How wide is your grin today?
Match reports and recaps from the Union’s massive win in LA from PSP, the Union website, the Galaxy website, MLSsoccer.com, the Inquirer, CSN Philly, LA Times, Daily Bulletin, the AP, ESPN, SBI, Soccer America, Goal.com, Philly Soccer News (1), Philly Soccer News (2), SB Nation, and SB Nation LA.
John Hackworth said of the win, “I can’t say enough about the guys in the locker room. I’m so proud of them. These kinds of games can define a team.”
He added, “We didn’t play our best, but for the guys in our locker room to fight as hard as they fought and really make plays, that’s fantastic.”
Jack McInerney said of the win, “It’s a season-changer. We have a couple of home games, and if we can build off this, if we can string a couple of wins together, we’re right back in the playoff race…Tonight was all about effort. Every time L.A. got a chance, people were putting a body in front of the ball. The results haven’t always been there, but the last three or four games, we’ve been playing like this.”
Those goals, oh my, those goals. McInerney said of his lovely finish, “I mean, it’s something that comes to you in the moment. That’s the only way I could have finished that opportunity.”
Michael Farfan said of his goal, which followed a gorgeous backheel from Lionard Pajoy, “I saw Pajoy had two guys on him and I kind of saw him getting ready to split them, so I made a run and had space in front of me. I figured I’d take a step to the left and play it back post. Fortunately it ended up working out.” He added, “I really liked Jack’s.”
Sheanon Williams said, “Both were special. And I hope to vote for both of them for goal of the week.” Me too.
Spectacular efforts were happening at both ends of the pitch. Gabriel Farfan said, “Obviously we did what we had to do to keep the ball out of the net. You’re putting your life on the line. Whether you save it with your stomach, your head, you want to stick whatever you can out there. I think the team did a great job with that.”
Zac MacMath tweeted, “And many thanks to
@carlosvaldes5 and @Gfarfan88 for their goalkeeping skills tonight. Along with the rest of the guys. Big team effort!”
Sheanon Williams tweeted: “That was all effort by the guys out there tonight people diving In front of goals was a crazy game and a great win for us gotta keep it up”
Williams summarized the night, “It wasn’t their day; it was ours. That kind of stuff has been happening to us all year and today the roles were a little bit reversed.”
So, what has changed, why are the Union playing like this? According to McInerney, it’s all down to John Hackworth. “Coach Hack taking over has just been a good change for us. It’s been a sense of relief.”
Gabriel Farfan agrees. “Hack’s done a great job of organizing us, and I think it’s showing. Whether it’s their creativity, their bite, their technical skills, I think everyone brings something to the table and it’s finally coming together.
Ditto for Michael Farfan, “I think (it’s) just Hack giving us confidence…and letting us know that it’s our job out there to be creative and put ourselves in good situations and make things out of whatever happens. I think he’s doing a very good job and letting us use our imagination out on the field and letting us be creative in our own way.”
So, what’s Hackworth doing? “The biggest thing is I am trying to get these guys to believe in themselves,” the Union coach said. “It is a young locker room. I think we are the youngest team in the league, if I am not mistaken, and they can play. We have the ability to fight and battle, but we can also play quality soccer and that is what we are trying to do. When we all believe that, there is a little bit of confidence that comes with that, and then you get a result like this on the road in a crazy tough atmosphere against the defending champions; it is a massive win for us.”
Hackworth also said of Marfan, “For Michael, the work he did the whole game, he was Superman. And then to be able to have that late finish was amazing.”
Marfan said, “It’s a good place to come and play and to come and get three points here is a good sign and shows that our hard work is starting to pay off. It’ll help us going forward with confidence.”
Bruce Arena said of his team’s loss, “We gave a game away. That’s a game that we should have walked away comfortably with three points in my opinion…This is not about the referee, this or that or anything else, this is about making plays that count in the game. And we didn’t get it done tonight.”
Hackworth said of Arena, “I told him before the game that it was an honor to coach against him. I don’t think there are many people in this country or this sport who have done what he has done. I have a lot I owe to him personally, so it was a great honor to coach against him.”
Danny Califf was at the Home Depot Center to see the Union defeat the Galaxy.
I bet Danny had a better time than Frank Lampard, who was also on hand for the match.
$5 from every US Open Cup ticket bought with the promo code INIANSBOOTS will be donated to the charity In Ian’s Boots. Donations of “gently used or new sneakers, winter boots, work boots and athletic shoes” can also be made the night of the match.
In Eastern Conference Fourth of July action, the Union’s win in LA puts them four points beyond Toronto, who drew 1-1 with Dallas on Wednesday and who the Union will host at PPL Park on Sunday. Philadelphia is now within four points of eight place Montreal, who lost 3-1 at home to Kansas City, who pass New York into second place and one point of first place DC with the win.
NESN talks to Alexi Lalas, who, among other things, says he has no regrets about signing David Beckham.
MLS Talk says reports from Mexico say that the US will host the Copa America in 2016. How awesome would that be!
More on efforts for greater collaboration between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL here.
David Conn writes at the Guardian that the plan for Manchester United to go public, “United’s debt, loaded on in 2005 for nothing more constructive than the Glazers’ takeover itself, remains a sorry £423m burden, even after the club has paid out more than £500m interest, bankers’ fees and charges, to service it. Now the Glazers have hit on their preferred solution: find other people prepared to pay some of it off, while the family remains in complete control.”
Still not done with savoring Wednesday night’s win? Me neither. Here are clips of JackMac’s and Marfan’s goals.