Daily news roundups

News roundup: Talen to host USMNT friendly, Philly a World Cup host-city finalist, a potentially historic women’s league, and a new owner?

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Big changes to the Union’s ownership— no, not that big. Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News is reporting Richard Leibovitch is a new minority owner and Richie Graham is increasing his investment.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake was called up to the Jamaican National Team for a friendly during the international break next week.

If you missed it PSP’s Chris Gibbons previewed the Union’s Saturday match with Columbus Crew and Dan Walsh wrote about how the game is an early litmus test for Philadelphia.

Joe Tansey wrote, with quotes from Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin,  about how the Union’s high press can challenge the Crew.

The Columbus Dispatch breaks down the Union-Crew games from 2017.

Sam Stejskal of mlssoccer.com on why the Union are “playing the kids” at the back.

Here’s the reasons to watch, in case you were on the fence.

The biggest reason to come, though…PUPPIES FOR ADOPTION! Blue reminds me of my first dog, who was in fact “my boy.”

Bethlehem Steel

The Steel released their new home kit for 2018. Unfortunately, fans must have felt completely blindsided without weeks of the club teasing the jersey on social media.

In an ongoing series, the Steel add another preview. This time it focuses on the forwards.

Matt Ralph of The Brotherly Game with a great feature on the Steel’s A.J. Patterson.

Local

Philadelphia is among the 23 potential host cities in the joint North American bid for the 2026 World Cup. Jonathan Tannenwald of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News gives a nice breakdown here. Sixteen cities will be chosen from the 23 candidates should the bid be selected in favor of Morocco.

The nine cities that didn’t make the cut/withdrew: Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix/Glendale, Salt Lake City, Tampa, and Vancouver.

Why would huge cities like Chicago and Vancouver withdraw? Maybe it has something to do with FIFA requiring host cities to grant huge tax breaks for a decade, allow the import/export of unlimited foreign currency, and assume the full financial burden of security and safety.

FIFA gonna FIFA…

U.S . Soccer

Talen Energy stadium will host an international friendly between the United States and Bolivia on May 28. If you’d rather spend your Memorial Day barbecuing in Lot B than a backyard, tickets go on sale Mar. 22. And yes, we know neither team qualified for the World Cup.

The U.S. U16 Boys National National Team went 1-1 in two scrimmages, beating  the LA Galaxy academy but falling to Club Tijuana’s youth team. Union academy product Patrick Bohui was a standout

ESPN continues their “Football in America” series— this time with a look at Chicago.

MLS

Andrew Wiebe of mlssoccer.com broke down that while Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League success was great for MLS, “It doesn’t mean anything unless you win the whole thing.

Why this years iteration of the CCL is a boost to an “ailing tournament.”

We know Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is a free-kick god, but is he the best in the world? Move over, Messi.

I wrote about the success of MLS newcomers in PSP’s inaugural MLS recap. Pro Soccer USA went a step further broke down how the fresh faces have gotten off to such a fast start, including a look at a player from the Union’s next opponent, Columbus Crew.

Colorado Rapids sign a French-born Ivory Coast international you’ve never heard of.

Bear with me on this one. ESPN has a big relationship with MLS. John Skipper was the former president of ESPN. Why did he resign? Let’s just say he had an intimate bond with one of Eric Clapton’s hits. The Hollywood Reporter had the must-read exclusive interview.

Around the Globe

Big news in women’s soccer. FIFA president Gianni Infantino is seeking the approval of women’s league featuring the 16 best national teams. It’s a bold move to boost visibility worldwide. Here’s the New York Times story.

If you thought Skipper’s story was bonkers, wait until you read why the Greek Superleague is being suspended. It might have something to do with an owner storming the pitch with a gun.

Ivan Savvidis wasn’t the only person angrily rushing the field this week.  Lille supporters did the same— and attacked their own players. Is this an argument for or against relegation in MLS?

In saner news, the UEFA Champions League draw for the quarterfinals took place this morning. Here’s the matchups, with the team on the left home for the first leg:

  • Barcelona v. Roma
  • Sevilla v. Bayern Munich
  • Juventus v. Real Madrid
  • Liverpool v. Manchester City.

One of those teams, Barcelona, has always been great. Gabriele Marcotti on why this year is special.

The Europa League draw also took place:

  • Arsenal v. CSKA Moscow
  • Atletico Madrid v. Sporting
  • Lazio v. Salzburg
  • Leipzig v. Marseille
Highlight of the day

Don’t know what’s worse— the miss or the reaction.

12 Comments

  1. Wow those FIFA requirements for host cities are ridiculous. With all the proof that big events like the WC actually don’t boost the local economy, why would anyone want to host. Hopefully Chester pulls out too. Absurd.

    • It’s gotta be the linc. Chester can’t host a World Cup game in an 18k seat stadium. And hey, the Eagles already get tons of tax breaks for that stadium. Why not make the city pay more if you can.

      • I totally read that wrong, my bad, still don’t want it. Why not make the city pay? Because it’s outrageous and not worth it at all. Why piss local money down the toilet. How about testing school water supplies for lead? Since PA failed their review. Something that actually would help the city.

      • There should be a federal law against public subsidy of professional for-profit sports teams and events

    • pragmatist says:

      Now imagine that on top of all of those requirements, you have to build stadiums and infrastructure.
      .
      Now we understand why it is patently absurd to go to places like Qatar…

    • I am not on board for this ridiculous 3 country hosting. i really just want to unload this to Morocco

    • But people will buy tickets, and Fox or ESPN will pay a buttload of money to cover it, and sponsors will come out of the woodwork, so despite those requirements the USSF and cities will still come out on top. And besides, the U.S. needs a bit of an image boost right now worldwide.

      • The money FOX and ESPN pay goes to FIFA or the licensing company they sold the rights too. Couldn’t care less about USSF getting even more surplus of money. And host cities have been proven actually to come out in big debt not surplus. See Brazil and the money they wasted while their poor and underprivileged were ignored and swept out of the favelas. SO again, no thanks.
        .
        As far as the US image is concerned I think it’s a bit more important to change where that image is coming from rather than ignoring the one hand to distract with the other.

  2. In reference to Nick Fishman’s gently ironic characterization of the First team’s extensive Jersey release tease, a team can avoid all that if Adidas informs you the Jerseys will arrive according to a ‘parts just in time” supply strategy.
    .
    There’s a reason why there are no pictures on rollout day with more than four new shirts present at any one time, and the comment some of us are thinking, “that’s so Union” is wrong. The right one is “that’s so the suppliers.”
    .
    Love the old BSFC red on the shirt’s collar, wish the old block red B had survived.

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