Daily news roundups

Weekly honors, Union U-18 coach on new academy, USA friendly, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Conor Casey and Sheanon Williams have been named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Sebastien Le Toux received an honorable mention.

Casey, Le Toux, and Williams all make SI’s Team of the Week.

Williams makes SBI’s Team of the Week with Casey and Le Toux receiving honorable mentions.

Vote Sheanon Williams for Save of the Week!

Casey is No. 1, and Zac MacMath No. 5, in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 Performers rankings. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 5), Casey (No. 10), Le Toux (No. 35), Zac MacMath (No. 38), and Amobi Okugo (No. 43).

More power rankings! MLSsoccer.com keeps the Union at No. 12. SI bumps the Union up two spots to No. 8. Soccer America moves them one spot to No. 7.

Dave Zeitlin wonders if a battle for who starts at left back—Raymon Gaddis or Fabinho—is brewing. While John Hackworth acknowledges the coaching staff “will have some difficult choices,” at the least we know that Fabinho is comfortable. Okugo says of the Brazilian, “He’s a great player. We all welcomed him with open arms. When he came in, he wasn’t shy or anything. And you can see that with his play. He doesn’t try to play safe like he’s nervous. He came in and bombed down the left.”

At the 700 Level, Le Toux is called the perfect MLS player. In case you missed it, check out our look at how Seba got his groove back.

At SI, Avi Creditor writes of Jack McInerney’s goal drought, “Slumps happen, and McInerney is too talented of a finisher for this streak to last much longer. Chalk it up to the growing pains of a 20-year-old who has raised the bar for himself so high that when he fails to meet those lofty expectations it makes for a noteworthy development.”

Michael Lewis reports at Big Apple Soccer that Thierry Henry (Achilles) and Tim Cahill (knee) are expected to start for New York against the Union this Saturday.

The Brotherly Game has a Union stat update with ten games remaining in the regular season.

Uh, where's the snake? Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union.

Where’s the snake? Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union.

The Union and the Phillies are doing some cross promoting. For $150, you can get four sideline seats to the Union’s game against Montreal on Aug. 31 and four Union-Phillies themed scarves. John Hackworth will throw out the first pitch when the Phillies host the Nationals on Sept. 4. If you already have tickets to the Montreal game, Jonathan Tannenwald reports that a limited number of the scarves will be available for purchase.

Kerith Gabriel has a Q&A with Union Academy U-18 coach Peter Fuller, whose last job was coaching the New England Revolution reserves. Fuller says of the new academy program,

This is a new venture, we are going to take our bumps and bruises. There are going to be people that aren’t going to understand what we are trying to do, don’t want to understand what we are trying to do, completely disagree with what we are doing but we have to stay the course. We are doing a little bit of pioneer work here, but we have got phenomenal ownership, we have a phenomenal first team manager [in Union’s John Hackworth] who really, really cut his teeth in the youth game and honestly cares about what we are doing and where we are going and that ultimately one day we are producing that player that can come through to play at PPL Park.

Chris Konopka has been named a Daily News Sexy Single. According to Molly Eichel’s report at Philly.com, “My sources tell me Konopka just started dating media personality Maria Papadakis, who hosts videos on Philly.com and just began a new series over at CSN Philly.” Eichel continues, “I hear they’ll make their public debut as a couple at Cole and Heidi Hamels’ fourth-annual Diamonds and Denim charity event tomorrow, benefiting education here in Philly and in the African nation of Malawi.” The Philly Post reported in June that Papadakis was getting divorced after less than eight month of marriage.

Local

For the fourth week in a row, Lucky Mkosana has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week after scoring his second hat trick of the season in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Tampa Bay. Receiving honorable mentions were Union loanees Don Anding and Cristhian Hernandez.

More on the City Islanders’ hopes for a new stadium from wgal.com.

Ocean City Nor’easters have a review of their very memorable 2013 season.

Out in Western PA, vandals tore up the Crawford County Youth Soccer Association’s fields before setting fire to a garage and storage building nest to the fields.

MLS

ProSoccerTalk has a list of the Top Five overpaid MLS players. Somehow (and the explanation in the comment section is rather weak), Kleberson is not on the list.

Jermaine Jones, whose contract with Schalke is up next summer, says he could see himself playing in MLS.

Charlie Davies says his return on loan to MLS was “a no-brainer.” The New England native could debut for the Revolution as soon as this weekend.

ProSoccerTalk predicts Landon Donovan will top the league’s all-time goalscorers’ list before the end of the season. He needs only five goals to surpass Jeff unningham’s total of 134.

Robbie Rogers says he does not support calls for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics in Russia that have risen following the implementation of new anti-gay laws in that country. A member of the US team that competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Rogers says, “I couldn’t imagine supporting a boycott of the Sochi Olympics that would deny any fellow athletes the opportunity to do what I did then: to compete against the world’s best, to fulfill the dream of a lifetime, to set an example for the world, to make our friends, families, and country proud of our accomplishments. I also couldn’t imagine telling an athlete not to boycott if that’s what he or she thinks is best.”

Florida’s Seminole County is considering contributing $2 million to the construction of a new downtown soccer stadium in neighboring Orange County’s Orlando if the city receives an MLS franchise. The money would be released in yearly $200,000 increments if Orlando City SC is able to meet performance standards based on increased hotel revenue.

In more Florida news, IMG and the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau are looking to land more preseason games.

US

The USMNT plays Bosnia and Herzegovina today in a friend (2:30pm, ESPN2, Watch ESPN, UniMas). Previews from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, and SI.

Jurgen Klinsmann says, “What we expect from the game is we want to kind of keep the tempo keep the rhythm with Bosnia. We want to play eye-to-eye. We want to see how our players play in an environment like this. We also have a few young players that might get an opportunity to get introduced to the senior level.”

Klinsmann said of Clint Dempsey’s move to MLS, “[W]e all hope that, by going back to MLS, his own level is not dropping because he is going from the Premier League, one of the best in the world, into a league which is trying to improve every year. It is improving, but it is not the same level and he knows that. [Clint’s] job will be to keep his level the highest possible. My job is to help push him to that level and when I am not happy to tell him to his face.”

Klinsmann said of Landon Donovan, “For Landon, there’s a huge probability that he will be part of the roster for those games. He’s at the forefront of my thinking after the Gold Cup and if he continues to do well with his club team he should be there.

Sacha Kljestan discusses his Bosnian heritage.

One of those young players Klinsmann referred to is Aron Johansson. On Tuesday, US Soccer announced that FIFA has approved Johansson’s one-time change of association from Iceland to play for the USMNT.

The US Soccer website has a Q&A with the 21-year-old striker who spent the first three years of his life growing up in Alabama before his family returned to Iceland. Johansson later spent a year as a resident at the the IMG Academy in Brandenton, Fla.

Deadspin reprints Luke O’Brien’s Howler Magazine article on Michael Bradley, “America’s most important soccer player.”

US Soccer announced on Tuesday that Peter Vermes and Joe-Max Moore will be inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame in a ceremony at Kansas City’s Sporting Park on Oct. 11.

Of course, the National Soccer Hall of Fame hasn’t had a physical location that fans and researchers can visit since the original Oneota location closed in 2009. As this excellent article from Indy Week’s Neil Morris describes, the archives of the Hall of Fame—an invaluable and largely uncatalogued collection—currently resides in a warehouse in Hiilsborough, North Carolina.

Hope Solo says Tom Sermanni is a better communicator than former USWNT coach Pia Sundhage. She also says, “I think people have different definitions of team unity. My definition is doing whatever it takes to win, what makes a great team, it’s performance on the field, respect on the field. Unity doesn’t mean that we as women go to the movies and go shopping together.”

The Wall Street Journal looks at the change in expectations for international friendlies in the US from mere barnstorming moneymakers to more sophisticated—and lucrative—examples of modern sports marketing.

Soccer America takes a look at the new ESPN FC show.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “Ukraine’s Metalist Kharkiv, due to play Schalke 04 in the Champions League playoff round later this month, have been kicked out of the competition, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Wednesday.” The ban stems from a match-fixing scandal from 2008. More from Reuters on the logistical nightmare the expulsion could create in terms of the Champions League schedule.

In more UEFA news, Goal.com reports, “UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has warned clubs that they must adapt to Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules or face sanctions.”

3 Comments

  1. Hackworth “we will have some difficult decisions” = “Keon, Cruz and Gaddis will all start again”

  2. So it’s come to this: Gossip/WAGs in the PSP Daily News roundup. Should we look forward to more of this kind of coverage in the future?

  3. The Real Brian says:

    Poor Iceland with Aron Johansson.

    Go suck on some some Icicles. He’s ours now, bitches! AZ in the house! Alabama and Florida trained. Love it. Juergen is the man.

    Can’t wait to see Brooks. Team is getting deep.

    Speaking of which, the Union should try to bring in Morales and another young German player, like Joe Gyua (played at FC Delco) on loan next year. Show some gumption, Union FO!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*