Photo: Earl Gardner
Marc Narducci, writing about the renewed confidence and optimism at the Union, says, “It may not all be Hackworth, but Nowak brought a high level of tension to the organization. Everybody from the players to management were always on their toes when Nowak was in the room.”
Kerith Gabriel looks at the challenge Bakary Soumare will face from Amobi Okugo at center back.
Soumare’s transition into the team will be aided by the presence of several friends, including Michael Lahoud and Freddy Adu.
In case you missed it, the league’s disciplinary committee announced on Thursday that Raymon Gaddis is suspended for the game in Houston.
Goal.com predicts the Union will lose on Saturday, saying they “are ready for a letdown.”
Not only does Simon Borg, MLSSoccer.com’s resident tool, put Antoine Hoppenot’s failed chip attempt against Kansas City at No. 1 in his Not Goal of the Week list, the hack refers to him as “Antoine Hip-Hoppenot.”
The voice of the Union on TV, JP Dellacamera, and former Union color man Kyle Martino, will be with NBC covering soccer at the London Olympics. No word yet on who will takeover for Dellacamera to do play-by-play for Union games while he is away.
Uni Watch says the Union “may have the worst jersey in MLS,” illustrating this ridiculous claim with a picture of last year’s jersey. How current.
Since losing to Reading United on June 8, Ocean City have gone on a five game winning streak, the last four wins happening on the road. The most recent win came on Wednesday when they defeated Long Island Rough Riders 2-1 on the road to move into first place in the PDL’s Mid Atlantic Division. They’ll be at home on Sunday when they face Bermuda Hogges at 7pm.
Third place Reading United have a busy weekend at home, facing Bermuda tonight at 7pm and Brooklyn Knights on Sunday at 4pm. Look for PSP’s preview of tonight’s game later this morning.
Ocean City’s Emmanuel Collie and Markhus Lacroix, and Reading’s Pedro Ribeiro received honorable mention nods in the latest PDL Team of the Week.
Penn Gazette checks in with alumni Tom Brandt, the Union supplemental Draft pick now with Harrisburg City Islanders, who are on the road on Saturday to Rochester Rhinos. You can watch the game live at USLLive.com from 7pm.
Ally Kenney has been appointed top assistant coach for the La Salle women’s team.
Could Alessandro Nesta end up at Toronto FC?
Vancouver Whitecaps have traded the disgruntled Long Tan to DC United in return for a third-round choice in the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
Sporting News looks at the Portland Timbers – Seattle Sounders rivalry, “among the most intense in American sports.”
Goals are up this year in MLS. Opta Spotlight looks at what this might mean.
Following the report in the Wall Street Journal that the league is focusing on Flushing Meadows- Corona Park, site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, as the location of a new stadium in New York, the Queens Chronicle reports this could mean the demolition of the iconic Fountain of the Planets.
Philadelphia Fever host FC Indiana tonight. The game is at Washington Township High School in Sewell, NJ, with a 7:30pm kickoff.
Watch the USWNT take on Canada tomorrow at 2pm on NBC.
So, it’s Spain vs Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final (2:45pm: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPN Radio). Hopefully it won’t suck.
Reuters reports that while “Half a million German soccer fans gathered in Berlin were left in a state of shocked silence”(1) on Thursday, “Italian fans gloated about their 2-1 win”(2) in the semifinals of Euro 2012.
Mario Balotelli dedicated his goals to his mum. “After the game, when I went to my mum I said ‘these goals are for you.’ I waited for this moment for so long and I wanted to make my mum happy.”
Metalworkers at a Fiat factory in southeast Italy called a four hour strike on Thursday that just happened to overlap the semifinal against Germany. A statement from Fiat said the timing of the strike left “no doubt” that “watching a football game was more important than going to work.” And?
An opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Fraudulance of Formations” says, “Formations in soccer don’t matter. Not anymore. Their chief function nowadays is to justify coaches’ salaries and make TV commentators sound smart.”