Daily news roundups

“This is it”: US faces Paraguay at the Linc on Saturday, Stewart want the MLS Cup, more

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Copa America Centenario in Philly

Copa America Centenario play at the Linc began on Thursday night with Venezuela defeating Uruguay, 1-0. With the result, Uruguay, one of the favorites to win the tournament, will not advance to the quarterfinals. Attendance was a disappointing 23,002.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead talks to Venezuelan national team players about former Union man Fernando Aristeguieta, and to Venezuela and Uruguay supporters who were in town for Thursday night’s game.

Hopefully there will be a much bigger crowd for Saturday’s US game against Paraguay. If the US wins or draws, they will advance to the quarterfinals.

Jurgen Klinsmann said of Saturday’s game against Paraguay,

This is it. This is already a knockout game on Saturday. This is it. It’s a one-off, and this is our goal, to go through that on Saturday and play the next one-off and learn how to win these one-off games—to mature in our own way towards a World Cup where we can go further.

Our big dream is to get into a final four of a World Cup, rather sooner than later. And these are the moments where you kind of tell your players, “Don’t be nervous about it. There’s no reason to be nervous. But understand that moment. So let’s go out there and just give everything you have.” Saturday night is a game where you expect the guys to go out there and really give everything have. If they do that, if they bought into this whole process, it’s going to be a very exciting game.

Klinsmann also said, “We are not playing for one point, we cannot do that, it’s not our character to for one point. We go for the win. Otherwise we might punish ourselves.”

USA Today talks to Jermaine Jones about the importance of home support for the US in the tournament, Jones said:

In the first game it was a little bit confusing for us because we saw a lot of Colombian fans there and it was a home game. (We were thinking,) ‘We have the Copa America in America and we don’t really have the support.’ Tuesday was completely different and that’s what this country needs to make the next step in soccer…

It is not only in Philadelphia, it is everywhere, we have to have No.1 support. We have an amazing country. When we all believe we can build something then everybody will have fun.

We already saw what happened in 2014 at the World Cup (in Brazil), the USA was the country with the most support. But now we have to get that over and get people to come to the games here in the United States too.

More on Saturday’s game at Philly.comESPN, SI, Soccer America (preview, commentary), MLSsoccer.com (preview, report), US Soccer, and Metro.

Pulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic! PulisicPulisic!

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle on the spark provided by the shift to a 4-4-2 formation in Tuesday’s win over Costa Rica.

More on Philly hosting Copa America games at Billy Penn6abc, and Philadelphia Magazine.

Update: The Sixt rental car company, of all things, has a guide to watching the Copa America in Philadelphia. Be aware, it closes with an advertisement for rental cars, but before that is some good content on the best ways to watch the games in Philly.

Philadelphia Union

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin talks to Earnie Stewart, who says while he’s happy the team entered the Copa America break in first place in the Eastern Conference, the team hasn’t yet reached its full potential: “I think there’s still more there. We’re in good shape, and we’ll see if we can reach the next level with these guys…My feeling is that in practices, we’ve even been better than games. So there’s still progress to be made from a soccer standpoint. I believed [being in first at the Copa break] was possible, but it was not something we set as a goal. The goal that we do have is we want to win the MLS Cup. And to win the MLS Cup, you have to make the playoffs.

Zeitlin writes, “Stewart also admitted the club will ‘always be on the lookout’ for new players during the summer transfer window – but quickly added that he’s ‘happy with what we have right now’ and that some current players have still not even showed all that they can do.”

At CSN Philly, Zeitlin reports Jim Curtin has been taking advantage of the Copa America being in Philly as a learning experience and an opportunity to do some scouting. Curtin said,

Having Copa America in our city has been pretty valuable — looking at players, watching a lot of games, sending scouts to watch games, going myself to see training sessions. I got to go see Uruguay, which was good. As a young coach, you always want to learn and try to get better. It confirms a lot of what you’re doing is similar, but you do see little things you can maybe tweak and make your own.  It’s a good learning tool, selfishly, for myself to be able to see these training sessions.

Curtin said of the opportunity to scout players, “You’re always looking to upgrade the roster. I’m very happy with how the guys have performed and we’re in a very good spot. But we can’t just be content and think we’re perfect because we’re not a perfect team and we’re not a finished product just yet.

Curtin also described what the Union have been doing during the break:

For our guys, we gave them some good down time but they recovered and are back at it for two-a-days. The response is good. We’ve been working on situational things, things that we can improve. We can still improve possession; we’ll continue to work on restarts each and every day; and then, with our final-third play, we’ve done a good job keeping possession in the final third but making that final pass a little more clinical is something we’ve been focusing on this week.

Andre Blake was in goal in Jamaica’s 2-0 defeat by Mexico in the Copa America Centenario on Thursday night. The result, combined with Venezuela’s win over Uruguay, means Jamaica will not advance to the knockout stage. Jamaica and Uruguay face off in their final game of the tournament on Monday in Santa Clara.

Vote Tranquillo Barnetta for the MLS All-Star team!

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem, 11th place in the Eastern Conference (13 points, 3-4-4), begins a stretch of five road games tonight when they face Charlotte Independence, who are 6th place (18 points, 5-3-3). Kickoff is at 7 pm (YouTube). Previews at Bethlehem Steel, Charlotte IndependenceCharlotte Post,

Harrisburg City Islanders

Harrisburg, 10th place in the Eastern Conference (13 points, 4-8-1) fell 1-0 on the road to NYRB II on Thursday night, its third loss in a row. NYRB II (27 points, 8-1-3) is now tied with Louisville for first place in the Eastern Conference. Recaps at Harrisburg City Islanders, Philly Soccer News, USLsoccer.comNYRB, Big Apple Soccer, Empire of Soccer, and Metro Soccer Nation.

PDL

Second in the Mid Atlantic Division Reading United (10 points, 3-0-1) is on the road to face first place Baltimore Bohemians (11 points, 3-1-2) tonight.

Last place Lehigh Valley United Sonic (1 point, 0-4-1) is on the road to Virginia on Sunday to face fifth place Evergreen FC (8 points, 2-3-2).

Ocean City Nor’easters host New England Revolution U-23s in a friendly on Saturday at 7 pm.

As part of the Philadelphia Union Festival in Reading on Sunday, Reading United will host Bethlehem Steel FC at Exeter Township High School’s Don Thomas Stadium. Kick off is at 7 pm.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Soccer Wire notes the Union Academy has produced the fourth most US youth national team callups since 2015 with 14 players called up.

MLS

SI has more on the reports that Atlanta United is pursuing Mexican national team midfielder Andrés Guardado, who is currently with PSV Eindhoven.

US

ESPN reports, “Former United States international Landon Donovan is in advanced negotiations to join the American consortium buying majority control of Premier League side Swansea City, according to industry sources.” More at Wales Online.

Team America, 1976.

Elsewhere

Euro 2016 kicks off today with France vs. Romania (ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes). Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for Copa America Centenario and Euro 2016 broadcast information.

Reuters reports, “French cafe owners are being told not to host large outdoor TV broadcasts of the Euro 2016 soccer championship because of the security risk, in a country where Islamist attackers killed 130 people on one night in November.”

Reuters reports, “Striking rail workers have halted about half of French train services in a dispute over working hours as a standoff between the militant CGT union and the Socialist government over a proposed labour law reform dragged on.” Among the lines affected are two lines that run to Stade de France, site of today’s Euro 2016 opener.

Also from the Guardian: “In a build-up marked by tension over weightier matters, Euro 2016 organizers face embarrassment of a different kind after it emerged their mascot shares its name with a popular sex toy.” The shared name is Super Victor.

Inside World Football on how Gianni Infantino’s expense account is already raising eyebrows.

Brilliant:

33 Comments

  1. el Pachyderm says:

    The attendance for Ur-u-guay Venezuela game sucked. An enormous cavernous bowl of empty space with dense little enclaves of supporters.
    .
    Dear US Soccer learn from this.
    .
    Some of the best advice I ever received- there is no such thing as pressure – only opportunity and responsibility.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    Landon Donovan. Dedicated his career to MLS dedicating his business elsewhere. Hmm.
    .
    JK trumpets the 4-3-3 and attacking dynamic it provides in this event then we read articles how the 4-4-2 is helping team.
    .
    So funny.
    .
    No it’s actually not.
    .
    A big WTF.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      The old reliable 4-4-2. It fell out of fashion for a bit, but is still a very good formation to use, especially for the USMNT.

      Remember, the numbers of a formation matter less than what each individual’s role is in the team.

  3. When is Nogueira elible for the USNT, and who he be called up?

    • Zizouisgod says:

      As much as I like Nogs, I don’t want to see him play for the USMNT. Let’s just keep him to ourselves here in Philly.

    • I assume he’d be eligible now since he has citizenship but I don’t know about his prior playing in France so not sure if he’s even eligible

      • According to wikipedia, he has played once for France’s U21 team. So technically he could still switch to the US. If he even wanted to. And if Klinnsey wanted him.

      • Last I heard he has a green card, not full citizenship.

  4. pragmatist says:

    There are plenty of seats available for tomorrow’s game. But I fear that US Soccer, and all the other organizers, have overvalued their seats. The cheapest seats left are over $90/ticket. You’re paying $200 (including parking) to go to the game for 2 people.
    .
    I love the game, and I love to watch our team play. But that’s a hefty price, and I’m an actual fan. You’re not getting casual fans at that price.
    .
    I may end up going Tuesday, but only because I have access to some corporate seats. And that’s funny, because the guy who is giving them to me has no interest in going, nor does anyone else he knows.
    .
    This game is not at the level in this country where you can charge high fees for tickets and expect to sell out stadiums. Lower the cost, and you’ll sell out games.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      This! I’m going tomorrow, but only because my buddy bought the package to all 3 games and saved a US ticket for me. I couldn’t afford to bring my kids, especially if I had to pay for all 3 games. We’re in the upper deck and tickets are over $100 Watched on TV last night and it was a great game, but to buy tickets for all 3 kids and myself for all 3 games would have been over $1200 and that is sitting in the cheap seats!

    • Andy Muenz says:

      My thoughts exactly. I would have considered going last night, even though the Linc is a crappy place to watch a game, but when I saw that the price of a ticket in the same seats I watched the first two Union games from in 2010 was 10 times as much as I pay to go to TES, I decided to stay home.
      .
      And I was talking with someone at work today who’s father and sister went and he told me parking was $40. Just ridiculous.

    • this pricing scheme reflects a trend in modern sports – the owners/promoters are clueless. very few clubs (Stoke in EPL, Dallas Mavericks in NBA as examples) realize that the TV money is where it is at and the real fans that add atmosphere live and on TV don’t have the megabucks and the prices should be set accordingly and kept reasonable – even for a one off tournament. Mark Cuban said he gouges the court side seats and the luxury boxes and keeps everything else very affordable. Arsenal’s move the Emirates now looks less than sensible as match day receipts are dwarfed by TV money. perhaps this may change or revert to mean or whatever, but if you want a great atmosphere, make the tickets affordable – like $25 a piece. I’ll take my answer off the air …

    • Yep, ticket price is exactly what kept me away as well. I enjoy taking my daughter to matches – and other sporting events – but the prices here were just a bit too steep…

    • Echoing what I have read here.
      .
      I was part of a big group that went to the Gold Cup Final at the Linc. I won’t be going to this game simply due to the price. $90 for a nosebleed seat? I can see it better on my TV anyway.
      .

    • I have three kids and passed on it because the prices were so high. And I’m a Union season ticket-holder with 5 seats at Talen Energy. Maybe I’ll check StubHub to see if there are last-minute sellers at reasonable prices.

      USSF, Concacaf and Conmebol all saw this tournament as an opportunity to cash in but misread the market, except for El Tri matches.

    • Guess the Mexicans have different priorities than most of you. How it is they sold out the Rose Bowl yesterday and paid similar prices? It is all about priorities. But I do agree that prices are priced way too high

      • This is single handedly the most accurate observation on these pages I have ever read… I’ve been kinda nudging around a similar idea and you flat beat me to it.
        .
        GUIDO… dead solid truth.

      • pragmatist says:

        You can argue that they care more, and in larger numbers. It’s not part of the American persona, but it is in almost every other country on the planet.
        .
        Let’s not forget that this is a tournament virtually devoid of stars that are easily recognizable by the non-hardcore fans. Where’s Rooney? Where’s Ronaldo? Where’s Zlatan? Where’s Ozil? Kane? Vardy?
        .
        We don’t follow the Latin American players much, and the ones that we do aren’t playing.
        .
        This was just a gross misunderstanding of the market, on many levels.

      • pragmatist says:

        Just to be clear on my point, I was being somewhat sarcastic by naming the European players. If Americans are following other leagues, they are following the Euro leagues, hence, looking for the stars I listed.
        .
        The Copa players either play over here, or are not the stars in Europe. Rodriguez is the only non-injured “big” star from the Euro leagues playing. (If I am forgetting someone, I apologize.) But with Suarez hurt/out and Messi hurt, people don’t know who these guys are.
        .
        (Just making sure my PSP card isn’t revoked for a misunderstanding!)

      • I read a piece this week… might have been in the Guardian …that claimed the Mexican National Team is better received in the U.S. than in Mexico. I don’t think it is better attended, but the point is that in the U.S., the MNT is a big way for Mexican Americans to connect with and celebrate their culture in addition to being a way to see a great team play very good football. Just an interesting thought.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Instinctively, your perception is highly accurate more than likely, just as a mail order hoagie from Delaware county tastes better in San Francisco than it does in Philly.

    • I bought the Philly Pass – all 3 games – and was able to sell the other non-US games at face value ($95 a piece for section 225). I agree that it’s expensive and dropping $95 just for a ticket to anything is something I might do once every other year… but it’s the full squad “tournament edition” of the US, in what turned out to be a meaningful game, in our backyard. I have only ever seen them one other time, 2010 at the Linc vs Turkey (WC Send Off Series) so I decided to go. I wasn’t sure what sales would be so I grabbed the Pass… in hindsight I would’ve just waited and bought the individual game. Either way it’ll be fun and worth it to me… as long as the rain holds out.

  5. McMohanski says:

    I plan to go down and scalp a ticket outside the stadium. $90 is too much for my situation but i’ll pay $50. And septa it

    • I was at the Uruguay Venezuela game last night. Walking from the subway there were at least 5 scalpers yelling “who needs tickets.

      It was a fun game, the Uruguayans really outnumbered the Venezuelans, which surprised me.

      • at least 100-1.
        .
        not quite sure I’m buying the 23,002 either. That stadium hold 46K if I recall and it wasn’t half full…. more like half empty.

      • It has 69,000 seats. It looked one third full to me

      • I was there. I felt happy for the Venezuelan fans who were dwarfed by the Uruguayans.
        And to everyone going on about prices, I got the 3 game pass for $50/match with fees to $164 total. Sure I’m in nosebleeds but I have learned the hard way: buy cheap and go wherever you want. Watched the first half up top, then second on the lower level. The roar when Suarez came to the warm up area was great. I was right there. 95% of the club leve ring was vacant. There was the huge disconnect between upper and lower levels.
        Best atmosphere there was Mexico in the gold cup final last year: I splurged on that one for $100, lower level, on the tunnel.

      • If the bottom bowl of that stadium was filled (( or rather the entire PPL park which apparently plays host to excellent lacrosse and rugby games but was somehow deemed unworthy for Copa crowds)) the atmosphere would have been electric.
        .
        2000 fans of the game. 17000 fans for Uruguay. 1500 fans for Venezuela– an arm hair raising event…
        .
        Good news though– they got the anthem correct this time.
        .
        Dear US Soccer… lower prices to the game or create scarcity and put the obvious smaller drawing games in smaller venues…
        .
        “When I am King….you will be first against the wall.”

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        “first to the gibbet” has a better ring to it, don’t you think, el P?

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I’ve made quite a few, “OFF! with their heads” cries here.

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