Daily news roundups

US beats Costa Rica, Jack impresses, Casey excited, more

US

Costa Rica may have said before the game that they wanted to play attacking soccer against the US in the final Group C game at the Gold Cup, but counterattacking soccer from a well-organized defensive shape is what happened.

Landon Donovan, who delivered a brilliant first time ball for Brek Shea to finish for the lone goal of the match, was amused. “It’s like Groundhog Day with these teams. They all just want to play defense for 90 minutes. Costa Rica is a lot better at it than Belize or Cuba are. It was a little peculiar considering they had to win the game to win the group. It was strange that they wanted to play that way, but I think it showed how they feel about us. In the end, it was nice to win the game. It would have been pretty unjust had we only tied the game.”

Jurgen Klinsmann said, “That shows a lot of respect for us. As we told the players, ‘Guys, they’re making it very compact. They’re going to sit deep. They want to counter and break us.’ They had opportunities to do that. They have quality players who can always hurt you in a specific moment, but they’re coming out of a very defensive-minded shape.”

Klinsmann explained, “We could have taken it easy and said, ‘We are first anyway in the group, and a tie is fine.’ But a tie is not fine with us. The team pushed, they grinded until the last minute and deserved the goal—a beautiful combination there. We’re obviously happy. First place, nine points and you can see there is a chemistry developing that’s fun to watch.”

Match reports and recaps from PSP, US Soccer, CONCACAF, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SI, ASN, Soccer America, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, Goal.com, Costa Rica Star, Philly Soccer News, Stars and Stripes FC, The Sports Network, and The AP. Postgame quote sheet here.

Player ratings from  MLSsoccer.com, ASN, and Goal.com.

Donovan had this interesting observation, “In the past, we couldn’t have put together three games where we consistently picked apart teams like that and now we’re able to do it. We’re developing better players [and they] are playing in environments where they have to be better on the ball. Obviously the Mexican league influence helps a lot because it’s such a technical league.”

At SI, Brian Straus writes, “Klinsmann’s team is balanced, flexible and in good shape heading into Sunday’s quarterfinal against El Salvador.” ASN looks at the remarkable chemistry on the US Gold Cup squad.

Nevertheless, Klinsmann told reporters after the game that he will take advantage of the Gold Cup rule allowing him to make new callups for four roster changes. “I’m in contact with the clubs already but you’ve got to give me just a couple more hours until tomorrow because I want to first talk, obviously, to the players. But we’re going to make some changes.”

Could this mean an early return for Jack McInerney? An All-Star Game callup? We shall see. Whatever happens, Union fans will be warmed by this tweet from SBI on Tuesday night:

Philadelphia Union

Conor Casey has been named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Sebastien Le Toux received an honorable mention. Casey and Le Toux received honorable mentions in this week’s Best XI at SBI.

At The Delco Times, Matthew De George profiles Conor Casey and the amazing season he’s having with the Union (7 goals, 4 assists), one that began with some skepticism over whether he could remain fit enough to make an impact. Casey said, “It’s been all positive, and I’m really excited. It’s been better than I expected being here, and I’m just enjoying it: Enjoying playing, enjoying coming in and loving the atmosphere…It’s what I hoped for. First and foremost is to get fit, and you hope that once you’re fit, you can get the soccer part back. I’ve been pleased with how the season’s gone and how we’ve done as a team, and I just want to keep scoring and continuing to help the team.”

As The 700 Level puts it, “Conor Casey’s still got it.”

Michael Farfan comes in at No. 2, and Brian Carroll at No. 14, in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20. The top five Union players in the Full Castrol Index are Jack McInerney (No. 2), Casey (No. 14), Le Toux, (No. 44), Amobi Okugo (No. 58), and Farfan (No. 72).

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up three spots to No. 8. ProSoccerTalk has the Union at No. 6.

On the Union website, Kevin Kinkead breaks down the sequence of events that led to Michael Farfan’s indirect free kick goal against Chivas USA.

A joint summit between the Sons of Ben and the Union front office will take place on Tuesday, July 23, at Chickie & Petes on Oacker Ave. directly following the broadcast of The 90th minute radio show. Sons of Ben members can RSVP here.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders forward Sainey Touray received an honorable mention in the latest USL PRO Team of the Week.

At PennLive.com, Michael Bullock talks to Jason Pelletier about being named to Harrisburg’s 10th anniversary all-decade team.

Bullock notes that Touray is questionable for this weekend’s trip to Florida to play VSI Tampa Bay and Orlando City. Tom Brandt (hamstring) and Damani RIchards (abdominal surgery) have returned to practicing with the club

Several Reading United players have been named preseason All-Americans by College Soccer News. Steve Neumann received first team honors, Pedro Ribiero second team honors, and Larry Ndjock and Ben Sweat third team honors.

The Penn men’s and women’s teams have released their 2013 schedules.

MLS

His international transfer certificate having arrived, Carlos Bocanegra is eligible to take the field tonight as Cvivas USA hosts Toronto.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jeff Bradley, with some help from Elias Sports Bureau, reminds everyone that it is not at all unusual for four players to be challenging for the Golden Boot at this part of the season, nor is it unusual for a player to come out of nowhere to win the honor.

Jose Mourinho says he convinced Frank Lampard not to make a move to MLS. “I was telling him, the way I know you—don’t go to American soccer. You are a player who needs to compete every week at the highest level, you are a player that needs to be in real competition. If you go to the States, it’s a fantastic country, football is coming up and you would be very important there. But if you go there you will not enjoy your life, and you have years to enjoy your life as a player.”

Chicago Fire have opened up the design of their 2014 third kit to the public. That certainly didn’t turn out so well for LA Galaxy.

Orlando Sentinel, myfoxorlando.com, clickorlando.com on Tuesday’s protests against public funding of a new soccer stadium in Orlando.

More on the as yet unnamed USL PRO team in Oklahoma City’s plans to build a soccer specific stadium with the aim of eventually joining MLS.

NWSL

For the second time this season, former Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc has been named NWSL Player of the Week. The Canadian international made five saves in Portland’s 1-1 draw with Western New York on Sunday including saving Abby Wambach’s 84th-minute penalty kick, her second consecutive penalty-save.

Elsewhere

Cuba needed to defeat Belize by four goals in order to advance to the Gold Cup quarterfinals. Undaunted when a fourth goal was wrongly waved off in stoppage time for offsides, Jenier Márquez responded with another goal to book Cuba’s passage to the knockout round with a 4-0 victory.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his hope that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be moved to the winter. Blatter said, “If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer. You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country…there is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee.”

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