Daily news roundups

US advances to WWC quarters, Union bits, Academy playoffs begin, more news

USA 2-0 Colombia

The US defeated 10-woman Colombia 2-0 in Monday night’s Round of 16 match in Edmonton at the Women’s World Cup. The team will next face China in Friday’s quarterfinal match.

Despite the win, it remains apparent that the team recognizes it still is not performing as well as it should in the attack. (Colombia head coach Fabian Taborda said after the game, “At times, the best team in the world didn’t look that good.” There was apparently no comment from Colombia’s lead shite talker, Lady Andrade.)

Carli Lloyd said after the game, “I think the frustrating part is we all want to to do well. We’re still trying to find the rhythm but these four matches are done. What’s done is done. I have confidence in this team that chances will fall.”

Said Abby Wambach, who missed a penalty kick, “We all want to play better. We want to play better football. We want to create more consistent chances. But we also know that the better teams we play, the fewer the chances you are going to create. Those chances that you create, you have to bury.”

Head coach Jill Ellis said, “This is the World Cup, I am really satisfied with advancing…Most of the goals in World Cup tournaments, the majority of them come on set-pieces, we have been brilliant. It is about finding a way. I thought we stroked the ball around pretty well at times. So I am pleased with where we are.”

Meanwhile, discontent continues to grow outside of the team with how the US is performing — or as USA Today puts it, the US’ “lackluster efforts.” Michelle Akers, a member of the last US team to win the tournament in 1999, said on SiriusXM of how some of Ellis’ coaching decisions, “If she is pleased with the way we played tonight then what the hell is she doing coaching our U.S. team,” explaining, “When we struggle or when, in our opinion, the coach isn’t handling the personnel right, the lineup sucks, the subs are sketchy, we’re not all on the same page, that’s me out there…We take it personal because that’s our baby out there.”

Akers later said in a post on Facebook of the US performance, “Definitely not pretty. Definitely wanted to throw up half the game. But we won. And we are through to the next round…which in a WC is the whole goal. To advance. And at this stage in the game, I don’t care how ugly it is as long as we keep finding a way to win.”

At least Alex Morgan says she’s starting to feel like herself after a long injury layoff and is scoring again.

Megan Rapinoe, who along with Lauren Holiday, will be unavailable for Friday’s quarterfinal game due to yellow card accumulation, picks Christen Press to replace her. Morgan Brian is likely to fill Holiday’s spot.

Reuters reports, “Abby Wambach could face a FIFA reprimand after the United States striker suggested the French referee in Monday’s Women’s World Cup tie against Colombia “purposefully” booked players who had picked up yellow cards earlier in the tournament.” Soccer America notes,

Holiday and Rapinoe were the only players issued yellow cards for the USA despite its 22 fouls — the most any team committed in the seven round-of-16 games to date, more than the combined of three other games and more than double the combined total of 10 fouls issued in Monday’s other game, England’s 2-1 win over Norway.

Rapinoe told reporters she received her yellow card “for an accumulation of calls, all of which were questionable, I felt,” but she added that Holiday “got her yellow on her very first foul of the game so I didn’t think that was fair.” According to FIFA’s account of the game, the foul was Holiday’s third in the first 17 minutes.

Recaps from PSP, US Soccer, FIFA, Fox SportsPhilly.com, Edmonton Journal, Washington Post, New York TimesLA Times, the GuardianMLSsoccer.com, ESPNSIASN, Goal.com, SBI, and ProSoccerTalk.

Soccer America has three takeaways, MLSsoccer.com has three things, ProSoccerTalk has three things learned, SI has three thoughts, the Guardian has five things learned.

Player ratings at Soccer America and Goal.com.

An opinion piece at MarketWatch says, “The Women’s World Cup isn’t getting coverage in the U.S.; it’s getting a dry run. FIFA is letting Fox work out the bugs in its ecosystem and, hopefully, bulk up in time for Russia’s World Cup in 2018, which FIFA clearly sees as the big payoff. Instead of questioning this and lobbying for the best possible scenario for its teams, U.S. Soccer tacitly endorsed using the women’s World Cup as training wheels for FIFA’s broadcaster of choice by tying Fox into a multi-year, multi-network deal for U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer broadcasts worth approximately $600 million through 2022.”

An opinion piece at the LA Times says women’s soccer is growing “FIFA’s not-so-benign neglect of the women’s World Cup.”

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will take place today at 12:15 pm.

In the latest Inside Doop at CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin says of the Union following Saturday’s humiliating 5-1 loss to the Galaxy, “The fact that the Union can play well and not take a lead while getting demolished when they don’t play well is a pretty clear indicator that they’re closer to the bottom of the league than they are the top (in fact, following Saturday’s results, their points-per-game average is the lowest in MLS). And the fact that they’ve lost three games by three goals or more in the last two months (a pretty rare thing in soccer) shows that they don’t respond to adversity particularly well.” Yep.

If you have the stomach for it, Kevin Kinkead has a video breakdown at CBS Philly of Saturday’s humiliating loss to the Galaxy. The title “Stretched midfield and blown assignments” sums things up nicely. A late recaps of Saturday’s game at Vavel and Sons of Penn.

Brotherly Game on five stages of grief watching Saturday night’s shellacking.

Power rankings? If we must:

  • At Soccer America, the Union are at No. 17: “Since taking over as head coach slightly more than a year ago, head coach Jim Curtin has rolled through some rough times, but no game has been as severe as the 5-1 thrashing inflicted by the Galaxy Saturday…In the last six games, it has won three and lost three and doesn’t seem to have any answers about breaking out of mediocrity.
  • At SI, the Union drop two spots to No. 19: “Adding onto a thumping from the Galaxy on a cross-country trip in which it conceded three goals (and even scored one) in a nine-minute span, Philadelphia became the first MLS team to 10 losses.”
  • At SBI, the Union are at No. 20: “Absolutely thumped by the LA Galaxy, the Union once again look like a bad team. No matter the opposition, losing 5-1 is unacceptable, especially with three of those goals coming in a nine minute span. The Union’s struggles continue, as the team continues to sink towards the bottom of the conference.”

A look at ISportsWeb at African players who might make a good fit in MLS says Burkina Faso defender Bakary Koné could help the Union.

Union Academy

The Union Academy U-16 and U-18 teams begin play at the US Soccer Development Academy playoffs outside of Indianapolis today, with the U-18s facing Montreal Impact at 12:15 pm, and the U-16s facing Everton FC Westchester at 2:30 pm. On Wednesday, the U-16s then face Weston FC, with the U-18s against Kendall SC. Follow the Union Academy Twitter account for updates from the games.

At the Union website, Chris Winkler has good reads on the U-16s, who averaged “a ridiculous 2.5 points per game en route to being the No. 2 overall seed in the upcoming U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs,” and the U-18s, whose season “seemed to follow the old narrative of two steps forward, one step back.”

The U-14s played three games over the weekend ahead of the start of the Development Academy playoffs. On Friday, they defeated San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 with second half goals from Seth Kuhn and Chad Letts. The team fell 2-1 to SC United Battery on Saturday. Daniel Bloyou headed home an equalizer but  the team lost on a late penalty kick. On Monday, the Union U-14s bounced back with a 2-0 win over Tampa United with late goals from Seth Kuhn, one from open play, the other from the penalty spot after a Tampa handball.

Local

At the Ocean City Nor’easters website, a recap of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with New York Red Bulls U-23s. Remarkably, despite being the team’s eighth game of the season, it was OC’s home opener.

The Delco Times on how the “Penn-Delco School District community and surrounding municipalities” have rallied in support of young Cameron McCarthy, the cancer patient recently visited by Union goalkeeper John McCarthy.

MLS

LA Galaxy have signed 30 players — all members of “the LA Galaxy Southern California Special Olympics (SOSC) Unified Soccer Team that will compete against other MLS-affiliated Special Olympics Unified Teams during the year.”

Jermaine Jones will be getting naked for this year’s  ESPN: The Body. USWNT defender Ali Krieger will also be in her birthday suit.

The Bronx Times reports, “Major League Soccer is still casting an eye at Aqueduct as the site for a new stadium [for NYCFC] after talks in the Bronx failed to come up with an agreement, the Bronx borough president told a meeting of the Community News Group earlier this month.”

Marcelo Claure, one of the backers of David Beckham’s efforts to bring a MLS franchise to Miami, met with the city’s mayor on Wednesday. NBC Miami reports, “Originally advertised as a meeting to provide an update on the Beckham United Group’s efforts to secure a location for a professional soccer stadium, Mike Hernandez, Miami-Dade’s Director of Communications, confirmed that the meeting also included other business affairs aside from the stadium,” adding, “It is not known what, if any, MLS plans were discussed.”

US

Northern Pitch has some interesting ideas on how to improve the US Open Cup.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has begun an internal review to find out whether or not the bank was used for illicit purposes in the FIFA bribery scandal, a spokeswoman said on Monday.”

The Guardian reports, “Senior Japanese football officials have denied claims that they paid $1.5m to South American associations in return for support of its co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup with South Korea.”

Reuters reports, “FIFA’s granting of rights to Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022 is a focus of U.S. and Swiss probes into alleged corruption at soccer’s governing body, but that isn’t stopping a group financed by the tiny nation from coming to Washington this week to talk about cleaning up sports.” The Reuters report explains, “The Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), which is largely funded by the Qatari government, will talk about its efforts to boost transparency in bidding processes for major sporting events and combat financial malpractice in professional sport at an event it is holding at the National Press Club on Wednesday.”

Also from Reuters, “Catania club president Antonino Pulvirenti and six others were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of fixing matches this year to keep the club from being relegated from Serie B, Italy’s second division, investigators said.”

2 Comments

  1. Abby Wambach needs to stop complaining about the refs and to start focusing on improving her performance on the field.

    Whether or not the yellow cards to Rapinoe and Holliday were justified, the same ref who gave them also handed out a straight red card to the Columbian goalkeeper. All things considered, it’s hard to argue that the ref’s decision-making hurt the US in that match.

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