Daily news roundups

Union face Hburg in USOC play tonight, US readying for Ecuador, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union begin their 2016 US Open Cup campaign tonight when they host Harrisburg City Islanders in fourth round play (7 pm. Information on a livestream should be announced later today).

Jim Curtin said of facing the former Union affiliate, “Harrisburg has a good team coming in. We’ll respect them. A lot of our guys have gotten their start in Harrisburg, so we owe them a lot. But they’re the enemy when they come in here Wednesday night and we’ll look to get a win and move on. Survive and advance is the way of the Open Cup.”

At CSN Philly, Curtin said of the team’s mentality going into the game, ““We’re confident right now. It is the first time we’ve gone in [to the U.S. Open Cup] where we’re clicking on all cylinders. We have a much deeper squad so we can feel more comfortable going to reserves. It sets up nicely for us.”

Set up nicely it may, but the Union has a history of allowing lower division teams to stay in Cup games longer that would be hoped. Curtin wants that to change: ““For whatever reason, a lot of times they go long. I don’t want 120 minutes or penalty kicks. I’d like to come out and dictate the tempo and take our chances and score and be organized and tough to play against.”

Asked what to expect in terms of lineup changes for the game, Curtin said, “We don’t want to just change all eleven guys. There will be a few opportunities for guys who haven’t logged a ton of minutes to show. I think they’ve earned that over the course of the training. Again, I think it’s important to keep pushing the right way. I think our guys are starting to understand each other really well, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The back four, we’ve been keeping some continuity there. But yea, there will be a mix. We’ll ask some guys to step up for us like I know they will. We’ll go from there, but we do put a big emphasis on winning the Open Cup.”

At Philly Voice, Ken Tribbett and Richie Marquez speak fondly of their time with the City Islanders. But Marquez makes it clear fond memories will not get in the way of getting the job done tonight: “I think it’s just about coming out and playing how we’ve been playing. You don’t take any opponent lightly because that’s when things become troublesome, when you start thinking too highly (of yourself). I think the way to approach it is to literally go in there and say that you hate that team. That’s how you should approach every game, to try to dominate as much as you can.”

Tribbett, who was on the Ocean City side that nearly pushed the Union into extra time in 2013 before joining Harrisburg in 2015, says at Delco Times, “It should be a good test. We’re obviously the better side, so as long as we show up and do what we have to do, it shouldn’t be a problem. They have some tricky players we’ve got to watch out for, but collectively, we should be OK.”

Previews at Philadelphia Union (print, video, game notes), Philly.com (report, preview), Delco Times, CSN PhillyPhilly Voice, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GamePattison Ave, and MLSsoccer.com, Harrisburg City Islanders.  Here at PSP, a review of the Union’s history in the tournament.

MLSsoccer.com includes the Union in a list of teams taht are candidates to win the first domestic treble of the modern era — the US Open Cup or Canadian Championship, the Supporters Shield, and MLS Cup: “I’m not sure the Union have the talent to make a real run at the Shield or MLS Cup, but they are in first in the East, and they devote serious resources to winning the Open Cup. Philadelphia have made two consecutive USOC finals, and though they lost both, the Union know what it takes to make another deep tourney run. That, coupled with their solid start, is worthy of a place on this list.”

Vote Sebastien Le Toux for the MLS All-Star Game!

Lancaster Online notes the impressive start to Keegan Rosenberry’s professional career.

Taylor Washington will be at the Marple Public Library on Tuesday, June 28 for a reading of the children’s book “Shark in the Dark” as part of the READ Program partnership between Delaware County Libraries and the Union.

Bethlehem Steel FC

You may have read PSP’s piece last week on Bethlehem Steel defender Mark McKenzie’s head injury against New York. The piece has been updated with a correction that better characterizes what happened after McKenzie’s injury.

Noting Eric Ayuk’s opening goal in Cameroon’s 3-0 win over Zimbabwe in last Sunday’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier was “the very first goal-scorer in the very first official match ever played at the newly completed athletic facility,” the Stade Omnisport de Bafoussam, Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC blog considers when Ayuk might be available again to feature for Bethlehem Steel, what with Cameroon meeting Libya the final round of qualifiers on July 8 and July 22.

PDL

Reading United, first place in the Mid Atlantic Division of the PDL’s Eastern Conference, is on the road tonight to face fifth place NYRB U-23s. When the teams met in Reading two weeks ago, United gave up a 2-0 lead with goals in the 83rd and 88th minute and had to settle for a 2-2 draw. NYRB has a preview of tonight’s game.

Reading is at the top of the Eastern Conference power rankings at the PDL website.

Last place Lehigh Valley United Sonic hosts second place Baltimore Bohemians tonight.

Local

In a debate at The Trentonian, L.A. Parker says soccer will overtake all sports as the most popular in the US, while Jeff Edelstein says it will never overtake the Big Four.

MLS

US Open Cup play began for five MLS teams on Tuesday night and, strangely enough, the one game between MLS teams seems to have been the easiest result for the winner. US Soccer reports:

Colorado began the night needing an 84th minute goal to snag a 1-0 win against USL side Colorado Springs Switchbacks at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Real Salt Lake then escaped the biggest challenge of the night presented in the form of the visiting Wilmington Hammerheads, who carved out a 2-0 lead midway through the second half before giving up two goals – the equalizer to RSL’s Burrito Martinez in the 88th minute – and then dropping the penalty kick battle 3-1.

Further west, the LA Galaxy were given a tough go of it by Open Division qualifier La Maquina – one of only two amateur teams left in the competition. Despite being taken to extra time after battling to a 1-1 draw while playing a man down since the 17th minute, the Galaxy tacked on three goals in the extra period to prevail.

Finally, the Portland Timbers had what seemed to be the easiest night of any victor as they dispatched fellow MLS side San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 at Providence Park.

At MLSsoccer.com, previews of tonight’s games featuring MLS teams.

Houston Dynamo have waived Bradley Bourgeois. The defender signed a homegrown contract with the club on Dec. 23, 2015.

Vice Sports on concerns some have that as MLS grows “hardcore” fans will no longer be welcome.

US

At US Soccer, five things to know about Ecuador ahead of Thursday night’s Copa America Centenario quarterfinal, and a review of how Ecuador made it to the knockout stage of the tournament. The Guardian looks at the Ecuador team. ESPN on the threat posed by Ecuador’s Jefferson Montero with DeAndre Yedlin suspended. SBI says Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t troubled by Yedlin’s suspension. Goal.com says Klinsmann is optimistic ahead of Thursday’s match. Also at Goal.com, a look at former Union man Michael Orozco, who is expected to start in place of Yedlin. USA Today on how the US is discovering its nasty streak at the Copa America. ESPN wonders if Klinsmann’s team can prevail in yet another must-win game, while the Los Angeles Times says pressure is nothing new for the US.

USA Today has a ranking of the top six USMNT performances in major tournaments.

Pulisic! You know, leave the US camp to go to the prom, hire a private plane to fly back in time for the warmup match against Bolivia, and then score your first senior national team goal.

US Soccer has announced the final send off game before the USWNT begins play in Brazil for the Summer Olympics will take place in Kansas City on July 22.

Copa America Centenario

First off, a big thank you to the Photo Marshall crew at the Linc on Tuesday night for welcoming the new guy who had no idea what was going on.

Chile defeated Panama 4-2 at the Linc on Tuesday on a pair of braces from Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez. With the result, Chile finished second in Group D behind Argentina, who dispatched Bolivia, 3-0. If the US defeats Ecuador in Thursday’s quarterfinal, they will face the winner of Argentina-Venezuela in the semifinals.

Very cool read at SI about two players for San Jose Earthquakes affiliated PDL side Burlingame Dragons who filled out the Argentina side in a scrimmage against their team last week.

Dunga has been fired as head coach of Brazil following the team’s failure to advance out of its group.

Elsewhere

The Premier League schedule for the 2016-17 season has been released.

Reuters reports, “French police have launched an anti-hooligan operation in the town of Mandelieu near Cannes after verifying the identities of 29 Russian supporters suspected of being involved in clashes ahead of a Euro 2016 game between Russia and England, an official said on Tuesday.”

Another Reuters reports says, “Police on Tuesday detained 43 Russia fans suspected of taking part in clashes with England supporters in Marseille at the start of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, and two cities in northern France imposed alcohol bans in a bid to avert more hooliganism.”

Noting that the incidents involving Russian hooligans at Euro 2016 “have raised more questions about security at the World Cup in two years’ time, adding to existing concerns about racism at Russian football matches,” Reuters reports, “Global soccer body FIFA said that World Cup 2018 host nation Russia was putting in place a ‘comprehensive security concept’ to prevent a repetition of the hooliganism which has marred the European championship in France.”

Goal.com examines just how bad Russia’s holliganism problem is.

Meanwhile, PA Sport reports England and Wales fans clashed with Russia supporters in Lille on Tuesday. “A group of people, some wearing football shirts, could be heard chanting “We’re England and Wales, f— off Russia” as police and security staff tried to calm the situation.”

Iceland played its first-ever European Championship game on Tuesday, drawing 1-1 with Portugal. A clueless Cristiano Ronaldo remarked after the game, “It was a lucky night for them…I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable,” then ungraciously disparaged Iceland for having a “small mentality” because they looked to defend and counterattack, adding “they are not going to do anything in the competition.” Iceland’s Kari Arnason said of Ronaldo’s comments, “He’s just a sore loser. He didn’t want to lose the game. What does he expect, for us to play like Barcelona against him? He fannies about and dives around. Obviously we were the underdog, we played like the underdog and we were unlucky not to win the game.” More at The Guardian.

Scratch and sniff? Ewww. Maybe he should try out some sweatpants.

The Guardian talks to Chan Yuen-ting, the 27-year-old head coach of Eastern in the Hong Kong Premier League, “the first woman to win a top-flight title in men’s professional football.”

4 Comments

  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Love La Maquina… level with LA Galaxy… A bunch of amateurs…. My God we are just missing the point here. The potential is enormous. If you don’t see it I’m sorry for you.
    .
    Sooooooo…. Arturo Vidal is really good and…Ronaldo poor Ronaldo…. It is very possible I couldn’t be around him for 5 minutes.
    .
    RE: German National coach— I am teaching my children that everybody is watching all the time- once maybe 4 people would have seen him do that- now……. everybody is watching all the time.

    • You see the goal LAG scored to break the tie? Quick restart with a player down injured — curious to hear your opinion.

      • they were in total survival mode. can’t say I disagree but telling non the less.
        .
        asses were puckered.
        .
        quality quality footballers ALL over this country falling through the cracks is my opinion.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised by Landon Donovan’s color commentary last night. Smoother and better than I expected. Can we hire him to replace Papas?

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