Photo: Paul Rudderow
Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on Aston Villa.
“I love America,” says Villa striker Darren Bent. “I love a bit of Rocky. I used to love the films when I watched them regularly five or six years ago. They were tremendous. It would be nice to do the Rocky Steps—the whole run through the town, up the stairs and then give it the whole celebration stuff at the top from the film. It would be nice to do those kind of landmarks certainly because that’s not something I have done before.”
Dave Zeitlin has more on the three-game winning streak, the first in the club’s history. It is certainly motivating but the club is focused on the long-term goal of reaching the playoffs.
JP Dellacamera reflects on last Saturday’s dramatic win before turning his attention to this Saturday’s big game against New York.
Amobi Okugo was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. “US fans must be wondering at this point why Okugo couldn’t have played center back in the Olympic qualifying campaign.”
Two Union players made the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20, with Carlos Valdes coming in at No. 3 and Lionard Pajoy at No. 11. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Zac MacMath (No. 50), Pajoy, (No. 61), Gabriel Gomez (No. 65), Valdes (No. 77), and Okugo (No. 106).
Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy gives the Union a mid-season grade of C+. “Not even the recent run of form by John Hackworth’s young guns can erase the problems of the waning days under Peter Nowak. The departures of several key players may continue to haunt the Union as the season unfolds.”
More power rankings? Why not? At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up two spots to No. 12. “It seems like we should give them another year before heaping expectations on them, but let’s go ahead and do it now. No reason they can’t keep this up.” Sporting News gives the Union a three spot jump to No. 11 while SBI gives them a two spot push to No.11. ProSoccerTalk puts the Union at No. 13.
John Harkes rates Raymon Gaddis as one of the top rookies of 2012. I think he needs to see Antoine Hoppenot play, too.
Union academy partner PA Classics’ U-15/16 lost its first match at the US Development Academy finals 3-0 to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri on Tuesday night.
Reading United defeated Jersey Express 3-1 in in the first round of the PDL Eastern Conference playoffs. Look for our match report later this morning.
Thieves stole $50-75,000 worth of equipment and frozen food from the Philadelphia Soccer Club, home to some 1,500 boys and girls, sometime between Sunday night and Monday evening. It is the third time the club has been targeted in the past four weeks. Three years ago, thieves stole the club’s aluminum goal posts, worth $5,000.
Harrisburg City Islanders play Dayton Dutch Lions on the road tonight at 7:30pm and the game will be streamed live at USLNation.com.
The Patriot News profiles Harrisburg city Islanders defender Adrian LeRoy.
Two suspects being held for the shooting at a Delaware soccer tournament on July 8 that left three people dead will be tried for murder.
Pete Pososki has been added to the coaching staff of the men’s team at University of Pennsylvania.
Allentown’s Jason Yeisley, drafted by FC Dallas in 2010 and now with Richmond Kickers, talks to Lehigh Valley’s The Morning Call about his plans for a career in coaching.
Ben Olsen, who hails from Middletown, just outside of Harrisburg, will be inducted into DC United’s Hall of Tradition in September.
There are a number of Eastern Conference games today, beginning with New York vs. Chicago today at 1pm. What a shame that Red Bulls are playing an afternoon game in the middle of a heatwave against a team that trails them by just one point three days before hosting the Union.
Seattle hosts Chelsea tonight (9:30pm: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3).
Kerith Gabriel rounds up some of the events the league is hosting around town in the lead up to next Wednesday’s All-Star game at PPL Park.
No Union players make this statistical analysis of the top 15 passers in MLS.
The league’s disciplinary committee has issued a one-game suspension to Columbus Crew forward Emilio Rentería for headbutting Kansas City’s Paulo Nagamura.
New York Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien talks to ESPN about the decision to join NASL and his ambitions for the club. “We evaluated the NASL opportunity alongside the MLS opportunity and came to the conclusion that it was the better fit for the business we are in today. Simply put, in NASL we have the freedom to do whatever we need to in a way we would not have in MLS. Our goal is to own our own brand, media rights and player contracts…Our focus is on that global football economy. We are not yet a Real Madrid or a Manchester United but as the football world converges, we intend be part of that game…I want to develop a Cosmos TV deal that is viewable around the world. I want to have apparel everywhere from Beijing to Tokyo. I want offseason tours against teams like Real Madrid.”
More on the interview here.
The Gainesville Sun looks at what motivates Abby Wambach.
Newsday looks at what motivates the USWNT.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle says US Soccer has a “duty” to back a new women’s professional league.
Fulham deny they have received a bid from Liverpool for Clint Dempsey and say, “We have received no offers from any club for Clint Dempsey. We would discourage any club from making a bid for him.”
Eintracht Frankfurt has parted ways with Ricardo Clark.
Reuters reports that while more tickets have been sold for soccer at the Olympics than any other sport, organizers have nevertheless withdrawn 500,000 tickets from sale and stadium capacities will be reduced “due to lack of take-up.”
Writing that as of “early last month only 200 tickets were sold” for the doubleheader at Hampden Park that includes the USWNT vs. France—a rematch of last year’s Women’s World Cup semifinal—on the opening day of the women’s Olympic tournament, Soccer America concludes, “[I]t will be a case of two steps forward and one step back if tickets sales for women’s soccer are as poor as we’ve been led to believe.”
Former US attorney Michael J. Garcia has been appointed by FIFA as lead prosecutor to investigate corruption allegations in international soccer.German judge Joachim Eckert was chosen to chair the judging chamber of FIFA’s new ethics court.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter also announced a new code of ethics for soccer’s world governing body. Feel free to provide your favorite punchline in the comments section below.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says of Blatter and FIFA, “A fresh start within the organization is only possible without him…The net around Mr Blatter is slowly closing. I can’t see him staying in his position as FIFA president until the end of his term.”