Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
Today is the last day the transfer window is open so it is only fitting that a flurry of rumors about possible last minute signings should appear. The Brotherly Game has picked up on a report in Colombian paper El Pais linking 20-year old Deportivo Cali striker Andres Ramiro “Manga” Escobar with both the Portland Timbers and the Union. Some further digging reveals that acquiring the 20-year old could be expensive. More translation of the El Pais article at MLS Rumors.com seems to suggest no offer from any MLS club had been received by Escobar’s representatives as of Thursday. At least, with today being deadline day for transfers, this rumor will shortly be either a fact or a memory.
It’s official: the away match against Real Salt Lake scheduled for April 23 has been moved to September 3.
The PSP match preview predicts a 0–0 draw.
In the Goal.com head-to-head preview, the Philly guy sees the Seattle winning 2–1 while the Seattle guy sees a 1–1 draw.
ASN Philly previews Saturday’s match.
The match preview on the Union website asks the question we all have been thinking about: “Will this be the game in which the Union offense breaks through?”
WV Hooligan says the match against Seattle may prove whether or not the Union really are as good as their record suggests.
The Union are as aware as you are that they’ve been lucky more than a few times this season. Jordan Harvey tells CSNPhilly.com, “Knock on wood, we are getting some breaks this year. I don’t want to jinx anything. We need to stay focused. We know we are going to give up some goals during the season. We’re going to have some bad games, too. We just have to try to stay consistent—that’s the main thing in this league. We still have a lot of room for improvement, offensively and defensively, and hopefully we’ll hit our stride.”
In the same article, Danny Califf says, “But I think we’ve gotten the results that haven’t been the prettiest and we haven’t played our best soccer. For us, we’re still trying to find our feet and find a way to play a better game. We have enough experience in the locker room that everyone feels like we haven’t won anything yet and we haven’t proven anything yet.”
Jordan Harvey tells MLSsoccer.com, “I think we have a great defense—one of best in the league. The stats so far have shown that. And I think our play defensively has shown that.”
Amobi Okugo made a strong case that he deserves to start for the Union with his play against the Energy Drinks. “I can’t say enough about his performance,” said John Hackworth. “He came in off the bench cold, stepped in, and was invaluable.” With Brian Carroll’s status uncertain, Okugo’s chances of getting a start can only have increased.
Okugo praises the Union coaching staff. “I think the staff here does a great, great job of repeating the basics about preparing, being ready, staying in the game. In this league, you never know what can happen. I found that out. I was mentally and physically prepared to go in. I think the staff has done it right keeping us in it.”
Kerith Gabriel of the Daily News talks to Roger Torres. “When I come on now, the [opposition] is a little bit tired which is good for me. I get more space, which makes the game easier for me, because I have more time to put [the] ball to my teammates. In Colombia, the game is more tactics, and it’s easier, because you have more space. Here, the game is very intense and focused and much more physical. I know I am not very strong, so to be [effective], I need to make the most out of the time I get on the ball.”
In the Torres article, Peter Nowak says, “We really tried to learn from our mistakes from last year when it comes to Roger. Last year if you recall, he started six, seven games for us, and it really took a toll on him, so we had to change our approach. We needed to work on him so that he wasn’t frustrated. I think this year has helped improve his confidence immensely. Every time he’s come into the game for us, he’s given us a boost, whether as a starter or now as a sub. His level of confidence now is bigger and better.”
Carlos Ruiz loves Philly and Philly fans. “Having the chance to come to Philadelphia was an easy decision because of the organization and the passionate fan base. They’re like me. I think we’re the same.”
The Inquirer’s Marc Narduci talks to Kasey Keller and Faryd Mondragon, two keepers who combine for nearly a half century of professional experience.
Union City Blue checks out some of the eateries located near PPL Park.
More on the Villanova at PPL Park nonsense.
Seattle’s trip to PPL from a Pacific Nortwest perspective with a match preview from Sportspress Northwest.com.
Marc Narduci profiles Independence and USWNT goalkeeper Nicole Barnart ahead of Saturday’s home opener against magicTalk FC. Kickoff is at 7pm at Widener University.
All White Kit looks at the abundance of talent on the Independence roster and says it may take a little time for Paul Riley to settle on a formation that best suits the players he has.
YSC Sports is hosting a 3 v 3 indoor tournament for boys and girls in three different age groups (U-9/10, U-11/12 and U-13/14) on Thursday, April 21.
Jorge Perlaza, the Colombian striker who was rumored to be going to the Union during the preseason, scored two of Portland’s goals.
The Timbers Army were a big part of what made Portland’s home opener a big success, not to mention getting the team in MLS. Here’s a look at the long and deep historical connections between the group and the club.
Don Garber addressed concerns about the quality of refereeing in MLS, saying, “I think there have been some inconsistencies in how that has been managed over the last couple of weeks.” He then responded to players and coaches going public with their criticism by saying, “I think it means that we’re a proper league…Here we are in the first month of the season, and losing three points in the minds of a player or coach because they think the officials took those points away, that really matters to them.” He then added, “Nobody wins if we try to bring disrepute to our overall business. As emotionally challenging as that self-control is, it’s in everybody’s best interests to keep their feelings to themselves.”
Here’s a Q&A with former Union midfielder Andrew Jacobson. Jacobson says he’s “loving it” in Dallas: “There’s no traffic, there’s no smog everywhere like in Philadelphia.”
Here’s a look at how Vancouver is showing Toronto how things are done, mainly by doing the opposite of what Toronto has done in the past.
Speaking of Canada, FIFA has threatened the Canadian Soccer Association with sanctions and a possible suspension. Internal strife at the Alberta Soccer Association has led to some of the disputants seeking redress in the Canadian courts. FIFA doesn’t like it if its members use actual legal bodies to settle disputes, hence the threats. While much will happen before FIFA’s threats of sanctions and suspension become a reality, if the CSA was suspended, Canadian MLS teams (I believe) would be suspended from league play.
The USWNT will play Mexico at Red Bull Arena on June 5 in their final match before heading to the Women’s World Cup.
A group of American investors is expected to sign the deal giving them ownership of Roma today.
Luis Moreno, the player who gained notoriety for kicking an owl that later died from its injuries, has received a seven-match ban for kicking an opposing player.
Footy on the Telly™
Friday, April 15
Norwich v Nottingham Forest 2:30pm Fox Soccer Plus
Saturday, April 16
West Brom v Chelsea 10am Fox Soccer Channel
West Ham v Aston Villa 10am FSP
Hamburg v Hanover 10am ESPN Deportes
Manchester City v Manchester United (FA Cup semifinal) 12pm FSC
Roma v Palermo 12pm FSP
Getafe v Sevilla 12pm ESPN Deportes
Birmingham v Sunderland 2pm FSP
AC Milan v Sampdoria 2:30pm FSC
Real Madrid v Barcelona 4pm GolTV, ESPN Deportes
Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders 4pm TCN
Parma v Inter Milan 5pm FSC
Monterrey v Morelia 6pm Telemundo
Jaguares v Tigres 6pm ESPN Deportes
Pachuca v Atlas 8pm Galavision
Chivas v Santos Laguna 8pm Telemundo
Puebla v Cruz Azul 8pm Fox Deportes
Everton v Blackburn 9:30pm FSC
Atlante v Necaxa 10pm Galavision
San Luis v Toluca 10pm Telefutura
Sunday, April 17
Reading v Leicester 8am FSP
Graafschap v Twente 8:30am ESPN Deportes
Fiorentina v Juventus 9am FSC
Arsenal v Liverpool 11am FSC
Bolton v Stoke (FA Cup semifinal) 11am FSP
Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg 11:30am GolTV
Deportivo La Coruna v Santander 12pm ESPN Deportes
Pumas v Queretaro 1pm Telemundo
Napoli v Udinese 2:30pm FSC
Espanyol v Atletico Madrid 3pm GolTV
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen 3pm ESPN Deportes
PSG v Lyon 3pm FSP
Chicago v Los Angeles 4pm Telefutura
Ponte Preta v Palmeiras 5pm GolTV
Tecos v America 6pm Telefutura
Boston Breakers v Western New York Flash 6pm FSC
Monday, April 18
QPR v Derby County 2:30pm FSP
Villarreal v Zaragoza 3pm GolTV