Daily news roundups

Union bits, US crushes Costa Rica, more news

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Philadelphia Union

Vote Chris Pontius for the All-Star Game!

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has the first part of ten reasons the Union are so much better this year. At Pattison Ave, Jay Davenport looks at the Union’s improved numbers in a variety of statistical categories.

At ESPN, Graham Parker has answers for ten questions that will shape the rest of the MLS season. The first two specifically concern the Union:

1. Which of the Conference front-runners will finish higher?

Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union showed their character just before the break in conceding a late goal in Colorado, which is on top of the West, only to score a late equalizer that split the points and gave a little hope to the chasing pack in both conferences. In the notionally easier East, the Union look poised to haul in the Rapids in the Supporters’ Shield race.

But the Rapids are not where they are by accident, and their attritional abilities will serve them well the remainder of the season. Their roster versatility is possibly marginally greater than Philadelphia’s, even if it’s about a wash when it comes to comparing team spirit, and they should prove to be the real deal over the course of the season.

2. Which will go further in the playoffs?

On this front, Philadelphia has a certain resilient identity that has manifested on the pitch under manager Jim Curtin, and the Union have a correlating sense of purpose and spirit off the field that is shaped by several factors: the arrival of Earnie Stewart as sporting director, the completion of the new training facility and a general sense that the drift at the club in the years following its arrival had been stopped just in time.

A couple close campaigns in the U.S. Open Cup have helped as well, and come playoff time, if injuries and the gods of freak goals are kind, Philadelphia might be better positioned than the rapidly ascending Colorado to manage its way through a knockout scenario.

The Intelligencer notes: “The Philadelphia Union has partnered with the Doylestown men’s clothing store Ventresca Ltd. to outfit the team and technical staff for the 2016 season. Since May 15, the Union has been sporting Ventresca’s tailored suits to and from all matches at the Talen Energy Stadium, as well as on all team flights for road matches. Ventresca, known for its classic look, has been selling men’s clothing for more than 30 years.”

Local

Big Apple Soccer reports Thursday night’s match between NYRB II and Harrisburg City Islanders “might look a bit like an MLS match out there at Red Bull Arena.” The report explains, “Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch likely will use the Thursday night USL match to keep some first team players sharp. Among those first team players expected to be loaned out for the match against Harrisburg includes forward Gonzalo Veron, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and defender Gideon Baah.”

In PDL play, Ocean City Nor’easters are on the road tonight to face NYRB U-23s, while Lehigh Valley United hosts Jersey Express tonight at 8 pm.

MLS

The mysterious red card Conor Casey received in last week’s loss by Columbus to the Union has been rescinded by the league’s disciplinary committee after appeal. At least we’ll always have RosenFace.

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Houston Dynamo have named Wade Barrett as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2016 season.

At the Chicago Fire website is a transcript of answers from General Manager Nelson Rodríguez regarding the status of Gilberto. The designated player is on leave from the team for “some personal time to help him with some personal matters.”

Looks like there will parking problems when Minnesota United’s new stadium is built. More Minnesota stadium news at Star TribunePioneer Press and Monitor St. Paul.

The Charlotte Observer has comments from Charlotte Independence president and managing partner Jim McPhilliamy on his team’s MLS aspirations.

US

Well, that’s more like it.

Following Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Colombia to open group play, the US dramatically improved its chances of advancing out of Group A into the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals with a stunning 4-0 win over Costa Rica in Chicago on Tuesday night. Leading the way was Clint Dempsey, who opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a well-taken penalty kick (his 50th goal for the US), and assists on the goals from Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood. The goals from Jones, Wood, and Graham Zusi were all fine finishes.

With Colombia advancing to the quarterfinals following their 2-1 defeat of Paraguay after the US victory over Costa Rica, the US, now at three points, looks set to advance with a win or a draw over Paraguay at the Linc on Saturday. Should the US lose on Saturday, they will not advance (scenarios here). If the US finishes second in Group A, they will face the winner of Group B, where Peru is currently in first place with three points, with Brazil and Ecuador level at one point each. Brazil plays Haiti tonight in Orlando (7:30pm: FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, UniMás, Univision, UDN), and Ecuador faces Peru in Phoenix (10 pm: FS2, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, UniMás, Univision, UDN).

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philly.comUS Soccer, Copa America Centenario, CONCACAF, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun TimesCSN Chicago, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street JournalNew York Daily News, USA Today (recap, commentary), The Guardian, MLSsoccer.com (recap, analysis, report), ESPN (recap, analysis, report), Fox Soccer, Pro Soccer Talk (recap, analysis, report), CBS Sports, SI (recap, analysis), Goal.com (recap, report, report), ASN (recap, analysis), Soccer America, Yahoo Sports (recap, commentary), Chicagoland Soccer News, and the AP.

Player ratings at ESPNCBS Sports, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Soccer America, Pro Soccer Talk, and Goal.com.

Speaking to reporters before Tuesday night’s game, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati admitted recent USMNT results under Jurgen Klinsmann have been disappointing:

Results are what matter and everyone understands that. Results of the last 18 months overall haven’t been what we would have hoped for, especially in the official competitions. We had some good results last spring that were friendlies, we had some wins coming into this event, but it’s the official competitions that matter the most and we haven’t been up to where we would like to be. We will look at everything after this competition. I don’t get too high or too low based on one game, especially in this tournament against a very good team [Colombia]. So we will wait and see how the next two games go and hopefully some additional games after that before we assess where things are again.

Gulati also said of  the ESPN Deportes report of discussions between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to stage the Copa America tournament in the US going forward, “There have been no discussions about future events with U.S. Soccer or between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL about this. There is nothing imminent, no plans, no discussions have taken place. Having said all of that, could there be discussions about it? Sure, but nothing has happened to date. [The report] is completely inaccurate.”

Gulati also said the election of Donald Trump as US president could negatively affect the US bid to host the World Cup in 2016:

We are going to bid for a World Cup if we think we can be successful. Being successful in a World Cup bid or an Olympic bid for Los Angeles (in 2024) is affected by the world’s view of our leaders  – not just leaders of the soccer federation…I think the world’s perception of the U.S. is affected by who is in the White House. So it has some bearing…I think having somebody in the White House that gives the country an outward-looking view and a personality that is more easily accepted around the world is positive for (America) and then more specifically for hosting events here – and for our general image from a sports perspective.

More on Gulati’s comments at New York Times (Klinsmann, hosting Copa America), Washington Post, Wall Street JournalUSA Today, ESPN (Klinsmann, hosting Copa America), Fox Soccer, SIMLSsoccer.com, and Goal.com.

Elsewhere

Goal.com reports, “CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez has confirmed Brazil as host of the 2019 edition of the Copa America.”

The AP reports, “Access to a train carrying the European Championship trophy across France has been blocked by protesters against planned labour law reforms.”

The Guardian reviews the efforts underway in France to enhance security for Euro 2016 against terrorist attacks.

3 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Haiti is playing Brazil tonight? I thought they are just the supporting acts for the Mark Geiger show?

  2. Jim Presti says:

    Nando is back in Philly… I’m waiting…

  3. I’m glad that Casey’s red card was rescinded. It was absurd. Also, I’ve never heard of that happening before.

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