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“A step late every time”: Recaps and reaction to Crew loss, league results, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

And so, once again, the Union squandered a chance to move into a playoff spot after a big win. Jim Curtin said after the game (full transcript of his postgame press conference here at PSP),

We haven’t been able to put two games together. It’s been difficult. It’s a challenge. We’ve had some success on the road in recent games. In this league, though, the second you think you’re good, or you’re at least improving, it comes back to bite you so, it’s been a challenge, the consistency has not been there. We’ll have one game where we have 8, 9 guys have great performances, that’s what we need that every game. Tonight, if you go through the matchups, a lot of guys had a big drop off. So it was difficult.

He added, “We weren’t the proactive team. We reacted to everything they did and we reacted late. We were a step late every time.”

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Inquirer, Delco Times (recap, analysis), CSN Philly (recap, analysis), Philly Soccer News (recap, analysis), Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Columbus), Columbus Crew, Columbus Dispatch (recap, analysis), Examiner, Massive Report (recap, analysis), ESPN, ProSoccerTalk, SBISports Mole, All Sports NewsGhanaSoccerNet, Ghana Web, and the APUSA Today has a photo gallery.

Kei Kamara scored both of Columbus’ goals on Saturday, his 19th and 20th goals of the season, becoming only the 15th player to reach the 20-goal mark since the founding of the league. The Armchair Analyst breaks down how he did it on Saturday.


Brett Jankouskas scored in the 68th minute but a stoppage time equalizer saw eighth place Harrisburg City Islanders (36 points) settle for a 1-1 draw against Richmond Kickers on Saturday night. Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot played the final 14 minutes of the game as a substitute. Recaps at Harrisburg City Islanders, Penn Live, Richmond Kickers, and WECT. Harrisburg now have two games remaining to reach a playoff spot beginning with Wednesday’s road game in Montreal, and the regular season finale at home against seventh place Pittsburgh Riverhounds (37 points), who also drew 1-1 on Saturday.


In the Eastern Conference, first place NYRB (45 points) overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat last place Chicago (27 points), 3-2. Second place DC (45 points) scored in the 87th minute to draw 1-1 on the road with Colorado. Third place Columbus (44 points) defeated eighth place Philadelphia (30 points), 2-1. Fourth place New England (43 points) defeated fifth place Toronto (37 points) 3-1 on the road for their fifth win in a row. Sixth place Montreal (32 points) drew 0-0 on the road with LA. Seventh place Orlando (32 points) defeated Kansas City, 3-1. Ninth place NYCFC (28 points) lost 2-1 on the road to Dallas.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (48 points) had the weekend off. Second place Dallas (47 points) defeated NYCFC, 2-1. Third place LA (47 points) drew 0-0 with Montreal. Fourth place Seattle (42 points) equalized in the 82nd minute to draw 1-1 on the road with seventh place San Jose (39 points). Fifth place Kansas City (41 points) lost 3-1 on the road to Orlando. Sixth place Portland (41 points) had the weekend off. Eighth place Houston (35 points) lost 3-1 at home to ninth place Salt Lake ( 35 points). Last place Colorado (34 points) drew 1-1 with DC.

The Houston Chronicle lauds how former Union man Sheanon Williams has transitioned smoothly into the Houston Dynamo. Williams, who has started, and gone the full 90, in every game for Houston since his trade, says since his move, he is no longer experiencing the migraines that he suffered about twice a month in his five years with the Union.

At The Guardian, Graham Ruthven says Don Garber’s desire for more involvement in MLS from the Premier League is a bad idea.

More on the new USL franchise that is expected to be announced in Reno on Wednesday.


FC Kansas City defeated Chicago Red Stars 3-0, and Seattle Reign defeated Washington Spirit 3-0, in Sunday’s semifinals to advance to the NWSL championship final on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Kansas City is the only NWSL team to reach the playoffs in each of the league’s three seasons. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski says if one player is responsible for this, it is former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Jen Buczkowski.

The Guardian reports Orlando City is expected to be announced as the backer of a new NWSL expansion team.


CONCACAF announced on Saturday,

We are continuing to work with CONMEBOL, the US Soccer Federation and all other stakeholders on hosting the Copa America Centenario tournament in the United States. CONCACAF is committed to continue working with all parties to address the operational, format and financial issues relating to the tournament in order to ensure greater transparency to this event. We are hopeful that the meeting on Thursday in Mexico City will lead to progress on these issues.

CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout said on Friday his confederation wants to stage the tournament in the US. At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports ,”A source with knowledge of the situation added that the USSF ‘is still in discussions on whether they will host the tournament.'”

Soccer America talks to an attorney about US Soccer’s response to questions from US Senator Maria Cantwell about training compensation and solidarity payments. “It’s nonsense. They’ve gone from child labor laws — hello, Freddy Adu – to NCAA eligibility, to ruining non-profit status, to the Fraser consent decree, which I believe is not applicable, to now raising anti-trust concerns to defend their position. I think they’re just scraping on the bottom of the barrel now.”

A commentary piece at ASN says the self confidence and lack of doubt that served Jurgen Klinsmann so well as a player are harming him as a coach.

With Portland’s Darlington Nagbe obtaining US citizenship, Ives Galarcep writes at Goal.com that it is only a matter of time before the midfielder gets a USMNT callup.

Average viewership for last week’s USA-Brazil friendly topped one million, the highest numbers for a friendly since the USA-Nigeria World Cup warmup game in 2014.

The roster for the upcoming USWNT Victory Tour friendlies against Haiti has been announced.


Speaking at a conference in Zurich, US attorney general Loretta Lynch said of the investigation into FIFA corruption,

With that action, we made it abundantly clear once again that prosecutors around the world will stand together in order to root out corruption and bring wrongdoers to justice – no matter where they are, no matter how complex their crimes and no matter how powerful they may be…

This is an issue that concerns us all – because whether in a nation or an organisation, whether committed by public officials or private citizens, corruption undermines our values, diminishes confidence in our institutions and shakes the foundations of our global society.

Lynch and her Swiss counterpart are scheduled to provide an update on the current state of the investigation at a press conference later today in Zurich.

Sky Sports reports, “Disgraced former FIFA official Jack Warner made a profit of around £11million on World Cup television rights that Sepp Blatter sold him for a fraction of their true value.” The report says, “Swiss television channel SRF has published a contract that Blatter signed off in 2005 for the broadcast rights for South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 to be sold to the Warner-controlled Caribbean Football Union (CFU) for 600,000 US dollars (£389,000).”

The AP reports, “Former FIFA anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth says Sepp Blatter should face a criminal investigation for selling under-valued World Cup television rights to Jack Warner.” More on the story at The Guardian.

Reuters reports that while FIFA said in a statement on Saturday it was supposed to receive more than the upfront payment for the TV contract, Swiss law enforcement officials say they will investigate the contract.

Reuters reports, “Lawmakers in Switzerland have paved the way for new rules that make it easier for authorities to clamp down on corruption at sporting bodies based in the country such as FIFA.”


  1. You weren’t the proactive team because you told them to sit back and meet them at midfield!!!!!! You ceded that to Columbus! Now you question why they weren’t proactive? WTF is that?

    • Agreed. I was scratching my head reading his comments.

      • I wrote this elsewhere a few days ago (before the game), and it rings just as true now:
        Listening to Curtin talk about tactics is like listening to an economist talk about the finer points of rocket engineering. Dude has no clue what he’s doing and just strings together words he thinks sounds good together. Please get a real coach this offseason.

    • Yes. How do you say midweek that your best chance vs Columbus will be to sit back and counter and then complain after you lose that you weren’t proactive? If I had to work for this team daily I probably would be beaten down and incoherent too, I guess.

  2. “We’ll have one game where we have 8, 9 guys have great performances…”

    There hasn’t been a game yet where 8+ Union players had a “great” performance in the same game. Even the all too few wins felt more like smash and grabs, not great. You know who had 8 or 9 guys have a great game? Columbus.

    • He’s referenced that several times this year and it just bugs me. Something along the lines of: “in order to win we need every guy to have a great game, otherwise we won’t get the result.” It’s just so defeatist, really not true, and pretty unlikely you’ll get that in even one game let alone game after game for a whole season. Even had Brian Carroll parroting it after this latest game vs Columbus. It’s not the kind of mindset you want to cultivate with your team if you are a coach

      I stay away from opining on which sports people should be losing their jobs- except for Amaro and Sakewicz- but I wouldn’t be upset if they let Curtin go. I don’t think it would help since we still have Sak weighing us down like a 2-ton anchor, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest we have a young coaching star on the rise and steadily learning to put together and maximize an MLS power team.

  3. “Williams…says since his move, he is no longer experiencing the migraines that he suffered about twice a month in his five years with the Union.”
    Wonder what changed? Feel free to speculate.

    • I got a laugh out of that too. Doctors are stumped!

    • Wow. Just, wow. I mean, jokes aside, I’m glad he’s feeling better but that’s sad. Five years of twice monthly migraines, now all gone. Could it have been Nick Sak’s aftershave?
      I await scottso’s professional opinion…

    • As someone who has suffered migraines (though none in the past 2 years or so, knock on wood), I’m really happy for Williams to be rid of that horrible feeling. A lot of people who don’t suffer them think it’s just a bad headache. It’s more, but it’s hard to describe sometimes. Light and sounds can make the ends of your hair feel like they hurt; you’re nauseous; you have a guy playing bass drum (badly) inside your head. They’re terrible, and if he had them twice monthly I’m incredibly happy he’s rid of them, even if it’s just short term.
      As to why they’re gone.. jokes aside, it could be weather (though probably no – Philly and Houston are both hot and humid in the summer; just a bit more of both in Houston). It could be an unintentional dietary change, something as simple as a mineral or additive in the water he’s drinking. It could be sleep-related; he could be getting more (or less) sleep, or better sleep due to any number of factors (new mattress, darker room, quieter room, etc).
      And, again jokes aside, it could be the release of stress he was feeling for whatever reason while here.

  4. I pulled it over cause I want it front and center today. From a comment by the manager in post game interview that posed the question……
    …“Why has momentum been difficult to maintain this year?”
    This is my response.
    This is a good question and one which considers pondering. Not sure I like the coaches answer at the moment. From my point of view…to play with such apathy for 60 minutes in a meaningful home game against the team that crushed your playoff hopes last year…is concerning to me.
    There is a distinct lack of urgency and accountability on the field, pre game, post game….somewhere…An impotence…. Yeah that’s it…an impotence.
    The Union needed to come out hard and set an intention and a tone to the game and what we got was Chutes and Ladders, Tiddly Winkes. Shrivel Dick. Shrivel Dick? Yes! Shrivel Dick.
    Concerning for sure.
    “I AM smelling like the ROSE that somebody gave me cause I’m DEAD AND BLOATED.”
    another shit Onion performance…
    … “I AM trampled under soles of another man’s shoes guess I walk too softly.”
    Impotent team…
    Yes boys… this is el pachyderm questioning what’s in your cajones.
    What are you going to do about it?
    Let Sporting Kansas City push you around at home similarly?
    Are you going to cry?
    The pen is mightier than the sword boys and I am in your heart. Plunging the dagger of my words. What are you going to do?
    Cry Baby. Cry.
    I’m poking you boys. Jim. Yeah you. I’m poking you. I am Sporting Kansas City poking you. You gutless turds.
    Do you have ANY balls.
    You better- cause your soft and SOFT don’t fly in this city.

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