Daily news roundups

Defensive speculations, salary info released, power rankings, Cruzing, Blazer banned, and more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

As the postgame coverage of Saturday’s draw with Seattle winds down, the major storyline looking ahead to this weekend’s game in Chicago is the Union backline. More precisely, the question is whether Bakary Soumare will finally see the pitch to replace the injured Jeff Parke.

When asked after Saturday’s if Soumare would be available for selection, John Hackworth said, “Yeah, for sure…thank goodness Baky’s in good form. You saw Gabe. Gabe’s in good form. We’ll be ok.”

Soumare says he’s ready if called upon, “It’s my job. I’m here and I’m part of the team. It’s been business as usual since I’ve asked for a trade. Things haven’t changed, my mentality is the same, I’m working hard.”

Amobi Okugo says, “We feel comfortable playing with whoever is back there. At practice we work on all different types of formations with different personnel, whether it’s me and Baky, or me and Parke, or Parke and Baky. Hopefully we come out ready, because it’s a big game versus Chicago.”

At SI, Avi Creditor says of the Union’s defensive concerns going into Chicago, “It will be an all-hands-on-deck defensive approach for the Union, who have just one win in their last six games.”

Chicago is the first of three games that the Union will play in eight days. At the Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin wonders if John Hackworth may use some different starters in the attack.

The MLS Players Union released the latest salary information on Monday. As always, it is interesting to note the fine print, such as: “These figures include compensation from each player’s contract with MLS. They do not include any compensation from any contracts with individual teams or their affiliates.”

Jonathan Tannenwald lists the changes in salaries for players who were with the team last year, all of which are up. Tannenwald notes that, based on the figures released by the Players Union, the Union now have the tenth largest salary bill in the league, up from 15th last season. Recently signed Kleberson is the 16th highest paid player in the league.

Matthew De George notes that the three highest paid Union players—Kleberson, Soumare, and Carlos Valdes—combine for over $1 million of the Union’s salary budget. While Valdes is of course on loan this season to Santa Fe, nevertheless, the top three wage earners have a total of 29 minutes on the field so far this season.

Occasional PSP contributor Andrew Dillon shares this illuminating graphical comparison of Union player salaries and minutes played. Hold your cursor over the columns for detailed information. For example, Kleberson is currently on $17,069 per minute played.

Vote Danny Cruz for MLSsoccer.com Goal of the Week!

SBI gives Cruz its Goal(s) of the Week.

Danny Cruz’s brace has earned him Team of the Week nods from ProSoccerTalk and SI.

Apparently, Amobi Okugo predicted that Cruz would score on Saturday. Okugo said, “I’m really happy for him. It was a good chance to get pressure off his shoulders and hopefully he’s going to score some more. When you’re knocking at the door, sooner or later, it’s going to open.

Jack McInerney jumps 24 spots to No. 33 in the latest rankings of the top 100 US players at ASN. Amobi Okugo moves up 18 spots to No. 77.  Sheanon Williams is down two spots to No. 85. while Michael Farfan is down three spots at No. 100. Jeff Parke comes in at No. 109.

Power Rankings! At Soccer America, the Union hold steady at No. 8 while Goal.com, the Union hold steady at No. 11. At ESPN, it’s a one-spot drop to No. 11. SI drops the Union three places to No. 10.

Union Dues looks at game-changing moments from Saturday’s draw.

Brotherly Game looks at the first half of Saturday’s game.

Zolo “Geez I am a cranky bastard” Times’ head may be spinning after Saturday’s draw but still manages to “prattle on about” about rotation of a different sort, namely of players into the starting lineup. Remember how during the Nowak era we all complained about the constantly changing lineups? Now it’s lineups that are too set in stone. As the world turns, and all that.

The fundraising campaign of the makers of the Sons of Ben documentary surpassed their goal of raising $20,000 to complete the film.


Jason Pelletier is back with Harrisburg City Islanders after preseason groin surgery.


More MLS salary figures interpretation from The Goalkeeper, Soccer America, and Sounder at Heart.

Has the East finally caught up with the West? At MLSsoccer.com, John Bolster writes, “There’s much to be decided yet, but it’s clear at this point that the East is a doormat no more—and may be poised to end the West’s four-year stranglehold on the MLS Cup.”

Former Union man Justin Mapp had a Man of the Match level performance against San Jose on Saturday, scoring two goals including a 30 yard cracker.

Marcus Tracy talks about his relief after finally making his MLS debut in San Jose’s 2-2 draw with Montreal.

As the primary transfer window closed on Monday, Colorado Rapids signed Colombian defender Germán Mera on loan from Deportivo Cali.

Reports out of Scotland say Scotland international defender Steven Caldwell will go on loan to Toronto from Birmingham City through June 30. Birmingham have said that they will not be renewing Caldwell’s contract for next season.

Did the city of Orlando jump the gun by purchasing a block of land for the proposed new stadium for USL PRO side Orlando SC—for which they paid four times the appraised price—now that the Florida legislature has failed to pass a stadium subsidies bill?

The sponsorship agreement between MLS and Continental Tires has been extended.


The 100th edition of the US Open Cup kicks off tonight with two play-in games.

The USWNT will host South Korea for two friendlies in June. On June 15, the two teams will meet at Gillette Stadium, followed by a game on June 20 at Red Bull Arena.

The Salt Lake City district attorney is considering additional charges, including whether the 17-year-old goalkeeper who punched referee Ricardo Portillo will be charged as an adult. Portillo lapsed into a coma and then died a week after the assault.


FIFA’s ethics committee has provisionally banned outgoing executive committee member Chuck Blazer from all football activities for 90 days following allegations that he embezzled $21 million while serving as CONCACAF’s general secretary. More on the story from Soccer America.

The first meeting FIFA’s new Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination on Monday ended with recommendations for tougher sanctions against clubs “whose players, officials or fans are found guilty of racist or discriminatory behavior.”

Dortmund has received more than 500,000 applications for their allotment of 24,042 tickets for the UEFA Champions League final. The latest information as of December, 2012, has the population of Dortmund at 579,012.


  1. JediLos117 says:

    I’d be more surprised if Soumare played than if he didnt.

  2. Was glad to see that one can still contribute to the SOB movie. Just did here: http://sonsofbenmovie.com/support-the-film.html
    Mapp!! Why did we trade him away?!
    Our top earners have had 29min?! Amazing! Hope this changes dramatically rest of the season.

  3. Thanks for linking (and retweeting out) my salary/minutes analysis, Ed. What’s not on there, and yet what says a ton, is Soumare’s $350k and ZERO minutes (so far) this season. There is a gap of $281k between Baky’s salary and that of Jimmy McLaughlin, the next highest paid player who hasn’t played first team minutes for the Union (and who happens to be loaned out with HCI)
    Totally tongue-in-cheek here, but Albright’s exorbitant salary per minutes played (only 3) is clearly dragging this team down.

  4. Great One says:

    The fact that the Union have $1,275,000 (Kleberson, Lahoud, Soumare, Torres, Letoux) on the bench (or not in Soumare’s case) every week who get little to no playing time anymore, is really just laughable.
    There’s really no defense for this whatsoever. Either Hackworth is playing the wrong people, or at the very least not giving anyone else a chance, or the front office has done an amazingly pathetic job of putting this team together and someone needs to get fired.
    That being said, with the exception of Macmath, I think the starters have earned heir salaries for the most part.
    I think most people, and myself, are just frustrated over the fact that we have these high paid guys on the team. Supposedly they are being paid that high salary for a reason. Someone thinks they are players who’s talent is at the level of the money they earn. I just don’t understand why our coaching staff doesn’t see it.
    In some cases like Letoux, we took a shot with a fan favorite and it just hasn’t panned out. But Roger Torres is a young, talented player. Sitting on the bench does NOTHING for him, or the team. He needs to be loaned to HCI at least, so he can play. Worst case, this raises trade value. Kleberson has won a world cup playing on one of the greatest national teams ever, but apparently is not ready for the talent machine that is the MLS. Soumare was a once young star, who has been featured over seas, and can’t even make the gameday roster?
    There have been many positives this year with the team, and there is significant young talent, which is a great sign for the future. That being said, the team is grossly mismanaged, by both the coach and front office, and the Union will never take a next step until something changes. I really fear that we will be sitting here at the end of the year, in the same position on the league table, with the same lineup trotted out most games.
    I don’t know how the coaching staff can say that the team is progressing and these are our best options, when we clearly are not playing WELL. We are playing averagely and inconsistently.
    Sorry for the rant…

  5. Do you think Garfan-Okugo-Williams-Gaddis could start in the back?

    Also, the Union average ~1.5 goals against. That seems high.

    • Great One says:

      1. That back line will work for some games, but I don’t think it will work in any kind of long term. Also, that leaves the defensive bench extremely thin.
      2. I believe the Union have the second (tied for?) most goals against in the league. That is terribly bad for a team that is defensive minded and refuses to change their back 5 and goalie. But that’s a discussion for the other post from today.

      • Union and Chicago are tied with 14 goals against; Chivas USA has allowed 15. For what it’s worth, NYRB, SJE, Vancouver, TFC, and DCU have all given up 13 goals.

    • Scottymac says:

      Won’t Williams be suspended for his red card? Making a Garfan-Albright-Okugo-Gaddis back four a very real possibility. Soumare will make the bench.

      Does that back four inspire confidence?

  6. It seemed like Nowak would change the majority lineup following an impressive win yet sometimes keep it similar following a loss or bad draw. I’m glad that we have what the manager deems a consistent starting XI now, but I disagree that it’s the BEST XI on the team. After outplaying Toronto but only barely squeezing out a draw, giving up a 2-goal lead TWICE at DC, then being shutout to a bad Revolution time you would think at some point a defensive switch would be made. When we win – which we barely did against DC thanks to awful defending – I don’t mind seeing the same lineup, but after a terrible performance to a bad Revolution team I at least expected to see 1 or 2 switches. To see nothing change is infuriating and confusing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *