Daily news roundups

Questioning the youth movement, other news


The Philadelphia Daily News’ Kerith Gabriel questions Philadelphia Union’s youth movement, and it’s pretty clear he falls into the “win now” camp. Yeah, you and a lot of others, but come see me in 2011 or 2012 when Union Jack’s the most exciting player in the league. Then we can talk about that 20-20 hindsight thing.

Sports Illustrated Tobias Lopez columnist explores the importance of MLS academies in a pretty good read.

That kid in our featured photo is Zach Pfeffer, the FC Delco player who played for the Union on Wednesday in a friendly against Chivas Guadalajara. If signed by the Union, he would be the youngest MLS player since Freddy Adu, whose first professional coach was — you guessed it — Peter Nowak. Hopefully Pfeffer has a better experience when he eventually makes the leap. The kid looks like he can play.

Along those same lines, check out this SI piece on Caleb Porter and Akron University, perhaps the best soccer program in the country right now.

Gabriel’s colleague, columnist Sam Donnellon, becomes the latest to weigh in on the Sons of Ben’s behavior as the Daily News discovers that SOB stands for something else too. Best line of the column: one SOB’s derisive reference to “Main Line mommies.” Ouch.

The Portland Timbers already have something the Union don’t: a jersey sponsor. Alaska Airlines will be the name emblazoned upon the Timbers’ jerseys. Never heard of Alaska Airlines? Me neither.I guess that makes this a smart move by the airline, eh? (Imagine hearing those words about any U.S. airline, but I digress.)

English rugby star Danny Cipriani is training with the Colorado Rapids. Yeah, this might be the league for a rugby player to make it in, considering the beating Alejandro Moreno takes each game he plays. More on Cipriani from Goal.com.

David Beckham is reportedly eying a Sept. 11 return, several weeks ahead of schedule. Oh, that Beckham, ever with the sense of the dramatic. (Oh, that me, I’ll be in LA and was planning to catch the Galaxy-Crew game that day. Is this good or bad that Beckham is coming back for that game? Better go buy my tickets already.)

The Kansas City Wizards’ Teal Bunbury talks about declining Canada’s call-up to the national team. Really, it has nothing to do with the fact that he wants to maintain his eligibility for the U.S., where he could also play.

Late addition: Former U.S. international Brian McBride will retire at season’s end, capping the career of one of the best, toughest and most loved U.S. soccer players of all time.

International soccer

We missed this the other day, but a delegation from Philly will meet with FIFA’s World Cup evaluators next week when the latter come to the U.S. The meeting won’t be in Philly though.

Speaking of which, FIFA inspectors said Iberian stadiums are perfect for big soccer matches after inspecting them as part of evaluation of Spain and Portugual’s joint bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. The stadiums inspected were Barcelona’s Camp Nou, Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Benfica’s Stadium of Light and FC Porto’s Stadium of the Dragon. Yeah, of course they’re nice, but the U.S. has at least 20 stadiums that can match what other countries have four of.

Tim Vickery looks at just how far behind Brazil is on preparations for the 2014 World Cup hosted there, like only deciding last week which stadium in Sao Paolo to use. “Taking so long to sort out such basic issues comes across as gross incompetence,” Vickery writes. Gee, there’s a surprise. Obviously FIFA was not familiar with the concept I like to call “Brazilian time.” It means you sort of take your sweet old time, and oh by the way, if there’s a deadline for something, yeah, maybe you’ll make it, maybe you won’t, but whatever, there will be a party at the end and that’s all that matters, right? Awesome. I’m in. Yeah, I picked this one up down in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, when our wedding in my wife’s neighborhood started around an hour late and people just came to the party whenever (if they were invited or not) and … oh, sorry, I digress.

Manager Pep Guardiola is set to sign a contract extension with Barcelona. Of course, if you can’t win with those guys, you can’t win anywhere.

Here’s a pretty interesting story on how the English team with the best record got relegated out of the Football League not too long ago.

(Photo: Paul Rudderow)

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