Ahead of Saturday’s game in Vancouver, Kevin Kinkead presents another excellent scouting report.
In the Goal.com head-to-head preview, the Philly guy sees the Union winning 2-1, the Vancouver sees the Whitecaps winning 2-1. The sport betting website SBRforum.com predicts a 2–1 win for the Union. What do you know, the PSP predicts a 2-1 for the Union, too.
Vancouver may be winless in 14 games, but the Union is taking nothing for granted. “We only beat them 1-0 last time they were [at PPL Park] and they had a red card,” says Sheanon Williams. “We definitely don’t want to take any team lightly. No one in this league is going to give you points. It’ll be a good fight this weekend.”
Looking forward to the Union schedule over the next eight games, Kerith Gabriel has the audacity to write, “the next three matches are a gift.” If such words turn into a jinx and the Union unaccountably hit the skids, I’ll be the one with the one in the mob out in front of Kerith’s house with the pitchfork. (In his defense, Gabriel does follow up the words I quoted with, “The question now is, will the Union treat them as such?”)
By the way, last season Nowak answered questions submitted to Gabriel by readers and Nowak has agreed to do the same next week. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and you might just see it answered in next week’s Daily News. Kindly keep your joke questions to the comment section.
Shea Salinas was a PSP favorite when he played in Philly last season and will play against the Union on Saturday. His prediction of the game’s outcome? “I think we will win 3-1. We’re gonna win. We know they’re in first place, are great defensively and, as of late, are able to score a lot of goals. We know they’re a great team but we do have homefield advantage. We know eventually we’re gonna get the results that we deserve. My prediction is that it happens this weekend.” He’s dead to me.
Isn’t Salinas a little worried that such a prediction fire up his former team and could come back to bite him? “They are a very talented team,” said the winger, “and they don’t need to use this as any motivation.” He’s still dead to me.
Kyle Nakazawa has stepped up his play in the past few games but Peter Nowak knows he’s capable of more. “We’re still trying to encourage Kyle to do more going forward and make more runs in the box behind strikers, because he’s capable of it. He not only has defensive qualities, but he can score the goal and he has a great shot.” Nakazawa says, “I feel like as each game goes on, I’m getting more and more comfortable. I’m still trying to improve on everything the coaching staff has put in front of me. There are steps I need to take to make me a more complete player.”
The Inquirer’s Marc Narducci thinks Nowak would do better to stop criticizing officiating—the inconsistency of which, Narducci says, “isn’t exactly a news flash”—in postgame press conferences. “If he wants to call the league office to complain (which he has), that’s fine. Calling out officials from the postgame podium, even if he’s right, can only alienate them.” Sorry, Mr. Narducci, but whether or not the poor quality of MLS officiating is a “news flash,” a bad call that results in a Union goal to being called back and a non call that leads to a RSL goal is news and ought to be talked about in a postgame press conference. I’m with Nowak on this one.
From the Department of Fantastic News comes this message tweeted by Amobi Okugo: “Finally did some lateral movement #onestepcloser picking up the brother today should be a good week”
There’s also this tweet from Gabriel Farfan: “Felt a whole lot better today. Can’t wait to get back on the field!”
Dave Zeitlin reports on the Farfan twins alternating injury conundrum and Okugo’s recovery progress.
Philly Union Talk picks up on the Ruiz is leaving rumors with a poll. As of this writing, the vast majority of respondents says “Adios.”
Two pieces on the Whitecaps website about Saturday’s game, this from the deliciously named Simon Fudge, and this piece which says Vancouver is looking to come full circle from their May 1 loss at PPL Park with a victory over the Union.
The Vancouver Sun says Saturday’s contest with the Union is “a huge game for the Whitecaps.”
The Vancouver Sun also says the Whitecaps are in need a “sweet home win.”
Canadian international Terry Dunfield was told by coach Tommy Soehn on his return to the team after Canada’s exit from the Gold Cup, “You don’t have to be a hero. You don’t have to be all over the field. Just concentrate on being a midfielder.
The Independence are going into Saturday night’s game against magicJack at Widener confident that, although lost 2–1 when they first met on May 1, they have their measure. Said Independence coach Paul Riley, “There’s no question. We had the better of play. We should have won. We have speed and muscle up front, and we will cause problems in the back.” One of the people who will be causing those problems is Lianne Sanderson, who leads the team in assists. “I really enjoy setting other players up,” Sanderson said. “I think I can get on the score sheet more this season, too. I want to get in a position where I can score more goals because I am a good finisher with the ball. But as long as I have some impact on the game, that’s good.”
Tribal Football reports that Fred is set to return to Australia.
US Soccer has arranged private flights for Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey so they can attend family weddings the day before the USMNT plays Jamaica in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
Jonah Freedman argues that Bob Bradley ought to be given some credit for the work he’s done in the ten months since the World Cup. “[W]hat Bob has done during that short time frame is remarkable: 18 players have received their first US caps…More players have been given a chance to prove themselves on big stages than at any other time in US Soccer history. Under Bradley, 60 players have received their first caps — and almost one-third of that number has come since the conclusion of South Africa 2010.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal wonders why can’t the US build a soccer star?
The USWNT landed in Germany on Wednesday and immediately left for their training facility in Austria. This piece looks at what the members of the 1999 World Cup winning squad are up to.
Heather O’Reilly participates in a Bible study and prayer group with some of her teammates on the USWNT. “You find a lot of bonds that way,” she says. “We share such a love of soccer, but also God and Jesus.”
Jonathan Spector has been released by West Ham.
Pachuca is leading the way in bringing American players to Mexico.
Drew Gardner, the product manager for the Adidas team that created the 1994 USMNT World Cup uniform, talks about the origin of the playfully horrible monstrosity otherwise known as “that Denim Kit.”
The Brazilian congress has approved laws to fast track construction projects for the 2014 World Cup. Opposition lawmaker Rubens Bueno notes that the country has known for three years that it will be hosting the World Cup and expects rampant corruption. “We will trample the law just because the government was not capable or competent to start the construction work in time.”
FIFA will provide nearly $6 million to the Japanese Football Association to help the J-League get back on its feet in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and Tsunami.
Budweiser has signed on as the sponsor of the FA Cup for the next three years. The world’s oldest knockout tournament is now officially called “The FA Cup with Budweiser.” Not kidding. The Guardian suggests the sponsorship might be a good thing.
Sad news from The Special One TV’s official Facebook page: “AFP sources close to @BBCComedy reporting ‘#SpecialTV faces axe in latest round of #BBC cuts’ … more to follow”
Footy on the Telly™
Friday, June 17
Kansas City v San Jose 8:30pm FSC
Saturday, June 18
Iceland v Denmark (Euro U-21s) 2:30pm ESPN Deportes
Mexico v North Korea (U-17 World Cup) 4pm ESPNU
France v Argentina (U-17 World Cup) 4pm Galavision
Honduras v Costa Rica (Gold Cup quarterfinal) 5pm Telefutura
Fluminense v Bahia 5:30pm GolTV
Congo v Netherlands (U-17 World Cup) 7pm ESPNU
Orlando FC v Wilmington 7:30pm FSC
Nacional v Equidad 7:30pm GolTV
Mexico v Guatemala (Gold Cup quarterfinal) 8 p.m. Univision
Vancouver Whitecaps v Philadelphia Union 10pm TCN
Sunday, June 20
England v Czech Republic (Euro U-21s) 2:35pm ESPN Deportes
USA v Jamaica (Gold Cup quarterfinal) 3pm FSC, Univision
Ceara v Sao Paulo 3pm GolTV
El Salvador v Panama (Gold Cup quarterfinal) 6pm Univision
Atlanta Beat v Boston Breakers 6pm FSC
USA v Czech Republic (U-17 World Cup) 7pm ESPNU, Galavision
Portland v New York 10pm Galavision