CONCACAF Champions League
A Javier Morales goal in the 89th minute secured a massive 2–2 draw for Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final, away in Monterrey.
Kyle Beckerman will miss the second leg of the final thanks to a controversial yellow card, his second in the knockout rounds. RSL coach Jason Kreis called the referee’s decision “a travesty.”
Grant Wahl has three thoughts on the result.
Some Union fans are upset about the Union passing on Benny Feilhaber. (I’m not one of them.) Peter Nowak explained the Union’s decision at Wednesday’s press conference and the reasoning makes sense: Feilhaber was too expensive and the Union has summer transfer window plans in the works. Here’s what Nowak had to say:
- “There were a couple of factors we have to take into consideration. First of all, we didn’t negotiate the deal in the first place; the league did. Second of all, it was almost at the end of the transfer window period, which made it difficult to adjust because we already made plans for the summer [transfer window]. And the most important thing is the financial stuff.”
- “We don’t have a $5 million salary cap where we can make such a decision,” Nowak said. “You do the math. I’d rather have three guys than one guy. I’ve never questioned Benny’s quality. But if you combine Roger Torres, Keon Daniel and Brian Carroll, those are three players that are pretty good and have some future.”
- “It has to be a balance that if I can get one guy who I really think is going to change the complexion of things, like Faryd [Mondragón] and Carlos [Valdés] and Brian Carroll, and now we got the Fish [Carlos Ruiz]…then I might consider.”
- I’m not against [signing high price tag players]. I’m against the artificial, salary cap-crazy stuff that at the end of the day would work for today and tomorrow, but by the end of the year, when we have to make the roster compliance, we’ll say, ‘We have to trade Amobi Okugo or Danny Mwanga or Roger Torres because financially we’re not going to make it.’”
- “Everyone has a different perspective on this. I believe in the fans’ opinion, but we’re looking at our books, looking at our future and looking what is available for us next year…It’s not time to do it because Diego Gutiérrez and the coaching staff have already made plans for summer, as well.”
- “I don’t see myself having one or two high-profile players and asking others to take a pay cut because I cannot make it [financially]. I have nothing against it, but there has to be a balance. We’re not going to just because someone says it’s a big player.”
- “If I look at the big players and their salaries go against the cap, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Can I get one, two or three options that will cost me the same as one player? What am I going to do when the roster compliance comes next year? What is the future with that? It’s not what you have on the cap this year, it’s about making it next year.”
- “We didn’t want to pick him up and try to trade him because we have to show some decency. If you don’t need the player then let another team pick him and let them deal with the financials.”
- [Referring to Union players such as Mondragon, Ruiz and Valdes] You think Benny Feilhaber is a big name? Really?…I have nothing against Benny, we go way back. My point is, if I look at the big players and their salaries go against the cap, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it…We’re looking at our books and looking at our future. And it was not time to do that.”
Says Diego Gutiérrez, “You don’t want to use all your bullets before you get into the fight. You have to be in a situation where you can make a move for a player you want.”
“A player. A globetrotter. A legend and ambassador of Colombian football. That is the unique, unmatched Faryd Mondragón.” Goal.com interviews the Union goalkeeper and captain.
The Union’s U-16 and U-17 squads were in action against their DC United counterparts on Wednesday night. The Union U-16 team won 5–0, the U-17 team 8–3!
The match against San Jose on April 30 is Dietz and Watson Dollar Dog Day—yum!
Is Everton coming to Philly this summer? Other possible candidates? Any of the other Bimbo-sponsored teams. Or how about Atletico Madrid, who are reportedly looking for a strategic Partner in MLS.
The Sheanon Williams’ Miles for MJ 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run is on Saturday. I think online registration may have ended but you may be able to register Saturday for this very worthy event.
Lianne Sanderson is profiled on the Independence website.
The Energy Drinks play DC United tonight in a game with huge implications for the Union. The game is on ESPN2 at 8:30pm.
DaMarcus Beasley is reportedly set to return to MLS. Who wants to start some rumors?
Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 1–0 to win the Copa del Rey for the first time in 17 years. While celebrating the win in Madrid, Sergio Ramos dropped the Cup from the the top of the Real Madrid bus, which then ran over it. Seriously. (I wonder how many years of bad luck that comes out to?) While Ramos said, “The cup fell, it fell, but the cup is in good shape,” a spokesman for the club said, “It is not in good shape, evidently, it was run over by a bus. It has to be fixed.” (YouTube clip below, but I think this clip from the Guardian might be better.)