Daily news roundups

“Feed the bear”: recaps and reaction to Union win over SJ, league results, more

Philadelphia Union

Andrew Wenger would be the first to admit he’s had his struggles since joining the UNion in a trade that saw Jack McInerney sent to Montreal. On Sunday, playing through some kind of “sinus thing,” he opened and closed the scoring in the Union’s 4-2 win over San Jose with two absolutely vicious strikes in what was only his second start since May 17.

Wenger explained after the game,

Today was a tough day to be honest. I’m not feeling very well. I feel really sick. Half the day was just trying to keep myself going.

It was hard for me to breathe for a lot of the night. I probably didn’t do as much running defensively as I would have liked. But we had a good team around us. Really, the story is the team played well.

A modest Wenger said further, “Let’s be honest, for me to get two goals is probably a long time coming for how many chances I get in my career. I’m just happy we won the game.

Michael Lahoud said of Wenger’s performance, “I think that was the best game I’ve ever seen Andrew Wenger play in his career. He was lights out, man of the match. Feed the bear.”

Jim Curtin said of Wenger, “He’s a special player who just needs confidence, and I think a night like tonight certainly gives a guy confidence.” Curtin added, “He’s a guy with an incredibly high ceiling. I think you’re seeing the start of something.”

By the way, Wenger is now on 4 goals and four assists in from 1061 minutes of league play from 19 appearances and 10 starts since joining the Union. Jack McInerney, with 1340 minutes from 18 appearances including 16 starts, has six goals and no assists.

Sebastien Le Toux ended the night with a goal and three assists, bringing his season tally in league play to 11 goals and 5 assists. Curtin said of the Frenchman,

His engine is a different level. The amount of ground he covers on the field is unbelievable. The defensive work that goes underappreciated  – when you think of Sebastien Le Toux nobody thinks defense. But, he’s been doing a ton of running that makes everyone else’s job easier. And then finishing in the box, one-touch finishing, he’s one of the best in our league. He’s been great, he’s in great form. He’s been leading off the field as well, which has been good with our group. So, I can’t say enough about how Seba is playing, we’re happy with him and we’re going to ride him all the way into the playoffs.

Sheanon Williams, who scored his third goal of the season in the win, said of his scrappy effort, “All I know is that it hit me, and it might have gone off two other people before it went in the goal. But I just wanted to make sure there was some havoc at the near post.”

Oh, yeah, and Rais Mbolhi started his first game in a Union shirt, saying after the game, “I was really happy, you know? To see this atmosphere, to see the fans, and win – we got the three points so I’m very happy.” More on Mbolhi’s first Union start from  Philadelphia Inquirer.

It was a vital win, particularly as it seemed like every team around them in the standings won their games over the weekend. Curtin said, “For sure, when you see every other team in the East picks up points on you there is added pressure. You need a little help along the way but if we win all of our home games we are in the playoffs. That is the one thing we control – we have the majority of our games at home.”

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer, Delco Times, South Jersey Times, CSN Philly, Soccerly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Vavel, MLSsoccer.com, San Jose Earthquakes, San Jose Mercury News, SBISoccer America, Goal.com, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Video and transcript of Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference, video of locker room interviews with Andrew Wenger, Sheanon Williams, Ray Gaddis, and Amobi Okugo, and a postgame quote sheet, here at PSP.

USA Today has a photo gallery from the game.

Power rankings! At SI, the Union move up three spots to No. 10. At ESPN, it’s a two spot jump to No. 9.

At Brotherly Game, Andrew Stoltzfus looks at the playoff picture.

Zolo Talk begins a series looking at the Union’s Homegrown Players, Academy players, and youth system with a profile on Zach Pfeffer.

Local

After going down a goal in the 8th minute, then down to ten men in the 33rd minute after goalkeeper Nick Noble was ejected, Harrisburg City Islanders scored two goals courtesy of former Union trialist Clesio Bauque to take the lead before a penalty kick saw Rochester Rhinos equalize from the penalty spot for a 2-2 road draw on Saturday night. With the result, Harrisburg remains in 5th place in the USL PRO standings ahead of this Saturday’s hosting of the Rhinos, the first of three remaining regular season games. Match reports from USL PRO, Penn Live, Rochester Rhinos, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, and The Bent Musket.

Princeton women’s soccer head coach Julie Shackford will step down after the 2014 season.

At Brotherly Game, Eugene Rupinski reviews Bearfight Brigade FC’s first year.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, DC United (43 points) moves into first place with a huge 3-0 road win over second place Kansas City (42 points). Third place Toronto (33 points) drew 2-2 with eighth place Chicago (26 points). Fourth place Columbus (33 points) thumped ninth Houston (25 points), 3-0. FIfth place New York (31 points) defeated last place Montreal (17 points), 4-2. Sixth place New England (30 points) defeated visiting Chivas USA, 1-0. Seventh place Philadelphia (30 points) topped San Jose, 4-2.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (45 points) brushed aside sixth place Portland (31 points) 4-2 on the road. Dallas (42 points) moves into second place with a 2-1 win over third place Salt Lake (42 points). Fourth place LA (40 points) defeated fifth place Vancouver (33 points), 2-0. Seventh place Colorado (30 points) had the weekend off. Eighth place San Jose (25 points) fell 4-2 to Philadelphia. Ninth place Chivas USA (24 points) lost 1-0 to New England.

Jermaine Jones has been acquired by New England Revolution “via a blind draw conducted by Major League Soccer.” ESPN reports Jones will receive $4.7 million through the end of the 2015 season. More on the news from MLSsoccer.com, Washington Post, Goal.comProSoccerTalk, and Soccer America.

Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop released a statement after the Jones announcement that said, “The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has pursued Jermaine Jones as a free agent signing over the past month and a half, and have gone to great lengths to bring him into Major League Soccer and our organization. We thought that he’d be a great fit in Chicago.” He added, “While we’re deeply disappointed that he will not be a part of the Fire, we respect the system employed by MLS and wish Jermaine well with his new club.”

Chivas USA has acquired defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado from Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.

While the deal is not yet official, Columbus Crew has announced it has agreed to transfer Costa Rica international Giancarlo Gonzalez to Italian Serie A club Palermo in what will reportedly be at $5 million the largest ever transfer fee for a defender in MLS history.

The Star Tribune reports, “The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority amended a usage agreement with the Vikings for their new stadium, which opens in 2016. The MSFA will charge the Vikings $20,000 for every MLS home game if it secures a soccer franchise in the new stadium. The MSFA would generate an estimated $340,000 annually in the agreement. The Vikings would handle all game-day expenses.

NWSL

It will be Seattle hosting Kansas City in the NWSL championship final next weekend (Sunday, Aug. 31 at 3 pm on ESPN2). On Saturday, Kansas City defeated Portland, 2-0. On Sunday, Seattle defeated Washington, 2-1.

Looking ahead to the 2015 season, USWNT players are expected to miss “at least two months for an extended training camp before the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.”

US

Tom Hanks has backed efforts to replace the artificial turf fields for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Elsewhere

The Press Association reports, “Cameroonian striker Albert Ebossé has died after being hit in the head by an object thrown from the stands during an Algerian league game.” While the Confederation of African Football has called for tough sanctions in the wake of the incident, the Algerian league has suspended play for next weekend and is considering expelling Ebossé’s club.

In Ukraine, Shakhtar Donetsk has confirmed that part of its Donbass Arena was damaged by shelling on Saturday morning. While no one was injured in the blasts, extensive damage has been done to the northwestern facade of the stadium.

5 Comments

  1. Can you imagine what would happen here if fans killed a player on the field? Do you think the whole organization would be removed/relocated by the league?

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    A “blind draw”… oh MLS…

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