Photo: Nicolae Stoian
The Union’s league form means that they are a team in which one win in US Open Cup play is a necessary confidence builder and the possibility of a run to the Open Cup final an inspiring goal. Amobi Okugo said after the win, “We’ve got a turnaround against D.C. on Tuesday, go back to the drawing board and we are going to use the weekend to make a run in this Open Cup. After the Toronto game, we all looked each other in the eye and forced each other to be better.”
Whatever one might feel about talk of making a Cup run after one victory–and believe me, I understand how easy it is to roll one’s eyes at the creeping hubris of a headline like “After opening win, Union set sights on USOC title”—it must be said that such talk is nevertheless a welcome indication that the team continues to believe in itself despite a terrible start to the season. As Brian Carroll said, “I certainly want to be part of a group that strives to win championships.”
Writing of the Union’s win in the US Open Cup, colorfully described as “an interesting tournament,” Marc Narducci says, “[F]or a team that is struggling, any win – even one over a squad from the third-tier USL Pro League – can’t be discounted.”
Kerith Gabriel talks to Michael Farfan, who says of the Union’s current league form, “There isn’t much to say, really. I just think we need to start getting a rhythm and keep it going. I think we just need to be a little more consistent and put in the work for 90 minutes…I think just with time, it’ll come. I know fans are starting to panic because of what they see on the field, but we can’t be impatient and start taking crazy shots. But we do need to finish the shots from the chances that we do get. I think we are building as a team and that better days are coming.”
Dave Zeitlin wonders if Josue Martinez could be the answer to the Union’s scoring woes. John Hackworth said of the young Costa Rican after Tuesday night’s US Open Cup win, “He’s a young guy still and has a ton of potential. We brought him here knowing he had the ability to be the player he was tonight.” Martinez says, “Little by little, I’m getting minutes and I’m able to prove to my teammates and show them I’m able to contribute to this team.”
WV Hooligan’s look at coaches on the hot seat says, “Nowak has pushed out nearly all the fan favorites and hasn’t improved his club one bit with all that allocation money he’s stockpiled. This club just isn’t that good at the moment and you can mostly point to Nowak for that reason.”
The Mercury News power rankings have the Union at last place in the Eastern Conference. “Perhaps Peter Nowak’s squad needed to hit the bottom before it could start to figure a way back to the top.” At ESPN LA, the form displayed in the Open Cup win keeps them out of the bottom spot in the league.
Diaropro.net reports that Gabriel Gomez is out of the Panama side that will face Jamaica today and is questionable for the upcoming matches against Honduras and Cuba. Gomez suffered a tear to the vastus medialis muscle in his left thigh while scoring in the Union’s draw with FC Dallas on May 19. (Crappy translation here.)
The Philadelphia Fever lost their first road game of the 2012 season, falling 3–0 to New York Fury.
The Fever were able to keep the home team off of the scoreboard until the 57th minute. “I don’t want to set this team up to fail where we go out and play a team and try to play a possession game,” said Fever head coach Stuart Gore. “They’re just going to take the ball off us and absolutely take us to town. For the first half I thought defensively we were outstanding.”
Fury, and former Philadelphia Independence, coach Paul Riley said, “Once we got the two goals the game died. I think there was a pretty big gulf between the teams tonight.”
Reading United head into Saturday night’s match at home against Baltimore Bohemians first place in the PDL Mid Atlantic Division with a 3–0–1 record. Saturday night’s game is Youth Soccer Night and all kids who come to the game in their youth soccer club jersey will be admitted for free. The youth club with the most players in attendance will win a one night PDL training camp.
The Harrisburg City Islanders host Richmond Kickers tonight and if you can’t make it to the game, you can watch it live at USLLive.com from 7pm.
City Islanders defender Bilal Ducket says of preparing for tonight’s game on the heels of Tuesday night’s improbable comeback win over New England Revolution in the US Open cup, “Not every game is going to be like that obviously, but as exciting as Tuesday was, it’s important for us to put it past us. You’ve got to use the momentum for what it is and go out and get three points, because this is going to be a massive match for us…You’ve seen it in sports all the time. Teams get a little too high after a win like that and it’s going to be important for us to refocus and get ready.”
Nick Noble, the City Islanders goalkeeper who stopped Benny Feilhaber’s penalty kick for the win on Tuesday, gets a shout out from ESPN LA. Noble was signed by the Galaxy in December but released in February when they signed Bill Gaudette.
Ocean City Nor’easters play Jersey Express at home on Sunday at 7pm.
Rafa Marquez suffered a thigh injury in training that will see him out of the opening stages of World Cup qualification “and possibly beyond.” What a shame.
Valencia defeated Houston Dynamo 2–1 in the Charities Cup friendly.
Here come those Ronaldinho rumors again.
The USA plays Canada away on Sunday (7pm, NBCSN). Here’s a look back at the rivalry between the two countries.
Jurgen Klinsamnn’s comments that the USMNT may be a little naive and needs to develop a nastier edge have caused an quite a gamut of reaction, ranging from finger waging to high fiving “F’ yeahs!”. Generally, on the one hand, some think Klinsmann’s comments “shows ignorance of American culture.” On the other hand, others think Klinsmann is exactly right if the US is to move into the upper ranks of world soccer. Me, I’m with the other hand.
More on Cal FC, the USASA side that finds itself in the fourth round of the US Open Cup and is coached by Eric Wynalda and former Fox Soccer colleague Nick Webster. Even Wynalda doesn’t know what to make of it all.
ESPN reports, “The Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has said he would not have a problem with his team being withdrawn from Euro 2012 as the Italian match-fixing crisis continues to grow.”
Following the decision to stop advertising during the Super Bowl and end paid advertising on Facebook, General Motors has announced a five-year deal to sponsor Manchester United as part of a new global strategy to market the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. The deal will allow “Chevy signage in Manchester United’s stadium and access to the team for TV, print and other media for use worldwide” and the “Chevy logo also will appear on player benches and the company will be able to seek endorsement deals with individual players.” The Chevy logo will not appear on team apparel. GM officials declined to say how much the deal will cost.
Nike is selling Umbro, which was purchased by the athletic equipment giant in 2008.
More on the Hawk-Eye goal-line technology system, which will be getting a test run during Saturday’s friendly between England and Belgium at Wembley.
Three players have been dropped from the Guatemalan squad ahead of World Cup qualifiers following rumors that they are part of an investigation into match-fixing during the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League.
Brendan Rodgers is the new manager of Liverpool.
The Guardian’s Euro 2012 preview continues with an animated look at the history of the Republic of Ireland team.