Photo: Paul Rudderow
Kerith Gabriel reports that Nick Sakiewicz says the hunt is on for “big time forwards.” You will recall that, when asked by Carl Cherkin on the 90th Minute radio show back in May whether the team would be active in the summer transfer window, Sakiewicz replied, “Very active.” (Question asked at minute 16:00.)
Gabriel also reports that Freddy Adu will not be with the Union when they face Chicago tonight (8:30pm, TCN). John Hackworth says, “He’s still suffering from the thigh injury and it’s important that we continue to monitor that. We have a couple of guys who are banged up right now, so [this match] definitely has the ability to look a little different.”
OUT: DF Bakary Soumare (R knee menisectomy recovery); FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms); DOUBTFUL: MF Freddy Adu (L quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Gabriel Farfan (R ankle contusion/R hamstring strain); MF Danny Cruz (L big toe sesamoid stress fracture); PROBABLE: MF Keon Daniel (R knee contusion); MF Michael Farfan (R foot contusion)
Among those who will be missing for Chicago are manager Frank Klopas, who is serving a one-game suspension after being ejected during stoppage time in the Fire’s 2–0 loss to Kansas City last Friday, defender Gonzalo Segares, also suspended, and midfielder Pável Pardo, out with a calf injury.
Look for PSP’s match preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our quick reference for stats and highlights from previous Union games against the Fire, this scouting report from the Union website, and previews from MLSsoccer.com, Philly.com, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Union Dues, CSN Chicago, Chicago Tribune, The Sports Network, and Hot Time in Old Town.
Dave Zeitlin notes, “Since Hackworth took over as manager on June 13, half of the 22 goals that the Union have allowed have come in the final five minutes of a half, including 11 of the last 18.” Hackworth quite understandably calls this “unacceptable.” Brian Carroll says other teams definitely are aware of such a weakness.
What does the Union need to focus on as they close out the season? Scoring goals, says US Soccer Players.
In his second blog post, Amobi Okugo talks about life off the pitch. He also discusses the recent games against DC and Houston and the team’s focus as they play out the season. “Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, as a team we are focused on finishing the season on a high note and letting the rest take care of itself. I’m sure Coach Hack is going to use these last few games to build into next season. Coach Hack is going to be able to build the team to how he sees it and will actually have a preseason to work with.”
Okugo tells Chris Vito he’s happy he’s been given the chance to show he can play centerback. Okugo says, “Every game, I just try to be the best player I can and take advantage of the experience, because it’s been invaluable,” Okugo said by phone Tuesday from the airport. “I’m trying to look at it this way because I didn’t have an opportunity like this last year.”
No Union players in this week’s Castrol Weekly Top 20. In the Full Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 17), Zac MacMath, (No. 72), Amobi Okugo (No. 96), Gabriel Gomez (No. 98), and Carlos Valdes (No. 107).
An article at USA Today that looks at how the increase in support San Jose and Kansas City have received is tied to on field success concludes with an instructive line from Doug Quinn, CEO of FC Dallas and former head of marketing for MLS that those at the Union who control the purse strings would do well to heed: “Do you have to win [MLS] Cup every year to succeed? No. But you need to be in the hunt.”
Michael Lahoud compiles a playlist of songs from what every Union player is currently listening to, thus confirming that I am officially old.
Nominations for the “Fans Fan of the Year” can be sent to the Union at [email protected]. Eleven finalists will be selected with the winner receiving a “2013 Philadelphia Union Pre-season fan package to Orlando, Florida, that includes airfare, hotel accommodation and VIP fan experiences with the team.” The deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 11:59pm.
A writer at Delco News Network attends her first Union game and has a blast.
Looking for their first 3–0 start in Colonial Athletic Association since 2007, Drexel hosts Northeastern tonight at 7pm at Vidas Field.
At As The Red Bulls Turn, Erik Soler is out as general manager and sporting director. Former AS Monaco president Jérôme de Bontin takes over as GM and former France and Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier takes over as sporting director. Soler will remain with the club as an “internal adviser.” While at AS Monaco, de Bontin was responsible for the signing of Freddy Adu on loan from Benfica, which didn’t work out so well.
Portland Timbers owner Meritt Paulson has been fined $25,000 “for inappropriate conduct directed at the officials, and through the use of social media, during and after the Timbers’ match against D.C. United on Sept 29, 2012.”
Humelstown’s Bill Gaudette is back to training with the Red Bulls after suffering a back injury in practice last week but Hans Backe says getting the starting spot back is “not automatically.”
Formerly of Reading United and now with FC Dallas, Matt Hedges has been named SBI’s Rookie of the Week.
The Central Winger does some crunching based on where players get their touches and concludes, from a general perspective, “How teams use their fullbacks may be the defining tactical difference between MLS teams.”
The company that owns the Dodgers may bid on AEG.
Kyle McCarthy reports on New England’s moves toward building a new stadium.
Queens’ residents continue to voice opposition to an MLS stadium and two other development projects in and around Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The Sounders Women will remain in the W-League for the 2013 season. On the team in 2012 (when they weren’t with the USWNT preparing for the Olympics) were Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo.
The USMNT moves up one spot to No. 32 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico moves up two spots to No. 19.
Michael Ballack has retired.
Reports have emerged of hazing and sexual abuse of three young high school soccer players in California by their teammates.