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Chelsea, no Torres, closed doors Reserve game

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

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.

Local

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.

MLS

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?

Women’s Soccer

Former Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley’s New York Fury have signed USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath.

US

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.

Elsewhere

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.

20 Comments

  1. Glad we are playing Torres in reserves…..

  2. snugsmac-rejects says:

    Can I ask why Torres was even playing in this reserves game? He has been with the team for years, Nowak knows what he has in Torres, they just paid him to be a long term fixture with the club and he is playing and getting hurt in Reserve games? More poor management from the Boss in my opinion.

    I am a life long Philadelphia sports team phan (a 5 for 5), and I very rarely find the need to question management this much. I don’t even question Fat Andy (who I hate) this much, in fact although I don’t like him I at least trust that he knows what he is doing…with Nowak I just can’t say that.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Bad luck with Torres. I think Nowak was trying to get Roger a little confidence, with hopes that it could improve his recent form. Tough call on whether he should have played. He is kind of a cusp player with the top club. With the exception of the nice feed on Pajoy’s goal, Torres has looked a bit lost out there this season. That said, he is touted as being one of our main guys, and to lose him in a reserve match is a let down that nobody could have predicted. Bad mojo surrounding the club right now.

      • torres has hardly had time out there this season and when he has it’s been with some stupid ass nowak line-up. unless adu shows something he only seems to have the the usmnt then torres is our best CAM.

    • Section 116 says:

      Because he was sitting behind a second defenisve midfielder in regular games.

      Nowak made this bed. He gets this team to the playoffs or this team gets a new coach.

  3. READING FC WON AGAIN YESTERDAY!!! C’mon URZZZZZZZZ!!!!!! Closing in on promotion to the Premier League.

  4. I’m kinda with DeMerit every time I hear Doop a part of my soul dies.

  5. So they closed the Reserves match to the public? Another PR gaff….

  6. Closing the reserve game off to the public is a horrible decision, they should try to make reserve league more relevant to fan bases around the league. What is better than seeing the young players of the club go at it for 90 minutes then get to talk to them afterwards. I think it is a great way to have fan player interaction, which every other sport in America lacks.

    • Gordon Thompson says:

      Fully agree. Enthusiasm for future and overall interest in Philly soccer can be developed through entertaining Reserve games. I bet they could sell more hotdogs for a “double header” to cover their costs……even giving fans opportunity to try out the best seats for a different view of the Reserve game.

  7. snugsmac-rejects says:

    This club is a bunch of penny pinchers right now. They would have had to pay the PPL clean up crew for a whole extra 2 hours? Bad PR for certain. They better be saving that money for a DP that can connect play or put the ball in the back of the net.

    Philly will only stand for a budget team for so long before folks stop showing up. We may not win titles here often, but all of our teams spend money and put the best product on the field they can each year.

  8. The Black Hand says:

    Chelsea must be shaking in their boots, now that they found out that Peter Nowak will manage the MLS team. At least he will be at field level to witness a quality team picking apart his management. Is there a ten goal mercy rule? I hope not. Let the prick get whats coming to him. I have no faith in the management of our beloved ball club.

    • nowak’s gotta be loving this. it gives him a whole team of new players to put in a line-up with potentially zero crossover from his previous and next game.

    • Section 116 says:

      Hhe’s going to start a single striker and a midfield of Mastroeni, Josephs, Alonso and Beckerman.

      But there’s great news — Landon Dononvan is going to come off the bench in the 88th minute to add some spark and try to bring the team back from a 2-0 deficit.

  9. What’s the point of having the reserve match at PPL if they’re not going to let people hang around to watch? I think it is a good idea to have the reserves play after any match that the Union has against an Eastern-based club. I understand we can’t play the reserve teams of every club in the league due to transport costs, but it certainly makes sense when we are playing a club that we already normally play in the reserve league. I would think this would actually cut costs overall and earn some revenue if done correctly. I don’t believe the closed-door policy is entirely from the Union. I think MLS is laying down this confusing and contradictory policy. It seems like they want to have a reserve league but really are half-hearted in the commitment to what the league’s purpose is. I remember PSP posting links to stories about the reserve match policy; for example, it’s pretty strict about bringing cameras in, etc..

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