Daily news roundups

Reaction to Union’s season opening draw, league results, CBA update, USNTs news, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

“Disappointing”

That was Sebastien Le Toux’s assessment after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Colorado in the 2015 season opener at PPL Park, adding, “First game at home, you always want to win the game. For us, it’s disappointment.”

Jim Curtin said, “Created enough chances to get three points today. I look at it as two points dropped.”

That lack of finishing? Fernando Aristeguieta said,

It will come. I think we’ve made a good connection at the beginning. We’ve (practiced) maybe just six or seven times together. A lot of games is a good thing, we played three or four times in the preseason, and then again today. But practices, I only had four or five times because this week I stayed in Venezuela during the visa process. It will come. They’re great players and they’re the kind of players I want behind me because they play the football that works for me. I like to stay in the box and they’re good at getting the ball into the box, and for me that’s awesome.

Le Toux echoed the sense that the team is still a work in progress. “We are still working on it. It was a bit different in the first half with a 4-4-2. We did it a little bit in the preseason but playing at PPL is always a different atmosphere. I think we still need to work a lot together, have some connection that we can know when we receive balls in different positions. We’re going to work on it and hopefully we’ll find ourselves in better positions to score goals.””

Andrew Wenger said, “The process is what you saw out there tonight. It’s just playing and realizing what they’re trying to do and learning from it, building on it and talking through it afterwards. We saw some things guys wanted to try to do tonight and how they’re moving and we’ll slowly adapt and learn.”

Wenger also said, “If we’re a little sharper on the ball and move it a little quicker, maybe that’ll help things. But we also just need a bounce of luck here or there. They put a lot of guys behind the ball. It’s early in the year, but none of those are excuses. We should’ve found a way to make a breakthrough. We had opportunities, but it was just off.”

Maurice Edu said, “It’s a new season. Obviously, every season becomes a learning experience and you try to improve on the mistakes you made. Closing out games last year was something we struggled with at times. That’s been a focus of ours. So to get a clean sheet and dominate the game overall was a good result in how we played. Unfortunately, the score line doesn’t show that.

Steven Vitoria said, “We’re all not happy with the draw, but keeping a clean sheet at home is important. We spent all 90 minutes closer to their end than ours, and that’s a positive fact. We’ll win more games than we lose with this attitude.”

Still, the disappointment remains. Curtin said, “There’s enough guys out there that know each other, we should still be able to put the ball in the back of the net. Again, our guys are disappointed that we didn’t.”

Recaps and reaction from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily NewsMLSsoccer.com (1), Delco Times, CBS PhillyCSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap), Brotherly Game (analysis), Colorado Rapids, MLSsoccer.com (2) Burgundy Wave, SBI, SIProSoccerTalkVavel, The Sports Network, The Canadian Press, and the AP.

Video and transcript of Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference, as well as video of postgame interviews with Curtin, Zach Pfeffer, Aristeguieta, and Edu here at PSP.

We’ll have two photo essays from the game up here at PSP later this morning. In the meanwhile, photo galleries from South Jersey Times and USA Today.

At the Union website, a Storify stream of fan reactions to the game on social media.

Venezuelan news outlet Zona Deportiva (crappy Google translation here) on Aristeguieta’s debut.

At the Inquirer, Laura McCrystal has an informative report on the efforts that went into clearing snow from PPL Park after Thursday’s storm.

In case you missed from Friday evening, CSN Philly’s Dave Zeitlin and Ryan Bright have some Union predictions.

Local

Fishtown Beer Runners will be hosting a fundraiser for the Kensington Soccer Club on March 26.

The AP reports that police in Pittston, Pa. say a couple who were the president and treasurer of the Greater Pittston Stoners Soccer Organization in northeastern Pennsylvania “stole more than $40,000, nearly bankrupting the group.”

MLS

The paid attendance average for opening weekend was 25,838, ranging from 62,510 in Orlando, to 11,549 in DC. The paid attendance for the Union opener was 18,022.

In first place in the Eastern Conference, Toronto defeated Vancouver, 3-1 for the only road win of opening weekend. Second place DC defeated eighth place Montreal, 1-0. Former Union man Justin Mapp suffered a dislocated elbow in the loss. Third place NYCFC drew 1-1 on the road with fifth place Orlando. Fourth place NYRB drew 1-1 on the road with Kansas City. Philadelphia is in sixth place after a 0-0 home draw with Colorado. Seventh place Columbus lost 1-0 on the road in Houston. Ninth place Chicago lost 2-1 on the road to LA. Last place New England fell 3-0 on the road to Seattle.

In first place in the Western Conference, Seattle defeated New England, 3-0. Second place LA defeated Chicago, 2-1. Third place Dallas defeated ninth place San Jose, 1-0. Fourth place Houston defeated Columbus, 1-0. Fifth place Colorado drew 0-0 with Philadelphia. Sixth place Portland drew 0-0 with seventh place Salt Lake. Eighth place Kansas City drew 1-1 at home with New York Red Bulls. Last place Vancouver was defeated 3-1 at home by Toronto.

Don Garber says the league will make an announcement about the next phase of expansion soon.

At the draft we said we’d have something done within six months and I think we’re down to probably 45 days…There are a lot of strong candidates. I think all of them are strong. Every city has put together a bid. The more they see what’s happening here, the more excitement is building, the more value is created for fans and for municipalities. So we’re confident that the next round will be announced soon.

NYRB have signed Jamaican midfielder Dane Richards on Saturday and waived defender Spanish defender Armando. You will recall the Red Bulls traded Richards to Vancouver for Sebastien Le Toux.

NYCFC signed Spanish midfielder Pablo Alvarez and acquired Shay Facey, captain of Manchester City’s U-20 team, on loan.

LA signed forward Edson Buddle and Finish midfielder Mika Vayrynen.

Colorado signed defender James Riley and waived defenders John Neeskens and Grant Van De Casteele.

The Wall Street Journal on how NYCFC was built.

CBA update and reaction

The Orlando Sentinel reports that MLS Players Union executive director Bob Foose “confirmed the existence of a clause that will allow players clearly outperforming their contract to receive increases beyond the 15-, 20- or 25 percent raises created for eligible free agents in the new CBA. The specifics as to how those players will be identified is not yet finalized.”

Foose told SI that even a limited form of free agency is a significant win:

That’s the groundbreaking part of this deal for us and that’s what will ultimately lead to really substantial and real positive change for this league. That, despite the fact that what we heard consistently through the process was that [free agency] would never happen.

That’s a very, very good start for us. And we did in 12 years. That’s something I don’t want to be lost on anyone. We’re 12 years into this union and we’ve been able to introduce some free agency… none of the other major leagues has ever done it anywhere near that quickly in North America.

At Vice SportsJorge Arangure Jr. notes discontent with the new CBA and suggest the players union did a poor job of managing perceptions and expectations of what could be won.

More on the CBA at ESPNLA TimesUSA Today, Empire of New York, and The Independent.

US

The US moved to the top of Group B at the Algarve Cup on Friday with a 3-0 win over Switzerland (video highlights here, quotesheet here). The team faces Iceland today for a berth in the tournament final but the US Soccer website notes the game “will not be televised due to inadequate lighting at the Municipal Stadium in Lagos, Portugal.” More on Friday’s win at ASN, Soccer AmericaSBI, SI, and ProSoccerTalk.

At the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the US had a 2-1 lead over Honduras until conceding an 88th minute equalizer for a 2-2 draw. A win would have clinched the top spot in Group A and an automatic qualifying spot in the U-17 World Cup. The team next faces Jamaica on Wednesday (7 pm: Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go).

At the La Manga tournament in Spain,the US U-20 WNT defeated the Netherlands, 2-0.

At the Guardian, Michael Lewis looks back to the NASL players strike of 1979.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports, “Cologne’s Anthony Ujah has apologised after admitting he was too rough celebrating a goal with the club’s mascot, a goat named Hennes.” The Union of Goat Mascots released this video statement, in which a clearly upset Hennes admitted that Ujah is now “just somebody I used to know.”

The Press Association reports the FA will investigate the pitch invasions that took place at the Aston Villa-West Bromwich Albion FA Cup match on Saturday.

20 Comments

  1. Did anyone else have trouble with the English SAP and Unimas? It’s not a huge deal, but the Union play on there in two weeks. Obviously you can watch without commentators, but they do enhance the game (usually). I have comcast, and followed every step they gave and it still didn’t work. Then I tried the online feed and comcast wasn’t on there as a way to verify myself.
    .
    With the Union, let’s just hope for a 4-3-3 to start this week and we’ll get a better idea of where we stand.

    • On Verizon, I had to select Spanish to get the English feed.. but it did work…
      .
      No HD sucks…

    • Btw some of the quotes make me fear that the 4-4-2 wasn’t just an experiment…

    • There were 4 different Unimas channels showing the game on Comast – 1 HD and 3 SD. Unfortunately, the English feed was only available on one of the SD channels. Maybe they will fix that, but since I can’t even get Direct Kick in HD on Comcast, I am not hopeful.

      Oh, how I miss DirecTV!

      • Great One says:

        Thanks for the heads up, just gotta decide if I was SD and english or HD and spanish now.

      • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

        Watched the game on Unimas in HD on my DirecTV and it already had the English commentary enabled. It worked great although the commentary itself wasn’t all that good.

  2. Watched the Orlando – NYCFC match yesterday. Looked like a completely different league than the rugby match we had to endure at PPL park. Players were stringing passes together and moving the ball in smart tactical ways. (Okugo did look pretty good, too….) Yeah, it got chippy sometimes, but a way better look at better MLS play than we got.

    I’m still pretty sore about the officiating on Saturday. It was a joke.

    • Agree on all points here. Wow is Kala good. He, Okugo and Higuita were complementing each other all game. They will turn into one of the better teams.
      .
      Colorado clearly had an agenda to be physical, the red was a joke. How many times did he warn players with the “no more” hand wave. And nothing stopped. Of course us booting the ball upfield all game didn’t help.

    • I disagree.. I thought both Orlando and NYCFC looked like expansion clubs… more missed or pointless passes than tactical..

      • +1 and sorry to say, Okugo is nothing to write home about. He’s a 5th defender at best. Kaka was impressive, David villa looked out of his element after a career in la liga (welcome to the land of bruisers)

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Kaka had better be the best to ever play in MLS, first, his pay rate; second, he won the Ballon d’Or in 2007. I loved watching Beckham pass, and Henry use guile to win games. But for a year or two Kaka should be better.

      • If those teams looked like expansion teams, I don’t know what you call the Union or Rapids — except bad.

      • Agreed

    • That was a really bad job by Petrescu; he lost control early. I like that few in the comments here are blaming him for the loss though.

    • Agreed. They did not look like expansion clubs. I watched every Sunday match,and crew v dynamo,RSL v por. We are in trouble. The league is progressing,and we are a stick in the mud.

    • Okugo and Higuita controlled the game. Higuita played out of control a bit but he is only 20. Orlando FC – make me feel envy.
      .
      Jealousy is an okay human emotion, envy is ugly though.

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