Photo: Earl Gardner
John Hackworth said after the 1-1 draw in DC, “I’m really proud of the team in the second half. They came out and did everything possible to salvage a point. But at the same time, I’m a little disappointed on the whole performance. I like to look at our performance. When we perform well, I’m OK, but that was not a good performance by the Union tonight.”
Hackworth said of Jack McInerney’s goal, “I’m really happy for Jack. For him to come off the bench and get a goal, to get the monkey off his back—an important, a really important point for us on the road. It’s great for Jack.”
McInerney said of the goal, “Amobi was going up with, I think, [Daniel] Woolard and I screamed ‘Leave it’ – and half the time they don’t do it but, thank goodness, he listened.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game on the road in Montreal, Hackworth said, “The thing right now—that game is going to be huge. Going into this game, we controlled out own destiny a little bit, and if the results keep going the way they are right now, we don’t control our destiny and that’s disappointing.”
What kind of changes might be expected? McInerney said, “I don’t know if we really need to make any changes. We’ve won two games and a tie. Those are good results, and especially where we’ve been and the injuries we’ve had and the situations people have been put in. I think today was a decent result. A win would have been better, but we just need to keep battling and doing what we’ve been doing lately, and the results are coming.” I’m hoping Jack was just too modest to say that one change that would be good would be for him to start.
Brian Carroll said, “We’ll probably need at least one win out of the last two to have an opportunity [to advance to the playoffs]. But things are tight and we have to do everything we possibly can to find a way to get on to the next stage of the season. I have confidence in the group that we have that we can go out there and find a way.”
Carroll said of playing his 300th MLS game, “It’s cool. I like the fact that I’ve been able to accomplish it, but a win would have been nicer.” Yep.
As was plain to see, if DC United could finish, they would have put the game to bed well before McInerney’s equalizer. United coach Ben Olsen said, “We’ve seen this before. You’ve got to go get the second goal and be classy enough to have the composure with the final ball to finish off games.”
Match recaps from PSP, PhiladelphiaUnion.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, Delco Times, Delaware Online, Philly Soccer News (1), Philly Soccer News (2), Brotherly Game, Washington Post, Black and Red United, MLSsoccer.com, SBI, Goal.com, The Sports Network, Sports Mole, UPI, and The AP. Also, CSN Philly and Goal.com on McInerney ending his 133-day goal drought and The Delco Times on the hope that McInerney can continue to score. Goal.com also has a post on how the Union weren’t celebrating the last-gasp draw.
Starting with McInerney finally scoring again, Pro SoccerTalk continues,
Bigger picture, the game wasn’t a great postseason audition for Philadelphia. In their defense, the Union came in short-handed, a situation that got worse when Sebastian Le Toux, pressed into service at right back, had to leave with a plantar fascia problem. Still, D.C. United is a terrible team, and although DeLeon’s long-range strike was a shot-in-the-dark, you’d think a playoff-caliber team would have enough to overcome that setback.
But that’s the big question about Philadelphia: Are they really what we think of when we say playoff-caliber team? When you see a team dependent on Conor Casey — one that seems to rely on their opponent’s mistakes rather than an ability to win games on their own — it’s hard to see Philadelphia as threat. Tonight’s game at RFK illustrated that. If Philadelphia can’t do more to distance themselves from a team with only three wins, are they going to be more dangerous in the postseason than New England or Chicago?
With Saturday’s draw seeing the Union once again below the line to make the playoffs, the odds makers would seem to share PST’s doubts. SportsClubStats.com now has the Union’s playoff chances at 33.7 percent, down from 65.8 percent after the win over Toronto.
Just how damaging Saturday’s result was to the Union’s playoff hopes is evident from a look at the results involving other Eastern Conference contenders. Fourth place Montreal (46 points) continues to struggle, losing 1-0 at home to seventh place New England (45 points), their third home loss in a row in a five-game winless streak. The 1-1 draw against last place DC (16 points) sees the Union (46 points) in sixth place. The draw was also enough for Kansas City to clinch a playoff spot. Chicago’s 3-2 road win over Dallas moves them into fifth place on 46 points. In other words, had the Union gotten the full three points against an opponent they should have defeated, they would be in fourth place behind Houston.
Despite being level with Chicago — and Montreal — on points, the Union are in sixth place because their 12 wins are one less than Chicago’s 13. Montreal also has the same number of wins as Chicago but also has played one less game than both Chicago and Philadelphia. The competition rules and regulations page on the MLS website says, “When two or more teams are tied in the standings on points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), the following tiebreakers will be used in the sequence below, until one team ranks ahead of the other(s):
- Most Wins
- Goals For (See column labeled GF on www.MLSsoccer.com/standings page)
- Goal Differential (GD)
- Fewest Disciplinary Points
- Road Goals
- Road Goal Differential
- Home Goals
- Home Goal Differential
- Coin Toss (2 teams) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)”
Montreal’s road game against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday is now bigger than ever for the Union. With next Saturday’s evening fixtures including New England hosting Columbus, and Chicago hosting Toronto, the Union will likely need more than a point when they face Montreal on Saturday afternoon. Past history isn’t encouraging as the Union are 0-2-0 in Montreal, being outscored seven goals to three. Of course, until two weeks ago, the Union were winless in Kansas City, being outscored two goals to five for a 0-2-1 record.
From Friday afternoon, The 700 Level’s Steve Moore breaks down Ray Gaddis’ defending of Toronto’s Robert Earnshaw during that 87th minute breakaway.
Willingboro, NJ native and Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Friday, along with Joe-Max Moore.
The start of Atlantic 10 play did not go well for the struggling St. Joe’s men’s team. On Friday they fell 2-0 at home to St. Bonaventure before falling 3-0 at home to Duquesne on Sunday. The women’s team had a better weekend, defeating George Washington 2-0 away on Sunday.
The University of Pennsylvania men’s team drew 0-0 at Columbia on Saturday. The women’s team fared better, defeating Columbia 1-0 and are now on a four-game unbeaten streak that includes three wins in a row.
The University of Delaware men’s team defeated Charleston 1-0 on Sunday and are now undefeated in the last seven games. The women’s team drew 1-1 with Hofstra on Friday before defeating Northeastern 2-0 on Sunday.
At the New York Daily News, Frank Isola reports that, according to “a league source,” MLS is “inching closer to adopting a European-like schedule that could be implemented by the start of the 2014 season.” The report continues, “The plan, which has the full support of FIFA, the sport’s governing body, would have the MLS season begin play in either late July or early August and include a six- to eight-week winter break. The championship would either be played in late May or early June.”
Characterizing the report as “rumors,” MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courteman tweeted that the timing of the 2014 season “will be very similar to the current season.”
Sunday’s 1-0 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders saw the Portland Timbers claim the top spot in the Western Conference. Seattle, third in the Western Conference and now on a three-game losing streak and winless in five games, can still clinch a playoff spot with a win in either of their final two games.
New England’s Saer Sane suffered a dislocated ankle and broken tibia in the 18th minute of the Revolutions 1-0 win over Montreal.
The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns have endorsed the same-sex marriage initiative in Oregon. The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes reports, “Officials from Oregon United for Marriage say this marks the first time that any major professional sports team has supported a ballot measure to legalize gay marriage.”
This just in from the Department of Hmm, Red Bull is reportedly interested in adding a Premier League team to their portfolio of clubs, which, in addition to New York, currently includes teams in Austria, Germany, Brazil, and Ghana.
It took a little longer than most of us would have liked to get the scoring started, but the USMNT defeated Jamaica 2-0 on Friday in their last home game of the 2014 World Cup qualification cycle. Match recaps from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Goal.com, SBI, Kansas City Star, Empire of Soccer, Reuters, The AP, plus this postgame quote sheet.
At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle on the message Jurgen Klinsmann way conveying — “a short, sharp shock” — to Landon Donovan when he was subbed out of the game at the start of the second half.
ASN’s Jon Arnold on how the US subs provided the jolt the team needed after a underwhelming first half.
ProSoccerTalk explains the oddly early start time for Friday’s game. It’s all about TV scheduling and ESPN now having a Friday night prime time college football package.
With the victory, the US claimed the top spot in the Hexagonal for the third straight cycle. They also were undefeated and allowed no goals during their home games in the campaign.
Several changes have been made to the USMNT roster ahead of Tuesday’s last Hexagonal game in Panama. The press release said, “Landon Donovan (ankle) and Jermaine Jones (knee) have been released due to injury concerns. Matt Besler and Tim Howard have also departed as part of a planned rotation of players.” Sean Johnson joins the team for Howard. What do you think, will Donovan be fit enough to appear for the Galaxy when they host Montreal on Wednesday?
Look for our preview of Tuesday’s game in Panama later this morning.
The final USMNT game of 2013 will be played in Vienna against Austria on Nov. 19, marking the first tie the two teams have met since 1998. On Nov. 15, the US faces Scotland in Glasgow.
Fox Soccer notes a milestone for the American Outlaws supporters group, which was founded in 2007. On Thursday night, they announced their 100th chapter.
Noting the atmosphere at the game in Kansas City, the San Francisco Chronicle concludes, “Toto, we are not in a soccer apathetic country anymore.”
Fox has signed a five-year deal to broadcast the Bundesliga. Unfortunately, the deal doesn’t kick in until the 2015-16 season because the largely unavailable GolTV has the broadcast rights until then.
Remember when Mexico was supposed to be the king of CONCACAF?
Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup with a dramatic come-back draw against Chile in which they were down 3-0 before finishing the game at 3-3. Carlos Valdes, on loan from the Union to Santa Fe so that the defender could better prepare for playing for the Colombian national team, did not feature in the match. With Colombia now qualified, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that Valdes won’t feature in the 2014 Philadelphia Union either.
Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland also qualified for the World Cup in Friday’s games.
Did Cristiano Ronaldo intentionally get himself a yellow card during stoppage time in Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Israel so he could skip Tuesday’s game against Luxembourg?
From Patrick Johnson at Reuters, a look at how “Syria’s national football team are hoping continued success on the pitch can give their compatriots small reason to cheer.”
FIFA has announced that tickets for the U-17 World Cup that begins this week in the UAE will be available for free. ProSoccerTalk considers if this is a cautionary tale about the risks of staging a major international tournament in the Middle East of a reflection of the fact that future stars don’t have the same drawing power as actual stars.