Daily news roundups

“Pretty fitting”: recaps and reaction from Union’s big win, league wrap, US roster, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Well, it’s about time, right?

Not only did the Union finally get their first win of the season, and their first home win since last October, this time it was the good guys who got the stoppage time equalizer, courtesy of a great late run into the box from Vincent Nogueira.

And to think that Nogueira was almost subbed out.

Nogueira said of the goal, “That’s the last chance. I was a little bit tired like everybody else on the field. I just saw that the goalkeeper did not get the ball, so I was in the box and I was first on the ball because my opponent was just next to me, so I was first. It’s hard because there is a goalkeeper and there is the last defender, and I scored. It’s perfect.”

Curtin said, “For him to make the commitment to get into the box, that late in the game, that’s a play where he could have easily have not run the extra 50 or 60 yards to get himself to the box. But he took that initiative and he got in and the ball bounced to him. It’s a big goal for us.”

Sheanon Williams said of the late winner, “That’s pretty fitting to score late, huh? That’s a credit to our guys and how hard we’ve worked to start the season. Things haven’t gone our way but tonight things went our way. And hopefully this will catapult us and get us moving in the right direction.”

Curtin said of the result, “I’ll probably sleep better tonight. I didn’t sleep at all after the Kansas City game. … We can play better, there’s no question. It wasn’t a great performance but it was a gutty, needed performance.”

John McCarthy said of his emotions after the win, “I had tears of joy. I was crying. It’s indescribable. That’s what you always dream of as a kid, being a fan of the team and being able to play for them one day, and that’s what I did.”

The Armchair Analyst said, “The weekend’s biggest star was Philadelphia Union ‘keeper John McCarthy, who stole hearts across the Greater Chester area with his emotional postgame interview.” (Hahaha, “Greater Chester area.” Get it?) More on McCarthy’s first start and win at the Inquirer, Delco Times, Cinnaminson Patch, and Reading United.

Sebastien Le Toux described what led up to his injury, a nasty gash that required five stitches that came from a collision with an advertising board: ““I tried to not hit my head against the hard publicity board. Unfortunately, I kind of caught the board right on my arm. It’s really sharp. It’s not really safe, especially that close to the field, and I cut my arm really bad. It really hurt, so I just came back on the field because I thought it was ok, but I was feeling some blood, and I look at my hand, and it was pretty red.”

Even though Zach Pfeffer was credited with the goal, Erik Ayuk’s backflip show after the goal everyone in the stadium thought was his own was perhaps as alarming as it was eye-catching. The youngster said of the celebration, “Since I was a little boy, a kid, I practiced it in the school and everywhere.It was simple since I was a kid just learning on television.” Given the Union’s new penchant for injuries, once is enough, thanks.

Curtin said of Fernando Aristeguieta, who was out with a quad injury, “The kid was devastated that he couldn’t play, he’s a warrior. He would go out on the field and play for the team no matter what, so when he told me something didn’t feel right, I 100 percent respect his opinion because he will play through tough pain.”

How much of a warrior is Aristeguieta? In an article posted at CBS Philly on Friday, re replied when asked about the hand fracture he suffered against Kansas City, “[I]t’s just a hand, you know? You play with your feet and handle the pain.”

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer, Delco TimesCSN PhillySouth Jersey Times, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap), Brotherly Game (analysis), Philly Sports NetworkZolo Times (welcome back),  Vavel, The Sports Quotient,  MLSsoccer.com,  NYCFC, New York Daily News, New York PostBig Apple SoccerEmpire of Soccer, Hudson River BlueMLS Multiplex, Skyscraper BluesFirst Touch Online, La Opinion (crappy Google translation here), the GuardianSBIGoal.com, ProSoccerTalkSports MoleFIFA, WhoScored.com, The Sports Network, and the AP. Photo galleries at South Jersey Times and USA Today.

Local

Ocean City Nor’easters check in with former goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe, who is now playing in New Zealand’s top flight for Team Wellington.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, first place DC United (10 points) conceded a late equalizer to second place New York Red Bulls (8 points) in a 2-2 draw. Third place Orlando (8 points) defeated Portland 2-0 on the road. Fourth Place New England (8 points) drew 0-0 at home with sixth place Columbus (5 points). Fifth place Chicago (6 points) had the weekend off. Seventh place NYCFC (5 points) lost 2-1 on the road to Eighth place Philadelphia (5 points). Ninth place Toronto (3 points) had the weekend off. Tenth place Montreal (2 points) lost 3-0 on the road to Houston.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (13 points) lost 1-0 on the road to third place San Jose (9 points). Second place Dallas was thumped 4-0 on the road by ninth place Colorado (6 points). Fourth place Salt Lake (9 points) drew 0-0 with fifth place Kansas City (9 points) on the road. Sixth place Houston (8 points) defeated Montreal, 3-0. Seventh place LA (8 points) defeated eighth place Seattle (7 points) 1-0 at home. Tenth place Portland (6 points) lost 2-0 at home to Orlando.

Montreal Impact have acquired Kenny Cooper on waivers.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment officials say renovations at Toronto’s BMO Field will be completed in time for the Home opener on May 10. MLSE chief Tim Leiweke says the renovations will make it “the most intimidating stadium in Major League Soccer.”

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton says he won’t meet with Minnesota United officials about public funding for a new stadium until the expansion franchise provides details about the stadium. Dayton has said he is opposed to public funding of the stadium.

A University of Minnesota professor says if the team doesn’t show it can pay for the stadium, MLS will go elsewhere: “Whether there is a public-private partnership, or if the owners fund the new soccer stadium themselves, it has to be a concrete financial deal, or the MLS will move to another city.”

A new deal has been signed that makes Coca-Cola the official non-alcoholic beverage of MLS and US Soccer. Pepsi had been the official beverage since the league’s beginning in 1996. I’m waiting for NASL to next announce Mexican Coke as its official soft drink.

A player on NASL side Ottawa Fury was attacked on a plane 30 minutes before it landed in Atlanta. One witness said of the attacker, who used a phone cord in an attempt to choke the player, Oliver Minatel, “He was talking about how this soccer team was trying to kill him. I thought he was maybe a deranged fan.”

NWSL

The NWSL season kicked off on Friday night with Houston Dash defeating Washington Spirit, 2-0. Portland Thorns defeated Boston Breakers 4-1 on the road. Sky Blue topped Kansas City, 1-0, and Seattle Reign destroyed Western New York, 5-1 on the road. That must have been uncomfortable for Abby. Chicago had the weekend off.

Washington Spirit captain and USWNT stalwart Ali Krieger suffered a concussion in the loss to Houston and was stretchered off the field in a head brace.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann named his 22-player roster for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico (8:30 pm: Fox Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes). With the exceptions of DeAndre Yedlin (who made his Tottenham debut over the weekend as a sub) and Julian Green, all of the players play in North America.

Klinsmann said of the roster, “It’s different compared to how we were put together in Switzerland and in Denmark, and I see this kind of a game as a huge opportunity for players to come in and play in front of a sold-out stadium and loud crowd, a lot maybe pro-Mexico, but these are the games where you mature and where you try to express yourself and show what you have…it’s a great opportunity for everyone individually to show where they are right now and where they are at this stage with their MLS teams and down in Mexico. The closer we get to the Gold Cup, the more we kind of define things.”

Goal.com has five thoughts on the US roster. More thoughts at Fox Sports. ESPN says Jozy Altidore’s suspension could be an opportunity for Juan Agudelo. More on the opportunity the game presents to younger players at SI.

At US Soccer, an interesting read with dual nationals William Yarbrough and Ventura Alvarado about choosing to play for the US.

Sunil Gulati says, given the controversial hosting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups by Russia and Qatar, respectively, that the World Cup needs to be hosted by the US as much as the US needs to host the World Cup: “We’ll host it. No doubt. It’s at least as important for the international community to be in the United States as it is for the United States to have the international community here.” Gulati says US Soccer is ”still reviewing what the procedures are” for submitting a bid for the 2026 tournament.

Leaked USA 1st kit

Former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage’s response when asked if she has any advice for current USWNT coach Jill Ellis and the rest of the team: “To be honest, I have no clue (about the U.S. team) but I am very respectful for the (person who) has the job.”

A leaked image of the new Germany USA first kit has appeared and PSP has received exclusive details on Nike’s clearly inspired design process for the kit: “Open Photoshop > Open image ‘USA_first_kit_2014WC_rejected’ > Click on ‘Images’ > Click on ‘Adjustments’ > Click on “Black & White”  > Click on ‘Save’ > Email images to Factory 17C in China > Laugh all the way to the bank.”

At the Guardian, Michael Lewis has a good read on Aldo ‘Buff’ Donelli, the Morgan, Pa. native who was the standout on the 1934 US World Cup team.

Elsewhere

Looks like New Zealand is preparing for a joint bid with Australia to host the 2026 or 2030 World Cup.

Vice Sports looks at how Liga MX teams collude to control player movement and salaries.

12 Comments

  1. They gotta do something about that board Le Toux cut his arm on. That thing looks like it can take someone’s head off.

    More Philly sports fans need to be introduced to Fernando Aristeguieta. If they liked Aaron Rowan for running into a wall for line drive, they’ll like a guy who plays through broken hands and quad tears.

    • ebradlee10 says:

      This. There’s a whole lot to love about this guy.

    • I agree the board could be moved, but let’s not neglect the fact he was shoved into it by another player. Foul or not, the ref needs to handle that better, AND he needs to stop play when he sees Le Toux go down. With the concerns about head injuries now-a-days, the ref should’ve stopped play to check on him, instead he allowed NY to play while saying nothing.

    • I saw those boards at a few of the other weekend games as well, so I gotta believe it’s MLS responsibility. Maybe Seba’s gotta a 100 Million dollar lawsuit on his hands . . . enough to buy The U!

    • I crushed my finger playing football 15+ years ago and had a pin inserted and can tell you I was (happily) in bed on drugs for 3 days afterwards, I can’t even imagine going out the next day to play

      • I don’t know how much they need to move them, but how about some foam padding around the edges, at least?

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Let’s hope Nguyen and Agudello get significant playing time Wednesday given that the Union have to play New England next Sunday on short rest.
    .
    Which ties into the question of how incompetent are the MLS schedule makers? Now that there are an even number of teams, is there any reason for the disparity in games played and the number of byes this past weekend? I can understand if Montreal’s schedule was adjusted for CCL play, but everyone else should really have the same number of games across the same weekends.

    • I mentioned something about this a few weeks ago. It’s ridiculous that 4 East teams have only played 4 games but the Whitecaps have played 7. What? 10 games per week, keep the bye weeks for international dates and make those up on weekdays in the summer and fall. Imagine a week in July or August where there are 5 games Wed & 5 games Thurs, then 5 games Sat & 5 games Sun. Everyone has equal rest, plays the same amount of games and there are options to watch.

  3. It blows my mind that despite how piss poor the U have been in the beginning of the season that they are only one win outside of 2nd in the East. That is absolutely mind blowing. The East is bad, and there is a chance that the U could stick squeak into the playoffs, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. I also agree with Andy that the Schedule makes absolutely no sense. Please someone in the league office explain. #FREETHEUNION

  4. Gruntled Fan says:

    “[I]t’s just a hand, you know? You play with your feet and handle the pain.”
    .
    Love this, thinking it is about to time to get a Fernando jersey. Love everything about this guy and his attitude and work ethic.

    • I have a bunion and that keeps me from playing tennis all the time. Course if I was getting paid to play tennis….
      .
      …either way, The Striker clearly received the memo on how to be endearing to this fickle mob.

  5. Hey just want to say that the crowd from Saturday looked awesome on TV; good job errrbody!

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