Daily news roundups

Union bits, Bethlehem’s first league game tonight, big night for US, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has an informative interview with Roland Alberg, who talks about why he decided to sign with the Union. Alberg describes how welcoming everyone has been and underscores the importance Earnie Stewart had in his decision:

His philosophy, the way he thinks, the way he wants things to be, that’s why I like him. I spoke to some players here and they said his philosophy is very important. For example, now the players get suits. In years past, they never got something like that. Earnie likes for everybody to have the same things, he wants everything to be…how do you say it…on the same page. It’s a team process. It’s everybody at the same level, not just one person wears this, and one person wears that. He wants everyone to be a professional, every day, every training session, every game.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin on Andre Blake’s getting a shutout in last Sunday’s home opener, after which he immediately went to the airport to join the Jamaican National team for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica. Blake says, “Soccer is about the moment, and right now I’m having a great moment…We want to keep the momentum going. Hopefully when I go with the Jamaica team, I get those two games and come back and bring that experience and pick up right where I left off.” Yes, please.

Tonight’s 8 pm Jamaica game is not being broadcast live on beIN Sports in the US but you can watch a replay on beIN Sports on Saturday morning at 8 am. If you have access to Centro America TV, the game is being shown there tonight at 9 pm.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on the strong play from Warren Creavalle. The midfielder says, “It’s very unfortunate having Mo out. But that’s the point of having depth on any team. Guys are able to step up and try to fill any void that your main guys leave…Being able to help the team is very important for me. I don’t think it necessarily always shows up on the score sheet. I’m not upset if I don’t show up on the score sheet, but I’m glad to help the team in any way.”

here at PSP.

At the Union website, Rosenberry talks about his path to the pros.

At Brotherly Game, the good, the bad, and the ugly in the home opening win over New England. Also at Brotherly Game, Jared Young has a comparison of player ratings from the game.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel’s first-ever game in the USL kicks off tonight in Montreal against FC Montreal at 7 pm. The game will be streamed live on YouTube (click here for stream).

Union Insider Marisa Pilla tweeted on Thursday that Union players Eric Ayuk, Leo Fernandes, Fabian Herbers, John McCarthy, Walter Restrepo, Taylor Washington, and Joshua Yaro will be available to play for Bethlehem. The tweet has since been deleted.

On Thursday, PSP, USL, Philly Soccer News (Fred, Lee), and Brotherly Game (Fred, Lee).

Here’s a video preview of the team.

The first episode of the Weekly Bethlehem Steel magazine show, Steel Soccer 360, can be seen on the Union website.

USL president Jake Edwards said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday the league continues to push for Division 2 status: “Our goal is to be one of the very best second divisions in the world. The (Football League) Championship in England is the fourth-largest league in Europe in terms of attendance and revenue, and that can be a model for us.” Edwards also said, “Our clubs now range from $3 million to $20 million, which is a significant growth in value.”

Philadelphia Union Academy

Scoreless after regulation time at the Generation adidas Cup, the Union defeated Houston Dynamo 4-2 on penalty kicks. At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph notes, “Defender Mark McKenzie, who wore the captain’s armband in the first three group matches of the tournament, left to join up with Bethlehem Steel FC for their season opener on Friday night at FC Montreal.”

Union Academy defender Auston Trusty started in the US U-20 MNT’s 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim, the team’s final game at the Dallas Cup. The US finished third in their group with a 1-1-1 record.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders begin their season on the road against Richmond Kickers on Saturday (5 pm, YouTube).

At the City Islanders website, a look at two new players on the team, Chris Hill (Villanova) and Josh Hughes (Atlanta Silverbacks).

Penn97 has announced the formation of the Penn Challenge Cup NPSL, “a supporter-run contest that awards the [NPSL]club with the best record against Pennsylvania opponents during the regular season.” The participating Pennsylvania NPSL clubs are Buxmont Torch FC, Electric City Shock SC, Hershey FC, and Junior Lone Star FC. 12 games will be played between the clubs over the course of teh NPSL season. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to fund the purchase of a trophy for the cup champion.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta talks to Lancaster native Russell Canouse about his Bundesliga debut with Hoffenheim.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald marks the passing of Johan Cruyff with a rounds up reports from the Inquirer and Daily News in 1980 concerning Philadelphia Fury games against the Washington Diplomats, Cruyff’s team at the time.

MLS

Seattle Sounders have signed Herculez Gomez.

NYRB head coach Jesse Marsch on how the trial of former Union man Amobi Okugo is going: “I think he’s done well. It’s a big demand on how we play the center back position so there’s a lot to think about. It’s different then what he’s done before. We saw definite progress from Day 1 to Day 2. He’s got good qualities, he has a lot of experience in the league. We would look at him only as a center back…So far I’d say it’s been pretty good.” Okugo will reportedly play for NYRB in a scrimmage today with Rutgers.

The group of investors led by David Beckham has purchased private land needed to build a stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. The Miami Herald observes, “The milestone gives the Beckham partnership ownership of about two-thirds of the nine-acre stadium site…The deals allow Beckham to now move fully into the political arena to win county approval for the purchase of government-owned land needed to complete the site for the stadium, and city approval of a zoning overhaul needed to build it.” More at Sun Sentinel, MLSsoccer.comWPLG, WSVN, Press Association, and AFP.

Finance & Commerce reports, “After a short but contentious debate, the St. Paul City Council left the door cracked to city subsidies for private development near the 20,000-seat pro soccer stadium slated to rise in the Midway neighborhood.”

US

Two big games tonight for the US Men with the US U-23s in Colombia for the start of the two-game Olympic qualification playoff series (5 pm, FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Univision Deportes), here at PSP and at ESPN.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports, “U.S. men’s national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann said that goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be platooned over the next two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, but declined to divulge which one would start in Friday’s match in Guatemala City.”

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep says the US is in Guatemala in search of three points and an identity.

At ESPN, Mike Goodman says the USMNT must show progress tonight in Guatemala or it is time for Klinsmann to move on.

Previews of the Olympic qualifier at PSP, Soccer AmericaASN, and MLSsoccer.com. Fox Soccer on why qualifying for the Olympics matters.

At SI, a piece recalling the US run in the 2000 Olympics. The US team, which made it to the bronze medal match only to lose 2-0 to Chile, included former Union men Danny Califf, Conor Casey, and Chris Albright.

Werder Bremen has announced Aron Johannsson is likely out for the rest of the season as he continues to recover from surgery for a nerve problem in his right hip.

The Los Angeles Times talks to German-Americans and lifelong friends John Anthony Brooks and Jerome Kiesewetter about fulfilling their dream of playing for the US.

Elsewhere

The Netherlands Football Federation has announced today’s friendly against France (3:40 pm, beIN Sports en Español) on will be halted in the 14th minute so that a minute of silence can be observed for the passing of Johan Cruyff.

There have been many fine tributes to Cruyff since the news of his death yesterday, and many of those tributes include footage of Cruyff roasting Sweden defender Jan Olsson at the 1974 World Cup with what is now known as the Cruyff Turn. Olsson says,

My teammates after the game, we looked at each other, they started to laugh and I do the same. I laughed then and I laugh now. It was very funny. He was a world-class player. I do my best but I was not a world-class player.

The players in my team, they all laugh because they know me — we laughed together in the changing room because everyone saw what a player he was. What more could we do? …

I do not understand how he did it. It was a fantastic sequence. I thought I was going to take the ball. I still cannot understand. Now when I see the video, every time I think I have got the ball.

When he is about to kick the ball I am sure I am going to take it, but every time he surprises me. I loved everything about this moment…

After the game I thanked him for the match and said congratulations. Even though it was 0-0, it was right to say congratulations.

Researchers say the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil could have a soccer connection. The Washington Post reports, “Zika could even have been introduced to Brazil during the 2013 Confederations Cup, a soccer tournament that featured a team from Tahiti — which suffered a Zika epidemic that year.” Freaky.

The Guardian reports, “Qatar has been given 12 months to end migrant worker slavery or face a possible United Nations investigation. The warning sets the 2022 World Cup host nation on a path to becoming only the fifth ever country to face a formal inquiry by the UN’s International Labour Organisation into allegations of forced labour after Burma, Haiti, Liberia and Portugal. It could ultimately pave the way for international sanctions.”

Maybe President Obama’s daughters will get to meet Lionel Messi after all.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio.

16 Comments

  1. I absolutely love the idea of having a USL team and being able to watch them. You are going to be able to watch their games knowing a large part of the players are either depth pieces for the Union, or anticipated future starters.

    With all due respect to Harrisburg, it just wasn’t the same. Now it really feels like one organization, two teams.

    I look forward to Herbers the most. He has shown flashes so far, and I want to see him continue it over 90

    • Agreed.
      The worst thing for a player is to ride the pine for an extended period of time. Now young and on the bubble players can get real minutes and be ready when called upon.

      I would think the team should have players like Gaddis and Barnetta playing tonight as well. Get them sharp and in game shape since they haven’t played recently and have a week off from the 1st team.

      • pragmatist says:

        I think you’ll see guys coming ball from injury playing down there later in the season. But for the opener, you want to put out the guys who will form the heart of your club. There’s a healthy dose of marketing that is going into the opener, as far as the roster.
        That’s probably why the tweet was deleted about which players were going down.

  2. Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

    Ed, I’m sure President Obama forgives you for that “most powerful man in the world” crack in your last post.

  3. 12 months for Qatar to end migrant slavery. After it’s been going on for at least 2-3 years already. And if they don’t, they face the possibility of an investigation. Man, they are in BIG trouble!

  4. Are we going to get a match recap by chance? I watched and I’d be interested to hear some more seasoned opinions than my own to see if they line up.

    • old soccer coach says:

      if we want match recaps on PSP we need to ask the editorial board to consider it.
      .
      I have discovered, or been recommended to consider, three sources so far. First, the Allentown Morning Call, second, Noise Nation leads you to a blog that has a menu option for the Steel, and there is a blog titled “Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog: Because someone has to go in goal.”
      .
      Also, as you would expect, there is a recap on the USL website, and on the Union website.
      .
      I watched it, it is harder to form reliable impressions from the TV/computer screen than it is live as you see only part of the field usually.
      .
      I missed the first ten or so minutes, I sat down to see Chambers’ shot hit the post, basically. From that point until about the 70th minute the game was dominated by Steel midfield pressure. Montreal was reduced to long balls out of the back to their forwards, primarily.
      .
      Given the youth of the Montreal side, I am not surprised by the Union having much of the upper hand. Until two older guys were added for the game from the first team (I am assuming) their oldest players were 22.
      .
      I am not quite convinced that Akinyode is technically smooth enough to mesh ideally with the other ten who started. They were playing on turf of course.
      .
      I had a flash of insight on one Yaro back pass that was a little too close for spectator calmness that Yaro may expect his teammate to see the pass as soon as he does and move to receive it before it has been struck, hence it seems under weighted if the teammate does not read it as expected.
      .
      That’s what I would add to the observations available on the sources I mention above, many of which echo each other.

      • I’m actually 100% with you. The high press was VERY effective, until we ran out of gas. Yaro relied heavily on his superior athleticism to bail him out when he made errors like the one you mentioned (that being said, they were few and far between). You’re probably correct on Akinyode, although lets give him a game or 2 off that stupid turf. Chambers was the more creative of our two Holding Mids. Of the other BSFC only players, Daly was tidy if a bit unspectacular, and Richter was generally excellent both in attack and defense from the right back.
        .
        As for the Union contingent, didn’t learn much more than we already knew. Restrepo looked lively, but I felt that too many promising attacks died with a bad decision on his part. Fernandes was excellent in the first half, second half non-existent. Herbers dropped deeper in the 2nd half and created a bunch of space in behind. Ayuk was the same as ever, Washington was pushed more defensively than the other backs but really stood up to the pressure. And McCarthy is a good shot stopper with no concept of distribution still.

  5. old soccer coach says:

    The Steel 1, Montreal FC 0.
    .
    McCarthy: Richter, Yaro, Daly, Washington; Chambers, Akinyode; Ayuk, Fernandes, Restrepo (Gisse 84th); Herbers (Brown, 91st)
    .
    Herbers got the goal.
    .
    Aggressively pressured until fatigue set in in the last twenty minutes.

    • Burke got a case of the Curtins. Couldn’t understand why he wasn’t using his subs (they get 5 in USL). Backline was very compact, very organized, very tidy. Richter and Washington were aggressive on the outside, Yaro and Daly were as quick as the strikers they were guarding.
      .
      Herbers dropped deep and collected the ball allowing excellent runs from the wings ALL GAME LONG. Ayuk and Restrepo were incredibly busy and effective. Ayuk is still really fast.
      .
      The overall flow of the game was good too. We had more effective possession, better chances, and probably should have scored 4. So scoring seems to be an issue at this level too.

      • old soccer coach says:

        I suspect Burke was using the end of the game for conditioning, since Restrepo has seen no recent first team minutes, Herbers few, and Fernandes minutes have been dropping. He has had Washington, Yaro and Ayuk.
        .
        I hold the opinion because the agrressive pressing defense posture diminished in the last twenty minutes, suggesting to me fatigue. Restrepo was the first starter subbed off, which lines up with his recent lack of game minutes, and Herbers was the other when he was obviously blown, hands on knees, one complete failure to recover for about forty seconds until he caught his wind.

    • Herbers hit the post, too.
      What’s French for pwned? Cause Montréal really got it at home.

      • That was Chambers who took that shot actually. He had a very good game as well, you wouldn’t have thought he was one of our USL guys. Definitely could have played for last years Union.

      • Thanks for the correction. I thought Restrepo was also excellent.

      • old soccer coach says:

        Restrepo and Washington are not as coordinated offensively as Richter and Ayuk, but they probably have not worked together as much. They were better against Montreal than they were against Georgetown a few days ago.

      • old soccer coach says:

        He seemed to play quite well, smoother offensively than Akinyode, who seems more the physical destroyer.

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