Daily news roundups

Adu to shoot, rankings, imports disappoint, more

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Freddy Adu tells The Goalkeeper he will shoot more.

In this week’s Inside Doop column, Dave Zeitlin wonders what can be done about the Union offense: With Kai Herdling  joining the the attacking midfielders set, where will Keon Daniel fit in after his return from suspension? Will one attacking mid be dropped so Pajoy can finally get a partner? How will the Union make the playoffs if they keep dropping games at home?

The Union remain at No. 13 in the Sporting News power rankings, while they remain at No. 14 at Goal.com. At Soccer America, the Union drop to No. 18, as they do at Bleacher Report (“PPL Park was supposed to be a tough place to play. Instead, the Union seem all too welcoming of opponents.”). The Bay Area News Group has the Union at No. 8 in the East.

Soccer America looks at the 51 foreign players who joined MLS for 2012 with no previous time in the league, five of whom are with the Union. “Panamanian Gabriel Gomez and Colombian Lionard Pajoy have combined for four of the Union’s five goals, but Costa Ricans Porfirio Lopez and Josue Martinez have been disappointments.”

The Guardian refers to Gomez as “increasingly talismanic” in their match recap of Saturday’s loss and credits the Union as “beginning to look a more stubborn proposition as the week’s go on.”

Philly Union Talk says, “[I]f we’re gonna go down like we did this weekend, I’d prefer to do so swinging.”

The Union’s paid attendance of 18,581 on Saturday was the third sellout out of four home games this season. The 2012 season average of 18,343 remains above the 2011 average of 18,259 and puts the Union at ninth in the league.

Local

Ocean City Nor’easters have announced six new player signings: defender Paul Ehrenworth (West Virginia University); midfielders Robert Crowley (Rollins University) and Nate Bourdeau (Rutgers University); forwards Thomas Obasi (Central Connecticut) and Jason Wells (Farleigh Dickinson University); goalkeeper John Fogarty (Villanova).

Here’s a look at players from the Nor’easters who have advanced to the professional ranks in MLS, NASL, USA as well as abroad in Vietnam and Sweden.

Great Valley High School goalkeeper Hector Palos was one of six Sueño MLS 2012 finalists selected from the Seattle round of the competition.

MLS

Fox Soccer looks at Steve “Union Killer” Lenhart, who was named MLSsoccer.com’s Player of the Week. Says Chris Wondolowski, “He’s one of those guys that if you’re playing against him you hate it, but if he’s on your team then you love the guy.”

Sounder at Heart says of Lenhart, “Do teams actually scout him, or is he so good at his magic that it doesn’t matter?”

Women’s Soccer

The New York Fury continue to look more and more like Philadelphia Independence North as former Indy and current Fury coach signs former Indy defender Leigh Ann Robinson. Also signed is defender Jazmyne Avant, who would have joined the Independence this year if the 2012 WPS had not been cancelled.

Northern Arizona University forward Sam Monahan, who impressed during the Independence trials held before the season cancellation, has signed with second division Finnish club Ekenäs Idrottsförening (EIF).

Elsewhere

Manchester City keeps the Premiership title race interesting with their 1–0 win over Manchester United. You can watch Liverpool host Fulham today from 2:30pm on ESPN2 while Stoke City hosts Everton on Fox Soccer at the same time.

German sports officials are urging the country’s politicians not to boycott visits to Ukraine during Euro 2012 over the treatment of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. German Olympic Sports confederation chief Thomas Bach said, “Boycotting major sports events has proved to be unsuccessful and senseless in the past…Sports cannot and should not be political. It must always be neutral. Only then can it be unifying and help build bridges instead of erecting walls.”

The Spanish football league denies reports that it has asked for investigations of match-fixing in first and second division games.

With Pep Guardiola leaving, US Soccer Players asks, “Does Barcelona continue to pass?”

There’s debt and then there’s debt. The Swiss Ramble looks at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United.

4 Comments

  1. Why the hell is playing Pajoy anymore even an option. Give him a partner!? What the hell has he done to deserve that?
    This is what I was afraid of, as soon as I heard the Union where looking to sign a “veteran presence” at striker, I immediately knew that was a code phrase for “a crappy old striker who will eat up minutes no matter how bad he is because he is old.”
    We need to sit his ass down and play Mwanga and Jack up top. Give them an honest run of ~5 games to prove this worth just like we give to bums like Pajoy. There is no reason why they don’t deserve the same chance to impress that Pajoy got.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Pajoy poses no threat as a single striker. He is just too easy for CB’s to zero in on and nullify. However, if you threw another guy up top, to take some of the heat off of Pajoy, he MIGHT be able to make something happen. He has a nice shot. Given a little extra space, I think Lionard could still be effective for us. In order to field another striker, we would have to sacrifice a midfielder and I don’t think that we could afford to do that right now. So, for now, I think Pajoy should sit (in favor of Mwanga). I just don’t see Jack Mac bringing anything more than a speedy late game sub, to take advantage of tired back lines. I think we have better options.

      • I would imagine part of the advantage of playing 5 mids is the ability to control the midfield easier (and for us, to take advantage of the fact we have a better pool of talented midfielders than strikers). However, if the coaching staff is so intent on having us play route one football, why even bother with the extra midfielder? As of now we are bypassing the midfield as soon as we can anyway.
        Again, this is a disconnect on the part of the coaching staff and makes me question their tactical acumen. If we would play a style that best suited our strengths, then yes I would say play a 5 man midfield and build the attack from there. I think we have to talent to do it.
        But from what we are seeing on the field, the coaching staff would rather play something better suited for 2 strikers.

        • I think the best solution is playing either Adu as a withdrawn forward with Mwanga up top. Keon will be back to give the defensive support Adu lacks on the left, while Marfan plays on the right. Adu and Mwanga both possess the ball skills to be an effective pairing. Play Carroll deep and let Gomez roam from time to time. By doing this there is more pressure on the opposing defense, while adding more defense with Keon playing on the left.

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