Daily news roundups

Jones to start in goal against Crew, Nogs at 100%, more news

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Some notes from Jim Curtin’s press conference (full transcript here at PSP) ahead of tonight’s home game against Columbus Crew (7 pm, TCN, MLS Live, Direct Kick).

  • With Andre Blake now with the Jamaican national team for the Copa America, Curtin confirmed Matt Jones will be the Union’s starting goalkeeper tonight.
  • Curtin said Vincent Nogueira “feels one hundred percent” and is available for selection tonight.
  • Curtin said Josh Yaro was undergoing an MRI on Tuesday to determine the extent of his shoulder injury. Curtin said it was his hope that if surgery is required it can be performed after the end of the season. At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead reports that at Tuesday’s training session, “Curtin expressed optimism that the rookie center back will not be sidelined for a significant amount of time.”
  • Curtin also said Earnie Stewart apologized to the players for the state of the pitch at Talen Energy Stadium, which was the site of a women’s lacrosse tournament over the weekend., “which just shows, again, we have a guy who has the players’ backs, which is huge.”
  • Curtin also discussed the team’s emerging identity: “Well, it’s one that’s very tough to play against defensively…that we’re tough to break down…Our identity, though, is one where everyone attacks, and everyone defends. And we are a true team, there’s no superstar on this team. We believe that as a group, collectively, our eleven guys, all on the same page, can beat any superstar. While the names on the back of the jerseys might not be the most glamorous and sexy, we’re not afraid of anybody.”

More from the press conference at Philadelphia Union, Philly Voice, Philly Soccer NewsBrotherly Game, SBI, and Playing for 90.

At Union Tally, Jones talks to Matthew De George about of starting tonight: “I’ll be more than ready. I’ve been ready since preseason. Very excited about the potential to play. It’s all positive.” More at MLSsoccer.com.

Our preview of tonight’s game will be up later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our Union-Crew quick reference, and more at Philadelphia Union (print, video, game notes, gameday guide), Philly.com, Brotherly Game (preview, three questions), Pattison Ave VavelMLSsoccer.com, Columbus Crew (preview, match notes), Columbus Dispatch (preview, report), and Massive Report.

Massive Report reviews the injuries and international call ups that have reduced the Crew’s traveling squad for tonight’s game  — including a backup goalkeeper — to only 17 players, including former Union man Conor Casey.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin talks to Ken Tribbett about scoring his first MLS goal, playing in front of family and friends in Colorado, and more. Tribett says of scoring against Orlando, “I don’t think shock is the right word because I expect a lot of myself and I expect to score a couple of goals this year. So it was just more relief to get the first one out of the way.” More with Tribbett at Philly Voice.

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead has a video breakdown of select plays from the Union’s recent games against Colorado, Montreal, and Los Angeles:

Brotherly Game reviews standouts and slackers from the Union’s games in May.

At the Union website, Marisa Pilla writes about traveling with the Special Olympics Pennsylvania team to Commerce City, where the team faced their counterparts from Colorado after the Rapids-Union game on Saturday.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Confirming reports we noted in Tuesday’s roundup, Bethlehem Steel has announced forward Seku Conneh has been called up by Liberia for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo on June 5. Conneh was called up for the qualifiers against Djibouti in March.

The La Salle Athletics site notes Saturday’s game in Rochester featured alums Ryan Richter for Bethlehem, and Joe Farrell for the Rhinos. Farrell scored both goals for the home team in the 2-2 draw.

Harrisburg City Islanders

The City Islanders are in Chattanooga tonight to face Chattanooga FC in the third round of the US Open Cup (7:30 pm YouTube). The winner will advance to face the Union at Talen Energy Stadium on June 15. Previews of tonight’s game at Harrisburg City Islanders, USLsoccer.com, The Chattanoogan,  WTVC, and WDEF.

Fifty Five One reviews interleague results in the US Open Cup since 2012, the first year the NASL participated in the tournament.

PDL

Lehigh Valley United Sonic hosts Ocean City Nor’easters tonight at 7 pm. Ocean City Nor’easters have a preview.

Local

In England, the Bristol Post reports on how supporters of League Two side Bristol Rovers, the manager of which is named Darrell Clarke, have tagged Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke in tweets over the past year. I think one, if there isn’t one already, Bristol Township needs to start a soccer club (and robust Twitter account) called the Rovers and, two, Bristol Rovers in England need to adopt the Bristol Stomp, if they haven’t already.

Wilmington, Delaware’s Padua Academy remains at No. 3 in the latest USA Today/NSCAA Spring Rankings for girls soccer.

MLS

Crikey, was I wrong in Tuesday’s roundup! In addition to tonight’s Union game against Columbus, DC hosts Seattle (8 pm) and Portland hosts San Jose (10:30 pm). Both games can be viewed on MLS Live and Direct Kick.

Seattle Times talks to Jeff Agoos about his role as vice president of competition.

At MLSsoccer.com, a look at the connections between MLS supporters groups and the American Outlaws includes comments from AO Philly head Julian Brown.

NWSL

Sports Pro Media talks to league commissioner Jeff Plush about expansion, the league’s financial stability, the need for more sponsors, and more.

US

Pulisic! PulisicPulisic!

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep on how the 4-3-3 could help the US to shine at the Copa America. More at Soccer America.

Soccer America considers what to expect for the US lineup in Friday’s opening game at the Copa America and answers, “For all we know, Klinsmann will abandon what he’s done in the last game and a half.” ASN has quotes from Jurgen Klinsmann on a variety of topics  ahead of the start of group play at the Copa America.  Group A previews at SI and Goal.com.

At SI, staff picks for who will win the Copa America. They all see the US playing — and losing to — Brazil in the quarterfinals. Projections at MLSsoccer.com have the US failing to advance out of its group.

WalletHub has a Copa America by the numbers infographic.

While Yahoo Sports considers what the Copa America could mean for soccer in the US, The Guardian looks at how the the youth development system in the US favors “well-to-do families spending thousands of dollars a year on soccer clubs that propel their children to the sport’s highest levels, while thousands of gifted athletes in mostly African American and Latino neighborhoods get left behind.”

ESPN has an oral history with members of the US team that participated in the 1995 Copa America in which the US finished in fourth place.

Giuseppe Rossi’s agent admits the Italian-American should’ve chosen to play for the US instead of Italy.

The AP reports: “The U.S. Soccer Federation asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to dismiss a complaint of wage discrimination made by members of the World Cup-winning women’s national team…The USSF’s response was contained in a position statement sent Tuesday to EEOC’s Chicago office by Latham & Watkins, a law firm representing the federation. It says there is no evidence U.S. Soccer is acting with a ‘discriminatory motive’ or is in violation of law…In its statement Tuesday, the USSF maintained ‘the players bringing this charge earned more money from U.S. Soccer last year than every single member of the MNT.” The statement adds, “U.S. Soccer believes that the WNT not only is the highest compensated women’s national soccer team in the world, but its compensation from U.S. Soccer is comparable to (and in many cases better than) the compensation U.S. Soccer provides to the MNT.”

AFP reports on a new University of Michigan study on the role the FIFA video game has played in the increased popularity of soccer in the US.

Elsewhere

Goal.com reports, “The Argentine Football Association’s (AFA) executive secretary has confirmed it is holding an emergency board meeting to discuss pulling out of the Copa America Centenario, although the body’s president has played down the chance of withdrawal.”

Click here for the competition rules for the Copa America tournament

The State Department has issued a travel alert warning US citizens planning on attending the Euros of the threat of terrorism. Press Association reports Europol agrees the Euros could be a target for IS: “However, Europol director Rob Wainwright told the Press Association the risk is ‘not necessarily high’ given the massive security operation set to be mounted by the French authorities.”

In other Euros news, the AP reports, “Hooliganism is making a comeback, and the timing could be bad with four high-risk matches in the first week of the European Championship in a country where the police force is already under huge strain.”

25 Comments

  1. Looking forward to the game tonight. So glad VN is back — so glad…phew. Love to see a well played game and thorough 2-0 win that displays dominance… that would be bonus.
    .
    Would love to get a run of emerging good health for the team members.
    .
    To date, Jakob Klinger’s article about Chirstian Pulisic in Mr. Farnsworth’s Pulisic! above is the most straightforward and telling I’ve read yet… well done to that writer.
    .
    “” Pulisic’s parents wanted him to face players twice his size and figure out ways around them, besides being fast, without withdrawing as an attacker.””
    .
    This is why strength is not a weakness in his game as mentioned yesterday.

    • THIS is the difference between europe and MLS… this right here. Finally I found it.
      .
      .
      “” On Dec. 12, 2013, they placed him at the center of the final game of the annual Nike U-17 friendlies against Brazil. By the end of the first half he had staked out at least five yards of space, and respect, between himself and the nearest opponent when he received the ball in midfield. Every Brazilian seemed hesitant to step to him. Pulisic was still one of the smallest players on the field, but he surged through the space with ease. The match was his to dictate.””
      .
      this is It… my God I feel so much better. this is what I’ve been arguing for what seems forever. This respect of space cause you know the guy on the ball can destroy you technically if you step improperly. I can die in absolute peace now.
      .
      What a great article.

      • Thanks for pointing this out I may have passed it over. You are so right though. At the moment we are only feared if it’s one of our faster players who might run past you, but we don’t have many.

      • Play the kid in this tournament Jurgen. We are a different team with him and Nagbe attacking. We are… fun! We have some swagger! Pulisic is not afraid. Don’t you be afraid JK.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah… all JK does is talk about having no fear and playing at high levels, etc. Pulisic is the definition of that. He needs to play significant time.

  2. That Guardian story is great. It points out exactly that which is the obstacle between good US National teams and great ones. As long as we continue to prop up pay-to-play soccer instruction we will miss out on the nation’s most talented players.

    • pragmatist says:

      I haven’t read it yet, but I can absolutely agree with that concept. You can’t price-out a massive segment of the demographic, or you are doomed for failure.

    • Which is one of the nuanced and unstated points of the Pulisic article… troubling how far we have come — yet how unbelievably far we have to go.

    • Yes, this is something I’ve been suspecting and worried about for sometime. I see it in HS soccer where some of the best players aren’t recruited b/c they don’t play for prominent clubs.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        As it is said of Walt Bahr when he was head at Penn State, that he recruited only center midfielders because those were the best players, so today his counterparts look at the developmental academies only, on the assumption that they have accurately and thoroughly winnowed that year’s crop.
        .
        High School personnel have long been involved in the club scene to get benefits for their school programs, not just in soccer. Perhaps college programs are going to have to do the same, but that’s time and money.

      • pragmatist says:

        I coach a kid who doesn’t play at one of the feeder clubs or the Academy, but he clearly belongs there. The reason is that his home club has a bad reputation. His skill is obvious, but he doesn’t get the invitations, nor could his parents afford the $5000/year it costs to have your kid play for these teams.
        .
        No, they have not been accurately and thoroughly winnowed. Only those with the right connections have.

  3. pragmatist says:

    CLB has one of the best midfields in the league, when they are playing well. Having Nogs back in our lineup will be massive, as CLB continues to try to climb out of their early hole.
    .
    That said, we need to see some lineup changes. Barnetta and CJ were shells of themselves on Saturday. Even LeToux and Pontius were worn out. Curtin needs to find a way to come out with energy from the jump. That should be CJ sits, and Herbers starts up top. We all have said it, but now it’s time: Get Alberg out there for Barnetta.
    .
    We can bring those starters in to finish out the game, or if the game looks like it’s getting away from us (which we shouldn’t expect). But we can’t trot out guys that can’t make it through the first half without full energy.
    .
    Let’s go into the break the right way.

  4. Ok so Nogeuira is starting tonight for BC I would assume, just to give his old legs a break, but doesn’t matter if it’s him or Crevalle. Just watching the game Saturday it’s very clear some guys needs breaks. I would say in order.
    Barnetta
    Sapong
    Pontius
    Le Toux
    Can we give them all breaks and not concede the game? Hard to say, but it’s possible. Fortunately all of those guys can easily come of the bench for 35 mins and help destroy. Personally I would start Herbers, Alberg and Ilsinho at Fwd, CAM and RW. Do you give Leo a shot though?
    .
    The guys have looked increasingly slow and tired over a rough stretch of close games and have held up remarkably well, but the play has deteriorated. The Crew are hit hard for this game. Now is the time to give some guys a chance. It would have been better to not do them all at once, but Curtin put himself in the position by making no changes recently.

    • Agreed with your suggested starters, though I would rest Pontius, not Le Toux. Seba is nearly inexhaustible — or, at least, he can give it one more go before a long break. And Nogueira has got to spell Carroll, not Creavalle, because age.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      My take,based on of comparative impact in games down with the Steel, I would give Restrepo a chance ahead of Fernandes.
      .
      The Steel in the last few games – Rochester game is anomalous – have been playing through Restrepo on the flank [given that their center mid is more of a physical specimen than a creative twinkletoes passer]. Whether he can put the same game on an MLS pitch is a good question. at the lower level, his defense, conditioning and effort have imporved noticeably since preseason when they were not highly visible.

      • That’s really good to hear. He was an exciting pickup that seemed to flounder to start the year. It seems like the Bethlehem connection could be paying dividends already

  5. OK I admit it. FIFA 2006 and 7 made me a complete footie junkie.

  6. Hey! A Bristol Rovers reference! I would remiss if I didn’t point out that they are now in League One.

  7. That ESPN oral history of the 1995 Copa America USMNT includes Earnie Stewart quotes BTW.

  8. el Pachyderm says:

    That Guardian article is massive. Spot on… I’ve argued and argued and argued and, “well some men you just can’t reach~ so you get what we had here last week…. Which is the way he wants,~~~ well he gets”
    .
    In the words of the author, “people dont want to talk about it.”
    .
    The comfort zone is comforting for a reason… alas – I take the fight elsewhere.

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