Daily news roundups

Edu listed as questionable, more from Curtin’s presser, USWNT WC roster, USMNT face Mexico tonight

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Injury updates are always an important part of the weekly Union press conference, particularly with a quick turnaround from Saturday’s game to face NYCFC at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, followed by New England at home on Sunday. Not discussed Tuesday’s press conference (full transcript here at PSP) is the fact that Maurice Edu is listed on the latest injury report as questionable with a right hamstring strain. Marc Narducci reports at the Inquirer: “Edu has been limited the last two days in practice to just some light running. He suffered the injury early in Saturday’s 2-1 win over New York City, but played the entire game.”

The full injury report is up on the league website:

OUT: M Eric Bird (hernia repair recovery, DNP 4/5)
OUT: D Fabinho (right heel contusion/fasciitis)
​QUESTIONABLE: M Cristian Maidana (left MCL sprain)
QUESTIONABLE: D Raymond Lee (left quad strain)
​QUESTIONABLE: F Fernando Aristeguieta (left quad strain)
​QUESTIONABLE: M Maurice Edu (right hamstring strain)

Curtin said neither Maidana, Conor Casey, nor CJ Sapong are ready to go 90 minutes. Curtin said the trio are all options off the bench or they could start “and then give you as much as they can.”

Curtin said that Sebastien Le Toux is good to go despite the gash he received on his right arm on Saturday. Regarding Fernando Aristeguieta’s availability, Curtin said he’s made positive progress: “But we’ll have to make an intelligent decision because you don’t want to rush a guy back and then have him be out for three weeks by aggravating it. So, something that we’ll monitor and hopefully can make the right decision that’s best for the team — not just for this 90 minutes, but also the future of things.”

Curtin praised Eric Ayuk, saying of the 18 year old, “Great energy; obviously carries on to the field with the way he plays too: he runs at guys, he’s pretty fearless — because he doesn’t know any better, you know?”

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George on Michael Lahoud’s emergence on the Union Starting XI. Lahoud said he’s focused on keeping his game simple, to “just not to look to do more”:

I think that’s the common mistake players make. You’re not in the picture and then you’re in the picture and you get a stretch of games and you feel this urgency to keep your spot. For me, I think it goes back to experience. My priority is doing my job.

Tuesday night’s 90th Minute Radio Show broadcast is now up on YouTube if you missed it. John McCarthy was the guest.

Press of Atlantic City on McCarthy getting his first MLS start and win.

By the way, the referee for Sunday’s home game against New England will be Mark Geiger!

In the power rankings at MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up two spots to No. 18: “Too early to say that was a season-saving win, because the season hasn’t been saved yet.”

World Soccer Talk on Saturday’s win over NYCFC: “In a nutshell, this game wasn’t anything special for the Union. NYCFC is one of the weaker teams in the league, it was a home match, and Philly still played poorly for the vast majority of the game. Still, winning remains sweet no matter the circumstances. The Union players and staff that have stuck out the beginning of the year deserved their moment in the sun on Saturday.”

Philadelphia Sports Rants has some thoughts on last Saturday’s win.

A post at Tangents USA, noting the confluence of factors that make Philadelphia “a soccer city” — poorly performing teams in other pro sports, hosting the Gold Cup final, for example — says the Union cannot afford to let slip the opportunity to raise its profile locally.

The Union front office has, on more than one occasion, let the opportunity for increased success on both the field and in the sports market slip through their fingers. But they may not get another opportunity like this. With sports fans, looking for new hope and the Gold Cup Final being played at Lincoln financial field this July, the iron is hot and must, must be struck. Marquee signings, stronger investment into the fan experience, and the growth of the team through monetary investment are absolutely crucial at the moment. If the Union front office cannot see the golden opportunity lying at their feet, perhaps they do not deserve to reap its rewards.

Local

Bob Apgar, Larry Povia, Eddie Leibe, Julie Shackford, Mike Lee, Nick Wiener and Scott Grzenda will be inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 25.

MLS

Houston have acquired Brazilian midfielder Alex from Chicago in exchange for forward Jason Johnson.

Orlando City will host Brazilian side Ponte Preta in a friendly on May 2.

Minnesota United is looking for exemptions on property taxes and tax breaks on construction materials for their proposed new downtown soccer stadium. The Star Tribune reports,

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who said he would oppose a direct stadium subsidy, expressed an openness to the plan. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said it was a “modest” request, but nearly impossible without city and county support. Soon after, however, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges voiced strong opposition.

“These elements constitute a public subsidy, and I do not support a public subsidy for this facility,” Hodges said in a statement. Two key City Council members were more amenable to the tax exemption.

More at MPR.

NWSL

At NBC Sports, Jeff Kassof looks at the financial challenges facing a player trying to make it as a pro in the NWSL, where the league minimum salary is “$6,842 for the course of the six-month season.”

US

USWNT

The US roster for the Women’s World Cup was announced on Tuesday. Why it was released the day before the USMNT plays Mexico instead of, say, next week when it could be the single big national team story of the day is a good question, almost as good a question as what is Shannon Boxx doing on the roster.

The theme of the roster in a post at US Soccer is depth, versatility, and balance.

Head coach Jill Ellis said, “The players selected have the confidence, experience and desire to help us win a world championship.” More comments from Ellis here. Reactions from players named to the roster here.

This:

At Soccer America, Paul Kennedy says while experience is important, youth will win the World Cup.

More on the roster announcement at ESPNWASN, Fox Sports, CBS SportsSIMLSsoccer.com, LA Times, Washington Post, USA TodaySoccer America, Goal.com, SBI, World Soccer TalkThe Sports NetworkReuters, and the AP.

In case you forgot, the US was drawn into Group D along with Australia, Sweden and Nigeria.

USMNT

The USMNT faces Mexico tonight in San Antonio in a friendly (8:30pm: Fox Sports 1, UniMás, and Univision Deportes) and the big story seems to be the state of the pitch. You see, the Alamodome has an artificial turf surface and a temporary grass field has been laid down for tonight’s game. It seems when the Mexico team practiced on the temporary grass on Tuesday morning, it was in such poor shape that, according to a report from Mexican news outlet Medio Tempo (crappy Google translation here), the team was considering forfeiting the game. In the event, the Mexico team moved its practice to nearby Trinity University, where the US trained on Monday. The US, meanwhile, practiced at the Alamodome on Tuesday as planned.

US soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe said on Tuesday, “The field installation was not completed when the Mexico National Team representative saw it on Monday. Improvements have been made in the past 24 hours and the grounds crew will continue to provide maintenance in the lead up to tomorrow’s match. The field will be in playable condition in time for tomorrow’s match.”

Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera, while concerned about the state of the pitch, said, “Not to play the game would be very drastic. I don’t have that much power in my hands to say, ‘No, I don’t want to play,’ because it isn’t just a soccer team, it’s a team that represents a country. It’s a sell-out, the media is here, television. It isn’t that easy to make the decision not to play.”

Nevertheless, as ASN notes, “Sod field generally take several days to being to take root so even with the improvements cited by U.S. Soccer, the grass will likely be loose in places and could impact the caliber of play.”

Noting the temporary grass was laid down on Monday, only two days before tonight’s game, Ryan Rosenblatt writes at Fusion, “It’s time that U.S. Soccer, and generally every other soccer entity, ends the temporary grass farce. Play the matches in stadiums with grass and, if not that, in stadiums with suitable turf. Don’t lay down temporary grass and turn what should be an exciting match for millions of fans into a joke.”

More on concerns about the state of the pitch at My San AntonioKSAT, Washington Post, ESPNMLSsoccer.com, and ProSoccerTalk.

So, yeah, about the game itself, previews at PSP, US Soccer, Fox Sports, ProSoccerTalkEmpire of Soccer, and International Business Times.

Jurgen Klinsmann said of the game, “We want to continue our successful road with the Mexican games. We want to have a good result. We want to give them a real game. We want to beat them if possible and send a signal out towards the Gold Cup. We want to stay as the number one team in CONCACAF, because we won the last one, but they have the same goal.”

Soccer America looks for some perspective ahead of  the game, including, “Klinsmann forgot just one thing: The No. 1 team from Concacaf in the FIFA world rankings happens to be Costa Rica.”

At ESPN, a number of current and former US players recall some of their favorite stories from the USA-Mexico rivalry. A post at US Soccer does the same. ASN has a list of the ten best moments from the rivalry. It’s a great list (that Feilhaber goal, oh my!), but the win at the Azteca isn’t on it. C’mon, now.

Cobi Jones says of the criticism Jurgen Klinsmann has faced given the string of bad results following the World Cup, “The results haven’t been there, defensively they’ve been atrocious, giving up goals late in games, but this is experimental time…But I think Klinsmann is a victim of his own philosophy and his own success in a way because now we are at a point where we expect to win, even during experimental time.”

 At ASN, Juan Agudelo talks about returning to the team.

The Guardian on the NASL’s Miguel Ibarra being with the USMNT.

For all the young guys with the team, SI notes the presence of veteran “MLS Lifers” like Chris Wondolowski, Nick Rimando, Brad Evans and Kyle Beckerman

The Daily Beast weighs in on the question of divided loyalties for players of Mexican heritage when it comes to choosing which national team to play for. Question: Is it fair to criticize a player who chooses to play for Mexico and celebrate players from, say, Germany, Norway, or Iceland who choose to play for the US?

ESPN on how Liga MX is “an increasingly attractive option for American players.”

The Republicans defeated the Democrats 8-4 at RFK Stadium on Tuesday in the third annual Capital Soccer Classic congressional match

46 Comments

  1. Jurgen Klopp announced he was leaving Dortmund at the end of the Bundesliga season. Anyone wanna help chip in for a fruit basket.

    • any amount of money he wanted. any. amount.
      .
      we stand well against the likes of the giants vying for his eyes don’t you think. not one in a million.
      .
      “so you’re saying there’s a chance.”

      • I have the utmost faith that my simple, earnest and sincere hand delivered fruit basket will win over Jurgens heart. Where the Premier Leagues crass golden bejeweled fruit baskets, stuffed with exotic and rare fruits. Lined in money with a bed of the purest Cocaine delivered an exotic supercar filled with super models will turn him off.
        .
        So we should be expecting the press conference any day now.

      • The Black Hand says:

        We are going to have to go ‘exotic’ with this one, Sieve. Like the fruits that they were eating in “Indy 2: Temple of Doom”…hell, we might as well throw in a monkey brain. Definitely need some Goji and whatever berry is in the Ikea juice…that shit is the bomb!

      • Magic.

    • I have a “man crush” on this dude. The brashness in which BVB play is awesome…………press, press, and more press. Klopp was the major piece in fourfourtwo this month. he stated he wants to go to the Prem. City, United, and Arsenal are in the discussions. BVB and Arsenal are very similar in philosophies……Gunners would be the best fit. But, I don’t think Wenger is going anywhere……and I also read that BVB supporters are scared shitless of him leaving after all he has built there…….they will throw mad $$$$$$ at him to try and get him to stay. What can we offer him? His own parking spot……in an unpaved lot? With a hand painted, wooden sign that says spot reserved for JK?

      • and Joel……it seems after the captains went over and talked with the Yellow Wall a few weeks ago….they are back and rolling again. The rest of the team was scared shitless to go over and talk with the ultras……so they sent Hummels! It was awesome to see him and the keeper just talking with the supporters….calming them down……like you said…….BALLS. They probably went back into the locker room and flipped shit on their team mates!

      • dude, I just went over and talked with 10,000 nutters who want to kick the crap out of us……..wtf?, people?……we need to get our $hit together!

      • far and away one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen- gives me chills still and its a balmy 70 outside.

  2. Please select Marquez instead of White… Please select Marquez instead of White… Please select Marquez instead of White… *crosses fingers*

  3. Why in the world do we play games where turf has to be laid down on top of fake turf. For the life of me I just don’t understand.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Why did the USA get the World Cup in ’94? Stadia size and therefore profit. No venue was under 65,000 seating capacity, I’ll hazard an unresearched guess. The Gold Cup final is not at PPL (18,500) but at the Linc (68,000).
      .
      As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.”

      • I hear you. I just think it is non sensical and a tremendous waste of resources.

      • pragmatist says:

        Especially because we have dozens of perfectly acceptable natural grass fields.

      • And yes, the Gold Cup final is at the Linc. The third place match is at PPL….though if Mexico and/or the US are in the 3rd place match, all bets are probably off.

  4. So how do we feel about the Lahoud/Vincent the Great part of our midfield? I am bullish on Lahoud. Are we screwed Thurs if Edu can’t go?

    • flat undercut countersink. 12mm.

    • I’m afraid that’s a yes. White or Marquez tracking Villa for 90 minutes seems like a lot to ask.

    • Plus, if we lose Edu, you have to wonder if we “lose” Vitoria too — not literally, but performance-wise. Dude was just scrambling all the time when White was partnered with him, but as soon as Mo was beside him he looked twice as good. Was it a confidence thing? Or a chemistry thing? I hope we don’t have to find out…

  5. well, back to reality. Squad rotation? Depth? We will need this in the next few matches…….our boys are pretty dinged up already. Putting them in matches could lead to longer recoveries. Three matches in 8 days doesn’t bode well for us. I just hope we make it through the next two without any injuries………

  6. Ouch World Soccer Talk – can’t we poor supporters of the U enjoy one week of post victory after glow before you come and knock the shine right off of a good win?

    • Hmm- agree with you- though in fairness- (see my point below)- the win this past weekend was important but they really did not do a whole lot so maybe it is fair. .
      This much I certainly believe by Abe, his first point stating, “Orlando can be as good as they want to be.”
      .
      I agree heartedly and have a hunch by the end of the season they will be one of 4 teams with a chance to win it all.

    • they are objective…..we are not. I try to be, hence why I have been holding comments since the win…….didn’t want to be a downer for everyone. We are what we are………….some weeks will be good……more than some will be bad. Its World soccer talk, not Philly soccer talk…….any objective footy person knows we have issues…….a win doesn’t solve them.

    • I’ll spot them the first few points, but don’t agree that they played poorly for the vast majority of the game. I’m certainly biased, but they defended well throughout most of the game and while things shifted significantly in the 2nd half, I felt like we took it to NYC in the first half. Save for a few high end teams, there isn’t a huge amount of seperation between most MLS teams. Good teams take care of games like this one, doing whatever it takes to get 3 points. It wasn’t always beautiful, but they took care of business. Here’s hoping that continues.

      • I kind of agree that the Union did not look terribly good through much of the match — especially in the midfield. They won, mainly, because the defense put in a strong 94-minute effort.

      • ScottE, your right….there isn’t a whole lot of difference outside of a few……maybe a little deeper with personnel to throw out there…but that’s about it

    • When this team puts a real starting 11 on the pitch that includes Maidana, Aristeguieta, Nogueira and Edu at CB, I think it’s a pretty good team and I like our chances in any match. I’m liking Lahoud as a defensive mid.

      We’ve been banged up since week 2. It’s been tough.

      • Pete, agree with our full compliment of players…we can hang with anyone…even the big spenders. But, as we get deeper into things……that isn’t always a given….in fact, your kind of lucky if you can do that for a few weeks on a clip…..you need reasonable/mls depth…….we are lacking here…..its worrisome with two in four days. When you play two in four……..I think the liklyhood of injury goes up 60%

  7. It is imperative this team takes a point in Yankee Stadium.

    • The Black Hand says:

      We should cherish the three points, we made off with. They can’t take that away from us. If those points don’t do it for us, we can look back upon our pre-season championship trophy…or ribbon…whatever it is, we are the CHAMPIONS.
      .
      We aren’t sniffing a point tomorrow, I’m afraid.

  8. I also wonder if listing Edu as questionable is a mindf#%k for NYCFC to chew on the next few days…………..

  9. That quote from Tangents USA is freakin’ poetic. It’s also true.

    • this is a low slow whistle. yep.

    • I was just going to say this. Been harping on it for months. There’s never been a better time to take the next step, seize another chunk of public attention. Unfortunately I don’t see this ownership caring.

  10. Andy Muenz says:

    You would think that after Congress plays at RFK there would be no problem getting funding for a new stadium.

  11. Does anyone think there’s really a chance Wondo/Beckerman/Rimando don’t start tonight?
    Does anyone really WANT them to start? I love Beckerman but the 3 of them need to be moved on at this point. I get that they may play at the gold cup, but really that’s only Beckerman or Wondo as a sub. After that, they’re all basically done. Test the young blood and see what they got.

    • agreed. totally. my arguments are for JK to bring in the new order- top to bottom save one or two or three seasoned leaders and get these guys on the field together every chance. this notion of tinkering, while everyone seems to think it is dandy has me annoyed.

      • My expectation was 0 to 1 points from last summer’s group stage. I would have bet on zero, but I’m not a betting man. Klinsmann has earned himself four years of credit in my book. Whatever he wants to do is okay by me.

      • I hear you, I am no longer however driven by results as the metric to determine progress. Its got to be about a growing sophistication in our play. We shall see. He has earned the right to fiddle just wished he wasn’t.

  12. OneManWolfpack says:

    For six years it’s always someone being hurt, someone being unavailable, this guy starting when that guy should… someone this, someone that!!! GOD, for once can we just have our best 11 on the field and win a game?!?
    .
    I’m just bitching. Go USA. Hope the disgrace of a field holds up.

  13. “The Union front office has, on more than one occasion, let the opportunity for increased success on both the field and in the sports market slip through their fingers. But they may not get another opportunity like this. With sports fans, looking for new hope and the Gold Cup Final being played at Lincoln financial field this July, the iron is hot and must, must be struck. Marquee signings, stronger investment into the fan experience, and the growth of the team through monetary investment are absolutely crucial at the moment. If the Union front office cannot see the golden opportunity lying at their feet, perhaps they do not deserve to reap its rewards.”
    .
    I don’t have any comments except that that deserves to be read twice.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      They deserve nothing. They will not strike and they will watch this pass them by. Money makes money. They don’t want to spend it, so they won’t make it. Sad and a shame… but true. But hey, Union… feel free to prove me wrong.

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