Daily news roundups

Sakiewicz: “We’re getting there,” Mac still No. 1 in Castrol Index, HCI hosts Battery, more

Photo: Barb Colligon

Philadelphia Union

In an interview with Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz says the team would rather spend money to keep rising stars like Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo and expand its academy program then on a DP. “It’s all aimed at generating the next Jack McInerney or Zach Pfeffer from our roots here locally,” Sakiewicz said. “That’s what the Union brand is all about. The Union brand is not about going out and signing David Beckham. We’re not building our long-term future on that strategy. That doesn’t mean there might not be a big star player here someday; there might be. But that’s just not our foundation.”

Sakiewicz added, “My core belief is we should never sell our best-performing player.”

Sakiewicz acknowledged that a focus on developing young players to be the long-term core of the team necessarily means there will be more ups and downs this season. Still, time—and patience—is what the Union needs most for its young players. “[Y]oung guys need time to develop,” Sakiewicz said. “Fans have lots of time but they don’t have patience. And I know our fans would love nothing better than to see some hardware in our trophy cabinet. But we’re getting there.” Comment away!

While no Union players made the latest weekly Castrol Top 20, Jack McInerney remains ranked at No. 1 in the Full Castrol Index. The next highest ranked Union players are Conor Casey (No. 32), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 47), Amobi Okugo (No. 63), and Michael Farfan (No. 80).

Chicago Fire Confidential says Bakary Soumare will “chat about his current situation” on their next podcast.

In the power rankings at MLSsoccer.com, the Union tumble four spots to No. 12. Apparently, “The surface in Foxborough has made more than one team look like Bambi on ice this year.” ProSoccerTalk has them at No. 13.

Kevin Kinkead looks back on the series history between the Union and Saturday’s opponent, Seattle Sounders.

The Brotherly Game looks at the Union’s midfield problem.

Thanks to a recent amendment to the Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act, the Union have become the first team in MLS to launch a 50/50 Raffle, which will be held at every home game with proceeds benefiting the Philadelphia Union Foundation.


Harrisburg City Islanders will look to extend their season opening winning streak to four games when they host Charleston Battery tonight (7pm, USLNation).

A goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-1 home opener win against Rochester has earned Harrisburg City Islanders forward Sainey Touray the USL PRO Player of the Week honors. Joining Touray on the Team of the Week is Union loanee Don Anding: “Strong in defense, had excellent assist to cap night.”

An article in the Temple News about facility improvements needed in several sport program’s now that the university has joined the newly branded American Athletic Conference includes a look at the soccer facilities  located at the Ambler campus, which require field lighting, expanded bleacher seating, and a permanent press box and restrooms.


SBI has a wonderful story about how Portland Timbers are helping to make the wishes of an eight-year-old who is undergoing cancer treatment come true.

According to The Independent, “Manchester City will use a new Abu Dhabi-owned Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to nurture future Premier League stars, after struggling to develop home-grown talent through their own academy in the past five years.”

The Professional Referee’s Organization has issued a statement saying it “recognizes the wishes of its Officials to unionize and will be pleased to work alongside them for the mutual benefit of both parties in the months to come.”

Robbie Rogers, the former USMNT and Columbus Crew player who said he was stepping away from the game when he came out in February, began training with LA Galaxy as a “special guest” on Tuesday. If Rogers decides to return to MLS, Chicago Fire hold his rights. Chicago’s Frank Kloppas, Seattle’s Sigi Schmid, and LA’s Landon Donovan have all said their team would welcome Rogers.

Soccer America notes that, whatever one may feel about the recent ranking that had MLS as the seventh best league in the world, one thing that sets it apart is the fact that its players a paid what they are owed and on time.


USWNT and Chicago Red Stars midfielder Shannon Boxx will undergo minor knee surgery and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.


Barcelona are hopeful that they can overcome a 4-0 deficit when they host Bayern Munich in their Champions League semifinal second leg today (2:30pm, FX, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go).

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said he couldn’t bear to watch the closing minutes of the second leg between his club and Real Madrid. “For the first time in my life I had to stop watching, my heart couldn’t take it. I went to the toilet, locked myself in and covered my ears.” Dortmund lost the game 2-0 but won the semifinal 4-3 on aggregate.

Saying he wants to be “where people love me,” Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho strongly hinted after Real Madrid’s Champions’s League exit that he’s heading back to Chelsea. “I know I am loved in England. I am loved by some clubs, especially one.”

With the news on Tuesday that FIFA’s Ethics Committee had banned FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka for eight years for unspecified violations of FIFA’s code of ethics, Soccer America notes that the list of executive committee members “who have been kicked out of soccer, quit or were reprimanded in the last three years” now stands at nine, more than a third of the executive committee’s 25 members.



  1. I am more than ok with the building our own talent thing, and investing money in the academy and youth programs. But shouldn’t we see some of that on the field. The Union use the same 14 players every game. We have a potentially great CDM playing at CB. Why don’t they try and develop him there. Young Roger Torres is wasting away on the bench instead of getting some time. The words of the leaders of this club rarely are in line with their actions. Hack and Sak know how to say all the right things, but it does not seem like they know how to back any of it up.

    • Jack and Okugo starting and being 90 minute players I think more than enough fulfills the young player thing.
      Now that the reserve league has ben fixed, Jimmy and Christhan playing and actually doing well also helps.
      Then you throw in other young American players like MacMath, the Farfans, Gaddis, Williams, I think the Union are fulfilling their part of the youth movement bargain just fine.
      I just think the bottom line is tactically Hackworth is lost.

  2. So Robbie Rogers is coming back. Chicago has his rights. They want Soumare back. Rogers would fill a big need here, and get Nick Sak all the publicity he could dream of. Would the Union make the trade? Would Chicago?

    • BrotherlyGame tweeted that last night and it makes SO much sense. He would be great here, a REAL winger for one!

    • George H says:

      Wouldn’t that trade make Chick-fil-A water bottle night a bit awkward? Or should I say, more awkward than it already is?

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      Interesting… I’m intrigued. It would go a long way toward repairing the damage done by the Chik-Fil-A clusterf*uck, that’s for sure.

    • Rogers is based in LA now. Would he want to move here? I have seen rumors that Chicago’s problem is that they want Rogers to play for the Fire, but he doesn’t want to live there.

      Rogers would fit in great for the Union (he is a LW, correct?). It would allow Marfan to switch to his natural position on the right, and it would free up Garfan to return to LB. Replace Keon with Kleberson and all of a sudden our midfield is respectable.

      • George H says:

        Garfan has been free to return to LB all season, but Hack still hasn’t done it.

      • Jaap Stam says:

        Don’t you remember: Gabe Farfan is one of the most skilled LB’s in MLS. We don’t need to draft an LB. Gabe Farfan is our starter. Did you forget?

    • Even trading the rights for him for Saomare is a good idea. If we get the rights to Robbie Rogers we trade those rights to LA for Greg Cochrane in what will be essentially a Robbie Rogers for Cochrane swap it will be a win win for both teams seeing Robbie would never play here anyway.

      • Jaap Stam says:

        Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Very interesting thought Sieve! I knind of like that a little.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I don’t think Chicago would give us the rights, even for Soumare. They need all the help they can get, and I’m sure they’re eyeing up an LA player or two already.

      • Yea but it’s worth persuing… The Unions General Manager shoud get on the phone and… Oh… Never mind

      • Jim Presti says:

        100% agree. Just don’t want people to get their hopes up and then complain when it doesn’t work out in our favor. After all, Chicago is in our conference.

  3. -nickt.- says:

    lulz “My core belief is we should never sell our best-performing player.”

  4. Great One says:

    Nick Sak is full of crap, we all know it. The youth development in critical for sure, but you still need to bring in other strong players, or when you have them, actually play them in the games.
    I would love to have Robbie Rogers here, he’s a quality MLS player, an actual wife midfield player (Cruz doesn’t count), and he is young.
    All that being said, I’m sure Hack would find some reason to keep him on the bench until he “becomes familiar with the team and caught up with the league”. Cruz, Daniel, and Carroll will always be our midfield unfortunately.

    • Agreed. It’s definitely a cop out by Sakiewicz. Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? Since Bruce took over, LA has been combining young talented players with quality veterans and DPs.
      It’s not like the Union brought up Jack and Okugo through their youth teams. They were drafted.
      At this point it is what it is.

    • Jaap Stam says:

      Rogers is a Yank so Hack would play him day 1. If Rogers was from anyplace else other than the USA he’d sit and “get acclimated to the style of play in MLS.”
      I call Bullsh*t.

  5. The statements from the Dortmund CEO and Mourinho made my day; classic!! Mourinho’s are actually on YouTube and are worth watching.

  6. Jaap Stam says:

    Sak just cannot keep his lies straight. Never asked Freddy Adu to take a pay cut? Really? Never sell our best players? Uh-huh. Right. Sure. Didn’t Sak sell off players a few years ago in order to sign Torres and “keep his talents here for the long term?” Dumb AND dishonest NEVER go well together Nick. You’re better than that Nick!

    • Great One says:

      Is he really?

      • He has a tendency to say whatever is convenient at the moment to get his way. While he rarely boldface lies he has a tendency to twist a microscopic grain of truth into a lie. He has been full of shit for a while now and a lot of people who pays attention to the Union blow off what he says pretty much immediately lest they find yet another reason to get annoyed at the Union.

      • JediLos117 says:

        Nick who?

      • Nick Knight star of Forever Knight a Canadian television series about Nick Knight, an 800-year-old vampire working as a police detective in modern day Toronto. Wracked with guilt for centuries of killing others, he seeks redemption by working as a homicide detective on the night shift while struggling to find a way to become human again.


  7. Judging from the presser, we’re gonna be stuck with Cruz and Daniel starting for a long time.

  8. Jaap Stam says:

    The DP thing is irrelevant because what DP would want to come to Philly to sit around “getting acclimated?” Anybody who cheks out the Union’s track record with high salaried imports s quite poor!

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