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Califf: “Confidence is really key.” More news.

Photo: Earl Gardner

Check out PSP’s match report and report on Peter Nowak’s post-game press conference. Look for our analysis and player ratings as well as photo essay later this morning.

OK, let’s get this out of the way. Here’s Le Toux on the reception he received at PPL Park on Saturday: “There was a lot of emotion before the game, especially when I came on the field and at the end. The fans were chanting my name and saying good things. It was more than I could ask for. I am thankful for everything they did for me.”

He added, “I knew it would be something special, but I was not thinking as much. I’m just thankful for the fans.”

Now, on to the game.

Philadelphia Union

Like Captain Califf said, “If you can’t win, it’s better not to lose.”

The offense is still absent but the defense looked better on Saturday. Said Danny Califf, “All was right in my end of the world. Obviously, we’re disappointed that we didn’t get three points but getting the clean sheet, especially for our confidence is really key. Tonight was a real solid team performance and if we play games like this we’ll see results.”

Califf appreciated the support the fans gave him when his name was announced before the start of the game. “It was amazing. It was great to get back out there and feel comfortable and know that I had all that support behind me.”

Chandler Hoffman talks about his MLS debut.

If you were wondering why Roger Torres wasn’t on the gameday roster, so was he. When asked by Chris Vito, Torres said, “I’m not sure why.” Peter Nowak seemed to indicate in the post-game press conference that it was a question of form and the need to provide different options for cover from the bench.

ProSoccerTalk notes how Zac MacMath is settling down in goal and then says, “It’s hard to see what the Union attack is all about. It’s not really about getting wide and supplying crosses. It’s not about counter attacking. It’s not about slow-build and possession, or not about playing into a target. The real problem is…Philly needs a playmaker something fierce.”

Describing the match as being “as dull and drab as Saturday’s Chester, Pa., weather,” SI says the Union should “be beside themselves for not snatching three points against an opponent missing three key starters.”

The Guardian says the significance of Saturday’s draw is simple: “stopping the rot.”

Chris Vito’s reports that Carlos Valdes was wearing protective headgear as a precaution after taking a couple of hits to the head against Portland and Chicago.

More match reports from the Union website, the Inquirer, SBI, Philly Soccer News, Philly Union Talk, the Mercury, the Courier-Post, NJ.com, the Province, the Vancouver Sun (which uses a photo of the Whitecaps playing DC), the AP.

The Goalkeeper has player quotes and video of Le Toux.

The Union are now at No. 17 in the Bleacher Reports player ratings.

NJ.com profiles Jason Thurston, the winner of the 2011 Fan of the Year award.

Local

National Premier Soccer League’s AC Crusaders will play four of its home games at Egg Harbor Township High School.

Philadelphia Business Journal profiles Starfinder Foundation.

MLS

In the weekend’s Eastern Conference results, Kansas City remains undefeated in first place with 12 points with a 1–0 road win over Chivas USA. Four teams are now on six points: New York defeated Montreal 5–2, who are tied with the Union on one point, with Thierry Henry getting a hat trick; Columbus topped last place Toronto 1–0; New England pulled off a stunner, defeating LA 3–1 on the road; Houston had the weekend off. DC and Chicago are both on four points, DC crushing Dallas 4–1 on Friday while Chicago lost 2–0 at Colorado.

Sporting News looks at how MLS plans to crack down on diving and dangerous play.

Women’s Soccer

Members of Sky Blue reflect on their recent exhibition games in Japan.

US

In case you missed it, the USWNT will play China at PPL Park on May 27. The Equalizer remembers the guy with the hot dog from the last time the US Women played in Chester in 2010, which was also against China. Here’s our photo essay from that game.

On Sunday, Alex Morgan equalized for the US against Japan in the Kirin Challenge Cup to prevent a three-game streak of defeats to the World Cup champion.

Elsewhere

El Salvador’s Alexander Lavin has been suspended for three games by CONCACAF following the 3–3 draw against the US U-23 team. Camera’s caught Lavin punching Terrence Boyd in the face, even if the ref didn’t. If your interested, it’s Mexico and Honduras who will be going to the Olympics from our region. Yeah, I’m not really interested either.

US Soccer Players takes a look at the Independent Governance Committee’s report on how to reform FIFA.

Former Italy, Lazio and New York Cosmos striker Giorgio Chinaglia has died at the age of 65.

3 Comments

  1. Some notes:
    1) Good god, is Torres the next target for Nowaks ego now!?! What the hell is he doing sitting him for no reason, and does he really have the gall to say it’s because of “form”!?! If form was that big a deal to Nowak, Lopez would already be on a plane back to Costa Rica.
    2) Wow, prosoccertalk is dead on. Like always, our offense lacks an identity. Nowak’s constant tinkering is bad enough, but the lack of an end goal is ever worse. If we want a possession offense with a playmaker, then why hasn’t Torres been anointed a starter? If we wanted to play wide, then why does Nowak seem to tell every winger to cut inside?
    3) I am happy for MacMath. It was crazy to throw him into the fire by playing behind a dumb 3 man back line so early in the season. One we get the defense settled he will be settled, and we will start to see all the positive attributes he has at such a young age. I for one love to have aGK who is not afraid to come off his line and command his box, after watching Mondragon act like a statue in that regard last year.

  2. DarthLos117 says:

    Well looks like I was wrong again…My mind tricks didnt work and Nowak definitely started a team that made no sense…but at least he corrected it….Overall pleased with that game minus our offense…which left with ol # 9. Will someone please step up and lead our offense?!?!

  3. I’m not sure what to think of this game. Yes, the clean sheet was nice, but the attack just doesn’t make sense especially with Vancouver missing three starters.

    Hoffman playing wide was a waste. Between him and ProFro, the left was where attacks went to die. I don’t care what Nowak said, Hoffman was playing out of position.

    Pajoy can’t do the job alone if there are no strikers to play off of him. I think Mac, Martinez, or Mwanga should have started over Hoffman.

    If Nowak wants to know if Danny Mwanga is worth anything, he should give him a good run of games. Five minute cameos are worthless. Let him build some chemistry with Pajoy up top.

    The team still lacks a killer instinct, but I do think Adu’s return should help the team based on his current form. I don’t understand Torres not being in the squad at all, but that’s Peter for ya.

    I also wish Nowak would commit more minutes to Martinez. This team sorely lacks pace. Also, has Martinez played up top yet this season? I’ve seen him mainly used as a wide forward/winger.

    Gomez or Carroll: Pick one, Nowak.

    Lastly, Keon Daniel deserves to stay in the starting 11 regardless of Adu’s return. His composure on the ball is excellent.

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