Daily news roundups

Newsy bits and bobs

All of us a PSP wish you and yours a very merry Christmas.

Philadelphia Union

Not much happening. Wouldn’t an exciting announcement be a nice way to send Union fans into the Christmas holiday?

[Editor’s note: Soon after this roundup went live, the Union announced Oka Nikolov as assistant coach “with his primary focus on the goalkeepers.” An “exciting announcement,” indeed!]

At MLS Multiplex, Andre Blake is one of four players to watch for 2016.

A ranking of center backs at American Soccer Analysis has now former Union man Steven Vitoria at No. 24, Richie Marquez at No. 31, and Maurice Edu at No. 34. The admittedly unthorough list has Jeff Larentowicz at No. 8.

At Vavel, Jordan Wohl wonders if the Union are on the path to success.

Like many of us, the Brotherly Game’s Matt Ralph is still ticked off about the Union’s homegrown claim on Keegan Rosenberry being denied.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders defender and 2015 captain Neil Shaffer has signed with NASL side Indy Eleven.

At The Guardian, what Josh Harris’ push toward a reliance on Moneyball analytics at the 76ers might mean for Crystal Palace fans. “To judge by results it is a stance which continues to backfire with mind-numbing regularity.”

Also at The Guardian, what is it about the EPL that attracts US investors? I’m gonna go with the enormous bags of money.

MLS

Player moves:

Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has confirmed he is trying to convince Didier Drogba to return to the club, not as a player but as a member of the backroom staff or club ambassador. The Telegraph reports, “Chelsea will take Drogba as soon as possible if an early exit from Montreal can be negotiated, otherwise they will hand him a role once his contract with the Major League Soccer club expires. They do not want to risk losing him in the same way Arsenal allowed Patrick Vieira to take a job at Manchester City.”

Things are apparently heating up on the Drogba front. On Wednesday evening, Montreal impact sent out a series of tweets that read:

We are currently in contact with Didier Drogba and Chelsea FC. We are doing everything we can to have him back with the Impact in 2016 [1]. We understand his attachment to his former club and his desire to help them. We are willing to accommodate him [2]. But our objective is to have him back for another season, as agreed in his contract. This situation is out of our control [3]. We would like to thank our supporters for their understanding and their patience [4].

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner writes the willingness of MLS and its teams to accommodate the whims of its high profile designated players like Drogba is part of why the league doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Ashley “Not Ready To Relax On A Beach Yet” Cole to LA Galaxy? Many, like Steve Nichol, no doubt hope not.

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff reports it is unlikely Perry Kitchen will return to DC United in 2016: “Kitchen apparently has suitors in Denmark and Germany.”

The last scrap yard in Washington DC has closed to make way for DC United’s new stadium.

The schedule for the fifth annual Desert Diamond Cup, which will take place Feb. 17-27, has been announced. The participating teams are Columbus Crew, Sporting Kansas City, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo, Colorado Rapids, as well as USL sides Arizona United and Swope Park Rangers. Arizona United, by the way, announced on Wednesday recently fired Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop as their new head coach and president of soccer operations.

At SI, the top 15 storylines of the 2015 season.

The top volleys of 2015. Love me a volleyed goal.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dylan Butler has a long-form piece on Kwadwo Poku’s path to NYCFC.

US

Former Union head coach John Hackworth has been named head coach of the US U-17 MNT, where he was assistant coach beginning in 2002 before becoming head coach between 2004 and 2007. He replaces Richie Williams, who has joined Real Salt Lake as an assistant coach.

Michael Bradley has responded to to the recent comments from Abby Wambach that she disagrees with the USMNT bringing in a “bunch of these foreign guys.” Bradley says:

I feel strongly that one of the beautiful things about the United States, one of the things that makes our country so special is the way that we welcome people from all over the world and in some ways give them opportunities to start new lives or to live better lives. I think that’s what we represent.

In terms of the national team, if you’re able to get an American passport then you have every right to represent our national team. And at the end of the day, we should be judging guys on their commitment to the team and their willingness to give everything they have for our country. Not where they were born or what country their parents were born in. That’s not how it works.

Will Brad Friedel be named head coach of the new US U-19 MNT?

Elsewhere

From the AP: “FIFA has said it will no longer describe its ruling panel as its ‘executive committee’ but will instead call it a ‘council’ under a rebranding set to come into effect in April.”

From Reuters: “Shaken by corruption scandals, global soccer body FIFA on Wednesday presented the detailed reforms it will ask members to adopt in February at a special congress that seeks to restore its reputation and elect a new leader.”

From Inside World Football: “The failed Dutch-Belgian bid for the 2018 World Cup is to be submitted for a FIFA Ethics Committee inquiry following newspaper allegations of possible vote buying.”

At FourFourTwo, a look at the lost tradition of Christmas Day soccer in Europe.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week. It’s positively raining Premier League games.

13 Comments

  1. James Lockerbie says:

    Merry Christmas ! Everyone and A Happy Doop’in New Year !

    Thank you PSP Writers and Readers for making Philadelphia Soccer so Great.

  2. Maybe we don’t have the number one team in the country but we certainly have the top soccer site. Thank you to all the contributors and commenters.

  3. Merry Christmas, everyone! May the holidays and new year bring us all a little extra patience, and a club deserving of that patience!
    .
    And a playoff appearance would be nice…

  4. I’m happy for Hackworth. Youth coaching is where he belongs, and he’s good at it.

  5. Season’s greetings to you all. Be well and safe to those who do not celebrate Christmas.
    .
    We are off on a Disney adventure…. safe travels to you and to us.
    .
    Thank you to this sight which provides an outlet to vent, to think, to constantly sharpen the writing skills, to think critically about this magical game, and someday soon to revel. I love this club.
    .
    Be well friends.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Assuming that pink heifers save one roster slot for contingencies, if they are up to eleven HGPs, their roster is full. 2 of 4 strikers are HGP. Over half their middies are HGPs. Some will get minutes with NYRB2, but it is quite a bet on their in house program as it is the source of all their depth outside the defense.
    .
    Seems a bit risky, given thE strong likelihood of injuries over nine months and thirty four league games plus CONCACAF CL.

    • Most will probably be loaned down to NYRB2 and hence off the roster spot. More likely signed as HGP so when they move up they are not counted in the cap for not having played enough minutes in MLS

      • It pains me to say this but the Red Bull Academy is very good with high quality coaches. Kudos to them for growing a squad the right way. Hopefully the Union Academy will produce similar players in the near future as our boys continue to develop through the system.

  7. Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks to the contributors, readers, and commenters for making this site great!

  8. Merry Christmas & happy holidays to all in the PSP community – writers, contributors, readers, commenters and all who make this site the place to be each and every day!

  9. OneManWolfpack says:

    As John Lennon would say: Happy Christmas!!! Thanks to everyone who writes for, comments on, and enjoys PSP!! Almost time to DOOP it up again!
    .
    By the way, the Poku story was a good one. Amazing no one wanted that guy.

  10. The Little Fish says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you. Thanks PSP for a truly AMAZING website…!!!

  11. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!! If your holiday season is not one I mentioned… The very best to you also!! This is goodbye till 2016!! See you all in the new year!! Thanks again to everyone! You all make this site amazing!! Hey Dan Walsh…my daughter is headed to Roam for 2 weeks of study abroad time… Any suggestions for her??

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