Blogs > Union Tally

A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stoke City 2-0 Union: Post-match observations

I think we’ve let enough air into the Brek Shea-Matt Kassel kerfuffle, at least until the results of the scan on Shea’s knee due for Wednesday come back. While Shea’s unfortunate (and hopefully not too serious) injury is the most notable takeaway from Stoke City’s 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union Tuesday, a few more thoughts.

- In translating success in the English Premier League to MLS, one thing quite literally stands out between the Union and the Potters: Height. The Union had 20 outfield players see the field Tuesday, nine of which were six feet or taller (and that includes borderline 6-footers Kassel and Leo Fernandes). Of Stoke’s 19 outfield players, 14 were six feet or taller. Only three of the Union’s 10 starters (barely-theres Kassel and Fernandes and 6-4 Aaron Wheeler) hit that threshold, while only three of the Stoke starters were under six feet. Look at the physicality of Stoke’s central defenders (Robert Huth at 6-3, 194 pounds and Ryan Shawcross 6-3, 168) and forwards (Cameron Jerome 6-1, 187; Kenwyne Jones 6-2, 187; Peter Crouch 6-7, 165). Perhaps the most daunting juxtaposition is between central midfielders. Stoke’s contingent includes 6-3, 165-pound Steven N’Zonzi and 6-1, 182-pound Charlie Adam compared to Michael Lahoud (5-9, 162) and Brian Carroll (5-10, 155). The Union have struggled this season against bigger, more physical teams (see Los Angeles and Dallas), and while manager John Hackworth didn’t see many lessons to be taken from Tuesday, he at least had some fun joking about the Union’s vertical challenges. “You can’t,” Hackworth said of the prospect of matching up height-wise. “(Chris) Albright said, ‘coach, who are we going to match up with?’ And I said, ‘You match up with the 6-7 guy, and Kassel, you match up with the 6-6 guy and then just go down the line from there.’ We didn’t know what they would roll out either, so it was impossible.”

Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brek Shea's injury: Reaction from the people involved

Regardless of the score in the Union's match with Stoke City, the lasting memory of what was supposed to be a friendly was the knee injury sustained by Brek Shea. Coming off his game-winning goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Panama and the game-winner against Costa Rica in the group stages (his first goal for the Stars and Stripes), it seemed that one of the great young talents in the American pipeline had turned a corner. Coupled with a pretty goal for the Potters Tuesday, it seems a shame to see Shea hobble off the field with an apparently serious knee injury after a tackle by the Union's Matt Kassel. Here's what all the parties involved in the play had to say.
Brek Shea, seen here with Team USA in the Gold Cup final
in which he scored the winner, left Tuesday's friendly with the
Philadelphia Union after a knee injury sustained in a tackle
by Matt Kassel. (Associated Press)

Brek Shea
On the injury:
It’s throbbing a little bit. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.

On the tackle by Kassel:
He was going for the ball. I just tried to put my body in front of his. It’s soccer. Tackles happen. I’ve done worse to other people.

On the emotional roller coaster he's experienced:
Obviously, I’m pretty upset right now. I’m excited to get back to Stoke and get ready for the season. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it feels, and we’ll find out tomorrow.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting Stoke'd: A look at the Union's friendly

A quick look at the Stoke City roster makes it clear why the Barclay’s Premier League club would want to head to the United States for its preseason trip. That junket concludes Tuesday when the Potters come to PPL Park to face the Union.

It should be an interesting meeting between the English club, which is wrapping up a three-game swing that includes a 1-0 win over FC Dallas and a 2-0 loss to Houston. Both of those clubs are ones with which the club has done previous transfer business – Brek Shea from Dallas, Geoff Cameron from Houston – making the Union unique in the fixture list.

Here’s the preview of the game via Stoke’s site (including a refreshing outsider’s look at the Union’s standing), while this blog from The Sentinel in Staffordshire is informative in providing info on the Potters’ trip.

A handful of quick bullet points on the team:
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jack McInerney selected for MLS All-Star Game

(Times staff / ERIC HARTLINE)

Jack McInerney will be an All-Star after all.
The Union striker earned a place on the gameday roster for Major League Soccer’s summer showcase match, being selected Sunday by All-Star Game manager Peter Vermes to replace New York midfielder Tim Cahill.

The MLS Stars will face AS Roma Wednesday night at 9 p.m. at Sporting Park in Kansas City.

For McInerney, the All-Star nod must feel like sweet vindication. The 20-year-old forward, who ranks fourth in the league with 10 goals in 19 matches, was passed over for the All-Star Game during the initial fan vote procedure, then by MLS commissioner Don Garber, who gets to add a few players of his own choosing to the roster.

McInerney had played off his omission coolly in the last couple days, upon returning to the Union from the first United States national team call-up of his career, though the fourth-year pro had to feel at least slightly jilted. When he got the call to join the American squad in Gold Cup pool play, he was MLS’ Golden Boot leader. When he returned, he had slid in the league’s scoring leaders list and been overlooked for an All-Star spot.

The All-Star selection is the first for McInerney, who was drafted seventh overall by the Union in 2010. The news must have made for a pretty epic Sunday for McInerney. Though he had been released from the U.S. team’s Gold Cup roster for the knockout stages, McInerney was in Chicago for the American team’s win in the Gold Cup final, and was tweeting pictures of himself from the locker room holding the championship trophy only minutes after his All-Star Game nod had become official.

Vermes’ selection of McInerney gives the Union at least one All-Star Game representative in each of the club’s four seasons of existence. Sebastien Le Toux played in the 2010 match, Faryd Mondragon got on the pitch in 2011, and Michael Farfan and Carlos Valdes both subbed on in the 2012 exhibition, which was played at the Union’s PPL Park.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Union 0-0 Timbers: Post-match observations

There wasn’t a whole lot to write home about in the Union’s scoreless draw Saturday night against Portland. About the best thing you could say is that it was their first such scoreline in almost 11 months. In any case, a few points that deserve a little bit more air into them.

- Leo Fernandes is looking more and more like an MLS player with each appearance. When he came on for Michael Farfan in the 68th minute Saturday, it caused a few raised eyebrows. Farfan took a while to get into the game, but he was looking better after halftime and was about the only member of the Union able to keep possession in the face of Portland’s hard-pressing attack. But Fernandes proved to be a good choice by stand-in manager Rob Vartughian. He wasn’t afraid to mix it up, picking up his first pro yellow card, and his 87th minute volley went off the post and could’ve gone in. “It’s helping me a lot,” Fernandes said about his more regular time on the pitch. “I feel a lot more conformable when I get on the field. I don’t have as many nerves now when I get in. … Every game I’m getting more excited. I just try to help out the team.”

- Zac MacMath has taken his lumps this season (cough, Dallas, cough). But he deserves credit for being really good since then (as my colleague Chris Vito writes). He gave up two goals his next time out against Real Salt Lake, but you can’t fault him on that penalty that forced the Union to settle for a draw. Most importantly, he looked like he learned and grew from the failed punch incident against Dallas. He made a couple of great saves against Houston, where Ricardo Clark’s goal was hardly his fault. (I don’t know how much it mattered anyway; the Union sans most of their midfielders were never going to score that day.) And he was good against Chivas before tonight’s clean sheet. Quietly, MacMath has six shutouts, which puts him squarely in the pack among MLS starters, three off the joint leaders Donovan Ricketts and Bobby Shuttleworth. Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Union-Timbers: Lineups and pre-match thoughts

Philadelphia Union (8-6-6, 30 points)
Cruz-Carroll-Farfan-Le Toux
Bench: Konopka, Fabinho, Kassel, Fernandes, Kleberson, Wheeler, Hoppenot

Portland Timbers (8-2-9, 33 points)
Harrington-Kah-Jean Baptise-Jewsbury
Bench: Kocic, Miller, Zizzo, Alhassan, Zemanski, Valencia, Danso

- If Jack McInerney was fit, he’d be starting, that was the refrain we heard from John Hackworth midweek. He’s apparently fit, since he’s paired with Conor Casey up top. A guy who often plays like he’s got something to prove, a snub in four games with the U.S. national team plus falling behind in the golden boot race may have him primed for a big game.

- This game, quite simply, will be won in the midfield. Brian Carroll will have to negate the efforts of Will Johnson and Darlington Nagbe going forward, while Michael Farfan and company will have to make it uncomfortable for Diego Chara and prevent him from orchestrating from deep in the midfield.

- Portland struggled a bit last week with just Ryan Johnson up top, though they still managed to get the win against the Galaxy. They go for a more attack-minded set up this time with Frederic Piquionne up top as well. Don’t expect a low-scoring affair here.

- The Union have had a lot of success on set pieces and on crosses from the wing. While Donovan Ricketts has had a great season, he’s still prone to perplexing walks off his line for balls played in. Expect that to be a point of emphasis for the Union tonight.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Jack Mac's back: McInerney reflects on his time with Team USA

In catching up with Jack McInerney Friday (here's the link to the full story), the Philadelphia Union striker seemed at ease with his situation. Never one to come off as too emotionally high or low, McInerney expressed genuine gratitude for his opportunity with the men's national team, even if it didn't culminate in his international debut.
Jack McInerney regards his stint with the U.S. National Team as a
positive, even if he didn't appear in a match. (Associated Press)

From the outside, it may look like a disappointing result that he didn't get to don the Stars and Stripes in a match. But McInerney and Jurgen Klinsmann seem to have struck an understanding about the purpose of the camp for the 20-year-old, and it sounds like it was a success in that regard. (For further reading, it's worth checking out Kevin Kinkead's reaction from Hartford Tuesday night, which includes quotes from Chris Wondolowski, Stuart Holden and U.S. assistant coach Martin Vasquez.)

Here's a little more of what McInerney had to say:

On the difference between this and the youth camps he's attended:
It was pretty similar. Obviously being at that level, you just really can’t be in the same situation until your actually there. I think the biggest thing was adjusting to that, but everything starts to be pretty similar, with the style and things like that.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

John Hackworth's press conference, July 17

John Hackworth seemed eager to discuss his team Wednesday; after all, he won't get the chance to do that Saturday after his team takes on Portland. Some of the main points discussed by the Philadelphia Union skipper:

On his suspension for Saturday:
I am suspended. I did ask the league if there was a process to appeal it. I was told that there is no process when a coach is thrown out. They did look at the audio and video. There’s not much there, but once the referee makes that decisions, there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m just suspended’ I’ll pay my fine and try not to ever gesture that it’s a handball again to the referee. I will say that I still don’t think that’s worthy of being thrown out of a game, but that’s just my opinion.

On how Hackworth's suspension affects the team's preparation:
Most of our work is done before we get to the game. These guys are professionals. They’ve gone through it. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us; it’s not the first time they’ve dealt with it as professionals. Rob (Vartughian) will be the head coach for the game, and he’ll be supported by Brendan (Burke) and Jim (Curtin). Nothing will change. Our gameplan will be designed well before we get to the kickoff, and the players will adjust accordingly. It’ll be different for me because I’m sure it will be harder for me to sit up in the booth and not have any true interaction with the team, but I have all the confidence in Rob and Jim and Brendan and our players too. Our preparation is always much more important I think than what we do on gameday.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

See you in Kansas City: My All-Star selections

Nobody asked me for my input on the MLS All-Star voting. The league seems to be pretty pleased with its ways, between fan voting slightly slanted toward the host team and the proclivities of online gamers and a bit of input from the All-Star coach. That’s how they arrived at the 18-man roster that was announced Monday, including some fairly obvious selections and some noteworthy exclusions (especially to fans of a Philadelphia bent).
Brazilian Camilo Sanvezzo of Vancouver is a deserving
MLS All-Star selection. But several snubs stand out
among the 18-man roster announced Monday.
(Associated Press)

In the off chance those methods don’t exactly meet your standards – and the Twitter reaction to today’s unveiling of the full matchday roster for the July 30 game against Italian side A.S. Roma indicates that’s the case – here would be my 18-man roster for the event.

Goalkeepers: Raul Fernandez (FC Dallas), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Chris Klute (Colorado), Jose Goncalves (New England), Jamison Olave (New York).

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Will Johnson (Portland), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Mike Magee (Chicago).

Forwards: Camilo Sanvezzo (Vancouver), Robbie Keane (Los Angeles), Marco Di Vaio (Montreal), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia).

I’ll start on a positive note: I can’t see many problems with the goalkeepers. Fernandez has been sensational at times for Dallas, and Rimando is as good as it gets perennially in this league. I’d love to see a place for the Revs’ Bobby Shuttleworth on the team, but that’s not really in the cards.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Union 3-1 Chivas: Post-game observations

For the umpteenth time this season, I leave the PPL Park pressbox not quite sure what I’ve actually cobbled together for a game story or fully sure of what happened in the closing minutes. The scoreboard reads 3-1 Philadelphia Union over Chivas USA, and the standings show that the Union are in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point from the summit. So there’s that at least.

Amid the myriad facts that didn’t fit into the game story, allow me a few here.
Leo Fernandes does battle with Chivas' Carlos Alvarez
in the rain during the Union's 3-1 win Friday at PPL Park.
(Times Staff/Robert J. Gurecki)

- First, this quote from Union manager John Hackworth is the best explanation possible of his ejection by referee Jorge Gonzalez. Hackworth admitted postgame that he will not be suspended for the next game despite being dismissed tonight:

“I was upset because I thought there was a penalty. I thought when Sebastien (Le Toux) was on the ground by the near post, I think the player on the ground clearly takes his elbow and knocks the ball. (As an aside, it looked like it was red-carded Josue Soto who did contact the ball at the near post. In any event, him trying to play the ball while on the ground is generally a foul if it happens anywhere else on the pitch.) That’s a handball. It’s in the box. I don’t think I was the only one who felt it was a pk. I tell the fourth official, probably a little too emotional at that point, that I think it’s a hand ball and how did they not see that handball. He, for whatever reason, told me, hey, next warning you’re gone. I hadn’t said anything; I don’t think I used any profanity, I don’t think I said anything too bad. But then Jorge, the referee came over, and I’m in the box and I say ‘how did you miss that handball?’ and I go through the motion of what the player did. And he threw me out. It’s interesting because I haven’t been thrown out in a long time, and usually you have to say something – I can’t say what because there’s probably kids listening up in the club – but you have to say something to get thrown out, and I guess my actions were a little bit too much.”
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Union-Chivas: Lineups and pre-game thoughts

Philadelphia Union (7-6-6, 27 points) 
Casey-Le Toux
Bench: Konopka, Albright, Fabinho, Anding, Kassel, Hoppenot, Wheeler

Chivas USA (3-10-5, 14 points)
Soto-Vilchez-de Luna-Delgado
Bench: McLain, Burling, Borja, Iraheta, Rivera, Bowen, Morales

- Leo Fernandes gets another chance to impress, his third straight start, but we’ll see where that comes on the pitch. Conventional logic would place him centrally next to Brian Carroll, but he could also occupy the wing, with Michael Farfan taking up the central role. Or Sebastien Le Toux could tuck into the midfield, adopting a 4-5-1 with either Farfan or Fernandes tucking in behind Conor Casey. There are options a plenty, and against a team like Chivas with less than a half dozen games under coach Jose Luis Real, Union manager John Hackworth probably likes having options. 
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

John Hackworth's weekly press conference, July 10

The Philadelphia Union manager had plenty to say after his team's two-game road trip and with a crucial game looming against Chivas USA at home Friday. Here are the details:

On the lack of playing time for Roger Torres:
The same thing we see and expect from every player on our roster. There’s effectiveness, there’s a commitment, there’s a preparation before you ever get on the field that you can play the game at the level that we’re demanding and that you know your role and responsibilities within the structure of our team. Don’t get me wrong, I almost feel like I’m defending our staff because we feel like we like Roger. He’s here for a reason, but he’s not playing for a reason as well, and there’s other guys who have continued to stay ahead of him and there are guys that have risen above him, and Roger understands that. But when he gets an opportunity like he did in Houston, he has to make the most of it. We’ve had several discussions as a staff, with Roger, he’s still a young guy that we believe in, we want him to be successful here, but a lot of that has to do with Roger and what he does on and off the field.

On what role new acquisitions Fabinho and Oka Nikolov will play Friday:
I haven’t made that decision yet. As with anybody that we bring in, at two different positions, they’re battling with other players on the roster. We don’t really want to rush a guy, but at the same time if a guy is ready and if he’s done it in training and had the kind of games for him to prepare, we’ll give them a chance. For both of them, we’re happy where they are and haven’t made the final decision on anyone.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Union 0-1 Dynamo: Post-game quotes and reaction

You heard my thoughts already; time for what those on the field saw in the Philadelphia Union's 1-0 loss to Houston Satuday.
Making his first career MLS start, the Union's Aaron Wheeler
couldn't help his side get much started offensively.
(Associated Press)

Union forward Aaron Wheeler On the challenge of his first career MLS start: It’s a tough place to come and play, so I was looking forward to the challenge. It lived up to everything. It was a tough, physical game. It was just a heart-breaker really. I don’t really have much else to say about it.

On whether Houston’s confidence grew as the game went on: I don’t know so much as confidence, but they had to push more. They’re the home team, so once the game stays 0-0, as the home team, you had to push more and go forward. They started to get the ball a little more. I don’t know about confidence, but they definitely started to put us on our heels a little bit.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Union 0-1 Houston: Not for the faint of heart

I strongly debated writing this post, if only because to opine on the events of the Philadelphia Union’s 1-0 loss to Houston Saturday would further preserve the game for posterity. It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, two severely depleted teams with low morale desperately trying to carve out a result. What went wrong for the Union? Oh let me count the ways.
It was a tough day at the office for Conor Casey
and a makeshift Union lineup against Houston.
(Associated Press)
- Let’s get the crux of the problems out of the way. Houston was missing Will Bruin, Brad Davis, Corey Ashe and Kofi Sarkodie. The Union were without Jack McInerney, Keon Daniel, Kleberson, Danny Cruz and Michael Farfan. Sounds a lot like the first names you’d call if these two teams were drafting a schoolyard pick-up game. It was difficult to expect much beautiful or even coherent soccer from those two deficient sides Saturday. On that count, they delivered.

- I know it’s making the best of a bad situation. But you have to strenuously question John Hackworth’s formation. A central forward pairing of Conor Casey and Aaron Wheeler supported by “wingers” Sebastien Le Toux and Antoine Hoppenot. He gets away with fielding a defensively suspect side because of Houston’s atrocious attack (more on that momentarily). But the idea that somehow a bunch of forwards thrown haphazardly together and moving more or less in concert towards goal will translate into goals is seriously flawed. Casey was facing a second 90-minute run out in 90-degree heat in four days. Wheeler admitted last week that his fitness wasn’t all there yet, not to mention the sizable redundancy in the skill sets of the two front-runners. Hoppenot with 90 minutes to run aimlessly at guys was ineffective, squandering chances to shoot or cross on the rare occasions he found space. And we haven’t even gotten to the lack of possession (a paltry 38.6 percent with 71 percent passing efficiency) in a midfield that was just Brian Carroll and Leo Fernandes.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Union 2-2 RSL: Deja vu all over again, plus some other observations

I think the obvious has already been addressed, but now that the dust has settled a bit, here are a few other things that I noticed as the Union let another two points slip away in a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake.

- If the Union somehow miss the playoffs, the image of Sebastien Le Toux firing a ball into the hands of Josh Saunders should be on the cover of the season highlight tape. No moment would encapsulate the season quite so well. I hate to kill Le Toux for the game he had, since he scored the first goal and was active throughout. John Hackworth took a similar tack: "Sebastien had done so much work in that game," he said. "It’s hard to fault any guy that has run as much as he has and the length of the sprints and the efforts that he’s put out." But left all by his lonesome, the truth is that Le Toux has to finish it. I could bold, italicize and all-cap “has”, and it still doesn’t quite capture the pertinence of that sentence. Is he the main culprit in the loss? No. But it’s certainly a person of interest.

- I’ve never thought that the phrase “devastating draw” could be cobbled together, much less be perfectly appropriate two times in the span of five days. But once again, the Union jump on the emotional roller coaster and leave it feeling nauseous. From “a draw would be good” at the beginning to “must-have three points” late on when up a man and a goal (twice!) to feeling hard-done by leaving with the original result. The Union are turning the process of making a draw feel like a loss into an art, and you have to wonder what the psychological toll of two straight games like that is come Saturday against Houston. This team is resilient – the defiance with which Conor Casey almost blasted the ball through the net on the second goal – shows that, but you just wonder how much they can take.

- The final score line doesn’t bear it out, but I thought that Matt Kassel actually played well. Pairing with Brian Carroll late in the game actually had a bit of a calming effect, at least for a while.

- The verdict on Leo Fernandes' first start: Eh, not bad. He was a little too easily dispossessed from time to time, but it wasn't a bad debut on all counts.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The late-game conundrum, or there go two more points (with video)

For the first 94 or so minutes Wednesday, this was going to be a post about the Union’s resilience, the prolificacy of Conor Casey, the development of Zac MacMath and a couple of digs about the officiating. I guess that will have to wait for another day.

As Union fans have come to know all too well, things change quickly, so instead, here goes.

There are a variety of late-game strategies the can be employed by soccer teams. Some go big and burly. Some go for possession. Some for aerial proficiency. Whatever you want to call the plan from the Philadelphia Union at the moment, it’s not working. It’s certainly creating exciting soccer, as the dramatic 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake Wednesday reinforced.

But while the fans may be glued to their seats, the sight of points flying out the window as they did again at altitude against 10-man RSL is anything but encouraging.

Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

RSL preview: A new starter must emerge

The math isn’t favorable for the Philadelphia Union.

No, this calculation has nothing to do with altitude or travel times or anything like that. It’s all about who’ll be on the field Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Could Antoine Hoppenot make his first MLS start
of 2013 Wednesday night against Real Salt Lake?
In 17 matches this season, the Union have had 16 players start, tied for the lowest in MLS. Exclude goalkeeper Zac MacMath, and you’ve got 15 outfield players. Two of those players, Bakary Soumare and Gabriel Farfan, have been traded. Two (Keon Daniel and Jack McInerney) are on international duty, and two (Michael Lahoud and Kleberson) are likely out due to injury.

Do the subtraction and there’s one inequality that stands out for the Union: Nine players who’ve made starts in 2013 in line for 10 outfield starting spots Wednesday. It means someone who has yet to start this season will have to make their bow. So just who is that?

First, it’s worth looking at the stats for the Union in terms of games played. The Union have had 11 players start at least 10 matches; only Houston (11), FC Dallas (12) and New York (13) can say that. And the Union are tied with the Dynamo for least players to start a match at 16.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Press Conference Extra: John Hackworth, July 2

As July dawns, the Philadelphia Union undertake one of the toughest swings of the season, hitting the road for two games in four days against Real Salt Lake and Houston. Here are manager John Hackworth's thoughts from Tuesday's conference call:

On expectations for this road trip to Salt Lake and Houston:
I think a great outcome would be that we win one of these and tie one of them, so if we got four points. Obviously six is the best, but realistically, and I don’t even know if four is realistic with these two opponents, but I think for our team right now, we’re going in with the mindset that if we can get a draw out of one of these and a win in one, it would put us in really good position

On replacing Jack McInerney the next few games:
It’ll be more based on the matchup. We’re playing two tactically very different teams on the road, and so I think our system and our tactics will change and be dictated by our opponent as we go. We certainly have some good options with Jack being gone, but we’re going to try to make sure we utilize our strengths and see if we can’t take advantage of some of our opponents.

On the tactical flexibility provided by Sebastien Le Toux:
I think it’s extremely important. It gives us some very good options, especially when you’re going on the road and need to have a little bit of an element of surprise sometimes, you want to have that. Sebastien has clearly done very well for us wide, and that’s certainly an option to stay there or we can play him up high, which is a position that he has done very well at for this club in the past.
Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,