Daily news roundups

Pro rugby at PPL? Also, US faces T&T in WCQ, France NT in England for first game since Paris attacks

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Philadelphia Union

Is rugby coming to PPL Park?

Following the announcement last week of the launch of a new pro rugby league in the US, This is American Rugby reports Philadelphia will be home of one of the six founding teams and the team will play at PPL Park. The first season will consist of ten games.

The This is American Rugby report says it can confirm the Philadelphia team because it is among those whose “venues have been solidified.” However, a Union spokesperson on behalf of PPL Park tells PSP, “We’re always looking to bring new events to PPL Park, but at this time there’s nothing official for 2016 or beyond.” Stay tuned.

Brotherly Game has a Brian Carroll-Michael Lahoud season review.

Local

Centennial Conference champions Haverford defeated Washington and Lee on Sunday 2-1, earning a spot in the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time in the history of the program. The team now hosts St. Lawrence on Saturday at 11 am.

Franklin & Marshall are in the third round for the third straight season after defeating Gordon College 3-1 on Sunday. F&M faces No. 1 Calvin on Friday.

At the USL website, a Harrisburg City Islanders 2015 season review.

MLS

At MLSsoccer.com, a long-form piece on Kyle Beckerman.

Croatia international Ivica Olic to MLS?

US

The US takes on Trinidad and Tobago tonight in their second game of the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign (6:25 pm: beIN Sports, NBC Universo). If you’re in Center City looking for a place to watch the game the Philly chapter of the American Outlaws is having a watch party at the Field House starting at 6 pm.

Previews of tonight’s game at PSP, US Soccer, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Fox SportsSoccer AmericaASN, MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, US Soccer Players, and Stars and Stripes FC.

Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t worried about his job security if the US loses tonight.

Last week, Klinsmann said he understood criticism of himself and the team following the recent string of poor results. Now he says, “When you hear a lot of people talking some things are going wrong because you lost maybe two or three games recently, then that’s a bit immature. That’s simply wrong. There is a lot of work ahead of us in all of our areas, but there’s also a lot of excitement because our players are hungry for improvement.” He also said he believes the youth teams have “made big strides, made big steps forward.”

Goal.com and ESPN talk to Tim Howard ahead of his start in tonight’s game. ASN on the platooning of Howard and Brad Guzan. More from SI.

Klinsmann and Fabian Johnson are BFF again.

ASN talks to Geoff Cameron.

SI talks to DeAndre Yedlin.

At the Guardian, Michael Lewis talks to Paul Caligiuri about the goal he scored against T&T in the 1-0 1989 World Cup qualifier win that clinched a World Cup berth for the US for the first time since 1950. At the US Soccer website, Jeff Crandall talks to T&T goalkeeper Michael Maurice about the Caligiuri goal. Good reads.

Elsewhere

England hosts France today in a friendly that, following Friday’s terror attacks in Paris that began with suicide bombings outside of Stade de France while France was playing Germany in a friendly, will be a game filled with emotion.

There was initially questions over whether today’s friendly at Wembley Stadium would be played. France captain Hugo Lloris said of the decision to play the game, “It’s only human to have a few doubts, whether to play or not. We had some concerns but in the end the president confirmed we had to play this game. Like all my team-mates, I respect his decision. It will be a good opportunity to represent our country: the French nation is more important than French football on Tuesday.”

He added, “It’s been very difficult, very dramatic, and this period has been very tough for the victims, their friends and families, and our country. The only thought we can have is to play football and try to escape it all for 90 minutes during the game, because there will be a lot of emotion. It will be a great moment of solidarity and we have to try to stay focused on playing for our country, playing for the victims. That is all we can do.”

Head coach Didier Deschamps said, “We’re here and we will take the field…representing our country with ever more pride than we normally would and to make sure those colours of blue, white and red are represented even more proudly than they normally would.”

Deschamps said further, We are here to represent our country at a particularly poignant moment and are proud to be French. It will be a match full of emotion. That is the role we have to play. Sport is … how can I put it … a representation of unity, of diversity coming together. Look at the words that Lassana Diarra published in his remarkable message – sport has no color or religion. That has always been the case. It must remain so.”

Lloris said of his teammate Diarra, whose cousin was murdered in the attacks, “We shared that traumatic moment with him. He’s been quite discreet about it. I think he just wants to represent his country.”

Deschamps said, “It’s great he stayed with us…Lassana’s presence is a reassurance. He has been very strong. We have learned the value of unity and solidarity.”

More at The New York Times and Goal.com.

FS1 is expanding its coverage of the game, which now begins at 2:30 pm with the kickoff at 3 pm. Hopefully they will focus on what is going on at Wembley Stadium before the game rather than in a studio back in Los Angeles.

UEFA has confirmed Euro 2016 will be staged in France as planned.

The Belgium-Spain friendly scheduled for today has been cancelled due to security concerns. Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque says his players wanted the game to be played.

The AP reports, “Germany coach Joachim Low thanked the France team for staying all night at the Paris stadium where the two countries were playing a friendly match that was caught up in a wave of attacks that killed 129 people.” Low said, “They offered us to overnight in their hotel and that they would clear a number of rooms. They also waited until it was clear that we would fly directly to Germany.”

Germany’s Jerome Boateng on playing in last Friday’s friendly against France: “For me, the night in Paris was the most horrible experience of my life, because we were so close [to the events]. After the first bang, I looked into the stands but there was no smoke, I wondered what that could be.”

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa says if he’s elected president of FIFA, he doesn’t want to be paid. He also says, “I don’t want too much power with the president – the power has to be shared. I believe in doing things in a different way, not being centralized where the president has to do every detail in running the business.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is releasing a new documentary with more evidence of corruption in the bids for the 2022 World Cup.

8 Comments

  1. Hugo Lloris doesn’t sound like he’s convinced they should be playing. I can’t blame him for his doubts. Good luck and godspeed to all.

  2. If I am a groundskeeper for PPL Park my two-weeks notice would go in the same day the new pro rugby league announces Philadelphia a founding team.

    • Seriously. Depends on when the proposed season would be but I remember when Wigan Athletic was in the EPL how awful their pitch always was because they shared the stadium with the Wigan Warriors rugby league team…

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    While I understand that keeping the organization healthily in the black is a major management goal for the Union and its partners, direct and indirect, in stadium ownership, the 60 Minutes piece Sunday night about concussions should raise legitimate concerns about rugby as it does about American football. The piece made clear that data gathering and research generally are the current priorities, but cautious common sense already has a clear role.
    .
    Consider why the cliche for insanely stubborn perseverance in something is, “Banging his head against a brick wall.” Repetitive sub-concussive head strikes are not good health practices for human beings. Klingons, maybe; not humans.

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