Daily news roundups

“Unacceptable”: Recaps and reaction to Chicago draw, Bethlehem, league results, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

How many times can we see the Union blow it against clearly inferior opposition? How many times can we see a jubilant PPL Park silenced within moments of the Union scoring?

As Jim Curtin put it after the Union took the lead in the 90th minute only to concede the equalizer in the 92nd minute, “We invent different ways to blow leads. It’s unacceptable; you score three goals at home, you should win, no matter what.”

Conceding the opening goal in the 9th minute, by the 31st minute the Union roared back to a 2-1 lead with goals from Fernando Aristeguieta and Fabinho. By the end of the game, the Union had registered 20 shots, and 11 shots on goal, both of which were season highs. And for the second time this season, Cristian Maidana recorded three assists, setting a new franchise record with 14 assists in a single season, and becoming the league assist leader this season. It was only the fourth time this season the team has scored three goals — and the lead-up and finish of Sebastien Le Toux’s goal was truly lovely.

It was also the eighth time in 2015 the Union have conceded three or more goals.

Once again, there was an outstanding performance from an opposition goalkeeper, this time in Sean Johnson. And, once again, two plainly obvious hand balls — one of which should have resulted in the Union being awarded a penalty kick, the second of which led directly to Chicago’s equalizer — were somehow missed by by the officials.

But as Curtin said of the missed calls, “That’s the way it’s going for us this year. We don’t get breaks, we don’t get calls. In some ways you make your own luck and, right now, it’s been tough.”

More to the point, here’s Curtin’s take on the last two Chicago goals:

The first one that gets crossed, could we maybe drop a little bit quicker and it just be an easy clearance, because there wasn’t a real run at the near post?…

The second goal’s the same exact thing where it’s rolled across, there’s no real reaction, and they get a tap in. And then the last one’s just a complete debacle in terms of not protecting, not defending inside out.

Forget about the missed calls. As Curtin said, “We do just come up short in the big moments and silly, silly plays.”

The Union should have won on Sunday. It was a chance to build on the momentum of last Wednesday’s US Open Cup semifinal win. Instead, they let the fans, and themselves, down. And now all we can do is look ahead to Saturday’s road game against Montreal and Didier Drogba.

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer (recap, report), Delco Times, The MercuryCSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Vavel (recap, analysis), MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union report, Fire report), Chicago Fire, CSN ChicagoChicago Fire Confidential, Hot Time in Old TownSBIProSoccerTalkMLS Multiplex, Sports MoleAll Sport News, and the APNJ.com has a photo gallery.

Leo Fernandes, on loan from the Union to New York Cosmos, leads the Cosmos with six goals, including the equalizer in Saturday’s 2-1 win over defending champions San Antonio Scorpions.

Dzenan Catic, on loan to Carolina RailHawks, played 72 minutes in their 3-0 road loss to FC Edmonton on Sunday.

Bethlehem announcement

On Friday morning, the Union informed that this Wednesday, “Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Lehigh University President John Simon and USL CEO and Managing Partner Alec Papadakis will make a major announcement on Lehigh University’s campus” at Goodman Stadium. It is widely assumed the announcement will be for the launch of a Union-backed USL team. An email was sent later on Friday afternoon to season ticket holders to RSVP for a “Union Day” event to coincide with the major announcement that “will include fun games, inflatables, photo station and an all around fun day of soccer!”

Reckless Challenge considers what the end of the Union-Harrisburg City Islanders partnership might mean for the City Islanders.

Union Academy

Union Academy defender Auston Trusty has been called up by the US U-17 BNT for the 2015 U-17 International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic, which runs from Aug. 14-22. Other area players on the team include Kevin Silva (GK; PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.), Danny Barbir (D, West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Matthew Olosunde (D; New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), and Christian Pulisic (M; Borussia Dortmund; Hershey, Pa.).

In related news, Brotherly Game’s Matt Ralph has a list of players who could potentially be candidates the Union’s next homegrown signing.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (44  points) lost 3-1 to eighth place NYCFC (27 points) on Thursday. Second place NYRB (39 points) extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-0 rout of fifth place Toronto (31 points). Third place Columbus (34 points) had the weekend off. Fourth place New England (34 points) defeated Houston, 2-0. Sixth place Montreal (28 points) had the weekend off. Seventh place Orlando (28 points) was thumped 4-0 on the road by Seattle. Ninth place Philadelphia (24 points) blew a late lead to draw 3-3 with tenth place Chicago (23 points).

In the Western Conference, first place Los Angeles (43 points) defeated fifth place Dallas (38 points) 2-1 on the road, with Robbie Keane scoring twice in the second half in the span of four minutes. Second place Vancouver (42 points) was leading 3-1 until goals from third place Kansas City (40 points) in the 81st, 87th, and 94th minutes saw them lose 4-3. Fourth place Portland (39 points) defeated ninth place Salt Lake (29 points) 1-0 on the road. Sixth place Seattle (35 points) thumped Orlando 4-0 for their first win since July 3. Seventh place Houston (31 points) lost 2-0 on the road to New England. Eighth place San Jose (29 points) defeated tenth place Colorado (24 points), 1-0.

Backers of a stadium for David Beckham’s Miami franchise are making no promises that it will lead to the revival of the Little Havana neighborhood.

More on efforts underway to secure a location for a new stadium for Minnesota United: Several Hennepin County commissioners are now prepared to “do the lifting required to get soccer downtown” in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, MinnPost wonders just how many soccer fans there are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

MLS hopefuls Sacramento Republic are looking for fan input for the design of their new stadium. More at Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Business Journal, Capital Public Radio, CBS Sacramento,

Is landing an MLS franchise back in play in Las Vegas?

US

In the opening game of their World Cup Victory Tour, the USWNT destroyed Costa Rica 8-0 in Pittsburgh. Some 44,028  fans were on hand at Heinz Field for the game, setting a new record “for a stand-alone U.S. WNT match on home soil.” Christen Press had a hat trick, Heather O’Reilly bagged a brace, and Julie Johnston, Whitney Engen, and local lass Meghan Klingenberg all had single tallies.

They face Costa Rica again in Chattanooga on Wednesday.

Elsewhere

Picking up on a report from German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Reuters reports, “European soccer’s governing body have asked FIFA to investigate the alleged distribution from their headquarters of an anonymous heavily critical ‘dossier’ on UEFA president Michel Platini…Welt am Sonntag said the document, entitled ‘Platini – skeleton in the closet,’ was distributed out of FIFA’s headquarters and paints an unflattering picture of the former France international and questions his suitability for the role of FIFA president. The newspaper said the dossier was sent ‘directly from FIFA headquarters in Zurich to newspapers with a request for publication, but without reference to the author.’

On Monday, FIFA confirmed “they will investigate the alleged distribution from their headquarters of an anonymous heavily critical ‘dossier’ on UEFA president Michel Platini following a complaint from European soccer’s governing body.”

A related report from Reuters: “FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini has won the key backing of the head of the Asian Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.”

South Korea’s Chung Mong-Joon announced today he will run to become president of FIFA. Mong-joon says Platini is too close to Sepp Blatter to be a leader of reform at FIFA.

More from Reuters: “Former FIFA development officer Julio Rocha, among seven officials arrested in Zurich in May in a corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer’s governing body, has agreed to be extradited to his native Nicaragua, Swiss authorities said…The United States, which has indicted Rocha and 13 other soccer officials and sports marketing executives on graft charges, has also requested his extradition. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FoJ) said it may have to decide which country gets priority.”

From Reuters: “US authorities are hopeful that more of the former FIFA officials and marketing executives who were indicted in May on bribery and corruption charges could soon be extradited to New York, a prosecutor said on Friday.”

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Executives at FIFA could face expulsion if they refuse to cooperate with U.S. lawyers tapped to perform an internal probe into corruption at soccer’s global governing body, according to two people close to the process.”

From The Guardian: “Sepp Blatter has accused the US justice department of portraying FIFA like a mafia organisation while adding that he will reveal details of his abrupt decision to step down as president of world football’s governing body when he officially departs.”The quotes from Blatter, which come from an interview he did with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, are hilarious.

16 Comments

  1. I agree that the defending was weak on the goals. No one who watched will argue otherwise. But at some point the league has to do something about this absolutely horrific officiating. It’s league-wide and a major embarrassment to MLS. You want to be one of the top leagues? Stop officiating with people unqualified for a Saturday rec league.
    .
    Oh…and big congrats to Chaco for the league lead in assists. Imagine where that tally would be if Wenger had been functional for the first half of the season.

    • Other positives overshadowed by the dreadful result:

      1) That was a really nice goal by Le Toux.
      2) We scored on a set piece!
      3) Our offense looked good for stretches.
      4) I think Curtin made the right substitutions at the right time.

      I was also just recalling how, I think it was Meola during the broadcast, talking about how Barnetta said he found MLS mindset to press and score much different from the defend the goal at all costs focus of Bundesliga teams. … I don’t tend to believe MLS refs are corrupt, but they are inept. One thing I do wonder though is if there’s a little incentive — a sort of unspoken desire on the part of the league — to create a scoring environment.

      • I agree that he made great subs, though my feeling is Lahoud should have started over new guy and Sapong over Barnetta.

      • pragmatist says:

        Lahoud had just played back-to-back Saturday-Wednesday games, coming back from a 3-month injury layoff. This was designed to give him a rest. He is definitely preferable, but Curtin was trying to prevent another injury.
        But, yes, Lahoud has proven all year (when he plays) that he should be starting. He could have made a difference on the first 2 goals, simply with his speed and defensive positioning.

      • I would rather have had Barnetta play middle and Le Toux start out wide, especially at home. We shouldn’t need 2 DMs.

      • I think Letoux should have taken off Ayuk who was pretty much a spastic brainfart by the end of the game.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Gotta remember reality; the kid is 18. Pfeffer wasn’t ready to on the field regularly till he was 20. mc Glaughlin still isn’t ready at 21. Eric Ayuk is ready for the field for 45 to 60, well enough so that we’re all greedy for the endurance of that readiness to be 90. Sometimes it has been.

  2. Here’s a question maybe somebody can answer for me. Mike Magee was listed on the pre-game injury list as “out.” Yet, he played. Maybe this is the most naive question I’ve ever asked in my life but…
    .
    does this mean the injury report is utterly useless? I’ve always known “questionable” and such were things that really didn’t mean much. But, again maybe naively, I always assumed that “out” meant, well, out. No chance to play. What gives here?

    • i think either last season or the season before the injury report had to be accurate but i think i remember at one point the policy was changed and i think it might be just kind of voluntary now and doesn’t necessarily need to be accurate

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      If you read through it carefully, not a recommended activity unless you need sleeping pills or something to do while waiting, you will notice that the terminology is not standardized. On the basis of that single datum, this non-scientist hypothesizes that the information is provided by the clubs and retransmitted without editing or comment by someone at MLS.

  3. MLS website included the two calls from the Union game this week. Did not see the angle before that showed Magee handled the ball as well leading to the final goal.
    .
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/video/2015/08/17/vancouvers-penalty-claim-houstons-gripes-and-was-hand-ball-chicagos-equalizer-insta

    • WOW I totally missed Magee’s DOUBLE hand ball on the last goal. MLS is a joke.

    • That replay almost makes it look like Magee grannie tosses the ball for the assist.

      • I thought it was more like playing volleyball badly. But either way, the fact that Geiger and the linesman missed everything involved in that play – two handballs, over the end line – is ridiculous.

  4. Brandon Marshall’s rant speaks to the truth of the Bears’ ‘unacceptable’ 3-4 record, writes Jon Greenberg.

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