Photo: Michael Long
John Hackworth believes the Union’s scoring woes lie not in an inability to create chances but in finishing. “If you look at the way we play and how teams have played against us, I would argue — if you look at stats alone — we’ve outplayed our opponents. We’re not having a tough time playing well. We’re having a tough time finishing. I’ve talked about execution, and that’s our Achilles’ heel…If anything, we have a chip on our shoulder and something to prove because we’ve played well and haven’t gotten the results.”
You can be sure the Union are spending plenty of time on finishing during the extended two-week break that is the result of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers before the game in Toronto on Sept. 15. Hackworth said, “This week, we are tracking every single goal scored in training. Those stats aren’t going to lie. So going into next week, we’ll have a pretty good idea who is finding the back of the net on a consistent basis for our team.”
Hackworth also said, “I think we have a talented pool of strikers and every single one of them has an opportunity right now. Jack McInerney, Chandler Hoffman, Antoine Hoppenot, Freddy Adu — we have guys that have the ability to find the back of the net on a regular basis. I want to see everybody do it. I’ve said this—the way we play is not suited for one guy. We attack as a team.”
Looking forward in terms of fixing the Union’s scoring woes, Chris Vito points to the example of Columbus and their rise “from midseason irrelevance to postseason capable with the additions of Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain” and writes, “The long-term fix will arrive in the offseason transfer window.” Yes, he knows you already know that.
Zac MacMath comes in at No. 17 on the Castrol Weekly Top 20. In the full index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 33), Zac MacMath (No. 48), Carlos Valdes (No. 98), Gabriel Gomez (No. 99), and Amobi Okugo (No. 110).
Zach Pfeffer and Union academy goalkeeper Zackary Steffen have been named to the US U-18 MNT 20-player roster that will be training for 11 days in the Netherlands Sept. 6-17. There they will play friendlies against the Netherlands as well as club teams from Feyenoord Rotterdam, Borussia Dortmund and Club Brugge. Pfeffer is one of three professionals on the roster.
John Hackworth reflects on having the interim tag removed from his job title and describes the overwhelming support he has received in the way of phone calls, voice mails, text messages and emails:
“I haven’t been able to get back to all the people yet who got in touch. It’s fantastic. The coolest part for me is a lot of ex-players that for whatever reason I haven’t stayed in contact with or haven’t heard from, for them to reach out and say congratulations and well-deserved, the kind words, it’s fantastic. Sometimes, as a coach, you’re so focused on the team and you end up being focused on results. That’s literally what everybody on the outside looks at. You forget about the relationships you have and some of the impressions you make on people.”
Chase Harrison will be appearing at the Patriot FC kickoff event this evening at Brownsburg Park in New Hope. Patriot FC was formerly known as Upper Makefield-Newtown Soccer Club.
The Washington Times looks at how Lionard Pajoy is settling in DC. Pajoy says, “I may have wanted to score goals and make the playoffs in Philadelphia. But those goals translate here just the same.”
Harrisburg City Islanders’ Lucky Mkosana, who led the team in scoring with 7 goals and 2 assists, and goalkeeper Nick Noble are both up 2012 USL PRO Award finalists, Mkosana for Rookie of the Year and Noble for Goalkeeper of the Year. Both are currently training with the Union. Reading native Corey Hertzog, on loan from New York Red Bulls to Wilmington Hammerheads, is up for Most Valuable Player.
At PennLive.com, Michael Bullock of the Patriot-News looks at how Harrisburg never quite figured out how to match results with expectations.
Despite the two-loss outing last weekend at the University of Washington’s Husky/Nike Invitational last weekend, the La Salle women’s team remains at No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic Regional National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Rankings for the third consecutive week.
Chestnut Hill Local looks at the Chestnut Hill College women’s team 3–2 loss to Millersville last weekend. The team is now 0–2.
New England moved ahead of the Union in the Eastern Conference standings, and ended the longest winless streak in the club’s history, with a 2–0 win over Columbus on Wednesday night. The Union is now in ninth place, 2 points behind the Revolution. Last place Toronto is 5 points behind the Union.
LA’s signing of Swedish midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson prompts this question from MLS Talk in the interest of greater transparency: “Must we perpetually deal with the cloak-and-dagger nature of the salary cap situation in Major League Soccer?”
Toronto FC captain Torsten Frings will miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his hip.
Sporting News looks at the spectacular transformation of the the Kansas City Wiz to Sporting Kansas City.
In the Center City area, it appears that beIN Sport en Espanyol is channel number 583 on Comcast. @JeepMattDE tweets how you can hear English language commentary on beIN en Espanyol, “For beIN Sport, on the box, menu, audio setup, set default to English – the new Spanish version of beIN Sport will be in English!”
Goal.com looks at the injury and fitness concerns the USMNT is facing ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Jamaica.
SI says the shorthanded US team has plenty at stake against Jamaica. Yeah, like qualifying for the World Cup.
The Miami Herald profiles Fabian Johnson.
Fox Soccer talks to Megan Rapinoe.
The Spanish government has approved the Spanish Football Federations plans to hold the Super Cup in China starting in August of 2013.
Sepp Blatter believes the Ballon d’Or should go to a Spanish Player.
Sir Alex Ferguson says he’s interested in having Usain Bolt play for Manchester United—in a charity match next year.
The AP reports, “About 300 angry fans stormed the headquarters of Egypt’s Football Association in Cairo on Wednesday, protesting a decision to resume league games next month before bringing to justice perpetrators of a deadly stadium riot.” 74 people were killed in a riot after a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry in Port Said on Feb. 1.