Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
For the Union, a first half filled with unfinished chances. For Colorado, two Union slips that lead to two goals and a win on the road. But will the loss be overshadowed by the non-selection of Danny Califf?
Philadelphia Union 1–2 Colorado Rapids
More match reports from the Daily News, the Inquirer, MLSsoccer.com, SBI, Denver Post, CSNPhilly, Philly Soccer News, MLSTalk, Goal.com, Brotherly Game (who use an image of Chris Seitz in the report), the AP, 90soccer.com.
Did Chris Albright slip or was he clipped on the second goal? He has no doubt:
“I got clipped, plain and simple. The referee obviously did not see it. I thought I had position. I don’t swing and miss ever. A lot of times you get that call because something obviously happened. I was really disappointed to not get that call. I’ll go back and look at it, but he had one hand on my shoulder and just caught a piece of my heel. It was enough. As I’m going to swing and hit the ball out of bounds, that was enough to do what it did.”
And that first goal, why didn’t Zac MacMath come down with the ball? “I lost it in the sun a little bit, it was lofted up pretty high,” MacMath said after the game. “I got clipped a little bit there, but it’s a small play and I have to stay concentrated on making the small plays for a full 90 and doing my best to keep the team in it, and I didn’t do that today.”
And that formation? “(It was) pretty simple, we played a 3-5-2,” explained Sheanon Williams. “It was something we worked on and we’re trying to give new looks as we always do.”
Given the formation, Gabriel Gomez was often required to assume greater defensive responsibilities. “It was planned that way,” he said. “I was the person asked to play as a fourth defensive player, and attack when they needed me to attack.”
Peter Nowak’s verdict on the game?
“We’re all disappointed. I feel bad for the team, because they did everything right. We took those two mistakes, but I feel like we never had a problem with any kind of structure or pressure or anything like that. It was just a missing touch here, a final pass, missing the execution, but I think overall we played much better than in Portland. I think we’re going to stick to the plan, we’re going to believe in what we’re doing as a team. It was a pretty good game, except for those mistakes we made.
What did Sheanon Williams think? “Two unlucky goals. They capitalized and punished us.” He also said, “I thought we played extremely well in the first half. We had some good chances and we were unfortunate to go down a couple of goals. As soon as that happened, they go into their defensive shell, we pull one back, and the second one didn’t come.”
And Danny Mwanga? “We’re not really worried about it,” he said after the game. “We’re only two games into the season. Obviously it’s important to start right but it’s only two games. Especially after today’s performance, I have no doubts we have good things coming our way.”
Jason Thurston was named the 2011 Fan of the Year.
The Delco Daily Times reports on the wonderful fan experience that is opening day at PPL.
I don’t know what Noise Nation is, but some of their members went to PPL on Sunday and they report that they had a nice time.
Local officials in Chester are pleased with development along that city’s waterfront, of which PPL is a major part. While the economy has stalled planned retail and residential developments, the “possibilities are endless.”
Why no Danny?
When the Union’s roster was announced before Sunday’s 2–1 loss to Colorado in the 2012 home opener, questions immediately began to be asked about why Danny Califf was not starting. Peter Nowak said after the match,
“You guys don’t know but [Califf] still has a shot in his knee. The doctors in the offseason took a pretty big chunk of meniscus. When we started preseason, he didn’t do anything until the first day. We went from zero to 100 in pretty fast time. We still have questions. We have to go into this situation making sure that not only is he ready to play but he’s going to be able to give the performance that we all suspect.”
If Califf wasn’t fit to start, why was he dressed and eligible to play? Nowak explained, “Because, we didn’t know…with Chris (Albright) coming back as well, I think we just wanted to make sure (Califf) would be available for us.”
“It was a surprise to me. I didn’t find out I wasn’t playing until today, when we walked into the locker room. I guess I found out. Supposedly I have a knee injury…Honestly, that’s the first time I’ve heard about my knee being a problem. I don’t really understand where that’s coming from. I have no idea what’s going on in Peter’s head because he hasn’t said a word to me. To be honest, I don’t really have any idea. I would’ve thought that he at least would have a conversation with me. But he didn’t and maybe that’s his style and that’s the situation right now.”
Califf also said, “I felt great and trained this week. I would have liked to have been out there, but it wasn’t my decision…I didn’t expect this.”
Ryan Bright reminds us that this is not the first time a “miscommunication” about the status of an injury has arisen between Nowak and a player. “Early last season,” he writes, “Nowak persisted in saying that star striker Sebastien Le Toux was suffering a lower-body injury. Le Toux disputed the injury, eventually going directly to the media to protest the diagnosis from management.”
Goal.com says Nowak wasn’t the only manager whose selections raised eyebrows on Sunday.
Harrisburg City Islanders open up their training camp today.
There are ten teams in the Eastern Conference. Two weeks into the new season and only two of those teams, Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo, have wins. On Saturday in front of nearly 60,000 fans, the Montreal Impact played Chicago Fire, playing their first game of the season, to a 1–1 draw. Houston topped San Jose 1–0 on the road. Kansas City destroyed New England 3–0. Real Salt Lake made easy work of New York with a 2–0 win. Seattle easily defeated Toronto 3–1 in the Canadian team’s first league game of the season. Columbus had the weekend off. Philadelphia, New York, DC and New England are all 0–2–0. Toronto and Columbus are 0–1–0.
Women’s Pro Soccer
Paul Riley will coach a Women’s Professional Super Group team in the Headers for Hope charity tournament on April 21 at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Josh Gatt has been recalled by his his Norwegian club, Molde FK, from the USMNT U-23 team. Caleb Porter will announce a replacement by Tuesday.
Fabrice Muamba remains in critical but stable condition.
Hey, what do you know, Fernando Torres finally did that thing he’s paid to do but hadn’t done in 24 matches. Twice!
A state-owned television channel in Syria is claiming that Barcelona’a formations represent arms smuggling routes to rebels fighting to bring down the Assad regime.