Photo: Earl Gardner
The Union issued a press release on Tuesday in which they said team and league officials will be holding a press conference today at 11:30 to discuss “the competitive aspects of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game,” which seems like a fancy way of saying the All-Star Game opponent will be announced. Ives Galarcep reports at Fox Soccer that “sources within MLS” have confirmed the All-Stars will be facing Chelsea. (Hey Ives, couldn’t you have found a better photo of PPL Park? We’ve got scores of them, all you have to do is ask.) Rumors that Chelsea would be playing in Philadelphia first emerged after a report on ESPN Soccernet on March 8 and picked up momentum after a report on the Brotherly Game on March 31.
Roger Torres is out with a MCL sprain on his left knee. The injury came in Monday’s reserve league game.
The Union reserves will face the Crew reserves at approximately 6:30pm at PPL Park on Saturday following the first team match. According to the Union website, “The reserve match will not be open to the public due to the logistics of post-game stadium breakdown.” Which is just terrible.
Natural midfielders Jimmy McLaughlin and Cristhian Hernandez both played at outside back in the reserve game on Monday, McLaughlin on the right and Hernandez on the left (and both looked very good). McLaughlin says,
“With our formation, it suits me better because we tend to play with central midfielders rather than outside midfielders and I’m a natural outside mid. So from the outside back spot, I can get up the field at the right time and kind of play a similar position to the one I’m used to…It’s really good having naturally attacking players back there because all of us are really good on the ball and we all want the ball on our feet and are comfortable with it. It makes it easy to play out of the back rather than giving away possession.”
Whatever your thoughts about converting players, what I find interesting is the part about “we tend to play with central midfielders rather than outside midfielders.”
Here’s another post on Peter Nowak’s ideas about competition at every position and how to develop the Union’s youth using quotes from last week’s press conference. Gosh darn bye week.
ProSoccer Talk’s power rankings say, “Four games have seen four different starting lineups from Peter Nowak. He had a week off to re-examine things, so Saturday’s reshuffle will be interesting.” Great, now we’re funny to outside observers.
Danny Califf and Brian Carroll agree that the inclusion of MLS representatives at the White House Easter Egg Roll speaks to the strides soccer has made in the US. “Working alongside other professional athletes – we were near NFL players – I think it speaks to the level [MLS] has grown to,” said Carroll. “It just goes to show that the league and soccer is growing in this country. It’s getting more prominent and is getting more and more respect every single year. To be involved in this – not just a team winning a championship that goes for a photo-op, but being a part of this with other sports teams – is pretty incredible, ” said Califf.
While Jay DeMerit apparently has enough internet savvy to write a blog for Goal.com, it seems he has yet to figure out what that Google thing is all about. After describing his favorite stadiums and fan bases in MLS in a blog post on Tuesday, DeMerit writes, “One thing I can’t understand at all is Philly’s obsession with the #DOOP hashtag. What is up with the DOOP thing Philadelphia? I’ve asked like three or four Union fans what it means, and none of them could it explain it. I’m just saying….” The Footy Blog helpfully points him to a page on the Union website, which is the second listing when you enter “Doop” into Google. Jay, it’s pretty simple stuff, really. You enter the word for what you want to learn about and, voilà! I’m just saying…
Philly Union Talk is amazed “there even exists a doubt about supporting the Union, Peter Nowak, or any of the players.” I’ve gotta be honest, the doubts I’ve heard or read have to do with Nowak, not the team or the players.
Abington’s Jeff Parke started for Seattle on Saturday but he’s not satisfied with the road draw.
Reading United welcomes back five players to their roster, Brian Forgue, Steven Neumann, Stephen Okai and Sean Peckham.
Ocean City Nor’easter will feature five NSCAA Regional All-Americans from D1 and D3 schools and a JUCO All-American with forwards Frank Tweneboa, JP Correa and Stephen Baker, midfielders Steven Jakubowski and Jason Plumhoff, and goalkeeper Timothy VanLiew.
The York Revolution, the current champions of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, are having Soccer Night on May 11. The Harrisburg City Islanders will be running a pregame clinic for kids.
The league announced on Tuesday that the All-Star Game will, with the debut of the new micoach team tracking system from adidas, be the world’s first “smart soccer match.” The announcement says, “The micoach professional soccer team tracking system provides coaches with ‘real-time performance metrics,’ including player position, power output, speed, distance covered, intensity of play, acceleration and GPS heat mapping. It can then all be outputted and displayed on a mobile tablet or computer over a WiFi network.”WiFi at PPL Park? The league has been there, right?
Soccer America’s Paul Gardner calls the new system “The latest, greatest, hi-tech b.s.”
The Central Winger uses network passing graphs to help visualize passing statistics.
Maybe Michael Ballack isn’t coming to MLS after all?
Former Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley’s New York Fury have signed USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath.
The USMNT drops two spots to No. 29 in the FIFA rankings. The top five are Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Netherlands, and Portugal.
SB Nation looks at the parallel careers of Clint “The Truth” Dempsey and Herculez Gomez.
Soccer America looks at the difficulties of implementing the 4–3–3.
The USWNT U-17s drew 0–0 with China’s U-20s in the final game of their ten-day training camp ahead of the upcoming CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship.
Eric Abidal underwent a liver transplant operation on Tuesday. Barcelona dedicated Tuesday’s win over Getafe to Abidal and the crowd at the Camp Nou paid tribute to him at the 22nd minute of the match, his jersey number.
The Daily Mirror reports that Patrice Muamba is to be fitted with a heart device so that he can return to playing.
Mario Balotelli will not face retrospective action for his dangerous challenge on Alex Song during last weekend’s Arsenal v Manchester City match. The Guardian examines why the FA has got it wrong.
More evidence of Pele’s advancing senility: “Now everyone is talking about Messi; he is a star. But [to be the best ever] he must first become better than Neymar. At the moment Messi is just more experienced.”
Miami-based attorney Alex Solomiany confirms that Cuban soccer player Yosmel de Armas defected during the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers and is seeking asylum in the US.
The release of “Match,” a joint Russian and Ukrainian film about the legendary “death match” between a team largely made up of Dynamo Kiev players and a Luftwaffe team in 1942, has been delayed while the Ukrainian State Cinema Agency decides whether it will inflame national tensions ahead of the Euros.