Daily news roundups

Union and league news, Linc Copa Centenario dates today, US lose as Wambach retires, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The second stage of the Re-Entry Draft takes place today at 3 pm. The Union made no selections in the first stage, with only two clubs making moves. The latest list of eligible players includes 44 names, including Fred, Danny Cruz, and Antoine Hoppenot from the Union.

The Union announced on Wednesday a new partnership with StubHub, making the world’s largest ticket marketplace the team’s official secondary ticket provider. Union Vice President of Corporate Partners and Premium Seating Drew Young said in a press release, “We’re specifically excited for the opportunity StubHub will present to our Season Ticket Members, who benefit from utilizing a much easier process of transferring and re-selling tickets when required to do so.”

A Union spokesperson tells PSP that season ticket holders will still be able to transfer tickets for free through their account manager on the Union website.

In case you missed it, Mike Lahoud, currently out of contract with the Union, tweeted on Tuesday he was on his way to Scotland to train. The Scottish Sun reports Lahoud is training with SPL side St. Johnstone. Team manager Tommy Wright says, “Michael is in Europe travelling at the moment so asked us if he could come in for a few days to train. We told him that’s fine and he’ll join the rest of the lads this week. But we’re just doing him a favour while he’s in the country.”

In a review at MLSGB of No. 1 SuperDraft picks that have succeeded or failed, Maurice Edu is counted as a success, and Andre Blake as “unproven.” Former Union man Freddy Adu is among the failures. No mention of former Union man Andrew Wenger who, like Adu, is on his third team entering his fifth year as a professional, or Danny Mwanga.

Local

The final of the 2016 Copa America Centenario will be staged in Northern New Jersey at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday, June 26. The rest of the schedule, including games at the Linc, will be announced later today. You can register to receive email updates on the tournament by clicking here.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds will be the USL affiliate of Columbus Crew for the 2016 season. More at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Columbus Crew, MLSsoccer.com, USL, CBS Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Penn97.

MLS

Player moves:

Atlanta United have named Paul McDonough director of soccer operations. You will recall McDonough parted ways with Orlando City, where he was senior vice president of soccer operations, last week.

Soccer America on how free agency is a good thing for players, and the teams that know how to use the process.

MLSsoccer.com has a Q&A with new Houston Dynamo owner Gabriel Brener.

San Antonio Business Journal notes Spurs Sports & Entertainment, one of the key partners in efforts in that city to land a MLS franchise, “has only a handful of days to inform USL officials of its soccer plans for next season.” With NASL side San Antonio Scorpions done, it has been expected SSE will back a USL team to play at Toyota Field.

More on Louisville FC’s MLS aspirations.

San Jose will host New York Cosmos in a preseason friendly on Feb. 27.

US

A 104-game home unbeaten streak stretching back to 2004 for the USWNT ended on Wednesday with a 1-0 loss to China in New Orleans. The game, the last of the World Cup Victory Tour, was also Abby Wambach’s last. Perhaps the loss was in some ways fitting. Wambach is the latest in a succession of USWNT stalwarts to retire from play and a new generation of players can now begin to establish their own legacy.

More on Wambach’s farewell, and the impact she had on and off the field at Fox SoccerWashington Post, Slate, PRI, The Guardian, and the AP.

At the close of her playing career, Wambach is already making headlines. In an interview on the Bill Simmons Podcast, Wambach said this about USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann:

I would definitely fire Jurgen [Klinsmann]. Sorry Sunil [Gulati], sorry, U.S. soccer, but I don’t think Jurgen and this litmus test on him has worked. He hasn’t really focused, I feel, enough attention on the youth programs. Although he says he has, I don’t think that he has. The way that he has brought in a bunch of these foreign guys is not something I believe in wholeheartedly. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in it in my heart.

And I love Jermaine Jones, I love watching him play, and I love Fabian Johnson, and he plays in Germany and is actually killing it right now after being sent home for “faking an injury.” But I just think that this experiment that U.S. Soccer has given Jurgen isn’t one that personally I’m into. It’s gotta be interesting for those guys to see their coach take off in a helicopter and fly home to his home and then back to training…It seems to me there are too many egos in our men’s program right now, and the bigger ego of all of them is the one who is leading the charge.

Stop a random USMNT supporter and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear much the same thing. Indeed, former USMNT head coach Bruce Arena shares her view.

Gulati said of Wambach’s comments, “Abby has never been shy of speaking her mind, but today it’s best to celebrate a wonderful career and character.” More reaction at ESPNW, Soccer AmericaYahoo Sports, Reuters,

Carli Lloyd has been named US Soccer’s Female Player of the Year.

With NFL players now getting in on the act, The Guardian reviews the history of shirt swapping in soccer.

Elsewhere

Sepp Blatter appeared before the FIFA ethics committee today, one which ESPN notes “he helped create and whose authority he does not recognise in his case.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said again he believes Blatter should receive the Nobel Peace Prize, describing him as “a very reputable person,” adding, “His contribution to the global humanitarian field is enormous. He has always tried to use football not just for sport but as a tool for fostering cooperation between people.” Me thinks Blatter will have to make do with being named “Swiss of the Year” by Swiss newspaper Weltwoche.

Soccer America says Michel Platini and his lawyers do himself no favors by refusing to appear before the ethics committee.

Indicted former CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout agreed to post a $20 million bond when he pled not guilty to corruption charges in Brooklyn on Tuesday. New York Daily News reports, “The conditions of his release require that he remain in New York or South Florida under electronic monitoring, and make no contact with his 26 co-defendants in the case. He must pay for a private security service to accompany him on limited outings as well as 24-hour video surveillance at his home.”

From Reuters: “El Salvador’s former soccer federation president, Reynaldo Vasquez, who is wanted in the United States in connection with a probe targeting alleged corruption in the sport, has been detained, police said on Wednesday.”

From the AP: “The CEO of World Cup sponsor Adidas says it will re-evaluate its FIFA deal if the scandal-hit governing body fails to change.” CEO Herbert Hainer believes “from my point of view they are on the right track.”

What’s at stake for FIFA sponsors? There’s this from FIFA on Wednesday: “More than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, with the competition reaching a global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people, according to final figures from FIFA and Kantar Media.”

39 Comments

  1. The Realist Brian says:

    I don’t recall a far more important player retiring this way: Mia Hamm. I personally think that Abby held the US Women back with her style of play, and we won the World Cup when the team stopped relying on her and playing faster through the middle. She was overrated.
    .
    As for her comments, I don’t give two shits about her opinion about the men’s program, especially from her. Her views on coaching is for them to be in a corner and the players run the team, which is further from the truth. She also thrived on direct play and long balls, which every team has started to neutralize, and we switched away from, hence her obsolescence with the team.
    .
    As for the xenophobic bullshit about foreign players, any player born to a US citizen is a citizen. She should go fuck herself especially hard seeing that everyone of the German Americans are sons of US Service members protecting our nation. Another fact is their skills and technique are superior than many US born players. Sorry to alert you Abby, we aren’t where we need to be with our technique yet, when US guys in the midfield can’t control a pass in tight spaces and bobble the ball (See every high pressure game the US has played, i.e.. Belgium, Mexico ect.) the US players were shit while the German Americans dribbled out of pressure.

    • Ooh, you had me until the very end. I don’t remember the German Americans being silky smooth on the ball either in the last World Cup.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      Yikes Homie! You’re keeping it real….. aggressive.

    • Béla Guttmann of Love says:

      I’m afraid you missed the point: A body can’t operate on adrenaline alone, and when when each subsequent adrenaline spike is less efficacious than the last… well, here we are.

    • It’s good to see you can use big-boy words when not dropping profanity. But if you don’t care so much about Abby’s opinions, why the diatribe? Doth protest too much. Welcome to the world, where everyone has an opinion. A world where players are asked questions, and OMG, they respond. Oh the horror. Is it that Abby has such strong opinions that irritates you too much? Or is it the fact she’s not in the kitchen cooking dinner while being bear-foot and pregnant? The 21st century must be a scary place for you, with women having opinions and people actually listening to them.

      • I didn’t read Brian’s comment on Abby’s opinion being because she’s woman. It had more to do with how Abbey operated within the USWNT, that’s all.

      • If it wasn’t about her being a woman, then where is his rant on Arena? He basically said the same thing. Why is he not telling Arena to go F* himself?

      • He disagrees with her comments and links it to her long-ball style of play. And he defended the German-Americans’ “Americaness” by citing the service of their fathers to our country. Yes Brian was fired up in his delivery, but you are the one making links to sexism when there were none. According to you, strongly disagreeing with the opinion of a woman automatically makes you sexist/homophobe?

      • No, not the disagreeing, the telling of her to go F* herself. It’s fine to disagree with someone. No problem. It’s when you start personal attacks on a person because of that opinion where he’s wrong. Arena does the same thing, but no comment? Just goes right after Abby and tells her to go F* herself. Sorry, I don’t know how you can’t see this as sexist.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        It would be my guess TRB made an empassioned argument for why he thinks Abby Wambach is off point. My comments while not quite so ruthless are similar and that goes for Bruce Arena too whose commentary on this particular subject I take with a grain of salt too.
        .
        Maybe someday our HG player pool will be so good that a guy like JJ or FJ or Michael Brooks or any number of other players will not make the team but to think our player pool is good enough is ludicrous.
        .
        Here’s my idea… solve the youth system that is failing our HG players.
        .
        As for ego that Wambach speaks about with our MNT players I agree with TBR’s perspective on that and offer a look at the pot calling the kettle black Abby…. your ego got in the way too.. I think her commentary was poorly timed poorly said and directed attention away from the team and placed it in her which it was already set to be related to ending career. did not take his commentary as sexist. Emotional yes. Sexist no.

      • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

        I’m just shocked to learn that Abby has bear feet!!!

    • Just for the record I disagree with Abby and Bruce. I think they are being short sighted, and the foreign born player, with citizen parents, are citizens and have every right to play for the national team if they are able. I do agree that the way Jurgen goes about things does not help things. And that his “development” of the youth leaves far more to be desired. I also think that someone who has dedicated their life to playing in a USA jersey deserves some amount of respect. Maybe even given a little bit of leeway when asked a question and gave a less than popular response. I also think they have a reasonable expectation to not be verbally attacked with profanity because of said opinion. Especially when it’s not a life changing issue and is about a sport (game). But hey that’s just me.

    • Yeah I’m basically with you, but just to make a counterpoint about Arena’s tweet: it was utterly tone-deaf, as tends to happen when you have 144 characters to work with, but I think the overall sentiment behind it (and maybe Abby’s comment as well) is this: If most (MOST) of our top-level talent doesn’t come up through the American development system – and probability suggests that means they were born in America, though obviously isn’t always the case – then that says loads about how weak our national development program is, which is going to hinder us in the long term. In other words, we’re just not going to find 11 top-level foreign-born soccer players who are eligible to play for the US, so that means we need to focus on better developing young players, and giving them playing time on the field so they’re ready for the big show when it comes around.

      Now does that mean I think we should drop the foreign-born/trained players on our squad, just because they weren’t born here? Abso-effing-lutely not. That would be insane – the very definition of “cutting off one’s nose to spite the face.” And I don’t think that’s what Wambach and Arena were saying. Of course, I could be completely wrong – that’s just the sentiment I interpreted behind their (woefully inarticulate) statements.

    • LOUD NOISES!!!!

  2. This is Bruce Arena’s stance on the issue (and for the record, he is speaking about players not going through the US Player Development System). From 2014 interview:

    “I’m a big believer in the American player and producing them out of our system. I think that ultimately is what will develop the sport in our country, not on the field but with the consumer,” Arena said. “When they can recognize our players and who they are and where they came from, they’ll be more supportive of the sport, and that’s a big plus in terms of marketing. When we do it with randomly selecting people from all over that really have no connection, I don’t think it hits home with people we want supporting our sport and our national team.”

    In modern times, the 2002 US World Cup Team (coached by Arena) went further than any American team either prior or since. Quite frankly, that team got robbed against Germany and had a legitimate case for the semi-finals. Guess how many players on that team played who didn’t come through the US system? 1. Earnie Stewart.

    Bottom line, Bruce Arena is correct, and the results are there to prove it. And, out of all the people in this country, I think I’ll take his word over a narcissistic coach who’s never accomplished anything as a manager.

    Bruce Arena: 5 MLS Cups, 3 MLS Supporter Shields, 1 CONCACAF Champions’ League Cup, 5 NCAA Championships.

    Jurgen Klinsmann: Jack Shit.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I respect Bruce Arena’s accomplishments but I think you are over valuing an outlier 2002 WC placement… to me it is kinda grouped into the thinking that US Soccrr is advancing cause it beat Spain. They are outliers and not the mean.
      .
      I have a question. What is your estimation for why the NT(s) are struggling? What is your position on it I am curious. Would you agree the turnover in player pool hampers our development? i read an illuminating position from someone somewhere who outlined the huge flux with the players getting called up and there is no continuity…. as evidenced all the way up to the senior team. It seems to me we are unable to find the players we want to build around and give them plenty of chances to grow….
      .
      You wa t to grow the game in this country… solve our development problem and produce a world class player who will likely ply trade abroad in Liverpool or Hertha.
      .
      This is all very murky and sticky. There is not one problem but a hole host of underlying issues…that much im certain of.

      • Well, they won 2 out of 3 Gold Cups between 2000 and 2005, so I don’t think you can call the 2002 performance at outlier. They had good players (just about all through the defacto American system at the time) and a fantastic coach.

        Our USMNT struggles are due to a number of factors. One factor is totally out of JK’s control and that’s the cyclical roll in our player-base. Majority of our leaders are older, so when that happens you’re going to have a natural dropoff and some volatility. That said, JK has created a ton of problems himself…no consistency like you mentioned in call-ups or position; he’s created division in the ranks all the way down the food chain in the Federation instead of fostering unification. I took a middle-level USSF licensing course 2 years ago and had the main instructor ripping him to shreds. Killing JK…in a licensing course that was sponsored by the USSF. Couldn’t believe it. Said “He’ll get his day of reckoning soon.” I’ve had conversations with former nat’l team guys (more my age) who have said that the current training sessions are beyond disconnected and do nothing to develop the team. There’s no team building, no unity in non-soccer related practice either. “It’s like high school…at team meals, the German guys sit together and speak German, and the Americans are like WTF are they even here for?”

        Part of being a leader is being a unifying force, promoting an image of positivity and growth, inspiring people. JK does the complete opposite. He’s not a leader. He’s a press-seeking politician, nothing more.

      • Solid rebuttal. I tend to over look Gold Cups but maybe that is disparaging.
        .
        I have heard about the training sessions and how they are ‘disconnected’ as you say. That is a problem for sure.
        .
        Klinsman is certainly a polarizing force. I appreciate your thoughts.

      • The other beef I have is the pro-Klinsmann camp is the insistence that he has revolutionized the youth game in this country. It’s just not true. Claudio Reyna has been the driving force behind the adaptations for youth soccer in America. JK has done litle more than sign off on this. But the smaller fields, increased focus on 4v4 small sided games (U8 and younger), the build line, the adaptation to the calendar year format re: age…all of that stuff is Reyna. Maybe having a couple more youth national teams was JK’s idea (and that is a good idea), but his involvement in the youth program is from a 30K foot view…much less than he or his people would have you believe.

    • Agree with pretty much all that you wrote (I’m always up for bashing Klinsmann).

      To be fair, if the ref sees O’Brien’s obvious handball vs Mexico in ’02, that would have been a PK and sending off.
      While it’s true that you make your own luck, that play could have changed a lot for the US.

    • You’re off about the 2002 World Cup Roster in regards to US Youth players. Technically there were three foreign born players (ignoring those who came to US as children): Carlos Llamosa (used as a sub 2-3 times, Stewart and unused David Regis. Also, US Soccer’s full-time residency program didn’t start until 1999; so, only a few of the players came from the US system. The following are the only players from the team that played for any US youth teams: Landon Donovan, Kasey Keller (bench), DaMarcus Beasley, Josh Wolff (1 start & 1 sub), Steve Cherundolo (bench) and Frankie Hejduk. The 2006 World Cup is when you saw a large number of players come through the US youth system. We know how well the US performed in Germany.

      • First, I said “played.” Regis didn’t play and Llamosa played 2 minutes against Mexico and 12 against Portugal. Stewart was the only one to get meaningful minutes.

        You’re preaching semantics here all the way around. The defacto US Youth Program in the ’90s was club ball, state / ODP ball, high school, and college. There was no major pro league when the majority of those guys were coming up. Most of the US-born players with the exception of O’Brien at Ajax (and he only went there at 17) played through “the system.” Friedel (UCLA), Meola (UVA), Sanneh (UW-Milwaukee), Reyna (UVA), Jones (UCLA), McBride (St. Louis), Wolff (South Carolina), Berhalter (UNC), Mastroeni (NC St), etc. etc. all went through the defacto progression.

    • While Klinsmann does not have much as a manager I wouldn’t count a 3rd place World Cup finish as Jack Shit.

      • First, the WC was in Germany that year. Second, it’s the worst goal differential in 5 WCs for the German national team. Third, they went to the Finals the WC before that. 3rd place (tied for Germany’s worst finish in the new Millenium) is pretty pedestrian.

        That team had Ballack, Neuville, Klose, Podolski…not exactly a bare cupboard.

      • I was just saying its not like Arena was taking the US team to a 3rd place finish. Has Klinsmann accomplished much as a manager no, but to say he has done Jack Shit I think is a bit of an exaggeration.

      • Fine. A little less than jack shit.

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    Half of Mourinho’s team deserve to be benched and the manager takes the fall again. This is what happens when you have a team of half wit me players…
    .
    Can there be anything worse than managing in front of Roman Ibramovich though~ an owner who once fired the manager in the same calendar year he won the arguably most important club event in the world, Champions League.
    .
    I’m not a Mourinho fan per se… but Hazard, Cesc, Matic, and even Ivanovic have played uninspired terrible football this season IMO. Clearly a championship hangover that even The Special One couldn’t light a fire under. At some point the players are responsible too.
    .
    He could keep 5 starters replace all the others and likely turn the season around by April but when all your money is wrapped up in dogs that is a hard sell to the owner.

    • agreed. but the adage: “can’t fire the players” holds true.
      excited Pep is going to City. love me some Pellegrini but Pep leads to Messi and well… Nirvana

  4. Instead of saluting Ms. Wambach’s indelible marks on the upward swing of US soccer generally and the USWNT in particular, we’ve been forced to debate a scathing critique over the one aspect of our sport over which she has no input. The same can’t be said of Bruce. Too bad.

  5. June 9, June 11 (USA game), and June 14 are the dates for the Copa America games in Philly. All are group games, no knockouts. Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil are the other seeded teams in the tourney, and none of them will be coming to Philly.

    • We get a USA game though on the 11th, so that’s not so terrible…or maybe it is LOL.

      One team I would like to see is Chile, that would be great.

      • Saw Chile play Gahana at PPL park a few years ago was a pretty good game great atmosphere from both sets of fans.

  6. Union passed on Stage 2 of Re-Entry Draft.

    • MLS site just posted current rosters for all teams. Union have 13 of 28 spots filled. I’m assuming at least Carroll and Fabinho will be back- that’s 15. Possibly Lahoud and Creavalle, but can’t see both. Let’s say 16, and presumably at least the 2 top draft picks make the roster (I hope), so that’s 18. Still looking for at least 10 new players. Edu was only listed DP (guess they bought down Barnetta), and 3 international spots filled (Nogs still listed as international). Going to be an interesting next 8 weeks no matter what if they want to have a roster next year.

      Edit: Orlando has 10 (!) international spots filled. They are really hoarding them.

      • Thanks!
        .
        Including the link you mentioned
        .
        http://www.mlssoccer.com/rosters/2016

      • Yup, time for Earine to do his thing. Plenty of roster spots, cap space, and TAM money.
        .
        I know any big signings will likely not come until the January transfer window but I would like to see the senior team roster get up to at least 16-18 or so in the next few weeks just for the sake of having a full team. Now with Stage 2 of the Re-Entry over all those players not selected can be signed, as well as the existing free agents. Not looking for starters but rather role/bench players.
        .
        Hopefully more BSFC signings too.

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