Daily news roundups

US onto WWC final, Union fight back to top DC in USOC, Aristeguieta, new DP rule, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Whether to attend Philadelphia Union hosting DC United in US Open Cup play or stay home to watch No. 2 ranked USA face No. 1 ranked Germany in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup?

Philadelphia soccer fans faced a dilemma on Tuesday night. Which ever choice one made, it was a winning choice.

Germany 0-2 USA

As had been the case in their quarterfinal match against No. 3 ranked France, No. 1 ranked Germany’s semifinal match on Tuesday against No. 2 ranked USA could’ve have easily been the final of this year’s Women’s World Cup.

For the US, doubts about the team’s formation and attack persisted going into the match. After a slowish start in group play, through which the team nevertheless remained undefeated, the team continued to be unable to transform long dominant stretches of play into the bounty of goals fans might be used to from games against CONCACAF rivals. To say that many observers questioned the ability of the US to defeat a side that had themselves outscored opponents 20-3 would be an understatement.

But building on the foundation of a rock solid defense that had not allowed a goal in 423 minutes of tournament play before Tuesday night’s semifinal, the US midfield and attack showed they are coming together at precisely the right time. Of course some good fortune didn’t hurt: Not only did Julie Johnston escape a red card for pulling down a German attacker in the box, Germany then missed the subsequent penalty kick, and the foul on Alex Morgan that led to the first US goal clearly took place outside the box. But good fortune is always a part of winning and at the final whistle, it was the US who were the 2-0 winners, and deserved winners at that, setting a tournament record of 513 minutes of play with no goals allowed along the way.

The team now faces the winner of tonight’s Japan-England semifinal (7 pm: Fox Sports 1, NBC Universo, NBC Universo Now, Fox Sports Go, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra) in the final on Sunday (7 pm: Fox, Telemundo, Fox Soccer 2Go, NBC Deportes En Vivo).

Recaps from PSP, Philly.comUS Soccer, FIFA, Fox Sports, ESPN, SIASN, Goal.com (recap, report), SBI, ProSoccerTalk (recap, report, analysis), New York Daily News, New York Post, The Guardian (recap, analysisThe Guardian,  The Guardian, and the AP.

ProSoccerTalk has three things learned, MLSsoccer.com has three things, Soccer America has three takeaways, ESPN has three observations, SI has three quick thoughts. Ed has six words: Delran’s Carli Lloyd is kicking ass.

Player ratings at Soccer America and ESPN.

Grantland says the USWNT is good, and should be for a long time. USA Today on why we have Abby Wambach to thank for the new generation of US stars.

Vice Sports on how sexist coverage of the US women’s team is dying.

In related women’s soccer news, Fox announced on Tuesday that is has signed a deal with the NWSL to televise ten games this season, three regular-season matches and all three games of the NWSL Playoffs, “which includes the two semifinal games on September 13 and the NWSL Championship Game on October 1.”

Well played, Landon, well played:

Philadelphia Union

It was a game with more rain, a suspension of play due to lightning, and shocking officiating.

It was also a game in which Philadelphia Union put in one of its gutsiest performances in club history, come from behind down a man to defeat DC United 2-1 in the US Open Cup Round of 16 with goals from Eric Ayuk and an absolute screamer from Fabinho after he was subbed in for Andrew Wenger.

Jim Curtin said after the win, “I thought our group took a big step tonight. In a lot of ways, it’s the most proud I am since I’ve been the head coach because games like this bring groups together. It’s good timing to go into a break.”

Brian Carroll said, “It’s a huge win. First of all, it’s hard to get a comeback victory in this league. And to do it in a tournament like this, and in conditions like this, and already being low in numbers, was huge. It’s a testament to where we’ve gotten as opposed to where we started.”

Curtin said of the red card that saw CJ Sapong sent off (photo here), “It’s a mistake by the referee, for sure. I think they all know it.”

Andrew Wenger almost put the Union on level terms in the 51st minute but his strike somehow managed to deflect off of both posts before going out. Curtin said, “I don’t think if you tried 2,000 times, you could hit both posts.” (Everyone around me in my section was turning to one another in stunned disbelief after the play, saying of Wenger, “The poor guy can’t buy a goal.”)

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer, Daily NewsDelco TimesCSN Philly, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly GameUS Soccer, TheCup.us, MLSsoccer.com, DC United, Washington Post, Black and Red UnitedUnited Mania, and SBI.

The Union will face the winner of tonight’s match between New York Red Bulls and New York Cosmos (7:30 pm, YouTube). When the potential quarterfinal pairings were announced two weeks ago, it looked like, with their win over DC, the Union would be on the road to either the Red Bulls or the Cosmos in the next round.

However, it was announced on Tuesday that the Cosmos have given up the hosting rights to the next round, should they defeat the Red Bulls, with Empire of Soccer reporting this is due to “no availability for a match on their home grounds — or the surrounding area.” Interestingly, a preview of tonight’s match on the Cosmos website says tonight’s winner “will move on to face the Philadelphia Union, who defeated D.C. United 2-1 in the Round of 16, July 21 or 22 in the Open Cup quarterfinals,” which suggests the Red Bulls have also given up the hosting rights to the quarterfinal, presumably because they are scheduled to play Chelsea in a friendly on July 22. Perhaps this is some indication of a deal from US Soccer to move the quarterfinal date so that Red Bulls, should they defeat the Cosmos, can play the Chelsea friendly and not forfeit the Open Cup quarterfinal game to the Union.

Or, perhaps not. The US Soccer website has the Union traveling to Red Bulls on July 15 if they win, although the same page still lists Cosmos as hosting the next round if they win. July 15 is, of course, the day after the Union’s friendly with Bournemouth. It’s all quite confusing and if there is any truth to the July 15 date, count on the Union fighting to have it moved.

Fernando Aristeguieta and more

In his interview on Monday with Soccer Morning (full transcript here at PSP) , Nick Sakiewicz appeared to suggest that a deal had been reached to keep Fernando Aristeguieta on loan for the rest of the season, saying “a decision has been made…we are going to be announcing that shortly.”

After Tuesday night’s Open Cup win, PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch spoke with Fernando Aristeguieta in the Union locker room. Describing the frustration of not being able to play because of injury, and the uncertainty of his future, Aristeguieta said, “The situation seems like it’s done, and I’m very happy with that,” adding, “Yes, I’m staying.”

Hopefully, like Sakiewicz said, we’ll have an official announcement soon.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on the outcry that followed Sakiewicz’s recent interview on Soccer Morning.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young attempts to answer whether what has been called the Union’s “dire financial situation” — which Sakiewicz denied to be the case in the interview he did with Soccer Morning — is the result of mismanagement or simply not an issue. It’s an admirable review of various financial inputs and outputs but does not mention what impact the widely assumed losses suffered by the companies owned by the team’s primary owners might have on the team’s ability to spend.

Power rankings: At Soccer America, the Union move up four spots to No. 14. At MLSsoccer.com, they move up three spots to No. 17.

Local

Lehigh Valley United Sonic host Westchester Flames tonight at 7 pm.

MLS

Following reports from Spanish outlet El Periodico Mediterraneo, Ives Galarcep reports at Goal.com that multiple sources have confirmed LA Galaxy are working to complete the $7.7 million transfer of Mexico national team star Giovani dos Santos from Villareal. The Goal.com report says,

Multiple sources have confirmed to Goal USA that a transfer for Dos Santos to join the Galaxy is indeed in the works, and its completion will be aided by impending changes to the current MLS salary cap and roster guidelines.

Sources tell Goal USA that MLS owners are ready to ratify changes to the current salary cap rules to create a core player roster spot that will effectively work as a fourth designated player spot for any teams currently using all three slots.

Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey tells the Seattle Times that a league-wide conference call with owners is scheduled for today to discuss the new DP rule. “I don’t know if it’s what they think it’ll look like, I don’t know if it’s been agreed to by the union, that’s stuff that we’ll learn [on Wednesday]”.

You will recall that Orlando Sentinel’s Paul Tenorio reported on June 11 that league owners were considering a new “core designated player” or “core player” roster spot, which was hoped to be introduced in time for the opening of the summer transfer window, but had likely been delayed until 2016. Tenorio explained that, according to one source, “the league was looking at giving teams a maximum of $1.8 million to spend on one player over a two-year period, and that the money would have to be spent on a player from outside MLS. The source also said there was some debate about whether to allow a portion of the funds to be used to buy down other contracts.”

Orlando City has announced its plans to launch its own USL team beginning in the 2016 season, with Anthony Pulis as head coach. The announcement means its affiliation with Louisville FC will end after only one season, although the announcement from Orlando City says the teams will move “from an affiliation to a formal partnership.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the backers of the Minnesota United franchise are expected to ask the league for an extension of the today’s deadline to have a stadium deal in place in order to receive an MLS franchise.

US

US Soccer announced on Tuesday Brad Davis has pulled out of the USMNT’s Gold Cup training camp with a knee injury. An announcement on the federation website says the team is “in the process of submitting the required paperwork to CONCACAF  to allow for a replacement,” explaining “Per tournament rules, pending CONCACAF approval a team may replace an injured player on the roster up to 24 hours prior to its first match due to injury. The player must come from the 35-man preliminary roster, which was due on June 5.”

The Davis announcement also said defender Greg Garza has been brought into camp and will be on the roster for Friday’s friendly against Guatemala (7 pm, Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network).

At the Guardian, Kristan Heneage on whether the USMNT is letting talented Hispanic players slip through the cracks.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports FIFA president Sepp Blatter will not be attending the final of the Women’s World Cup due to what his lawyer described as “personal reasons.” Hahahahahaha!

A FIFA spokesperson later said secretary general Jerome Valcke also will not be attending: “Due to their current commitments in Zurich, the FIFA president and the FIFA secretary general will remain at the FIFA headquarters.” Hahahahahaha!

The Guardian reports that in an interview with German magazine Bunte, Blatter “has warned that anyone who associates him with the recent scandal at FIFA ‘should go to jail’ and insisted that ‘he will go to heaven one day.'” Hahahahahaha! Blatter also said, “I have a clean conscience.” Hahahahahaha! More hilarity at ESPN.

27 Comments

  1. Jim Presti says:

    Regarding Wenger and hitting both posts: I actually started laughing out of disbelief. It’s just unbelievable, the luck he’s had.

  2. Great night to be a footy fan. Stuck it out to see the U fight back and then fired up the DVR to watch the USWNT win. Good lord I’m dragging today.

    • watched the women first and am excited for the rematch of last cup. the rain delay helped me watch the Union comeback.

  3. (While I agree with Landon) Check out Lalas’s burn on Donovan right back. It was well done.
    .
    I couldn’t stop yelling obscenities when Wenger hit BOTH posts. Good thing I was in my living room!! Haha
    .
    So LA gets Dos Santos. Not that I think he’s the next Pele or anything, but it just sickens me that our club DOES NOTHING.
    .
    There’s a part of me that wishes I could be as dilusional as Sepp Blatter… not as evil, but just completely dilusional… Oh such bliss…
    .
    Well done from the women and our boys last night. Impressive that they could fight back and win down a man. They do always play better down a man. Regardless of the opponent they didn’t just give up. Good to see.

  4. Šîêvê!!! says:

    Are we sure Sepp isn’t Andy Kaufman in disguise? He is now more akin to a joke/performance art.

  5. Zolo Who says:

    I’m reminded of the sad clown, Pagliacci joke

    Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

    Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Philadelphia Union are in town tonight. Watch Andrew Wenger play. The kid has real potential. That should pick you up.”

    Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Andrew Wenger!”

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Someone posted this question on the match review but I haven’t seen an answer. Is there an avenue to appeal the red card?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      After a few false steps, googled “USOC Adjudication and Discipline Panel.” Found PDFs of Bylaws and Policies for 2014-15. Looked at the policies about appeal procedures, essentially the rules for conducting any hearing and for appealing the ruling of that hearing.
      .
      Did not look at other policies, altho’ some titles looked interesting and possibly relevant.
      .
      Probably there is a hearing and appeal procedure, it does cost money, I could not find how much. What I found was not specific to appealing red cards, and the table of contents of what I opened did not have that specific topic listed as a sub division of the document.

  7. Great One says:

    So LA, NY, Tor, Orlando, Seattle, etc will now have 4 DPs, and we will basically have none.

    • But we can compete. You are ill-informed Thanks. -Sak

    • the good news is that Edu can probably be counted as a ‘core’ player which seems to be reserved for high paid american or canadian players so that will open a dp slot for us. i was also thinking about maidana’s status as a designated player- he is only counted as one because of his transfer fee not his annual salary. does anyone know if counting his transfer fee will stop happening at some point?

    • The MLS will do whatever it takes to have those teams win since those are the only places GOOD foreign designated players want to play.

  8. What?!? The league willing to change the rules so Galaxy can bring in another DP player?? I’m shocked!!

    • and you know the union are the ones pushing for the ability to use that money to buy down other salaries, and then swear they’re not being cheap to maximize profits

  9. I would have gone to the game had they televised the WWC game on the big screen so that I could watch them both, as I did at home.
    .
    Great Red Bulls win against NYCFC over the weekend with Lampard, Pirlo and Bale in attendance. Wonder how much Lampard and Pirlo can help NYCFC…

  10. Can anybody tell me the significance of the black flags hanging in the River End last night? They were over by the Corner Creeps section.

  11. So how many years till MLS is La Liga West? There’s Madrid x2. There’s Barcelona. There’s Outlier. There’s……………..

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