 in DC.

Chicago have signed Welsh international and former Toronto FC forward Robert Earnshaw. Fire manager Frank Yallop says he thinks the team is “pretty close” to signing Jermaine Jones.

Here’s a reminder that a Columbus Crew rebrand is expected in October. Also, (if I’m understanding the article correctly) did you know that, despite being one of the founding teams of the league, and playing in the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS, the Crew apparently don’t have their own training facility?

Bradley Wright-Phillips admits he underestimated MLS when he joined the league.

In an article at The Guardian on Rob Manfred , the next commissioner of Major League Baseball, David Lengel writes,

This may sound crazy, but with each passing day, Major League Soccer, which shares part of sporting calendar with the baseball season, becomes more and more of a long term threat to MLB, never mind what happens when the NFL kicks off in September. When you turn MLS on, there are reasonably full stadiums featuring colorful crowds that sing, chant and play drums while following the action, which is constant and wrapped up in roughly two hours. It looks good and it sounds good, and when you consider the progress MLS has made in just 18 seasons, competitors should be taking it extremely seriously.

More on Las Vegas’ hopes for a MLS franchise.

NWSL

The postseason picture is clearer after the weekend’s games. Third place Portland (36 points), coached by former Philadelphia Independence manager Paul Riley, clinched a playoff spot with a 1-0 win over first place Seattle (54 points). Despite being defeated 1-0 by fifth place Sky Blue (31 points), fourth place Washington (35 points) also clinched a playoff spot. Fifth place Chicago (35 points) came from behind to draw 3-3 with  place Western New York (28 points) . While level on points with Washington, Chicago misses out on a playoff spot because it lost the season series between the two clubs. Eighth place Boston (20 points) finished the season with a 1-0 win over last place Houston (18 points). On Wednesday, Houston will have a chance to finish above Boston when the play Sky Blue in what will be the final regular season game before the start of the playoffs.

The postseason begins on Saturday when second place Kansas City hosts Portland (1 pm, ESPN2). On Sunday, First place Seattle hosts Washington (11 pm, ESPN2). The final is on Sunday, Aug. 31 (3 pm, ESPN2).

US

The US fell 3-1 on penalty kicks to North Korea on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the U-20 Women’s World Cup after the teams finished level at 1-1.

Soccer America says that the early exist of the US team, who were tournament favorites, is a wake up call: “[W]hat was disturbing was the overall level of play from the Americans at the tournament. For a program that has high expectations, the tools of many of the players were shockingly poor. Then again, this is nothing new as women’s soccer experts have been warning that the technical qualities of players coming through the ranks are deficient.”

More on the loss from ASN.

The Huffington Post observes that the US Soccer Facebook campaign promoting  Hope Solo, who is now facing her second charge for domestic assault, and her chance to break the world record for shutouts notes the reaction from fans has been, shall we say, not what was hoped for.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer notes that both the USWNT and Seattle Reign will have Solo’s services for upcoming games as she awaits trial.

Elsewhere

ESPN has announced it has “reached a multimedia rights sublicense agreement with FOX Sports Media Group to carry a select package of UEFA Champions League matches across ESPN media platforms starting this fall with the 2014-15 season, through the 2017-18 season.”

PSV Eindhoven supporters protested the introduction of Wi Fi at Philips Stadion over the weekend. The Guardian reports the protests are motivated by the belief that “support has been lessened by distracted fans looking at their phones instead of the match,” as well as the view that “the introduction of the technology is just the latest in a series of decisions intended to gentrify the crowd at home matches.”

7 Comments

  1. Freddy Edu?

  2. Philly Blues are hoping for a good crowd in Tir Na Nog this afternoon for Chelsea’s opening game. Come and watch Diego Costa bang some in and show the Union forwards how it is done.

  3. After watching DC blitz Colorado’s backline last night, I would have to imagine that Colorado would be interested in acquiring a centerback.

    With O’Neill out indefinitely with a knee injury and now with Moor injured, perhaps a swap of Chris Kulte for Austin Berry would make some sense.

  4. For a league that gets mocked (along with NBA and NHL) for letting too many teams into the playoffs, it sure does seem hard for Union to hold a playoff spot. Houston and Chicago hold one game in hand, and if they win them the Union are in 9th in the East. If I wasn’t so lazy I would research how many days in the season since their inception that the Union have been above the red line. If I had to guess I’d say only Chivas would have fewer days than us. Possibly Toronto too, but they’ve been in a playoff spot all this year pretty much.

    • John O'Donnell says:

      Well when you lose your first four games and your still in it because there are 34 games or the fact that it takes 9 months to play those games. Meh It’s a long season with not a lot of games and you have ties.

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