Daily news roundups

“It is just one game,” quick turnaround for Union, Steel lose it late, Neymar leads Brazil to gold

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows: Even Alejandro Bedoya’s first full ninety couldn’t prevent the Union from stuttering to a 3-1 loss at home against Toronto FC. Ken Tribbett’s 45-minute nightmare gave way to a dull second half in which the Union leaned on the visitors but never seemed like breaking down the Eastern Conference’s best defense. After subbing off Tribbett at halftime, Jim Curtin said, “It’s not all on Ken, we’re a team and we’re in it together. But at the same time, I think he had a tough half and with the speed of Josh, I thought that was a better matchup.

“Dealing with Giovinco, knowing that they would be just looking to counter in the second half having got the three goals. Hard decision, again it’s a young backline that is still learning every day, getting better every day, and as hard as the night was for Ken, he’ll still learn from it. He’ll be fine, he still played some good passes and did a heck of a job of getting on the end of a cross for a goal. So there’s positives, but at the same time, you need to learn in these big games against top forwards. So, learning experience for him, Josh came in and did a great job too.”

Indeed, Tribbett’s diving headed goal of Tranquillo Barnetta’s set piece was a thing of beauty. But the joy was short-lived as Toronto came right back with a free kick goal of their own, with Tribbett left trailing in Drew Moor’s wake. One thing you can be sure of, Richie Marquez is a good guy to have in your corner. “Ken is a great player and a great friend of mine,” Marquez told MLSsoccer.com. “I still think he’s a wonderful player — that’s not going to change. I don’t think any of those goals are on any one player. There are 11 players on the field. All of us have something to do with it.”

It was a swift return to Earth for the Union, but they are buoyed by the knowledge that of all the Eastern Conference teams above the red line, only Toronto and NYCFC secured full points. As Andre Blake said after the match, “Well, we just lost one game. It is just one game.”

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap; postgame), Philadelphia Union (recap), Philly.com (video), Brotherly Game (recap), Section 215 (recap), MLSsoccer (recap), CBC (recap), CSNPhilly (recap), Philly Soccer News (recap), Toronto Sun (recap) and Waking the Red (recap),

CSN Philly looks closer at Jim Curtin’s thinking on Ken Tribbett’s halftime benching.

Bethlehem Steel

FC Montreal came from behind for a dramatic 3-2 victory over Bethlehem Steel. After falling behind early, James Chambers (with a nice free kick) and Cory Burke brought Steel back with goals on either side of halftime, but a win wasn’t in the cards. Thomas Meilleur-Giguere brought Montreal level in the 80th, then Aron Mkungwila grabbed all three points with a 90th minute winner.

Dylan Gerstley has PSP’s match report from the disappointing loss. Steel are ninth in the Eastern Conference with 26 points and a 6-10-8 record.

Steel roster: Samir Badr, Taylor Washington, Anderson, Auston Trusty, Ryan Richter, Leo Fernandes, Derrick Jones, Joshua Heard (Justin McMaster), Eric Ayuk, Cory Burke (Seku Conneh)

Harrisburg City Islanders

The City Islanders were off this week, and play again on August 27 in Harrisburg against Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place NYCFC (38 points, 11-7-8) knocked off LA Galaxy (38 points, 9-4-11) 1-0 at home, a huge statement win with head coach Patrick Viera suspended. Houston’s (24 points, 5-10-9) first road win of the year was a 2-1 victory at the expense of former coach Dom Kinnear’s San Jose Earthquakes (31 points, 7-7-10), who thought they had tied it up only to see the goal controversially ruled out. Columbus Crew (23 points, 4-8-11) also collected a first road victory when they blanked New England Revolution (26 points, 6-11-8) 2-0 at Gillette Stadium behind a revitalized Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain. Continuing a theme, Chicago Fire’s (22 points, 5-11-7) 3-0 win over Montreal Impact (33 points, 8-7-9) broke a road winless streak that stretched back to July 12, 2014. DC United (28 points, 6-8-10) were nearly losers at home, but came back to tie New York Red Bulls (37 points, 10-9-7) 2-2 at RFK Stadium. In a weekend of surprising results, Colorado Rapids (43 points, 11-3-10) stuck to their script with a 0-0 draw against Orlando City SC (28 points, 5-6-13).

Western Conference leaders FC Dallas (45 points, 14-7-6) were knocked off by Real Salt Lake (40 points, 11-8-7) 1-0 thanks to Jameson Olave’s 78th minute blast. Jacob Peterson drew a penalty and scored a goal as Sporting Kansas City (38 points, 11-11-5) blanked Vancouver Whitecaps (30 points, 8-12-6) 2-0. Seattle Sounders (30 points, 9-12-3) downed Portland Timbers (32 points, 8-10-8) 3-2 as the Pacific pair resumed their much-hyped rivalry Sunday night MLS action. The teams meet again next weekend.

MLS officially confirmed on Saturday that Atlanta FC will join the Eastern Conference next season and Minnesota FC will join the Western Conference. Both teams will have 11 teams.

US

The 2016 US Open Cup final will be played in Dallas on September 13. New England Revolution will look to salvage a difficult season by knocking off prohibitive MLS Cup favorites FC Dallas at home.

Also in Dallas, the US Soccer Hall of Fame is being moved down to the ground floor of Toyota Park. Dan Hunt made the announcement as he also revealed that he and his brother Clark will be operating the club without the involvement of their other siblings going forward.

Robbie Rogers posted about homophobic verbal abuse he suffered while rehabbing in a USL match over the weekend. MLS and USL announced they are investigating the incident.

The American U-15 team won the 2016 CONCACAF championship in Orlando by beating Canada 2-0. They outscored opponents 49-0 over the course of the tournament.

It was an active weekend for US players abroad, with Brad Guzan earning a win in EPL action.

And that activity may continue on Monday, with Christian Pulisic named to Borussia Dortmund’s matchday squad.

Elsewhere

Neymar’s glorious free kick helped Brazil secure the country’s first gold medal in men’s soccer in front of a thrilled crowd in Rio. After the match, Neymar renounced (abdicated?) national team captaincy.

The New York Times notes that Brazil’s gold medal win is haunted by the soccer federation’s history of corruption.

John Obi Mikel and Nigeria triumphed 3-2 over Honduras in the bronze medal game.

Dinamo Bucharest pulled off an incredible bit of tifo trolling on their rivals.

21 Comments

  1. Keep speaking up and speaking out, Robbie Rogers. There should be no place for those sorts of insults in the world. Sadly, they’re far too common and far too accepted by far too many. Keep being an agent of change, Robbie, and soon something like this will be as shocking and as abhorrent as somebody using the N-word.
    .
    I applaud your strength.

    • +1. But why wait until after the game and blog about it? Bring it to the ref’s attention during the game. Abusive language is a sending-off offense.

    • +10 – I’m the first to admit I thought Rogers was overrated when he played with the national team and I’ve spent a lot of time mocking him…but it was always for his on field performance (most of it before he came out) and never for anything off the field.

  2. Next 3 games will go a long way towards seeing where the Union will end the season. On the road to Columbus which is coming off a big win is a game they need to win.
    .
    Saturday against KC will be their next to last chance to get a win against the Western Conference. The Union got a little lucky with scheduling in that KC has the second half of a home and home in Vancouver on Tuesday. Not sure why CCL games between the two didn’t get switched so they could play both games in KC, but nice to see KC will have to travel cross country.
    .
    Then the following game against Chicago is HUGE. It’s against a team they need to be able to beat but they will likely be without Blake and Bedoya on national team duty.
    .
    After that we’ll probably have a much better idea as to whether the playoffs are still likely.

  3. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Bethlehem Steel FC, aka Philadelphia Union II, are actually in ninth place in the fourteen-team Eastern Conference.

    • I’m asking this as an honest question, not a bit of trolling: Who cares?

      Yes it would be nice if Steel were tops of USL, but does anyone think their main purpose is NOT to get minutes to players destined for the first team? I don’t. If they come in 2nd or 30th, it makes marginal difference to me.

      • Well I do care because it speaks to how well the team really is and you want that nice mix of vets and developing players. But I don’t care in the first league. 9th seems like a decent showing honestly for a brand new team.

      • I also care, because I don’t want the kids in the talent pipeline to get used to losing.

      • I agree with you, Pete. The results of BSFC tend not to concern me – just like I never do a particular jig when AAA Baseball is successful… talent development and team success are two different metrics for me and pretty well unrelated from my POV. I am looking for cohesiveness in playing philosophy though- which ultimately I hope to trust is being put in place.
        .
        For the people who take in the games and are vested, I certainly understand. For me I want to know young players are there- playing against men, being groomed and that a handful are ready for The Show in due time or used as bait for grouper.
        .
        The entire function of BSFC is preparation for The Show… MLS is turning it into something more than it should be. IMO.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Philadelphia Union II should be playing its meaningless games down in Chester and save whatever money they are paying Lehigh University to rent Goodman Stadium.

      • To this I have no rebut.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Seriously. I have no problem with “player development” as a concept. Bayern Munich have a reserve team which plays in German fourth division and draws 600-700 people per game on average … “Our Town, Our Team” is a banner one can see displayed at many German soccer stadiums, particularly those of the “smaller” clubs. BSFC is supposed to be our team in our town — and I have real a problem with the low-grade soccer we are being sold up here in the Lehigh Valley. I have a problem with the fact that this USL stuff does NOT compare favorably to AAA or the AHL. I have a problem with all the embellishment, if not outright lying about the product – these Academy kids, aside from Trusty, were NOT ready for prime time in the USL, a league which is supposed to be of third tier professional stuff. The foreign players signed to USL contracts, as a whole, have been a massive disappointment. I far from the only one who holds these opinions, too … I’m not saying the Philadelphia Union should not have a reserve team. I am saying that “you guys” should keep the low-grade stuff down there in Chester — Bayern Munich II play at the parent team’s massive complex on Saebener Strasse, they don’t travel to play their Regionalliga games at some stadium somewhere else in the state of Bavaria 45 minutes away.

      • Once again… no argument. I think you are absolutely right.
        .
        I think the wrong suits are running soccer…

      • Once again, it’s a first year team. What kind of expectations did you have for them seriously? It’s like you expected them to come out a win the league or something.

      • Plus the comparison to AAA is a bad one. Baseball is so established and USL/MLS cannot be compared to that. Way more money, way more fans. And don’t try to tell me the Iron Pigs were even worth watching for their baseball abilities before this year because that team has been terrible almost every year of its existence.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        @ Pete … Here’s an honest question : If this PSP site can inaccurately report about something you don’t care about, in this case, a simple league standing position, do you think it’s possible that this PSP site can inaccurately report about something you do care about?

      • See this is gray now.
        .
        Media and the message and the veracity and back checking that used to hold as standard operating procedure in the news reporting business have long been rendered near meaningless – even long form journalism which is one of my most favorite of reading activities is strewn with grammatical errors and misspellings from minds I consider much more sophisticated about soccer than my own. But I have come to accept the new standard, begrudgingly.
        .
        My point is that while you are certainly correct about your point above IMO, this place is above reproach as it is not based in decadence or glamor or ranting– just solid as possible writing and as honest as possible reporting by people doing it for free.
        .
        It is without question the job of the reader to recognize the responsibility of fact checking lies both with the author and the reader enjoying his coffee….
        .
        … I feel this is the bond here and the unwritten rule of collaboration in search of meaningful conversation.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Above reproach? … Okay. So noted for the historical record, then. And thanks!

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