Photo: Paul Rudderow
Look for PSP’s match preview of Saturday’s road game against Montreal Impact later this morning.
Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy says Montreal could deploy a three-man backline against the Union. “Three-man defensive setups—even if Hassoun Camara is asked to play a wingback role on the right side to supply additional cover—aren’t common on this side of the pond these days for a reason. If the Union stretch the field horizontally (it may even make sense to give Antoine Hoppenot a second straight start to help in that endeavor) as most MLS teams would do, then those veteran defenders may find it a hard slog indeed.”
McCarthy predicts a Montreal win, “The circumstances may favor a result for the Union, but this particular group fell short in its last big road task, at New York, and may struggle to produce the necessary display at Stade Saputo.”
The Inquirer’s Marc Narducci says if the Union fail to get a result on Saturday against Montreal, it won’t be because they are looking ahead to next Sunday’s game against Chicago Fire.
Carlos Valdes says, “We have to be focused on the next match and that’s how we have to look at it. Every match is huge from now until the rest of the season if we want to go back to the playoffs.”
More on Bakary Soumare’s possible Union debut this weekend. Sheanon Williams says, “Baki is very impressive and very skilled. He’s been a great teammate on and off the field and we’re lucky to have him.” Valdes says, “I’ve seen Baki play and he’s really, really good. It’s a great addition for our club.”
Kerith Gabriel relates how in the latest KYW Philly Soccer Show podcast, Jack McInerney talked about how Peter Nowak was looking to trade him. “The week [Nowak] was fired, I think I was going to be next, actually,” revealed McInerney. “I consider myself really lucky that everything turned out in my favor. I know that Peter was talking to teams and that my agent was talking to teams and it had been going on for about a week. I know Peter wasn’t happy with me because I was trying to do my own thing, so … I don’t know if anything was definite, but real talk started heating up the week he left.” McInerney says he has no idea why Nowak wouldn’t even include him on the bench in the weeks leading up to his firing.
Union Tally says that, even with “a couple of the head-scratching goals he’s given up,” Zac MacMath has found his “comfort zone.”
Montreal DP Marco Di Vaio will be unavailable for Saturday’s game against the Union. On Wednesday, the Italian forward returned to Italy to attend hearings related to the ongoing match fixing scandal. The Globe and Mail reports, “If found guilty on an allegation failing to report fraud by the Italian FA’s disciplinary committee, he could be suspended for three-to-six months.” De Vaio, who is one of 45 players under investigation, is expected to return to Montreal on Sunday. His place on the pitch is expected to be taken by local lad Andrew Wenger.
The USWNT faces New Zealand today at 9:30am in the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament at the London Olympics (NBCSN, Live Extra). Check out PSP’s review of the team’s tournament and quarterfinal predictions.
“New Zealand will be more athletic than Colombia and North Korea, and they’re feisty,” says former USWNT coach Tony DiCicco.
Fox Soccer looks at some of the player selection decisions Pia Sundhage will have to make against the Kiwis, who nearly pulled off an upset win over the US in a friendly in February. ProSoccerTalk says it is now or never time for the USWNT.
The latest installment of local lass Carli Lloyd’s Olympic journal is up at Philly.com.
Goal.com’s Frank Isola says Hope Solo has proven she is a “true team player.”
Sporting News talks to Brandi Chastain about whether the team are a gold medal shoo-in, if Abby Wambach is the most dominant offensive force in the history of women’s soccer, and whether Pia Sundhage should be congratulated or criticized.
Speaking of Wambach, the US Agency for International Development has announced that she will serve as its first ever Development Champion. “In this role, Wambach will raise awareness of the work USAID is doing around the world to improve the lives of young women and girls through sport.”
Following the announcement that the USWNT will play a friendly against Costa Rica in Rochester on Sept. 1, US Soccer announced on Thursday that the team will play Australia at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 16 (12:30pm, NBCSN).
With no US league to return to after the Olympics, SI looks at the preferences of some of the USWNT’s players when it comes to leagues abroad that they’d like to play in.
Earlier this morning, France defeated Sweden, 2–1. Here’s the schedule for the rest of today’s women’s quarterfinals:
12:00pm – Brazil vs Japan – NBCSN, Live Extra
2:30pm – Great Britain vs Canada – NBCSN, Live Extra
An article in the LA Times describes how MLS players at the Olympics are giving the league a boost. It may be true and it hardly needs saying that the USMNT U-23 at the Olympics would have made it more true.
An interview at the DCist with former Newcastle United and Washington Diplomats forward Paul Cannell contains this passage:
“One of his encounters with Pelé and his New York Cosmos was no less violent. ‘We played the Cosmos in ’76 at Woodson High School. Bob Rigby was their goalkeeper—he was the U.S. national team goalkeeper as well—I put him and the ball in the back of the net. He got carried off. Pelé scored a wondergoal, but both he and I got a yellow card because we had a tussle afterwords.’ Rigby would miss the rest of the season after his encounter with Cannell.”
US international Ricardo Clark will rejoin Houston Dynamo “from German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt through the end of the 2014 season.”
Seattle Sounders defeated Caledonia 3–1 in CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday night.
LA Galaxy weren’t so fortunate in their friendly agaisnt Real Madrid, losing 5–1.
The Red Bulls have confirmed the firing of Chris Heck, hired a little more than a year ago, as their president of business operations. In addition to Heck raising season ticket prices, it was apparently Heck’s decision to schedule a recent midweek game in the middle of the day. One unnamed “insider” described Heck as arrogant and ignorant of soccer. “I don’t think people really comprehend how much damage he’s done in the little time he’s been there.”
More on DC United’s quest for a proper soccer stadium. DC United president Kevin Payne said during a radio interview on Thursday, “It’s absolutely vital. It has to happen. We are not a sustainable business at RFK, but it will happen. I am absolutely convinced of that, that we will end up with a home that is appropriate for our team and our fans.”
Sir Alex Ferguson has rejected suggestions that he will receive financial gain from Manchester United’s stock offering. “I do not receive any payments, directly or indirectly, from the IPO,” he said, adding, “The Glazer family have let me get on with my job, there is no interference or obstruction, only support.”
Here’s a look at how United’s new shirt sponsorship deal with Cheverolet “underlines the marketing power of the English Premier League which already commands the most lucrative TV contracts in world football.”
Adidas recently launched mi Coach. Now Nike has received a patent for the Nike+TM system, which “uses a computerized radar system with transmitters placed on a ball and players to evaluate individual statistics such as the strength of a shot in soccer and how well a team plays together.”