Daily news roundups

BSFC’s Burke scores winner in Jamaica’s Caribbean Cup win, Richter PK powers Cosmos to title, USA-Mexico fallout, more news.

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

With New England Revolution midfielder and Jamaica captain Je-Vaughn Watson unavailable due to injury, Andre Blake was the captain as Jamaica defeated Suriname 1-0 on Sunday in the Caribbean Cup qualifier that was originally scheduled to take place in October but was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The lone goal was scored from eight yards out in the 16th minute by Bethlehem Steel forward Cory Burke, who scored his first international goal for Jamaica in October in the 4-2 win over Guyana. Jamaica now advances to semifinals of the Caribbean Cup, which take place in 2017, and also qualifies for the 2017 Gold Cup.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead reviews some “realistic offseason targets” for the Union at forward.

Brotherly Game talks to Warren Creavalle about his 2016 season.

Three semifinalists have been determined by fan vote for the Union’s Player of the Year, Keegan Rosenberry, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Chris Pontius. I have no idea who is in the final quarterfinal of this confusing bracket format.

Brotherly Game begins a review of Union players’ 2016 season with Andre Blake.

Speaking before last Friday’s USA-Mexico game, Alejandro Bedoya said, “But the one thing that I am very proud about is to be part of the U.S. national team and the diversity that you see on this team. This a true representation of what America is all about. The diversity on this team is a truly awesome thing.”

Bethlehem Steel FC

At the USL website, a review of Bethlehem Steel’s inaugural season.

Former Bethlehem Steel captain, one time Union man, and local lad Ryan Richter, now with New York Cosmos, scored the game-winning penalty kick in the NASL championship game on Sunday. Big Apple Soccer reports, “It may have been fitting that Richter was the one who scored the game-winner in penalties. The New York defender had been setting up scoring chances for the Cosmos throughout the night and had a shot of his own blocked in the first half by an Indy defender.”

In other NASL news, The Guardian reports, “Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards has warned he is poised to take legal action against the league, alleging ties to ‘dirty money’.”

Edwards told the Guardian his legal action will be based on NASL ties to Traffic Sports, a Brazilian-owned sports marketing company where two executives, Jose Hawilla and Aaron Davidson, pleaded guilty to corruption charges resulting from the 2015 FBI investigation into FIFA and the CONCACAF confederation.

“It’s dirty money in and clean money out,” said Edwards, who bought a controlling interest in the Rowdies in 2013. “The situation involving Traffic Sports and its involvement in the league has not been resolved to my satisfaction.”

Edwards claims his Rowdies team was “fraudulently induced” to participate in NASL “by the league”, whose management at that time included Davidson, an American who acted as the NASL board chairman and also took a role as President of Fort Lauderdale Strikers, another NASL team. Davidson was suspended by the league when the FBI indictments were made public.

You will recall that Tampa Bay recently announced it is leaving the NASL to join the USL.

USL president Jake Edwards believes US Soccer’s pro committee will make a recommendation concerning the league’s application for Division II status when the federation’s board of directors meets on Dec. 6.

In other USL news, Louisville City has announced that former Union man Chandler Hoffman, the team’s leading scorer in 2016, will not be returning to the team in 2017. The announcement does not indicate where Hoffman might be headed but — and this is pure speculation — could the forward find a home with Atlanta United?

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy U-15/16s and U-17/18s had the weekend off from USSDA play.

The U-12s played played two games against PA Classics on Saturday, winning both. In the first game, the Union U-12s won 4-0 with Anthony Derk opening the scoring in the 5th minute with his 10th goal of the season, and Nelson Pierre quickly adding two more goals in the 8th and 10th minutes before completing his hat trick in the 52nd minute, giving him 20 goals on the season. In the second game, the Union U-12s were 2-0 winners thanks to a brace from Paolo Kampula (38′, 53′), who now has three goals.

The Union U-13s and U-14s were on the road to Virginia to face Arlington Soccer Association on Saturday. As of this writing, a match report for the U-13 game has not been posted on the team’s USSDA page.

The U-14s found themselves behind quickly after conceding a goal in the 2nd minute. Selmir Miscic equalized for the Union in the 32nd minute and Aboubacar Camara gave the Union the lead with a goal in the 39th minute. The lead was brief, however, with Arlington equalizing in the 40th minute before Camara gave the Union the lead back with his second goal of the game in the 41st minute, his 13th tally of the season. Tianshuo Yang made it 4-2 for the Union with a goal in the 46th minute, his second of the season. The home team got a goal back in the 56th minute but the Union held on for the 43 win.

This weekend is the last weekend of USSDA play before the winter break. The U-12s host TSF Academy, and the U-13s and U-14s host Cedar Stars Academy-Monmouth, on Saturday at YSC. THe U-15/16s and U-17/18s host Cedar Stars Academy-Monmouth at the Power Training Complex. USSDA play resumes after the winter break on March 5.

Local

Former Reading United center back Matt Hedges, now with FC Dallas, has been named MLS Defender of the Year.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds have signed former Reading United, Ocean City Nor’easters, and City Islanders goalkeeper Keasel Broome. More at Pittsburgh Sporting News and Pittsburgh Sports Castle.

MLS

His contract over, NYCFC has announced Frank Lampard is leaving the club. The announcement does not indicate whether Lampard is retiring although the midfielder said in an Instagram post, “I leave with many great memories as I embark on the next stage of my career and I’ll be making an announcement very soon.”

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports that “multiple sources” say Bastian Schweinsteiger is in talks with Chicago Fire, this after The Express published photos of the former German international apparently meeting with Veljko Paunovic last week. Also at ESPN, Carlisle on why a move to the Fire could work, and why it could backfire.

Final approval needed for construction of Sacramento Republic’s new stadium, part of the team’s push to join MLS, was granted by the Sacramento City Council on Thursday.

US

So, I was in Columbus for Friday night’s US loss to Mexico to start the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifiers. And yes, I’m still angry. Recaps and reports from PSP, US Soccer, CONCACAFColumbus Dispatch, Los Angeles Times, ESPN, Fox Soccer, SI (recap, report), MLSsoccer.com (recap, analysis), ASN (recap, analysis), Goal.com (recap, reporttakeawaysanaysis), and the AP.

Player ratings at ESPN, Fox SoccerMLSsoccer.com, ASNStars and Stripes FC.

SBI on how Michael Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann were not on the same page after the loss. ESPN looks for positives in the loss (hint: Pulisic!).

Tim Howard, who left the game in the 40th minute, has been diagnosed with “an injury to his right adductor.” He is thus ruled out of Tuesday’s qualifier in Costa Rica and is almost certainly unavailable for Colorado’s Western Conference final series against Seattle, the first leg of which will be played on Nov. 22, if not beyond to the final (paging Zac MacMath, paging Zac MacMath!).

Looking ahead to Costa Rica, Jurgen Klinsmann said after the loss to Mexico, “The message is very simple. We have got to go there and get a result, which we will do.” FourFourTwo says Tuesday’s game feels like a must win, even if it isn’t, although Pro Soccer Talk and  Costa Rican Times are among those who think it is a must-win for the US. Soccer America on the USMNT’s “27 years of misery in Costa Rica.” More on USA-Costa Rica at Los Angeles TimesMLSsoccer.com and SI.

PulisicPulisic!

Before Friday’s game, Sunil Gulati spoke to reporters about a variety of topics. One big topic was the election of Donald Trump and the effect that might have on the US bidding to host the 2026 World Cup. Before the election in June, Gulati said the world’s perception of the US is a factor in the process of securing the hosting rights, explaining a “co-hosted World Cup with Mexico would be a little trickier if Secretary Clinton is not in the White House.” Gulati said on Friday,

First, we haven’t made a decision about a World Cup bid. We won’t make a decision until we know what all the rules are. … With regard to the election results, we respect the election and will work with whoever is in the White House — in this case, President-elect Trump and his team — if we decide to bid. A bid, if it should happen, relies critically on cooperation with the government in a number of areas. We look forward to working with the president-elect. He is an avid sports fan, and we’ll wait to see if we bid and what the rules of engagement are.

What I said [in June] was a joint bid would be more difficult if [Hillary Clinton] weren’t elected. But we’re not talking about a joint bid at this point. We’re not talking about any bid right now. I don’t think it will affect our final decision…He’s the president of the United States on Jan. 20, and we’ll work with him, as will be true for people around the world. Now, how that relationship works with other world leaders and how that impacts U.S. foreign policy or the views of the U.S. remains to be seen. But it’s not going to dissuade us or persuade us to bid. Perceptions matter, for sure, but those will develop in the months to come, not only in campaigns.

Gulati added, “We haven’t decided whether we are going to bid and, if we bid, what the bid would look like.” While acknowledging informal talks have taken place with Mexico and Canada about a joint bid, Gulati said important information regarding the format of the tournament — how many teams will participate, how many automatic qualification spots would be granted — remain unknown at present.

Gulati also said he has proposed instituting term limits for the federation’s presidency and other positions; that he expects Jurgen Klinsmann will be the USMNT’s head coach for all of the qualification process for the 2018 World Cup; that he does not know if the US will now regularly appear in the Copa America; that neither CONCACAF nor CONMEBOL has approached US Soccer about Miami being the site of the Copa Libertadores final; that he does not believe CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will merge.

More on Gulati’s comments, which also covered other topics, at Washington Post, Los Angeles TimesUSA TodayESPNSIGoal.com, and MLSsoccer.com (1, 2).

The USWNT finished 2016 with a 5-0 win over Romania on Sunday, going 22-0-3 for the year.

The US U-20 WNT began group play on Monday in the U-20 Women’s World Cup in New Guinea with a 0-0 draw with France.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “The FIFA Ethics Committee’s investigatory chamber on Friday called for former Honduran soccer head Alfredo Hawit Banegas to be banned from soccer for life for allegedly taking illegal payments from sports marketing firms.” Hawit has already pleaded guilty to bribery charges in US federal court.

The AP reports, “Gunmen attacked a bus carrying players and officials of one of South Sudan’s top-flight soccer clubs, killing the driver and injuring six others.”

9 Comments

  1. It’s Blake vs. Herbers in Quarterfinal 4. So far Blake has just under 95% of the vote.

  2. Has the spelling of Burke’s given name changed?
    .
    http://www.uslsoccer.com/news_article/show/721774?referrer_id=2333971 the link immediately before these words should take you to the story on the USL website that Burke is now contracted directly to the Bethlehem Steel.
    .
    I am sad that USL did not recognize ironman Richter in some fashion. That he played a role for the Cosmos is no surprise. That he comes into the side late in the season and becomes their PK taker is a surprise.
    .
    Without in any way wishing to poke the Mighty Elephant about pro-rel, I find the owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies comments about NASL and dirty money troubling. I wish I understood better what Bill Edwards is talking about.

    • Further from the USL website Burke story, at the very end is a paragraph listing those returning to the Steel from the 2016 squad, and James Chambers is included. That would seem to lay to rest the uncertainty stemming from a post game comment he made late in the season that implied uncertainty on the point.

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      Hit the link, “the guardian reports” and it explains everything.

  3. The NASL championship game was good fun to watch. Quite high quality and tons of chance but no goals…
    .
    Great Div3 College action at Haverford College this weekend! On Saturday Haverford beat USMMA 5-1 but could not win on Sunday against UMass Boston, a team with only 14 US Nationals and stacked with Brazilians. Ended up in 1-1 and penalties which UMass Boston won. Full Div3 Bracket is here http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/soccer-men/d3

  4. John P O'Donnell says:

    Sacramento and now Cincinnati seem to have jumped to the front of the expansion line. Should be some news coming soon as the expansion committee meets this month.

  5. Queen Hillary lost so get over it already, Gulati.

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