Daily news roundups

Union bits, conference finals set, USMNT roster announced, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

Andrew Wenger points to DC United’s regular season success in reaching the playoffs in talking about the need for Union players to develop a “winning mentality”:

If you look at D.C. [United] this year, they came in from minute one, set the tone and grinded through results. I think that’s what we need to do next year is being able to grind out results from minute one to minute 90 throughout a game. The positives are that we have talented players; a good group of people that want to get better and make sure that we make the playoffs next year and moving forward…

Players that perform consistently from [game] one to 34 during the year, those are the teams that make the playoffs. Look, I can tell you that none of us, not one single guy in that locker room was happy with how the season ended. Right now we are looking to turn what we see as potential into the real thing. That’s really where we need to make the jump and I believe we have a group of guys that can do it.

As you know, Andre Blake was called up by the Jamaica national team, which begins play in the 2014 Caribbean Cup on Wednesday (the tournament begins today and runs through Nov. 18). The Voice notes that tournament host Jamaica has had trouble garnering corporate sponsors and that fan support is slipping for the team, currently ranked at 113th in the world and the lowest ranked team in Group B. The top two finishers in each of the two groups in the tournament will qualify for the 2015 Gold Cup, with the tournament winner qualifying for the 2016 Centennial Copa America.

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel shares some personal recollections of Jim Curtin’s career path to head coach of the Union.

At Brotherly Game, the “You be the GM” series continues with a look at the Union’s goalkeepers.

Local

The La Salle women’s team will face Rutgers on Friday, Nov. 14 at Rutger’s Yurcak Field at 7 pm in the opening round of the NCAA Division I tournament. It’s the Explorers fourth consecutive tournament appearance.

No. 6 seed Philadelphia University men’s team will face No. 3 seed Merrimack in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6 pm at Southern Connecticut State. It will be the Rams’ first NCAA tournament appearance since 1989 and the first time the they have faced Merrimack. The winner faces No. 2 seed Southern Connecticut on Saturday, Nov. 15, which doesn’t seem at all fair.

The Philadelphia University women’s team is also the No. 6 seed and will face No. 3 seed University of Bridgeport on Friday, Nov. 14 at 1 pm at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. The winner will face ECC champion and No. 2 seed Mercy on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 pm.

The Plumstead Christian boys’ team faces Moravian Academy tonight at Souderton High School in the semifinals of the PIAA Class A state tournament.

MLS

Seattle advances to the Western Conference championship series to face LA after Monday’s scoreless home draw against FC Dallas. The Sounders drew 1-1 in the first leg in Dallas and so advance on the newly implemented away goals rule.

Here’s the schedule for the conference championships, which will commence after the international break:

Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1:30 pm: New York vs New England (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra)

Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5 pm: LA vs Seattle (ESPN 2, Watch ESPN)

Saturday, Nov. 29 at 3 pm: New England vs New York (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra)

Sunday, Nov. 30 at 9 pm: Seattle vs LA (ESPN2, Watch ESPN)

The MLS Cup will be played on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3 pm (ESPN, Watch ESPN). NFL games won’t be problematic, right? Your local bar will be happy to show the MLS Cup final instead of the Eagles-Seahawks game that kicks off at the Linc at 4:25 pm. Right?

The Guardian on how “romance demands that New York and LA reach this year’s MLS Cup final.”

Landon Donovan talks to USA Today about why now is the time for him to retire.

Columbus Crew midfielder Justin Meram is the first MLS player to be called up by the Iraqi national team.

Orlando City have named Mark Watson as an assistant coach. Watson coached San Jose Earthquakes until he was fired on Oct. 15.

Brotherly Game looks at the growing divide between the haves and have nots in MLS and its effect on parity within the league.

The Washington Post outlines eight risks to the DC soccer stadium deal.

Did you know soccer fans are 50 percent more likely to drink “premium import beers” compared to other sports fans? Pattie Falch, Director of Sponsorships & Events at Heineken USA does, and now, so do you.

US

On Monday, Jurgen Klinsmann released his 25-player roster for the friendlies against Colombia and Ireland. (I wonder if Maurice Edu has noted that Jermaine Jones is listed as a defender?) We’ll have more on the roster here at PSP later in the week,

Sigi Schmid says Clint Dempsey wasn’t included in the roster because he needs rest. “Jurgen and I had spoken. Clint’s had a long season. Clint’s been playing since January, when he went to Fulham [on loan]. For him, it’s been 11 months of games, so I expressed that to Jurgen. Jurgen understood, and so he didn’t include him.”

ASN has nine takeaways from the US roster, Paste Magazine has eight points.

More on the roster from ESPN, SIProSoccerTalk, Soccer AmericaSBI, The GuardianFIFA,

Here’s info on the Colombia and Ireland rosters.

In an article on the US Soccer website, Klinsmann stresses the importance of veteran national team players helping young players integrate into the system.

I think if you look at these veterans – Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Nick Rimando, Jermaine Jones – I think those are all players that have to help get the younger players to another level. It’s literally their jobs; it’s what we’re asking. I know everybody is busy with themselves and wants to play and show what they have, but in a transition phase after a World Cup, having a year until you play that Gold Cup in July, we need these older players. Beasley is a very important player in this going forward, and Beckerman and Rimando. They have to show what it takes to become consistent and a real professional.

Klinsmann said of his expectations for the final games of 2014,

These last two games against Colombia and then Ireland in 2014, we want to finish on a high note…At the same time, we want to gain experience. We want our younger players to grow, mature and step it up, but we also want to send signals to our CONCACAF region that we are ready to rock it in 2015. We want to win the Gold Cup because that qualifies us automatically for the Confederations Cup in 2017. We want the No. 1 spot in our region and to show the European countries that it is not that easy to play against us. We want to continue our growth and we want to see the players understand that moment in time.

In an interview with the Guardian about his goals with the USMNT, Klinsmann said, “It will be definitely the goal, to win the World Cup, many years down the road. We learned how to advance out of the group stage [at Brazil 2014], the next step is to learn how to win knockout games at a World Cup. That has a lot to do with the mental aspect of the game. That’s what it takes, that’s our learning curve.”

Klinsmann offered an upbeat view of the challenges of improving the national team system.

A lot of people see the game keeps improving and is growing. The tricky part within the US is that we haven’t connected the pieces yet, from professional teams to other professional levels, down to the college level and the youth level. There are so many disconnected pieces floating around. The whole structure is not in place, like it is in a traditional football nation. But this is also a useful opportunity.

This is pretty cool because you kind of have a clean sheet of paper and say: how are we going to do it? You work in England or Germany and it’s pretty much set in place and you have to work with the pieces that are there. It’s difficult to change them. For us, we can change the youth approach and the curriculum of coach education and makes changes with the college coaches and talk to them about doing the season differently or the feeder system differently, then it can happen. We can have an influence, that for me is exciting.

German national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff says Germany will play the US in June of 2015.

The US National Soccer Team Players Association has issued a statement in support of efforts to force the Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA to replace the artificial surfaces that will be used at the 2015 World Cup with natural grass. “We have all played on artificial turf and we know there are circumstances where it is appropriate or conditions require its use, but the World Cup is not one of those circumstances.  To play the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf would be a serious mistake.”

A Washington Post report on the Canadian Soccer Association’s refusal to enter into mediation over the use of artificial turf notes includes this paragraph:

“The women in this case have an almost lethal combination of facts and law and brilliant lawyers who are getting ready to file this case,” ESPN’s legal analyst Lester Munson said after the decision went public on Friday. “[The] women’s success in this case is going to be almost automatic.” He added that the evidence outlined by Dellinger in his court filing is “overwhelming.”

You will recall an analyst at SI thinks otherwise.

Elsewhere

The Confederation of African Football confirmed today that Morocco, fearful of Ebola, has refused to go through with hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. As a result, Morocco has been disqualified from the tournament. A statement from CAF said,

The Executive Committee took note of receipt by 10 November, 2014 of some applications of national associations confirming their desire to host the 2015 competition on the dates agreed. These applications are currently under review, and the Executive Committee will finalize the selection of the successful National Association shortly and confirm the place and date of the draw of the final tournament at the same time.

The tournament is scheduled to take place Jan. 17-Feb. 8.

FIFA has denied claims in a report at Der Spiegel that Sepp Blatter told Norwegian soccer officials at a dinner in Oslo in October that the 2022 World Cup would be moved from Qatar. “The claims made by the sources are unfounded. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar.”

Reuters reports, “South Africa on Tuesday freed a suspect in the killing of national soccer team captain Senzo Meyiwa due to a lack of evidence, the latest high-profile murder case in which police and prosecutors have struggled to build an air-tight case.”

At ESPN, two good reads on soccer and World War One. will be familiar to PSP readers, and the other on how the war affected Manchester City.

8 Comments

  1. ‘There are so many disconnected pieces floating around.’
    .
    This is without a question the largest stumbling block for soccer in the country. I hope the constant reminder by Klinsman serves to be a marker for change about a uniform field theory for the game stateside. Until that happens it will forever be just—- okay.
    .
    Sometimes JK annoys me a bit, well he did when he played too, for that matter– I couldn’t stand his goal scoring ass- but he knows the truth and isn’t afraid to speak his mind about it.

    • Agreed. Also, his comment about the positives of the situation – a clean slate to work from – is also true. It’s the biggest problem, but also can be made into an advantage with the right thinking.

      • Sure, if done correctly its like teaching piano to a 6 year old versus teaching it to a 36 year old.
        .
        One’s growth is exponential while the other’s incremental.
        .
        Teaching kids how to solve the little problems of 2v1, 3v1, 3v2 over and over and over and over and over and over is a huge first step for the youth development of this country. The game is the best teacher but only when presented in a formal manner.
        .
        If I was US Soccer I would pay Horst Wein whatever he wanted to direct youth soccer across the country- whatever he wanted- cause truth be told, once those small sided decisions become automatic that he is a master of teaching, or the scales of a piano are learned with the theory of the staff behind it, you can make good music quite fast and it can be jazz, classical, rock, pop, latin ad infinitum. The style is easy to learn once the foundation is laid.
        .
        Meanwhile, If your an adult like me, your just starting at your damn hands trying to put them on the right keys let alone playing with any style at all- or worse yet it is a different sound each time.

  2. great WWI articles. worth the read

  3. Division III bracket from yesterday. Lots of ‘local teams are represented, such as F&M, Muhlenberg, Messiah, Neumann: http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/soccer-men/d3

  4. Ugh…Wenger wants more “grind it out results.” This is obviously coming from Curtin. I really hope we aren’t going to see archane, boring football next year.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I actually thought the same thing, and it worries me too. I am hoping Wenger / Curtain mean it more as a mentality, instead of an actual practice of playing the games.

    • Bob the Used Car Salesman. says:

      Nobody wants boring soccer.

      But I’ll take boring soccer that gets us into the playoffs over fast soccer where we finish 7th in the East.

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