Daily news roundups

Union bits, Ribeiro at HCI, more news

Photo: Barb Colligon

Philadelphia Union

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has more on John Hackworth’s comments in Wednesday’s press conference about squad rotation. Hackworth said, “We have options right now. I think that it depends on our opponent and it depends on the tactics that we want to employ in a game. I would suspect that you’re going to see more changes. So if everyone out there wants to see the same 11 week in week out, I don’t think you’re going to see that.”

Brotherly Game looks at the Union’s strength of schedule and how it relates to their playoff chances.

More power rankings? If we must: At ProSoccerTalk, the Union plummet five spots to No. 17 (“I’m still a believer in what John Hackworth has in his squad, but a loss at Montréal shines a light on all the Union’s problems…They’re a few tweaks away, but right now, they’re capable of losing to anyone.”). At SBI, it’s a three-spot drop to No. 16 (“Alarm bells are ringing throughout Philadelphia after the Union stunned their fans with a defeat at Montreal.”).

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel talks to Chris Abright about the Union’s efforts to discover emerging talent from the Philadelphia area. Albright says, “There are a lot of established clubs that have name recognition and in the past, it’s just been easy to pluck kids right from there. What we are trying to do is find the kid that doesn’t have a mechanism to get themselves easily discovered but has that raw talent. We bring them in and subject them to a high level of coaching, a high level of games, decent fields and hope that we can make this player even better…I think [many of these players] aren’t always in environments where they are able to succeed on a regular basis. Those kids are tougher to find and aren’t as obvious, so it’s more important to scan those areas and spend more time there.” Albright says one of the areas the team is focusing on is Northeast Philadelphia, an area with a rich soccer history that most recently has produced players like Bobby Convey, Jim Curtin, and Albright.

Also at the Union website, Gabriel recaps the fine month of April for Union Academy teams.

Local

A Union spokesperson told PSP on Wednesday that Pedro Ribeiro, who is on loan to Harrisburg, has been playing centerback with the City Islanders only to cover for the injured Coady Andrews, and not because any effort is underway to convert him into a defender.

In SBI’s USL PRO power rankings, Harrisburg City Islanders come in at tenth out of 14. “Out of their first four-games, the City Islanders have only played once at home. Credit the fact that they were able to enter last Saturday’s match at Sacramento, a place packed with Republic supporters and were able to leave with three points, that’s something you don’t see in this league very often.”

The University of Delaware men’s team has announced three incoming freshmen, Brett Giuliana (M, Lincoln Park, NJ), Kenny MacArthur (CB, Upper Dublin, Pa.) and Matt Mossbarger (Bridgeport, Conn.).

Daniel Heinze, the former treasurer of the Horsham Soccer Association, is facing charges of “felony theft, receiving stolen property, forgery and other offenses” after allegedly stealing $64,292 from the association.

MLS

Tony Cascio, on loan to Houston from Colorado, is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL.

The opposing sides on the PortMiami location debate for the Beckham MLS franchise met for a public, well, debate on Wednesday. The Miami Herald and CBS Miami have reports.

Business Wire reports that 13 area mayors and vice mayors have registered their opposition to the Beckham plan.

Toronto will host Tottenham on July 23.

US

ESPN announced on Wednesday that all 64 games at the World Cup will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio. A network press release says, “All matches will also be streamed online on ESPNRadio.com and available via the ESPN Radio App. All of ESPN Radio’s FIFA World Cup broadcasts will also be featured on SiriusXM, with 56 of the games airing on SiriusXM Channel 84. In cases where two matches are airing simultaneously, one will air on SiriusXM 84, with the other on SiriusXM 85.” JP Dellacamera will be among the announcers calling games.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL are scheduled to hold a joint press conference today that is widely  expected to announce that the US will be the host of the 2016 Copa America. At ASN, Brian Sciaretta says the US hosting the tournament could be a “game changer.”

US Soccer announced on Wednesday that it will live stream one game from each round of the the upcoming US Open Cup.

Geoff Cameron tells ESPN’s Kevin Palmer that he’s optimistic about the USMNT’s chances at the World Cup. “We might be the underdogs, but we are happy about that. We love playing the role of the underdog.”

Interim USWNT coach Jill Ellis has announced the 23-player roster for the friendly against Canada in Winnipeg on May 8 (8 pm, ESPN3 and espnW.com).

Soccer America continues its series looking at how US Soccer is working for more inclusion of Latino players.

Elsewhere

It will be an all-Madrid Champions League final after Atletico Madrid went down a goal in the 36th minute at Stamford Bridge and roared back to leave the 3-1 winners over Chelsea. The final is on Saturday, May 24.

Atletico coach Diego Simone said after the game, with hands spread wide, “I want to thank the mothers of these players we have at Atlético Madrid because they gave birth to them with balls this big.”

Europa League semifinal play continues today at 3 pm with Juventus vs Benfica (Fox Sports 1, ESPN3, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, SiriusXM FC), and Valencia vs Sevilla (Fox Sports 2, ESPN Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, SiriusXM FC).

UEFA president Michel Platini is pleased with the work being done to combat match-fixing and says working along with governmental bodies is essential. “It is only by working hand in hand with government authorities and law enforcement bodies that we can eradicate this scourge once and for all…The challenges are numerous. Match-fixing is a complex phenomenon, because it doesn’t have a strict format. There are many situations that need to be looked at and it is with initiatives of this type that we are seeking to find some common ground, especially with regards to this collaboration between judicial authorities, who investigate the crimes, and UEFA.”

MLSsoccer.com reports on a Brazilian poll that found that 73 percent of workers in that country will see their work schedules altered so that they can watch the World Cup. And rightly so.

42 Comments

  1. Great One says:

    I understand what they’re saying about Ribeiro, and that HCI wants to win, but I don’t really care. That’s not the purpose of their team for the union. This is a first round draft pick as an attaching forward. He should be growing those parts of his game right now, not playing CB.
    .
    Also, gotta love Diego Simeone

    • EXACTLY! If they don’t use our players properly then we have to end that relationship immediately.

      • Why can’t they just send down Ethan White? or Wheeeler?

        • OneManWolfpack says:

          Literally my thoughts exactly. I don’t understand why Wheeler or White can’t go get better at (what is basically) the minor league club. Is that not some of the point of having an affiliate? What is the point of watching Wheeler fail in MLS and White on the bench not playing week in and week out.
          .
          Next time there is a Hack presser this question must be asked.

          • George H says:

            Agreed and White is not even on the bench at PPL, he’s in the stands.

          • John Ling says:

            Hmmm… I just made a “Devil’s Argument” counter to this, but the server ate the post. Let me try again. I’ll preface this by saying I agree with you – I’d rather see Pedro on the bench and serving as a late-game sub with Wheeler learning on-the-job with Harrisburg.
            .
            If I recall, the Union can only loan four players to Harrisburg. If you assume Marquez, Hernandez, and McLaughlin are “locks” for three of those spots, that leaves them with one spot.
            .
            Wheeler is used to the speed and physicality of the pro game, having spent a year in MLS and time abroad prior to that. Pedro, on the other hand, is coming from a smaller college. So the argument goes that the Union have more to gain longer term by getting Pedro time in Harrisburg to adjust to the pace of the pro game. Once he shows he can read the play and react fast enough, then the question of bringing him up becomes more interesting.
            .
            (As I said, I’d rather have Pedro on the bench as a potential late-game sub option.)

  2. The Realist Brian says:

    Ed, as always, BRILLIANT! Thanks for you diligent scouring of the web.
    .
    My fear on Ribeiro is that while he is covering the center back spot for HCI, stupid Hackworth is probably watching going: “Wow, look at that. another Center Back!!! Yay! I am so smart.” Pedro needs to stay an attacking player. And by the way, he should be with the Union right now, not out with HCI. Wheeler should be sent down. Pedro would be a better option than Hoppenot.
    .
    Second point: The Copa America, if marketed correctly by US Soccer, can be absolutely MASSIVE. This could pull the world’s attention away from the European Cup and wake up the American public after the World Cup. With America’s team, which is Mexico, plus the US in it, this thing will be freaking lasers-on-sharks amazing. I am stoked that it is here. Don’t mess it up.
    .
    I watched the Sac Republic game. Great amount of fans, but the USL has to get off of football lined fields. Immediately. It is distracting and cheapens the viewing experience.
    .
    Can you imagine if Hackworth or any other coach in MLS said his players had big balls? We need more of that here in this country.

    • Regarding Sacramento Republic, they are building a new, soccer-specific stadium (~8,000 seats) at Cal Expo. It should open later this summer, so they’re playing the first few home matches in the football stadium.

    • “Pedro would be a better option than Hoppenot.” Agreed… sort of. They slot to different space on the field.
      .
      Pedro sure seems like a better option than Casey right now (will we see the 2013 Casey again?), but I wouldn’t put him out wide, which is where Hop usually comes in. Incidentally, I wonder a bit about about Pedro’s comfort in the air. No question, Pedro is very good with the ball at his feet. But HCI actually pushed Marquez (the other CB) up into the box for their corner kicks while 6’4″ Pedro stayed back.
      .
      Interestingly, if Hop were to go to HCI I’d still pick Morgan Langley in his current form to start for HCI on the right. In fact, I’d think about swapping Hop for Langley if he keeps his current form.
      .
      Anyway, once Coady Andrews has recovered from his ankle injury, let’s see what HCI does with Pedro. If he gets some time at target or CAM, and does well, I’d expect Union to take notice.

  3. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    I don’t know Mr. Heinze and I am not from or connected to Horsham in any way, but, he should be tied down to the ground while every player from that club gets to kick him with their cleats. How do you steal from children? Hopefully the shameless bastard will get time.

  4. I understand the need for flexibility and the ability to adapt to a game, in soccer but why are we catering to the other team? I know it is difficult but why can’t we impose our style of play on the other team?

    Another thing I don’t understand is last year Hackworth was all about keeping a consistent line up from week to week and now he is all about changing it up from week to week. I am not getting on the fire Hack bandwagon just yet but it is frustrating to watch the consistent change and experimentation on this team.

    • John Ling says:

      Catering to the other team doesn’t necesssarily mean that we’re trying to stop them. It could mean we’re trying to exploit an area of weakness. Danny Cruz is a real good example. Cruz’s style is going to be more effective against some teams than others. If Hackworth is willing to limit his starts to those moments, Cruz is an effective cog for the Union.
      .
      Hopefully that’s what Hackworth is talking about.

    • The Chopper says:

      I don’t think last year was all about keeping the same 11. Right or wrong, Hackworth really just felt that last year he had no options on the bench that would improve the team’s chances of obtaining a result. It frustrated the hell out of all of us, because results were not coming so we wanted any kind of change, but he stuck to his belief that his bench had nothing to offer.

      This year is different. There is some quality depth and a group of players who bring different styles and skills to the table. Some games will set up better for Connor Casey than others, some maybe better for LeToux or Crux or Fernandez. It’s good to be able to try and exploit that. Most here just don’t feel Hackworth is capable of doing it correctly.

  5. Can we all stop worrying about Pedro Ribiero? People have been commenting on this for the past few weeks like Hackworth is leading an Illuminati-like conspiracy to change planetary alignments and ruin Ribiero’s career. He’s not a 6’4″ Lionel Messi. He’s a kid with good size and potential that we picked up in the draft, and we loaned him out to get some playing time at a smaller team. That team has a sticky situation right now, and they’re going to use him as they see fit. There are plenty of reasons for people to criticize Hackworth. Focus on actual ones before reaching for one that doesn’t really exist.

    • lopezzzz says:

      Fair enough point. However, it may speak to a larger issue of the Union needing to create their own USL club affiliate to ensure that their young talent is seeing the field and playing the “correct” position.

    • The Realist Brian says:

      I won’t stop worrying about it, because Hackworth has set a precedent putting players in positions and ramming a square peg through a round hole.

      • 1) Hackworth isn’t playing Ribiero as a CB. HCI is doing that. Temporarily. Take up the issue with them and tell them to bring in more defenders.

        2) By the time Ribiero would become fully entrenched as a defender, Hackworth will have either figured out the offensive problems or been fired. It’s a long summer ahead. Let’s all sit back, have a drink and stop thinking of the kid as a savior before he gets a mini-Adu complex.

        • I think Hack fully entrenched Wheeler as a CB after 2 maybe 3 starts. Sooooo yea, we should be worried about him seeing Riberio as a CB forever.

          • I was referring to their overall mindset and skill set rather than their current gameday positions. Both Wheeler and Ribiero could move forward tomorrow and still be the same attacking players they have been before. The extended period of time to allow Ribiero to excel at CB and abandon MF would be longer.

            Oh, and it’s still not Hackworth doing this to him right now. It’s HCI and it appears to be temporary.

          • The Chopper says:

            Don’t remember who said it, but during the Houston game broadcast on Direct Kick which was the Houston feed, one of the announcers said Hackworth asked Wheeler which position he preferred and Wheeler said center back. The big guy may figure that that is best shot to stick in the league,

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        +1 to that Brian

    • The Black Hand says:

      Yep. We have plenty to worry about, within the top club.
      .
      When a player is loaned, you don’t get to tell the club where to play him.

      • You don’t directly pick their gameday lineup but there is a level of professionalism in what is expected when you take a player on loan. Him not being able to crack the lineup is one thing but moving him to a new position all together is a total breach of mutual respect between the clubs. Publicly the U aren’t bashing them but behind closed doors there is zero chance they are happy about what is happening.

    • i halfway agree with you. I ceertainly don’t think that there is some plan to convert ribiero into a defender but what bugs me so much about it is that if they need a centerback in harrisburg we should loan them another one of our young and/or inexperienced centerbacks (white and/or wheeler) instead of a giant attacking player that we could possibly use right now

      • Not totally sure, but I’m guessing the injury situation isn’t expected to be long term, so they’re not going to jump through hoops to sign a player for a week or two. It also doesn’t hurt HCI that Ribiero is far cheaper than the CBs we would send them. They have a budget to meet, too.

        • i didnt know that they had to pay the player’s salaries while they are there. are you sure that is the case?

          • That’s actually a good question. I was assuming that it’s like everywhere else in the world and teams pay the players that are loaned to them, but MLS does operate in its own little bubble so I’m not sure what the setup is. Maybe one of the PSP guys can look into it for us?

            • To my knowledge MLS pays for the players who are listed on our roster even while on loan. Their salaries count against the Union cap regardless.

      • The Chopper says:

        In the short term, there may be some value in seeing the game from the back line for a time. He might learn some things that help his offensive game. I know it’s apples and oranges,but I was an attack player for my college lacrosse team and through injuries ended up spending a few games on close defense. I thought it helped me become a better attacking player.

  6. I look forward to the day when Hackworth drops a quote half as entertaining as Diego Samone’s!

  7. neck label says:

    smart move by albright. he grew up in that area and knows soccer is taken pretty serious around those parts.

    • Did u guys see the rankings of top rookies on MLS website? No Union players, despite all our high draft picks. Wasting Blake. Converting Ribiero. Drafting a bunch of scrubs. Hackworth and all his cronies suck. Can’t judge talent of developed players (see our DP who is slow and doesn’t play) and screws up development of young players (Blake) and can’t judge talent in college or academy players (every left back we’ve ever drafted).

      • oh my god with the histrionics. macmath has been playing well and, like it or not, has way more experience than blake. that doesn’t mean that they are screwing up blake’s development. ribiero is not being converted. this team usually finds at least one late round draft pick that ends up being a regular contributor which not every team is capable of doing. there are so many level headed criticisms you could make but these don’t make a lot of sense especially when you consider that you are saying these things in response to someone being happy that they are scouting local kids to see if they can find a diamond in the rough.

      • Ben seriously step away from the ledge. There’s plenty wrong but you’re seeing disaster everywhere.

    • Tons of good soccer talent elsewhere in the city as well. He should NOT focus just on the NE!!

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    I think what people are angry about with Ribiero is not we think he is the next Messi, but rather the action of converting a guy who looked really good in the midfield in the preseason and has played that position his whole career… being played out of position.
    .
    If the Wheeler Experiment wasn’t taking place (and failing), with no real end in sight, I don’t think people would be so upset.
    .
    I think I am going to blow a gasket if Hack starts Berry this weekend and if he struggles… on the road, against probably the best team in MLS right now… sits him again next week in favor of Wheeler. In my opinion, that would be Hack trying to justify Wheeler even more.
    .
    I am just frustrated and some how we need to show up Saturday and earn at least a point.

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