Daily news roundups

Blunders and such, Union-DC previews, Reading opens league play, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

The Union (1-7-3, 6 points) head into Sunday’s contest on a four-game losing streak during which they’ve given up 10 goals while scoring only 2 (and no goals scored in the last two losses) against a DC United team (6-1-3, 21 points) that is undefeated over their last eight games.

They do so minus Fernando Aristeguieta, who is training with the Venezuela national team, and with an already leaky backline in which Steven Vitoria’s availability is questionable, and Richie Marquez is unavailable as he serves a one-game suspension for a red card, not to mention uncertainty over whether the short-term loan that saw Brian Sylvestre join the team from NASL side Carolina RailHawks can be extended for Sunday’s game, and John McCarthy still being evaluated as he recovers from a training ground concussion.

Regardless of who starts in in the back, Jim Curtin said in Wednesday’s press conference that the team’s defensive issues are collective: “I think as a team we’ve been poor defensively…Defending starts with the forwards, it goes to the midfield, the back four, and then the goalkeeper. It’s a team issue.” Additionally, too much of the defensive woes is the result of “individual mistakes” of the “blunder” variety, “self-inflicted” and “silly.”

Maurice Edu agrees, telling Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com, “I think a lot of the goals we’ve given up have been from us making mistakes and gifting away goals. I think when teams have made mistakes on us, we don’t capitalize as much as when we make mistakes and teams punish us for it. We need to make teams really work and create a beautiful play to score a goal — not just gift them chances.”

If the Union are defeated in Sunday’s nationally televised game (7 pm: Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Go, SiriusXM FC), it will be a new record for the longest losing streak in team history. Given the anemic attack and continuing defensive concerns, it could be a very long night.

Look for our preview of the game later this morning. In the meanwhile, there’s our quick reference, as well as previews from Philadelphia Union, the InquirerPhilly Soccer NewsMetroMLSsoccer.com, Soccer AmericaProst Amerika, and MLSGB.

Brotherly Game has four top Union-DC moments. Also at Brotherly Game, given the team’s sputtering offense, might it be time for some of the kids to play?

Scott Pugh’s Fans’ View post on Thursday began, “I have two tickets for Sunday’s game that I can’t use, and I can’t give them away…for free.” After the post was published, a Union ticket rep got in touch with Scott to tell him about the team’s ticket exchange program, which allows season ticket holders to trade up to two tickets they can’t use for two other tickets at select games. We thought others might be interested in the program, click here for more details.

ESPN notes the comments Rais Mbolhi made on Wednesday to Foot Mercato.

On the Road in Vancouver with Richie Marquez.

Local

Harrisburg City islanders return home to host Charlotte Independence on Saturday (7 pm, YouTube)

Also on Saturday at 7 pm, Reading United open league play on the road against new PDL side Lehigh Valley United Sonic at Whitehall High School Soccer Stadium.

Harrisburg and Reading face off in the second round of the US Open Cup at Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium at 7 pm on Wednesday night. The victor will host the winner of Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL)-Rochester Rhinos (USL) at 7 pm on May 27.

The SocceerFest viewing parties at Bethlehem’s SteelStacks return for US games during the Women’s World Cup. Lehigh Valley Live reports,

SoccerFest also will feature soccer-related programs and activities including an interactive experience with the Philadelphia Union, family activities like soccer, tennis and arts and crafts and a presentation by Daniel Paul Morrison, the leading historian on the Bethlehem Steel F.C., the soccer powerhouse that was based at Bethlehem Steel and won five National Challenge Cups from 1915-1926.

Wilson Greenwood, a former member and captain of Penn’s soccer team, and a member of the Penn Men’s Soccer All-Decade Team for 1945-54, has passed away at the age of 92.

MLS

The league announced on Thursday a new broadcast with Letv Sports, “China’s leading digital sports broadcaster,” to provide mainland China with live coverage of all MLS matches. While the length of the deal was not announced, it is described as “a long-term agreement.”

Steven Gerrard will play his last home game for Liverpool on Saturday. At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep comments on some of the headscratingly inane reaction to recent remarks from Gerrard that one of the reasons he he is looking forward to coming to MLS is because he will enjoy playing a few years with less pressure than what he has had to deal with at Liverpool. Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers says that Gerrard returning to the club on loan during the MLS offseason is a possibility.

The Toronto Sun reports the four Toronto FC fans currently in the process of being banned indefinitely from all MLSE events for hurling sexual taunts at a TV reporter during a live broadcast “could be denied league-wide access to stadiums around Major League Soccer (MLS).” Good.

Well done DeMarcus Beasley Houston Dynamo teammates, well done.

US

The USWNT hosts Mexico in a friendly on Sunday night (9:30 pm: Fox Sports 1, Univision Deportes, Galavision, Fox Sports Go).

The Guardian profiles my favorite USWNT player, Christen Press.

It seems Gedion Zelalem is not with the US U-20 training camp in California. He will join the team for their pre U-20 World Cup training camp in Australia.

CONCACAF has announced the host cities for the Olympic men’s soccer qualifying tournament, which will take place October 1-13. Denver, Kansas City, and Los Angeles will host the group games, with the semifinals, third place game, and final taking place in Salt Lake City. As host, the US automatic qualifies for the qualifying tournament, as do Canada and Mexico. The remaining five spots — three from Central America and two from the Caribbean — will be decided by a qualification games in August.

Elsewhere

All professional games in Argentina have been suspended this weekend to honor the passing of Emanuel Ortega, a fourth division player who died Thursday from injuries after colliding with a concrete post during a game.

Reuters then reported from Argentina, “Four River Plate players were taken to hospital after they were sprayed with what appeared to be tear gas by fans of their bitter rivals Boca Juniors on Thursday, causing their Copa Libertadores derby to be abandoned at halftime.”

In Venezuela, “The Venezuelan striker Aquiles Ocanto is recovering after being kicked in the back by a fan while giving a live post-match TV interview.”

Meanwhile, in France, the head coach and players of relegation threatened Nice were attacked by “supporters” during a training session.

On a more positive note, Vice Sports looks at “progressive, punk soccer club” St. Pauli. Nice to see my old pal Dave Doughman in the accompanying video.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

19 Comments

  1. Great One says:

    In other news, WSSM. Cool program by the Union, too bad there’s not much else to say about the team.

  2. DarthLos117 says:

    5 home games, 3 Doops.
    .
    Our lack of Doop is disturbing.

  3. As Roger Bennett would say: not in the face, DC, please please not in the face. 🙁

  4. Given up 10. Scored 2.
    .
    Inconceivable…..to continue the Princess Bride theme this week.
    .
    10 & 2.
    .
    The very definition of terrible.

  5. Who knew retirement would be so dull? Anyone know of a team that needs a keeper for a week or two?

  6. pragmatist says:

    The tenor of both the articles and the comments make Eeyore sound happy.
    I understand why, and I’m at the same point. But this is just depressing right now. We need one win (not the one we already have…another one), and soon. Something to prove there is life in this team and coaching staff.

    And someone go confiscate Amobi’s (or Zach’s) voodoo dolls! We’ve had enough!

    • DarthLos117 says:

      At this point, I’m really hoping we can finish the season with 4 W’s.

      • At this point I’m really hoping we can finish the season.

      • Dr. Union says:

        Right now this team doesn’t look like they can make it through the season they are epically bad. Quite possibly worst team in MLS history bad. And they had such a good chance this year to be the one philly team people could be excited about.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Among was not dressed for Orlando City Weds. Night vs DC

  8. Great One says:

    So we’re giving Catic for Silvestre. I know it will get him playing time, but essentially we just didn’t want to have to pay actual money. Amazing…

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