Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Look for PSP’s preview of Saturday’s game in Houston (7:30pm, NBCSN), written as usual by Adam Cann, later this morning. In the meanwhile, read his preview of the game in The Guardian.
The last time the Union played in Houston, Brian Ching flopped his way to a penalty kick win for the Dynamo. John Hackworth says the team feels it was an unfair result. “I always say we use everything we can to motivate our team and our staff to make sure we’re ready and prepared for the game. But we have a belief that when we went there, we deserved better. That belief doesn’t have as much to do with Houston as it does the circumstances that resulted in that loss. When you feel that way you certainly think that you want to go back and redeem yourself a little bit.”
Former Dynamo man Danny Cruz says, “I think we’re looking to hopefully continue to build on that and continue to play good football, which is what we’ve been doing these last few weeks. If we can continue to do the same things and continue to finish our chances, there’s not a doubt in my mind we can come out of there with a result.”
Michael Farfan says of Houston, “I think they are very good in the air. We’ve got to watch out for free kicks and any set pieces. It’s a very small field, so I think a lot of times they’re going to have those chances around the box and we have to just do well to defend those set pieces.”
Union Dues predicts a Houston win.
Farfan talks to KYW’s Matt Leon about his emergence as a key player on the Union. Farfan says, “I think I’ve had time to grow throughout the season and kind of find my feel for my position. I think last year was kind of just trying to get on the field wherever I could and this year I was more in an exact role where I knew what I was going to be doing and I knew what position I was going to be playing. So I think it was just a matter of experience and playing game-in and game-out and learning more about the position and about the league.”
At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci wonders if Sheanon Williams could become the face of the franchise. (Right now, I’m more concerned with whether he’ll be able to play on Saturday.) One thing is clear, Williams likes playing for the Union: “I love it here, love our team and all our guys, especially on our coaching staff.”
Jaylyn Thompson (PDA; Voorhees, NJ) and Jlon Flippens (FC Delco; Philadelphia) have been named to the US Girls National Team U-15 training camp to be held in Cary, NC from Oct. 20-28.
Montreal Impact will embark on an Italian tour at the end of the season, November 5-17. There they will play a minimum of two Serie A opponents, Bologna Nov. 8 and Fiorentina on Nov. 15.
Toronto FC is rolling back the cost of renewals for current and past season ticket holders to 2007 levels, the year the team entered the league. New season ticket holders will have to pay “a few dollars more.”
Says Tom Anselmi, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns TFC, “Our fans have suffered through two tough years. We recognize that this is a real concern. If I’m a TFC fan, I’m upset, I get that, so this is really trying to recognize their support, their loyalty. They’ve done their job and we haven’t done ours. We’ve got to get it right.”
At the Guardian, Graham Parker looks at the reasoning behind the MLS PLayers Union regular release of salary information. “Such a degree of openness is almost impossible to comprehend within a European frame.”
Here’s an interesting look at the growing collaboration between MLS and the NASL. Here’s one quote that stands out about what might happen in the future: “One possibility is a full affiliate system like the kind found in Major League Baseball, where each MLS club would have a designated lower-division partner. Another could be a system whereby MLS clubs’ reserve teams play directly in the NASL or third-division USL Pro, much like the set-ups in Spain and Germany.”
More on the money being spent by the league on lobbying for the proposed stadium in Queens.
The dirt is emerging on the firing of Erik Soler as sporting director and general manager of the New York Red Bulls.
Happy birthday Justin Mapp.
The Goalkeeper catches up with former Philadelphia Independence midfielder (and all around awesome person) Joanna Lohman. In town to talk at Go! Athletes relaunch event, Lohman talks about her experience playing in Spain after the demise of the Independence, the prospects of a new women’s professional league, and being an out player.
If the US wins against Russia, it will set a new team record for best record in a single season.
SBI has a state of the USMNT after the last qualifying round.
MLSsoccer.com raves about Kansas City’s Livestrong Sporting Park as a “hub” for future US qualification matches. The article makes no mention of PPL Park. Unbelievable.
The USWNT Fan Appreciation Tour continues with two matches against No. 2 ranked Germany. On Saturday, the teams will face off in Chicago (7pm, FSC) and on Friday, they will meet in Hartford, CT (7:30pm, NBCSN)
At Grantland, Graham Parker writes about why he hates international weeks.
The bidding for the the US broadcasting rights for the Premier League has begun.
While Serbia’s sports minister has called for “urgent action” to address racial abuse of players following ugly scenes at Tuesday’s U-21 European Championship qualifier between Serbia and England, the Serbian FA, which has denied there was any racial abuse, appears to have posted a video on YouTube that is a collection of edited clips from the game aimed at discrediting Danny Rose, the England player who was the target of much of the abuse.
Lazio have been fined $52,400 by UEFA for the racist behavior of its fans during the recent Europa League match at Tottenham Hotspur.
For listings of the week’s upcoming live matches on your TV and computer, check out the latest installment of Footy on the Telly.