Photo: Paul Rudderow, from Wednesday night’s Fan Fest. Look for our photo essay of the event later today.
Peter Nowak says not to rush to judgement of the team after just one game. “I’ve said it before, I think we have the right pieces to make a run, but we need to progress and I think that is going to come with time…I think we had a good first game in terms of the guys seeing how the intensity and crowds are. Now they know how it’s going to be. The guys that have been here for a while have told the new players what to expect from our home fans, so I am confident they will get up for this one.”
If you thought the team did not look settled in Monday night’s loss to Portland, Nowak describes how some Union players may not be settled in other ways. “It was a long preseason and we still have players still looking to getting settled into their homes, finish moves, bring over their families. We don’t want these kinds of things on the back of our players’ brains and I think that once they have that stability, it’ll be easier to these guys [all around].”
He adds, “It’s not only the changes on the field, just per se…I think its getting the housing together, the families — that’s important to their life. That’s why we try to make those moves before the season, (and) preseason starts so they can establish some sort of stability in their lives…They are very connected with the families, with the people they try to bring with them, the children. It’s important.”
What does Nowak expect from Colorado? “I think Colorado is even more physical than [Portland]. They changed their system and their coach, but they still play a physical, high-intensity game. [New coach Oscar Pareja] preaches a possession game with quick transition, so these are complex things we need to address. We have to match their intensity and physicality.”
Kyle Martino says of Sunday’s home opener, ” The good news is they will have the amazing ‘Sons of Ben’ behind them. The bad news is they are facing the most dynamic Colorado team we have seen in years, coming off a confident home win to start their campaign.”
Danny Califf talks Union with NBC Sports Talk. “All of us are super stoked and amped to walk into PPL and feel that energy.” I love him. Even better is his response when asked if the Union’s performance against Portland drove Nowak “nuts.” Califf, after a dramatic pause, says with a smile, “Yeah, I think that that’s, uh, that’s a fair statement.”
Gabriel Gomez showed on Monday night that he is the man to replace Sebastien Le Toux when it comes to taking free kicks. He may also be the replacement for penalty kicks. “I like to take the penalties and the free kicks. On Panama’s national team, I take the free kicks. It’s something that’s already in me.”
Antoine Hoppenot, who grew up in Princeton, says, “I used to come here and sit in the stands and cheer for the team. I’m here now and walking through the locker room at PPL Park. It’s pretty incredible.” What’s the biggest difference between college soccer and the pro game? “For me, definitely the speed of play is tougher. In college, the speed of play was much slower than what I’ve seen here. You can take four touches in college and maintain the ball. Here, you take one touch and you have guys right on you. One of the first training sessions, I made a touch and Danny Califf came right up on my back.”
Frank Isola says Freddy Adu is the oldest 22-year-old going to the USMNT Olympic training camp.
Chandler Hoffman, Raymon Gaddis, Greg Jordan and Jimmy McLaughlin will visit pediatric and geriatric patients at Crozer Medical Center today.
MLS UK has a match report on the Union’s defeat in Portland. “The dismal weather in Portland laid the backdrop for a game in which the Union were second best throughout.” Too true.
4 Square, that annoying thing that clutters your Twitter account with announcements of where people you follow are, has a Union badge. Now you can “Check-in during a game…and unlock the badge!” Here’s what you will find.
If you are in the Reading area, Reading United has a limited number of home opener/bus pass packages available for Sunday’s home opener at PPL Park.
Former Harrisburg City Islander Jose Angulo talks about playing for New York Red Bulls.
Former Reading United midfielder Evans Frimpong, the first Supplemental Draft selected from the University of Delaware, talks about his pursuit of a pro contract after being cut by Chicago Fire and San Jose.
In case you’re wondering, Kalif Alhassan says the goal he scored against the Union on Monday was intentional and not a cross that drifted into net. “I was trying to score,” he said.
DC United has extended their lease at RFK through the 2013 season. Seating will now be restricted to to the Mezzanine level and lower seating bowl, putting capacity at Just under 20,000.
CONCACAF Champions League
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna ran Seattle out of the tournament with a 6–1 thrashing. Toronto put its MLS competition on notice with a shocking 2–1 away win over LA Galaxy. Toronto is now the only remaining MLS team in the tournament and will face Santos in the semifinals.
Women’s Pro Soccer
Former Philadelphia Independence forward Laura Del Rio came off the bench to score the final goal in Bristol Academy’s 3–0 win over Leeds in FA Women’s Cup play.
Soccer America looks at WPS players now competing in the UEFA Champions League.
Can WPS help grow the women’s game in France?
Philadelphia-born US soccer legend Walter Bahr remembers John “Clarkie” Souza, his team mate on the US team that defeated England in the 1950 World Cup, who passed away on Sunday. “He was as skilled a player as I ever played with or against.” Only two players from the 1950 team survive, Bahr and Frank Borghi.
Brazil’s congress remains divided over allowing the sale of alcohol inside stadiums during the 2014 World Cup.
The AP reports Hassan al-Thawadi, general secretary of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, says “Alcohol will be allowed in Qatar,” although he doesn’t “see the reason for it being in the stadium.”
Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman and a Football Association vice-chairman who was in Qatar attending a conference on soccer and security, caused a stir by accusing FIFA and UEFA of stealing football from the Britain. Later—and I am not making this up—he fell into a fountain.
Damian Collins, a Conservative MP in the British Parliament, explains the Football Financial Transparency Bill he introduced in the House of Commons earlier this week.
Fox Soccer Plus will begin showing Scottish Premier League games on Saturday when Dundee United hosts Rangers.
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal must have a liver transplant. Last year a tumor was removed from his liver.
I am not a fan of Chelsea, but hats off to them for a fine performance against Napoli to become the only English club among the final eight in the Champions League. The draw for the next stage of the tournament is on Friday.