Daily news roundups

Retention fund, Daniel scores for T&T, USA ready for Belize, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

First mention of it came with the news that Graham Zusi had signed a contract extension with Kansas City when Peter Vermes said, “I would say, for all intents and purposes, that he really is a DP. The difference is that there are certain monies available, that I have the ability to use within the salary cap, that are what are called ‘retention funds’ – to be able to retain certain players within your roster. That allows us to bring him under that DP level.”

Retenfion fund? What’s that you ask?

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy explains, “Every team in the league can now tap into a certain amount of money—$225,000 total over the next three years, according to ESPN’s Alexi Lalas—to sign three key figures to new deals without placing them into the Designated Player category. The new initiative fits within the compensation structure outlined by MLS over the past few years and offers a genuine opportunity to keep exactly the sort of players the league cannot afford to lose.”

The retention fund could prove very important in keeping players like Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo with the Union. Look for more on the new salary mechanism coming up from PSP.

Keon Daniel scored the opening goal in Trinidad & Tobago’s 2-2 draw with El Salvador on Monday evening. Daniel’s tenth minute tally was his 14th international goal in 58 caps. In the other Group B match, Honduras defeated Haiti, 2-0.

Jack McInerney makes MLS Reserves’ list of five US players who have something to prove at the Gold Cup. “Jac Mac’s Gold Cup is about one thing: proving he’s not Chris Wondolowski. That may sound harsh, but with such similar styles it’s easy to look at Wondo’s struggles on the international stage and wonder if McInerney’s scoring will translate to this level.”

McInerney being on international duty means Antoine Hoppenot is seeing more minutes as a starter. Are his preparations any different? “Really, for me, it’s nothing different,” says the second year man. “You’ve got to come to training and prepare the same way every day. You’ve got to come ready to go and keep your focus. If you do that, everything will take care of itself…I prepare every day like I’m playing…I want to keep proving what I can do. I think that never stops. You’re always proving yourself in this league. I come to work every day with the same mindset – to work hard. I take that same mentality into the games and try to stay focused on what I need to do to help our club win.”

Looking back over the Union’s last stretch of games and ahead to Friday’s game against Chivas USA, Dave Zeitlin writes in the latest Inside Doop, “The more pressing concern for Friday is if any of the midfield foursome of Kleberson, Lahoud, Cruz and Farfan can return to full health and take the field against Chivas. All four of them were listed as questionable on the injury report Saturday—as opposed to out or doubtful—so a return for even all of them could be realistic. And that would certainly help the Union’s depleted midfield.”

Despite trying to be optimistic, David Murphy writes of the Union’s recent run of games, “Be honest. With McInerney off to occupy his glorious spot on the U.S. National Team’s bench and so many winning clubs staring us down on those June and July calendar pages, you had to at least wonder whether this wasn’t the point in the Union’s season where hopes would be sliced and optimism melted into a quiet, humid brand of desperation.”

Late recaps from Saturday’s loss in Houston from Brotherly Game and Soccer Newsday.

Power Rankings: At Goal.com, the Union fall four spots to No. 10. At ESPN, it’s a two spot drop to No. 11. The ESPN rankings note, “Two blown leads and then a loss in Houston have questions being raised in Philly. Sure, the Union were missing players. Who isn’t this time of year? But the back six has remained intact, and one would expect more defensive sharpness.” Yep.

The Daytona Beach News Journal reports on discussions in Deltona, Fla. to enclose and build bleachers at one of the fields at the Dewey Boster Sports Complex, the preseason training home of the Union. The Deltona city council ultimately tabled the discussion with the mayor arguing that a he favors building “a first-class stadium at a separate site.” Steven Moore, the city’s director of parks and recreation, said, “If we want to keep (the Union), we’ve got to do something. Somebody’s going to pass us up.” The report mentions that DC United has also expressed an interest in making Deltona their preseason home.

Local

After being recalled by the Union to fill out the roster against Houston over the weekend, Cristhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin have returned on loan to Harrisburg City Islanders. Harrisburg will look to bounce back from their stoppage time loss to Wilmington last weekend when they host LA Blues on Wednesday (7 pm, USL Live). At The Patriot-Times, Michael Bullock reports that a third as yet unnamed Union player may also go on loan and that Union loanee Greg Jordan is still unavailable due to a knee injury.

Reading United has an alumni report.

Hershey Pa.’s Christian Pulisic (MF, PA Classics) has been named to the US Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 East Conference Starting XI.

Pusilic leaves today with the U-17 MNT from U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. for a tournament in Japan. More on the team and the tournament from TopDrawerSoccer.com.

MLS

34-year-old Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan denies reports that he is moving to Toronto FC. “I said I would like to play in the United States, also in the Middle East. But I have a contract h[with Inter Milan] for another two years. I’m very happy here and I have a contract…I would like to stay at Inter, until not only the (2014) World Cup, but until the end of the contract.” Forlan added, “Today you know, there are so many websites on the Internet to see if the source is right or not.”

Former Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton has been named MLSsoccer.com and SBI’s Player of the week for his shutout performance in Vancouver’s win over Seattle.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle has some midseason awards.

At SI, Brian Straus reports on a new initiative from New York Red Bulls to end the YSA chant. “The team has notified its three fan groups—the Empire Supporters Club, the Garden State Ultras and the Viking Army—that $500 will be contributed to each for every home game during which ‘YSA’ isn’t heard in Red Bull Arena’s South Ward. The money will be doled out in $2,000 increments, meaning the stadium will have to be ‘YSA’ free for four games before the supporters are rewarded.”

More on the efforts of Sunshine Soccer Group to bring a NASL team to Jacksonville, Fla.

NWSL

Seattle Reign host Washington Spirit on Sunday, July 14  at 8:30 pm in the league’s first nationally televised game, which will be shown on Fox Soccer.

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley checks in on how USWNT players are doing in the NWSL.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann said of his Gold Cup squad ahead of tonight’s opening group stage game against Belize, “I think it’s a very, very good team we’ve put together here for this Gold Cup and with a tremendous amount of experience and guys that know that this is a huge, huge opportunity…It’s also one year away from the World Cup. So it’s about World Cup spots, it’s about proving to everyone we want to be No. 1 in CONCACAF.”

The US isn’t taking Belize lightly. Landon Donovan said, “We can’t be complacent. When you play in a group stage where there’s only three games, every game matters immensely. We’re very aware of that and we’ll be ready to play.”

Klinsmann said, “We expect a game where they probably come out in more of a defensive shape. We need to come out and open them up as early as possible. We expect a difficult game, but we are looking forward to it. We can’t allow, in the game against Belize, to give them any opportunity. You can’t miss chances in the early beginnings because then you chase your own game. There is no reason to underestimate any team in the Gold Cup.”

Previews from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, Soccer America, Fox Soccer, and Goal.com.

At SI, R.J. Rico profiles the American head coach of the Belize team, Ian Mork. Interesting story, he also happens to work for US Soccer as a scout for the development program. More on Mork and Belize from MLSsoccer.com, Soccer America, and Wichita Eagle.

At SI, little devil and a little angel had a discussion about whether the Gold Cup should matter to US soccer fans and Grant Wahl recorded the (mostly lame) conversation. Taking a different tack, ASN simply offers seven reasons why you should care, although if you’re reading this you probably already do.

At Goal.com, Avi Creditor writes that winning the Gold Cup is important in terms of the US maintaining a “psychological advantage” as the continue their campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Elsewhere

How things have changed at the Maracanã.

Brazilian police have detained one suspect and are looking for two more in the beating, dismembering, and beheading of an amateur ref. The article has some gruesome details on the actual killing of the ref, which happened after the ref stabbed a player who objected to being expelled from a game.

Lionel Messi left the Messi and Friends charity match early, which was disappointing news to fans who had paid $2,500 a piece for special tickets that included a postgame meet and greet.

 

8 Comments

  1. But the back six has remained intact, and one would expect more defensive sharpness.” Yep.
    How many defensive breakdowns need to happen over the course of the season, to entrenched starters, before we STOP expecting this?

  2. “a quiet, humid brand of desperation” covers so much that is Philadelphia

  3. Incredible that the best player for El Salvatore plays in Russia of all places!!!
    .
    Incredible the $500 incentive for YSA in NJ. Guess we have to start it again here…
    .
    Good Fundraiser tonight at the Crossbar to help build a school in Lahoud’s Sierra Leon. $50 will get you in as of 6.30pm and will cover as much food and drink as you want (+1 raffel ticket), as per their Facebook post. Lahoud and Konopka will be there

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    I disagree that Jack has anything to prove with the Gold Cup team. It’s a short camp. He’s one of the youngest players there (if not the youngest). I don’t think it would surprise anyone if he gets 0 minutes playing time. This is more likely a learning opportunity for Jack to help better prepare him for the full camp in January.

    • I agree completely. He’s not one of the best 18 players on the roster, and regardless of our opponents (Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica) this is still a real tournament and those teams will be giving everything they have. I think just being in the camp, around those players will teach more than he would get here, and when he gets called in in January he’ll be used to it so he can focus on working hard. There’s a striker spot open for 2018.

  5. I hate to give the Pink Cows credit for anything but that is pure genius. It may not work but they found a way to do it with a positive spin.

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