Daily news roundups

World Champs, Sak says Union looking to launch USL team next year, Gikiewicz rumors, more

World Champions

Redemption. Revenge. Reward. A good old fashioned ass whooping.

Whatever you want to call the utterly dominant 5-2 win over Japan in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final, the US did their talking on the field, even if the conversation was largely over after the first 16 minutes, which is how long it took Delran’s Carli Lloyd to complete her hat trick, the first ever in a Women’s World Cup final. Hell, she had two in the back of the net inside of the first 5 minutes before she scored with a ridiculous launch from just past the midway stripe.

Sunil Gulati said of Lloyd, “Carli’s performance was as good as any performance in a World Cup final by any man or female.”

Charles Boehm writes, “Right here and right now, she sure looks like the greatest big-game performer – of any age or gender – in US soccer history.” She does, indeed.

Head coach Jill Ellis said of Lloyd, “I called her my ‘beast’ and she’s unbelievable, a rock star, I’m just so happy for her.”

USA Today calls Morgan Brian “the unsung hero” of the final, noting, “Brian was accountable for nearly every U.S. goal.” More on Brian at SI.

Here’s video of Telemundo’s Andrés Cantor going nuts as he calls each of the US goals.

Recaps from PSP, US Soccer, FIFA, Fox SportsPhilly.com, Philly Soccer News, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Goal.com, SBIProSoccerTalk, The Guardian, and the AP.

Player ratings at Soccer America and Goal.com.

Soccer America has three takeaways, ESPNW has three observations.

USA Today says the win should start a new revolution for women’s soccer in the US:

If there is anything to take away from the 2015 World Cup, it’s that the rest of the world is closing the talent gap on the U.S. The greatest way to combat the rise in global talent is to focus on developing the youth side of the game. 1999 marked the first revolution in women’s soccer. 2015 should mark its second.

It won’t be first revolution. It won’t be as pronounced, and it probably won’t even be appreciated when it happens. But it’s no less important and vital should the U.S. hope to not wait 16 more years for another World Cup.

The New York Times has a good read on Carli Lloyd’s coach at Delran High School, Rudi Klobach, who passed away in January.

At Slate, Gwendolyn Oxenham has the story on how six of the players on the Women’s World Cup squad were rejected from youth teams.

Philadelphia Union

Is the Union-Harrisburg City Islander partnership coming to an end? Speaking to Allentown Morning Call, Union COO Nick Sakiewicz said “we’re looking to launch a minor league team next year,” adding, “we’re looking for a home for them. And the Allentown/Lehigh Valley area is an area we’re looking at as well as others.”

At Delco Times, Matthew De George has midseason grades for the Union: Goalkeepers: C-; Defenders: C; Midfield: B; Forwards: C+; Coaching: B; Front office: D-. More grades at Philly Sports Network.

The transfer window opens Wednesday, July 8. Just in time comes this transfer rumor: Kristan Heneage reports the Union, along with Orlando City, are pursuing Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz. I don’t know anything about Gikiewicz. Looking at his page at Transfermarkt.com, his value is listed at €400,000, or about $441,266. While he has experience in both the Champions League and Europa League, it is alarming that it appears he’s played with six clubs over the past five years.

Once a Metro considers the possibilities on the calendar for the US Open Cup quarterfinal match between the Union and NYRB, which are scheduled for July 21-22. You will recall that NYRB cannot play on those dates because they are scheduled to host Chelsea on July 22. July 15 briefly appeared on the US Soccer website as the date the two teams would meet, but that has been changed to TBD because the Union host Bournemouth on July 14.

Given that both teams are still negotiating a date, it is possible the match could be played after July 22. The only midweek match available for the Red Bulls would be July 28 or 29. The Red Bulls will play a friendly against Portuguese giants S.C. Benfica on July 26.

The Union have a match against DC United on the 26th, but are open that Tuesday or Wednesday. If one of those dates were chosen, the Red Bulls and Union would play each other twice in a 3 or 4 day span, as the clubs will meet for an MLS regular season match on August 1.

Stay tuned.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders ended a five-game winless streak that included two losses and three draws with a 1-0 home win over Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday, Cardel Benbow scoring the 82nd minute winner. The Union’s Dzenan Catic was with Harrisburg but didn’t enter the game. Recaps at Harrisburg City Islanders, Penn Live, WECT, Royal Gazette, and Port City Daily.

Reading United defeated Ocean City Nor’easters 3-2 on Friday in Ocean City. Recap at Press of Atlantic City. The Nor’easters bounced back on Sunday with an emphatic 8-0 win over Lehigh Valley United Sonic, a scoreline that included a hat trick from Khesanio Hall. Recap at Press of Atlantic City.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (35 points) conceded late to lose 1-0 on the road to Seattle. Second place Columbus (24 points) defeated sixth place NYRB, 2-1. Third place Orlando (24 points) drew 1-1 on the road with Salt Lake. Kaka scored Orlando’s goal before receiving a straight red card, the first ever in his career. Fourth place New England (24 points) lost 3-0 on the road to Dallas. Fifth place Toronto (23 points) lost 4-0 on the road to LA. Seventh place NYCFC (20 points) defeated ninth place Montreal (18 points) 2-1 on the road. Eighth place Philadelphia (19 points) had the weekend off. Tenth place Chicago (15 points) drew 1-1 on the road with Houston.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (32 points) defeated DC, 1-0. Second place Vancouver (32 points) lost 2-1 on the road to tenth place Colorado (18 points). Third place Portland (31 points) defeated seventh place San Jose (25 points), 1-0. Fourth place LA (31 points) defeated Toronto, 4-0. Fifth place Dallas (29 points) defeated New England, 3-0. Sixth place Kansas City (27 points) had the weekend off. Eighth place Salt Lake (23 points) drew 1-1 with Orlando. Ninth place Houston (21 points) drew 1-1 with Chicago.

Juventus have confirmed Andrea Pirlo is leaving the club for NYCFC.

Stefan Ishizaki is leaving LA Galaxy to return home to Sweden.

AdWeek on what MLS can learn from Manchester United’s marketing playbook.

US

They started slowly, but the USMNT defeated Guatemala 4-0 on Friday in its final game before the start of group play in the Gold Cup. The US faces Honduras on Tuesday (9:30am: Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, SiriusXM FC). MLSsoccer.com and Goal.com have previews of the US’ group, Group A.

Recaps from Friday’s win at PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.comWashington Post, ASN, and The Guardian.

Player ratings at MLSsoccer.com, ASN,

ASN has six thoughts on the game, ESPN has three quick thoughts.

Apparently, attending Friday’s game was a nightmare.

Good read at The Guardian on how the US landed the hosting rights to the 1994 World Cup.

Vice Sports on the growth of footgolf in the US.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “FIFA officials were booed by the crowd before the trophy presentation at the Women’s World Cup final which was won 5-2 by the United States against Japan.”

CONCACAF has announced a reform framework. The New York Times some early reaction.

From Reuters: “Suspended FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, already facing charges in soccer’s global bribery scandal, has now been charged in a healthcare fraud case in his native Cayman Islands.”

Also from Reuters: “The embattled president of FIFA, the governing body for world soccer, told a German newspaper the presidents of France and Germany tried to exert political pressure before the World Cup was awarded to Russia and Qatar.” Sepp Blatter told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, “Mr (Nicolas) Sarkozy and (Christian) Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. Therefore, we now have a World Cup in Qatar. The people who decided this should also take responsibility.” Blatter said pressure was put on the German federation to vote for Qatar “for economic interests.”

26 Comments

  1. The Realist Brian says:

    The corner kick set play was BRILLIANT last night. If people weren’t paying attention, that was an excellent planned play when the Japenese were expecting us attacking their shorter players. The team sucked the defense back to the end line, and the passing lane was there to the penalty spot and Carli’s run was awesome to shake her defender. Absolutely great work there. Outstanding win and great team effort.
    .
    I saw some assholes last night on Twitter ripping our two outside backs, esp. Megan Kilgenberg. My opinion is she was outstanding and disruptive. One English dude who is an agent out it in LA who thinks he knows the game was extremely hard on her. Fuck him! Megan was outstanding. Krieger did well too.. Couple of misplayed balls but she had a good tourney.
    .
    By the way, we won because Wambach didn’t play much and Morgan Brian was inserted into the line up freeing up Carli. I know everyone is excited for Abby, but I am sorry, her minimal playing time helped the team. It was great that they celebrated the team with Rampone (and Boxx) but this was won by our younger players.
    .
    Final point about the Union: playing the Union 2 team anywhere but Philadelphia would be stupid, which is par for the course with Nick Sak-o-shits. These developing players (and hopefully some HGP signings and Academy kids) need to work with the full team and have our coaches involved with developing their skills. Playing them in Allentown is so fucking stupid on so many levels. Plus the article shows that Nicky boy is more concerned with the venue and having Lacrosse, College Football and concerts and the Union are secondary… FUCK HIM AND HIS FOOTBALL LINES. And it doesn’t take 20 Minutes from Philly on a weeknight, you shit head. The sad fact is that a lot of young Philly fans living in the city can’t get down to the stadium because they din’t have cars or don’t want to pay for parking. Sell the team and move them to Philly.

    • Great One says:

      I don’t think any of us need reminders about how bad Nicky Sak is. This is par for the Union course. Cheap route, business over soccer, lies and misconceptions.

    • In my dream scenario, they’d build the Union a stadium in the city and play the USL team at Talon nee PPL Park. I know there’s no chance of that happening, but I think the team would sell more tickets and gear and thus make more $$, perhaps making more $$$ available for players, general managers, etc.

      • UnionGoal says:

        I agree, Pete. Great idea! I realize the whole Chester issue is very sensitive but if Union polled its fans on this question, I believe support would be overwhelming for a move.
        And to continue your dream scenario, instead of just a USL team, add a women’s team for Philly.
        Oh, and with Phillies this year and next, attendance is at all time low for CBP possible win/win for Union to play there for a year or two. CBP recoups some lost revenue and opportunity for Union to grow attendance/fanbase beyond the 18k limit with more seats and easier access from burbs/NE and South philly.
        Of course obvious pitfall–while move from chester would be major positive for Union, unlikely USL team would do very well in Chester.

      • Yeah, you’re probably right about a USL team trying to thrive in Chester.

        I have nothing against Chester. I just want something more convenient. After that excruciating traffic before the Sounders game, I’d love a good pubic transit option.

    • Sorry but I have to disagree. Putting the USL team in the Lehigh Valley makes a lot of sense. The players can still train in Chester, they just have to head an hour north on game days. It shouldn’t be hard to secure, or build, a facility that meets USL standards and the team would likely draw better than they would at PPL (nobody is coming to see USL games at PPL unless it’s part of a double-header with the senior team). Also, this would follow the model of other Philly franchises that have their minor league affiliates in the area. The Phillies have their AA club in Reading and AAA team in the Lehigh Valley, while the Flyers have their ECHL team in Reading and AHL squad in the Lehigh Valley. With Reading already hosting the PDL team, it makes sense to put the USL team in Allentown or Bethlehem. It’s too bad for Harrisburg, but that facility is awful, the market is too small for increased USL standards, and it’s just too far from Philly. The Lehigh Valley is a large demographic that supports soccer (as the World Cup viewing parties showed) and has a good youth setup to attract fans. This spreads the Union brand to a larger market and I think that’s good.

  2. Pass on Gikiewicz please.
    .
    Keep Nando and rotate him up top with CJ and keep Casey in reserve. In a pinch Le Toux or Wenger could also play up top. Most glaring need is CB/CDM depending on where you want Edu to play.

    • Tough call between your CB/CDM suggestion and a winger. I think the winger is even more urgent, as we’re not getting enough from LeToux, getting little from Wenger, and probably don’t want to lean too heavily on Ayuk out there just yet.

      • Agreed a winger is needed but to me the league leading 32 goals conceded is the most glaring issue.

  3. Great One says:

    Man Gikiewicz just looks like the typical Union target. Cheap for his position, thrown around multiple places, not in an area of need, etc etc. I don’t know much about him, and its nothing against him, but why?
    .
    We have Sapong and Nando, we have Casey as a backup, we have Wenger and Le Toux as 4th and 5th options at forward if needed. Sapong is just looking to come into his own here. Not that it’s ever a bad thing to have too many strikers, but really we just don’t badly need one at the moment. We have many players and many thousands of dollars invested in forwards, and we play a formation with only one used.
    .
    We have DESPERATE need at winger. No offense to Carroll, who’s played well, but we could use an upgrade and younger option at D-Mid.

  4. Oh yeah Carli!! The Union need to get her to come to their next game to celebrate and honor.

    So the Eastern Conference went 2-5-2 this weekend and 0-3-2 against the West while the Union were off. We should be very thankful for such a weak conference. Columbus and Orlando are 2nd and 3rd at 6-6-6…crazy!

    • Great idea about bringing Carli to a game, and when she is done, put a Union kit on her and have her show what finishing looks like.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      As I’ve said before: a player smart enough to be at the right place at the right time. Someone who plays with her head up. Someone with the skill and precision to FINISH. Sapong’s great, Nando is frankly unproven since early in the season, Letoux helps, Wenger is snakebit, Casey is special but has his limitations. The Union could do worse than a female 65th minute FINISHER. And if rumors are true, Sak might actually be looking at Sakworthless options.
      .
      Thinking outside the box. Discuss.

  5. I think Lloyd’s finish on the first goal (outside of her left foot, in full stride), was the only thing better then her blazing run to make it happen. Her 60 yard bomb on the other hand, is in a league of its own.
    .
    Personally, I don’t get excited about transfer targets anymore. The Union always go on the cheap. It’s never a big name, and it usually is not a position of need. I’ll reserve judgement after we get “insert name here”, and see how things work out.

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Is it my imagination or was this a really good off weekend for the Union with only two Eastern Conference teams winning and only four picking up points (but a really bad off weekend for Sporting KC with five Western Conference teams winning and seven picking up points)?

  7. We can all take a deep breath and relax knowing that Pirlo will be going to NYFC.

    And did you see that piece on Union players and their preferred breakfast cereal! Priceless!

    Sign me up for another season Nicky!

  8. James lockerbie says:

    I will hold all judging and debating about players that should stay or go, and which players should be shopped. For the Union watch what we say here and I want them to stick to their plan. I don’t want them getting someone because they think that we think our Union needs the player.

    • Dr. Union says:

      Ultimately they aren’t going to listen to anyone here anyway and they have no plan. The Union as far as I am concerned have no real targets to improve quality on this team. They do not know what quality is or how to properly obtain it. My guess is this transfer window ends with only people sold and moved out maybe with no additions. It wouldn’t even surprise me if M’bohli is still here after transfer deadline ends. It would be a huge mistake not to get rid of him, but it is the Union were talking about here they make every wrong player acquisition that you can in this league.

  9. Sak mentions Indy as an expansion team . . . does he know something we don’t?

  10. Larry Guengerich says:

    East to rip on the City Islanders for the stadium, but not on attendance. They are close to the middle of the pack and draw better than many of the “Name” teams. If they can get up to 3K to that hole, I think they deserve to see what can happen if they get a proper stadium.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_USL_season#Average_home_attendances

  11. Mike Macheski says:

    I’m pretty sure the USMNT play Honduras tonight at 7:30 pm ET, not 9:30 am ET.

  12. Mike Macheski says:

    Which minor/sub league is better (i.e. higher level of skill and competition), NASL or USL? Which league is the Union targeting?

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