Daily news roundups

“Something to build on”: Union top Houston, league results, Olympic qualifying roster released, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union haven’t won at home in league play since the 3-0 victory over Portland on July 11. So, with the US Open Cup final coming next week, Sunday’s comfortable win over Houston was just what the doctor ordered. As Jim Curtin said after the game, “Something to build on, obviously, with the cup final coming…[H]appy for us, in terms of the confidence for the locker room. I think the guys earned everything tonight. I thought they earned all three points.”

And how nice was it to see Tranquillo Barnetta get his first MLS goal? Barnetta’s goal was assisted by Sebastien Le Toux, giving him his 50th MLS assist and so becoming one of only 15 players in the history of the league to score 50 goals and have 50 assists.

Maurice Edu not only saw his first game in league play since Aug. 1, he went the full 90. Edu said, “I’m sore obviously. It was good, though, to play 90 minutes because I wasn’t necessarily expecting to get that under my belt.

Curtin said, “A lot of guys had good nights. We’re a team that when seven or eight are checking the plus side, we’re going to come out on top.” Let’s hope it’s 10 or 11 guys checking the plus side against Kansas City in next week’s final.

Match reports and recaps from PSPPhiladelphia Union, Delco Times, CSN Philly, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Houston), CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly GameVavel, Dynamo Theory, Orange in the Oven, SBI (recap, report), ProSoccerTalk,  Sports Mole, and the AP.

The Armchair Analyst said the win “certainly looked good” for the Union’s US Open Cup hopes, adding, “Philly were close to whole for the first time in forever, and while there are still glitches — the ball often doesn’t move fast enough in attack — there was so much more good than bad on display.”

Zach Pfeffer will represent the Union at Comcast SportsNet Shining Star Awards in January.

Local

A 75th minute goal from Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot was not enough as Harrisburg City Islanders fell 2-1 to Pittsburgh Riverhounds in their season finale on Saturday. With the loss, Harrisburg misses the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Recaps at Harrisburg City Islanders, Penn LivePittsburgh Riverhounds, amd Pittsburgh Sporting News.

Before the game, team and local officials held a rally to support the team’s efforts to acquire a $5 million grant to help fund a new stadium. Club president Tiago Lopes said, “We are one of the only clubs that don’t have a proper soccer facility. If that means [we have to] move somewhere outside of Harrisburg, we have to be prepared to do that.” More on the rally at Penn Live.

Jorge Gomez Sanchez scored a hat trick as Temple earned their fifth consecutive win in Sunday night’s 3-0 victory over Penn.

La Salle upset No. 25/21 UMBC 1-0 on Saturday night.

Drexel lost its Colonial Athletic Association opener on Friday night, 3-1, to No. 18 ranked Elon.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place NYRB (48 points) became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 2-0 road win over Portland. Second place Columbus (47 points) defeated fourth place DC (45 points) 2-1 on the road. DC is now winless in the last five games. Third place New England (46 points) saw their eight-game unbeaten streak end with a 3-0 road loss to sixth place Montreal (36 points). Didier Drogba had a goal and an assist in the win. Fifth place Toronto (40 points) defeated Colorado, 3-1, with Sebastian Giovinco bagging a brace. Seventh place Orlando (35 points) defeated last place Chicago (27 points), 1-0, on the road. After the game, the club announced head coach Frank Yallop and his staff had been fired. Replacing Yallop as interim head coach is technical director Brian Bliss, with former Fire captain Logan Pause as interim assistant coach, and former league executive Nelson Rodriguez as general manager. Eighth place NYCFC (34 points) defeated San Jose, 3-2, with Ned Grabavoy scoring a brace. Ninth place Philadelphia (33 points) defeated Houston, 2-0.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (48 points) fell 3-0 at home to fourth place Seattle (45 points). With the win, Seattle claims the Cascadia Cup for the first time since 2011, ending Vancouver’s two-year reign. A second half brace from Benny Feilhaber saw fifth place Kansas City (44 points) end their five-game winless streak with a 3-1 win over second place Dallas (47 points). Third place LA (47 points) was thumped 3-0 on the road by eighth place Salt Lake (38 points), Devon Sandoval recording a brace for the home team. Sixth place Portland (41 points) fell 2-0 at home to NYRB. Seventh place San Jose (40 points) fell 3-2 on the road to NYCFC. Ninth place Houston (35 points) lost 2-0 on the road to Philadelphia. Tenth place Colorado (34 points) lost 3-1 on the road to Toronto.

Pioneer Press on how a stadium in St. Paul could meet the league’s prioritizing stadiums in downtown, rather than suburban, locations.

US

Carli Lloyd scored another hat trick as the USWNT defeated Haiti 8-0 in Birmingham.

Andi Herzog has named his 20-player roster for the Olympic qualification tournament, which takes place Oct. 1-13.

Herzog says of the roster in a Q&A at US Soccer, “Because there are no FIFA dates for the first week of the tournament, there were challenges. We had discussions with a lot of teams, and while some clubs didn’t release their players overall we received a lot of support, especially from MLS.” At ASN, Brian Sciaretta describes the roster as “flawed.” More on the roster from the AP.

Reaction from some of the players on the roster on being named to the squad here.

At SI, a source tells Grant Wahl that the biggest objection US Soccer has to hosting the Copa Centenario is the fact that Datisa, “the group composed of Traffic Sports, Torneos y Competencias and Fair Play, still owns the marketing rights to the Copa América Centenario even though it has been accused of agreeing to pay $110 million in bribes.” Yahoo Sports on how the US may pay a high price if it does not host the tournament. The Goat Parade on how not hosting the tournament may be the right decision.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter, whose second-in-command Jerome Valcke was released from his duties on Thursday following allegations related to ticket sales, has told the organization’s members that they will ‘come through this difficult situation together.'”

Also from Reuters: “Auditing firm KPMG has launched an internal review of its Swiss business over audits of world soccer body FIFA’s financial record keeping, a spokesman said on Sunday…Since 1999, KPMG Switzerland has been responsible for auditing FIFA’s financial reports. Should it discover irregularities during such a review, an auditor is bound by law to report them.”

The AP reports, “The chief organiser of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup is one of two senior football officials named in a criminal complaint alleging corruption in the FIFA vote to decide the host of the tournament.”

Reuters on FIFPro’s legal challenge to the current transfer system: “FIFPro’s plans to dismantle the transfer system may sound far-fetched and possibly eccentric to the average fan but the world players’ union says there is no other way to fix a sport which is losing its competitive edge.”

The AP reports, “A supervisor at a construction company with a match-fixing history was on Monday sentenced to four years in jail for bribing a foreign coach and players in Singapore an attempt to rig a preliminary Southeast Asian Games soccer match.”

Former Russia captain Alexei Smertin, who is an ambassador for his country hosting the 2018 World Cup: “There’s no racism in Russia, because it does not exist…Racism in Russia is like fashion. It comes from abroad, from different countries. It was never, ever here before. Ten years ago, some fans may have given a banana to black guys – it was just for fun.”

Well done, Cristiano.

19 Comments

  1. Not hating Christiano Ronaldo makes me feel actual physical pain.

    Stop it.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Citizen Smertin, yes, the Pope is Jewish, Mark Geiger referees his best games at PPL Park, and Conor Casey can outrun Usain Bolt.

  3. I think the Union noticed the number of empty seats for Sunday’s game, judging by the “We Missed You” e-mail I got for not using my season tickets last night.

  4. I’m pretty sure that last night’s XI will be starting the Cup final. I think that against NE, Coach Curtin will rest as many of last night’s starters as he can. I’m thinking we’ll see White, Vitoria, Ayuk, Fred, Wenger, Aristeguieta, Carroll, and Pfeffer.

    • You may be right. I could only see him changing by putting Edu in as DM and Vittoria in as CB. He’s hinted at it in his pressers.

    • We could even get a Hoppenot or McLaughlin sighting!

    • all for it. our whole season essentially hinges on winning the cup and the boost that concacaf football brings with luring players. IMO its the only thing that will(should) keep curtin in a job.

      • If the Union win the Open Cup, they will have done so by defeating two teams in PKs (Rochester and NYRB), two teams by one goal (DC United and Chicago) and Sporting KC.
        .
        While a Cup championship would certainly be something to celebrate, those five matches alone should not be the sole basis for determining Jim Curtin’s status as head coach. His entire body of work over the last 15 months must be considered.

      • no doubt and even if we win he may still be without a job. I was simply stating that if anything he does the rest of the season or the past few months could or should save his job it would be the open cup win. I guess a better way of saying it is that his body of work has not been good enough the past 15 months to secure his job. It would be hard however to fire a man who won our only piece of silverware be it by gnashing of teeth, lucky bounces, or games called early. it would after all be a trophy signifying something not done before and would get us some extra real game football.

      • I agree 100%. We just need something … anything to happen right.
        .

  5. Anyone who has read a book on the Enron collapse will get a laugh out of KPMG just now launching an internal audit on their FIFA oversight. I’m sure they will be SHOCKED that their ‘rogue employees’ have turned a blind eye to financial funny business…for 16 years.

  6. I’m not gonna lie…I hope Jim Curtin read my scathing criticism (please feel free to revisit 13th or 14th postings maybe or maybe both days…if you forgot or turned a deaf ear or couldn’t stomach the truth of it) of his soft team last week and posted it on the mirror like Rocky posted the photo of Drago on the mirror…let it haunt him in Siberia until he grabbed it and crushed it in the palm of his hand…til he wasn’t afraid of being Great.
    .
    I hope…hey Jim… soft don’t fly… I’m getting hyped up…better not sit back on Wednesday 30th…better have this team totally committed and ready to die for one another.
    .
    Hey Jim…Wednesday…greatest day in Union history… Right?
    .
    You do realize winning is the ONLY acceptable outcome this time…just don’t put Edu in midfield.
    .
    I’m getting geeked.
    .
    Getting amped…
    .
    Hey coach…get a chance to sit with the Pope this weekend…front pew maybe…Holy water blessing…touch you on the shoulder…Knight you, deem you worthy to the cause… bless this Union. Think about it. Front seat. Center pew.
    .
    Woah Woah slow the roll el P. don’t want to peak too soon.
    .

    • For the record (again today)…I think it totally hysterical when the modern athlete refers to himself in the 3rd person…so I’ve decided to adopt it here. I will now be referring to myself as such.

  7. You’re out of your damn mind Elephant… and I enjoy every minute of it!!
    .
    It’s been a long time since last year’s final. Hell, it’s been a long time since a Union game had real meaning… I’m starting to get hyped for the Final too 🙂

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