Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction from Union win over TFC, USA tops Czechs, River Cup on Saturday, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union needed three points and they got them.

Jim Curtin said after Wednesday night’s win over Toronto, “Good teams win 1-0 games. That’s what we did tonight.”

Curtin added,

In the grind of the Eastern Conference, you have to fight. And I have men right now, I have men on the field and they are playing like men. They are learning to win. A 1-0 game says a lot to me about the character of our group…

This is what playoff games look like. This game tonight is exactly what a playoff game looks like, it’s what it felt like. It’s never going to be easy the rest of the way. We don’t have any margin for error…

Was tonight perfect? No. We could have created some more chances. At the end of the end we kept the zero, which was key. I thought our defense was great, I thought Zac MacMath was very good and I’m very happy with the overall team performance.

The Union are now 9-2-3 in all competitions under Curtin.

Sheanon Williams said, “We have a deep club and we’re a confident club. We’re even-keeled and staying the course with each game. In this league, you can’t get too high or too low. We’ve continued to put in the work, stayed the course and we’re in a good position down the stretch to make things happen.”

Conor Casey said of his game-winning goal, his seventh goal of the season, “It was a good combination from Chaco and Sebastien on the side,” Casey said. “I saw Seba had quite a bit of space so I tried to get in front of goal and he played a great ball across. I just stuck my foot out and it went in…I don’t know if any of them are easy but it was definitely needed.”

Toronto head coach Greg Vanney said, “I thought we worked hard from the beginning all the way through to the end. I can’t fault the effort from the guys; it’s been an emotional couple days and they laid it all on the field.”

Goal.com says another win bolsters the case for the interim tag being removed from Curtin’s job title.

Zac MacMath said of getting the shutout win, “It’s big time. Going into this final stretch it’s important that we have some depth and confidence; hopefully we can continue to put together defensive efforts like we did tonight and continue to be successful.”

Sheanon Williams said of how MacMath has been handling the goalkeeping situation following the Rais Mbolhi signing, “He’s been a great pro. I know it’s not easy for him with the situation he’s in. But he’s taking it in stride and he knows we’re going to need him if we want to make the playoffs. And, after not being called upon for a couple games, he comes in today and comes up huge. I’m proud of him and proud of the way he’s handled everything. And this is not going to be the last time we’re going to need him.”

The Union next face Toronto on the road on Saturday (2 pm, CSN, MLS Live). Williams said, “It’s definitely different playing them twice in a short amount of time. We have work to do and we know how big this game is on Saturday. We understand what’s at stake.”

Stoppage Time Soccer thinks “it is possible” that the Union “could” trade Zac MacMath to Houston, whose starting goalkeeper, Tally Hall, suffered a season ending ACL injury over the weekend. I’m going to disagree.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Daily News, Delco TimesSouth Jersey Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, Toronto Sun, The Canadian PressWaking the Red (1), Waking the Red (2)CanadianSoccerNews.com, Soccer America, SBIVavelSports Mole, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Also, video of Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference, locker room interviews with Andrew Wenger, Sebastien Le Toux, and Maurice Edu, as well as postgame quote sheet, here at PSP.

Our photo essay from the game will be up later. In the meanwhile, photo galleries from Delco TimesSouth Jersey Times, USA Today, and The AP.

Sebastien Le Toux is up for MLSsoccer.com’s Player of the Month. Cast your vote!

The fourth annual River Cup will kickoff between the Union Front Office and the Sons of Ben at PPL Park on Saturday at 11:30 am. If you attend the game, you can stick around to watch the Union’s return match in Toronto at 2 pm. Combo tickets are also available that will enable you to watch the River Cup and also enjoy the Delaware River Craft Brewfest that is also taking place at PPL Park on Saturday.


A vigil was held on Wednesday evening at Mainland Regional High School to mark the passing of 14-year-old Aisling Cook, who died Wednesday morning from injuries sustained when the vehicle she and four teammates were traveling in to a charity soccer tournament on Saturday was struck by a pickup that crossed the center line. More on the sad, sad story at CBS Philly and NBC Philadelphia.

The Drexel men’s team defeated Villanova, 1-0, on Wednesday night.


In Eastern Conference play, third place New England (36 points) defeated second place Kansas, 3-1. Lee Nguyen scored a brace to give KC their third loss in a row. The Union (33 points) move into a three-way tie for fourth along with Toronto and Columbus with Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Toronto.

In Western Conference play, first place Seattle (51 points) had a 4-2 road win over last place Chivas USA (24 points).

Remember the Union’s interest in English defender Zat Knight? Apparently, Colorado is now close to signing him.

A Las Vegas city council vote scheduled for Wednesday to approve a nonbinding resolution to support public funding of a proposed soccer stadium has been delayed until Oct. 1.


An Alejandro Bedoya goal was the difference as a youthful US squad defeated the Czech Republic in Wednesday’s friendly.

Recaps and reports from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, ESPNSoccer America, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, and The AP.

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com, Soccer America, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, and ESPN. More player analysis from ASN and Goal.com.

Soccer America has three thoughts from the win. ESPN and SI have three points. MLSsoccer.com has a tactical/statistical look at the game.

Jurgen Klinsmann says the goal of the USMNT at the 2018 World Cup is to reach the semifinals. I believe.

At SI, Brian Straus says of the win,

What was relevant — or at least a bit interesting — as the U.S. held on to a win over the Czechs on Wednesday was the on-field philosophy reinforced by Klinsmann. The manager who said he’s targeting the semifinals in 2018 believes there’s a certain sort of soccer that will pave the way, and he tried his best to deploy it in Prague. Wednesday’s game wasn’t necessarily about securing a good result — that came thanks to the 35-year-old Rimando and the hosts’ failure to capitalize on a dominant second half. It was about setting a cultural and tactical foundation for the program Klinsmann intends to build. We may see different names in Russia, but the philosophy should be quite similar.

At ProSoccerTalk, five things the US can do to reach their World Cup semifinal goal.


At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald reports on a new deal that will finally allow fans to subscribe to HD streaming of games carried by GolTV.

The AP reports, “Ukrainian soccer champion Shakhtar Donetsk says its club headquarters has been occupied by “armed men” as fighting between government troops and separatists continues.”

Reports from Germany say the England and Germany have reached a deal in which Germany will drop its bid to host the semifinals and final of Euro 2020 so that the games can be hosted by England’s Wembley Arena. In return, England will support Germany’s bid to host the 2024 tournament, and Germany will back England’s bid to host the tournament in 2028.


  1. Atomic spartan says:

    Is Nog ok? Or was he just held out to add something new for Saturday? Because watching Carrol last night was terrifying.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Noguiera picked up a slight right groin strain. MRI was negative, and Curtain says he doesn’t believe it is a major issue, however is availability for Saturday is unknown.
      I am not a Carroll fan, but I thought he was fine last night. He is not an every game player anymore, but for a game here and there, I think he can fill in fine.

      • old soccer coach says:

        remember as you evaluate Brian Carroll’s play last night that a primary responsibility, if not the primary responsibility, was to track/shadow/suppress Michael Bradley, a task that he accomplished quite well. Especially as Toronto deals with its injuries, as goes Bradley, so goes TFC. He scared us a few times, but BC and friends did pretty well I thought. Vanney will have two days to scheme how to overcome that, and hopefully Curtin, Sorber, et al. will put some thought into anticipating those counter moves and have some ideads in mind to counter the counters.

      • When I coached, we called the position that Carroll was playing “the dog”, as in “put a dog on him”. It was the functional equivalent of the box and one formation in youth basketball, playing a defender whose sole assignment was to make sure that one opposing player didn’t hurt your team. I agree with Old Soccer Coach here; I thought that Carroll played the dog quite well last night, since Bradley was held in check for the most part. It will be interesting to see if there is another player available to dog Bradley as well on Saturday. I don’t see that from Nogs, and think that there are few options on the bench that could do it as well. Interesting problem, since Toronto will obviously be working to keep the dog from biting Bradley again.

  2. Klinsman declares semis are goal for 18 World Cup. Uh Jurgen your about 12 to 16 years premature. It’s the current 12 year olds who MAY be good enough, a radical overhaul in philosophy and recruiting and a whim and prayer. Semis in 18 that’s funny stuff. The US play was dreck in this World Cup- totally outplayed by Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Mexicans and Ticos- 3rd best team in CONCACAF.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I don’t think you watched the same World Cup I did.
      While the US probably won’t make the semi-finals in 2018, winning a Round of 16 game is surely possible. Teams always under perform, and over perform. We have 4 years to add new blood to the squad, and I don’t know if you watched the friendly yesterday, but Joe Gyau, Mix, Green, and Brooks all looked very good and have years to develop. I for one am encouraged.
      And gimmie a break with the 3rd best team in CONCACAF. I’ll agree that Costa Rica is getting better, but we are at WORST 1a/1b with them. Mexico is garbage and wouldn’t have even been in Brazil if it wasn’t for Zusi.

      • Phew I will tread lightly here OMW. The revolution is being televised for the world to see and for us to watch. The mexican’s played with much more sophistication than team USA did. The Ticos as well. Fact is Costa Rica outplayed both USA and Mexico in tactical play. The Mexicans outplayed the US in tactical play. I still see a limited understudying of playing the game in the future. Most our players are still chasing the ball around in the present hoping to “link up”. We surrendered possession in every match, save the first half of Portugal, because we were unable to retain possession- not because we think we are a counter attacking team. We do not yet have tactical insight on a player by player level. Look I am all for growth and see a modicum of incremental growth in the quality of players but the reality is we are still light years away from competing at the highest level in the world. Our understudying of space is still too far away we arranged ourselves way too linearly on the field way to often. If you would like for us to have an in depth discussion about it for the next day or two I would be glad otherwise we will just have to agree to disagree.

      • I saw the Ticos pack it in every game and play counter-attack. I’m not sure if I would call that “sophistication.” While I agree the US didn’t play outstanding at the World Cup we still advanced out of a very difficult group and we made attempts (although not succesful) at improving our style of play. We have alot of very talented kids in the 19 to 22 year range and give them 4 more years to develop we could be very, very good by 2018. Ticos do not have our pipeline of talent and I’d agrue neither does Mexico right now.

      • Erik. I saw them play a hybrid 3-5-2 /// 5-3-2 and play a counter attacking style as well. I also saw them maintain possession of the ball when they had it which is not something I saw from us. I saw the familiar refrain of after the 3rd pass we were either turning it over, racing up the field as fast as fast as fast as possible or hoofing it up the field. Again I will argue ad infinitum or we can agree to disagree.

      • Mexico changed coaches changed the way they play the game gave players freedom to be who they are and came within a whisker of beating the Dutch were it not for the all familiar mexican fear of success.

      • And the US came within one Chris Wondolowski shank of beating Belgium. It’s not all doom-and-gloom.

      • I’m not doom and gloom I’m just not using advancing out of the group as the metric to determine whether we were successful.
        We could be better in 2018 and not advance. Doesn’t mean we haven’t improved our national identity. I see improvement just not world class improvement particularly when we don’t even have one world class player. And no Clint Dempsey is not world class. Teams that make it to the semi finals of a world cup have AT LEAST one world class player wouldn’t you agree.
        I see the same soccer as 2010 as 2006….

      • I’m pretty confident that we won the qualifying group…Mexico did nothing at the world cup to suggest that they have surpassed us again. Costa Rica made a great run, but did anything they do against the Netherlands suggest that they’ve made the leap? Semi-finals in 2018 is incredibly ambitious, but I have a hard time buying that we’re 3rd best in Concacaf.

      • This is fine ScottE we all bring our own discernment. The game I watched had Costa Rica with the run of play for large portions of the game against the Dutch.

  3. If the Union are in a 3 way tie for 4th, why are they listed 6th in the standings? I thought goals scored was the first tiebreaker? Or did they change it again and not bother to tell anyone?

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