Daily news roundups

Readying for NYCFC, US faces Netherlands, more NT and FIFA news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union return to action on Saturday when they host NYC FC (7 pm: TCN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV, Fox Sports Go).

In the past, the Union have too often struggled against teams they should defeat. Coming off of Wednesday’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Columbus, and having won three of the last four games, a win on Saturday is essential if the Union are to demonstrate to the league, their fans, and themselves that their resurgence is legitimate and more than a phase.

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com, Philadelphia InquirerPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly GameSkyscraper Blues, Sky Sports,

A preview of this weekend’s MLS games at the Guardian notes that one would expect that, three months into the season, you’d expect to to be able to tell the good teams from the bad, “the teams that plan to mount championship runs on the back of aesthetically dreadful soccer, the teams that will die on the hill of pretty-passing and non-stop pressing.” Instead, it’s June and, apart from DC United’s seven-point lead in the Eastern Conference, “there is almost nothing to distinguish top from bottom.” The kicker? “The Philadelphia Union, once the laughing stock of the league under coach Jim Curtin, have won three of their last four matches…Incredibly for the Union, a victory over the slumping New York City FC this weekend would see the Union move as high as third place in the East.”

The Union’s Behind the Crest blog notes that Andre Blake participated in goalkeeping drills in Thursday’s practice. “For the work that he did in the goalkeeping drills, Blake looked sharp, showing good movement and dexterity on his knee. The spring is definitely back in his step, showing off how he is able to jump and cut without any issues.” Steven Vitoria also participated in drills with the team.

Jim Curtin was the guest on the latest edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast at MLSsoccer.com.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on how CJ Sapong has been a key part of the Union’s resurgence. At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin on on how Brian Carroll has been a key part of the Union’s resurgence.

Philly Sports Network talks to Zach Pfeffer about the team’s current good form and facing NYCFC on Saturday.

Brotherly Game has a roundtable discussion of whether the Union should sign Brian Sylvestre.

More from Wednesday night’s win at The 700 Level, Metro, Brotherly GameSports Journal, Massive Report, and FIFA.

Sons of Ben

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to purchase your ticket for the premiere of Sons of Ben: The Movie at the Trocadero on June 10.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders host Toronto FC II on Saturday(7 pm, YouTube). Previews at Harrisburg City Islanders and Toronto FC II.

Coming off of Wednesday night’s 6-0 destruction of FA Euro, Reading United hosts DC United U-23s on Saturday with a 7 pm kickoff. Brett Campbell, who had a hat trick on Wednesday, has scored five goals in the last two games.

DC United U-23s heads to Reading after defeating Lehigh Valley United Sonic to 2-0 on Wednesday. LVU will look to bounce back from that loss when they host New York Red Bulls U-23s on Saturday at 7 pm.

Ocean City Nor’easters are on the road to face Baltimore Bohemians on Saturday.

MLS

Trouble with the chants sung by Orlando supporters.

US

The US faces Netherlands today in the first of two European friendlies. Kickoff is at 2:30 (ESPN, UniMas, Univision Deportes, Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes En Vivo). Previews from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ESPNSIGoal.comProSoccerTalkWorld Soccer Talk,

Fans will be pleased to know that Jurgen Klinsmann says it’s time to leave “the experimentation phase on the side.”

At the U-20 World Cup,the US was defeated 3-0 by Ukraine. By all accounts — recaps at FIFA, US SoccerMLSsoccer.comASN, Soccer America, SBI —  it seems like it was a dismal performance. The loss means the US finished second in their group, “which will be the second seed of Group C (Portugal, Colombia or Senegal).” The Round of 16 game will take place on June 10 (3:30 am: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Go and NBC Universo).

It’s opponent won’t be known until after today’s games, but thanks to France defeating Netherlands, 4-0, and Qatar drawing 1-1 with Costa Rica, the US U-23s will be in Sunday’s third place match at the Toulon Tournament (10:50 am: beIN Sports en Espanol, beIN Sports Connect, Fubo TV). They’ll face either England, Morocco, or Mexico.

The Wall Street Journal on what Delran, NJ’s Carli Lloyd means to the USWNT. More on Lloyd at SI.

At the Inquirer, a profile on USWNT captain Christie Rampone, who grew up in Point Pleasant, NJ.

The Daily News on the three soccer moms playing for the US at the Women’s World Cup.

Philly.com on USWNT central defender Julie Johnston.

USA Today on how the legacy of the 1999 World Cup win “lives in this year’s US squad.”

Elsewhere

Checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the upcoming week’s live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio. The Union, UEFA Champions League final, Women’s World Cup, U-20 World Cup, international friendlies — lots and lots to watch.

Thursday was the opening press conference for the Women’s World Cup. The Globe and Mail reports that, predictably, all the journalists wanted to ask questions about was the FIFA corruption scandal.

During the press conference Canada Soccer Association head Victor Montagliani was taken to task for saying he respected the work former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, indicted in the corruption scandal, had done to combat racism and change how CONCACAF is run. Montagliani responded, “With all due respect, you and your colleagues were saying the exact same thing. So you need to maybe look in the mirror a bit and maybe not put people on the pedestal so that you can whack the hell out of them after.”

Montagliani also said Canada did not pay any bribes to host the Women’s World Cup.

FIFA has refused to confirm whether Sepp Blatter or Jerome Valcke will attend the Women’s World Cup.

From Reuters: “FIFA paid Ireland’s FA (FAI) $5 million to avoid a legal case over a controversial World Cup playoff defeat in 2009, world soccer’s governing body confirmed on Thursday.” The controversial defeat was the infamous THierry Handball game. FIFA says the money was in the form of a loan to help in the construction of a new stadium. If Ireland had qualified for the 2014 World Cup, the FAI would have had to pay it back. More at the Guardian. You can read the FAI’s statement on the loan here.

In related news, FAI boss John Delaney says he had to tell Blatter to “move on” because he was staring at his girlfriend.

Reuters on how calls for Blatter to step down immediately rather than wait for the results of a new presidential election grow. More at the AP.

Meanwhile, Blatter continues to work, meeting with FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala “to establish a framework for action and a timetable” for his exit from the organization. Blatter said in a statement, “I want a comprehensive program of reform and I am very aware that only the FIFA Congress can pass these reforms.”

Also at Reuters, a look at the special commission that next week will begin investigating the influence that companies such as Nike have on Brazilian soccer, and whether they have been part of bribing officials. The commission, which “will have the power to subpoena witnesses, bank records and private contracts, but cannot issue search or arrest warrants,” is led by Romario, the former Brazilian national team star turned senator.

At the Wall Street Journal, more on Nike and the corruption scandal.

Sticking with the Brazilian theme, here’s Zico on Qatar hosting the World Cup: “With respect to Qatar as a country that wants to grow, you can’t have a World Cup in a country that doesn’t have football. You cannot change the fact that all of the world is used to seeing a World Cup for one single country. Why does this country have that strength? I worked there [Qatar] when I was Iraq’s head coach. They don’t have 1,000 people at their stadiums. There are matches where not even the players’ families go.”

From the AP, a consideration of whether Russia and Qatar can be stripped of the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

14 Comments

  1. The Union played mid-week, while City didn’t. No Diskeruud for City means more Poku. The Law Of Averages says eventually someone on City finds Villa in space with a pass. I smell trouble this weekend.

    • That’s true. But the Law of Averages is also part of what’s fueling the Union’s resurgence. The Union may not be a terrific team, but the ain’t as bad as they showed during the first two months of the season.
      —-
      On the other hand, NYCFC is probably not really this bad either. But how lucky are we to play them three times this season, all before Lampard joins???

    • alicat215 says:

      Poku gave us fits last match…we had no one that could deal with him. We need a CDM……get that dude! Beast. I wonder because of all the midfielders they have, would they be willing to part with him at the window or offseason…and could we afford him?

  2. alicat215 says:

    CL final, Belmont, Union………………..NICE!

  3. The Realist Brian says:

    Tab Ramos is not a good coach. Two points that came out last night. We are getting shellacked and the camera shows him sitting in the bench, glum and almost disinterested. WTF is that!!! Get up and show some emotion, Tab!
    .
    For those of you who don’t know, Tab started a team up in North Jersey and is the director of coaching, and hisClub has not done well in produce anything of substantial note during his coaching time there. I’ve ranted before about MLS teams moving unproven players into coaches roles; And Tab is an example of this. He showed it in the last few 20 World Cup ; And tab is the latest example of this. He showed it in the last U20 World Cup.
    .
    His Game plan, tactics, player selection and substitutions made little to no sense. His continual use of shaq moore is baffling when a better player sitting on the bench in Payne. He also tried it out but non-Leslie player for left back ( sounds farmilar?) in Acosta while Rroquio Jr played a very effective game against New Zealand. It baffles me that ramose goes back to his favorites even after the play poorly against Mynamar. Both of those guys got the ball to Gideon and Emo because they’re technically proficient to do so . Then the defense gets fucking owned by Ukraine. That’s on Tab.
    .
    The other piece that baffles me is to sit back and bunker mentality to play for a tie. This game was winnable. We could have helped ourselves with a 3rd place team and zero travel until the semi. Now we put ourselves in a tough position because of Tab’s poor coaching and game management.

    • alicat215 says:

      I didn’t watch it yet…taped it for today. Doesn’t sound good though. I thought they looked decent against NZ. Myanmar was tough to figure out….first match…..tough press. Ukraine figured them out big time in the second half. If its as bad as you say….yeah, they blew a great opportunity. Is Tab the technical director at NJ04, or PDA? PDA is better than most MLS academies…they produce ridiculous talent. Watched them thump FC Continental and the Union over the past few years. Then you have to always ask the question…….are they the best 25 ballers at U-20…or are some of them “favorites”, as you said?

    • alicat215 says:

      I still think Darius should have been on Tab’s last cycle…..and he should have been at the Tulon tournament this time around for the 23’s…….

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    If Ireland got $5 million from FIFA for controversial (aka bad) calls, how much are the Union getting MLS for the calls in the Colorado, RSL, and DC United games?

  5. Well that was interesting of USMNT.

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