Photo: Michael Long
Well, that was disappointing. And yes, Antoine Hoppenot was robbed.
Match reports on the Union’s 2-0 defeat at New York Red Bulls from PSP, Union website, MLSsoccer.com, the Inquirer, CSN Philly, the Sports Network, 4E Sports, the AP, SBI, Goal.com, MLS Talk, SB Nation, ProSoccerTalk.
So, the game in a nutshell? Here’s John Hackworth’s assessment, “I thought we did an OK job trying to control the tempo and rhythm. We were not so good in the final third. Our last pass evaded us all night.”
Brian Carroll agreed. “As a group, we need to give our forwards more of an opportunity. They were just a little more sharp. That’s a credit to them. It’s just something that wasn’t as on as the past few games. It’s nothing to hang your head over. Obviously, we wanted to get a better result but we can’t dwell on it.”
Crosses did the Union in. Sheanon Williams said, “I thought we gave up two pretty bad goals. Credit to them for being at the right spot at the right time and finishing their chances. That being said, I thought we could have pulled off a point…But we lost, and we have to move on.”
After nearly a month of a game every three days, the Union will be looking forward to a week off before hosting New England on Sunday. Zac MacMath said, “It’s a new half of the season for us. We started fresh a couple of weeks ago. We’ll start fresh again and hopefully get more into it and start a new streak.”
Twitter was rampant with all kinds of rumor and speculation after the loss because Freddy Adu did not travel with the team to New York for what Hackworth described as “a team matter.”
Despite Hackworth saying in the postgame press conference, “I think Freddy will be ready for the next game,” conjecture was already underway with wonderings about what Adu may have done to be left off of the roster and recaps of what was known so far. This soon turned to apparently fanciful attempts to connect Brek Shea’s absence from the FC Dallas lineup on Saturday with Adu’s from the Union. The usual unnamed sources were soon trotted out by various outlets to illuminate the rumors with such certainties as the Union “may have” had discussions with Dallas and “hope my guys are right,” all of which only gained momentum when a Twitter account that traffics in rumors about a MLS team in the Pacific Northwest got in on the fun with the crowd-pleasingly vague “Sources” providing confirmation that a trade was nearly complete.
The afternoon’s fever of unfoundedness then diverged into bizarro world when Amobi Okugo was thrown into the trade talk rumor mix thanks to a retweet of “a fan tweet,” the basis of which appears to have been something “a friend vaguely connected to MLS” told the original tweeter, and was soon followed by assorted guessing about whether draft picks and/or allocation money might also be involved. All of which is good fun, particularly when discussion of hypothetical rationales or ramifications of a trade that at the moment is nothing but whispers takes place with an authority that is absent from the acknowledged or identified sources of the rumors behind the whole discussion. It is certainly nicely distracting from a disappointing loss, whether or not a trade happens. The beauty of it all is that some can claim to have been first on the story if a trade does happen and, if a trade does not happen, they can claim to have merely been letting people know what is being talked about. Good fun for a bored fan on a Sunday afternoon, yes, but it isn’t good journalism.
Hoppenot’s goal against New York may have been incorrectly disallowed but that didn’t stop him from scoring in the seventh minute in the Union’s 2-0 win over New York in Reserve League play on Saturday evening. Jorge Perlaza got the insurance goal in the 78th minute.
Kerith Gabriel looks at how Philadelphia hosting the All-Star Game is MLS’ way of saying thank you to the city for its support of the Union and the league. “Philadelphia is a big-time soccer market,” says commissioner Don Garber, “It’s part of why [MLS] is so successful.” But most of all, it is a thank you to the fans. “When you talk about PPL Park, Philadelphia and Chester, you have to talk about the fans,” says MLS vice president Nelson Rodriguez. “It is such a great sports town and they just support all of their professional and collegiate teams. The Sons of Ben and the wider fan base that have adopted the Union has been amazing. Bringing our special event to Philadelphia is in part a reward to that fan base and that ownership group which in a very short time has established that organization as a fixture in the community.”
Garber agreed, “Generally, we wait a little longer to bring something like this, but the city has been so supportive. This is a ‘thank you’ to the fans. They’ve been great and they deserve this.” He added, “This wasn’t necessary to give Philadelphia a boost. This was to say ‘Thank you.’”
It was a tough weekend for local PDL teams in the Eastern Conference Championships in Greensboro. Mid-Atlantic Division champions Ocean City Nor’easters fell 1-0 to Ottawa Fury on Saturday. Carolina Dynamo scored in the first half against Reading United before David Rodriguez found the equalizer in the second half. Still level after extra time, United sunk two unanswered penalty kicks before Carolina went on to put away eight in–a-row and prevail 2-1 (8-7 APK). Ottawa and Carolina were to meet on Sunday for the championship but no score is posted on the PDL website, which makes me wonder if the game was postponed.
Harrisburg City Islanders defeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-0 on the road on Friday night. Tom Mellor scored first for Harrisburg in the 4th minute with Lucky Mkosana adding an insurance goal in the 85th minute. It was Mellor’s second goal in as many games. Greg Jordan and Jimmy McLaughlin, on loan from the Union, both played for Harrisburg.
Lehigh Valley’s FC Sonic defeated New York Red Bulls U-23 team 3-2 to claim the NPSL Northeastern Conference title and so book their ticket to the NPSL Championships in San Diego July 27-29. (Follow the link for a report and video of the Sonic goals from WFMZ-TV.)
PA Classics fell 4-0 to Crew Soccer Academy Wolves in U-15/16 play on Sunday at the US Development Academy playoffs. PA Classics will meet Pateadores in the fifth-place match today at 11am.
In the weekend’s Eastern Conference action before the All-Star break, New York moved into first place with the 2-0 win over Philadelphia Union. Second place Kansas City drew 0-0 with eighth place New England. Houston moved into third place with a 3-0 over Montreal. Sixth place Columbus defeated fourth place DC 1-0.
Goal.com breaks downs the weekend’s action.
Toronto have acquired Eric Hassli from Vancouver in exchange for a international spot through 2013 and a first round draft pick in 2014.
The ratings for MLS games on TV are on the rise.
Don Garber says the emerging leagues in China and India could change how MLS operates.
Boston Breakers claimed the WPSL Elite League regular season title after defeating Western New York Flash 1-0 on Sunday. The Breakers will play Chicago Red Stars in the WPSL semifinals on Wednesday at 8pm. The other semifinal match features the Flash against New York Fury at 5pm. Both games will be streamed live at livesportsvideo.com.
Abby Wambach links the USWNT winning a gold medal at the London Olympics with reviving women’s professional soccer in the US. “First and foremost, the whole national team has been working tirelessly this year to hopefully bring home this gold medal so that we can solidify a league in the United States for us. That’s our No. 1 priority.”
Grantland’s series on soccer in the US continues with a look at homegrown players.
Simon Kuper looks at the men’s Olympic soccer tournament, which he describes as “the little man’s football competition…a bizarre yet mostly ignored competition, with its own peculiar charm: there is something wonderful about a tournament that Hungary have won three times but Brazil never has.”
Global spending in the transfer market for the first six months of the year has fallen by a third.