Daily news roundups

News roundup: U.S. women thrash Mexico, Union’s bus program, and Earnie moving on?

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union are doing something pretty awesome– providing a bus service to ease transit from the city to Chester on matchdays.

Tickets for the U-Ride Bus Program are only $15 round trip and will have four pick-up locations in Philadelphia, starting April 28. The spots:

  • Baby Blues BBQ
  • Brauhaus Schmitz
  • Smith’s Restaurant & Bar
  • XFINITY Live!

Here’s some pretty big news: Sam Stejskal is reporting Philadelphia sporting director Earnie Stewart has been interviewed for the role of the U.S. men’s national team general manager.

PSP’s Steven Whisler has the match preview ahead of Saturday’s showdown with San Jose.

 

Local

Local USL action:

Penn FC will have a familiar face for the trip: Ken Tribbett.

MLS

Last weekend San Jose center back Harold Cummings laid motionless on the field. Now he’s getting ready to face the Union

Mlssoccer.com takes a look at the focal point of the Earthquakes attack, Valeri Qazaishvili, aka Vako.

How MLS is demanding respect from Liga MX.

LAFC unveiled their state-of-the-art new training grounds. They look amazing.

Bobby Warshaw on the lesson LAFC should have learned.

The eMLS Cup is underway.

U.S. soccer

The U.S. women’s national team thumped Mexico 4-1 down in Jacksonville. Alex Morgan had a brace to go with goals from Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh. Recaps:

Around the globe

Scary moment for former Montreal Impact man, Blerim Dzemaili. Bologna ultras reportedly attacked the player as he was leaving the training grounds.

FourFourTwo with a great feature on how Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp bested Man City’s Pep Guardiola…again.

Speaking of Pep, the New York Times takes a look at his greatness— which boils down to each blade of grass.

Europa league quarterfinal results:

Mexico’s head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has eyes beyond the national team.

Montreal head coach Remi Garde said he’d welcome PSG’s Hatem Ben Arfa to his side. Here’s the story of how the star went from “phenomenon” to “outcast.”

Highlight of the day

Unpopular opinion: this was a higher difficulty goal than Cristiano Ronaldo’s. Maybe that’s just my Welsh bias.

25 Comments

  1. Zizouisgod says:

    Nick, you’re right…you are biased. Ronaldo’s goal was better and technically tougher to pull off.

    Now, if Ramsey had taken his with his left on the volley, that’s a worthwhile debate to have.

    I thought that Stewart news has been out there for a bit. No one wants that GM role because the scope is so narrow and you report up through Flynn rather than to Cordero.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    Can you imagine….for just one moment.
    .
    …if on the very precipice. the edge. the verge. of all this ‘supposing’ to come together for this Franchise. this Academy. this Union Brand.
    .
    This Vision.
    This Philosophy.
    This Plan.
    .
    the architect and organizer of it up and leaves.
    .
    If that is not SO UNION. Nothing ever will be.
    .
    I’m all for interviews and advancement, or perceived advancement and have argued multiple times, the National Team ultimately matters more to me than anything else and I believe whole heartedly, MLS services to underpin its advancement….
    .
    …but I am thoroughly convinced– until proven otherwise- Philadelphia Union (after the Eagles Super Bowl exorcism) are the lone weight bearers of Eeyeor’s Complex.
    .
    DON’T GO.

  3. Taking money ball to the national team. Overly pessimistic negadelphia hot take: see ya in 2026 (in Morocco, of course).

  4. Maybe it’s due to the convoluted rules in MLS, but Ernie has done little to nothing in the last 2 years to warrant a call-up to USMNT GM. Perhaps a freer role would allow him to have more influence, but I’m still skeptical at this point.
    .
    The one bonus is that he may usher in a new era of Nether-mericans….

    • I agree. He had a really huge task laid in front of him: make a good team out of nothing. It is far to say that he has thus far failed to do so, but what should we really have expected based upon the circumstances? If his passion is with the USMNT, then I wish him well.

      • With respect, making a good team out of nothing wasn’t the task given to him. He was tasked with coordinating the reinvention of a franchise into a viable competitive organization that valued developing homegrown talent vs. buying a team of high priced talent. He was tasked with making the transitions between each level of the organization, fluid in their executions. Were there things in place (academy) and on their way (BSFC)? Yes, but someone had to make the connections. I’m not saying Stewart gets an A or is the greatest, but I’d say he has at least done what they have asked of him.
        .
        Let me be clear in my position. I think things are on the verge of something. The plan and paths are in place and the factory assembly line has been turned on. Whether or not the end product of the assembly is any good is anyone’s guess. Though I think Trusty has real potential and if he keeps things up, he won’t been here long and his transfer fee will be nice. Let me also add my nervousness at his interview for the National job. I at least want him here for those five years.

      • Thank you for your thoughts. I don’t specifically think anything you said is wrong, rather I think our difference is one of scope. If his primary job was to connect the academy with BS and the first team, then sure, he has was successful. That’s a pretty low bar though, right? Wouldn’t this be a base-level expectation from any SD?
        .
        My understanding is that the SD position is also accountable to improving the first team as well. Maybe, at some undefined point in the future, the academy will be capable of doing this in and of itself. Right now, though, it’s not. Even in a few years, we will only be just catching up to where many other teams already are. I think to be considered successful the academy must be married to bringing in talent via other means (TAM, the draft, free agency, etc). We’ve been good with the academy, but pretty poor on these other fronts. There are many other factors at play on this part of it (it’s not all on ES), but the failure here is a big and continuing problem.

      • I would argue he has improved the first team, even if the results may not show up in wins. Again I’m claiming no great victory here, just that he is/has done at least the minimum in his job requirements. I think for Sugarman as an owner, the pipeline producing was/is the more important part of the job.

      • Here’s something that has always bugged me. The Union consistently have 1/3 of the league below them when it comes to team salary. Yet we only beat MTL, Minn and DC on points last year.
        .
        Despite how we all see Sugarman as cheap, Stewart has had resources to accomplish more. We have two $1mil+ players, and three $500k+ players. That’s on par with SKC & Crew.
        .
        Why aren’t we doing better? Why don’t we have a better line-up?
        .
        We said ‘Play the Kids’ at the end of the season last year because we’re sick of the players in front of them – not because we wanted to see the ‘Youngest Defensive Line’ ever at the beginning of this season.
        .
        I don’t think Stewart is good at building an MLS squad.
        .
        There were plenty of good affordable options available to him in the offseason that would have made this team viable this year(not in 5yrs), while still giving our kids a chance to grow with the team. The mix has to be better.

      • Silver, as far as why haven’t they done better, there’s a myriad of reasons. I’d say the two most important ones being Stewart learning the league and albatross contracts. This is the first season where the Union are spending/shaping their roster with the proven MLS formula. Stewart also gets the blame for choosing some bad players with maybe bad contracts, but he also cut the dead weight this off season. He then re-appropriated funds to key positions. He hasn’t been perfect. Far from it. But he is doing the right things to allow them to succeed.
        .
        I think we may have truly under estimated how dysfunctional things were before Stewart got here. Yes we all thought Sak wasn’t great and Sugarman was cheap, but maybe it was just that Sak was only so competent. He didn’t have the wherewithal to create an organization from the ground up. Stewart came in and gave them the foundations and buildings blocks to succeed. He turned a mom and pop shop into a corporation. Year by year they’ve become more professional. An indication of this was in the team starting to wear suits before and after games. The club has now become a vault. No one talks. No rumors, nothing. Positions have been added. Staff let go and new ones hired. Are these little things? Yes, but they add up. They form a picture. A picture of professionalism. That picture then becomes reality. I think all this goes to the point I was trying to make to Ingtar, Stewart has taken all these separate parts and connected them so they can actually work together, while giving them a sense of purpose and a floor plan to work from.
        .
        I think when Stewart’s tenure is all said and done, we may have to be thankful to him for a lot of things we don’t see yet. We all know how Stewart likes to say he considers the day he took over as day one. Well maybe that’s because it really was. When he took over this shambles of an organization, it was like starting from scratch. Sure it had been operating, but more by the shear will of individuals instead of being led from a head of an organization.

      • Pat Noonan is definitely an upgrade. Tim Hanley had some big shoes to fill and I don’t know much about him, but he seems solid. Dick Schreuder seems to have a good pedigree as a young coach, and I like that he comes from an attacking team.
        .
        Those are all good steps in the right direction, and good coaches are needed to make an avg team successful.
        .
        I’m just overly eager to see improvements in the roster. Yes we were saddled with bad contracts. We still had maneuvering room.
        .
        I had a lot of fun at our home games last year, we did well. I want to see us start to win on the road too – coaches will help, a balanced roster would help too.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Nether-mericans? I don’t think that the Dutch are in any better state that the US is right now.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Holland is still at the forefront of producing world class players.
        .
        the national team is in transition, one which I believe will see a youth movement to the up and coming players of Dutch decent of which there are numerous…. not to mention unlike in the US ( based on the result of this recent election) missing the World Cup is an unacceptable outcome for the orange and I expect significant questions to be raised and answered with a clearly delineated plan.
        .
        look to EURO’s 2020 for a quick change in the narrative.
        .
        The eredevisie is definitely an interesting part of the story as the tiered leagues in Holland find a way to be relevant…
        .
        …the Dutch are still light years ahead of the US however. The comparison is null. I’m surprised by the statement to be fair.
        .

      • Zizouisgod says:

        I’m not surprised that you took my single sentence about capping Dutch Americans in a totally different direction.

  5. The bus program is cool and all but it doesn’t actually help me much at all when it comes to getting to the game.
    *
    Case in point the game with the 2pm start time. For me to to get to the game from where I live I have to leave approx. 2 hours in advance. But the new bus leaves 2 hours before game time meaning I would have to get going approx 3 hours just to catch the bus. So that bus would have no bearing on my decision to see the game in a positive manner.
    .
    The real benefit to having the bus for me is in leaving because the regional rail runs every hour the potential is for a 20-30 min to leave the parking lot + 20-45 min to wait for the train + 30-40 just to get back into the city. With the bus leaving after 20 min once you are out of the parking lot its approx 20 min before you are back in the city. I would possibly pay for just getting back.
    .
    It’s not the Unions fault the stadium is located directly at the scenic bridge overlook of satans asshole. (It is actually but I’m not trying to be petty) Nor is it their fault that the Union’s fault the the MLS 1.0 mindset was to get the I-95 overpass because they only wanted suburban families and soccer moms. (That is on the MLS) The bus is a good idea. But I don’t think it will have the desired effect if getting people to the game unless you are the drinking 3 hours before a night game at the bar

    • good points. i really want this to succeed. maybe it’ll take fine-tuning.

      i’d like more east points like Sugarhouse, Piazza or Old City. that cuts my commute down significantly. Brauhaus is a dead zone for mass transit, Smiths takes at least 1 transfer unless you’re coming from West Philly, which you’re not as you’d hit BB BBQ.
      .
      not being a drunk bus (will Brauhaus still do theirs?), what should one do with his time… oh, go to the stadium and spend money. but really, you could hang with the SoBs or meet tailgating friends. were there adjacent bars, restaurants you’d have options and incentives.
      .
      speaking of Brauhaus bus, i’ve hopped that one-way home, cash at the bus door, in the past. faster than your painfully true Septa ride and there is beer.
      .
      not to scuttle the way-too late bus option, but i’ve been thinking of the Uber Express Pool: costs roughly the same and gets you there faster. if the Union could partner with a ride share, at a fixed cost, from 3-4 points in the city, i’d be all over that.

      • They are obviously partnering with bars and pubs. Maybe they are splitting costs. or maybe the bars are content with a busload of drunks being delivered to their door. I don’t know. But I get the feeling this is replacing the existing Brauhaus bus.
        .
        Ideally for be a bus located out of Northeast Philly would be best. (surely you could squeeze one busload out of the Northeast.) A bus from the Grey Lodge Pub would probably give me incentive to so to just about every home game. I wouldn’t even mind being at the stadium an hour and a half early.
        .
        I have doubts you could cost effectively create an Uber that would get under the 15 dollar price point that could reasonably shuttle enough people down town. Remember Uber is not an efficient replacement for public transportation and best case can only augment it.

  6. Shuttle Buses…..BFD. Pave the parking lots already.

    Earnie to GM the NT. Good god yes, get outta Philly. He has done nothing for this organization. Where have all of his Dutch connections gotten us….(crickets).

  7. Sorry but the bus service still doesn’t correct for dealing with traffic. At the end of the day, putting the stadium in Chester is a stupid idea and this team will never gain steam with the masses of the city until it is moved. Or if they ran a ferry system. Nobody wants to take the train and wander around Chester.

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