Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
In this week’s power rankings roundup, the Union fall two spots to fifth at MLS Soccer.com. At ESPN, they move up one spot to fifth. They drop one spot to fourth at the Seattle Times. At Goal.com, the Union fall two spots to eighth.
Freddy Adu says he always wanted to come back to MLS. “People were saying just come back to MLS; it’s better than when you left. I knew that. I was keeping track of MLS the whole time. It was something I wanted to do probably a little earlier, but I couldn’t because I was owned by Benfica. It had to be the right time to make it happen.”
A post on the Union website says the adversity of the recent eight game winless streak made the team stronger in the long run. The quote from Danny Califf says it best:
“There are times when it seems like everything goes against you. That’s when you have to fight through it. Last season, it was crazy how many things went against us. We were able to battle through that tough stretch this season. We got our legs under us and we got some positive results. We built on that and kept building. We don’t want to let up now. We want to keep it going. I think one of the many reasons we’re in this position is the collective character of players in this locker room. We held it together and fought through it as a team.”
The Sporting News handicaps the MVP race and says of Sebastien Le Toux:
“Pro: He has 11 goals and nine assists for the Union, who could finish first in the Eastern Conference in only their second season. Only De Rosario has more goals and assists combined.
“Con: One week into August, Le Toux had scored just one goal. Perhaps the recent production is too little, too late.”
Le Toux came in second in a flash poll for MVP on the MLS website with 32.62 percent of the vote behind Mauro Rosales’ 33.11 percent.
MLSsoccer.com looks at the contributions of the Union’s second season newcomers.
If there is any doubt about what a great guy The Dragon is, just have a look at this post where he praises the fans, his son, his teammates and his coaches. “I’ve been saying this all along – we have unbelievable fans…It makes us feel really at home. I have only words of gratitude to the fans. Hopefully we can still give them some more happiness.”
The results are in from a poll at Union Dues on which Union players deserve a raise.
New York watch
Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on the Energy Drinks.
Apparently they’re not feeling exactly confident in North Jersey, with this writer saying he has a deja vu about the Pink Cows with memories of 2002 when the MetroStars flamed out.
Here’s ESPN2’s preview for Thursday night’s game.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the red card on Thierry Henry. It’s OK if you haven’t, RedMetroBullStars manager Hans Backe still hasn’t.
Alexi Lalas writes in the Daily Mirror that Henry’s arrogance may have wrecked the Foul Tasting Liquid’s season.
A writer for the Star-Ledger says Thierry Henry’s dirty tactics couldn’t have come at a worse time. Union supporters might disagree.
SB Nation says Henry’s red card is a symbol of the Energy Cows’ issues.
Backe has the backing of the team’s ownership. “Hans is the head coach of the Red Bulls [sic] next season regardless of what happens on Thursday,” said general manager Erik Soler.
Soler also said, “In a normal league we would not be alive with 16 draws. We would be out. This [playoff] set up allows us to still be alive.”
La Salle’s women’s team has moved up two spots to 19th in Soccer America’s Top 25 rankings.
Penn goalkeeper Max Kurtzman has been named Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
Jim McKeown, a star player at Steinert High School in the early 1970s who went on to play for Tulsa Roughnecks and Philadelphia Fury in the NASL, will be inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Here’s a preview of tonight’s match between DC United and Portland, which has huge playoff implications for both teams.
The Talking Tactics column at MLSsoccer.com wonders if coaches are playing more conservatively as the playoffs approach.
Following a suggestion that Chivas USA could move to another city in a post at the Union Dues on MLS expansion, there is this curious line: “Chivas fans happen to share a stadium with the best team in the league, the LA Galaxy, so it doesn’t seem like too much of a problem for the Chivas fans to switch teams.” Because, you know, supporting a team is much like changing a shirt.
A tweet from former Philadelphia Independence general manager Terry Foley on Monday suggest a new Connecticut-based team may join WPS in 2012. He also tweeted that an announcement could be made this week.
The USMNT will play Slovenia on November 15 Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana. The first, and only time, these two countries met was at the 2010 World Cup. You may remember how, after a series of phantom calls, the ref took away what would have been one of the great comebacks in US soccer history with yet another baffling call. The US plays France on November 11.
The USMNT has dropped to 34th in the FIFA rankings. In case you were wondering, Qatar has moved up eight spots to no. 92.
Soccer America looks at the USMNT depth chart.
Charlie Davies has filed a $20 million lawsuit agaisnt the owner of the nightclub that served the young woman driving the SUV he was in a passenger in that resulted in the death of another passenger and extensive injuries to Davies. Also named in the lawsuit is the sponsor of a party at the nightclub, Red Bull. More on the lawsuit here. I wonder if he will sue himself for breaking the curfew imposed by the USMNT that fateful night?
A researcher has found evidence that pushes the starting date for organized forms of football bearing some resemblance to the modern game back some 350 years to the late 15th century in Scotland. While there has long been general agreement that various forms of mob or folk football had been played for centuries before then, scholars had previously placed the immediate forebearers of the modern game in the early-mid 19th century. More on the findings here and here.
In response to the video leaked last week that appears to show him urging representatives of the Caribbean Football Union to accept bribes, a letter from the former head of CONCACAF and well known crook Jack Warner was published on Tuesday in the Trinidad Guardian. In the letter, Warner reiterates his earlier promise to unleash a “tsunami” on FIFA. Warner says his expose will “discuss the litany of broken promises made to me by Blatter…talk about the racism that is within FIFA…will talk about the levels of religious discrimination which I sought to correct. I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on [Mohamed] Bin Hammam and me was mounted…I will also tell you about the attempts I have made…to find out the salary of Sepp Blatter…I will also give you detailed accounts of the conspiracy against the CFU by one of its own…The role of [Chuck] Blazer in the CONCACAF will be exposed…His wheeling and dealing will stymie the international football community…There is much to talk about that will make the sponsors of both the FIFA and CONCACAF cringe with painful surprise. The vindictiveness of FIFA, not only against me but also against all others associated with me will be exposed…They continue to do such things like leaking a video in the hope that they can embarrass me to lie down on my belly. Never, I repeat, never, regardless of the consequences. Let me assure all that the promised tsunami will come. All the real “gifts” that Blatter gave to secure his two elections will turn stomachs inside out. The conspiracy to protect the FIFA’s throne for Michel Platini by getting rid of the Muslim Bin Hammam and the interruption of the successes of Jack Warner will be uncovered for all to see…But of this I will have much more to say.” I can hardly wait.
The one-year suspension of former FIFA vice president Reynald Temarii of Tahiti ends today. Temarii was suspended for bribery ahead of the vote for the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.