Daily news roundups

“Couldn’t be prouder”: Recaps and reaction to Union’s USOC semifinal win, Drogba, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Wednesday, September 30 at PPL Park. Union vs. Kansas City in the 2015 US Open Cup final. Mark it on your calendar now.

The Union dominated Chicago in Wednesday night’s semifinal victory, even if they only had one goal to show for it. In doing so, they are the first Philly team to reach the final in consecutive years since the Ukrainian Nationals did so in 1963 (defeated Los Angeles Armenians) and 1964 (lost to Los Angeles Kickers).

Jim Curtin said in his postgame press conference (transcript and video here at PSP), “I thought our guys had a real professional performance.” He continued,

Very happy with the group. We talked about it after the Seattle game last year that we had to get back to the final because there was unfinished business. And as cliché as it sounds, it’s amazing to get back. And every guy in there can look at each other in the eye and be happy, and knows what it means to not just talk about it but also actually do it. And we did it — and I couldn’t be prouder for our players because there’s been a lot of adversity this year, a lot of different injuries, and different things that have gone against us, but to stick together like a group, I am very proud of them. We played like men tonight.

That they did.

Fire coach Frank Yallop said after the game,

It was very disappointing. Aside from a couple spells in the first half and spaced out through the game, we were outplayed tonight; which is alarming. We needed to get up for the game. Our training has been good and we talked about [winning this game]. You’ve got to go out and perform and give everything you have, and it didn’t seem like we did that. To put in a performance like that in a semifinal is not good.

Sebastien Le Toux’s 74th minute strike was his 15th all-time goal in the US Open Cup, which makes him the modern era’s top goalscorer, and also his fifth game-winner all-time in the tournament, which ties the record for the modern era.

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, US Soccer, theCup.us, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Fire), Inquirer, Daily News, Delco Times (recap, column), CSN Philly, Lancaster Online, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game, Philly Sports Network, Kessler Reports, Chicago Fire, Chicago Tribune, CSN Chicago, Daily Herald, Chicago Fire Confidential, Chicagoland Soccer NewsHot Time in Old TownESPNSI, Soccer America, SBIGoal.com, ProSoccerTalkUS National Soccer Players, Empire of Soccer, and The AP. At the Union Facebook page, a collection of photos from the game. Look for our photo essay soon.

Funny story: Michael Lahoud asked to be subbed out around the 70th minute. It was, after all, only his second game — and one on shirt rest — after being out due to injury for months. Curtin said, “You are not coming out.” Lahoud said after the game, “I am glad he didn’t take me out because it is a confidence booster…It was the first 90-minute game I played in over three months and I am just looking to build on it.”

So, think Chicago will be gunning for some revenge when they face the Union on Sunday at PPL Park in league play? Richie Marquez does: “I think they’re going to come back with some anger and it’s going to make for a better game, especially if we beat them twice.” Make it so.


Points per game rankings. Ugh.

Think it would be a good idea if there was a panel at South By Southwest discussing supporters culture that would include Corey Furlan from the Sons Ben? I do, too. Cast your vote here.

South Jersey Local News news has a report on Brenden Aaronson, who began playing with Medford Soccer Club before joining the Union Academy, being called up by the US U-15 BNT team’s training camp in England.


Harrisburg City Islanders were thumped 5-1 at home by Louisville City. Louisville’s Matt Fondy scored four goals, including a first half hat trick. Jose Barril scored the lone goal for Harrisburg in the 55th minute. Reports at Harrisburg City Islanders, Penn Live, Louisville City, The Courier-Journal, WDRB, and Louisville Coopers.

The La Salle men’s team has announced five incoming players for the 2015 season, including two Union Academy players, Cameron Keys and Garrett Keys.


Former Union man Justin Mapp assisted the 85th minute equalizer in Wednesday night’s Canadian Championship final first leg game between Montreal and Vancouver. After going down two goals, the Impact scored twice in two minutes to finish 2-2.

Seattle Sounders have signed 29-year-old defender and Panamanian national team captain Román Torres.

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman on the proposed soccer stadium for Minnesota United in that city: “I think we’re a lot closer to a plan than a hope.”

Peterson said. Barone said. Now the NASL says:

We have clearly stated our belief in the concept of promotion/relegation, but we have also asserted that it is something that will take time. It’s important to discuss the concept as part of the quickly changing soccer landscape in North America, and it’s vital that we continue to contemplate what’s best for the growth of our professional game. We have not, however, engaged in discussions with any other parties up to this point.

OK then.


Dallas and Houston will host the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship from Feb. 10-21.

John O’Brien is soon to be Dr. John O’Brien. And good for him.


Reuters reports, “Swiss Francois Carrard is the right man to head scandal-plagued FIFA’s reform task force and his appointment shows soccer’s ruling body is serious about changing, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.”

Reuters reports, “Former Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder David Nakhid is the latest to say he will stand in February’s election to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA.” Good luck with that.

Costa Rica head coach Paulo César Wanchope has resigned after video of him getting into a scuffle at a U-23 game went viral. Don’t let the door, and all that.


  1. Dare we hope for a Nakhid Sexwale ticket?

  2. Don’t want to think about getting silverware.

    All I can think about is the silverware.

  3. PPG:

    Assuming all teams keep current PPG, Union will need 21 points out of remaining 10 games to finish with a 6th place PPG of about 1.3
    Basically need to go 6-2-2 to finish the season to make playoffs.

    • pragmatist says:

      I’ll start by saying that it is highly unlikely. Like, less than 2% likely (yes, random percentage pulled from thin air).
      But imagine for a minute if that pulled that off. Imagine the INSANITY that would be pulsing through this fan base.
      Ok…back to reality. Get the Cup!

    • Hate to be that guy, but 6-2-2 doesn’t get us 21 points. Only way to get to 21 points with 2 or more losses is to win at least 7 of the last 10. Only 8-2-0, 7-2-1 or 7-3-0 would get that job done…ugh that seems even more unlikely now.

    • So I did a little simulation. I think Montreal is going to keep winning games, but I can see the Revs falling off. NYCFC and Chicago are going nowhere though. Thus, NE and OC are our two competitors for that last spot.
      If both OC and NE win out versus non-playoff teams, but lose to playoff teams (and draw each other) AND the Union take care of business versus both of them (they play OC once more and NE twice), then both Orlando and NE wind up with 38 points.
      If the U take care of their home games, win those three aforementioned games vs. OC and NE, and can draw just one other away game they’ll end up going 5-4-1 over the rest of the season… and end with 39 points.
      As is oft-mentioned, the fact that 12 teams make the playoffs is absurd, but if we win the games we’re supposed to, it’s possible.

  4. We saw two awful teams play soccer last night. Thank goodness Chicago is just a little but more awful. 🙂

    • This is true, that was a pretty choppy game. When I think back to the Fire-Union games the last 2-3 years I’m remembering some of the worst MLS games I watched- these are the 2 weakest organizations top to bottom in the league. Throw in Colorado, too. On the plus side, I really do believe the Union has the players to improve quite a bit from where they are now. Don’t know if they will, but I don’t see that promise for Chicago. Seems like they swing and miss on DPs yearly, their current roster is blah, and I’m not a fan of Klopas’ coaching style.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Hmm. We’re I coaching the Union, and all the various hoops lined up – which they wouldn’t because of salary caps, international slots and DPs – I’d take David Accam in a heartbeat! Speed. Elite speed.
        Think about it. Start Sapong or aristegueta. Sub in Accam at 60 minutes. You force a mid-game rework of the opposition’s defending patterns. If they had a Jaimeson Olave type on the field to muscle on our big strong target men, Accam works against him and sooner or later, he’ll get an opportunity, as he did last night at the end of the first half. (I still think Chicago erred in removing him. No one else was scary for them.)

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Looking ahead to September 30, I checked and KC plays a Sunday game the weekend before at home against Seattle and then in Portland the following Saturday. That gives the Union an extra day’s rest and shorter travel plus KC may be in a position where they need to be worrying about those league games. So maybe they’ll send a 75% first squad instead of 100%…
    Union’s big worry, though could be getting home from New England with the Pope in town that weekend. Speaking of which, anyone want to look for a way to get him to stay in town a few extra games and come out to the game? THAT would fill the stadium (and maybe give the Union a little extra help from above) 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • The suburbs are having enough problems dealing with Philly’s plans for the Pope in Philly…
      A smart travel planner would seek permission from whomever to charter a plane that could land at New Castle County airport instead of dealing with the PHL madness.
      I feel bad for the players that live in Philly, they may not actually be able to get home with the road closures.

    • pragmatist says:

      I’d be happy for the Pope to mention the game while he’s in town. “I wish I could attend the big soccer game that the Union will play on Wednesday.” Something like that…get some free PR from the Pontiff!

    • ebradlee10 says:

      Might be a mess for traveling KC fans looking for hotel rooms…MUHAHAHAHAHA

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      You want the secret service patting down every fan, employee and volunteer entering the stadium? We’d have to arrive with more lead time than that required for boarding airplanes because it would be 19,000 all at once. Think about it! First, the sheer volume. Second, the secret service would likely set an example to the TSB for methodically invasive thoroughness. No thank you. Get a papal blessing over the video screen. Same benefits, same attraction for most, probably, less security hassle.

  6. I want the pope nowhere near the stadium let alone the city. He is doing nothing but causing a big rukus and interrupting Philadelphian’s lives. I mean really why shut down the entire city for one person. Let him see philly as it actually is and deal with people in a regular way.

    • pragmatist says:

      Based on everything you hear about him, he would probably prefer that. But I don’t think it’s up to him…

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