Photo by: Earl Gardner
I know, no Philadelphia Union game this weekend, it totally sucks. But there are still lots of games to watch. Click here for our listings of the week’s upcoming live soccer on your TV and computer.
More on Gabriel Farfan’s claim for the starting spot at left back. Assessing how Garfan did in the position last Saturday and looking forward, Nowak says, “Gabe was very good on both sides of the ball. He likes the position. He likes to move forward. He likes to take a chance and be on the offensive side of the ball. It’s a good combination. We can switch at the half or we can look to give him more time over there. We’ll see where we are.”
Sheanon Williams says of Garfan’s play, “Kudos to Gabe. I think he’s one of our more versatile players. It’s great to have players on the team like that. It’s just a tribute to Gabe and what a good player he is.”
Marc Narducci says that the toughness that Garfan brings to the table is part of what has given him success.
Kerith Gabriel suggests that Zac MacMath is one of several young goalkeepers who, while still encountering growing pains, is quietly disproving that age and experience are necessary to be a successful professional goalkeeper. MacMath says, “I know what it takes to win and I want my teammates and the fans to know that whenever I am out there, it’s business. I hate to lose. It’s something that you never get used to as a professional. We have a team that can get back on track and we plan to take this [bye] week to assess where we are and use the Columbus game as a fresh start to the season. It starts with me and my defense.”
Peter Nowak says that he will continue to urge his players to take shots from distance. “The more shots you take, you never know what will happen. A deflection here, a deflection there, then all of a sudden the ball is in the goal.”
Nowak repeatedly referred to a core of the Union lineup in Wednesday’s press conference. Gabriel reports that the players who make up this core are (in no particular order): Zac MacMath, Danny Califf, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Gomez, Brian Carroll, Lionard Pajoy and Keon Daniel.
The Brotherly Game reports that “a source with knowledge of internal discussions” says the pressure is on Nowak to win. “Nick [Sakiewicz] has said his job security comes down to wins and losses,” says the source. “I got the impression it’s Nowak’s team to manage as he sees fit but will be ultimately accountable for his record.” Yep.
Union Dues has the Union at No. 18 in their power rankings.
Harrisburg City Islanders defeated Drexel 3–2 in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday.
The Philadelphia KiXX haven’t played in two years but their summer camp program continues.
St. Joseph’s women’s team will be hosting two clinics in June for youth and high school girls.
A soccer tournament hosted by the Sierra American Soccer Association in conjunction with the Sierra Leone Embassy and the Save Sierra Leone Foundation celebration will be part of the celebrations of the 51st anniversary of that country’s independence. The tournament, which will include a Philadelphia team, will take place in Mitchellville, Maryland on April 28-29.
FC Dallas tallied a stoppage time header to defeat New England Revolution 1–0 on Thursday night. Matt Hedges, former of Reading United and a PDL Defender of the Year, made his debut for Dallas in the game.
Goal.com previews the weekend’s games, which features several derbies, including the MLS debut of Montreal v Toronto.
Apparently Justin Mapp is playing well for Montreal. Good for him/them.
Shea Salinas is happy to be back with San Jose.
MLS Talk contributes to the discussion of how best to make use of match statistics.
Vicki DiMartino, the younger sister of former Philadelphia Independence players Tina and Gina DiMartino, has signed with the New England Mutiny of the WPSL Elite League.
A piece in the Daily Mirror observing the rise of soccer in the US concludes, “It’s not a case of football coming to the United States, but of it already being here. The question is, just how long will it take for the game to rise to true national prominence.”
SI looks at how Tim Ream is settling down at Bolton.
Patrice Muamba has begun to walk again.
A study by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet found that top professional soccer players “have significantly better cognitive functions than the average person, and are good at solving problems and multi-tasking.”
The Netherlands’ Ministry of Public Health is advising citizens who are planning to travel to Poland or Ukraine for Euro 2012 to get vaccinated against measles. A measles epidemic has broken out in western Ukraine, near the Polish border.
How are those reforms going over at FIFA? About as well as you’d think.
For those poor unfortunates who don’t have a local team (it feels so long ago, doesn’t it) or are just beginning to get into the game, The Footy Blog discusses how to pick a team to support.
Snarky headline aside, the Wall Street Journal looks at Real Madrid’s scoring rate, which, currently at 3.33 goals per game, is the highest for any European team since World War II.