Carlos Ruiz briefly raised the nerves of US fans but the US quickly rebounded to win 3–1 and advance to the hexagonal stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
Match reports and recaps from Sporting News, MLSsoccer.com, SI, ESPN, Soccer America, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, The AP, Philly Union Talk, plus this post-match quote sheet. Look for PSP’s report on the game later this morning.
Clint Dempsey, who assisted the first goal before scoring the second and third said, “We know that there is still a lot of work to be done. We know that we can be better and sharpen up in order to qualify for the World Cup. We know the next round is going to be tough, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we’re ready for it and not let this opportunity slip by.”
Grant Wahl notes Eddie Johnson’s strong play over the last two qualifiers and suggests the team may now have a new wide threat.
Joining the US in the hexagonal are Jamaica, Panama (the Union’s Gabriel Gomez started and played 76 minutes in Panama’s 1–1 draw with Cuba), Honduras, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The teams will meet in a home and away format Feb. 6 through Oct. 15, 2013 with the top three teams qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The fourth place team will play the winner of Oceania’s tournament in a home and away inter-continental playoff on Nov. 15 and No. 19, 2013.
SBI has a look at the final six.
Fox Soccer will broadcast the USWNT friendly with No. 2 ranked Germany this Saturday at 6:30pm.
Kerith Gabriel reports that there were several “new faces” at the training session, one of which is “on trial from Argentina.” Gabriel says, “He played mainly in the center of the park and was really strong on the ball. Impressive player.” Gotta be Riquelme, right? What?
The latest injury report is out and gives cause for some concern ahead of Saturday’s match in Houston with Sheanon Williams being listed as doubtful with an injury to his left ankle. Here’s the complete report:
PHILADELPHIA UNION — OUT: DF Bakary Soumare (R knee menisectomy recovery); DOUBTFUL: DF Sheanon Williams (L ankle peroneal/Achilles strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Gabriel Farfan (R ankle contusion); MF Danny Cruz (L big toe sesamoid stress fracture); FW Zach Pfeffer (L knee contusion); PROBABLE: MF Freddy Adu (L quad strain)
In Tuesday’s Daily Doop, Kerith Gabriel reports that Danny Cruz and Freddy Adu both participated in the full practice on Tuesday.
Toronto forfeited the reserve match scheduled to take place today, which was to be the last of the season. The Union reserves finished with a 3–4–2 record.
We mentioned in yesterday’s news roundup that next Wednesday’s road game in Kansas City would be televised on NBC Sports Network, replacing a previously scheduled NHL game that has been cancelled due to the lockout. The NBCSN broadcast will be blacked out in the Philadelphia and Kansas City markets with viewers in the Philadelphia region able to see the game on The Comcast Network with commentary from JP Dellacamera and Bob Rigby, while viewers in the Kansas City area will see the game on KSMO-TV with Callum Williams and Jake Yadrich providing commentary.
Kerith Gabriel confirms that NBCSN will be using TCN’s commentary for the national broadcast. Hopefully that means they’ll be flying out the Union’s commentators to call the game from the press box rather than from a monitor back in Philly.
FYI, Arlo White and Kyle Martino will be calling this Saturday’s 7:30pm Union game in Houston on NBCSN. With the New York game on the 27th also on NBCSN, that means the last three Union games will be broadcast nationally, which is pretty cool.
Michael Lahoud talks about being traded to the Union and how much he enjoys playing holding mid alongside of Brian Carroll. Still, he says, “I’m not content, obviously. I think we have an ambitious team and obviously being in the lineup is a good thing. But I’m here to win silverware. That’s the next step—putting that winning formula together. I’m looking forward to contributing towards that goal.”
Krystian Witkowski talks with Dave Zeitlin about his difficult recovery from a concussion he received in practice six-and-a-half months ago. Witkowski is realistic about his future with the Union, saying, “I don’t think [Union manager John Hackworth] has seen me play since March, besides juggling on the sideline. I think it will be extremely tough to be back here next season. I would love when I’m fully healthy to be invited back to preseason to show my worth. That would be the ideal situation for me.”
We tweeted yesterday that an El Jimador rep had informed PSP that limited edition Union-themed El Jimador bottles have begun to arrive at area liquor stores. The Union has a list of stores that will be carrying the bottles.
PSP is joining with The 700 and El Jimador to host a viewing party of the Union’s game in Kansas City on Wednesday, Oct. 24 beginning at 7:30pm. There will be El Jimador samples and a list of tequila-based drink specials. You must be 21 to attend and remember, please drink responsibly.
Glenside’s Tony Donatelli, most recently of USL PRO champions Charleston Battery, has signed with indoor side Baltimore Blast. Donatelli previously played two seasons with Philadelphia KiXX, 2006-2008.
La Salle’s women’s team is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA Mid-Atlantic poll and is just outside of the national top 25.
League play returns tonight with Seattle Sounders hosting Real Salt Lake (10pm, NBCSN).
Portland Timbers owner Merrit Paulson says franchise fees for clubs wishing to join the league will continue to rise. “You’re going to see a really big increase on the next team coming in. That’s just a product of the league coming in and growing. The people who got in on much lower valuations paved the way and did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of getting the league to where the franchise valuations could be where they are.”
An article at Business Insider entitled, “MLS Chief Don Garber Makes Progress On Plan That Will Kill The NY Red Bulls” says of the proposed second team in New York, “Bottom line: The arrival of the Cosmos in Queens could weaken soccer in New York, not strengthen it, no matter how much Garber salivates at the idea of a big New York derby rivalry.”
Readers of PSP’s articles on Philadelphia soccer history will be familiar with Fall River in Rhode Island, which was for many years one of the hotbeds of soccer in the US. Fall River’s mayor has proposed the city as a spot for a proposed new stadium for New England Revolution.
Jordan Harvey is working on finishing up a degree in sociology.
Did the first recorded happening of a game resembling soccer in the US take place in Waukesha, WI on Oct. 11, 1866? Maybe. So far, the earliest recorded game in Philadelphia took place on June 26, 1871. The Philadelphia Irish Nationalists defeated New York Irish Nationalists by an unknown score.
There were a number of remarkable matches yesterday, perhaps chief among them Sweden’s come-from-behind 4–4 draw with Germany.
It was a bad day for England, though. The scheduled World Cup qualifier in Poland was postponed until today due to a waterlogged pitch, this at a stadium that has a retractable roof. While the 2,500 England fans have every right to feel aggrieved, it is nothing compared to the ugly scenes in Serbia where black players on the England U-21 team suffered racial abuse before, during and after the Under-21 European Championship qualification match. When England scored the stoppage time winner, the scene turned violent as a general melee broke out. England’s FA and Professional Footballers Association have called for UEFA to levy sanctions against Serbia. Despite ample video evidence, the Serbian FA denies that any racial abuse occurred.