Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Check out our preview of this evening’s must win World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda (6:55pm, beIN Sport).
Tim Howard says, “We play in big games every week. I don’t think anyone’s really worried or nervous. We’ve got winnable games. Whether we win them or not, we’ll see.”
Jurgen Klinsmann says, “This is not an easy game. It’s going to be a difficult game because, for [Antigua & Barbuda], it’s the game of the decade.”
Grant Wahl writes at SI, “If Klinsmann’s team wants to ease the nerves of U.S. fans, the Americans will grab a couple early goals and make sure three points are never in doubt. But World Cup qualifying is rarely easy. How the U.S. handles these two games will start to tell us how this team deals with the burden of expectation in the Klinsmann Era.”
Soccer America notes that this isn’t the first time that the US has traveled to the Caribbean for a critical qualifier to be played on a converted cricket field.
At the New York Times, Brian Sciareta looks who Klinsmann might use as cover on the injury depleted roster.
Sporting News considers what would happen if the US fails to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. “Although World Cup failure would be difficult to swallow, it wouldn’t be cataclysmic. It might even foment change for the better.”
Martin Rogers writes at Goal.com that missing out on the World Cup “would be a catastrophic blow, sweeping away in an instant many of the positives that came from South Africa in 2010.”
The Guardian reviews Klinsmann’s tenure.
Reviewing recent reports of possible leading candidates for the USWNT head coaching job, Sports Myriad throws a couple more names into the hat.
Marc Narducci writes at the Inquirer that a big motivation for the Union players in the final games of the season is rewarding the fans for their continued support through a difficult season. Jack McInerney says, “It shows we still want to play and want to prove ourselves for next year and want to keep fans motivated to come to the games.”
Ryan Bright writes at CSN that the turnaround began after the loss to DC United. Sheanon Williams, who was outspoken at the time about a lack of desire in some of his teammates, says, “Everybody took a good look at themselves and knew they could be better and that we could be better. Things needed to change. It stinks to lose, it’s not fun. That makes your job 10-times worse when all you do is that. We had a team meeting and we got things taken care of. The guys responded extremely well.”
John Hackworth says, “This city really respects when their professional athletes play with pride and honor. It’s something we try to use as motivation every single day. At the same time, there has to be a quality to us. We want to make sure we demonstrate those attributes in every game we play.”
In StadiumJourney.com’s rankings of MLS stadiums, PPL Park comes in at No. 3 behind Seattle’s CenturyLink Field and and Portland’s Jeld-Wen Field.
“If you are a soccer fan, you will love this place. If you are a fan of Philadelphia sports, you will love this place. If you are neither, you will STILL love this place. For the non-soccer enthusiast, it will convert you. Come on down. It is worth the trip.”
As PSP’s Mike Servedio said on Twitter, “The top two stadiums both use turf. So basically PPL is #1. Turf is for throwball.”
The sound is crap, but Keon Daniel talks about Trinidad & Tobago’s 4-1 win over French Guiana on Wednesday in the Caribbean Cup play in this video (Daniel’s bit starts at 2:00).
Kerith Gabriel reports that the word is that Carlos Valdes will start for Colombia against Paraguay (4:20pm, beIN Sport en Español). Presumably, Gabriel Gomez will start for Panama against Honduras (9:55pm, beIN Sport en Español).
Gomez finished third and Antoine Hoppenot finished fourth in the voting for Goal of the Week.
Ryan Richter says of his return to the team as a trialist, “I don’t know what’s going to happen with this but I’m just happy to be back here. I love all the coaches and I love all the guys on the team.”
Kevin Casey, public address announcer for the Union at PPL Park, has been named the backup announcer for the Sixers.
Benny Feilhaber says of the foul on Hoppenot that earned him a second yellow in the closing minutes of the Union’s win over New England, “I tried to obstruct (Hoppenot) from making the run—something that’s not smart when you’re already on a yellow. But at that point, I had lost my head a bit. It was a stupid play for me.” Feilhaber believes the ref wasn’t going to give him the first yellow card until two Union players asked the ref to do so.
The Daily Pennsylvanian reports on Thursday’s keynote address aimed at to raising awareness of homophobia and discrimination in sports by former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Joanna Lohman at the GO! Athletes relaunch event at University of Pennsylvania.
Longtime Archbishop Ryan boys’ soccer coach George Todt is stepping down at the end of the season after 44 years leading the team. Todt’s 646-161-117 record ranks him first in the state and fifth in the country.
While reports say that two Chinese clubs are prepared to offer him deals worth £250,000 a week, MLS commissioner Don Garber says the league would be “happy” to have Frank Lampard. Garber joked, “I’ll go into the locker room and see if I can chat him up!” I wonder if he knows what “chat him up” means in Britain?
Despite the news that Lance Armstrong engaged in an elaborate doping conspiracy, Sporting Kansas City has no plans to change the name of Livestrong Park, named after the foundation set up by Armstrong. Sporting CEO Robb Heineman said, “It’s really about helping those afflicted with cancer…We’ve got an agreement for another four years for it to be Livestrong Sporting Park. We don’t stick our head in the sand … but it doesn’t change how we feel about the Foundation and the work they do.”
SBI reviews the latest 20th team news, all of which you already know from reading our daily news roundups.
Columbus Crew have established a memorial fund to support research and programming focused on congenital heart defects and sudden cardiac death in youth in the name of Kirk Urso, the 22 year old player who died suddenly of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy outside a Columbus restaurant on Aug. 5.
Check out the latest Footy on the Telly listings of live World Cup qualifiers and more on your TV and computer.
The Guardian reports the Independent Police Complaints Commission will “launch a major, wide-ranging investigation into allegations of misconduct by South Yorkshire police, West Midlands police and others arising from the Hillsborough independent panel report published last month.” The director of public prosecutions has also announced that all evidence in the recent independent panel report will be reviewed in order to decide whether new charges of manslaughter can be brought.
Paul Gardner considers the ongoing “witch hunt” against diving in England.
Speaking of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA’s Asia chief, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, says, “It would definitely make sense.”
Fox Soccer announced on Thursday that Grant Wahl has been signed as a weekly contributor to the network’s studio and news shows.