Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
SI says a real crisis is developing with the Union thanks to an unpolished attack, goalkeeping gaffes and the Califf controversy.
SB Nation editor Jeremiah Oshan weighs in on the meaning of the Califf controversy:
“The Califf decision is just the latest and strangest decision he’s made that has put the Union in this position. He’s already run off one fan favorite. If this situation with Califf continues to spiral out of control and, more importantly, the team continues to lose, this could get ugly. It would be a real shame if that happens, but it will be entirely of Nowak’s making…
“From the looks of it, this is a power play, plain and simple. Nowak wants everyone remotely associated with the Union to know he’s in charge. The question is, who even needed to be told? Nowak has acquired every player who has ever suited up for the Union and will, presumably, continue to do so. His status as the unchallenged leader of this team should not be in question. His ability to lead them effectively, though, most certainly is.”
Keeping in mind that six Eastern Conference teams have yet to record a win, here are some power rankings. Soccer America has the Union at 17th. Goal.com has them dropping from 16th to 17th. Sporting News has the Union dropping from 12th to 15th. At SI, they drop from 11th to 13th. ProSoccerTalk has them at 14th. At the Mercury News they are at 8th in the East.
Freddy Adu has been named captain of the US U-23 team as it heads in Olympic qualification, beginning against Cuba on Thursday. Adu talks about being a leader in this Nashville City Paper article. “I’m not the guy that just walks up to people and tells them what to do. I’m usually the smallest guy on the field so they might beat me up.”
Goal.com reports that Michael Becker, the agent for Michael Ballack, says that the Union are among the teams that have expressed an interest in the German midfielder. Becker says the Red Bulls passed on the chance to sign the German defender because they have made a deal to bring in Aston Villa striker Stephen Ireland.
Philly Union Talk’s match report on Sunday’s loss.
Unholy Union reviews the first week of the Union’s 2012 season.
Section 133 has a rant that begins with the Union’s less than satisfactory start to the season but is largely directed at Peter Nowak.
Chicago Fire Watch
Recently signed German international defender Arne Friedrich will begin training with the Fire today. It is unclear at present if he will be available for the Chicago’s home opener against the Union on Saturday.
Fire owner Andrew Hauptman says the team is prepared to spend Keane money for the right DP.
Harrisburg City Islanders preseason training opened on Monday.
The New Jersey State final to determine who will advance to the USASA Region I Open Cup tournament will take place between Go Soccer FC and Jersey Shore Boca at the John F. Patrick Sports Complex in Lakewood, NJ on Saturday at 1:30pm.
You can purchase tickets to the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame banquet to be held on May 12 at Cannstatter Volkfest-Verein here.
The Washington Post reports on Drew Carey’s recent appearance at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Carey says he became an owner “specifically to bring the idea of fans being able to vote on ownership and management.” Seattle fans are able to vote every four years on whether to retain or fire the GM. If they vote to fire the GM, the owners “hire somebody they think is appropriate.” If at any time 25 percent of fans sign a petition, an off-year vote to remove the GM can held. The first vote is scheduled to take place November 2012.
Brad Knighton was subbed in for an injured Joe Cannon on Sunday just before half-time and helped to keep the clean sheet in Vancouver’s first-ever road win.
Women’s Pro Soccer
Beau Dure has gathered up the links to every important article and document related to the Borislow lawsuit against WPS.
The U-23s defeated Atlanta Silverbacks 3-0 in a closed door scrimmage on Sunday. Reports indicate that all 18 players who were available saw time in the game with Caleb Porter making seven changes in the second half. Brek Shea reportedly scored a brace. (If anyone can identify the dude with the moves at 1:17, please do so. Some people on YouTube think it is Brek Shea, which I don’t think is right, and one person suggests Jared Jeffrey. Mix Diskerud was the first guy who came to my mind.)
Jurgen Klinsmann has ruled himself out of replacing Harry Redknapp at Tottenham should Redknapp take the England job.
US Soccer Players talks to Steve Trittschuh, the first American to play in the European Cup, precursor to the Champions League.
Bleacher Report talks to English soccer writer Andy Mitten about the state of the American game and a whole lot more (of particular interest to Manchester United supporters). It’s a good read and, unbelievably, contains not a single slideshow.
The condition of Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a heart attack in Saturday’s FA Cup match between Bolton at Tottenham, continues to improve. Muamba can now breathe without a respirator, has been able to speak to family members, and reportedly spent a comfortable night in hospital.
The Premiership has ordered a review of its medical procedures in order to discover if anything could have been done better to treat Muamba.
One week after resigning as president of the Brazilian federation and the 2014 World Cup organizing committee, Ricardo Teixeira has resigned from the FIFA executive committee. FIFA tells Brazil that they must come up with a replacement for Teixeira immediately.
The 94-year-old former FIFA president and IOC member Joao Havelange has been hospitalized.
Serie A Talk is reporting that Al Jazeera Sports Network has acquired the US broadcasting rights to Serie A, which are currently held by Fox Soccer through the end of this season. Sister site La Liga Talk reported last week that the network had acquired the broadcasting rights to La Liga, which are currently held by GolTV through the end of this season. Apparently Al Jazeera Sports is currently only available in the US in Arabic on DISH Network, though the Serie A Talk report describes rumors that Al Jazeera may buy GolTV.