Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Plain and simple: the US must defeat Jamaica tonight (8pm, ESPN2, ESPN3 and Galavision).
As Jozy Altidore said, “If we don’t win on Tuesday, it gets pretty scary.”
Clint Dempsey said, “We’ve got to get the right result, and we have to get the points. You have to look at as a ‘must win.’ It feels a little more (desperate than other qualifying games). After this, we have two games left. We have to take advantage of this opportunity.”
MLSsoccer.com says tonight’s contest “is arguably the biggest, must-win qualifying match for the US since October 2001.” The US opponent then? Jamaica.
Former USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola said, “It’s a must-win, but I don’t think it’s a panic situation right now.”
SI says, “Is it a must-win game? By definition, no, but anything but a three-point haul would raise some serious questions, red flags and panic alarms, especially on the heels of Friday night’s performance at National Stadium in Jamaica.”
Asked by a reporter what will happen if the US loses, Jurgen Klinsmann replied with a smile, “No, we won’t (lose). Don’t worry.”
Klinsmann said on Monday that Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo will be back in the US defense.
He also said it would be helpful if the US doesn’t give away cheap free kicks.
US Soccer Players says, “Tactics have been a mixed bag in the Klinsmann era, with his real strength seemingly lying in the realm of his players’ minds and not the chalkboard.”
Clint Dempsey talks about what it means to be playing the match on Sept. 11.
US Soccer Daily says the problem with Friday night’s loss was “a game plan and starting eleven so impotent that Cialis could very well become an advertiser on USMNT broadcasts if the trend keeps up.”
Crushable.com has five reasons why the USWNT’s Amy Rodriguez rocks and uses a rocking photo by PSP photographer Paul Rudderow of the former Philadelphia Independence star to illustrate the article.
Kevin Kinkead notes that the Union are 5–0–0 when coming off of a two-week break.
An article at MLSsoccer.com from Dave Zeitlin highlights one of the few positives of the 2012 season, the emergence of Michael Farfan as the team’s chief playmaker. Farfan likes playing center mid. “You get to be all over the field. You get to be a part of defenders passing out of the back. You get to be a part of playing it to the forwards. You get to go forward, as well as defend. I think it’s a little bit of everything. I just like being involved as much as possible.”
John Hackworth says of Farfan, “I always believed he had the ability to be a playmaker in this league for a long time…I like Michael when he finds spots, whether from the center or wide. When he does that, he’s really dangerous. He’s unpredictable. And that’s when he truly plays his best.”
Carlos Valdes went the full 90 in Colombia’s 4–0 thrashing of Uruguay in Friday’s CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier. Colombia, who moved into fifth place in the South American qualifying zone with the win, faces Chile today at 3:30pm (beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español).
Gabriel Gomez was an unused substitute in Panama’s 1–0 loss to Canada on Friday. Panama hosts Canada today at 9:05pm (ESPN Deportes, ESPN3).
Zach Pfeffer came off the bench at the start of the second half to score the opening goal in the US U-18 MNT 2–0 win over Feyenoord Rotterdam’s U-19 team on Saturday. Union Academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen also came on at the start of the second half to secure the shutout. The team faces the Netherlands U-18s today at noon.
Goal.com’s power rankings, which has the Union at No. 14, says, “The most shocking part of MLSsoccer.com‘s 24 Under 24 feature: Freddy Adu is still eligible for the list. That fact puts Adu’s foibles in a wider perspective, doesn’t it?”
And then there’s this. The top-selling Union jersey of the year is Roger Torres, No. 19 on the list of the top 25 selling players’ jerseys in the league (March 10-Sept. 10). Torres (5 appearances, 1 start, 107 minutes) edges out the only other Union player on the list, Freddy Adu, in at No. 20.
Harrisburg City Islanders forward Yann Ekra is training with DC United.
La Salle sophomore Kelsey Haycook has been named the Atlantic 10 women’s Player of the Week. Haycook scored a hat trick and registered an assist in Friday’s 6–2 thrashing of Seton Hall and a goal in Sunday’s 3–2 loss to Villanova.
Villanova sophomore midfielder Oscar Umar has been named the Philly Soccer Six Player of the Week. Umar had a goal and an assist in Friday’s win over Hartford.
University of Pennsylvania freshman Sam Engs has been named the Philly Soccer Six Rookie of the Week. Engs scored 3 minutes and 33 seconds after being subbed in against Air Force in Friday’s 2–1 loss.
St. Joseph’s men’s team will host its Annual Alumni and Family Day on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Eddie Johnson was voted MLSsoccer.com’s Player of the Week.
Black and Red United considers whether the league’s unbalanced schedule is also competitively unequal.
The Wall Street Journal looks at how an MLS team and stadium that is actually within the city of New York, and the youth academy that would go with it, could greatly help youth soccer development.
Wesley Sneijder says MLS might be an option when his contract with Inter expires in 2015. “If my wife continues to be an actress, the MLS might be an idea. But not at this point. I want to stay at Inter. I have never thought about leaving Inter. I like the team, the city and the club.”
JustFootball.com says the New York Cosmos returning to competitive play via the second division NASL is the right path. “The Cosmos can focus on competitive matches, hiring staff, and generating awareness in a crowded sports market while letting MLS work on the stadium process.”
UEFA has withheld payment of prize money from 23 clubs “due to their failure to pay debts to other clubs or tax bills.”
Check out our weekly Footy on the Telly listing for today’s live qualifiers’ times and channels.