Photo: Paul Rudderow
For the first time since April, Philadelphia Union have won two games in a row. That warm and fuzzy good times feeling — welcome back, old friend. We’ve missed you.
Match reports from PSP, the Union website, MLSsoccer.com, Daily News, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Soccer By Ives, ProSoccerTalk, the Guardian, Goal.com, the Sports Network, SB Nation, The Canadian Press, the AP, and Philly Soccer News.
In addition to PSP’s match report, check out our postgame press conference and locker room interviews videos on our recently launched video page. This week we have interviews with Jack McInerney, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan and Antoine Hoppenot. Our photo essay of the game will be coming later this morning.
John Hackworth said of the Union attack — 10 goals in the last 5 games compared to 8 goals in 11 games under Peter Nowak —”I think we have good attacking players. I think they feel like they have some freedom to go to goal, and we’ve been encouraging them to go to goal. Fortunate for us, they’re finding the back of the net, and that means everything…We’re doing it with a lot of different guys, and we’re very mobile in our attack. I think that makes it hard for opposing defenses. But at the end of the day it’s the players that are making the plays, and that’s fantastic to see.”
He added, “The connection to the guy next to you in front of you and behind you, there are a lot of guys on the same page right now and they are playing for each other. That’s what a good team is all about.”
Sheanon Williams said, “I think everybody is just comfortable. I think everyone is playing freely, and that’s been good for us. That’s what we’ve been needing…I think that all year we’ve been capable of scoring goals. It’s just that, this is the time when they’re falling for us. We’re going to continue to ride that.”
Jack McInerney said, “I think we’re just clicking. We’re in the right place at the right time. We’re just being there and getting a little bit of luck. I think if we win a couple more games, it will sort of put the first half of the season behind us. It’ll be a bit of a fresh start because we’ll be right back in the race with everyone else.”
Hackworth said of Adu, “He was really good. I’m happy for him. We all know that he’s capable of that kind of game, and for him to go out and do it was fantastic. That second goal was really good, but he created a lot early in the game.”
A candid Adu said of his goal, “That’s another thing I haven’t done enough of is making runs off the ball and into dangerous positions. I saw Gabe had the ball, and I just took off. I didn’t think about anything else. I just took off, and he put it in the perfect spot.”
He added, “Today was just one of those days where my teammates did a great job finding me in dangerous spots. And when I did get the ball, I was aggressive. That’s what I felt like I haven’t been doing in the last couple of games. Even if I lose the ball, it doesn’t matter – I just have to go at the guy and make him uncomfortable.”
Hackworth said of Antoine Hoppenot, “He’s electric coming off the bench.” Love that kid.
Speaking of candid, ProSoccerTalk writes of those Freddy Adu step-overs, “In an eight minute stretch before his goal, he fell in love with them, dancing over the ball while heads up with Jeremy Hall. The first series drew awes from the crowd. The second: Mild rumbling. The third: Nothing.”
Kyle McCarthy writes of the Union, “By keeping the ball and pushing the tempo at all times, John Hackworth’s side showed how much freedom can help a side thrive. Philly isn’t a finished product yet…but this performance represents the latest in a series of signs that the stodgy old order has yielded to a more promising future.”
Union Tally says that, with Sunday’s win, the Union’s season has come full circle.
NJ.com praises Jack McInerney.
In case you missed it, the hosting rights to the US Open Cup final were announced on Friday. If the Union defeat Kansas City, and Chivas USA defeats Seattle, the Union will host the final.
Press reports say that Peter Nowak was recently in Poland for what he said was “only a private visit.” Nevertheless, the question of whether he is looking to become the coach of the Polish national team was in the air.
Nowak said he would like to set up an appointment with the Poland Football Association but one has not yet been made. “It would be a very tempting offer, but also demanding. A great challenge! And I never was afraid of challenges,” he said, adding if his country needs him, “I’m available.”
Nowak also said that the fact that he has lived abroad from Poland for so many years wouldn’t prevent him from being effective as the national team coach.
Harrisburg City Islanders pulled out a 3-2 win on the road against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday night with two goals in the final ten minutes of the game. The Down again late the next night when they played host to Antigua Barracudas, a stoppage time goal from Sainey Touray salvaged a point for a 1-1 draw.
Touray, whose 81st minute goal on Friday was the equalizer against Pittsburgh, said of his late heroics, “It’s awesome.”
Ocean City Nor’easters won their weekend series to remain top of the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division and clinch a playoff spot. On Friday they defeated New Jersey Rangers 2-1. On Sunday, they defeated Westchester Flames 5-1 to make it a eight-game winning streak.
Deshorn Brown, PSP’s most recent Player of the Week, recorded a hat trick in Reading United’s 5-1 win over Westchester Flames on Saturday night. Reading is now tied for second place in the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division with Jersey Express, who they will play away on Wednesday night.
Reading hosts Ocean City on Friday, July 13 at 7 pm in what is sure to be a fine match.
Reading United’s women’s team has clinched a spot in the USL’s Super-20 League North American Finals.
Four people were wounded and one killed after gunfire erupted at an annual soccer tournament in Wilmington, Del. on Sunday afternoon. Details are still emerging, although police captured two suspects and a third was found dead from gunshot wounds.
After defeating FC Indiana to win their first match of the season on Thursday, the Fever faced Chicago Red Stars on Saturday. The Fever fell 1-0 after a 66th minute goal from Lauren Fowlkes, formerly with the Philadelphia Independence.
In Eastern Conference action, the Union’s 3-0 win over last place Toronto pulls them within four points of eighth place Montreal, who came from behind to defeat seventh place Columbus 2-1 on Sunday. In other Sunday games, third place New York’s winless streak at sixth place New England now stands at 18 games after they lost 2-0. Fourth place Chicago were defeated 2-0 at home by LA Galaxy. On Saturday, Kansas City moved into a share of first place with DC United after a 0-0 draw with fifth place Houston. DC had the weekend off.
DC United will reportedly have new co-owners, pending league approval, in the persons of Erick Thohir and Jason Levien, minority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani and Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan exchanged jerseys and embraced after Saturday’s game. It was the first time the two players had faced each other in a game since Mullen broke Zakuani’s leg last April.
The Guardian looks at five things learned from the weekend’s games.
SI hands out some mid-season awards.
Former Union midfielder Andrew Jacobson wore the captain’s armband for the first time in FC Dallas’ scoreless draw with San Jose.
Carlos Bocanegra says, “I’d 100 percent consider playing in MLS again.”
Frank Lampard says he is not headed to LA Galaxy. “There’s nothing in that at all.”
Alexi Lalas says many European clubs still stigmatize American players.
Here’s a listing of the ratings of the league’s nationally televised games so far.
MLSsoccer.com’s Food Week series continues with the importance of staying hydrated. With the kind of heat we’ve been having, you don’t have to be an athlete to get something out of this article.
Megan Rapinoe says the reaction to her coming out has been mostly positive.
Charlie Davies is now playing for Danish Superliga side Randers.
Grantland’s look at the future of soccer in the US continues.
The trial of John Terry, accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, began today.
More on soccer analytics.