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Highlights from Curtin’s presser and other Union news, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Some highlights from Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference (full transcript here at PSP):

  • Curtin confirmed John McCarthy will start in place of Andre Blake in Saturday’s road game against Chicago. Matt Jones, while he played for Bethlehem on Tuesday, is returning from injury and will be the backup goalkeeper.
  • Maurice Edu will undergo a strength test on his leg today that will determine if he gets minutes on Sunday with Bethlehem when they host NYRB II. Curtin said of Edu’s recovery from the stress fracture, “It’s been a lot of peaks and valleys, but the end is in sight, which is good…It’s a heckuva guy to add to your roster going into the final seven games and also the playoffs and beyond.”
  • Brian Carroll and Ilsinho — dubbed the “plantar fasciitis brothers” by Curtin — are “are back quick, and it looks good.” Curtin added, “I think they’re both on trend now to be available for Chicago.”
  • Curtin said of how the midfield will look with Alejandro Bedoya away with the USMNT: “The good thing is we have guys in good form. Guys have been good in training, day in and day out. Roland Alberg, obviously, yes – he’s scoring goals, and that’s great, and I love that. But at the same time, the defensive work he’s started to do in games is something the staff has taken note of. He’s an option to play at the 10 [attacking midfield], ‘Quillo has played at the 8 [box-to-box midfielder role], so it’s a possibility. We have Brian Carroll coming back, you could go a little more defensive, we could be conservative, there’s a lot of good options for a coach to decide from, how we want to approach the game.”
  • Curtin related how DC United head coach Benny Olsen told him Chicago was in last weekend’s 6-2 loss to DC more than the scoreline would seem to indicate, particularly before they went a man down after a red card in the 34th minute. “[H]e said they had a ton of fight, they were up for the game from the start. He said until the red card [on Khaly Thiam], [Chicago] had [DC United] on their heels. So it’s not going to be easy, when you have guys fighting for their jobs and their livelihoods for the next season, it’s very difficult. They’re a good team. Again, 6-2 scoreline is a little deceptive because of the red card. Chicago even created chances with a man disadvantage. A team that’s improved a lot down the stretch. A coach that I respect, and a tough task for us. They’re going to have a bit of a chip on their shoulder having conceded a lot of goals. but again, you talk with Benny and he said they were a lot tougher than the scoreline showed. We expect a difficult game.”
  • Curtin also apparently saw the FourFourTwo piece we linked to in Wednesday’s roundup: “By the way, I saw an article written about the top No. 10s in the league and Tranquillo wasn’t even on the list, which was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” Fans have voted Barnetta up to the No. 3 spot in the rankings.

More from the press conference at Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, and SBI.

At Delco Times, Maurice Edu say of the status of his recovery, “I’ve been training now so I feel like it’s getting closer and closer. But at the same time it’s not here yet. I’m just going to keep pushing in training. Just counting the days until I can finally get on the pitch and join what we’ve already established and built this season.”

While the Union will be without Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya when they travel to face Chicago this weekend, the Fire will be dealing with absences of their own: leading goalscorer David Accam was called up by Ghana (and isn’t going to Nantes); midfielder Khaly Thiam received a red card in last weekend’s 6-2 road loss to DC; defensive midfielder Rodrigo Ramos could also be out of the squad. The latest injury report at the league website lists Nick LaBrocca with a left quad injury, and Eric Gehrig with a left hamstring injury.

FourFourTwo says Fire fans have reason to optimistic about their team if only they can be patient. More on the Fire at Chicagoland Soccer News and at the Union website.

At the Union website, Marisa Pilla has potential scenarios for where the Union could be in the top four of the Eastern Conference depending on how results go in this week’s games.

At MLSsoccer.com, the updated “Red Line Report” has the Union with the toughest schedule in the Eastern Conference and fourth in expected points at 49.79.

At Brotherly Game, Andrew Stoltzfus looks at the playoff picture for the Union.

In SBI’s power rankings, the Union move up three spots to No. 8.

Also at Brotherly Game, Jared Young looks at where the offensive and defensive numbers of the 2016 Union compare with the team’s numbers in those categories historically.

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford has a good read on Keegan Rosenberry’s path to the pros.

The Daily Campus notes former UConn player Andre Blake’s success.

Philly Sports Network looks at last week’s wins over Columbus and Kansas City.

Bethlehem Steel

A portion of the proceeds from tickets sold as part of a special promotion for Sunday’s home game against NYRB II will be donated to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley. “Fans interested in purchasing tickets through the promotion are encouraged to call Gio Fricchione (484) 403-0502 or Pauline Grady (610) 297-7292.”

Brotherly Game has a recap of Tuesday’s road draw with City Islanders.

Local

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph notes attendance for Temple men’s team’s first two games at the new Temple Sports Complex outdrew the total attendance for last season’s home games in Ambler where the team used to play.

Ralph also looks at the Penn men’s team that will be competing this season. The team opens their home season on Friday against American University at 7 pm.

Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Penn.) did not appear in the US U-17 WNT’s 4-0 win over Venezuela in Tampa on Tuesday that is part of the team’s preparations for the U-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be staged in Jordan, Sept. 30-Oct. 21. The teams play again on Friday.

MLS

Second place NYCFC (41 points, 11-8-8) hosts sixth place DC United (32 points, 7-8-11) tonight (7 pm, MLS Live). A DC win would be nice for the fourth place Union (40 points, 11-9-7).

Official: Galatasaray have signed Nigel de Jong from LA Galaxy. And the general response seems to be “good riddance.” Even in a video posted by the league.

The league’s independent review committee has unanimously voted to rescind the red card Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza for violent conduct in the 87th minute of last weekend’s 2-0 loss to the Union.

Orlando Sentinel has an update on former Union man Pedro Ribeiro, who has missed much of this season with Orlando City after undergoing back surgery.

Robbie Keane ended his international career with a fine goal in the team’s 4-0 win over Oman in Dublin on Wednesday.

Local officials in Hoboken have unveiled two new mini pitches, made with the backing of the US Soccer Foundation and New York Red Bulls. Time to get cracking in Philly, Philadelphia Union.

A new locally-based ownership group has taken charge of USL-side Arizona United. Don’t worry, Diplo is still in the mix.

US

US Soccer tweeted on Wednesday Jermaine Jones has left the USMNT squad ahead of Friday’s WOrld Cup qualifier against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and returned to Colorado Rapids “to continue injury rehab.” Recall that Michael Bradley will be serving a suspension during the game for yellow card accumulation. Also unavailable for the US are John Brooks (back injury), Clint Dempsey (irregular heartbeat), and Gyasi Zardes (broken foot).

A post at the US Soccer website says “hungry strikers” are poised to lead the USMNT attack in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Fox Soccer says the US should be fine without Clint Dempsey, thanks to Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood. More on Altidore and Wood at ESPN.

At MLSsoccer.com, Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle wonders if the US can still play 4-4-2 without Dempsey. More at Soccer America.

Jurgen Klinsmann tells ESPN he wishes younger players were pushing more for spots on the team:

We hoped for more push from the younger generation. So our message consistently is when they are with us you’ve got to make your case. You’ve got to come out of your shell.

You’ve got to speak up and ask questions. Push the older ones out. This is your job. In general, my experience over the last five years is that American talent takes longer, maybe because the college culture is still there in the middle of it.

Meanwhile, you have European or South American kids at 18, 19, biting the legs off the older ones. Here [a player] needs to be maybe 22, 23, so that kind of personality jump comes a bit later with our players.

PulisicPulisic!

Excelle Sports reports Heather O’Reilly will announce her retirement from the USWNT and pro soccer today. However, Jeff Kassouf and FourFourTwo report O’Reilly will continue to play for FC Kansas City beyond 2016.

Fox Soccer wonders if the USWNT’s early exit from the Olympics means NWSL is experiencing an expected bump.

Elsewhere

Deadline Day deals in the Premier League.

The AP reports, “Swiss federal prosecutors say they are conducting an ‘ongoing operation’ in an investigation of the 2006 World Cup organising committee as part of a wider probe of corruption linked to FIFA.” More at Reuters.

Also from the AP:

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has agreed an annual salary of 1.5 million Swiss francs (€1.3m) with no bonus in 2016.

FIFA said Infantino also receives a chauffeured car, lodgings paid, plus monthly expenses of 2,000 Swiss francs ($2,040), in the contract signed Wednesday. He will be eligible for a bonus in 2017 under a new FIFA compensation policy.

More at FIFA and Soccer America.

Thierry Henry will donate his salary as an assistant coach for the Belgian national team, reportedly around €50,000, to charity.

33 Comments

  1. Just voted for Barnetta. As did someone else. He’s up to second now.

    • Quillo has to get some credit for the U scoring the most goals in the league. Honestly, Quillo is tops in many ways: his service quality and ability to put free kicks in the back of the net, having the nifty guile to both drive towards the box with the ball in space and make a fool of defenders in the tight spots inside the box, and Quillo just kills it with his overall versatility. How many of those on the top playmakers list have had to switch to a deeper box/box role?!

    • Same here. There’s no more versatile #10 than Barnetta in the league right now.

      • But he’s not marketable… MLS marketing is an absolute joke. All hype for Lodeiro with the Sounders. None surrounding Barnetta.

      • Which is weird. Barnetta was on a couple Euro soccer magazines’ Top 10 Free Agents lists when he signed here. You’d think MLS would be all about landing a guy like that.

  2. So Edu saying he is not ready is a joke. Get rid of him we don’t need him. To me end of the season he is one of the first people on the chopping block.

    • Where does that come from?? Why would we not need him? You think Carroll can hold back time forever?? Or maybe you think we should start Creavalle indefinitely??

      • And where does this come from well the article right here where Edu says its getting closer, but its just not there yet. As I said yesterday 8 months is much more than an appropriate time for a stress fracture to heal. No definitely not Creavalle I think he should be dropped as well. I want to trade Edu and have for awhile (prob 2 or so years). Carroll will work till the end of the season we need a replacement for next year. But I am fine with opening $700,000 from Edu and seeing if we can’t get something better.

      • Derrick Jones

      • Possibly although I heard jones was an 8 so you could move him there and put Bedoya on the wing or move Bedoya to the 6. I’ve been more impressed with Bedoya in the middle of the field then I thought I would but still think he is a better winger.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I take Maurice Edu not being on the field personally.
        .
        Damn right. Piss me off. It’s SEPTEMBER… not 4 weeks or 6 weeks or 8 weeks behind schedule but nearly a FULL three months. My uncle has had two SEPERATE knee replacements since 6/23 and is riding his bike. I’m over it.
        .

      • +1 to your uncle

      • Well your uncle is badass….
        .
        But I am really not sure that Edu is taking his rehab seriously.

  3. Saw the MLS disciplinary report for the week and noticed Drogba is one card away from a suspension. I for one would have no objections to seeing him pick that up on Wednesday against Orlando.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    The MLS video of De Jong is laughable and shows in full plumage multiple things: the leagues total insecurity, abject ignorance and general rot.
    .
    I said it…. rOt.
    .
    Dead carcass…. shameful.
    .
    Coming from a guy who thought the NDJ tackle on Nagbe was excessive and ruthless… Dude’s a world class f’ing destroyer and you’re talking about goals while he destroyed midfielder all over the world and now in America. Totally ignorant league but no really ….
    enjoy- ‘your’ cartel pushing its insular agenda.
    .
    No wonder he grabbed his things to get the hell out asap…
    .
    And now Gulati …
    there all in bed destroying the dream that could be US Soccer.

    • I don’t really understand all of your rant, but one thing that I do know if Nigel De Jong is not a world class player.

      If he were, he would have played on bigger clubs than Hamburg, Man City (when they were just overpaying players to join up with them) and Milan (once a great club, but has been just mediocre for the last several years). He is and was a good defensive midfielder, period.

      • I didn’t see the MLS video so maybe that would have helped me understand.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Okay, I acquiesce but feel we’re splitting hairs a bit here.
        .
        To each his own though as I tend to subscribe to the once world class always world class philosophy.
        .
        Form being temporary that is….

      • Fair enough.

        BTW- Saw that Amobi was on Howler’s Dummy pod this week.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        My dearly departed.
        Imagine our defense with him still here.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        a third of a million for a backup player is not easily made compatible with the salary cap.

    • I don’t think I ever laughed as hard at of sheer shame. MLS and SUM are just pathetic. Hence, the reason I come here for my news and lively debate.

    • If the video had come from Goal.com or SBI, I would have no problem with it, other than it was pretty clueless for calling into question the scoring prowess of a player that plays defense or DM.

      But coming from MLS directly the video’s tone is appalling and/or childish. Why would you bash a player leaving the league for a better league, especially when you trumpeted him coming to the league less than a year ago. If he didn’t work out in LA (bad tackles, bad RC’s, injuries,etc), just be the adult in the room and say good luck in your future endeavors.

      But I guess I wouldn’t paint this thing with too broad a brush and say the “League” is clueless. I don’t believe for a minute that Don Garber approves all media articles, videos, tweets, etc. I don’t believe for a minute that the team owners sat in on a conference call and said let’s put out a hit piece on NDJ. I think a more likely scenario is a staffer/intern has goal to meet for volume of “content” produced, and supervising staffer #2 with six months more experience approved it. The problem with the “League” probably is they left the kids in charge after 11 PM.

      I think it does highlight a problem with mlssoccer.com. Instead of being a website that focuses on MLS alone, it seems to want to be the go to site for all things American Soccer. Hope Solo’s latest stupidity, Pulisic learning to shave the German way, JK complaining about young American strikers not eating enough legs, etc. Mlssoccer.com should just focus on MLS, leave the editorial content and the rest to people that are better at it, like PSP, Goal.com, SBI.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    So on a lighter note…. “sun is shining, the weather is warm. To the rescue….”

  6. “you could go a little more defensive, we could be conservative”

    Please, please, PLEASE, Jim, don’t be defensive and conservative against CHICAGO!!!

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Best current news is David Accam’s call-up to the Ghana national team.

      • +1.
        .
        Yaro, Marquez, Tribbett, Rosenberry, and Fabi all breathed a huge sigh of relief on that one. No need for them to rediscover the definition of “fast.”

  7. Just saw the early results from today’s AFC qualifiers and noticed Japan lost AT HOME against UAE. Australia, Korea, and Uzbekistan all won at home as expected with Iran-Qatar 0-0 in the second half and Saudi Arabia – Thailand 0-0 in the first.

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