Daily news roundups

Union drop last game of 2014, USWNT cruises to championship, MLS playoff dates, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

I must confess, because I was at PPL Park for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship final at PPL Park, I did not see the Union loss in Columbus on Sunday in their final game of 2014. Given the final result, perhaps that was for the best. Who willingly wants to see the Union give up another late goal?

So, seven points out of the playoff mix with 42 points, sixth place in the East, 12th overall. In 2013, the Union finished seventh in the East with 46 points, 14th overall. Make of that what you will.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia UnionDaily News, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Columbus CrewColumbus Dispatch, Massive Report, Columbus Underground, SBIVavelSports Mole, The Sports Network, and The APMassive Report has a photo gallery.

Asked for positives from the game, Jim Curtin said, “There is not a lot in this game to be honest. In terms of half the season since I’ve been in charge I think the guys worked hard and the record speaks for itself. We have improved a great deal. We’ve came up short down the stretch in big games. I think our mentality needs to improve in order for us to take the next step.”

Zach Pfeffer scoring his first MLS goal seems to be one of the few positives. Pfeffer said, “It was awesome.”

I’m told that the Columbus announcers for the game broadcast both agreed that the Crew was offside for each of their goals. Looking at the highlights of the first goal, one camera angle makes it look like Jairo Arrieta was onside, another makes it look like he was offside. On the second goal, there is no doubt that Bernardo Anor was in an offside position, but the question is whether the deflection from Maurice Edu blocking the shot that led to the goal allows Anor to play the ball.

The Laws of the Game 2014/15 state that (p. 35, emphasis added),

“A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play or
  • interfering with an opponent or
  • gaining an advantage by being in that position”

The guidelines for interpreting that an advantage has been gained state (p. 108, emphasis added),

“[G]aining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball

i. that rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position
ii. that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

Did Maurice Edu make “a deliberate save”? If not, what else was he doing? I’m told the linesman sprinted up field as soon as the goal was scored. While that may give the appearance of decisiveness, one can’t help but think he was running away from having to call a back 90th minute game-winner in front of the home crowd.

Curtin had no doubt that Anor was offside, saying after the game, “The second goal was blatantly offside…It was clear as day.”

ESPN’s final power rankings say of the Union, “Sunday’s loss to Columbus was like so many the Union have suffered this season; lots of good work undone by massive breakdowns late. The controversial nature of Columbus’ goal only adds salt to the wound.”

Brotherly Game has a thought-provoking look at the Homegrown Player rules following the Union Academy’s signing of Jamaican youth international Justin McMaster.

6abc and Newsworks on Michael Lahoud’s Kick Ebola in the Butt campaign.

US

The USWNT’s waltz through the CONCACAF qualifiers ended on Sunday evening with an easy 6-0 win over a thoroughly outclassed Costa Rica team at PPL Park.

Recaps from Sunday’s championship win from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, Inquirer, Delco Times, Philly Soccer NewsFox Soccer, SISoccer AmericaESPNWThe Equalizer, ASN, ProSoccerTalk, SBIGoal.com, The Guardian, and The AP.

The win came after Friday’s easy 3-0 victory over Mexico on Friday night in Chester, which guaranteed them a spot at the Women’s World Cup in June. If you missed it over the weekend, check out our match report and photo essay from the game.

Both games were great fun to attend but it’s tough to get a good sense of the US team given the massive gap in quality between themselves and the rest of the CONCACAF opposition they faced. Afterall, Golden Glove winner Hope Solo didn’t have to make a single save in the three games she started after her single save in the opener against Trinidad & Tobago, and the US outscored its challengers 21-0 in the tournament. Attention will now turn to the upcoming Tournament of Brasilia in December, and next year’s Algarve Cup, when the team will face better quality opponents.

The Equalizer on the challenges ahead for the US as they prepare for the Women’s World Cup.

The Inquirer on Delran’s Carli Lloyd, who was the only US player to play in every minute of the US’ games and also won the Golden Boot as tournament MVP.

Delco TimesESPNW and The Examiner on Morgan Brian’s fineplay in the tournament.

USA Today talks to the president of the Philly American Outlaws chapter, Greg Hutelmyer.

The head of the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association hits back at the NBC report that suggested a link between the rubber crumbs used with artificial turf and cancer.

PBS NewsHour has a report on concerns about concussions in youth soccer.

Local

Is 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris about to buy Crystal Palace? Bloomberg and The Daily Mail have reports with The Guardian reporting a deal is “is understood to be 90% agreed in principle and worth around £70m” — which is about $112,759,500.

Archbishop Ryan defeated Archbishop Wood 3-0 to claim the Philadelphia Catholic League girls soccer championship on Sunday. Reports from Bucks County Courier Times and GameTimePA.

MLS

In the conclusion of regular season Eastern Conference play, first place DC (59 points) drew 1-1 on the road with last place Montreal (28 points). Marco DiVaio scored in his last game with the Impact. Second place New England (55 points) defeated seventh place Toronto (41 points), 1-0. Third place Columbus (52 points) defeated sixth place Philadelphia (42 points) 2-1. Fourth place New York (50 points) defeated fifth place Kansas City (49 points) 2-0 on the road, with Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring a brace to tie the regular season goalscoring record of 27 goals. Eighth place Houston (39 points) fell 2-1 on the road to ninth place Chicago (36 points).

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (64 points) defeated second place LA (61 points) 2-0 to add the Supporters Shield to their 2014 US Open Cup Final win. Third place Real Salt Lake (56 points) had the weekend off after defeating Chivas USA 2-0 on Wednesday. Fourth place Dallas (54 points) lost 2-0 at home to sixth place Portland (49 points). Fifth place Vancouver (50 points) defeated eighth place Colorado (32 points), 1-0. Seventh place Chivas USA (33 points) defeated last place San Jose ( points) 1-0 in their last game before going on what could be a two-year hiatus before returning under new ownership and with a new name.

So, here’s the playoff schedule:

Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 9 pm (Western Conference Knockout Round): Dallas vs. Vancouver (MLS Live)

Thursday, Oct. 30 at 8 pm (Eastern Conference Knockout Round): New York vs. Kansas City (ESPN2)

Saturday, Nov. 1 at 4 pm (Eastern Conference Semifinal first leg): Columbus vs. New England (Univision, MLS Live)

Saturday Nov. 1 at 8 pm (Western Conference Semifinal first leg): Salt Lake vs. LA (NBCSN)

Sunday, Nov. 2 at 4 pm (Eastern Conference Semifinal first leg): Winner of NY-KC vs. DC (Univision, MLS Live)

Sunday, Nov. 2 at 9 pm (Western Conference Semifinal first leg): Winner of Dallas-Vancouver vs. Seattle (ESPN2)

Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2:30pm (Eastern Conference Semifinal second leg) : DC vs. Winner of NY-KC (NBC)

Sunday, Nov. 9 at 5 pm (Eastern Conference Semifinal second leg): New England vs. Columbus (ESPN2)

Sunday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 pm (Western Conference Semifinal second leg): LA vs. Salt Lake (ESPN2)

Monday, Nov. 10 at 10:30 pm (Western Conference Semifinal second leg): Seattle vs. Winner of Dallas-Vancouver  (NBCSN)

MLSsoccer.com has a rundown of playoff field as it stands. The two-leg conference championships will take place Nov. 22-23 and Nov. 29-30 after the international break with the final taking place on Dec. 7 at 3 pm (ESPN).

QPR, Aston Villa, and Stoke are all reportedly interested in securing the services of Clint Dempsey on loan when the MLS season ends.

The New York Times looks at the low wages of most MLS players ahead of the upcoming CBA negotiations. The article notes that according to the latest figures released by the MLS Players Union, “only 23 of the 572 players listed had a base salary greater than the minimum salary in the NHL.”

Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop and Don Garber don’t understand the fan anger directed at Fire chairman Andrew Hauptman after the club’s failure to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. Uh huh.

The Denver Post says despite Colorado’s disappointing season, head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s job is secure.

The Sacramento Bee reports, “Continuing to press their case for a Major League Soccer franchise, top executives of Sacramento Republic FC and Mayor Kevin Johnson will make a presentation to league officials Tuesday in New York.”

The Mirror on the lack of local political support in Miami for David Beckham’s MLS franchise.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “South Africa’s national soccer goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead by burglars during a break-in, a killing that shocked the country and turned the spotlight once again on gun violence here.”

The Guardian reviews that embarrassment of a film “United Passions,” which stars Tim Roth, Gerard Depardieu, and Sam Neill, and was bankrolled by FIFA.

9 Comments

  1. 70 million pounds seems really cheap for an EPL club, even one flirting with relegation.

    • Agreed. I gotta check the next MegaMillions pot to see if I can trump his bid and maybe scoop up The U with what’s left.

  2. Man, just watched the highlights of the match on the Union website, can we get those Spanish announcers?!?

  3. Regarding the practice field, it looks like they may only be building decorative walls at the corners near Seaport Drive rather than around the whole field. Also, on Friday they started putting grass down and are continuing this morning.

    • Yeah, the last home game they had a decorative fence going up on the parking lot side, which certainly makes it appear like it’ll be open-air.

  4. Looking forward to the Women’s World Cup draw on Saturday Dec 6th. I’m planning to go up for vacation built around a pair of US games. I’m hoping we get the Vancouver/Winnipeg Groups C or D, not sure a trip to Moncton will really whet my Canadian appetite!

    • I’ve been to Moncton; the people there were voted the nicest in Canada for a reason. Also, you can buy live lobsters in the Moncton airport.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    I’m just happy the 2nd offside goal didn’t keep us out of the playoffs. Could you imagine…

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