Photo: Courtesy of Colorado Rapids
Look for PSP’s quick reference and preview of the Philadelphia Union in Colorado later this morning. In the meanwhile, read the preview in the Guardian from PSP’s Dan Walsh and listen to the latest Philly Soccer Show podcast with guest Gabriel Farfan.
John Hackworth said of Saturday’s game against Colorado,
They had a tough start, similar to ours last weekend. They probably feel like they should’ve scored a goal or two or three, and it didn’t happen for them. So we’re both in the position of needing a win badly in Week 2…It’s going to be very difficult. Colorado is a hard place to play. The altitude gets to you, and, in this sport, playing at the level we’re trying to play at, it obviously has an effect. We’ll have to change some of our tactics because of that.
That is if the game is actually played on Saturday. In Thursday’s Daily Doop, Kerith Gabriel notes that forecasters are calling for up to a foot of snow to fall in the Denver area on Saturday. An article at MLSsoccer.com says, “[T]he worst of the snow scheduled to fall—you guessed it—right in the middle of the Rapids’ home opener Saturday afternoon against Philadelphia.”
Gabriel reports that league officials say the plan is for the game to go ahead as scheduled but continue to monitor the situation. Will the match be postponed until Sunday? Stay tuned for updates.
Kevin Kinkead looks at a Colorado roster with injuries among their forwards, in the midfield, and the starting goalkeeper and says the Union could face a young lineup. SBI says, “Not having Edson Buddle (knee), Martin Rivero (foot) and Jaime Castrillon (knee) to start the year is a crippling blow to the Rapids.”
At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci cautions, “Those who predict doom for the Union should take a deep breath. This is a long Major League Soccer season, one that lasts well beyond the World Series.” He believes Conor Casey should get more playing time.
Casey says of playing against his former club, “It will be nice to play in the stadium again in front of family and friends and all of those fans. It will be a little strange to be wearing a different jersey.”
6abc’s David Murphy has a new Union blog. He says, “A big statement is possible on Saturday.”
Recent articles on the league and club site would seem to suggest that fans can expect to see more of Gabriel Farfan in the midfield with Raymon Gaddis at left back. In this article from Dave Zeitlin. John Hackworth says of playing both Farfans in the midfield,
They’re two of our more skillful players and they play with a lot of creativity, a lot of flair. They certainly know each other’s tendencies better than anybody. I thought Gabriel was one of the better players in the match for long parts of the game on Saturday—which is great to see. That means we’re able to push them farther up the field. At the end of the day, I was pleased with the move and I thought for a lot of the game it worked.
Michael Farfan says of playing with Gabriel in the midfield, “I have a sense what he’s thinking about doing or the decisions he’s going to make because I probably would make a lot of the same decisions he would.”
Gaddis acknowledges he’s stronger on his right foot but says,
When you play on the opposite site on the field you have to think a lot more, but it also forces you to focus a lot more. [Personally], I think it helps me. I’m not saying I wasn’t focused before playing on the right side, but [being on the left] helps me stay in tune and makes me have to think a lot faster about what the opposition is going to do.
It’s only helping me as a player, being able to see what’s happening on the other side of the field for the future and I am glad I got the opportunity to even earn a start. Yeah, it’s a little bit different, but you have to look at it in a positive because it’s helping my overall game.
Carlos Ruiz talks on the latest ExtraTime Radio podcast about his exit from the Union. “I was very happy to play in Philly at that moment but Veracruz came with a great offer for the league, a great offer for Philly, and for myself…It wasn’t because of the fans it was because Veracruz came with a great contract.” The interview begins at 13:17.
Crossing Broad talks to the Jeff Bell, director of the upcoming Sons of Ben documentary, in the first installment of their new blog.
Reading United have appointed Ged Quinn, who first joined the team as a central defender in 2008 from Lenoir Rhyne College, as assistant coach.
Jeremy Vuolo, the Philadelphia-born goalkeeper who was most recently with New York Red Bulls, has announced his retirement from professional soccer in order to become a minister.
LA Galaxy traveled to Costa Rica to face Herediano in CONCACAF Champions League play and came back with a 0-0 draw.
With injuries to Logan Pause and Arne Friedrich, Chestnut Hill Academy product Jeff Larentowicz has been wearing the captains armband for Chicago. Head coach Frank Klopas describes Larentowicz as a natural leader. I know some people who would use different words to describe the fiery redhead.
In this report from MLSsoccer.com, Columbus Crew president Mark McCullers “says the time is approaching when the team’s owner, Hunt Sports Group, will have to decide whether to upgrade Crew Stadium or build a new facility in the area.”
The USWNT, who play China today in the Algarve Cup, are suffering a bit of a crisis with their goalkeepers. Hope Solo is not with the team as she undergoes surgery to address a long-standing wrist injury. Now comes new that Vineland, NJ’s Jill Loyden broke a bone in her left hand during a training session on Thursday and will be out for three months. Former Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and Ashlyn Harris are available for selection with Barnhart getting the start today.
At SI, Mike McCall writes that Tobin Heath could be one of the most valuable players on the USWNT in their campaign for the 2015 World Cup.
At Soccer America, Paul Kennedy examines Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hexagonal qualifying options for March.
Bloomberg reports that discussions are underway for England to play the US in a friendly before the 2014 World Cup.
At SI, Grant Wahl ranks the 50 most powerful people in US soccer.
Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the upcoming week’s live games on TV and online.
Carlos Tevez is facing a possible six-month prison term after being arrested for driving with a suspended license.
ESPN’s Jack Lang looks at concerns about stadium safety in Brazil.
The AP reports, “Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass was injured when team fans frustrated by a defeat in the Copa Libertadores confronted players at an airport in Argentina on Thursday.”
Did you know that William Cox, who owned the Phillies in the 1940s and was the last person banned from baseball before Pete Rose (he was betting on teams including the Phillies), founded the International Soccer League, which ran from 1960-65 and featured top teams from Europe and South America playing in a tournament in New York City? Neither did this West Ham supporter.
Barney Ronay writes at the Guardian, “if ongoing conversion rates to the football blogger/tweeter/commenter/online-incontinent community are maintained, current projections suggest five years from now every human being on the planet with fingers and a workable degree of lumpen malevolence will be, on some level, a football journalist.”