Photo: Nicolae Stoian
This day in history, February 28, 2008: MLS announces Philadelphia will join the league as its 16th franchise in the 2010 season. (Not sure if this counts as a birthday, but it makes for a nice headline. More importantly, it’s just a great day to remember.)
The Union face the Costa Rica U-20 National team today. They face Belen on March 1.
There’s a brief two-paragraph recap of Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Municipal Perez Zeledon on the home team’s website.
The 2012 ‘Stache Bash is right around the corner.
Kickoff.com reports that, after cutting nine players from the recent African Cup of Nations squad, Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic is only able to call up 16 players for Wednesday’s friendly against Chile at PPL Park. The report describes the game as “a friendly that has failed to catch on in Ghana especially after the Black Stars semi final showing at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.”
The Courier Post has picked up the story about the theft of the Camden Youth Soccer Club’s goals that we wrote about last Friday. Barry Evans, a CYSC volunteer who was the source of the Q & A PSP did on the club last fall, tells the Courier Post that the goals were probably stolen to be sold as scrap metal. You can make a donation to help the club purchase new goals at www.wishuponahero.com.
The league has forbidden Houston Dynamo supporters from using flags, banners, confetti, drums and other items listed as Supporter Group Exemptions in the MLS Prohibited Items policy at away games until further notice. The ban is the result of multiple violations during the 2011 playoffs and before, most notably for the use of smoke bombs.
The Portland Timbers conceded an own goal in a 1–1 draw with San Jose on Monday in what was apparently quite a chippy match. Former Union midfielder Shea Salinas went the full 90. Union fans interested in getting a look at the Timbers ahead of the season opener against the Union on March 12 can watch a live stream of their match agaisnt Chivas USA at www.portlandtimbers.com from 10:30pm on Thursday. A live stream of preseason matches, what a great idea.
Sticking with the Pacific Northwest, The pitch at the Sounders’ Century Link Field has finally been replaced.
While not back at school taking classes at Duke, local lad Andrew Wenger is impressing with Montreal Impact.
MLS Talk previews the 2012 New York Red Bulls.
The New York Times looks at the baseball connections of two Reds Bulls players, including Tyler Ruthven, formerly of Harrisburg City Islanders and the son of former Phillies pitcher Dick Ruthven. You may remember our Q & A with Tyler from 2010.
Ives Galarcep wonders if LA Galaxy can be caught in 2012 and concludes, “All the pieces are in place for a historic season.” Amazingly, the article does not contain a single quote from Mr. A Source Close To The Situation, Mr. Team Source, Mr. Multiple Reports, or Mr. Are Believed.
Women’s Pro Soccer
It’s official, Alex Morgan has signed for the 2012 season with Seattle Sounders Women. Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux signed with the W-League club two weeks ago. Seattle are reportedly “in line” to join WPSL’s new Elite League, presumably in 2013. The press release from the Sounders on the Morgan signing notes, “The Sounders FC does not have any direct relationship or ownership with the Sounders Women.”
The Philadelphia Independence website has the Best XI Moments of 2011 as voted by the fans.
Some news of former Independence players: PSP favorite Holmfridur Magnusdottir has signed with Avaldsness of Norway. Lori Chalupny, who was to join the Independence in 2012, was to join Rossiyanka in Russia but will play for Chicago Red Stars in the WPSL Elite League after reportedly not being able to secure a visa in time. Independence 2012 draft pick Sarah Hagen scored two goals in her debut for Bayern Munich Women. Also, I believe Kia McNeill and Leigh Ann Robinson, both on Rossiyanka, will be playing Lianne Sanderson and Joanna Lohman’s Espanyol today in Barcelona.
Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t bothered by Landon Donovan’s departure from the USMNT squad ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against Italy due to bronchitis. “Whatever situation you face with injuries coming in right before games, you just take it the way it is,” Klinsmann said. “If Landon doesn’t come in, we solve it. The players that get the next opportunity, they are hungry. They want to steal the spot from the one that is not there. This is the nature of the beast of soccer. We are going have a very competitive side on Wednesday night.”
This amusingly partisan preview of Wednesday’s friendly, written by an Italy supporter, concludes, “I’m not sure it’s actually physically possible for us to lose this one.”
Frank Isola writes that the USMNT faces a huge test in Italy.
Jozy Altidore warmed up for the Italy friendly with a Man of the Match winning effort for AZ Alkmaar with a two-goal performance on Sunday.
Soccer America on the latest USMNT hope for some goal scoring power, Terrence Boyd.
Meanwhile, the US U-23 team continues its preparations for Wednesday night’s match against Mexico’s U-23s. The game will be live on Univision at 10pm.
ESPN profiles Stuart Holden’s road to recovery.
The Star-Ledger has finally said it: While it has become increasingly obvious that the USWNT needs to re-think its formation, Pia Sundhage’s decision to go with a new 4-2-3-1 formation with Abby Wambach as the focus of the attack is the wrong answer. “At the moment, the U.S. has better forwards than midfielders, and without another Wambach in the pipeline, it would seem a normal 4-4-2 or even a 3-4-3 would suit their talent to build for the future.”
The Brazilian Institute of Consumer Rights is urging citizens to contact their congressmen to urge them to vote a against a bill that the group says will give FIFA to much power and too little responsibility during the 2014 World Cup. The bill is due for a first vote by a congressional commission today.
The international calendar is likely to see a reduction in the number of fixtures after the European Clubs’ Association and UEFA reach a deal that still must be approved by FIFA.
A member of Britain’s parliament has called for clubs to be required to publicly name who their owners are.
Kaiserslautern have reported a group of fans who allegedly gave Nazi salutes to an Israeli player during practice on Sunday to the police.
Fernando Torres isn’t the only big star to be dropped by his national team squad. Goal.com looks at players who will have to fight their way back if they are to play in Euro 2012.
Former USMNT coach Bob Bradley scored his first victory as coach of the Egypt National Team with a 5-0 win over Kenya in a friendly on Monday.