Photo: Paul Rudderow
The Philadelphia Union’s postseason hopes all comes down to this. Well, this and some other results from around the league, of course.
John Hackworth said of Saturday’s must-win regular season finale against Kansas City (3 pm, NBCSN), “We know what we have to do.”
For Jeff Parke, Saturday’s game is simple: “It’s all or nothing.”
Sheanon Williams said, “We obviously have to do the things that we do every game and be safe, but obviously, we have to win. We can’t be taking our time and wasting time the whole game. We absolutely need to win and we know that. The only way for us to even think about playoffs is winning the game. We’ll definitely do our best, I guess trying to gamble safely, which sounds stupid, but we can’t throw all caution to the wind and go down two goals. That’s not going to help us. We need to do it smartly.”
Amobi Okugo compared the Union’s situation to that of Colorado before their MLS Cup winning run in 2010. “I feel like if that was us and we were in that same situation, we would do the same thing. I really think we would totally play to the fullest because with our backs against the wall we always play better.”
Look for PSP’s previews of Saturday’s game here and in The Guardian later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our quick reference to review the Union’s series history with Kansas City and these previews from The Inquirer, The Daily News, CSN Philly, DelawareOnline.com, Brotherly Game, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, and Goal.com.
Brian Carroll said of missing Saturday’s game after being suspended for yellow card accumulation, “It’ll be gut-wrenching, one not to be able to be involved in the game in any capacity and knowing that we have to win. Really it’s just tough and it’s gut-wrenching, but I think it’s really hard to go through an entire season playing a certain amount of minutes and being involved in midfield, it’s just hard to go through an entire season and not get in yellow-card trouble. It’s just a part of it. It’s an unfortunate time, but I’ll be hanging with the guys in the box and along with my family and doing everything we can to help get the win.”
The Union will honor Chris Albright, who is retiring at the end of the season, at Saturday’s game.
Of course Conor Casey wants to reach the playoffs, but, even if he and the Union do not, he’s got nothing but good things to say about his time so far in Philly:
“I’ve felt great all season. I had a couple of bumps and bruises early on, but that’s just from playing a lot of seasons. I have felt great and the training staff here has done a great job of keeping me ready to play. I have to give them a lot of credit. I also have to credit my teammates, who have welcomed me with open arms. This is a great group of guys, and I think we have improved steadily the whole season…There is a very bright future here with the guys in this locker room.”
One thing that Casey enjoyed was playing with Jack McInerney. “Jack is a great player with so much skill. I felt like we worked really well together and I’m looking forward to the future.” So say we all.
Speaking of McInerney, if he were an author, who would he be? How about Jack London.
The Courier-Post has a a good read on how four Cape-Atlantic League players find themselves playing together on the nationally ranked Division III Rutgers-Camden men’s team.
The Temple women’s team lost 3-0 on the road to Memphis on Thursday. The team finishes the season on the road on Sunday at Rutgers.
The La Salle women’s team is on the road for two Atlantic 10 matchups this weekend, playing St. Bonaventure today and then facing Duquesne on Sunday. The men’s team is away to No. 24 VCU today and then George Mason on Sunday.
The Archbishop Wood girls’ team defeated Little Flower 1-0 to advance to Sunday’s Catholic League final where they will face Archbishop Ryan at 2 pm.
Harrisburg City Islanders are hosting an open tryout on Sunday at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, PA.
Bakary Soumare says he is no longer has any issues with his knee thanks to getting regular playing time with Chicago. Yeah, I know.
Houston are out of the CONCACAF Champions League after losing 1-0 in Panama to Arabe Unido on Thursday. LA Galaxy had already qualified for the next round before they were thumped 4-0 in El Salvador by Isidro Metapán on Thursday. Metapán’s Nicolás Muñoz scored all four goals — three in a four minute span — before being subbed off in the 80th minute. Former Union forward Chandler Hoffman played 45 second-half minutes but had no attempts on goal.
San Jose, Kansas City, and LA now have quarterfinal matchups against Toluca, Cruz Azul, and Club Tijuana, respectively, three Liga MX sides that also happen to be the top three seeds in the tournament. The quarterfinals are scheduled to begin on March 11, 2014.
New England’s Diego Fagundez, who received permanent resident status earlier this week, says he wants to obtain US citizenship so he can have a shot at the USMNT.
If you are a satellite radio subscriber, SiriusXM FC will have coverage of the MLS playoffs.
Yes, yes, I know it’s about Mike Petke and the Red Bulls, but it’s a good read.
In part 2 of a Q&A at USsoccer.com, Jurgen Klinsmann made clear his thoughts on what MLS players in the USMNT pool need to be doing:
“The situation with the MLS players with the upcoming offseason is a big topic for us from the National Team side because we need them to keep going at least until the beginning of December. If they’re not going on loan to Europe in January, then they are coming into camp with us. Our priorities are set so that the first one is if you get a chance to go on loan to Europe, do it. Compete there with good players overseas. If not, we have to find a solution for the players that maybe lose in the playoffs to keep going until the first weeks of December and then they have a well-deserved, four-week break until the beginning of January.
“It is very crucial for us that the players understand that everything they do now today has an influence on Brazil 2014 next summer. They can’t take it easy. We wish that all of them can make it to the final and win the MLS Cup, but it’s only going to happen to a few of them. So, everybody who is maybe out earlier needs to have a plan in place to bridge that offseason period.”
Is Klinsmann calling up 18-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder Julian Green for November’s friendlies against Scotland and Austria? Bild says yes.
Sunday’s friendly against New Zealand will be the first time the USWNT has played in San Francisco. The game isn’t being televised but USsoccer.com will have a live stream at 6:30 pm.
At ProSoccerTalk, Jeff Kassouf considers the abundance of riches USWNT head coach Tom Sermanni has with his corps of strikers.
Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach are on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2013.
Checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the week’s upcoming live games on TV and online.
UEFA has ordered an investigation into the reported racist chants directed at Manchester City’s Yaya Toure in Wednesday’s Champions League match at CSKA Moscow.
CSKA Moscow released a statement on Thursday quoting CSKA midfielder and fellow Ivorian Seydou Doumbia as saying Toure was over-reacting or exaggerating. Doumbia later posted on Facebook saying he made no such comments.
Echoing comments made by Toure, Piara Powar, executive director of the Fare Network of anti-discrimination organizations, writes in The Guardian that boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia “would be a very powerful response to the racist abuse from CSKA supporters.”
The AP reports, “The Brazil government will investigate whether FIFA’s official accommodation agency was involved in “cartel” practices that may lead to hotel price hikes during the 2014 World Cup.”
Sepp Blatter has called for more World Cup spots for African countries. I guess he really is thinking about running for another term.
The The International Football Association Board has tightened the technical requirements for goal-line technology.
Tim Roth is to play Sepp Blatter in a movie about FIFA? What the…?