Sounding a bit like a new age mystic or feng shui adviser, Peter Nowak says the reason the Union have only scored six goals in nine games isn’t poor finishing or a still incomplete midfield. Rather, it begins with “ineffective energy:”
“We spend a lot of time defending, and I think we need to change our perspective on doing certain things. The pressure needs to be applied higher. It seems we spend a lot of energy—sometimes ineffective energy—to try to win the ball. And when we win the ball, we have not enough energy to go forward and create goals…It’s about how we can get the group of players who can see, anticipate, recognize and read the game well enough to put this kind of pressure on, so we don’t expend energy running from one guy to another, and all of a sudden the ball moves somewhere else.”
How about getting Carlos Ruiz to expend some “energy” energy?
“Don’t get me wrong,” Nowak continued. “I want guys to challenge for the ball, but we need to recognize that we don’t need a Sebastien Le Toux running from one guy to another. We need to have the three or four guys behind him recognizing runs off the ball.” Say what you will, there’s no denying that.
Nowak added, “I think it’s the physical part and the mentality of just using pure imagination of where the ball will go so we can move forward faster and bring the numbers forward…I think the players recognize this as well.” Nowak then got all mystical again. “It’s not offense versus defense, it’s a complex of both things. You can not separate both things like in American football.” It’s true you know, it is true.
The Shin Guardian has a deeply insightful guest feature from Matt Acconciamessa, founder and editor of US Soccer Daily, on the Union’s current woes filled with informative this year vs. last year statistical comparisons and good analysis that is a must read for all Union fans. The article concludes, “If the opening minutes of their most recent match against Dallas are any indication, the drought might soon come to an end with a little bit of luck. In the meantime, Piotr Nowak and his staff will continue to tinker in hopes of rekindling some of that offensive pop from a year ago.”
Sebastien Le Toux on his scoring touch: “I think it’s going to come.”
Did you know Peter Nowak’s career coaching record against Chicago is five wins, seven losses and two draws? Now you do.
Games notes for Saturday’s match on the Union website.
Kevin Kinkead scouts the Fire on the Union website. Keep an eye on that Marco Pappa fella…
Aston, PA-native Jon Conway is likely to start between the pipes for Chicago.
Nowak has spoken about why he was in Poland when the Union played LA. “A lot of people might not know, but the main reason for me to go was to open the minds of Europeans that we belong on the world stage.” In addition to playing in a charity match, Nowak gave a lecture on the growth of soccer in the US. “They don’t know American soccer. They don’t know about the youth system, they don’t know about the structure, they don’t know about the players…So my lecture over there was to introduce American soccer and the Philadelphia Union to the European world.” Nowak was able to watch the LA game in real time and exchanged text messages with assistant coach John Hackworth during the game.
With Peter Nowak going to Poland, and the possibility of David Beckham may miss a LA Galaxy match in order to participate in a charity game at Old Trafford next week, Goal.com says, “In a 34-game season and with 10 out of 18 teams poised to make the playoffs, it probably isn’t the end of the world to miss one regular season game to tend to a worthy cause. It’s just a shame that the current setup doesn’t mandate another approach.”
Placing the Union brand in the European football minds—not to mention the minds of Americans who still consider MLS beneath them—is also a part of the reason why the club is playing the likes of Real Madrid. “These kinds of games are great opportunities to show people that think our football is subpar, that it isn’t,” said Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, who added such matches are “an opportunity for our organization to put the Union in front of some very influential European soccer people.”
After traveling to play Reading United tonight, Ocean City Nor’easters will have their home opener against New Jersey Rangers on Sunday, May 22 at 6pm.
Landon Donovan on the AS Roma rumors: “Oh, don’t start with that. Don’t waste my time, guys.”
Alejandro Moreno could miss as few as six and as many as eleven games for Chivas USA due to Venezuela national team commitments in this summer’s Copa America. Chivas face the Galaxy in a LA derby on Saturday.
Goal.com looks at five coaches who could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
Doug Quinn, president of shirt sponsorless FC Dallas, notes that, “MLS is the only sport where you can go to the White House and hold up a jersey with a corporate name on it.”
magicJack SC owner and nut job Dan Borislow grew up in Philly. Who knew?
After concluding “there are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of the FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate,” the England FA has announced it will abstain from voting in the upcoming election for president of FIFA on June 1. Sepp Blatter calls the decision “strange.”
Footy on the Telly™
Saturday May 21
Malaga v Barcelona 12pm GolTV
Real Madrid v Almeria 2pm ESPN Deportes
Paris Saint Germain v Lille 3pm FSC
Lyon v Caen 3pm FSP
Real Sociedad v Getafe 4pm GolTV
America de Cali v Tolima 6pm GolTV
Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire 8pm CSN, Galavision
Levante v Zaragoza 8pm GolTV
Chivas USA v LA Galaxy 10pm ESPN2
Sunday, May 22
Manchester United v Blackpool 11 a.m. ESPN2
Tottenham v Birmingham 11 a.m. FSC
Wolverhampton v Blackburn 11 a.m. FSP
Stoke City v Wigan 1pm FSP
Pumas v Morelia (Mexican Clausura championship final) 1pm Telemundo
Udinese v AC Milan 2:30pm FSC
Lecce v Lazio 3pm FSP
Gremio v Corinthians 3pm GolTV
Fulham v Arsenal 5pm FSC
Juventus v Napoli 5pm FSP
Defensor v Penarol 5pm. GolTV
Western New York Flash v magicJack 7pm FSC