In the spirit of being open and honest, we have a confession to make…
There was no “The Daily Doop,” yesterday. It’s not that we forgot; we were just busy watching Chandler Hoffman score four goals in Tuesday’s 6-0 reserve rout of D.C. United.
It was a pretty cool thing to witness too, since we haven’t seen that many goals scored by a Union player in one game since…well, ever.
Hoffman also made history as the first Union player to net four goals in one game. To chronicle who even comes close, revert to April 2010 when a French striker named Sebastien Le Toux netted three in a 3-2 win over D.C. United when we were still playing matches Lincoln Financial Field.
The Union held practice Wednesday at Chester Park and participating in a full training session was midfielder Danny Cruz. Cruz is showing immense resolve for someone with toe injuries he’s sustained. While he’s still far from 100 percent, he is on track to return to the lineup. Union boss John Hackworth attested this in his weekly press conference held at PPL Park later that afternoon.
“He is one of the hardest working players out there,” Hackworth said. “In the locker room it’s the same way, in the training room it’s the same way, he’s going to do everything he can to prepare himself, so I expect that we are going to see him [before the season ends]…Danny understands how important this part of the season is for us. Even though we are out of the playoffs, he recognizes the importance of having a strong finish.”
Speaking of the internationals…
Carlos Valdes (Colombia), Gabriel Gomez (Panama) and Keon Daniel (Trinidad and Tobago) left the team earlier this week to begin training with their respective national teams. Of the three, only Daniel begins action tonight when Trinidad takes on French Guyana in group play of the CFU Caribbean Cup, a fancy title for what is actually preliminary qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
It’s hard to decipher what they are actually doing with it, but information on the Caribbean Cup and updated scores are here on the CONCACAF website.
In other news…
Gomez and Antoine Hoppenot are up for MLS Goal of the Week. Voting goes until 11:59 p.m. Thursday night, so cast your vote for them here.
Today starts our “Meet the Trialists” series in which over the next few days we’ll profile Matt Kassel, Ryan Richter and Lucky Mkosana, three players that have made their presence known in a short time. First up is Kassel, a former homegrown player under the New York Red Bulls’ system. Kassel, 22, explains how he desperately seeks for a fresh start in Philly – after the door on his career in New York was slammed shut.
Stuart Holden was at PPL Park yesterday to watch friend and United midfielder Mike Chabala play in the reserve match. Holden told philadelphiaunion.com that he returns to Bolton next Friday, but is unsure of his role given the recent firing of manager Owen Coyle. It also doesn’t help that before Holden’s violent knee injury, Bolton was in the Premier League. Since the injury, the Wanderers have been relegated to England’s second division and are currently 18th in the Championship.
We are still looking for our Fans’ Fan of the Year and all the info regarding what is and how to enter yourself or someone you think deserves it can be found here. Top prize winner wins an all-expense paid trip to our preseason training site in the Orlando-Deltona area, so it pays to enter.
Inquirer reporter Mike Jensen wrote this piece on Union players that are earning their college degree while earning a living as a professional. A great article that chronicles the importance of a higher education and way our guys are going about getting one.
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr.