Daily news roundups

“Massive game”: Getting ready for the Crew, Union trade talk, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Getting ready for the Crew

Tonight the Union host Columbus Crew. A win would put Philadelphia into third place in the Eastern Conference. A loss would see them drop out of the playoff zone and Columbus move into fifth place. A draw would just tick off everyone.

John Hackworth said at his weekly press conference, “It’s a huge game for us. We talk about going on the road, and a point is a good result. We talk about being here at home against a conference opponent that is literally on your heels, you have to get three points. It’s a six-point swing, especially at these moments going into a little bit of break in the middle of our season.”

Hackworth continued, “This is a massive game and it’s as massive for them. Think of their situation coming here and they know if they can get three points, or get a point, it’s really important. It’s going to be a tough game. There’s a lot on the line in this early stage in the season but this game is big in every single way.”

How does Hackworth feel the team has been performing going into tonight’s game? The Union coach said, “I don’t think that over the last few weeks we’ve been very consistent at all. But part of that is the opponents. Part of that is the rigors of the league. Part of that is the demands of trying to play this many games in a small window. But there’s so many factors that go into it. What I would say that we’ve been consistent about is our resolve, our character, I keep calling it our ‘Philly toughness.'”

What’s Hackworth talking about when he mentions  “the rigors of the league” and the demands of playing so many games in a short period of time? In the short term tonight will be the Union’s fourth game in 12 days; in the long term it’s their eighth in 32 days. Either way, Hackworth said he is pleased with how the team is handling the schedule. “Despite it being the fourth game in 12 days, I think we’re doing well. We really put a lot of emphasis on our preparation and trying to be very efficient in how we work so I think one of our strengths as a group is the fact that we’re fit. We recover quickly, we have the ability to play the number of games that we’re playing in a short time frame and still try to play at the level we’re trying to.”

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union.com, Columbus Crew.com, MLSsoccer.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, The Inquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Philly Soccer News, Union Dues, Goal.com, and The Sports Network.

Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report. Check out PSP’s quick reference to get up to speed on the series history between the two teams.

Eddie Gaven is out for the rest of the season. The Crew will also be without Jairo Arrieta, who is away on international duty with Costa Rica, and will be relying on either Aaron Schoenfeld or Dominic Oduro. Check out PSP’s interview with Schoenfeld—whose stock, according to Columbus Dispatch, is rising—for more on what to expect.

Hackworth said of Columbus, “Tactically, they will be different. Eddie Gaven is a huge player for them. But they have some young guys. Once you have an injury or lose a guy to international call-up, it’s an opportunity for someone who is working hard in training to get on the field. [Justin] Meram has done a great job in taking that opportunity. Maybe it’s a [Ben] Speas. They have depth there, so it will be interesting to see how they come out.

Columbus comes to Philly after to back-to-back ties, results that Crew players mean points lost given their form. Midfielder Justin Meram said, “I feel like we lost four points, in a way. Overall, as much as the fans get on us and the media, trust me: From one through 30, we all feel for the fans. When we go to Philly, I think it’s going to be a good result. I think they’re going to be happy with it.”

Oduro said, “I think we have to be alert right now in terms of we’ve been playing well, but we have to win games. I think it’s past us trying to play nice soccer; we just have to win games. I would rather play bad and win games than play like we did and tie.

Trade Talk

Hackworth was asked at Tuesday’s press conference about bringing in new players to strengthen the squad. As quoted in PSP’s report from Tuesday’s press conference, Hackworth said, “We are reviewing a lot of different players that are presented to us. And this is the—We’re coming up on the summer window where there’s a lot of moves that will be made, and we’re certainly in a good spot to make some moves, but we have to make the right move for this team and this club.”

Hackworth explained, “We are certainly looking because we are not totally satisfied. We think we have some issues right now: for sure at the back, in terms of our depth. We’re probably about two to three spots away from feeling like it’s the most complete roster we could have, but it’s not that easy.”

Hackworth said that, in terms of cap space and allocation money, the team is better off than they were before the Gabriel Farfan and Bakary Soumare trades. “We’re certainly in a good spot to make some moves, but we have to make the right move for this team and this club.”

Hackworth explained that the “coaching staff’s personal philosophy” is to first look within the league when it comes to player movement. “You have less risk going in league because you have so much more knowledge of a player, what they’re capable of, what their personality is, how would they adapt to the culture and environment of this club, what their salary is exactly, what their expectations are, what you’re going to have to pay for these players. There’s a lot of details that, within league, make it a lot easier to make some of these moves, and certainly those are options for us.”

Soon after Hackworth’s comments, Brotherly Game posted a story in which, according to unnamed sources, trades that would have seen the return of Danny Califf and Jordan Harvey to the Union were recently nixed by Nick Sakiewicz.

Mac, rankings, and more

Jack McInerney tells Dave Zeitlin that he has never spoken to Jurgen Klinsmann. McInerney says of all of the attention he’s been getting, “I like it. It drives me and makes me want to perform even better.”

David Murphy reviews McInerney’s many strengths while also acknowledging some of the young striker’s weaknesses.

McInerney comes in at No. 14 in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are McInerney (No. 1), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 58), Amobi Okugo (No. 68), Conor Casey (No. 79), and Michael Farfan (No. 134).

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union drop one spot to No. 14: “Philly need to figure out how to actually control a game at some point. ‘Opportunistic’ only takes you so far.” ProSoccerTalk has the Union at No. 12.”

Fifty Fifty Ball has a matrix of Union players ranging from “Lawful good” to “Chaotic Evil.” The blurb says, “This is not to be taken seriously.” I still wish I understood what was being communicated.

New York Red Bulls blog Once a Metro describes the game against the Union on June 23 at PPL Park as “a minor rivalry clash.”

Pele said of Freddy Adu, “Unfortunately, his career hasn’t turned the way we expected. This happens to a lot of players.” Does Pele think Adu can still turn his career around? “Oh yeah, of course [he can]. It can be difficult to come back, but still he has a chance. It’s a bit about luck.”

Local

The midweek action continues with Harrisburg City Islanders hosting Wilmington Hammerheads (preview here) in what is the start of a five-game homestand (7pm: USL Live). Last weekend’s two-game win streak on the road earned Nick Noble Player of the Week honors with Stephen Basso and Aaron Wheeler joining the Harrisburg goalkeeper on the Team of the Week. Cristhian Hernandez and Jason Pelletier received honorable mentions.

In PDL play tonight, Reading United travel to face Long Island Rough Riders while Ocean City Nor’easters are on the road against Jersey Express. Check out the preview of Reading’s game on the team website.

MLS

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle explores the chain of events that led to the lawsuit that was filed by two former coaches against Chivas USA.

Sales for Saturday’s Cascadia Cup match between Seattle and Vancouver have topped 50,000.

The Central Winger has an interesting look at possession numbers from aerial battles.

New York Cosmos announced Emirates Airways as their shirt sponsor on Tuesday. Not bad for a team that doesn’t have a stadium of its own, let alone enough players to field a full side. More from New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, The Guardian, The AP.

Club chairman Seamus O’Brien said that the Cosmos are in dialogue with MLS, whatever that means.

Just in from the Department of Hmmm That’s Interesting, Brett Lashbrook, who has previously worked as Don Garber’s special assistant, has joined Orlando City’s front office.

NWSL

Sky Blue FC forward Lisa De Vanna was named Player of the Week. On Saturday, she scored this spectacular goal in the 14th minute of Sky Blue’s 5-1 win over Boston Breakers:

Boston Breakers will look to bounce back from that thrashing when they host Western New York Flash tonight (7pm: livestream for $4.99 here).

Former Philadelphia Independence forward Lianne Sanderson, now with Boston Breakers, answers 11 questions.

US

The USMNT has arrived in Jamaica for Friday’s qualifier (9:30pm: beIN Sports).

On Tuesday night, Mexico defeated the Reggae Boyz 1-0 at the National Stadium in Kingston. ProSoccerTalk considers what this might mean for the US.

DaMarcus Beasley is on Puebla’s transfer list. Herculez Gomez is leaving Santos Laguna for Club Tijuana.

The USMNT U-20s, eliminated on Monday from the possibility of advancing to the third place match in the Toulon Tournament, play their final Group A game today against South Korea (11am: beIN Sport).

At ESPN, Roger Bennett has a great article on legendary ASL goalkeeper and National Soccer Hall of Famer Gene Olaff, who’s still following the game at the age of 92.

Elsewhere

Here’s the strange story of Jerome Boateng’s lost—then found by a journalist at Wembley—Champions League medal.

Jose Mourinho’s take on Cristiano Ronaldo? Great player, but he’s a know-it-all.

With the news that ratings at ESPN were significantly down for the just finished season compared to the 2011-12 season, Michael Bradley looks at the risks involved in NBC’s big investment in broadcasting the league.

 

18 Comments

  1. Well it is up to me to explain alignment in Dungeons and Dragons…
    Most player character in DnD are put on to axis
    From Good to Evil with Neutral in the middle (capable of both good and evil depending on the situation) this is pretty self explanitory.

    Also they are graded on Lawful to Chaotic as into their attitude towards authority and the Law… Let me steak from the wikipedia page on alignment

    The third edition D&D rules define law and chaos as follows:[8]
    Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
    Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

    So by saying Conor Casey is is Lawful Evil it is saying he will bulldoze you and leave you a broken heap on the field with out any respect for you, your team or your family but he will do it in respect for the rules of the gsme… well that works.

    For more information on Dungeons and Dragons alignment please consult you local comics/gaming shop or check out this handy Wikipedia article.
    http://5050ball.tumblr.com/post/52191845872/union-alignments-2013

    • Huh. And here I thought I was the only D&D nerd who would get that chart…

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Thank you, sir! The only thing that I remember from the few times a played D&D several decades ago is the name of my sword. (It was “смерть,” which is “death” in Russian. Yep, back in the good old days of the Cold War, my high school offered Russian classes.)

  2. If it’s true that Sakiweicz nixed those deals for Harvey and Califf I said
    “well done!” I didn’t agree with sending either of them away, but I’d rather move forward with new, exciting players then revert to former players. I know there are quality players out there who I’m sure we could work a deal out for, and with the way this season has gone, and seems to be heading, I would be fine with bringing in younger players and letting him grow into the position, much like Gaddis is now.

    • I agree. Seems like lazy scouting on the part of Hackworth. The upside of bringing in Califf and Harvey isn’t that great. Having Frei and MacMath on the roster next year would create salary cap hell.
      .
      At some point Hackworth is going to have to grow a pair and take a chance on a few foreign players. Acquiring all your players within MLS isn’t a very good model for success.

    • The Real Brian says:

      I agree. I know the Brothey Game and Union Rumors were pushing for Califf to come back, but seriously, he isn’t an upgrade in our defense and would likely become another Juan Diego Gonzalez. He certainly is a nice guy and apparently he can drink. But we don’t need him for sentimentalities sake.

      Harvey- why would we want that stiff back? Again, good dude, we can do better.

      As for the Union shopping for players, I will believe it when I see it. How many times have they promised that they will get new players and nothing happens.

      We have a cheap team that isn’t ambitious like Portland, Montreal and Seattle to name a few. They are happy getting 17k fans/idiots showing up at games. There is no incentive for them to get better now. So don’t hold your breath.

    • Its well done if sak did it because he wants to go out and pay to bring in younger talent with more promise. however he may have said why pay 100,000 for califf and 150000 for harvey if I can save that dough for me and the “boys” and draft a low cost low performing option that I can talk up for two years to pacify fans for half or less of that.
      You may be giving him credit where its is not due. Heres to hoping my cynicism is wrong.

    • Yeah, that deal needed to be nixed. If Hackworth was behind it then it shows where his head is at. More of the same crap. Instead of bringing in quality players.

    • Scottymac says:

      I’m gonna go ahead and have to disagree with you there.

      The premise of all of the “good job Nick!” Comments, you’re expecting that his nixage is based on prudent use of resources, not that he’s a cheap bastard. Your expectation that Nick will get anyone this year is naive at best.

      And this salary cap is Charmin soft. Allocation can be used to pay down salary. The U can deal intl spots, picks, AM, bags of balls, and yet they don’t.

      Interestingly enough, one of the biggest deals we’ve made that way was Leatoux to VAN for a reported near $1M in AM was used to purchase Roger Torres, who is e poster child for unused resources. If you take Nick Sacks comment that AM is just cash, then this represents the worst use of resources since JDG put pen to paper…

  3. Great One says:

    Tonight’s Lineup:
    Macmath
    Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis
    Cruz, Carrol, Daniel, Marfan
    Macinerney, Letoux
    2-0 Columbus over the Union, nothing changes…
    .
    Hackworth, who is so against change this year, will absolutely not make any changes in a huge game like this. He may however make the changes against Reading Friday.
    .
    I’d love to see us come out on the offensive tonight and try to put Columbus on their heels, which in turn will help protect the defense. 4-3-3
    Macmath
    Marfan, Williams, Parke, Gaddis
    Cruz, Okugo, Fernandes
    Hoppenot, Casey, Macinerney
    I know this is a pretty radical change of things, and people will call me stupid, but hey what we are doing now isn’t working and I want to see something different. The biggest things here that people will argue are Marfan on Def, Fernandes and Hoppenot starting. Hopefully we would be bale to get out to a lead and in the second half could bring on Carroll for Hoppenot and Le toux for Casey, and switch back to the 4-4-2 and also have Le Toux’s work rate in there to close out the game.
    .
    Maybe I’m crazy, but just some thoughts.

  4. The Real Brian says:

    Meanwhile, FC Dallas has won their youth division from the U-18, U-16, U-15, U-14 and U-13 levels. They have players coming through their system. And the Union have signed three HGP and sent them packing. If I was Hackworth, I would call up Cristian Hernandez and get him some games. He has been playing well out in H-burg. Reward him.
    Where are we with the next Home Grown player? If we are going to move forward with youth development, it has been strangely quiet on that front. We get 3 per year to sign, and the Union should be looking for a couple of kids to move up the ranks. Darius Madison, Cristiano Francois and Zac Steffen being the likely targets, but there are some defensive Academy players that could be moved up as well.
    I personally think Hackworth has no clue.

  5. -nickt.- says:

    can we declare a moratorium on using/publishing the phrase “philly tough” unless it’s to mock the union’s shitty PR?

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Sure you can, it’s real easy to start a blog on WordPress, you can even do it for free. Hiyo!

    • Problem with philly tough is that its fantastic for sports like hockey or football where being tough and hard nosed and violent is a good thing and in no way impacts your ability to be a good player in that sport.
      In soccer its totally different. skill and technique are more important and 9 times out of ten its very hard to have soccer skills while maintaining that toughness. look at the dredge our NT has been churning out for forever. look at players like danny cruz.
      if sak really thinks we want philly tough than thats an insult to our soccer intelligence.

    • There is nothing quite like marketing Philly Tough to a bunch of people terrified of being in Chester.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Someone needs to collect Sieve’s best one-liners and turn them into a column for PSP.

        In fact, we need to collect the best one-liners from all commenters on PSP and turn them into a column. Of course, we now have over 20,000 comments on this site, so we’ll be … uh … looking for volunteers for this wonderful task. 🙂

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