Photo: Earl Gardner
You can follow all of the action from tonight’s friendly between Harrisburg City Islanders and the Philadelphia Union with a live chat from HersheyPark hosted by PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch. The chat starts at 6:45pm.
Brian Carroll says of tonight’s friendly, “I am not sure who we plan on playing and who they plan on playing, but all I know is, no matter what, it’s going to be a tough-fought game, both in the friendly and when we play them in the Open Cup. Bottom line is we have to be ready.”
Dave Zeitlin says in his weekly Inside Doop column that he thinks the Union will field a squad of young players for the Harrisburg friendly similar to the one that faced Reading United on Saturday in order to avoid “tipping their hand” ahead of the upcoming US Open Cup match.
Kerith Gabriel reports that the Union’s wins in the Open Cup and in friendlies have gone a long way to restoring some confidence among the team. Zac MacMath tells Gabriel, “These [wins] are big for our confidence. It just goes to show that we are better than our [2-7-2] record shows and we have to bring that into [league play]. This break has been very good for us and we are hoping to continue that. We just hate losing and are tired of it. It’s come down to working on the little things and avoiding mental lapses…we are going to fight.”
KYW’s Matt Leon talks to Gabriel about the Union season thus far.
WV Hooligan takes a club-by-club look at the upcoming summer transfer window and says of the Union, “They’ve made a slew of deals already this season but now they have allocation money out the wazoo. Time to put it to use and bring in some big time talent. But don’t sleep on them making yet another trade here this season too – I can see them doing that as well.”
Union Dues notes that the Union and Seattle are the only MLS teams not to have suffered a US Open Cup upset at the hands of a lower division team.
Don’t forget to vote Union.
Philly Sports Week looks at the disconnect between the city of Chester and the Union. William Bender reports in the article:
“[Chester mayor John] Linder points out that, under the deal that brought the Union here, the team is supposed to pay the city $500,000 a year in lieu of property taxes. But, he said, the team had fallen behind by $750,000 at one point and still hasn’t made the $500,000 payment for 2010. The $500,000 payment for 2012 is due at the end of this month, according to Linder. The team did not respond when asked to confirm the figures.”
Top Drawer Soccer profiles Reading United and their admirable success in former players reaching the pros. TDS names Greg Cochrane, Pedro Ribiero, Paul Wyatt, Deshorn Brown, and Tolani Ibikunle as current Reading players to watch.
An article at MLSsoccer.com underscores how the annual Reading friendlies can boost a young player’s prospects.
Portland coach John Spencer says that Danny Mwanga will “get minutes and possibly start” when the Timbers face LA Galaxy on Sunday. Spencer said of Mwanga’s first few days with the team,
“We brought him here because we think he’s a good player. He’s shown that he has good technique. I think fitness levels, obviously not being involved, regularly starting games … his fitness levels aren’t where they need to be. But he’s an honest kid, and he works hard in practice, and he’ll get there. Obviously when you fall out of favor at a club, and the club’s looking to move you on, then they start to concentrate more on the guys that are more long term. He knows that himself, he knows he’s not in the best condition of his career. But he’s a young man, he works hard in practice, and it won’t be too far until he gets there.”
Seattle Sounders defender Jeff Parke, who is from the Philadelphia-area, took advantage of the international break to return home for a few days to visit friends and family. “You need it. As much as some people think you can just keep playing, and the young guys can just keep pushing, I’ve figured out you need a break here and there to just really get away from the game and enjoy being with family and friends. Just put soccer on the back burner.”
At Soccer 365, Tim Grainey looks at the JoLi Academy’s work in India. The academy was founded by former Philadelphia Independence players Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson.
Bleacher Report continues its series on how Major League Women’s Soccer can work in the US.
Sporting News describes the hostile environment the USA faces when it plays in Central America. It’s shameful, if familiar, stuff. Here’s what it looked like in Guatemala four years ago:
More on the game, and what to expect, from the New York Times.
Jurgen Klinsmann says Jozy Altidore is not physically fit enough to start for the USA thanks to his missing three weeks of training with the team when his Dutch club team, AZ Alkmaar, refused to release him until the FIFA mandated date late in May.
The Goalkeeper has a list of some local bars that will be showing the game. It’ll cost you $29.95 to watch the game on pay-per-view at home, via cable or satellite from iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN, online at ustream.tv. No information on whether bars that are showing the game will have a cover charge.
Sporting News looks into the USWNT’s need to figure out how to defeat Japan.
Hmmm. Poland vs. Russia today at 2:45pm (ESPN) – could be tense.
UEFA is investigating allegations of racist chants directed toward Italy’s Mario Balotelli and Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie.
Possession vs. position, that is the question. Jonathan Wilson has some answers.
Soccer America looks at how the structure of tournaments such as the Euros can result in some less than exciting tactical decisions. NJ.com says a move to counterattacking soccer means winning no longer looks beautiful. Goal.com looks at how some of the top teams in the tournament have thus far underwhelmed.
Ratings through the first three days of Euro 2012 are higher than they were four years ago.