Photo by: Earl Gardner
After reviewing footage of his elbow to the head of Carlos Valdes in the 65th minute of Saturday’s draw, the league has suspended Vancouver’s Atiba Harris for one game and fined him for violent conduct that endangered the safety of his opponent. Harris, who said before the game that he believed a tackle from Valdes last season led to surgery to repair his miniscus, claims that the elbow was not motivated by revenge. “No, I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was just trying to get the ball. It wasn’t anything intentional.”
Danny Califf and Zac MacMath received honorable mentions in the league’s latest Team of the Week.
More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move one spot up from the bottom to No. 18, and Soccer America concurs. At SBI, the Union move up two spots from the basement to No. 17. Pro Soccer Talk and Oregon Live.com give the Union the highest ranking of the group, putting them at No. 16. At the Mercury News, the Union are 8th in the East. The best quote from the group comes from the league’s website: “[T]he Union need help—quickly—or 2012 could be a lost cause.”
Chandler Hoffman says he wasn’t feeling himself until the second half against Vancouver. “I was playing a little bit too safe in the first half and most of my passes were going negative. At the start of the second half, I did a much better job pushing their line, and I thought we should have grabbed a goal early in the second half. It’s definitely something to build off.”
Major League Soccer UK writes up Saturday’s game.
Harrah’s, the Union’s casino partner in Chester, is re-branding itself as Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack.
The Fever have announced the signing of four new college players, Megan Minix, Laura Di Clemente, Kelsey Haycook, and Cherie Sayon. Di Clemente and Haycook have local roots with Haycook currently on the La Salle team.
Lancaster-native Andrew Wenger talks about juggling the start of his professional career with Montreal Impact while finishing college.
The Upper 90 talks to Harrisburg City Islander’s new right back Bilal Duckett.
The City Islanders have signed Harrisburg-native Garret Pettis.
Toronto FC coach Aron Winter is confident his team can win tonight in Mexico when they face Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League (8pm, FSC).
In view of the league’s movement to review match footage and impose suspension and fines when it feels this is warranted (as with the Atiba Harris foul above), Soccer America’s Ridge Mahoney writes,”Claims of inconsistency have arisen in the wake of MLS imposing harsher punishments for players’ transgressions, but critics miss the point that such reviews will increase consistency in the long run.”
Montreal Impact and Portland Timbers have been approved to join the US Soccer Development Academy system. Isn’t Montreal in Canada?
FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira will be out 6-8 weeks after surgery to repair a fracture in his right foot.
The Central Winger column on the league website continues to grapple with how to make match stats meaningful. I’m not sure how successful the column is at doing this but it is a worthy effort.
Union Dues looks at the upcoming matches for Week 5.
MLS Talk reviews the revamped MLS Live digital service and concludes, “I personally find the MLS Live package to be a great alternative to Direct Kick, perhaps even better. It costs less, has sufficient quality given my bandwidth limitations, and gives me freedom from having to record a bunch of matches each week.”
UFC president Dana White raised a few eyebrows when he described soccer as the “least talented sport in the world.” Former MLS player Jimmy Conrad didn’t like the comment so he released a video open letter challenging White to join him in a game of soccer, adding, “Since you believe playing soccer requires no talent, I’m sure you’ll be the star. Unless you’re scared.” White has accepted the challenge.
In today’s Champions League action, it is Chelsea vs Benfica (2:30pm, FSC) and Real Madrid vs APOEL (2:30pm, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go; replay at 5pm on FSC). After that you can watch CONCACAF Champions League play with Santos Laguna vs Toronto FC (8pm, FSC) and Pumas UNAM vs Monterrey (10pm, FSC).
AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims there is a UEFA conspiracy to ensure Barcelona qualifies for the Champions League final.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola responded, “They were fouls in the area and they were given so they were two penalties. This is what I have been taught since I was a child…If Ibrahimovic says it is thanks to the referees then fine, but we have qualified five times and the players speak on the pitch, which is where they should do their talking.”
Porto has been fined €20,000 for the racist chants its supporters directed at Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli in a Europa League match in February.
Brazil says construction is on schedule at all 12 2014 World Cup stadiums.
There’s another match fixing scandal in Italy, this time involving a dozen people, including nine former Bari players, who are alleged to have been involved in manipulating nine Serie A matches.
Grantland offers a Game of Thrones-to-Premier League converter. Very good stuff.