Daily news roundups

Union win big in Bedoya debut, BSFC falls on the road, league results, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Well now, that was pretty gosh darn awesome.

The Union comprehensively defeated New England Revolution 4-0 on the road on Saturday, ending a four-game winless streak. Along the way, CJ Sapong scored his first goal in open play since May 14 to bring his goal tally for the season to 7, Chris Pontius scored his fourth goal in five games and is now at 10 goals before assisting the goal from Richie Marquez, his second of the season, and Roland Alberg showed he is not pleased with being a sub by scoring a screamer in stoppage time, assisted by new guy Charlie Davies, bringing his goal total to 8.

As Jim Curtin said after the game, “I think we picked a great time to have our most professional performance for 90 minutes.”

And the other new guy, Alejandro Bedoya? Nothing but praise for him. Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle writes of Bedoya’s debut, “Bedoya was sublime at getting the ball to playmaker Tranquillo Barnetta on the move, into space, and pointed toward the final third…If you’re getting your No. 10 on the ball multiple times per game in Zone 14, you’re doing something very, very right. Vincent Nogueira was tremendous at this, and in Bedoya’s 72 minutes, he was as well — and he did so without vacating central midfield to the types of dangerous build-ups that have shredded the Union backline since June.”

At FourFourTwo, Paul Tenorio says of Bedoya’s debut, “Sometimes it’s not about the flash and the sexy passes. It’s about doing the little things and being the connective piece that makes the machine work smoothly. With Bedoya running the show, the Union did the things that have gotten it to this point this season.”

Said Curtin of Bedoya, he’s “a guy that can slow the game down when it needs to slow down, and can speed it up when it needs to speed up, so it gave us a little bit of a calming presence in possession. I think the guys fed off of that…Alejandro is a special player, and we’re excited to have him on board for a long time.” So say we all.

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap, postgame), Philadelphia Union (recap, report), Philly.com, Delco Times, Philly Voice, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Pattison Ave, Prost AmerikaVavel, Section 215, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, NE), New England Revolution, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, New England Soccer Today (recap, analysis), New England Soccer NewsThe Bent MusketESPN, SBIMLS Multiplex, and the APNew England Revolution, New England Soccer Today, Prost Amerika, and USA Today have photo galleries from the game.

Roland Alberg’s goal is up for MLSsoccer.com’s Goal of the Week. Take a moment to vote, he’s up against David Villa.

Andre Blake, Fabinho, and Chris Pontius were named to ESPN’s MLS Team of the Week.

ESPN on Charlie Davies’ return to New England after joining the Union from the Revolution only days ago.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jeff Lemieux has a good read on how Davies discovered he had cancer soon after his twin boys were born prematurely.

Last Word on Sports says Bedoya’s arrival means the Union are ready to contend.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel are now winless in the last five games after losing 2-1 on the road to Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who ended a four-game losing streak with the win. Contrary to an earlier report, new Union homegrown signing Auston Trusty was in the backline for Bethlehem. In goal for Pittsburgh was Zack Steffen, the Downingtown lad and former Union Academy player who recently returned from Europe to sign with Pittsburgh’s MLS affiliate, Columbus Crew. Reading native Corey Hertzog put the Riverheads up 1-0 in the 18th minute before Corey Burke equalized for Bethlehem in the 28th, with Pittsburgh taking the lead in the 62nd minute. Here was Bethlehem’s roster:

Samir Badr; Auston Trusty, Anderson Conceicao, Taylor Washington (Amoy Brown 78’), Ryan Richter ©; Bolu Akinyode, James Chambers, Leo Fernandes (Gabe Gissie 87’); Eric Ayuk, Joshua Heard (Jamie Luchini 65’), Cory Burke (Justin Mcmaster 79’)
Substitutes not used: Nick Bibbs, Anthony Fontana

Bethlehem are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference (26 points, 6-9-8). Recaps and reports at PSP, Bethlehem Steel, Philly Soccer News (Bethlehem, Pittsburgh), Brotherly GameUSLsoccer.com, Pittsburgh RiverhoundsPittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune, and Pittsburgh Sporting News.

City Islanders

Jose Barril scored in the 68th minute to give the City Islanders a 1-0 road win over Toronto FC II. THe result sees Harrisburg move up to tenth place in the Eastern Conference (25 points, 7-14-4). Recaps and reports at USLsoccer.comPhilly Soccer News, and Toronto FC.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place NYCFC (38 points, 10-7-8) came from behind to take the lead only to concede in the 95th minute and draw 3-3 on the road with ninth place Columbus (20 points, 3-8-11). After the game in had been postponed until Sunday due to persistent lightning, second place Toronto (37 points, 10-7-7) came from behind to draw 1-1 on the road with Houston, who took the early lead with a goal from former Union man Cristian Maidana but were down to ten men in first half stoppage time. Third place NYRB (36 points, 10-9-6) came from behind to defeat fifth place Montreal (33 points, 8-6-9), 3-1, Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring a brace for the home team. Fourth place Philadelphia (34 points, 9-8-7) thumped eighth place New England (26 points, 6-10-8) 4-0 on the road. After a delayed kickoff due to excessive heat, sixth place DC (27 points, 6-8-9) defeated Portland, 2-0. Seventh place Orlando (27 points, 5-6-12) came from behind but then gave up the lead late on the road to draw 2-2 with last place Chicago (19 points, 4-11-7).

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (45 points, 13-6-6) came from behind after giving up a late lead to draw 2-2 at home with fifth place Kansas City (35 points, 10-11-5). Second place Colorado (42 points, 11-3-9) drew 1-1 on the road with third place LAG (38 points, 9-3-11) after first taking the lead, former Union man Sebastien Le Toux playing 45 second half minutes for the Rapids. Fourth place Salt Lake (37 points, 10-8-7) was defeated 2-1 on the road by ninth place Seattle (27 points, 8-12-3). Sixth place Portland (32 points, 8-9-8) was defeated 2-0 on the road by DC. Seventh place San Jose (31 points, 7-6-10) defeated eighth place Vancouver (30 points, 8-11-6) 2-1 for their first win against the Whitecaps at BC Place. Last place Houston (21 points, 4-10-9) scored first but had to settle for a 1-1 home draw against Toronto.

The Denver Post on Sebastien Le Toux joining Colorado Rapids following his trade from the Union. Le Toux says, “It’s a good trade for me. I’m very happy to be here. I know it’s a big expectation for this team.”

A columnist at San Antonio Press-News says rising expansion fees will prevent San Antonio  from landing a MLS franchise.

US

The USWNT was knocked out of the Olympics with a 4-3 penalty kick loss to Sweden after Friday’s quarterfinal game finished level at 1-1 following extra time. Hope Solo then did he teammates a solid by directing attention away from the team’s disappointing performance and questionable tactics to herself by saying after the loss, “We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today.”

IOC spokesman Mark Adams described Solo’s comments as “disappointing,” but said the goalkeeper was unlikely to face censure.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said, “While we are all very disappointed with the results of the match, Hope’s post-game comments were highly inappropriate and not in line with the expectations of U.S. Soccer or the ideals of the Olympic movement.”

While the blame game will go on for now, questions about the team will remain, as reports from SI, Fox Sports, FourFourTwo, MLSsoccer.comVice Sports,  Soccer America says the team will remain the gold standard for women’s soccer but sums up the team well: “Mostly dominating but rarely convincing.”

After opening group play in the CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship in Orlando with a 22-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago, followed by a 1-0 win over Mexico, the US defeated Haiti 1-0 on Friday and then topped Dominican Republic 6-0 on Sunday to finish top of their group. The team will next face either Bermuda in the quarterfinal on Wednesday. While rested for the win over Haiti, defender Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.) has started and finished every other game in the tournament so far.

Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Penn.) played the opening 45 minutes in the US U-17 WNT’s 1-1 draw with Brazil in a friendly in Michigan on Thursday.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “For the love of his country, Lionel Messi has reconsidered his decision to quit international soccer and will continue playing for Argentina’s national team.” Whew.

35 Comments

  1. The Realist Brian says:

    Great game. Bedoya is an upgraded Nogs. And I am a huge Nogs fan. The piece that has been missing the last few losses has been brought back in with Bedoya.
    .
    Marquez and Tribbet need to improve their distribution under pressure. Too many long balls lumped forward for a loss of possession. For both of them. Yaro is much better under pressure and it is time he is played. Better option than Tribbet.
    .
    I like Warren but he had to work on his passing too. Edu is needed here.

    • Lucky Striker says:

      The Yaro ? comes down to two things, crediting the obvious and some chatter elsewhere that has potential merit:

      1). His pending shoulder surgery may be causing him such discomfort that he’s been reduced to an emergency option.

      2) This(shutting him down) may be an attempt to preserve his GA status.

  2. Once again the union won big when I was unable to each the game.
    So you should seriously consider paying me not to watch.

  3. The USWNT needs to cut ties with Hope Solo. Her behavior continues to be an embarrassment for the program. Time to start grooming a new #1 goalkeeper for the next World Cup (2019 in France).

    • Agreed. She’s probably at the point now where her talent level isn’t worth the headache.

    • They needed to cut ties with her back in 2007 when she showed she’s not a team player by complaining about not playing against Brazil.
      .
      Everyone talks about what a great keeper she is but it’s primarily because the defense is so good that she only faces one or two shots per game.
      .
      And she’s the one who played like a coward by not even trying to stop most of the penalty kicks. Even the one she saved, she had moved over there before the kick and it pretty much came right at her.

    • Jim Presti says:

      Their play is an embarrassment to the program. Her comments don’t help, but she also has a right to voice her opinion regardless if you agree with it.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I disagree with you. While not their best game, the team played reasonably well against a team they have historically struggled against (remember that Sweden beat them in the 2011 World Cup). Add that to the US having to play in the rainforest and then travel to the game compared to Sweden that had no travel, their play wasn’t embarrassing at all, with one exception.
        .
        Hope Solo made no real effort on the penalty kicks.
        .
        As a representative of US Soccer and a role model for young kids, she does NOT have the right to embarrass the team by being a sore loser.

      • Jim Presti says:

        The USWNT has been playing Route 1 soccer and relying on bigger stronger faster players [the “American” player] for the last 10+ years. The rest of the world has caught up or is catching up physically and with more robust tactics. The USWNT has never had a need to innovate and now that other countries are taking the women’s game seriously, the gap has closed tremendously.

      • Three points:
        .
        1) In case you forgot, the USWNT won the World Cup in 2015, led by many of the players that are on the current squad. Given that they won the sport’s top prize just one year ago, it’s ridiculous to describe their play as “an embarrassment to the program,” even if they did get upset the other day.
        .
        2) While they also won the World Cup in 1991 and 1999, the US women fell short of the top prize in 1995, 2003, 2007, and 2011. Based on that history, it’s likely that other countries have been “taking the women’s game seriously” for at least the past two decades. It’s nothing new.
        .
        3) While Hope Solo has a right to express her opinion, she doesn’t have a right to a spot on the USWNT. If her behavior proves to be an embarrassment to the program, the US coaches can and should remove her from the team.

      • 1. Their play was ugly this entire tournament. 2015 was a different year but they still played route 1 soccer throughout the tournament.
        2. The investment in the women’s game has largely increased in the last 10 years, but culturally hasn’t been as important.
        3. Subjective argument. A coach has an obligation to field the best team and win. Whether that includes Solo is another question. There was nothing “offensive” about what she said. Are we so PC that “cowards” is offensive in describing your opponents? Where is the commentary from her teammates coming out against her comments? I have’t heard any.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Hope Solo has and always will be a jerk…that’s just her nature.

      • Still not sure how, in this country that produces world-class women athletes better than anyone, nobody in 10 years has turned up as a viable replacement. Is Ellis just not looking or is Solo just a Ledecky better than everyone else at the position?

  4. Still feeling good about that game. Good time for the team to get it’s act (back) together and stay strong for the rest of the season. If Edu returns and contributes, this team can take the whole conference. Exciting stuff.

    If you’re not already doing so, follow Bedoya on Twitter. @AleBedoya17. He’s one of the more prolific tweeters in the sport.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Following Bedoya on Twitter is its own experience. Good call Pete.
      .
      He’s an excellent interview, or so to speak…. dude doesn’t mince words.

  5. The Insurmountable Hill says:

    Glad to see the Brotherhood is back to doing what it had done best – exploit and capitalize.

    Bedoya seems to be a perfect fit for the #8. He’s an intelligent war horse, deliberate, simple, and yet creative. His presence allows the others to be who they instinctively are: Barnetta, an orchestrator; and Crevalle, a marauder.

    The sun is shining on the banks of the Delaware.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Excellent comment.
      .
      Really, good description of the player.
      .
      There is splash and pizzazz and there is just damn good…. Bedoya is the vision philosophy plan.

      • The Insurmountable Hill says:

        I’m in full agreement.

        I’m really glad we didn’t just go out and spend money for spending money’s sake. Bedoya is the perfect poster boy for Earnie’s approach. Spend wisely, and spend necessarily.

        Furthermore, I’m more than giddy that the Union FO/ES/V.P.P. is the belle of the MLS ball. It’s a great time to be a Union supporter.

      • The Insurmountable Hill says:

        I also forgot to mention… “That rug really tied the room together, did it not.”

  6. Big week coming up with Toronto, at Columbus and then hosting Kansas City. A win against Toronto means the Union are tied with them. Columbus is a winnable game. Kansas City is the next to last chance to get a win against the west (3rd from last if they can make it to December). Kansas City plays midweek on Tuesday at Vancouver so they have the long trip.

  7. Surprised there is no mention of the instant replay first used in the US for the Orlando City B team vs NYRB II. I know there aren’t a lot of followers of USL, but I gotta say this: NYRB II are pretty damn good, and a clear indication of what an organization with the same mentality/philosophy is capable. They press just like the first team and are very on the front foot. Hope this happens with Steel eventually!

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Watched it. Perhaps equally noteworthy is that one of PRO’s more heavily used MLS referees, Ismail Elfath, was center pitch for the game.
      .
      for the record, historical fact, both calls made with the system favored the home team from New York.
      .
      The official watching the video off pitch was Allen Chapman. The commentators explained that the off pitch official reviews calls in real time and tells the on pitch referee when he needs to review a call.
      .
      The decision is the on-field referee’s.
      .
      While a full explanation of what was and was not reviewable was not given, yellow cards are not subject to review, red cards are, and by inference from example “last man back goal scoring opportunities” are reviewable.
      .
      was used twice, both came in lulls during the game. I would hazard the guess that that pattern would be usual were the idea adopted, as there’s always a brouhaha after a red card, so the review occurs while everyone remonstrates with the ref. Then the ref goes to the gigantic iPad on the sidelines and makes a decision.
      .
      The fifth official, off pitch becomes quite important at critical moments.

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