Daily news roundups

Union-Stoke news, MLS expansion, Holden’s torn ACL, more

Photo: Stoke City fans from a report on how the club will provide free transportation to its supporters for all away games. Pretty cool.

Philadelphia Union

In case you haven’t seen the news already on Twitter, Brek Shea rejoined Stoke City in time for Monday night’s open training session and will be available this evening when the Premier League club plays the Union in a friendly at PPL Park in the last game of their 3-game US tour. You can purchase tickets here for the 7:30 pm kickoff.

In addition to Shea with Stoke are also Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu. John Hackworth said, “I think it’s pretty unique that you have three Americans playing on one EPL side right now. I’ve been fortunate to be around those guys and to coach all three of them. It will be good to see them and I’m hoping they’ll be successful this preseason.”

Hackworth said of his selection plans for the game, “We’re going to play a bunch of the guys.”

He explained, “It’s an opportunity. We have guys on our roster who have worked hard and deserve an opportunity to prove what they can do in front of our fans.”

If you didn’t see it yesterday, check out our post looking at how the Philadelphia-Stoke connection goes back 45 years and runs through, of all places, Cleveland.

Speaking of history, John Callahan, mayor of Bethlehem, Pa., will be at tonight’s friendly to celebrate the Union’s recognition of the area’s soccer history through the Bethlehem Steel FC-inspired third kit. Mayor Callahan said in a press release, “We cherish our history and it’s an honor to have it recognized by an organization like the Union.”

A preview on the Stoke website says, “The Potters round off their USA Tour with arguably their toughest game so far when they face Philadelphia Union.”

Union Tally has a list of bullet points on Stoke ahead of tonight’s game. The Union website has a scouting report. Union Dues has an introduction to the team.

The Inquirer has a look why tonight’s friendly matters to both teams.

The Daily News manages to describe Stoke as “one of England’s top teams,” note “their record this season [sic] is 9-14-15, good for 13th place,” and still keep a straight face.

ThisIsStaffodshire.com describes the nightmarish travel day Stoke had flying into Philadelphia during Sunday’s record breaking storm that dropped 8.02 inches of rain at the airport—7.35 inches of which fell between 3 and 7 pm—and caused a power outage. Assistant manager Mark Bowen said, “You could say the whole thing was character building, and I have to say I didn’t hear too many moans from the players at the end of a 12 or 13-hour day.”

Zac MacMath picked up his second straight shutout on Saturday and has 7 on the season. Dave Zeitlin wonders, “Is it a coincidence that MacMath has arguably been playing his best soccer of the season since new goalkeeper Oka Nikolov became eligible to play?”

More reaction to Saturday’s win in Vancouver from Zolo Times and Soccer Newsday.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union stay at No. 8.

Delco News Network has a article on Chris Albright’s appearance along with Delaware County Council Member John McBlain for a soccer-themed story time at Ridley Township Library. While Albright read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, McBlain read Froggy Plays Soccer. The article describes, “Every time Froggy’s team scored in the children’s tale by Jonathan London, McBlain had the young listeners chant the Philadelphia Union’s trademark cheer, “Doop! Doop!”

Brotherly Game has “a depressed Phillies Fan’s guide to the Union.

Local

After a much needed weekend off, Harrisburg City Islanders fly west this morning to face Phoenix Wolves on Wednesday (10:30 pm, USL Live). With the team for the first time since the preseason after suffering several abdominal tears is Damani Richards, the young defender from Trinidad & Tobago who was briefly signed to the Union. Harrisburg is currently in third place in USL PRO.

MLSsoccer.com’s recap of last week’s USL PRO games featuring players on loan from MLS teams notes the contributions made by Jimmy McLaughlin and Aaron Wheeler in Harrisburg’s 5-1 win over Dayton last Wednesday.

The time of Ocean City Nor’easter’s semifinal match in Texas against Austin Aztex for the PDL championship has been set for 8:30 pm ET on Friday. If Ocean City win, they will face the winner of Thunder Bay Chill and Victoria Highlanders on Sunday at 8:30 pm ET in Austin.

St. Joseph’s University men’s team have released their 2013 schedule.

MLS

Don Garber tells The AP, “The league is going to expand. It’s not an ‘if,’ but a ‘when,’ and it’s a ‘how many.’ There’s lots of interest among many, many different markets, so we’ll get pretty focused on establishing something firmer in the next few months.” More from Garber here.

MLS All-Stars head coach Peter Vermes says Thierry Henry will start and wear the captain’s armband.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s game between the MLS All-Stars and Roma, Kansas City Star looks at the city’s first pro soccer team, Kansas City Spurs, who were an original member of the NASL in 1968 and won the league championship the next season before folding after the 1970 season.

Also at the Kansas City Star, here’s an opinion piece that confirms the unreconstructed soccer hater is alive and well in US sports journalism, straw man arguments and all. Hurray!

Francesco Totti says he has no plans to play in MLS.

Looks like FC Dallas is in search of a team to send Mechanicsburg, Pa. native Bobby Warshaw on loan to. Warshaw has apparently let FC Dallas know he is unhappy with the amount of playing time he’s been getting.

San Jose Earthquakes have announced that “due to unforeseen conditions at the stadium site,” their new stadium will not open until the second half of the 2014 season.

Recent schedule change announcements prompted by the 2014 World Cup has caused a good deal of displeasure among NASL fans. It’s not a break in league play but the awarding of the hosting rights of the 2014 championship Soccer Bowl to the winner of the shortened 10-game first part of the season that is the point of contention. As Brian Straus notes at SI in an article about the worst decisions in American soccer, “There’s a good possibility that the NASL’s 2014 championship game, the retro-branded Soccer Bowl, will be hosted by a team with a losing record. That is, quite obviously, a terrible idea that would make the second-tier league a laughingstock.”

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson responds to fans’ concerns.

US

US Soccer confirmed on Monday that Stuart Holden suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Sunday’s Gold Cup final.

Holden tweeted,

Deadspin says Jurgen Klinsmann has the US finally playing attractive soccer.

The Guardian has five things learned from the US Gold Cup win.

ProSoccerTalk has five players who saw their stock rise at the Gold Cup.

Soccer America notes, “The overnight rating for Sunday’s USA-Panama Gold Cup final on FOX was 1.7—the highest overnight rating for a soccer match in 2013 on any network and FOX’s second-highest overnight rating ever for a soccer match. It was also higher than the ratings for weekend Major League Baseball games on FOX and ESPN (1.6).”

Soccer America on the desire of John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin) and Aron Johansson (AZ) to commit to the US.

Elsewhere

Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean confirmed at a press conference on Monday that Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre still has a job.

NBC has released details of their coverage of the first three months of the Premier League season. ProSoccerTalk has a quick guide to NBC Premier League Saturdays.

4 Comments

  1. I like that in the same blog piece is an article from a MSM “reporter” about why the MLS ASG isn’t a big deal (and I don’t think anyone really believes it is) and his soft-boiled arguments on why soccer isn’t important (no one reading PSP would agree) counter-balanced by the tv ratings of a soccer match on Fox beating the baseball ratings on ESPN.

    Damn you and your facts!!!

  2. Soccerbowl? How Gauche.

  3. Anyone notice the picture on the article from the Stoke website? Even they want to see Roger get to play more.

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