Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Dave Zeitlin reports the Union believes that flooding the midfield has been the key to overcoming their slow start, even if it limits playing time for the team’s young strikers. John Hackworth says, “That’s a disadvantage to it, but it is what it is. This is professional sports. We have to make sure we put a team on the field every week we feel that can go out and get a result.” About that guy with two shots on goal in seven games—when does feeling someone can get a result become knowing he isn’t?
Hackworth says of Amobi Okugo’s play last Saturday, “That’s a huge bonus, getting a starter off the Olympic team coming of the bench and filling in for Brian Carroll. That’s also a challenge for Amobi to deal with – at the moment, being behind a guy like Brian.” Translation: Carroll will start on Saturday against Seattle.
Kerith Gabriel writes that Carlos Valdes is annoyed with “the timidity that has seemingly crept its way into the psyche” of the team. Valdes says, “Not scoring goals simply comes from a lack of confidence in ourselves. At the beginning of the season, we didn’t have a good start and we committed a lot of errors with the ball, and that cost us points and keep us at the bottom of the table. Obviously, we don’t want to make the same mistakes again. That’s why we are lacking confidence with the ball. Everybody is trying to do whatever they can without risking. And sometimes in soccer, you have to take risks in order to get points.”
JP Dellacamera previews Saturday’s game.
Goal.com predicts a Seattle win.
The Goalkeeper notes that Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson once played together and lays out why their reunion on Saturday is a big deal.
Chris Vito talks to Nick Sakiewicz about the Union payroll numbers published in the recent ESPN report on professional sport teams. Vito reports, “Sakiewicz said to take the ESPN numbers with a grain of salt. He said the Union’s average salary per player is somewhere in the ballpark of $100,000, whereas ESPN reports a total like $160,000.”
Sakiewicz tells Vito, “I haven’t seen those numbers, so I have no idea what ranking we are. But we’re trying to put our best team on the field every night. If that’s where we are, I’m glad we’re that high. It means we’re paying our players well.”
Vito says the Union’s high ranking among MLS teams on the ESPN list—fifth overall in total payroll, sixth in average weekly pay—may have something to do with Freddy Adu having Designated Player status.
Bleacher Report asks if there is way way back to stardom for Freddy Adu, “the American Pele.” I imagine Adu cringes every time he here’s that tag.
Raymon Gaddis has impressed the coaches and players around him, as well as Union fans, with his maturity and ability to handle the pressure of being a rookie placed into starting in some difficult games. Gaddis tells Marc Narducci, “When your name is called you have to be prepared, no matter what. I don’t feel the pressure…I feel it’s an obligation to play well and help the team win.”
In SBI’s weekly notes on the Union, Gaddis says of Saturday’s game, “I know it’s going to be a live atmosphere and they’re going to feed off their fans, so I expect a lot of energy from them, a lot of pressure.”
The Brotherly Game looks back at the Union’s path to the present and concludes, “If you’re wondering why the Union seems to have taken a step back, the answer is simple: MLS transfers are complicated, and kids are unpredictable. As for the plan, and Nowak? We’ll just have to be patient.”
A number of Union academy players are on the Top Drawer Soccer’s recently updated Boys National Top 150 players to watch lists. Looking at the Class of 2015, for example, they are Sean Wilson (No. 10, PDA), Cameron Keys (No. 24, Lehigh Valley United), Christopher Gomez (No. 35, PDA), Alexander Greene (No. 67, FC Delco), Oscar Greene (No. 68, FC Delco), Armin Efendic (No. 89, FC Delco), Grant Yu (No. 98, FC Delco), and Julian Torres (No. 134, PA Classics). Other area players for the Closs of 2015 include Everitt Minchew (No. 104, Match Fit Chelsea), Benjamin Muzekari (No. 114, Match Fit Chelsea), David Bateman (No. 125, Ukrainian Nationals) and Brenno Lustosa (No. 141, Match Fit Chelsea).
The latest edition of the YSC/Union Youth Academy newsletter is now available. Click here and read on.
Delaware Online reports on Wednesday’s weekly press conference.
PPL Energy is running a “Flyaway with the Union” contest in which the winners will travel with the team to the match against Houston on October 20.
Here’s a recap of the Penn women’s team spring season.
Bryan Meredith may be starting ahead of Michael Gspurning between the posts for Seattle on Saturday. Gspurning left Wednesday’s game against LA at the half and underwent an MRI to determine the extent of a hip injury on Thursday.
Chris Seitz is filling in well for Dallas.
The official 2012 Elite League schedule has been released.
Brittany Galindo, a defender who had been training with the Independence before the cancellation of the 2012 WPS season, has signed with the W-League’s Vancouver Whitecaps.
Equalize Soccer recounts the experiences of four WPS players how joined teams in Russia following the cancellation of the WPS team. It was mostly not so good.
The Paul Riley-backed National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase, “the top College Showcase on the East Coast,” will take place November 24-25 in Long Island. The event is organized along six different age groups, U-13 through U-18. Click here for more information.
Good news: It appears that the injury Jozy Altidore sustained on Wednesday isn’t as bad as feared. Altidore tweeted, “Thanks for all the support from you guys. Very painful accident but ill be ok and ready for the weekend if called upon by the manager.”
Sporting News’ look at USMNT roster possibilities continues with a review of the options for forwards.
The USWNT U-17s got of to a roaring start in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers with a 10–0 win over the Bahamas. You can watch all of their matches live on CONCACAF TV.
The AP reports on how Bob Bradley is doing as coach of Egypt.
The Telegraph has a match preview for Saturday’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool (12pm, FSC).