Photo: Nicolae Stoian
The Union has been named SBI’s Team of the Week. Finally.
Some Union fans have been critical of John Hackworth repeatedly referring to the effect referee decisions had on the outcome of games during the thankfully ended five-game winless streak. After the Union win in Kansas City on Friday, Sporting head coach Peter Vermes had plenty to say about what he viewed as the referee’s failure to deal with the Union’s match-slowing gamesmanship. Lamenting, “I don’t understand why [the media doesn’t] write about it,” Vermes continued,
“How long did [Philadelphia] take on every set piece? How long did they take on every situation? I thought we were playing [Nicaraguan side] Real Esteli at the end of the game here, with everybody going down. How many guys are going to lay down on the ground? At some point, the referee has to step in and take care of that. And I don’t understand that. Every time they come into this building with a full stadium, it doesn’t get take care of.
“If you look at our road record, why is it so good? Why is it one of the best in the league? It’s a simple equation. The other teams are playing at home. They have to play. Because if they don’t, their fans are going to boo them. So we go to play at those places, and we do, and when those teams want to play, I’ll stack us up against anybody. It’s when they come here, it’s different. I don’t have a problem with teams that sit in, do whatever they do in terms of tactics. That’s the game. But it’s the slowness of the game that can be managed by the referee crew.
“Players adapt very quickly and so do teams. The second that the players understand that the referees don’t want you touching the ball, because you’re going to [issue] a yellow card, they will stop. They know. But if they know they get away with it, they keep doing it.
“When we’re trying to put an entertainment value to the game, and to our fans and all across the league, they have a major responsibility in how that game is perceived by the fans – meaning the referee crew. And it’s unfortunate that week in, week out – and I bring this up week in and week out – it’s not managed across the board.”
Not satisfied with Sheanon Williams receiving a yellow card and five minutes of stoppage time, Vermes said Michael Farfan should have also been given a yellow card in the first half for kicking away the ball before a KC free kick. The Real Esteli comparison is pretty hilarious.
At the Guardian, Graham Parker writes that Kansas City “were caught by the similar type of bunkered countering that had seen New York pull off a surprise victory at Sporting Park in August – a sign that Sporting have still not worked out how to play against the rope-a-dope tactics Houston Dynamo have famously beaten them with in the last two season’s playoffs.”
In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin looks ahead to Saturday’s game against Toronto and says, “If they can’t beat one of the league’s worst teams at home (especially after beating one of the league’s best teams on the road), it will show they’re not truly a playoff team.”
Zeitlin also points to the injury that prevented Keon Daniel from traveling to Kansas City, and the injuries that saw Danny Cruz and Sheanon Williams leave the game prematurely, and writes, “If all three of those guys can’t go [on Saturday against Toronto], how Hackworth configures the lineup could be interesting.”
Predictz.com forecasts a Union 1-0 win over Toronto.
More on Zac MacMath’s outstanding performance on the Union website.
At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep has the Union pegged to win the fifth Eastern Conference playoff spot.
At Penn Live.com, Michael Bullock checks in with Mechanicsburg’s Bobby Warshaw who, as you will remember from a recent Philadelphian’s Abroad post, has been doing quite well with Angelholms FF in Sweden’s second division after going on loan from FC Dallas on Aug. 13.
Lancaster’s Zarek Valentin, on loan from Montreal, was named Man of the Match as Glimt gained promotion to Norway’s top flight with a 1-0 win over SK Vard Haugesund.
After scoring goals in Drexel’s wins over Rutgers and William & Mary to help the team extend its winning streak to five games, senior midfielder Ken Tribett — a name that will be familiar to Ocean City Nor’easters fans — was awarded a triple of weekly honors, being named the Philly Soccer Six and CAA Player of the Week, and was also named to CollegeSoccerNews.com’ National Team of the Week.
If you’re out Princeton way this evening, the La Salle women’s team is playing the Tigers at 7 pm.
Several area players have been selected for the US boys’ U-14 national team camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. that started on Sept. 28 and runs through Oct. 6. They are goalkeeper Hunter Pinho (PDA; Cranford, N.J.); midfielders Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, N.J.) and Seth Kuhn (PA Classics; Wyomissing, Pa.); and forward Nykolas Sessock (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Pa.).
At Delaware Online, Kevin Tesolini has an interesting look at the rebranding efforts of the Delaware Union youth soccer club (which is not affiliated with the Philadelphia Union) that gives a sense of how competitive the youth soccer market is when it comes to attracting players.
At the Brotherly Game, Heather Reppert has “Diary of a Bearfight FC wife.”
Real Salt Lake hosts DC United tonight in the US Open Cup final (9 pm, GolTV).
- The Cup.us and The Washington Post have primers.
- MLSsoccer.com has a general preview of the game and previews from a Real Salt Lake and DC United perspective.
- Soccer America has a preview, as does ProSoccerTalk.
- Al Jazeera America has a nice overview of the tournament and its place in the American soccer landscape.
- The Salt Lake Tribune says RSL wants to win the Cup to be assured of a CONCACAF Champions League spot.
- The Washington Post on how DC United wants to “pull a Wigan” to put a cap on an otherwise terrible season.
- ProSoccerTalk considers where a DC win would rank in the history of Open Cup final upsets.
- The Canadian Press reports that MLS has no problem with DC United fielding a weakened side against Toronto over the weekend in anticipation of the Open Cup final.
You will recall the mini flap that resulted when Toronto coach Ryan Nielsen referred to Maximiliano Urutti, now with Portland, as a “league designated player.” Well, former senior director of player relations and competition at MLS and new Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko explains that league funds exist “that help teams with resources to acquire players, including DPs.” He continues,
“Now there’s no such thing as a league DP. What he (Nelsen) is referring to is that sort of subsidy. But that’s not unlike a lot of other players in the league…
“There’s no such thing as the league going finding players and saying ‘Here, this is your guy, this is a league DP and you have to play them.’ That does not exist.
“Now what he’s referring to is just sort of the subsidy and then the involvement from the league office to acquire him and help acquire him was higher with these players.”
Nice to see that special funds exist to help “teams with resources.”
Orlando City SC has announced the dates for votes from the City of Orlando (Oct. 7) and Orange County Commissioners (Oct. 22) for the proposed new downtown stadium.
An Australian architectural firm released renderings of a proposed stadium design but pulled them from their website after Orlando City disavowed them, saying the club has not yet decided on an firm to design the stadium.
According to the Daily Mail, David Beckham is close to sealing the deal to become owner of an MLS franchise in Miami.
Jermain Jones has rubbished reports that he will be undergoing meniscus surgery this week. Jones tells USSoccer.com, “I have had some minor issues with my knee for a while, and the plan is to take care of it during the winter break. Playing is obviously no problem. I will be in the team this weekend for the game against Augsburg and I’m ready to go for the National Team if I get called in.”
At Goal.com, Seth Vertelney on five US players who haven’t figured in World Cup qualification but could be primed for a breakthrough. Freddy Adu isn’t one of them.
At SI, Grant Wahl reports that the word is that the USMNT is likely to play Austria in a friendly on Nov. 19, four days after they face Scotland. He also reports that the US will split it’s January camp between Carson City and Sao Paolo. The teaser for an upcoming story on a French coach who has been stuck in Qatar at the bottom of the article is tantalizing.
“Qatar-strophic. Qatar-clysm.” The AP on the possible disruption to the world football calendar that could result if FIFA votes to move the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter. A decision could come as early as Friday.
Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Champions League matches.