Checkout PSPs match report and look for an analysis piece later today.
As the Sporting News said about last night’s USMNT game, “It quickly became apparent…that Brazil is not Scotland.”
On the surface, The New York Daily News headline says it all: “US soccer outclassed and out-executed in 4-1 friendly against Brazil at FedEx Field.”
But Jurgen Klinsmann saw improvement. “From a performance point of view, I think we saw many good elements, many good things. I think the team reacted very well. They fought themselves back into the game. We had enough chances to score a second one and get back in the game. We can take a lot of lessons out of that game. We proved to them that we can play with them. But we have to improve, absolutely.”
While openly critical of some questionable refereeing decisions, Klinsmann also said, “I think we need to get an edge – more nastier. Maybe we’re a little bit too naïve. Maybe we don’t want to hurt people. But that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to do that at the end of the day. We’ve got to step on their toes more and get them more frustrated and make a case with the referee maybe that’s wrong for us, not only the opponents.”
Oguchi Onyewu denies that he handled the ball and also says he was outside of the box. (Sorry, but I think he’s wrong on both counts.) Of the Costa Rican referee’s decision to award a penalty kick, Carlos Bocanegra said, “I don’t know any other country that’s getting a penalty called on that [hand ball] 10 minutes into the game and at home – anywhere in the world.”
Postgame quotes from the players certainly gives one the impression that they felt they were more in the game than the scoreline would indicate. Said the very impressive Michael Bradley, “To be fair to them, they were sharp and they scored the goals, but I think 4-1 was flattering.”
John Smallwood writes, “[I]t wasn’t so much about the final score for the Americans. It was that they went at Brazil. Chasing a game against Brazil and its lethal counterattack is always perilous, but the idea that the United States was confident enough to play boldly was encouraging.”
You may have noticed that the numbers on the player’s jerseys are now easier to read, thanks to a new number color. Grant Wahl writes, “[T]he change could end up costing U.S. Soccer nearly six figures after the federation had made a major purchase of numbers for all U.S. youth and senior teams, men’s and women’s, in the faulty color. (The snafu wasn’t the fault of supplier Nike, which let U.S. Soccer take over the numbering for jerseys a couple years ago.)”
In a ceremony before the systematic destruction of the US team, former USMNT players Tony Meola, Claudio Reyna, Desmond Armstrong, and former women’s national team coach Tony DiCicco were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. University of Virginia product Meola gets some local paper props from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and is the subject of a Q&A with the New York Times.
Wouldn’t be nice if there was an actual Soccer Hall of Fame to visit?
US Open Cup
Two final US Open Cup third round games were played on Wednesday night and as was the case on Tuesday, extra time drama would be on the bill. Eric Wynalda’s Cal FC continued their improbable run by traveling to Portland and defeating the Timbers 1–0 after extra time with Kris Boyd missing a penalty kick for the home team in the 80th minute. “I think we are the ultimate Cindarella story that’s for sure,” Wynalda said after the game. “A bunch of misfit kids who did something unbelievable. This is what this Cup is about.”
Cal FC will face Seattle Sounders, who have earned hosting rights rather than purchasing them for a change after defeating the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks 5–1.
US Soccer Players says the number of upsets in the third round is a question of commitment rather than quality. “It’s not every team treating this tournament like a golden ticket to the CONCACAF Champions League…If you’re building a club with the MLS playoffs in mind, that Open Cup trophy and entry into the Champions League might be a step too quickly taken. Stumbling toward an early Champions League exit with the travel and inconvenient scheduling could hurt a club still in the building process….One thing doesn’t necessarily lead to another, and opportunity doesn’t mean the same thing to every club in this League.”
Speaking of upsets, here’s video from Harrisburg City Islanders incredible win over New England Revolution:
The Guardian rounds up the Cup action and provides some historical background.
Amobi Okugo and Josue Martinez are two players who haven’t seen a lot of time with the Union this season and impressed during their starts in US Open Cup play on Tuesday. Okugo, a holding midfielder, said of playing center back, “It’s good, I’m really comfortable at center back as I’ve played there in my past. It’s nothing new. I was just trying to keep is simple and be strong. You have to play where you’re called upon. When they call your name, you have to be ready.”
Okugo said further, “I played there with the (U-20s) and a little bit with the 23s. It’s comfortable. You get to see the field a little more and I have a little more time on the ball.”
Backup goalkeeper Chris Konopka has looked strong in his two starts. “I wanted to show the guys they have nothing to fear if two guys go down,” Konopka said. “Before Chase got injured in Dallas, he did the same thing. It’s great that the three goalkeepers have been a little bit of a bright spot for the team this season.”
Brian Carroll will be at the Aston Public Library on June 15 for Soccer Storytime.
The Delaware County Council has donated Union tickets for the DC United game to children at two homeless shelters in Chester run by Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc.
Ocean City Nor’easters put a 5-0 pasting on New Jersey Rangers.
Two PDA players, Chris Gomez (defender; Jamison, Pa.) and Sean Wilson (midfielder; Bethlehem, Pa.) are with the US U-15 team at the International Marveld Tournament in Groenlo, Netherlands, where the will face Real Madrid’s U-15 team on Friday in their opening game. In warm up games, the US team defeated squads from Feyenoord (5-0) and Vitesse (4-2).
Temple women’s soccer head coach Matt Gwilliam and assistant coach Seamus O’Connor will be hosting the Collegiate Soccer Experience this Sunday at the Ambler Soccer Complex. Click here for more information.
The 0–1–1 Philadelphia Fever are on the road this evening to face New York Fury at Hofstra University. The Fury, coached by former Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley, features eleven former WPS players including seven from the Independence. Says Riley of the 2–1–0 Fury, “We need to find our best lineup, and we need to find the hunger that made so many of these players beasts in Philadelphia. We have been too nice and sweet so far. Our approach needs to be more professional and more ruthless.”
The Daily Pennsylvanian profiles midfielder Erin Beck, who along with University of Pennsylvania teammates Sarah Banks and Kathryn Barth, is playing for the Philadelphia Fever.
Former Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Val Henderson has joined San Jose State University’s women’s team as an assistant coach.