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Heartbreak and pride: Recaps and reaction to Union US Open Cup final defeat, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Seattle finished their chances. The Union did not.

Jim Curtin praised his team after Tuesday night’s 3-1 US Open Cup final loss in extra time to the Seattle Sounders loss.

To a man, every guy left it on the field. That was a man’s game tonight. Two teams going at it. Good soccer, moments of not-so-good soccer, it was a grind. Seattle pulled off more plays than us.

I’ve never been proud of anything that ended in a loss before but this is the first time. I thought our guys put a ton into it. It just wasn’t meant to be. Seattle is the best team in our league and I thought we went toe-to-toe with them.

Curtin added, “We had the two chances at the end to win it but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Zac MacMath said, “I think we deserved it in the first 90 minutes. We couldn’t put it away and, unfortunately, those bounces didn’t go our way. … Goes to show this team’s got a lot going for it.”

Sebatien Le Toux said, “At the end, Seattle played well in extra time and got the win. It is a credit to them and a disappointing loss.”

Pedro Ribeiro said, “It was tough. We had a couple of chances before the end of the 90 minutes, but we didn’t put them away. In a game like this, you’ve got to put away those chances. I know I had one. Vince had one that hit the post. The mentality was good going forward to the overtime, because we thought we were all over, up on top of them. We thought we were going to create more chances, but we should’ve won that game before the 90 minutes.”

Sheanon Williams said, “Any time you play against top class players, it only takes a couple [chances]. They were looking for it all game, especially when Martins came in. It just took one to bury it.”

Williams added, “Nobody is going to remember who was finalist. They are only going to remember that Seattle won. I’m extremely proud of the group and extremely proud of the guys, but I think I’m going to just toss this one away, remember the feeling and try to never let it happen again.”

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer (1), Inquirer (2)Daily News, Delco Times (1), Delco Times (2), CSN Philly, Penn Live, Philly Soccer News (1), Philly Soccer News (2), Philly Soccer News (3), Brotherly Game, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, TheCup.us, Seattle Sounders, Seattle Times, Sounder at Heart, Sounders Nation, Soccer America, SI (1), SI (2), ESPN, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, Goal.com, Vavel, Playing for 90, Stoppage Time Soccer, The Sports Network, and The AP.

At the Daily News, John Smallwood on how Wednesday’s loss was another Philly sports heartbreak.

After Tuesday night’s win, Clint Dempsey and the Sounders are now focused on winning the treble. Sigi Schmid said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about that people want to win championships and win trophies. That’s the attitude we have in our locker room and that’s the attitude we’ve always approached the Open Cup with.”

Howler has a good profile piece on Maurice Edu.

The Union drop one spot to No. 7 in MLSsoccer.com’s power rankings: “The Union aren’t going to fade away in October.”

Pedro Ribeiro comes in at No. 9 in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 performers list. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Conor Casey (No. 18), Andrew Wenger (No. 22), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 39), Maurice Edu (No. 66), and Amobi Okugo (No. 73).

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League play, DC defeated Waterhouse 2-1 in Jamaica and Portland defeated Honduran club Olimpia, 4-2. Tonight, Montreal Impact hosts New York Red Bulls in Champions League play (8 pm, Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes).

Don Garber is not pleased with the recent remarks to the Washington Post from Bruce Arena regarding LA Galaxy’s failed attempt to sign Sacha Kljestan. Yo will recall that Arena said, “I won’t go into detail and just say forces within the league worked real hard to make sure that didn’t happen…They are children, and there have to be adults in the process, and we didn’t have enough of them. I think we are back into the old days in the league where the rules are somewhat arbitrary.” Garber tells SI,

Bruce has the opportunity to be our Tom Landry, our Pat Riley, and he continually puts himself in a position where he acts unprofessionally and he emotionally misstates the facts…In the case of Sacha Kljestan, he wanted to come to MLS and play for six months and live in Los Angeles so that he could then go back to Anderlecht [his current club]…We are not going to sign a six-month contract with any player, whether Bruce Arena wants us to or not. His comments were false and inappropriate and will be dealt with … It will be a major fine.”

ESPN on the rise of LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes.

Orlando City have shed much of their USL PRO roster ahead of their first MLS season. Reading’s Corey Hertzog is among those released.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ plans for a USL PRO team have hit a snag after the New Westminster city council unanimously rejected the proposal to make a newly refurbished Queens Park Stadium the third division team’s home. The club says it will talk to other nearby municipalities.

New York Red Bulls are looking to affiliate with a USL PRO team rather than start a team of their own.

Capital New York reports NYCFC are looking at another site in Queens after a deal for a location in the Bronx fell apart.

The series of town hall meetings aimed at garnering support for a publicly funded soccer stadium in Las Vegas have begun.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports, “A Swiss goalkeeper is considering legal action against supporters who urinated in his water bottle during a recent match in the Swiss first division. The incident took place during FC Muri’s game at Baden at the weekend and the 34-year-old Reto Felder says he is ‘still feeling sick.'”

38 Comments

  1. Hard for me to like Dempsey sometimes. his punk-ish attitude rubs me the wrong way but it is that very attitude which has lifted him to the heights he is at. Punk white kid growing up playing against Latinos. I sure as shit wish McMath would have stoned him on the goal.

    • If race has anything to do with why you don’t like Clint Dempsey, then I think you need to reexamine your outlook.

      • Race has nothing to do with it. Growing up where he did and with the type of players he played against he had to develop a surly attitude to his game. I’ve read numerous articles about his childhood. I am commenting on that in regards to how it plays out in his style/mannerisms on the field. I have nothing but respect for Clint Dempsey. It is just hard for me to like him sometimes particularly when, now– I find my team playing against him instead of for USMNT or Fulham.

  2. I’m proud of the boys. Should have certainly put it away in the first 90, but that’s soccer.
    .
    I think this was the first time in the past 10 or so matches that it really hit me how limited our tactical options off the bench are. I was sitting there when Oba came on and I thought “we just don’t have the right personnel to respond to that properly.”

    • I think they thought they were getting that (somewhat) with Brian Brown. But you can see they did not….

    • +1. I think our first team is a match for Seattle’s first team — especially if Okugo plays instead of Ethan White (who didn’t have a bad game anyway), and especially if M’Bolhi plays like he did in the World Cup. Where we cannot match Seattle is the bench. I mean typically Martins starts, obviously, and then you have Barrett off the bench, who is pretty good. And a guy like Kenny Cooper can’t even see the pitch. And Marco freakin’ Pappa as a sub?? Are you kidding me?!? How do they keep all these guys on their roster???

    • XI for XI we’re as good as anyone in the league. We have better depth than we’ve had in the past, but we still don’t really have a real game-changer off the bench. Rebeiro is a good player, and will be a great player someday, but the fact that he was our best offensive option off the bench, while Seattle countered with Martins AND Pappa, shows we’re still a ways away from being a legitimate title contender. It shouldn’t have taken 5 years to still be 1 or 2 years away, but it is what it is.

  3. As one of the many in the stands last night, I’m extremely proud of this team. I said to my friend during the regular time portion of the game that while we might lose this game, I won’t feel too bad, because this is a team that can win the MLS Cup. They are that good. Get them into the playoffs and anything can happen. No one wants to play Philly right now, I guarantee you that.

    Oh, and awesome atmosphere at PPL. Best I’ve witnessed in a long. long time, even at under 16k total attendance.

    That said, stay until the end! I hate it when fans stream out once the game is decided. Stick if out, even for the losses. The team deserves our support through the final whistle.

    • when you have a 9 year old that needs to get up for school the next day, sometimes it’s not prudent to fight the crowds and traffic after the game. But I’m with ya’ otherwise

    • I don’t think i have ever witnessed an atmosphere at PPL Park like last night and i’ve been coming to matches since the last home match of the first season. Just unbelievable! If i still had hair on my head it would have been standing up, especially in the first half 😉 I’m glad that i was able to be there despite the loss. Very proud of our boys and i can’t wait to get back there this weekend 🙂

    • Does the end count as the final whistle or the presentation afterwards? We stayed for the former but not the latter. People leaving in spurts like that made getting out of Lot A a lot easier than normal (and certainly a lot easier than getting in!)

      • Getting in last night was like this past pre-season’s Meet & Greet- a slow-motion mosh pit only with cars…

      • Oh, I booked it before the awards. Not even the team would have stayed for that if they could have avoided it.

  4. The Black Hand says:

    Proud of the players. They left it all on the pitch.
    .
    A bit let down by Curtin. Can’t see how Amobi didn’t make the starting XI. The subs were wrong, in my opinion.
    .
    We are a strong club, that is capable of making a run.

    • TBH. Usually full of something to say with few words today. I sense the disappointment.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I got ahead of myself and thought that we were going to take that one…probably should have. Nogs opting against placing the shot with the inside of his foot and Sheanon mistiming the header were…ah, lets focus on the Dynamo.

    • Agreed that Curtin didn’t get it quite right, but I think he’s the man for the job, all the same. White played quite well, in my estimation. If anyone should have sat in place of Okugo, I would have chosen (gasp) Valdes. He’s not back up to speed yet.

      • Hmm. Fair Point.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I would have a had tough time sitting Carlos, in a game like this. He has been a shadow of his former self, but he is still a smart CB. He DEFINITELY should have been taken off, as the game wore on. He faded miserably, struggling to get back into position. I am a fan of Curtin, as well, but overlooking that weakness was a glaring mistake. Amobi (absolutely should have been in the XI) would have been a smart sub. Edu (Invisible, aside from the goal) could have slotted back to CB and Valdez could hit the shower. Instead, Curtin brings on Fred. I hated the player management last night. I think that Curtin missed with all three subs.
        .
        All of that said, I am very proud of the way our club played. Smart ball movement and gutsy play. We have come a long way!!

      • I thought Edu was quite visible and strong throughout the game actually, though I agree that it would’ve been great to get Okugo into the mix. Even putting him in for White and sliding Edu back would’ve made for a slightly more effective offensive group (Edu would improve distribution from the back). If Curtin missed on the subs is debatable as well, in my opinion. I thought he could’ve worked the first one in sooner, but the choices were limted by who was available. No matter who he picked, it would be a drop-off in talent from the starting lineup.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Invisible may have been the wrong word choice. There were many instances where we had a hole, on both sides of the ball, because of Edu jogging. Maidana (our #10) came back to defend deep, and expended energy, a number of times. Why would that happen when two players are deployed in the defensive middle? Noguiera is understandable. He is the creator. His efforts are seen with the ball at his feet. Edu is a different story…
        .
        I am not saying that Mo Edu is a bad player…he is not. I am saying that, when deployed in the midfield, I have found his efforts, or lack thereof, a bit insulting. At CB, I like him. He brings solid defense and composure to our back line. I would have started him in place of White. I am sure that he could be an outstanding midfielder for our club…if he cared to put forth consistent hustle.

    • Maybe Curtin should’ve started Okugo, but there is NO reason he should’ve sat the entire game. Amobi should’ve been standing at the scorer’s table as soon as the extra time started. Okugo could’ve helped control the center of the pitch, and while I don’t condone parking the bus and playing for PKs, the approach should’ve been “if we can’t score, neither will they.”

      • The Black Hand says:

        In my opinion, Edu has not shown anything worthy of taking Amobi’s CDM position. Maybe Okugo was gassed (doubtful). Okugo’s composure and smart ball movement were sorely missed. Edu scored a big goal (could have done that as a CB), aside from that he was just a name.
        .
        Overall, it was disappointing game management from Curtin, a guy that was making all of the right moves.

      • are you the mirror?

      • The Black Hand says:

        I am that rippling reflection upon the great big sea…

  5. While it was a good game, there were still some sloppy moments from teams that had played 3 or 4 days earlier. Wouldn’t it be nice if MLS and US Soccer worked out an arrangement where the final is a stand alone game on a Saturday or Sunday with no other games scheduled that week?

    • Labor Day Sunday. Last Sunday before the NFL, a lot people have off the next day. Either stand-alone or re-schedule the finalist’s games for the following Wednesday. That way, at least each team gets a full week off BEFORE the final.

  6. I must say again – Vincent Nogueira put on one of the best midfield performances in MLS history last night. He was…magisterial!

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    I assumed Okugo was injured or got injured in warm-ups (didn’t get to see warm-ups thanks to the disaster was “getting into Lot A)… I was shocked he didn’t play. I thought Curtsin was on a roll with decisions, but he dropped this one.
    .
    Chaco pissed me off. He’s not physical, and seems to be gassed at about the 60th minute in every game. Yes his free kick was brilliant to set up the goal, but after that he didn’t impress me. I’d be ok spending his money in the off season somewhere else. Noguiera on the other hand, is a genius.
    .
    I’m very proud of the team and the way they played. The fans were awesome. I love the new (I split my season tickets, so it was new to me at least) chant the SOB’s did on set pieces. That got the place going. It hasn’t been tht loud in a long time.
    .
    “He hit the F’N post”… I must have said that 25 times to myself last night. Brutal. I’m from Philadelphia, I should know we can’t have nice things, like trophies… but damn it still stings.

    • I caught most of warmp ups and Okugo was warming up with the subs.

    • OMW, I’m with you on most points, but couldn’t disagree more on Maidana. He and Nogueira were beasts in the 2nd half. No, he doesn’t knock guys around, but that ball is on a string when he has it. He’s one of the best creative mids in the league this year, in my opinion. We’re a completely different team, and stats back that if you look at games with and without Maidana. That free kick alone was worth having him on the field. He’s a keeper. There aren’t that many players like him in MLS.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I do agree we need him, and it what I wrote comes off a bit harsh. Maybe it’s the anger talking. I guess I wish he dominated a little more. He is essential to us having success and I’m not done with him or anything. I guess it’s just I thought he could have given a bit more. We always want more out of the star player(s) and in this case, I wanted more physicality and more hustle. Am I asking to much… yeah, probably. I am still just a little mad…

  8. I thought the pain would fade this morning, it did not. I really thought we had it. While we came out weak in the second half, we finished strong and I was hoping we would pull it off. Bottom line, even with us questioning Curtin’s decision to bench Amobi, the fact that we played toe to toe, hit for hit with the best team in North America above Mexico was magical.

    Wenger played head to head with one of the best backs in the country. All of our young guys stepped it up. Edu as always brings a sense of calmness on the ball while Vinny and Ray put on ‘Man of the Match’ worthy performances.

    My hope is that they take this performance and realize, WE CAN BEAT ANYONE. Our team can come out of the East, make these stupid playoffs and see Seattle again in the Championships.

    We got in the ring with a giant last night and fought with all we had. While we ended up losing, it truly was one of the best games I have ever been a part of (attending as a fan).

  9. So proud of the team and the atmosphere overall, PPL Park was awesome. I give credit to the Sounders fans who made the trip, they cheered the entire game.

    Thought that Edu played a good game, not sure why people say he didn’t do anything. I can remember him breaking up a lot of plays and intercepting passes.

    I like Amobi a lot, but think there is sometimes a little too much credit given to his play. He constantly tries to thread the needle and gives away possession. Not sure I pick him over Edu in a big game like this.

    I watched Ethan White all game and before going to extra time, I only saw one big mistake, where he was intercepted as the last man back and Martins had a shot on goal. He had a lot of moments where his strength and speed broke up attacks. Thought he did a good job until extra time.

    Nogs was so good, it was the best game he played all season and is my MOTM. Someone earlier posted that Maidana looked gassed, I watched him slide from one side of the pitch to the other and make 30-40 yard runs the whole game. Not surprised he was tired.

  10. Whew. The players acquitted themselves very well. A draw in regulation against a more talented & experienced club is a huge achievement. Sheanon was only part right: the Sounders finished their chances . . . in extra time. The Union didn’t have those. Or the subs to make them.Our coach? JC admits he expected Sigi to leave a regular on the bench. To me that means the strategy is to force them to come back. So you play your best men. Amobi Okugo is one of them. You can’t justify keeping him out entirely. I didn’t read where he explains that. Valdes ‘ s injury was a reason. Crosses: 42 v. 19. That’s the stat to probe. Let’s applaud the men the FO signed off season. They were great last night and must continue to be through the season. Let’s also expect that FO kmows the club has serious offensive gaps to be filled. And a vision of a permanent manager. For now one not named “Curtin.” We can’t match the payroll of the big MLS clubs. We have to be smarter.

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