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“Weak attempts” — quotes, reaction to Sat’s loss

Photo: Otto Greule Jr., courtesy Goal.com

Philadelphia Union

Match reports from MLSsoccer.com, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Sounders, SB Nation Seattle, Sea Town Sports, SBI, the Philadelphia Union, Philly Soccer News, the Sports Network, the AP.

Should Andy Rose have been sent off with a second yellow card in the 28th minute for tackling Freddy Adu from behind? Just about everyone, including Seattle coach Sigi Schmid and 85 percent of the Sounders fans who answered a Seattle Times’ poll, seems to agree such a decision would have been warranted.

Rose disagrees, though he did admit he had a “rush of blood” on the tackle and that his heart “skipped a couple of beats there” as he awaited the referee’s decision.

Adu said of the tackle, “I was through and gone and got taken out from behind. In the rules of the game, if a player tackles you from behind, that’s a card. The referee made the decision, and we had to live with it.”

Of course the “Rose Controversy” begs a question: Should the Union have to rely on a man advantage in order to look capable of scoring a goal?

A makeshift backline and a backup goalkeeper getting his first start—Saturday seemed to offer an opportunity to finally generate some offensive production. Said John Hackworth, “With a rookie goalkeeper in there making his first start, we talked about putting balls in the box and testing him and putting shots on frame and getting numbers forward. And we continued to struggle a little bit with that, so we’re disappointed.”

Adu said, “Today was another game where we didn’t test the goalkeeper enough. He’s a new goalkeeper and we got to test him, shoot the ball more.”

The goalkeeper in question, Bryan Meredith, said of the game, “It was a lot of fun, very exciting. I didn’t have too much to do today. I came out on a couple crosses, they shot high…Other than that, the defense really held it down. They just didn’t really even let them in the 18.” Yep.

So what of the Union’s offense? Hackworth said of the team’s mindset going into the game and how the offense performed in the first half, “We talked about it during the week and our guys are a little hesitant to pull the trigger right now. We had some opportunities, especially in the first half, where we’re 20 yards away from goal and you have an open window to let a shot ride. All we can do is continue to ask our players to have the courage to take those shots and hopefully it will happen.”

Hackworth continued, “It didn’t happen and we talked about it at halftime. Came back out with a couple of weak attempts on goal, not exactly what we wanted.

The lack of offense increases the burden elsewhere on the pitch. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on our team overall,” said Hackworth, “in particular our midfield and defensive line. We don’t do a good enough job stretching the opponent and we’re not being dangerous in the final third.”

Hackworth added, “It’s still very early here, so no need to hit the panic button at all…We have a lot of young guys in our locker room, a lot of new guys in our locker room; we just need to give ourselves time and come out next week against New York. That will be huge for us.

He said further, “We know we can play better, we know we have to fix this problem we have of being more dangerous and opening teams up a little more, creating some chances and taking some more. We’ll just have to continue to work on that. I think we all believe that we are a good team, we’ve put our back against the wall and we have to play out of it.”

It looks like the only player Hackworth had anything good to say about was Zac MacMath. “Week in and week out Zac does a great job for us.” 

Goal.com says the Union “enjoyed a couple of decent spells (oddly enough, one of them came around the time of Rose’s second challenge) without looking particularly threatening.”

Going into Saturday’s game Lionard Pajoy was on a no shots on goal streak of 473 minutes. He ended that streak at 550 minutes with a weak effort in the 77th minute. It was his only shot of the game.

This preview of Saturday’s game from Washington’s Bellingham Herald looks at the Sounders and the Union in terms of their relative success as expansion teams. Noting the Union’s lack of consistency and goalscoring, the article describes them as “Exhibit A” and says, “the Union paid typical expansion dues in 2010 before springing forward into the 2011 playoffs. However, the club has given no indication of building on that in this third season.”

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders lost their home opener, falling 2–1 to Charlotte Eagles. Antoine Hoppenot, on loan to Harrisburg from the Union, scored the goal.

The City Islanders home field is now without some unsightly and dangerous looking American football uprights, which has allowed the team to lengthen the field of play by six yards.

The La Salle men’s team has six incoming freshmen.

MLS

In the weekend’s Eastern Conference play, first place Kansas City lost at home 2–0 to fifth place Montreal. Second place DC defeated last place Toronto 2–0 on the road to give the still winless Canadians their eighth loss of the season. Third place New York topped LA 1–0 on the road. Fourth place Chicago gave Chivas USA another loss at home by the score of 2–1. Sixth place New England fell 2–1 away to Real Salt Lake. Seventh place Houston had the weekend off ahead of their midweek trip to New York on Wednesday. Eight place Columbus drew 0–0 at Portland. The Union dropped to ninth place with their 1–0 loss to Seattle.

Team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce was on hand to watch David Beckham not impress during LA Galaxy’s loss to New York.

Women’s Soccer

Philadelphia Fever general manager Ulises Terrones says of the work done by head coach Stuart Gore and assistant Jaime Scott in building the team, “I believe they’ve done a great job and I believe they have embraced the role of the ‘underdog team.’”

Former Independence midfielder Joanna Lohman and striker Lianne Sanderson have signed with DC United Women in the W-League. The pair—who also happen to be two of the coolest people in soccer—most recently played for Espanyol in Spain after spending time in India working on their JoLi Academy.

The website Fun While It Lasted.com, which is devoted to “Lively tales about dead teams,” has links to some media guides from WPS’ history, including the Independence media guides for 2010 and 2011.

US

And Clint Dempsey makes it 17 goals in the Premiership, 23 in all competitions.

The USWNT U-17s defeated Trinidad & Tobago 5–0 at the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers to advance to the semifinals. They face fellow Group B team Mexico, who has also advanced to the semi, tonight at 6:30pm (CONCACAF TV)

Elsewhere

For 87 years, the record for the most goals scored in a single season was held by Bethlehem Steel’s Archie Stark and stood at 70 goals. Lionel Messi broke that record on Saturday, scoring all four goals in Barcelona’s shutout win over Espanyol to 72 goals on the season. He has two more games to add to his total.

The leader of the main opposition party in Poland has called for the final of Euro 2012 to be moved to Warsaw from Kiev to protest the alleged mistreatment of jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

9 Comments

  1. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

    Clint Dempsey makes me happy. He is awesome. Crazy goal.

  2. If Rose did get sent off and the Union had won, that would have wallpapered over the huge cracks in this team. I disagree with Hackworth’s assessment that they “struggle a little”, no, you’re struggling a lot.

    The story isn’t even is Mwanga, Pajoy, Martinez,whomever, the right combination. You can start to postulate that the answer to their offensive drought does not reside on the current roster. I also disagree that this isn’t the time to hit the panic button. It’s exactly the time to hit the panic button. Either they thought this group could win in MLS (in which case the talent evaluation piece needs to be replaced), or they knew they couldn’t (in which case expectations should have been lowered pre-season), or these kids can win and are being held back by tactics and formations not playing to their individual strengths.
    So either get new players, new coaches, new scouts, new marketers, whatever, but work the problem.

  3. This team is just not fun to watch. Gomez, Marfan, Torres, Adu have touch but no speed and work ethic. Gaddis, Williams, Valdes, Carroll, Okogu, Mwanga, Mac have tons of pace/physicality but no skill/brains.

    The team will need to be reshuffled into something more competitive with some sort of overarching plan besides (1) hoping for a red card or (2) trying to inflict injury on opponents.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      I think that’s a MASSIVE oversimplification. And a pretty unfair one at that. I think all the players you’ve mentioned are quite talented, smart and capable and all could be very effective in a consistent system that played to their strengths.

  4. This well written passage sums up our season so far and um, our striker:

    “Going into Saturday’s game Lionard Pajoy was on a no shots on goal streak of 473 minutes. He ended that streak at 550 minutes with a weak effort in the 77th minute. It was his only shot of the game.”

  5. DarthLos117 says:

    At this point this season should be abandoned and our main objective should be youth development and not the playoffs. I think Eli pointed it out a week or so ago, get the kids on the field and give them minutes.

  6. snugsmac says:

    Two good comments above.

    1) Panic button – last year we lost 8 games in 34 matches. This year we have lost 5 of 8 and scored a pathetic 5 goals. If you don’t push the panic button now you may as well put a wrap on the season…and behind the scenes I think that is exactly what they are doing. We have no money for a DP (not sure why?), and no moves of any importance will be made this year.

    2) Skill level – I think defensively we are fine, better then average even. I will even go as far as to say the mid-field combo of Marfan, Adu, Keon, Gomez is working. They do a decent job of getting the ball up the field, possessing it but then ssssshhhhitttt! When we move the ball into the final third it is almost as if you can take a drink or a restroom stop becasue you know there will be nothing exciting happening…if is awful to watch it. I personally have given up on even getting mildly excited that I may see something substantial when they move up.

    3) Goals – If your team has NO chance to score more then one goal in a game you are screwed. Being a defensive club is fine, but as soon as these opposition teams score their first or second goal (depending on the point in the game) you can pretty much turn it off because you know it is a loss.

    It is really bad right now, much worse they I expected even a few games ago becasue it is becoming obvious that they do not have a solution.

  7. Didn’t I say early on this was gonna be a nightmare of a season?! Will be interesting to see who gets to play on Wednesday and I just hope the whole team gets changed on Sunday; something needs to change drastically!
    Can’t believe Winter is still coach in Toronto; how?!

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