Daily Doop: US-Mexico, back to practice and Mitts speaks out

Tuesday's installment of all things Union

PPL Park panorama

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

Just how big is U.S.-Mexico tonight?

We can tell you that its 10 p.m. start isn’t affecting anyone in this office, all of which have to be back here promptly at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Tonight’s FIFA World Cup qualifier (10:30 p.m., ESPN) is a must watch for three reasons:

  • The match is in Mexico. It’s always a crazy scene down there.
  • It comes on the heels of a FIFA ruling to deny Costa Rica’s appeal to replay its March 22 WCQ after a loss to the U.S. in a blizzard in Colorado.
  • It’s a match that with a win can really build momentum up for the U.S. who won’t play in another qualifier until the next FIFA international date in June. That match will be against Jamaica in Jamaica on June 7.

And plus, tonight’s match is being hosted at the famed Estadio Azteca, a venue that writer Bill Simmons once called a place where “opponents never feel safe.” 

Moving on…

The Union returned to its training facility in University City today under sunny skies ready to prepare for Saturday’s match against bitter rival the New York Red Bulls (3:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network). The latest news out of New York is that forward Thierry Henry is still questionable for the match, suffering from a strained MCL. Don’t forget the club will be without defender Brandon Barklage (red card) and MLS stalwart goalkeeper Kevin Hartman is in Red Bulls camp battling Luis Robles for the No. 1 spot.

As for the Union, the only two players still away from training were midfielder Keon Daniel and defender Bakary Soumare. Daniel and his native Trinidad and Tobago will take on Peru in a WCQ tonight. Daniel played last Friday with T&T in a scoreless draw against Belize. As for Soumare, he is scheduled to be back with the team this week after being away on international duty with Mali for a WCQ against Rwanda.  

Couple of announcements…

Sebastien Le Toux is the guest tonight on “The 90th Minute.” The show, sponsored by Farmers Insurance will air live once again from Chickies and Pete’s in Northeast Philadelphia (11000 Roosevelt Blvd.) with hosts Carl Cherkin, Chris Albright and this guy. We are told that new Union sideline reporter Heather Mitts will be a guest on next week’s show. Speaking of Mitts, check out this sitdown she did with philadelphiaunion.com discussing her new role, and what prompted her decision to retire and settle in Philadelphia. You can catch Mitts next at the Union’s next home match on April 13 against Toronto FC (4 p.m., purchase tickets). 

And catch the live stream of Union manager John Hackworth’s weekly press conference tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on philadelphiaunion.com/live. Thanks to all of you that checked out our live stream of the Pumas UNAM match Saturday. The data shows that over 4,000 supporters checked it out online from 43 different countries.

And Pitbull thought he was “Mr. Worldwide.”

Catch you all tomorrow…DOOP.

Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com