Photo: Paul Rudderow
Look for PSP’s preview of tonight’s game against Real Salt Lake later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out the Guardian for a preview of the game from PSP editor Dan Walsh and our quick reference for stats and video from every previous Union game against RSL as well as highlights from and links to our previous match reports, photo essays, analysis and player ratings.
John Hackworth says home form is vital if the Union’s playoff chances are to stay alive. “We can’t give away points, and we have to maximize points the rest of the way. We hope we can get some help and some breaks from the teams above us. It would be unreasonable to think we will run the table from here on out, so every chance, especially when we play at home, is very important for us.”
Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on RSL.
Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy predicts a win for RSL.
RSL were on a four-game losing streak before they defeated Tauro FC 2–0 on Tuesday in Champions League play. RSL manager Jason Kreis says, “We have to continue with that confidence and say ok, we’re playing well, and we scored goals, and we won, and we had a shutout. So we need to take all those positive things and roll them into the game on Friday.”
Midfielder Will Johnson says of the Union and RSL’s prospects, “They’re a team that’s desperate to get in the playoffs as well. It will be tough, but we can do it. We can get a result there, we’ve gotten results there, we’ve got results all over the region but recently we’ve just had a rough go of things. Friday night would be awesome to turn it around.”
Jack McInerney says of RSL, “Salt Lake has played a lot of games lately and may have some tired legs. We’ll have to take advantage of that. They are a big, physical team and we’ll have to keep the ball on the ground. Teams come in here and think they can get a result. They are going to put out their starting 11 and give it everything they got, it’s going to be a battle.”
Freddy Adu was disappointed when he was subbed out of Sunday’s game in DC in the 69th minute. “At the end of the day for me, I definitely want to be out there to play 90 minutes. Because I am fit. When I came out [Sunday], I still had a lot in the tank. Hopefully that changes.”
Hackworth said at Wednesday’s press conference, “For Freddy to play 90 minutes is not the goal of this organization or this team. The goal is for whoever is on the field at any time to contribute.”
He added, “I am encouraged that Freddy played much better against D.C. than the week before. If he can continue to do that, it puts us in a much better position.”
More on Adu from Soccer America and Sporting News. Soccer America says of the need for Adu to be more consistent, “Of course. Same as it ever was. Nothing new here. He’s been hearing the same things from coaches in several countries for a few years now, but his overall average-ness persists.”
Hackworth is confident in the abilities of Raymon Gaddis, who will be filling in for Sheanon Williams tonight at right back “When he’s played there, he’s done very well—probably well enough that he should have stayed there, had it not been for us having Sheanon and being deep in that spot. So this is a good opportunity for Ray to come in and I think Ray has done a really good job in the stretches where he’s played. And I think he’s absolutely most comfortable at right back. I’m looking forward to seeing him there.”
Bakary Soumare tells Philly Soccer News, “There’s a lot of talent here. A lot of potential…I believe in this team and I believe in the potential in this locker room…We’ll get it together…These guys are doing a really good job taking care of themselves. It’s good, it’s a great environment, it’s healthy. Everyone means well and plays for each other. It’s good, I am looking forward to being here a long time and helping.”
Kerith Gabriel says that if Hackworth is made the permanent manager of the Union, he will need to bring in a game-changing offensive leader in the off season. “[H]ow much capital can he convince management to pony up to bring in a big-time player, one who will raise the game of everyone around him?…And hey, maybe that means trimming some fat to create more cap space. Maybe it means deciding if you really need to retain a few of the overpriced, underachieving players the club has a plethora of this year.”
Chris Vito looks at the the rise of McInerney and Amobi Okugo, two members of the 2010 draft class that was looking like a bust until Peter Nowak was fired. Okugo says, “You can’t really say we were ‘a bust’ because everyone can say, ‘potential, potential,’ but when you’re not playing, you can only say potential for so long. We finally got our chance and we’re finally showing what we can do. It’s tough (sitting out) because, for myself and Jack, we weren’t playing but we were getting into the U-20 camps, U-23 camps. You’re getting called in, but you’re not playing for your club? It didn’t really make much sense.”
McInerney says, “I think as players we had the talent, but we needed an opportunity—not just to have one game to throw us out there, but a couple under our belt to get experience. With time, we knew it’d come. I mean, there’s nothing we could do. It wasn’t our fault. It was Coach Peter’s choice to put us on the field. He was the manager at the time, and that was his thing.”
Union Dues checks in on the Union’s diminishing playoff hopes.
The Brotherly Game checks in on how Faryd Mondragon has been doing in Colombia.
Harrisburg City Islanders will be in South Carolina this weekend to face Charleston Battery—who include one-time City Islander, former Union man and Bensalem native Ryan Richter—in the first game of the USL PRO playoffs (Saturday, 7:30pm, live streaming at USLNation.com). If Harrisburg win they will face Orlando City, the team that defeated them in penalty kicks in last year’s championship final, next Friday in Orlando.
Apparently disappointed because it doesn’t follow expected conventional story arcs, The LA Times gives the documentary The Anderson Monarchs a mildly positive review. “‘The Anderson Monarchs’ is the nicest of stories, but Martin fails to put into focus what is really at stake for the dedicated players or their devoted coach.”
In yet another CONCACAF Champions League match featuring extremely questionable officiating, LA Galaxy thumped Isidro Metapán 5-2.
Local lad Zarek Valentin is finally fit after a string of injuries has kept him out of the Montreal Impact lineup.
Former All-Star Juan Toja returns from several seasons in Europe to sign a league contract. He will be made available via the allocation process, which currently has New England at the top of the list.
Graham Parker, who heads the Guardian’s MLS coverage (to which PSP is a regular contributor), introduces his new The Designated Player column, which will cover the league for Grantland.
Kelley O’Hara, defender on the gold medal-winning USWNT, talks to The Stanford Daily. O’Hara won the Hermann Trophy as a forward at Stanford.
David Rutter, the executive in charge of EA’s FIFA video game series, says women’s soccer will soon be included in the series. “We want to make the best fundamental simulation of football. When it gets to a point where we’re considering a feature’s inclusion because it benefits everyone, then it becomes a priority. The key thing about delivering on it, is that it has to be of very good quality, very high value, rather than just an acknowledgment of women in football.”
Following the news that beIN Sport will be carried by Comcast, Seth Vertelney writes at Goal.com why he believes the new sport network’s picking up of all USMNT away World Cup qualifiers (except against Mexico) is unquestionably good news for US soccer fans.
The 1,000 tickets that went on sale on Thursday for the USWNT friendly against Costa Rica on Sept. 1 sold out in 30 minutes.
Here’s a match report and quote sheet from the USA’s draw with China at the U-20 Women’s World Cup on Thursday. Penn State’s May Hayes scored her fourth goal in two games in the 1–1 draw. The US can clinch a quarterfinal berth with a win or a draw against Germany on Monday (2:50am, ESPN2, ESPN3).
Check out the listings for the week’s live soccer matches on your TV and computer in this week’s Footy on the Telly.
Fulham has complained to the Premier League about Liverpool’s pursuit of Clint Dempsey.
The AP reports that FIFA’s anti-corruption judge Joachim Eckert has suspended Mohammed Bin Hammam for 90 days while an investigation is underway into allegations that he misused funds while president of the Asian Football Confederation and bribed Caribbean football officials.
Boca Juniors stadium has been closed by Argentina’s Office of Security Policy following fan violence at the end of the Copa Sudamerica match against Independiente on Wednesday.