Photo: Barb Colligon
Writing, “The disappointing stalemate at Gillette Stadium continued the Union’s recent trend of decent performances without the accompanying results,” Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy says of the task before John Hackworth in shaping a successful team, “It isn’t a matter of talent. It is a matter of displaying the necessary patience to allow these players to muster up the necessary consistency from week-to-week and supplementing the group with proven and seasoned performers to push the group onwards.”
While they may not be pleased with recent results on the pitch, the players are pleased John Hackworth no longer has the interim tag in front of his name. Amobi Okugo says, “It’s good it happened. It’s good for him. It’s good for us to have that stability. To have someone we know and have someone who will practice what he preaches and not say one thing and do the other. He’s very honest and he’s a good coach with his resume, so hopefully we can build on it, end the season right. Hopefully give him a winning record under his tutelage, and build off this season into next season.”
Brian Carroll is named to ProSoccerTalk.com’s Team of the Week. “Carroll’s work is the kind that’s never really appreciated as it probably should be, positionally solid and extremely reliable in possession.”
Asked in a Q & A at ESPN if he prefers European or US fans, Freddy Adu replied,
“I prefer the fans here in the U.S. I love our Philadelphia fans. I can’t say enough about our fans. Every time I step out there on the home field, there’s a 12th man. There really is. Even when we’re losing or playing like crap, they’re always singing and always getting after it. We rally behind them all the time. They definitely pump us up and give us a lot of energy when we’re out there on the field. For me, they’re one of the very best fan [bases] I’ve ever played in front of. It’s amazing.”
In the latest power rankings at Goal.com, the Union remain at No. 14: “The planning for next year starts right now.” At SI, they also remain at No. 14: “Hackworth’s ability to steady the sinking ship in Philadelphia has been impressive, but he’ll need to do more than just keep things on an even keel for a fan base that expected improvement, not regression, this season.” At ESPN, they remain at No. 12
Looking at the Eastern Conference standings, SB Nation Philly notes the Union haven’t won since July 29 and are “all but finished.”
Union Dues reviews Saturday’s draw at New England.
PennLive.com has a good piece on the dilemma facing two Mechanicsburg players who had to choose between playing for their high school or staying with their academy team (PA Classics and FC Delco).
The Guardian has five things learned from last weekend’s games.
The Union may not be doing their part, but the league average for goals scored is currently at its highest point in three years at 2.68.
Wired looks at the league’s embrace of data technology such as the Opta chalkboards and the new adidas miCoach.
The US will face reigning champions Germany in the final of the U-20 Women’s World Cup on Saturday (6:20am, ESPNU and ESPN3) after defeating Nigeria 2–0 in the semifinals on Tuesday. Morgan Brian and Kealia Ohai each scored for the US. In the other semifinal, Germany defeated Japan 3–0.
Fabian Johnson says of Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Jamaica, “We never won against Jamaica in Jamaica. So we’re trying to change that, and trying to win there.”
Friday’s match will be Brek Shea’s first opportunity to play in a qualifier for the team. “It’s my first taste, so we’ll see how it goes,” said Shea. “It feels good to play in a real game, hopefully, something that means something. I don’t really look at friendlies like a friendly anyways, but it would be good to get into a game that means something.” Shea’s previous 12 appearances for the USMNT have been in friendlies.
Jurgen Klinsman wants Jose Torres to become a bigger presence on the team. “Jose is at a stage where we would like to see him taking over more responsibilities, taking more control of the game and also making more decisive passes or plays in a game. He has that quality, we believe. He has the technique. He’s quite experienced.”
Did you know the Jamaica squad that will face the USMNT has more MLS players on its roster than the US does? Now you do.
Pia Sundhage says of leaving the USWNT to coach the Sweden team, “The fact that Sweden is hosting the European championship (in 2013), that’s a big thing of course.”
NJ.com places Sundhage third on the list of greats USWNT coaches behind Tony DiCicco and Anson Dorrance. “While winning two Olympic gold medals is a tremendous achievement, name one player who wouldn’t trade both for a World Cup championship.”
The US Paralympic National Team lost to Brazil 8-0 on Monday at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
At the Guardian. David Conn looks at the goings on at Liverpool.
Cristiano Ronaldo apparently continues to be sad.
The name of the 2014 World Cup ball will be “Brazuca,” which the AP reports is “an informal word often used to describe national pride in the South American country.” More than one million people voted online with 70 percent choosing Brazuca over Bossa Nova and Carnavalesca.