Daily news roundups

Readying for LA, Union draw DC for Open Cup fifth round, Palacios, latest FIFA news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Busy week begins in LA

The Union begin a stretch of three league games in eight days on Saturday night in LA against the Galaxy (10:30 pm, CSN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, Direct TV, SiriusXM FC). Coming on the heels of the disappointing home loss to NYCFC, if a win is too much to hope for, is a point enough?

Previews at PSP, Philadelphia Union (video) Philly.comBrotherly Game, and the Guardian.

At the Mercury, Matthew De George talks to Richie Marquez about how Saturday’s game in LA will be something of a homecoming for the Southern California native. Marquez,who was a player escort at the start of several Galaxy games as a kid, says, “I remember my dad taking me to games, and just being amazed that these players were superstars to me, and that’s what they are.”

De George writes that Marquez “admits to never harboring serious aspirations of playing professionally, focusing his major decisions on academics over athletics.”

The Galaxy have unveiled a “Scarf of the Match” for Saturday’s game.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has an interesting read on Brian Sylvestre’s American football background in high school, where he was apparently a “feared defensive end and inside linebacker” and “was even recruited by some of the nation’s most prestigious college football programs, including LSU, Florida State and the University of Miami.”

Good news for the Union ahead of Wednesday’s home game against Seattle: Obafemi Martins is out three to six weeks with a groin strain, and Clint Dempsey is likely to be out following his disgraceful behavior in Tuesday night’s US Open Cup loss to Portland. The Seattle Times reports, “A verdict in the case of Clint Dempsey vs. U.S. Soccer is expected Friday.” Soccer America looks at the issues involved in determining the severity of Dempsey’s suspension.

US Open Cup

The Union will host DC United on Tuesday, June 30 following Thursday’s draw for the fifth round of the 2015 US Open Cup. If the Union defeat DC, they will then face the winner of New York Red Bulls-New York Cosmos in the quarterfinals on July 21 or 22. The draw also determined that should the Union reach the semifinals, they will be the host.

The Open Cup game means the Union are looking at four games in the span of 11 days, and this after playing 120 minutes in Tuesday’s Open Cup game. They’ll then have eleven days before their next game, July 11’s home game against Portland.

In other Open Cup news, US Soccer has announced a new qualification process for amateur teams that basically looks like the federation is unifying, streamlining, and ultimately, clarifying the qualification process ahead of the first round of the tournament.

Wilson Palacios

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George quotes Jim Curtin on Wilson Palacios, whose trial with the Union ended on Wednesday: “We’ll evaluate things a little further. We’ll have talks with ownership and see what makes the most sense for the club and for his agent as well and make a decision that’s best for the team.”

De George writes Curtin “didn’t rule out a deal for the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, but indications are that the Union would have to clear space — in terms of international spots, money under the cap and/or roster spots — to make a deal for a player like Palacios work.”

Palacios father tells Honduran news outlet Diez (crappy Google translation here) he believes he will sign with a “second division” club in England, presumably Bolton, with whom he had been linked before his time with the Union. Of course, Palacios father thought the midfielder was in the US to visit his children.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders host Rochester Rhinos tonight at 7:30 pm (YouTube).

In PDL play, Reading United are on the road to face DC United U-23s tonight at 7:30 pm, before returning home to host Westchester Flames on Sunday at 7 pm. On Saturday, Ocean City Nor’easters host New York Red Bulls U-23s. LVU Sonic are off until Wednesday when they are on the road to face FA Euro.

Interesting takes on the US Open Cup game between Pittsburgh Riverhounds and DC United at the Pittsburgh Tribune and City of Champions.

MLS

ESPN polled 61 current MLS players on the condition of anonymity on a variety of questions ranging from promotion/relegation to if they have ever dived in a game. The excerpts of responses included in the article underscores an important thing to remember with most polls: Respondents’ answers are generally more nuanced than the “yes/no” percentages might suggest.

MLSsoccer.com on “reluctant marksman,” and former Union man, Pedro Ribeiro.

Former Union man Justin Mapp has returned to training with Montreal for the first time since he dislocated and broke his left elbow. He is still weeks away from being able to play.

US

Quite a few articles out there focusing on USWNT defenders ahead of Monday’s Round of 16 match against Colombia, including articles at Philly.com, US Soccer, ESPNW, and USA Today.

SI on what has been working (the defense) and what has not (the midfield and forwards) for the US at the Women’s World Cup. The Guardian takes a “what we’ve learned so far” approach.

At the Guardian, Caitlin Murray on Abby Wambach’s comments that the artificial turf is behind the lack of goals.

Vice Sports on the artificial turf debate from a health and safety perspective.

In other Women’s World Cup news, members of Norway’s national team have made a hilarious mockumentary:

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “World Cup insurers are likely to refuse to pay out on many cancellation contracts if Russia and Qatar lose the rights to hold the tournaments because of fraud, industry experts said.”

The Press Association reports, “Sepp Blatter has backed a proposal stating FIFA’s senior officials should pass integrity checks.”

The Press Association reports, “Musa Bility, the president of the Liberia FA, is to stand for the FIFA presidency.”

The New York Times on how to make FIFA more accountable to the fans, not the football federations that make up its membership.

Despite the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal, and the place of several now former high ranking officers, CONCACAF is trying to stay focused on the upcoming Gold Cup.

At the Guardian, Lasana Liburd on well known crook Jack Warner: “Cut Warner and he probably bleeds brown envelopes, just waiting to be stuffed with US dollars.”

The AFP reports, “Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis was banned from participating in football related activities Thursday after his seven-hour testimony before a corruption investigating judge who is looking into a major match-fixing scandal.”

The name of a galaxy  — CR7 — recently discovered by scientist in Portugal was partially inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo.

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

8 Comments

  1. Cosmos Redshift 7. I like it.
    It is one of the quirks of world football that Cristiano Ronaldo is loved by his fellow Portuguese and hated by almost everyone else, but Lionel Messi is regarded with disdain by his fellow Argentinos and loved by almost everyone else.

    • It’s an interesting dynamic, but I think that you’re underestimating how many Real Madrid fans there are throughout the world.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    WHen I watched the tape of the draw for the next two rounds of the Open Cup, Pink Heifers were drawn first, which I thought I understood to mean they would host the semifinal if they advanced past Cosmos. [On the graphic displayed on the screen the 1st pick had two asterixes.] Union were drawn second [one asterix] meaning they host DC and would host if Cosmos beat Pinkies [my inference]. I may well have misunderstood, of course.

    • I believe the winner of the top bracket hosts the quarterfinal (either NJ or NY). They were saying before the draw that if the team opted out of hosting the QF, they were automatically placed in the bottom bracket.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Assuming all 4 teams applied to host both the round of 16 and the quarterfinals, the first team picked would go in the slot that hosts both, the second team in the slot that hosts the round of 16 (since that is guaranteed) but not the quarterfinals, the third team in the slot that host the quarterfinals but not the round of 16, and the fourth team the one that hosts neither.
      .
      Personally, I think they should do it slightly differently. If one home team and one road team win the round of 16, the road team from the round of 16 should get to host the quarterfinals. It works this way if Philly and New York Cosmos both win, but not if it’s DC United and NYRB.

  3. How happy does it make me that the sword Cosmos keeps appearing.
    .
    .
    …in other news, the Norway spoof is great.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Dempsey got 3 games. I’m guessing he’ll also get at least 1 more from next year’s US Open Cup just for the red card.

  5. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Only thing that makes sense for Palacios is, in essence, to slot him into the spot occupied by Mbohli. Use some high fraction of the balance of that salary to pay him.

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