Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
Still awaiting official notice of his suspension for entering the field of play in last Saturday against Chivas USA, Peter Nowak said at Wednesday’s weekly press conference, “I don’t really want to go into details before the whole situation with the verdict and we see what happens. Details won’t change my situation. I was in the wrong spot. I shouldn’t have been on the field, it was my fault to get in the moment like that. We’re all competitive, we all see what was going on with the other benches and what the other team was trying to do…It was my fault being there in the first place”
A Nowak suspension means John Hackworth and Rob Vartughian will be in charge. Vartughian said, “Nothing changes. We’ve all been around each other for a number of years. Our preparation for this game will be no different than how we’ve approached anything else…It’s not like Peter’s not here this week. He’s still very much the voice.”
Nowak praised Zac MacMath and the defense. “It’s simple – when the back line plays good, Zac is very good, and when Zac is playing good, the back line plays better.”
Nowak sees offensive progress. He says of Lionard Pajoy, “So far he is doing a good job, but he needs to score goals.”
Danny Califf says he feels good. Nowak says he thinks Califf will start on Saturday but the club will continue to monitor his fitness. “As you know, situations can change.”
With Califf back, expect to see Raymon Gaddis at right back with Sheanon Williams likely at left back. Said Nowak, “Either Sheanon can fill the left back position or Porfirio, but we’ll see where we are.”
Gaddis, now at No. 5 in MLSsoccer.com’s weekly rookie rankings, has been very impressive in his two starts for the Union. When asked if he thinks he’s surprised anyone with his showing, Gaddis responded, “I don’t really think like that. If they’re surprised, they’re surprised. I’m very confident in my ability. I just try to go out there and showcase it and help the team in any way I can.”
Kai Herdling, who has been in Germany dealing with immigration paperwork, is expected to join the team on today.
ProSoccerTalk reminds everyone that Gabriel Farfan could be in for additional time off for what it describes as “his brainless challenge, unnecessarily dangerous.”
Carlos Valdes was named to Goal.com’s Best XI for Week 7. Michael Farfan and Zac MacMath received honorable mentions.
The Union are at No. 17 in SB Nation’s power rankings.
The Union Dues says respect is due to Peter Nowak for trying to protect Gabriel Farfan when he entered the field of play last Saturday.
The Brotherly Game reports “sources with knowledge of the situation” say “that the Union have had internal discussions about sending Zach Pfeffer on loan to Hoffenheim,” the team that recently loaned the Union Herdling. The report adds, “The sources did not know when the loan would occur if it was agreed upon by both clubs.” You will recall that Pfeffer trained with Hoffenheim in 2010 and 2011. The current Bundesliga season ends on May 5.
San Jose Watch
Check out the Philly Soccer Show podcast with guest Frank Yallop, head coach of San Jose Earthquakes, and look for our Union v San Jose quick reference later this morning.
The Union have their eyes on Chris Wondolowski, who is tied with Thierry Henry for the most goals scored this season at eight. “He makes a lot of little situations,” said Zac MacMath, who recently trained with him at the USMNT U-23s. “You have to be aware of where he is in the box at all times,” added Sheanon Williams. “He likes to lull you to sleep and then pop up in a different spot.”
San Jose’s match on Saturday against the Union is the start of their first three-game week. Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop says, “I’ve got to look at what we’re trying to do over the three matches. A lot of the guys are going to get minutes. I’ve just got to figure out the combinations that are going to play well against Philly.”
Jersey Shore Boca host Maryland Bays on Sunday for US Open Cup qualification. Kickoff is at 2pm at John Patrick Sports Complex in Lakewood, NJ.
St. Joseph’s men’s team will hold their annual summer camp in July. “The camps will be open to youth, ages 7-14, and to aspiring college athletes in grades 9-12.”
The former Union forward Alejandro Moreno, now with Chivas USA, is out with a concussion received during last Saturday’s game. When asked how he received the injury, Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser replied, “Take your pick on the elbow in front of our bench from [Carlos] Valdes as [Gabriel] Farfan underrcut him. There’s that one. There’s another play late, late in the game where the ball goes up in the air and Alejandro is standing here, and Sheanon Williams takes a five-yard run at him and just checks him. You didn’t see that, hmm, possible penalty?” Meow.
FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake played to a 1–1 draw on Wednesday night. Chris Seitz was between the posts for Dallas.
The New York Fury, led by former Philadelphia Independence coach Paul RIley, have confirmed the signing of former Independence defender Kia McNeill. Also signed was Merritt Matthias, the forward from University of North Carolina who was headed to the Independence before the cancellation of the 2012 WPS season.
Collette Swenson, the former youth development coach for the Independence, joins UC Irvine as an assistant coach.
Bayern Munich topped Real Madrid on penalty kicks to advance to the Champions League final, which takes place on May 19 at their home stadium. Don’t worry, the Union v FC Dallas game on that day has an 8:30pm kickoff.
Monterrey topped Santos Laguna 3–2 on aggregate to win the CONCACAF Champions League.