Daily news roundups

Back to Clearwater, Wheeler released, Berry no longer with Cosmos, Nashville group not happy about HCI link, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

The Union return to Clearwater today for the second phase of preseason training there. They do so minus several players who were with the team for the first phase.

On Saturday, the Union announced the release of five players from preseason camp. First among them was Aaron Wheeler, a player who never recovered from the attempt to convert him from forward to center back, as well as draft pick Aaron Simmons, and trialists Petros Kanakoudis, Aodhan Quinn, and Navid Nasseri. One hopes that the release of Wheeler signals the team is close to signing a new forward.

Matthew De George notes, “A Union spokesman confirmed that Cameroonian winger Eric Ayuk remains on trial with the club. The other three 2015 SuperDraft picks — midfielder Eric Bird, fullback Raymond Lee and forward Dzenan Catic — remain with the club.”

More on the Union announcement from PSPCSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, and Brotherly Game.

Big Apple Soccer and SBI report that Austin Berry is no longer trialing with the New York Cosmos and will not accompany the team on its trip to Hong Kong. Stay tuned.

A projected US U-20 World Cup roster at SBI omits Zach Pfeffer.

The 700 Level notes Danny Cruz’s appearance back in October on some MTV show.

Union consultant Rene Meulensteen, talking smack about SAF?!? The horror!

Oh, Freddy.

Union Academy

The Union Academy opened the second leg of East Region Generation adidas Cup play in Orlando with a 1-0 win over DC United on Friday. On Saturday, the Union lost 3-0 to Toronto. Currently fourth in the East with six points through five games with little chance of advancing to the GA Cup final group, the team faces New York Red Bulls today with a 9 am kickoff. (The team drew two games in the first round, splitting the results on penalty kicks. The tournament splits the points in such results, kind of, with teams getting a point for a draw, and two points for a win on PKs.) At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has more on the Union Academy team at the tournament.

Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben Movie has been making the film festival rounds. On Saturday came word the film had won the Tokyo International Football Film Festival 2015 Grand Prix.

Local

You will recall reports we linked to last week that Harrisburg City Islanders president Eric Pettis had been in Nashville last fall talking to local officials about the possibility of moving the team there if no further progress was made in Harrisburg toward a new stadium for the team. Nashville FC, the “non-profit, grassroots soccer organization” that currently has a team in the NPSL and aims to build toward a MLS franchise, issued a letter stating its objections to such a move:

We cannot let this happen. This kind of move would stifle everything we’ve worked for as a homegrown, member-led, grassroots soccer organization. Our vision of building an organization from the ground up, establishing an identity that is uniquely ours, and moving up the ranks from NPSL to MLS would vanish. There cannot be two USL clubs in the same city, and Nashville FC would be relegated to NPSL indefinitely. You expect much more than that. We all do…

We need to take action to ensure that can happen…We need to present a compelling case to the mayor’s office that we don’t need Harrisburg. That Nashville FC is here to stay, will continue to grow, and will become part of our town’s sports and cultural fabric…This is our town. This is our club. And we’ll do everything in our power to keep it that way.

Saying, “I’m pretty furious about this,” Nashville FC Chairman Marcus Whitney posted on Facebook,

I’ve been hearing rumblings from all sorts of people around town about other groups trying to bring a team here, and the fact that these folks wouldn’t even speak to the leadership at Nashville FC is a total smack in the face to the local supporters. And don’t say you didn’t know we existed.

Harrisburg City Islanders… This is Our Town, and Nashville FC is Our Club. You wanna come here? Talk to us first.

More on the story at Nashville Post.

Christian Pulisic, the US youth international and pride of Hershey, Pa., officially turned pro last week at Borussia Dortmund when he received his Croatian passport. The same day, he had his first training session with the senior squad. Dortmund manager manager Jürgen Klopp said, “He did a good job. He can kick the ball around really well. And in a very intense training session with narrow spaces, he did not stand out in a negative way. That is a real sign of quality.” More at ESPN, SBI, and MLSsoccer.com.

Burlington County Times reports, “New Jersey lawmakers have put a hold on legislation to permit youth soccer tournaments and other recreational activities on preserved properties in the Pinelands.”

SBI talks to former Reading United goalkeeper Alex Bono about being called into the USMNT training camp in January and being selected by Toronto in the SuperDraft.

MLS

ESPN reports, according to Columbus Crew MLS Players Union rep Michael Parkhurst, that negotiations have been focusing on “non-strike issues.” Jeff Carlisle reports Parkhurst “said via text message that finding common ground on seemingly minor issues had been ‘a struggle’ but added, ‘Some progress is better than none.'” Not exactly hopeful stuff.

At Empire of Soccer, New York Red Bulls MLS Players Union rep Luis Robles described some of the “non-strike issues: “It’s always going to be the little things no one ever thinks about; second options, insurance issues, relocation, trades, when you get drafted how you handle it, termination of contracts.” He added, “From here on out, it will ramp up — the pace and frequency is starting to get really serious but our focus has remained undeterred.”

In another ESPN post, Carlisle outlines the potential reasons behind a work stoppage in Q&A form. The Guardian does the same.

The Herald of Everett, Washington says a work stoppage would be disastrous for the league.

Massive Report on how understanding the history of the league is key to understanding the issues at stake in the current CBA negotiations.

At the the inaugural ATX Pro Challenge, FC Dallas defeated Columbus Crew 3-1 on Friday. Also on Friday, DC United defeated Austin Aztex, 2-0. On Sunday, Columbus defeated the Aztex 1-0 to take third place in the mini tournament. DC defeated Dallas 1-0 for the championship.

On Friday, Orlando drew 2-2 with Swedish club BK Häcken, and Colorado defeated UNLV, 2-0.

On Sunday morning in Manchester, NYCFC lost 2-0 to Danish side Brondby. On Sunday evening in Las Vegas, San Jose defeated Colorado, 2-0.

Sporting Kansas City have signed 25-year-old Haitian international defensive midfielder Soni Mustivar.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune on how the CBA negotiations “muddy [the] expansion waters.”

San Antonio Business Journal on how the end of Las Vegas’ bid to secure a MLS franchise improves San Antonio’s chances for one.

US

A lovely Alex Morgan finish of a beautiful cross from Lauren Holiday saw the USWNT defeat England 1-0 on Friday. It was Morgan’s 50th national team goal.

Head coach Jill Ellis said after the win, “[I]t’s important as far as momentum but I think the players truly understand where we are in the process. We scheduled Brazil, we scheduled France, we scheduled England early in our preparation phase so we’re still building momentum in our fitness and our play. I think playing those teams early is a test for us. It’s important that we remember where our end point is, and where our end product is, and we’re not there yet.”

Recaps from US Soccer (postgame quote sheet), Fox Sports, CBS Sports, SISky Sports, the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Mail, ASN, Soccer America, SBIThe EqualizerEmpire of Soccer, the Sports Network, and the AP.

Yahoo Sports says, despite the win, there’s still plenty of reason for concern about the USWNT. Yep.

At the LA Times, Kevin Baxter writes, “The toughest rival stalking Jill Ellis and the U.S. women’s national team isn’t Germany, France or Brazil. It’s the clock.”

Michelle Akers is concerned about the USWNT.

USWNT forward Sydney Leroux and Sporting Kansas City Forward have announced they were secretly married in January.

CNN profiles Alex Morgan.

The USA-Mexico friendly in San Antonio on April 15 has sold out with some 65,000 tickets sold.

Peter Vermes on Jurgen Klinsmann’s criticism of the fitness level of players in the January camp: “To expect those guys to be in top form at a January camp — and I mean this — I think it’s utterly ridiculous.”

On Saturday, Bob Bradley was inducted as a builder, and Kristine Lilly and Brian McBride were inducted as players, into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Bruce Arena won the Werner Fricker Builder Award. More at MLSsoccer.com and the AP.

The new US away kit is scheduled to be released on Feb. 18. You know, the blue-stripey one that looks like like it would be comfortable on the racks of a surf shop. Nike PR director Heidi Burgett confirmed what the new USWNT version of the kit will look like on Twitter:

new USWNT away kit 2015

Meh.

Elsewhere

The AP reports that ESPN and Univision are not pleased that FIFA extended the U.S. broadcast rights to the 2026 World Cup to Fox and Telemundo without open bidding. Rightly so.

22 Comments

  1. One last pay-off to Fuhrer Blatter from Fox and Telemundo before he rides off into the sunset?

    • Or kickbacks to fund his eternal demigod war chest.

    • Or a payoff to Fox for when the Qatar WC gets moved to US fall/winter (NFL season). Either way it is just the latest example of the corruption that is FIFA.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Exactly 100% correct. Ok Fox, here you go have the (most likely) US World Cup broadcasting rights that would have been at a HUGE cost… just keep your mouth shut when we SCREW you in 2022

  2. As I see it, the biggest problem with the USWNT leadership (past and present) has been its ongoing failure to inject sufficient new blood into the lineup.

    It’s crazy to think that a World Cup squad is dependent upon a 40-year old to anchor its back line.

  3. Congrats to Bob Bradley and Brian McBride, but especially to Kristine Lilly. 352 caps is just amazing!

  4. Good god the Players Union and the Owners haven’t even touched on the big stuff yet and they are at an impasse.

  5. USWNT forward Sydney Leroux and Sporting Kansas City Forward [INSERT NAME HERE] have…

  6. Can we talk about how awesome the ATX Pro Challenge trophy is.
    The greatest trophy ever made.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B9xwmMACIAAMR2z.jpg

    • Sure, let’s talk.
      On my one and only visit to Austin, I got a chance to see Bright Light Social Hour play a free concert on the green. I never saw so many bicycles in my life. There was a break in the heat (I think it only hit 94 that Wednesday in June) and it was a memorable night. That trophy looks like it was designed by someone who enjoys mushrooms as much as Austin.

    • I think that thing might be real.

  7. Surprised there hasn’t been a “So Freddy Adu finally found a club” joke yet…..

    Any truth to the Emile Heskey sightings at PHL yesterday??

  8. Anyone see the Vegas odds to win MLS Cup this year? Union tied for last with Colorado, Montreal and San Jose at 50-1…

    • The Black Hand says:

      We got them right where we want them. We are going to “punch above our weight”>Reach the middle of the table/make playoffs>”Punch above our weight” some more>Lift the trophy.
      .
      Let’s recap: punch bigger guys>reach the level of mediocrity>punch more bigger guys (in playoffs)>win the championship.
      .
      No big deal!!

  9. Most people I talk to believe a work stoppage is pretty much a foregone conclusion. So, we probably don’t have to worry about the team not being ready in 3 weeks.

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