Daily news roundups

Power rankings, Rosenberry buzz, Okugo signs with Portland, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Montreal Impact

Philadelphia Union

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 3: “Two draws on the week for the Union is a good return considering the competition and the road trip to Montreal. Philadelphia is third in the East but their points-per-game is the best in the conference.” At SI, the Union move up three spots to No. 6: “The Union earned two draws, but they’re two mighty impressive ones…This team has a clear identity now, a refreshing sight after years of underachievement.” At Soccer America, the Union remains at No. 6: “The Union has tied its last three games and in a 2-2 deadlock with the Galaxy squandered a one-goal lead for second straight time at home…though the Union has posted just two shutouts, its goals-allowed average of 1.1 per game is among the league’s best.”

Keegan Rosenberry makes the bench in MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. What, two strong performances in the span of three days isn’t good enough? More on Rosenberry making the bench at the Union website.

Rosenberry is SBI’s Rookie of the Week.

The Rosenberry for Rookie of the Year train gathers steam at ASN.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George lists four areas the Union have shown improvement in compared to recent past seasons.

The list of Rivalry Week games at MLSsoccer.com says of Friday’s home game that the rivavilry between the Union and DC United is “not nearly as antagonistic as either team’s relationship with the New York Red Bulls up the road…At the end of the day, both the Union and United are gunning for playoffs spots in a crowded, balanced Eastern Conference and every point counts, so nothing will be held back when they kick off along the shores of the Delaware River on Friday.”

Noting games between the Union and DC are typically exciting and dramatic, Dave Zeitlin writes in the latest Inside Doop, “Rarely, though, have the teams been good the same season. It will be important, then, for the Union to show their fiercest rivals that they’re poised to make the playoffs this season — and build a bigger lead in the standings over a D.C. team that figures to be in the postseason hunt too.”

Brotherly Game has an appreciation of the Union’s defensive core.

With the news that Jozy Altidore is out 6-8 weeks with a hamstring injury (that occurred while taking a penalty kick that was saved), it will be interesting to see the criticism of Jurgen Klinsmann for not including CJ Sapong on the USMNT’s preliminary roster for the Copa America. The preliminary roster announcement noted, “Tournament rules require the final 23-player roster to be turned in no later than May 20 to the Local Organizing Committee. All the players on the final list must come from the preliminary roster.”

Appearing on on ExtraTime Radio on Monday, Taylor Twellman says his halftime comments during the broadcast of the Kansas City-Orlando game that players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic cannot be “discovered” was “more of a tongue and cheek comment.” He went on to explain the Union are unlikely to receive compensation for having him on their discovery list if he signs with another MLS team because they are unlikely to be able to make a realistic offer to him and so would lose any discovery priority. Kevin Kinkead tweeted a transcript of Twellman’s comments if you’re interested in his full explanation.

The 18 and Fansided add to the list of reports on the Union placing Zlatan Ibrahimovic on their discovery list.

Writing at Philly Voice following the Sixers’ announcement of “the first jersey patch sponsorship among major sports leagues in American history,” Kevin Kinkead parses the the meaning of a “major” sport.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Brotherly Game notes a report (crappy Google translation here) that Eric Ayuk has been called up by Cameroon for U-20 Africa Cup of Nations second qualifiers. Cameroon travels to face Zimbabwe on May 22 with the return leg on June 10. If the team advances past Zimbabwe, third round games are scheduled for July 8 and July 22.

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog considers what Ayuk’s possibly extended absence might mean for the the team.

Bethlehem makes the “Best of the Rest” in the latest power rankings at USLsoccer.com.

At the USL website, a review of talking points from last week’s games notes, “If not for Bethlehem Steel FC’s dramatic late rally against FC Montreal on Sunday afternoon, the split between the group that look solid playoff contenders and those on the outside looking in in the Eastern Conference would look even more stark. Even so, the top seven in the East hold at least a five-point cushion on the teams tied for ninth as of now, which will leave teams like Wilmington and Toronto feeling they need to get on a good run of results sooner rather than later.” Bethlehem is currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

Brotherly Game recaps Sunday’s come-from-behind win over FC Montreal.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Soccer Wire notes, “While there aren’t standings for the U-13/14 level, Philadelphia Union has been one of the best teams in the East Conference for much of the season.”

At the Union website, a roundup of Academy news.

Local

The friendly on Sunday, May 22 between Philadelphia Fury and La Liga side Eibar will be streamed on YouTube as part of a new deal between the online streaming service and Spain’s top flight.

At the Ocean City Nor’easters website, a recap of the inaugural Blue and Orange intrasquad game.

Pulisic!

Sophia Gulati (NJ Stallions; Washington Township, N.J.) and Shea Moyer (FC Revolution; Wyomissing, Pa.) have been called up for the US U-18 WNT camp in Carson, May 21-28.

MLS

Portland has signed former Union man Amobi Okugo. Amobi and Jack can be roomies again!

Dallas has signed 23-year-old Argentine defender Agustin Jara.

Vice Sports says the Kei Kamara trade shows MLS still sees players as “expendable commodities.”

Fox Soccer has a Top Five MLS Rivalries ranking.

The New York Times on Orlando City using the possibility of securing a US visa to attract foreign investors to pay for the construction of its new stadium. $500,000 gets foreign investors two season tickets and a green card. Soccer America summarizes, “So far, the project has attracted 30 investors for a commitment of $15 million The goal: 150 investors, or $75 million. Investors must be screened and prove their visa will create at least 10 jobs.”

The Oklahoman on efforts to bring a MLS franchise to Oklahoma City.

US

Downingtown’s Zack Steffen has been named to the 22-player roster for the “transition camp” that will convene in Miami before next week’s friendly against Puerto Rico. The announcement notes,

In the group made up exclusively of U.S. players based in Europe and Mexico who have just completed their club seasons, a total of 15 players traveling to camp in Miami are in contention for the 23-man squad that will compete in the 2016 Copa America Centenario, having been included in the binding 40-man preliminary list submitted on April 29 to tournament organizers. The final roster for Copa America must be turned in no later than May 20. MLS-based players selected to compete in the tournament will be released by their clubs on May 23 and join the team that day in Dallas.

Because he was not included on the 40-player preliminary roster, Steffen is among the seven players who are not eligible for selection for the Copa AMerica.

John Hackworth’s U-17 MNT drew 1-1 with Tanzania in its first game at the AIFF Youth Cup in Goa, India on Monday. Next up is India on May 19.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports, “The managing director of a security company that left behind a dummy bomb responsible for a terror alert at Old Trafford on Sunday has taken “full responsibility” for not removing the item following a training exercise.” The game has been rescheduled for today at 3 pm ET (NBCSN):

Spokesmen for the Bournemouth and Manchester United fans’ associations also called for the club to offer proper compensation to people who had travelled to Old Trafford for the game.

Manchester United has announced that all tickets to Sunday’s game will be refunded and entry to the rescheduled match on Tuesday will be free. Bournemouth will offer supporters free coach travel for the 500-mile round trip to Old Trafford from the club’s Vitality stadium.

The Press Association reports, “Two-time FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin al Hussein has accused Gianni Infantino of a “complete betrayal” of world football’s member associations for giving the FIFA Council power over key committees.”

16 Comments

  1. Well didn’t take long for Johnny Infant to rub people the wrong way at FIFA HQ.
    .
    Jozy Jozy Jozy…. memo to you- RE: USMNT- scoring goals against Guatemala and Honduras and a brace or two against Club FU and Peru is lovely and dare I say easy…. but if you are unavailable to play against Ghana, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Colombia, Paraguay or Costa Rica…. the level of criticism you receive is warranted (100%)…..
    .
    Dear Lord, may the landing be soft for my dearly departed in the Rose City. May he play….as he mostly assuredly is good enough. Possibly the first true difficulty the player has actually met in his career since trying a Maradona at 6 when an outside cut would do. Play well Amobi… I’ll be the guy rooting for you when we play the Timbers.

  2. Really glad Amobi is getting another shot in MLS. I wonder if that means that Diego Chara’s injury is worse than they originally thought. (Or maybe they’re just not happy with Jewsbury and Zemanski as his backups.)

  3. Clean sheets are great of course, but 1.1 goals per match is better.

    • Tom Corey says:

      Do the math, 0.0 GPM is better than 1.1

      • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

        Come on Tom, literal much? He just meant that a 1.1 average over a number of games or, dare we dream, a season is better than the occasional clean sheet that everybody goes ape shit over. Get it? Long run over instant gratification.

  4. Blake is in the running for Save of the Week again. Currently losing 40-60% to Saunders.
    .
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/05/17/vote-mls-save-week-week-11

  5. hey “Vice Sports” every league on earth views its players as commodities

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Does the May 23 for players released from their teams apply to Jamaica as well? Does that mean that Blake is going to miss 3 games prior to the Copa?

  7. Jonathan Tannenwald ‏@thegoalkeeper 49m49 minutes ago
    Inbox: The @ChicagoFire
    sign Michael de Leeuw and pay the @PhilaUnion $50,000 to do so, because he was on the Union’s Discovery List.

    • Loved that. We’re gathering resources wherever and however we can. Until MLS decides to fix this kind of nonsense, let’s take advantage of it. Here’s to hoping we can find a way to get paid for the zlatan discovery.

  8. We are this multicultural behemoth of potential… and while I grant you…MLS has grown….the quality hasn’t- matter of fact the standard of play since 1998 has decreased… all glitz and glory- all about the money… no substance underneath it, yes infrastructure has been built, but the quality of players coming from that infrastructure hasn’t … the development of our youth has not been commensurate since the rebirth of soccer in the USA since 1994– and this is inarguable… it is a watered down lemonade league without enough sugar… that is what MLS is.
    .
    meanwhile… this grassroots mechanism wants to explode underneath it…but without incentive to do so…. yet STILL investors are investing and imagining and branding and growing clubs from the grassroots up —-that US Soccer turns its back on. This too is inarguable.
    .
    too bad. too bad. too bad. too bad.

  9. I assume that Taylor Twellman was intending to have made a “tongue IN cheek” comment, but it was still apparently at least underinformed. I would hate to think that the Union, in the nation’s fifth largest media market, are insufficient for some name players to consider. That being said, I note as well that the Union cannot work themselves into one of the top five rivalries, even when one of those “top five” picks is a tongue in cheek criticism of the arcane rules of the MLS against reason. It seems that a natural opponent would be the Revs, and playing for a Cradle of Liberty Cup (Or even an actual cradle) would work.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      The problem is that MLS does view Philly as insufficient. Why they wouldn’t want to boost a large media market and push us towards one of the “marquis” franchises, I am guessing is because of our ownership. It is clear, and I am guessing it also has been made formally clear by ownership, that Sugarman (and his ownership group) has no intention of spewing millions, a la – LA, Toronto, NY, Seattle. Not saying Sugarman has to sell, but if a billionaire like John Middleton (owner of the Phillies) bought the team and splashed some well placed cash, we would be viewed as a destination by players and MLS. Until we finally drop that first million, we are what we are.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Because they came out of the gate like a dysfunctional clod…. IMO they quickly became second hand clothing in this league of rapid expansion and maybe someday contraction.
        .
        They could have been GRAND~ well not original genius Le Bec Fin grand because we all know that’s not possible but grand like a McDonalds that is perfectly chosen on the corner of such and such.
        .
        They puked all over themselves like Eminem.

      • John Ling says:

        Mom’s spaghetti, or a cheese steak?

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Moms spaghetti… palms are sweaty.

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