Sorry this took so long to put together, as I've been busy with other work for the last few days. Let's first round up a few news items of note.
- The FIFA World Cup inspection team arrived in New York yesterday. There are some photos of the group's visit to the Meadowlands and Red Bull Arena here. There's also a short video of a press briefing by U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati here.
There's also a short story on the reception with representatives of the 18 cities in the current bid package here. It mentions that "Philly cheesesteaks" were served to attendees. There's no word as to whether they came from Pat's, Geno's or Jim's. Attendees also dined on "sushi from Los Angeles, lobster rolls from Boston, crab cakes from Baltimore [and] peach cobbler from Atlanta." Sounds tasty.
You already knew the names in the Philadelphia delegation. Other attendees included ESPN senior vice president and GM John Skipper; New York mayor Michael Bloomberg; Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed; Nashville mayor Karl Dean; and Seattle Sports Commission executive director Ralph Morton. The Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers tallked to Morton earlier this week before heading to New York.
It's all very formal and political, but it's also important. FIFA's bigshots enjoy being wined and dined, and there's definitely plenty of that on this trip. The group will have breakfast at the White House today; it's not yet known whether President Obama will attend. There's more from the Washington Post's Steven Goff about the trip to D.C. here.
- Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares won't play in Saturday's game against the Union after being suspended an extra by Major League Soccer for a red card foul. Segares was sent off in the 21st minute of Chicago's game this past Saturday against Los Angeles. He elbowed Galaxy defender Leonardo in the head, as the two jostled in the box going up for an in-swinging free kick.
Segares was sent off immediately. Any red card draws a one-game suspension, which put Segares out of tonight's game at Toronto, and a $250 fine. MLS' disciplinary committee doubled the suspension and the fine.
- U.S. women's national team head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 30-player preliminary roster for her squad's two friendlies against China next month, including the October 6 game at PPL Park. There are four Independence players: defender Heather Mitts, midfielders Lori Lindsey and Joanna Lohman, and forward Amy Rodriguez.
Sundhage will open a training camp on September 20 at Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium near Atlanta, where the first game against China will be played on October 2. Not all the players will report on opening day, as some of them (likely including the Independence players) will be involved in the WPS playoffs. Players will report as their teams' seasons end.
The group of 30 will be cut to a group of 18 for each the friendly matches. A 20-player roster will be then be named for the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying tournament, which runs from October 28 to November 9. Those games will be played in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Here's the group of 30 players:
Goalkeepers (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Atlanta Beat)
Defenders (9): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC)
Midfielders (12): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (Atlanta Beat), Sarah Huffman (Washington Freedom), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Joanna Lohman (Philadelphia Independence), Kelley O’Hara (FC Gold Pride), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars)
Forwards (5): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
Now, finally, we get to your player ratings from the Union's 1-1 draw with Kansas City this past Saturday at PPL Park. A reminder that if you want to participate, just email me and I'll add you to the survey listserv.
Chris Seitz: 2.20
- "Seitz is the soccer equivalent of George Hegamin: looks like Mr. Universe, plays like the Little Sisters of the Poor." (Peter N.)
Danny Califf: 4.40
- "Jimmy Conrad provided a great example of a steady defender and leader that we should have on our backline." (Robert Gregory)
- "What does Califf add to this team besides cool hair?" (Peter N.)
Juan Diego González Alzate: 5.00
- "He took a knock in the forehead that would make Rocky proud and didn't even require medical attention. But, he still seems to make a few miscues with his touch or marking. (Robert Gregory)
Jordan Harvey: 5.20
Michael Orozco Fiscal: 5.20
- "Califf, Gonzalez, Harvey and Fiscal played better then they had in recent league games. I want to know why they don't play the way they do in friendlies in league games." (Joe Gallelli)
Andrew Jacobson: 4.60
Justin Mapp: 6.20
- "Glad to see him get the start and what a great ball to setup the goal!" (Robert Gregory)
Stefani Miglioranzi: 5.75
- "He still makes mistakes with his touch or poor passing that mystifies me with his experience." (Robert Gregory)
Amobi Okugo: 5.00
- "I was really happy with his overall play, though he made some rookie mistakes and a few too many touches in a row. His cross early in the came was almost perfect." (Joe Gallelli)
Roger Torres: 5.60
- "I'm glad to see he's healthy again, because his creativity and flair put the opponents on their heels. He's taking fewer touches and making smarter decisions. With some more experience and growth, he could be part of a "magic triangle" - à la Etcheverry, Diaz Arce and Moreno of D.C. United - with Le Toux and Mwanga." (Robert Gregory)
Sebastien Le Toux: 6.60
- "Le Toux and Mwanga get high ratings for the first half and the goal, but they seemed lethargic in the second half." (Joe Gallelli)
Jack McInerney: 4.75
Alejandro Moreno: 4.50
Danny Mwanga: 6.20
- "He's grown into a fine striker that is taking fewer touches and uses them wisely with more precision than he did in the beginning." (Robert Gregory)