Daily news roundups

“We let ourselves down” – Reaction to Montreal loss, MLS playoff picture, USWNT win, more

Photo: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth said after the 2-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday, “If we are still mathematically alive next weekend, we will put everything we have into it. We will put everything we have into it, no matter what. But tonight, especially in the second half, was our opportunity. And we let ourselves down.”

I know it is hard, but say it with me Union fans: Thanks to the New York Red Bulls 3-0 win over Houston on Sunday, the Union’s playoff hopes are still alive.

Barely. They will need to defeat Kansas City — who will be looking for a win of their own in the hopes of claiming the Supporters Shield, no to mention avenge the 1-0 loss at home against the Union a few weeks ago — this Saturday and will also need New England to lose to Columbus and Houston lose to DC on Sunday. SportsClubStats.com puts their chances of reaching the playoffs at 8.7 percent, down from 65.8 percent after the win over Toronto two weeks ago.

The Union started brightly against the Impact with a strong first half, going into the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Fabinho. In the second half, things soon went south and they were fortunate to concede only two goals on their way to an extremely disappointing 2-1 loss.

Hackworth said, “I think we played a good first half and got the goal. We had some good opportunities to get two goals and unfortunately we didn’t execute on those opportunities. They came out with a lot of energy in the second half and really pushed the game. Montreal got the equalizer and kept pushing after that and we did not do a good job of dealing with it. This was a playoff game before the playoffs, so both of us had to win tonight and our expectation was for us to come here and get the victory.”

Conor Casey said, “They threw a lot of numbers forward and we had a couple of decent chances but didn’t play well enough to come away with the three points. Not being able to pull away, we let them come back, and they did.”

Zac MacMath said of the Marco DiVaio equalizer, “I saw the shot. He just had way too much time, and he really could pick it out wherever he wanted to. And obviously he did.”

Montreal head coach Marco Schällibaum said of his team’s win, “It sets us free, it’s incredible. The emotions are impressive. I’m drained right now. It was a really tough week. I’m really happy for everyone. We deserved this win, with rage and will power. It’s a great moment.”

Match recaps from PSP, PhiladelphiaUnion.com, The Inquirer, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, ImpactMontreal.com, Montreal Gazette, CTV Montreal, The Canadian Press, Canada.com, MLSsoccer.com, SBI, Goal.com, The Sports Network, UPI, and The AP.

The Brotherly Game has an update on how the Union Academy teams are faring.

Local

The Temple men’s team defeated Memphis 2-1 on Saturday for their first ever American Athletic Conference win. The women’s team fell 2-1 Cincinnati on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Drexel men’s team defeated Delaware 2-1. The women’s team was defeated 1-0 by Delaware on Friday.

An overtime goal gave the Villanova men’s team a 1-0 win over No. 12 Creighton on Saturday. The women’s team was thrashed 5-0 at Seton Hall on Sunday after defeating Creighton 2-0 on Thursday..

The UPenn women’s team edged out Ivy League foe Dartmouth 1-0 on Saturday. The UPenn men trounced Dartmouth 3-0 and have yet to concede a goal in Ivy League play.

On Friday, the La Salle men defeated St. Joe’s 2-0 in Philly Soccer Six play. The La Salle women rolled over St. Joe’s 6-0. The St. Joe’s women bounced back with a 2-1 overtime win against Rhode Island.

MLS

The New York Red Bulls are in first place, both in the Eastern Conference and in the Supporters Shield race, with 56 points after defeating now sixth-in-the-East Houston 3-0 on the road on Sunday. Tim Cahill’s goal in the seventh second was the fastest in league history. Kansas City is in second place with 55 points after defeating last place DC United (16 points), 1-0. Montreal are in third place with 49 points after their 2-1 defeat of the now seventh place Union (46 points). Chicago moved up to fourth place and 49 points by defeating ninth place Toronto (26 points) 1-0 with the help of a weak penalty call to keep their playoff drive in focus. New England moved into fifth place with 48 points after trading goals with eighth place Columbus (41 points) for a 3-2 win that also officially ended the Crew’s playoff hopes.

In the West, Portland, who finished bottom of the conference last season, had already clinched a playoff spot thanks to Seattle’s 2-0 loss to Dallas Saturday afternoon before the point earned by Real Salt Lake in the 0-0 draw with the Timbers on Saturday evening assured RSL a playoff appearance. Seattle are now winless in six games and have lost four in-a-row.

The 0-0 draw between the Galaxy and San Jose was enough for LA and Seattle to claim playoff spots and for the Earthquakes to be effectively eliminated. Vancouver was also eliminated by the 3-2 loss to Colorado. San Jose would have to defeat Vancouver by at least 13 goals to move past the fifth-in-the-West Rapids.

The playoff picture thus looks like this: From the East, New York and Kansas City have clinched; from the West, Portland, Salt Lake, LA, and Seattle have clinched.

Cahill’s goal was widely reported in Australia by outlets such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

It was also reported that Cahill and Houston’s Brad Davis had an altercation in the players’ tunnel at the half. Both players deny things got physical.

Montreal Impact center back Alessandro Nesta says he wants to get into coaching after he retires at the end of the season.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman announced on Friday that he will resign at the end of the season. His team honored his announcement with a 2-0 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders on Saturday in a game that saw Dallas captain David Ferreira and teammate Jackson taking swings at one another at the half. Hyndman yanked Jackson for Blas Pèrez, who went on to score. Hyndman said, “When they came into the locker room, they were still going at each other and I decided to pull [Jackson] out of the lineup. We can never reward bad behavior with professional athletes, or with children.”

Dallas hopes to announce a new coach in five to six weeks.

MLS president Mark Abott is in Orlando today to speak to Orlando County commissioners before Tuesday’s funding vote.

Former New England Revolution general manager Craig Tornberg is the new general manager of Oxford City, which is plays in the Conference North, the sixth tier of England’s soccer pyramid. The Oxford Mail describes Tornberg as a “giant of American football” and New England as “one of America’s biggest football teams.” Ok.

US

The USWNT easily defeated Australia 4-0 in a friendly in San Antonio on Sunday.

Soccer Wire says that, despite the lopsided result, Tom Sermanni is still a ways from finding his starting lineup ahead of the beginning of World Cup qualification.

More on the game from The San Antonio Current, ProSoccerTalk, and The AP.

At Al Jazeera America, Graham Parker has a look at the success of the Portland Thorns and how the NWSL might succeed where previous attempts at a women’s professional league have failed.

Aron Johansson, he scores when he wants to. Twice.

Elsewhere

The draw for the European World Cup qualification playoffs took place today in Zurich today and everyone is talking about the meeting between Zlatan Imbrahimovic’s Sweden and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. ESPN has more on the draw.

Two Spurs supporters have been arrested after a linesman was struck by a flare thrown from the traveling supporters section in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday. Thankfully, the linesman was not injured and was able to finish the match.

16 Comments

  1. If Union win and NE lose, a DC-Houston tie will also be sufficient so long as it is not something stupid like 4:4. Union would end up tied with Houston on points and wins, but would win the Goals For tiebreaker.

    • This is correct, if the following happen, the Union are in and anything can happen in the playoffs, two WC teams were in the finals last year:

      1. Union (Home) win vs SKC
      2. Columbus (Home) win vs NE
      3. DC United (Home) win vs Hou
      or
      DC United tie vs Hou, we would be level on wins, then go to Goals Scored, where we are +2 on Houston, assuming we win 1-0, we would be +3, we would have the next tiebreaker assuming a win and a draw, so the Dynamo would have to tie 4-4 or greater to get the tiebreaker on us in this scenario. If we were to win with two goals scored, then the numbers go up to 5-5, so basically a tie in this game will suffice with a Union win

  2. Exhibit A for Hackworths ineptitude is his sub choices during the year. Hopponet is a very very specific player for a very specific situation.
    But to HAckworth, he is the undisputed first sub off the bench.

  3. If Hackworth’s Aunt had balls, she’d be his uncle.

    The last two months have been filled with comments about this team that start with the word “If”. Real problem is, every single time, the Union failed to do their part. If the U win and XX loses, they would be a point off the Shield. If the U win and XX ties, they’re in the playoffs. If the U win and it rains in Houston and DC scores 9, we’re totally in!!!! It’s on!!! Plan the parade!!! Except, there’s that part where the U have to win. This team, this coach, they don’t do “have to” very well. They “had to” beat DC and were lucky to escape the worst team in the league with a point. They “had to” beat MTL and didn’t. Where exactly is the optimism coming from that they will pull this off?

  4. I think for the next week everything I do will be done with Rage and Power.

  5. So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

  6. Here is an article you might miss. MLS going to a winter schedule from a meteorological point of veiw.

    http://philadelphiaweather.blogspot.com/2013/10/mls-winter-soccer-and-american-viability.html

  7. I don’t know if anyone, even the Hackworth supporters, would argue that the Union did not have enough talent this year to make the playoffs. And I’m talking about even after we unloaded Soumare and Garfan.
    .
    So if we have enough talent, and enough desire, which The Union certainly have, why then are we in the position we are in?
    .
    It comes down to management. While Hackworth has certainly made some good choices, too many just did not work out, and were too short sighted.
    .
    Something needs to be done at the end of the season, which unfortunately is probably this weekend.

    • This team has neither the talent nor the desire.
      Stop kidding yourself.
      Can’t blame the coach when Gaddis, Williams and Carroll did absolutely nothing but allow three Impact players to stroll through their line and easily knock home the winner.

    • Frank Cobbina says:

      Every team has “the talent” to make the playoffs. After all, half the teams in the league qualify. The only clubs who were seen to have no shot of making the postseason in March were Chivas and Toronto FC. But before the season, comparing this roster to other clubs, the majority of people, both local and national, felt this team would fall short.

      “Desire” is something fans in this city often misinterpret. If you give up a late goal, does it mean you don’t care? No, it might mean your team wasn’t good enough to hold the lead, or someone committed a mental error. The only matches where I thought the team literally half-assed it was the US Open Cup matches.

  8. I am more surprised to hear that the Union is in the position of thanking NYRB for keeping them alive. Do we really want to be in the same position as Mexico finds itself, thanking their bigger brother for keeping them in the hunt? And, by the way, as the Union was letting themselves down, they surely let us, their supporters, down as well. I cannot imagine how there could be no emotion as things started turning around in that second half. I think that this was as frustrating a game to watch as any this year, and I am trying to find any hopeful sign that the players are thinking the same way in order to find a win this weekend.

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