Daily news roundups

Another snow, Union-Dallas previews, more UPDATE: Game rescheduled for Saturday

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

UPDATE: Friday night’s match between Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas has been postponed until Saturday at 4 pm

Philadelphia Union

Talk about bad luck.

Two days before the season opener, Philly was hit by a snowstorm. While commendable hard work ensured the stadium and parking lots were cleared in time for the game, miserable conditions nevertheless put a damper on actual (as opposed to paid) attendance. Then, during the game, not only did CJ Sapong suffer a facial fracture and concussion,the referee missed a series of critical calls, including two penalty kick decisions that would have guaranteed a Union win. A week later in Salt Lake, a mysterious (and plainly wrong) call from the referee denied the Union the full three points by awarding RSL a game-tying penalty kick with minutes left to play. Then, on Tuesday, Cristian Maidana, who was involved on all three Union goals at RSL, suffered a freak knee injury and will be out at least two weeks.

Now, with a nationally broadcast Friday night game against Dallas on tap, Mother Nature is again throwing a wrench into the works with snow, rain, and cold temperatures forecast for throughout the day and through game time, which will once again affect attendance and field conditions. (Saturday’s forecast? Partly sunny with a high of 51, of course.) The tarps are out at PPL Park, but whether tonight’s referee will screw things up again for the Union remains to be seen.

Given the snow, don’t be weirded out by that yellow thing you’ll see on the pitch tonight, it’s the game ball:

Will the dangerous Dallas attack be another part of the Union’s bad luck? Andrew Wenger said,

Containing that, it is going to be a collective effort. It’s not going to be one guy out wide trying to defend one-on-one. It’s going to be about being organized together and really making them break us down. Looking back at the two games we’ve played this year, no team has really broken us down and that’s a positive for us.

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia InquirerDelco Times, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, FC Dallas (scouting report), FC Dallas (infographic), Dallas Morning News (preview), Dallas Morning News (scouting report),  Big D Soccer, Fox SportsProSoccerTalkMLSGB, WhoScored.com, and The Sports Network. Fellow SB Nation blogs Brotherly Game and Big D Soccer ask each other three questions about tonight’s game.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jim Curtin wants people to know Fernando Aristeguieta is more than a poacher:

He reminds me a little bit of Taylor Twellman in that the ball always seems to find either his head or his foot, and when he gets chances he buries them. He’s not a guy that needs five chances. He needs two or three looks. With three looks, he’ll get you a goal or two. He’s special around the goal.

Aristeguieta says, “I like to score goals…A goal is a goal. You can score ugly goals, beautiful goals – they’re all the same…The important thing is winning. But my way to help the team win is scoring goals. I’m a striker, and I’m the type of striker that can offer goals.”

So, you go to the PRO website to check out the weekly review column that examines controversial referee decisions from the past weekend of games. As a Union fan, your eyes light up when you see the focus is on not one, but two DOGSO calls, (that’s Denial of an Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity, but you already knew that). “Wonderful,” you think, “they’ll be looking at the ridiculous call that led to RSL’s game-tying penalty kick.” And, much to your chagrin, you’re wrong. Instead, the column pats PRO referees on the back for making the correct call, even if one is justified by using a camera angle that the official had no access to.

Former Union man Aaron Wheeler has signed with USL side Wilmington Hammerheads.

Local

At Soccer America, a preview of Harrisburg City Islanders and the rest of the USL’s Eastern Conference.

University of Pennsylvania has named Nicole Van Dyke, formerly an assistant coach at Stanford, as well as head coach at Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Stanislaus, as the new head coach of its women’s team.

Ridley Park native, Philadelphia Atoms legend, and not so legendary former Union broadcaster Bob Rigby who passed away in 2012.

The Morning Call on the many contributions made to Lehigh Valley soccer by Ed Csongradi, who will be a part of the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame class.

MLS

At World Soccer Talk, Kartik Krishnaiyer says it’s time to pull the plug on the Miami expansion project: “Miami is more of a global branding opportunity than a soccer-crazed market. Major League Soccer has survived for years without a Miami team, and now is thriving despite the debacle taking place under the palm trees in southern Florida.”

US

Abby Wambach talks to Rochester Democrat & Chronicle about her decision to skip the NWSL season to prepare for the WOmen’s World Cup:

It wasn’t something I took lightly. It wasn’t a decision that was made flippantly. This was a discussion that started with the Flash at the end of last season, knowing what was ahead…I hope people know me well enough to know that I’m a competitor. I love playing soccer, but as you get older you just can’t go out and pound on your body and pound on your body and playing on field turf, all of these factors got put into this equation that wasn’t adding up for me.

Discussing the physical challenges of playing on artificial turf as well as how being away from her wife also played a part in her decision, Wambach told SI, “People may call some of what I am now a little bit lazy, but they don’t understand that I’m just biding my time until I know that I can unleash and have it be the World Cup. And I’ll show up.”

Looks like Club Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough has chosen the US over Mexico.

Deadspin on why the US should boycott the 2022 World Cup (Warning: it gets a little blue):

There is no upside to participating in this upcoming fiasco. Soccer won’t be better for it. The brands won’t be better for it. Players certainly won’t be better for it. This doesn’t have to be a moral decision. It can be a practical one. We should pull out, and tell Sepp Blatter to go eat a bag of dicks. We’ve got seven years to nut up and do the right thing. Boycott World Cup 2022.

Elsewhere

It’s official:

The Executive Committee today confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will be staged in November/December with the Final to be on 18 December 2022, Qatar’s National Day.

In principle, it was agreed that the tournament should be played over a reduced timeframe, for instance 28 days.

[“™” in the original. F’ you, FIFA.]

The Press Association reports, “FIFA will treble payments to clubs for the next two World Cups, it has been announced. Clubs will share a pot of $209m US dollars (£142m) for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar. The pot was $70m for Brazil and only $40m in South Africa in 2010.”

FIFA also announced on Thursday that the 2019 Women’s World Cup will be hosted by France. South Korea was the other bid to host the tournament.

The Champions League quarterfinals draw took place today. It’ll be:

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona
  • Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid
  • Porto vs. Bayern Munich
  • Juventus vs. Monaco

At The 91st Minute, Will Parchman on China’s 10-year plan to become a world soccer power.

Don’t forget to check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week, including Sunday’s El Clasico, and Wednesday’s USMNT friendly in Europe against Denmark.

28 Comments

  1. J in Section 125 says:

    OK. So the weather sucks. Hopefully Dallas won’t be able to handle the climate and we get 3 points tonight. So Bundle up and show the league that the best fans in sports don’t let a little adverse weather stop us from supporting our team!

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Personally, I’d love to see a really ugly game tonight so the league doesn’t continue to schedule night games in March in the northeast.

    • Yeah, I’m gonna have to pass on driving over 80 miles in these conditions, supporters’ pride or not.
      On a related note, I now have two tickets I have no use for. If anyone here wants them, email me before game time and I’ll email them to you. Section 125, Row X – you should have some cover from what’s left of the storm.

      • J in Section 125 says:

        BThomas. We are neighbors. I am in Section 125 Row X. I am still going so I will brush the snow off your seat.

      • I too am 125 row X

      • and I’m three rows behind the lot of you.

      • Forget what I said – game postponed to 4pm tomorrow! See you there, J!

      • Glad they did this. Most people would not have even showed up tonight. It’s pretty cold down at PPL when the temp is in the 40’s, I can only imagine how it would be like in the mid 30’s and very damp. Brutal.

    • I think the weather will definitely make this an ugly game.
      .
      It will be interesting to see what lineup Curtin goes with. I was hoping to see Pfeffer in for Maidana in a 4-2-3-1 but now I’m not sure that is the best idea because it will be hard to play short passes all the way up the field.
      .
      Not going to be pretty but I think the Union might have an advantage considering the weather. Just need to limit mistakes along the backline and play simple. This is one game where the whole “hoof and run” thing might be the best way to play.

      • I’m more bummed about having to navigate the muckfest that will be parking lot A than sitting through the match.

  2. Fifa. We need you but we love you not.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      If somehow, and I have no idea how, UEFA and CONMEBOL would agree to leave FIFA together and form a new governing body, FIFA would die, quickly.
      .
      If Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and England left to form a new governing body, FIFA’s death would occur more slowly, but it would either die, or have to cooperate with the new entity. Those seven are where the players and the money are. If the big five of Europe United and left, probably the result would be the same.

  3. FormerSeasonTicketHolder says:

    Cam MLS hire a meteorologist to explain the climate of the North Eastern United States at this time of year.

  4. That Deadspin article is something else. It just kills me how people who have no involvement or stake try to decide that athletes shouldn’t compete. So you’ve trained and sacrificed your entire life to participate in the sport you love at it’s highest level but no, some schmuck with a lap top thinks you should just throw that all away to make a statement for them. The unmitigated self importance and disregard for the players is just staggering.

    • agree 100%
      1936 anyone?

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      I think we should make a rule about not linking to Deadspin around here, since they have some kind of MLS and USMNT hate that oozes from nearly every soccer-related piece they post.
      .
      That said, boycotting the WC is 1) the only way to punish FIFA, which continues to do whatever the hell it wants with absolute impunity, and 2) the World Cup is really about the fans. Without the spectators, the WC is a closed-door scrimmage.
      .
      Also, US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow after the Afghanistan invasion (hello 2018!). That turned out to be a decent decision.

    • “That Deadspin article”…it’s Drew Magary. Funny guy, if you’re in the mood for lowbrow humor. Not the world’s greatest writer. Definitely not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination.
      He may be making a legitimate point, but he’s not to be taken seriously.

    • come on, eat a bag of dicks is brilliant.
      .
      not to mention Sepp looks like Gollum holding the World Cup trophy which is priceless itself.
      .
      No one is paying any worthwhile attention to Deadspin articles. At least I hope not.

  5. Scorching hot USMNT take in that Drew Magary piece on Deadspin: “…may not even qualify for that 2022 World Cup unless we hand out some green cards to a bunch of German toddlers (our coach is on it)” – Come on guy, don’t ruin a well-meaning and more or less accurate article with that slop.

  6. That soccer ball looks like the Top Flight golf ball I used when I was about 12- you know in the Guilded Age of Golf right after the gutta-percha but before the first balata balls that would gash open with a thin hit shot on the newly invented metal headed driver.
    .
    I could always find the yellow Top Flight — no matter the direction it flew.

  7. In other news, yeah for Bayern and Juventus. A seemingly more greased path to the semi finals. I hope I hope I hope The Old Lady wins CL.
    .
    You all watched the first half of Barcelona ManCity game right? The 45 minutes in which Lionel Messi displayed why, beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is the greatest player on the planet. Ronaldo- extravagant and versatile- the finest of China, but no Lionel Messi.
    .
    Opinion Opinion.

  8. FormerSeasonTicketHolder says:

    I just got an e-mail from the Union saying the game is postponed until 4pm tomorrow.

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