Photo: Paul Rudderow
Today is Roster Freeze Deadline Day, the last day any trades or discovery claims or signings can be made. The official deadline is 5pm ET. (The roster rules say Sept. 15, but that’s a Saturday, so, you know.)
Look for PSP’s preview of Saturday’s game in Toronto (1pm, CSN, Direct Kick, MLS Live) later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our quick reference for video highlights, stats, and more from the teams’ previous encounters.
Goal.com predicts Toronto will win.
That the Union gave Toronto their first win of the season after a nine game losing streak still rankles. John Hackworth says, “Nobody likes that, the feeling we had on that day. Those are the kinds of feelings that you have as an athlete or a coach that you save and pick out when you need them. If that’s a little extra motivation, then we can use that to our advantage.”
One of the topics during John Hackworth’s weekly press conference was Union free kicks. Hackworth says, “It’s no secret that we are not a big, physical team. We haven’t found the two really important pieces that allow you to capitalize on restarts, which is consistent service on one end and targets on the other end. Part of that is our size. But I think we’re getting better at that.”
One way the Union will try to get better at set piece service is by being adaptable. Pointing to Tuesday night’s US World Cup qualification game-winning free kick from Herculez Gomez, Hackworth said, “The reason Gomez took that free kick was it was his range and his distance and his teammates respected that. We have a similar situation. If we get a deadball situation in front of goal, and it’s in Carlos Valdes’ range, you’ll see him take it. In other spots, we have other guys.”
In case you missed it, the Union did not win the lottery for the rights to Marcus Tracy, the Chestnut Hill-born forward just signed by MLS after three injury plagues seasons in Denmark and had been training with the Union. No, the rights were won by first place San Jose, who, according to pre-draw odds released by the league, had a 4.6 percent chance of winning the lottery. San Jose’s Sam Cronin, who played with Tracy at Wake Forest along with Earthquakes teammate Ike Opara, says, “He will be a big, strong, powerful forward. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways.”
John Hackworth said, “We’re extremely disappointed we didn’t win a chance to have Marcus join our organization. It’s unfortunate.”
Matt Kassel, the former New York Red Bull midfielder who has also been training with the Union, tells Soccer Long Island Magazine, “The coaches and players here are real good guys and I’ve been enjoying training here so if something works out I would gladly accept playing here but at the same time I’m keeping all my options open.”
Zach Pfeffer went the full 90 in the US U-18′s 1–0 win over the Borussia Dortmund U-18 team. Zack Steffen was an unused substitute. The final game for the US U-18s is Sunday, Sept. 16 against Club Brugge in Belgium.
The Inquirer reports that the the home game against DC United next Thursday is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night, with the players wearing gold laces for pediatric cancer awareness.
The Farfans figure in this article looking at brothers in MLS and other leagues.
Sons of Ben VP Corey ”Mr. Furlan” Furlan appears in this article from the Wall Street Journal about tifo displays in MLS.
Saturday’s Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders match will be on NBC at 3:30pm. It will be the first MLS match broadcast by an English language over-the-air channel in four years. They’re also showing the USWNT v Australia friendly on Sunday at 3:30pm.
Dwayne De Rosario is out for the rest of the season with a sprained MCL, suffered during Canada’s loss to Panama in World Cup qualification on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at the Columbus Crew’s Federico Higuaín. Am I jealous of Columbus? Yes I am.
Speaking of Columbus, while Will Hesmer continues the rehabilitation from micro-fracture hip surgery that may or may not mean the end of his career, he is working as an intern at a wealth management company. One of his bosses says, “It took us probably a day or two to get over the idea that we’ve got the starting Crew goalkeeper coming into our office driving in a Mercedes Benz rather than some (intern driving a) campus junker.”
MLS UK wants more MLS games to be broadcast in the UK. The article has this great line: “People will argue that Sky Sports will not show these games because of the standard. I will argue that they show the Northern Ireland league! I know that’s not many games, but the standard is awful…no disrespect.”
Dan Borislow, remember him? ESPNW does too in this fascinating expose. If it is to be believed, some high profile members of the USWNT have some explaining to do. And yes, Borislow sounds like even more of a creepy bully than you already thought he was.
CONCACAF has formed an integrity committee that “will have oversight of all investigations pertaining to past practices from the previous leadership.” Well-known crook Jack Warner and Chuck “The Garden Gnome” Blazer are probably not amused.
A Bundesliga player has come out of the closet but, fearing attack from fans, has chosen to remain anonymous.