With little more than 24 hours left to make a donation, the Anderson Monarchs film project is less than $2000 short of their $25,000 fundraising goal. Please take a moment to support this worthy film about a very special Philadelphia team by making a donation here. The deadline is Thursday, April 21 at 2:49pm.
When you vote Carlos Ruiz for the Week Five Goal of the Week, that faint popping noise you hear in the distance will be the sound of Eli’s head exploding. Voting ends at 2:59pm on Friday.
In case you missed it, the Union passed on Benny Feilhaber. Ho hum—they said they weren’t interested last Friday. The Feilhaber saga may not yet be over as reports this morning say Houston is looking to trade for him.
The Union drop to no. 5 in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings: “The problem with playing for a 1-0 result every game is that, as the season goes on and opposing offenses work out the kinks, it becomes more and more difficult to post zeroes. Philly need to start producing or those 1-0s will turn into 1-1s and 1-2s.” Tell us about it.
Citing their “failure to score a second goal in any of its games this season,” the Union drop to no. 3 in the Soccer America Power Rankings.
The Union drop to no. 4 in the Match Fit USA Power rankings: “If the Union wants to be counted among the league’s elite, they have to finish games off and defend better on set pieces. The attack looks better, though. Carlos Ruiz put in his best performance in a Union shirt.” Simmer down, Eli.
The Union drop to no. 5 in the WV Hooligan Power Rankings, “Dropping points that late isn’t a good thing but we’re starting to get more out of this Philly attack here. If Danny Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux and Carlos Ruiz can finally get on the end of more chances, this club will be just fine.”
More praise for Ruiz from the Press of Atlantic City, who describe the bane of Eli’s existence as “the best player on the pitch Saturday.” The article continues, “Yes, he scored with a great free kick in the first half, but it was his positioning and touch that were first rate.”
Carlos Ruiz says of the lack of goals, “I try to talk to all the forwards and get better and better, but it’s a team and sometimes we have to see what’s really wrong with the offensive part of the team. This week we’re going to talk and see if we had enough balls to score on and see what happened on chances and see if it’s our mistake or everybody’s mistake.”
Amobi Okugo and Faryd Mondragon feel the love from Goal.com. Okugo makes the Week Five Best XI while Monragon is no. 2 in Goal.com’s “first ever MLS MVP Rankings,” otherwise known as “You’ve Got the Time and We Need the Copy.”
The players rating article in the Seattle Times wonders “what excuses Sounders FC had for what was mostly a sub-par performance,” concluding, “It was arguably Seattle’s worst performance of the season.”
The performance of the Union’s young midfield last Saturday is the subject of this piece from the Union website. Okugo says in the article, “Keon has experience with the Trinidad and Tobago national team, and me and Naka know each other from UCLA, so we kind of clicked. And Stefani was in there to give us leadership. It’s a good group of guys. Anyone is willing to step in at any time.”
Carlos Valdes is profiled on the Union website. Peter Nowak says of him, “He’s very smart and not afraid of challenges. Also, he has challenged the guys in front of him…He has enough speed, athleticism and he’s proud to be a defender. That’s a very rare quality…He’s very sophisticated in the tactical part. He has pure instincts and loves to defend. He’s very strong, very competitive. He doesn’t let anyone off the hook.” Valdes says, “The fact that we have only been scored on twice over five games shows what we are capable of as a defensive line, but I think that’s something that comes from the entire team, not just us.” I love him.
Zach Pfeffer is in France with the US U-17 squad to play in the 2011 Mondial Minimes Montaigu Tournament. Also with the team are goalkeeper Zack Steffen (FC Delco; Downingtown, PA) and defender Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim FC; Lancaster, PA). The team will play Portugal today.
The Dropkick Murphys will play “in the inner bowl at PPL Park” following the first day of play there of the College Rugby Championships on June 4.
A decision about the Villanova at PPL Park nonsense may not be made until the summer.
Joanna Lohman’s latest blog details the rain out of last Saturday’s home opener against magicJack SC: “they are so mysterious that I don’t even know how to properly refer to them.”
Lianne Sanderson is the guest of this new podcast interview.
CONCACAF Champions League Final
Tonight’s first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final (10pm on FSC) will see Real Salt Lake away in Monterrey. On the obscure chance that you don’t already get it, here’s why you should support Real Salt Lake.
RSL coach Jason Kreis says, “I would absolutely love to be the first MLS team that wins in Mexico.”
RSL owner Dave Checketts says, “We are flying a banner that not only says Real Salt Lake but also Major League Soccer.”
Goal.com has a head-to-head preview of the match. Neither the Monterrey guy nor the RSL guy think the MLS team can win in Monterrey’s Estadio Tecnologico.
Bruce Arena doesn’t see anything in the MLS to rival the fierce rivalry of matchups such as El Clasico (GolTV, 3:30pm). “I think if that’s going to happen, it’s going to first happen in the Northwest.” Looking eastward, he says, “It’s going to be Philadelphia-D.C., or Philly-New York. But it takes time to grow that tradition.”
Here’s a look at how well MLS is using social media.
ESPN looks at the trend of American ownership in the Premiership. I think most of us will be truly excited when it is American players who own the league.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was sent a mail bomb that police have determined was “designed to cause real harm to the person who opened them.” A lawyer who has represented Lennon and a former member of the Scottish Parliament who is a Celtic supporter also received bombs in the mail. Police have warned high profile Celtic supporters to be on the look out for suspicious packages.
The Dubai firm Royal Emirates Group has bought La Liga side Getafe for €90 million. A spokesperson for the investment group denied rumors that the club would be renamed “Team Dubai. “The team will not be renamed but it will be titled as ‘[club's name] Team Dubai’ in order to deliver the message that Dubai care.” Which sounds an awful lot like the same thing.
Sepp Blatter has called on 208 FIFA members to reject “revolution” and vote for “stability, continuity and reliability.” Blatter said of the promises of his rival for the FIFA presidency, Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, to spread power more equally among the six continental confederations and to to create a transparency panel to help restore public faith in FIFA, “We do not need revolution within FIFA, but the continuous evolution and improvement of our game and our organization.”
Today’s Footy on the Telly™ action includes Tottenham v Arsenal at 2:45pm on ESPN2, Barcelona v Real Madrid at 3:30pm on GolTV, and Monterrey v Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.