Daily news roundups

Power rankings, the weekend’s clinching scenarios, league schedule, USMNT news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Power rankings: At Soccer America, the Union fall two spots to No. 13. At ESPN, it’s a one-spot drop to 13th. ProsSoccerTalk has them at 11th while SI actually bumps the Union up one spot to 9th. In case you’re wondering, in the full MLS table, otherwise known as the Supporters Shield standings, the Union are currently in 12th place. Of course, all that matters is that they are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

A post at MLSsoccer.com lays out the various scenarios that need to occur for teams to clinch a playoff spot this weekend. While the Union will not be eliminated if they lose to Montreal, a loss or a tie could play a role in Houston, Montreal, and Chicago clinching. Similarly, a Union win could play a factor in New England and Columbus being eliminated.

In Monday morning’s roundup, we listed the league’s tiebreak procedures for reaching the playoffs. Brotherly Game has a kind of combo platter post on the subject that combines where the Union stand in the various tiebreakers with criticism of some of the tie-breaking criteria.

Vote Jack McInerney for Goal of the Week!

At Delaware Online, Matthew Waters writes that McInerney doesn’t know why he took off his shirt after scoring against DC. In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin wonders if McInerney shouldn’t have just pulled the ball out of the net and tried to score again for the win. Both agree it’s easy to understand why McInerney celebrated after ending that epic goal drought.

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel reviews the challenges the Union faced in Saturday’s draw and the reasons to be hopeful for a better result against Montreal on Saturday.

The Sports Network said of the draw at RFK, “It’s a respectable result on the road against a team playing with reckless abandon, but if the Union view themselves as a playoff-caliber team, they needed to get three points. Failing to secure a win at D.C. means the Union almost absolutely need to win against Montreal.” Yep.

At the Brotherly Game, Andrew Stoltzfus has his good (Amobi Okugo’s play), bad (Marfan’s hot head) and ugly (John Hackworth’s everything) from Saturday’s draw in DC.

The Union website has a Storify stream of tweets from the Sons of Ben’s road trip to RFK.

The Brotherly Game rounds up news of how former Union players are doing. Freddy Adu still isn’t playing at Bahia.

Local

La Salle’s Jason Plumoff, who played for Reading United last season, has been named the Atlantic 10 and Philly Soccer Six Player of the Week. La Salle’s John McCarthy, who also played for Reading United, was named Philly Soccer Six Defender of the Week while Villanova’s John Jlopleh was named Rookie of the Week.

Villanova will look their first consecutive win of the season when they host Lehigh today at 4 pm.

In Soccer America’s Weekly Men’s Top 25, Penn State comes in at No. 24 and Delaware is in a three-way tie for 25th.

MLS

That New York Daily News article that said the league could move to a European-style calendar with a winter break prompted a good deal of response, starting with the denial from a league spokesperson that we also linked to. An unnamed league spokesperson also told MLSsoccer.com,

“We recently conducted a survey and it had some questions about possibly moving the schedule. We regularly conduct market research on a variety of topics. Our fans’ preferences are important to us and we’ve proven to be good listeners…We will announce plans for the 2014 season before MLS Cup. The timing of the 2014 schedule will be very similar to the current season.”

More reaction from Philly.com, ESPN, ProSoccerTalk, SI, SBI, and NESN. At Soccer America, three reasons why a switch to a summer-to-spring calendar makes sense.

Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh was named Player of the Week. The 18-year-old Manneh became the youngest MLS player to record a hat trick in Vancouver’s 4-1 win over Seattle last Wednesday.

The Mass Confrontation Rule is a topic again after Seattle’s scrum on Sunday night. ProSoccerTalk explores.

Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti has agreed to sell a 70 percent stake in the club to DC United part owner Erik Thohir for £300m, or $478,260,000. Thohir is also part owner of the 76ers.

Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins talks to the Orlando Sentinel about the changes that can be anticipated when, as is expected, the club receives final funding approval for a new stadium and joins MLS.

ESPN reports that Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross is teaming up with David Beckham to bring an MLS expansion team to Miami. At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis lays out why he thinks the partnership is a terrible idea. Isn’t the bottom line really just that a franchise in Miami is a terrible idea?

The new USL PRO franchise in Sacramento, Sacramento Republic FC, that also has MLS aspirations and begins play in March of 2014 is still without a home stadium.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t care that the US has already qualified for the World Cup ahead of tonight’s game against Panama (9:30 pm; beIN Sport, beIN Sport Play, SiriusXM FC). in the final game of the Hexagonal. Speaking to reporters in Panama on Monday, Klinsmann said,

“This is World Cup qualifying. World Cup qualifying is very serious business. Everyone that is here is highly focused and wants to show a good game. Obviously we are happy that we are already qualified, but I told the players before the game last week that we are already preparing things for Brazil…Whoever goes on the field here has to show everything he has in order to build his case for Brazil.”

Panama needs a win (and for Mexico to lose and to improve their goal differential) in order to have a chance to play New Zealand in the intercontinental play-in game.

Previews from PSP, Soccer America, and Goal.com.

At ProSoccerTalk, Liviu Bird says fringe players could give the US the most bite in tonight’s game.

At ASN, Bird has a tactical breakdown of Friday’s win over Jamaica. The key word is “lethargic.”

The Wall Street Journal has a decent read on how hard it is to determine just how good the USMNT actually is given different ranking systems and perceptions in elsewhere about the quality of CONCACAF. ESPN commentator Ian Darke says in the article, “Are the U.S. a top side among the elite in the world? No they are not. But this World Cup will be about whether the U.S. can look like they are significantly bridging the gap.” Yep.

At US Soccer Players, Clemente Lisi recalls the US run in the 2002 World Cup. (I’m still looking at you, Torsten Frings.)

Elsewhere

For listings of how to watch today’s qualifiers on TV and online, check out Footy on the Telly.

At SI, Brian Strauss reviews the various qualification scenarios in today’s games from around the world.

Bob Bradley’s Egypt face US World Cup nemesis Ghana today in CAF qualifying (11:55am: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Espanol, beIN Sport Play, SiriusXM FC). ASN talks to Adam Moustafa of English language Egyptian soccer website KingFut.com about Bradley and the game.

Reuters reports, “Two Somali suicide bombers who had planned to kill soccer fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria on Sunday blew themselves up accidentally before carrying out the attack, the Ethiopian government said on Monday.”

FIFA has extended the bans imposed on a number of El Salvadoran players found guilty of involvement in match-fixing worldwide.

The head of the Red Bull Racing team says he can’t see the energy drink giant buying a Premier League team to add to its portfolio of clubs any time soon but adds, “with Red Bull, you never know”

13 Comments

  1. If Panama wins and Mexico loses, Panama makes up the goal differential right there. At that point, the only way Mexico can get in is to lose by exactly one, have Panama win by exactly one, and score at least 2 more goals than Panama.

  2. Hey, thanks for referencing my column, it’s good to know people actually read those things.

  3. My my Kerith how far you have fallen.

  4. So does this mean that the Union can neither clinch nor be elimiated this week?

  5. Would it be a bad thing if someone with the money like Thohir would buy a % of the Union? Me I like someone to help out Jay Sugarman and Nick Sakiewicz and the other partners in the Union Ownership Group how about a fan/ supporter group buying into the ownership @ $100.00 get you a piece ownership.

    Just some thoughts

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I love the idea of fans having a financial stake in the club. Make it so, sir!

    • God i love me some Bundesliga 50+1 rule.
      http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/03/11/fan-ownership-the-bundesliga-model/

      It will never ever, ever happen in US sports But the idea with a sports team with ties to the actual community is awesome.

      • Atomic spartan says:

        Cf: Green Bay?

      • Interesting article, thanks Sieve.
        .
        Fan investment – in the US model of ownership – would be done for one of two reasons. First, as a sort of gimmick where fans could spend some money and say they were part-owner of the team. This would be the $100 investment Huey mentioned. That’s not going to generate a large amount of cash for a team. 20,000 fans at $100 a pop would get the team $2 mil, which is no laughing matter in MLS. But it would be a one-time infusion of cash. That is, the team would get the cash when the shares were sold, making a nice blip in revenue that year, but then wouldn’t get additional funds again. That, to me, makes it a gimmick.
        .
        The second reason a team would do this would be to actually raise funds. In this scenario, you’re most likely looking at a larger buy-in amount, and then maybe even yearly payments going forward – almost like a timeshare, really. So if I bought in for, let’s say, $1000 I would own a very small piece of the team. I would have to pay a yearly fee of $250 to maintain my piece of the pie. I could sell my piece – with a few rules in place – for whatever the open market would bring, and then whoever bought my piece would then be responsible for the yearly fee going forward. In this case, it’s a very large chunk of cash up front (20,000 shares at $1000 a pop would raise $20 mil!) and then the yearly fee would infuse the team with $5 mil a year. Neither amount is small change for MLS.
        .
        In the second model, you would need to have an elected board who would have a say in how the team spent money – this plus whatever else they had. But that’s OK; the board would give decision making power to a GM / director / whatever title, and would maybe even get a say in whether to retain the current director. It could even be setup like actual stock and return a dividend to share owners in certain circumstances.
        .
        Could the Union find 20,000 buyers? Probably not. But I’d wager that there are fans who would buy more than one share, and that they could sell 20,000 shares. With $20 mil up front, the U could fund the stadium expansion they want to do. And with $2 mil coming in each year, they could afford to pay DPs a reasonable salary. Whether you wanted a couple guys at Kleberson’s salary of $500K or you wanted to go all-in and drop the whole $2 mil on one player would be the director’s decision to make – and if the board was unhappy with the results, they’d make that known.
        .
        Wow – way longer than I expected. Possible? Yep. It’d actually be an interesting way for the Union to raise cash. I’d find the money at those prices to buy in, either for the gimmick method or the actual investment method.

      • Yeah, that would be very interesting.

        Would even be better investment if you get a share of the SUM money.

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