Daily news roundups

NYRB away on Saturday, Union bits, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

When asked in his midweek press conference on Wednesday afternoon if it was realistic to expect a top three finish for the Union, Jim Curtin said, “Yeah, it’s certainly realistic to get into the top three just because of the simple fact that we play Red Bull twice, you know, so you kind of control your own destiny, in that regard. Listen, Red Bull hasn’t lost since early July so to think that you’re just going to take two games from them is…there’s no guarantee in that. It’s going to be difficult.”

Difficult, indeed, and more so now that the playoff picture has changed thanks to the results of some games played on Wednesday night. With Montreal and DC both victorious on the night, now the fourth place in the Eastern Conference Union face second place NYRB away on Saturday with the fifth place Impact only one point behind them in the standings, and sixth place United only two points behind. So, depending on results, the Union could find itself anywhere from fourth to sixth place in the East going into a two-week break.

Facing NYRB is always tough but the Red Bulls are particularly motivated going into Saturday’s game. NYRB head coach Jesse Marsch explained, “We have two games against Philly to go, their season is on the line. We want to establish ourselves as top of the East. It’s all there for us. We are going to face a side that has knocked us out twice and had our number in different ways, so the motivation and mentality for this game is very high.”

NYRB goalkeeper Luis Robles said of the Union, “They have good players and had a great start. Many thought they would be higher in the table. They’ve had their own share of difficulties, but none the less the challenges will be like Bedoya, Sapong, Pontius to name a few. It’s similar like playing against Montreal, you need to be mindful of where these attacking pieces are.”

As discussed at the Union website and Pro Soccer Talk, the Union can clinch a playoff spot this weekend if they defeat NYRB and:

  • New England draw or lose to Kansas City or
  • New England lose to Kansas City and Orlando draw or lose to Montreal

If the Union do not win, keep an eye on the result of DC at Toronto on Saturday (7:30 pm, MLS Live), which is the same time New England hosts Kansas City (MLS Live), and Montreal at Orlando on Sunday (1 pm, ESPN).

Previews of Union at NYRB at PSP, Philadelphia Union (looking aheadreasons to watch, video), Brotherly Game, Philadelphia Sports Nation, MLSsoccer.com, NYRB (by the numbers, connections), Once a MetroBack of the Net, and The Guardian.

MLSsoccer.com has a video discussion of how Alejandro Bedoya will impact the Union’s efforts to reach and advance in the playoffs.

Soccer America includes Keegan Rosenberry in a list of seven uncapped players who could could be called up for the USMNT friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand: “If Jordan Morris wasn’t in the league, the 22-year-old Rosenberry would the consensus pick for MLS Rookie of the Year. He’s played every minute of every game for the Union, likely headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The most amazing stat of his rookie season: He has yet to receive a yellow or red card.”

More on Tranquillo Barnetta’s impending departure at Philly VoiceSBI, and MLS Multiplex.

At the Union website, Marisa Pilla notes the praise given to Fabian Herbers in the latest Rookie Rankings at MLSsoccer.com.

Noting the article at the Union website we linked to in Thursday’s roundup, Section 215 discusses Jim Curtin’s growing coaching experience.

The Toronto Sun takes another swipe at the Union. An article discussing the effect on the atmosphere at BMO Field following TFC supporters group the Inebriatti losing supporters group privileges due to an inappropriate two-pole banner displayed in the recent game against Montreal concludes,

Even Philadelphia bench boss Jim Curtin noticed the much-tamer environment inside BMO Field last week.

He unknowingly attributed it to how well his side was playing.

Yeah, the Union’s play had nothing to do with it.

Bethlehem Steel

PSP, Philly Soccer News, and Brotherly Game.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy teams host their counterparts from Continental FC Delco on Saturday. The U-17/18 teams face off at the Union training field at noon, followed by the U-15/16s at 2 pm. Meanwhile the U-12s play at 12:30 pm and 2 pm at the indoor turf field at YSC in Wayne, while the U-14s faceoff at the outdoor turf field at YSC at 1 pm, followed by the U-13s at 3 pm.

Rayshaun McCann started for the US U-17 team in the 3-1 win over Panama in Panama City on Tuesday. The team faces Panama again on Saturday.

Local

Several Philly Soccer Six home games on Saturday with Villanova hosting DePaul at 1 pm, Drexel hosting UNCW at 4 pm, and Temple hosting Memphis at 7 pm, which is also when La Salle hosts Saint Louis. Saint John opens conference play on Saturday on the road against St. Bonaventure. Penn begins conference play on Sunday when they face Cornell away.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Downingtown’s Becky Edwards about her decision to retire from pro soccer.

Also at Philly.com, Tannenwald and Kate Harman reports on Carli Lloyd’s book signing in Cherry Hill on Thursday night.

MLS

Portland’s Darren Mattocks is out 2-3 weeks with a hamstring strain.

San Jose forward Quincy Amarikwa is out “or at least nine months” after undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee.

At SI, Brian Straus talks to Jason Kreis about his time with NYCFC and now coaching Orlando.

ESPN writers offer their picks for foreign managers they’d most like to see make the move to MLS.

Expansion USL-side Nashville SC doesn’t like the “minor league” tag (and neither does MLS, apparently).

USL-side Wilmington Hammerheads has officially left the league to become a PDL team. Port City Daily reports, “The Hammerheads FC name has been held since it was founded in 1996. The professional franchise is seeking a spot in the United Soccer League (USL) as an expansion club reportedly headed to Baltimore, Maryland, leading into the 2018 season.”

NWSL

The NWSL playoff semifinals kick off tonight with Washington hosting Chicago at 8 pm (FS1). On Sunday, Portland hosts Western New York at 5 pm (FS1). The winners advance to the final on Sunday, Oct. 9 (5 pm, FS1).

At US Soccer, a look at the eleven USWNT players in the NWSL playoffs.

US

Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Penn.) is with the US U-17 WNT at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. The team begins group play on Saturday at 11:55 am (Fox Soccer Plus) against Paraguay, followed by Ghana on Tuesday (8:55 am, FS2) and then the following Saturday against Japan (11:55 am, FS2)

Elsewhere

The FA has had to throw away 4,000 t-shirts, worth some £25,000, it planned to give away to next week’s England game against Malta at Wembley because the front of the shirts displayed a quote from now disgraced ex-manager Sam Allardyce.

Reuters reports, “England squad members received postcards from Sam Allardyce saying their ‘journey has just begun’ on Thursday, two days after his short reign as manager was brought to an abrupt end, according to British media reports.”

12 Comments

  1. The Big Sam story is something else. What a crazy situation. Did he manage more than one friendly before losing his job? Unbelievable. He’ll probably be back at Sunderland in a year.

    Still not feeling great about Union chances at RBA. I think this club’s playoff fortunes will hang in the balance until the last match.

    • At RBA certainly is no picnic, but the Union were able to pick up 2 results against New Jersey in the summer lull after Nogueira left and before Bedoya arrived when the team was just dropping points left and right. The situation isn’t even close to as dire as you make it sound.

      • It’s all about perception, Gonzhao. Nothing to do with actual facts. I feel a need to steel myself for disappointment. I’ll be overjoyed to be dead wrong.

  2. RE: TFC
    are Canadians becoming more like USAmericans or is it just that footy truly brings out the worst in people?

  3. The playoff clinching scenarios are slightly off. The first part is correct in that the Union are in with a win and a New England non win.
    .
    The second part is part of how the Union can clinch with a draw. If the Union draw, they actually need 3 things to happen. In addition to a New England loss and an Orlando non win, they also need Columbus to lose or draw at home against Chicago.

  4. I don’t know what burns me more: that two teams have north of $11,000,000 in three players while some are earning 51K in a league with a ‘hard’ or is it ‘soft’ cap around $4million…. or that Fabinho and Ilsinho are apparently both first and last names.
    .
    ….Fabinho Fabinho and Ilsinho Ilsinho…..
    .
    ….me screaming like Arnold Earnest Toht after he grabs the scalding amulet in Indiana Jones.
    .
    Lighten up you say?
    .
    —- Right…..

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