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Nowak: “We’re like a charity right now”

Photo: Courtesy of MLSsoccer.com

Union

Peter Nowak on Saturday’s loss to Vancouver: “We’re like a charity right now, giving life and points to other teams.”

Sheanon Williams on the Union’s performance: “Vancouver scored a good goal early on and we struggled to get our rhythm. I think we just didn’t play our game and we didn’t play that well. All the credit to Vancouver tonight—they pounced on us and they played better than we did tonight.”

Brian Carroll adds, “I thought we played well enough to at least come out of here with a tie, but unfortunately it didn’t go that way.”

Jonathan Tannenwald writes in the Inquirer that despite choosing “[Veljko] Paunovic’s experience to Danny Mwanga’s youthful energy,” Peter Nowak said after Saturday’s loss that Paunovic “still needs match fitness” and admitted the coaching staff haven’t quite figured out yet just what Paunovic’s ideal position should be: “Is it behind the striker? Is it as a third striker? Or just as a pure striker?” Paunovic says he’s looking to play as a set up man. I’m gonna go with an extremely wide position, about five meters beyond the touchline at center field, on the bench.

Nowak said of Paunovic’s performance, “Maybe he was a little too far from Seba [Le Toux], but he did a good job to get the ball in good spots and spread it out. I think that for the 60 minutes we prescribed for him in this game, he did pretty well.”

For his part, Paunovic said of the loss, “We just needed more concentration in the last 20 meters, to just find the last pass and score the goal. I think in the second half we got to that point, but we missed. In soccer, the one who misses, he loses.”

According to Ryan Bright, Nowak is “is beginning to notice” Le Toux’s struggles to find the back of the net. Nowak said, “Everybody is trying to help and stay positive. It’s very easy to drop your hat down and say ‘okay, you’re not scoring goals and we have to make a change.’ At some point we have to consider that. The chances [Le Toux] had, especially at that point of the game, he had to finish.” How then to explain how it is that when someone like, say, Danny Mwanga, is scoring goals–it is also apparently easy to “to make a change” by starting a guy who hasn’t played pro ball for two-and-a-half years?

With Guatemala out of the Gold Cup, Nowak is looking forward to the return of Carlos Ruiz. “He’s always in the right spot. We hope to see him tomorrow when we get back and get ready for Kansas City on Wednesday…[Ruiz] is an important piece for us. We all know that when the time is right, he’s going to be there.” Where to begin? Let’s see: “He’s always in the right spot”?; “Hope” to see him?—is there any doubt?; “When the time is right”?; does anyone other than Nowak believe that Ruiz is the answer to the Union’s offensive woes?

Reaction to Saturday’s loss from The Brotherly Game: “one of their worst performances”; Union City Blue: “Puta”; Unholy Union: “travesty”; Section 133: “UGLY”.

Independence

The Independence walloped magicJack 6–0 on Saturday. More on the win here and with video here. Look for our match report and photo essay later today.

Danesha Adams scored two goals in the win, bringing her tally to three in two games.

The Delco Times says the Independence need to make Sinead Farrelly, the team’s first round draft pick who grew up in Haverford, the face of the franchise’s marketing efforts.

Local

On Friday, Harrisburg City Islanders picked up their first road win of the season with a 1–0 victory over Richmond Kickers.

Reading United topped Westchester Flames 2–0 on Friday.

Ocean City FC’s three-game road swing began badly with a 2–0 loss to undefeated Long Island Rough Riders on Saturday. On Sunday, they bounced back with a 2–2 draw with Central Jersey Spartans. The road trip concludes on Wednesday against Brooklyn Knights.

MLS

Saturday’s loss drops the Union to second place in the Eastern Conference one point behind New York with a game in hand. New York drew 3–3 in Portland in match that by all accounts was yet another refereeing disaster and saw Thierry Henry both score a goal and be ejected. Columbus are now one point behind the Union in third place after beating now fourth place Houston 2–0 on the road. DC United are now one point behind Houston in fifth place after drawing 1–1 with RSL thanks to yet another ridiculous dive from Charlie Davies resulted in a penalty kick. New England and Chicago drew 1–1 and Toronto lost 1–0 to Seattle. Kansas City beat San Jose 1–0 at home on Friday to record their first win in their new stadium.

US

Player ratings for the US 2–0 win over Jamaica at the Gold Cup from Soccer America. With Panama beating El Salvador on penalty kicks, the US now has a chance to avenge their 2–1 loss in the group stage.

As the USWNT continues preparations for the Women’s World Cup at their training ground in Austria, the Washington Post profiles forward Abby Wambach, the third leading scorer in the team’s history.

Soccer America has five things we learned about the US-17 team in their 3–0 win over the Czech Republic in the U-17 World Cup. You can view video highlights here.

Elsewhere

After a second round of tests came up negative, FIFA says Mexico can replace the five players who were suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.

Zenit St. Petersburg have accused Russian riot police with using an electric baton on forward Danko Lazovic. “I simply went to give my shirt to the fans after the game when a policeman appeared behind me and hit me in the back with an electric shock,” Lazovic said. “I don’t know why this happened. Maybe he thought I was one of the fans.”

2 Comments

  1. Any good prospects from the U-17 team, Ed? I think that some of those young players would fit in well with the Union.

  2. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Well, there is this Zach Pfeffer guy…Wait a sec, he wasn’t selected because of a recent appendectomy AND he’s already on the Union roster. If guys who haven’t played in two-and-a-half years can get a run, why not he?

    Seriously, though, there’s a lot of buzz on the web about the U-17 pool. There’s lot of talent out there – fingers crossed for the future…

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