Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
Look for PSP’s match preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, you can jog your memory about past meetings between the Union and the Crew with our quick reference. Here’s a scouting report on the Crew and match previews from MLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, MLS Talk, the Brotherly Game, and Union Dues.
We linked to a tweet on Thursday from Bakary Soumare in which he said, “Minor knee procedure today, hopefully it fixes the recent issues I have been dealing with.” SBI reports that Bakary Soumare is out for the rest of the season after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery to alleviate swelling and lingering pain on the knee that had been surgically repaired before he joined the Union. “Soumare confirmed to SBI on Thursday that his surgery went well and that he was indeed finished for the 2012 season.”
John Hackworth said of the surgery, “This is a very minor procedure to make sure there’s nothing structurally going on in his knee that we don’t already know about. Baky’s been doing really well and has been training at 100 percent. We think of him as the future at the Philadelphia Union and we want to make sure we’re preparing for that future…He’s been practicing every single day. This is a complicated thing. We are being conservative with Baky. And his knee hasn’t had pain in it all…I’ve always said that we invested in Baky in the long term because we think he’s our future. That’s what we’re trying to manage the right way.”
On a entirely positive note, Krystian Witkowski tells PSP that he is free of concussion symptoms and has been cleared to play. The rookie has been sidelined since the end of March.
Sheanon Williams likes to get forward. Recently, that has included scoring the late equalizer against New England and drawing the foul in the box that led to Freddy Adu’s penalty kick goal against Houston. Williams tells Dave Zeitlin, “I think with our offensive struggles, everyone is just trying to do their part and make sure we put ourselves in good positions to help our forwards out. Obviously they’ve got to get provided with service for them to score, and I’ve been trying to do that. And I’ve also been finding myself in some pretty good spots and it’s led to some good things…I’m lucky that I have a coach that lets me do what I want to do and go forward within our system. That’s big for me.”
At the Daily News, John Smallwood looks at Freddy Adu’s career and time with the Union. “For all of the dreams about what a revitalized Adu would do for the Union, the reality was the player needed the team far more than the team needed the player. Adu came to Philadelphia as a star in name only. He was actually a guy trying to salvage a career that had gone way off track…Age-wise, Adu is young, but I don’t necessarily see him as a building-block young player for the Union…Adu is another guy in the mix—one who can play himself out of a job or into being a valuable commodity. That’s a lifetime away from being the 13-year-old courted by big clubs in Europe.”
At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci looks at where Chris Albright is in his career. Albright says he savors the minutes he gets on the pitch, even if the minutes are limited. “It absolutely is the twilight of my career, but it is a different high for me…I look at it as another high in my career, to come home, and my kids are running on the field. For me, that is bigger than a World Cup and Olympics in a lot of ways in that I am around my family, and they get to see me play at home. And if that is 10 minutes here and there, it is still special.”
Danny Cruz talks to the Tuscon Sentinel about being traded to the Union. On the question of Peter Nowak he says, “It hasn’t affected me. I never knew him. I’ve only seen a good locker room with good management.”
Looking toward the remaining games of a disappointing 2012 season, Chris Vito writes at the Delco Times, “Hackworth’s focus should be on trying different formations with different bodies playing different roles…That’s what the Union’s season has become—a trial-and-error proving ground for 2013.” Yep.
Kevin Kinkead notes that “the Union have six games left against five potentially playoff-bound teams. Four of those games are on the road.” Brian Carroll says of the remaining schedule, “You always want to measure yourself. What better way to do it than [by playing] some of the best teams in your conference? That’s the measuring stick, and we have to find out exactly who can rise to the occasion. We have to see exactly where we are to improve for the rest of the year, and gain confidence hopefully for the offseason into next year.”
Here’s a very interesting video about the Farfan’s path to being professionals and the support they received along the way from their very cool mom. (The video is part of the Journey to Excellence series sponsored by the US Marine Corps celebrating Hispanic heritage.)
Today is the last day to sign up for the Union’s blood drive.
First in the Eastern Conference Sporting Kansas City (55 points) hosts second place Chicago (53 points) tonight (8:30pm, NBCSN).
LA Galaxy advances to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League without even playing thanks to Puerto Rico Islanders 3–0 win over Metapan.
At SI, Alecko Eskadarian writes that the key to successful playoff runs lies in depth on he bench and in training.
If you have 15-20 minutes to spare, MLSsoccer.com would appreciate it if you would participate in this survey aimed at improving their website.
The US faces North Korea tomorrow in the U-17 Women’s World Cup (8pm, ESPN3) in the final game of group play. With both teams undefeated, but North Korea having a better goal difference, the US needs a win to finish top of the group.
It’s true: Conan O’Brien and Alex Morgan, they’re no Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, but Morgan’s got some moves.
The FA has banned John Terry for four games and fined £220,000 ($356,180) for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. It is expected that Terry will wait for the FA’s written judgement before deciding whether he will appeal.
Hammas is boycotting Barcelona because the club gave a complimentary ticket to a former Israeli soldier who was held hostage by militants between June of 2006 and October of 2011. The AP reports, “Hamas official Attallah Abu Al Subah says that, as of Thursday, no TV station in Gaza will broadcast Barcelona matches and no papers in the coastal strip will write about the club.” In response, Barcelona has given complimentary tickets to three Palestinians, including a Palestinian player who was held by Israel for three years.
Reuters reports on a recent study that shows most soccer players are able to return to play after undergoing ACL surgery.