Daily news roundups

Casey fave for Comeback the Year, final Orlando Stadium funding approved, Klinsmann on WC draw, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Conor Casey is the overwhelming favorite among the editors at MLSsoccer.com for Comeback Player of the Year, receiving five out of eight votes.

Jeff Parke received an honorable mention in the latest MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week.

No Union players were named to the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 Performer’s list. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 6), Conor Casey (No. 23), Zac MacMath (No. 26), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 43) and Amobi Okugo (No. 44).

The power rankings at MLSsoccer.com has the Union at No. 13, which is where they are on the full league table. “They won back-to-back games three times this year – once early, once midseason, and once at the end. But they never put together a sustained streak of good form that could have given them the cushion they needed. Eyes on 2014, barring a weekend miracle.”

News of former Union players from the Brotherly Game.

Local

The latest Reading United Alumni Report is available.

Philadelphia University forward Angela Ferro has been named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference’s (CACC) women’s soccer Player of the Week.

MLS

Orlando County commissioners voted on Tuesday to approve $20 million in funding for a new downtown stadium in Orlando, the final hurdle in the way of USL PRO club Orlando City SC joining MLS. Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins said, “The [MLS] ownership group has signed off on it. We’re looking at a four- to six-week window to get the documentation finished up, to get a franchise agreement finalized and for an announcement to be made.”

Rawlins added, “Our fans have been the driving force behind the effort to bring MLS to Orlando. This one is for them.”

More on the news from The Orlando Sentinel, baynews9.com, myfoxorlando.com, wmfe.org, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, Soccer America, SI, SBI, and The AP.

Real Salt Lake will have a chance to go to the top of the Western Conference and go level on points with New York at the top of the Supporters Shield table when they host Chivas USA tonight in their last game of the regular season.

At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis wonders if the league disciplinary committee have guts to suspend Clint Dempsey for kicking out at a Dallas player who fouled him in Seattle’s 2-0 road loss on Saturday?

Why did the league change the first qualification tiebreaker from goals scored to games won for this year’s playoffs? It’s simple, really. MLS executive vice president for competition, technical and game operations Nelson Rodriguez explains, “The object of the game is to win, whether at home or on the road. The competition committee felt it was important to reward those teams who as a collective whole have won more games than their opposing teams.”

The Vancouver Sun doubts Martin Rennie will get a third season as head coach after the Whitecaps failed to reach the playoffs.

Whitecaps defender Young-Pyo Lee will retire at the end of the season.

Previews of tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League games featuring San Jose Earthquakes against Guatemala’s CD Heredia and Sporting Kansas City against Honduran champion CD Olimpia.

MLSSoccer.com breaks down the scenarios San Jose, Kansas City, and Houston will need in order to advance out of the group stage to join the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals. Houston plays on Thursday.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann gives his post-Hex thoughts on several topics in a Q&A at US Soccer.com. Asked about the World Cup Draw on Dec. 6, Klinsmann said,

“Looking at Pot no. 1 and the seeding of the World Cup, it kind of makes you think a little bit, if this is the right way to do it. You have to find a way hopefully to make everybody happy. It’s not going to happen, nobody will be happy with everything. But, when you have a Pot no. 1, you expect countries in there that really proved it in World Cups, in the history of the World Cup. Now you see teams that haven’t really done that much in previous World Cups and you wonder ‘Why is it that way now?’

“The consequence is that you will have a couple of groups getting drawn on Dec. 6 in Brazil that are Groups of Death that will be killer groups; there’s not even one easy team or whatever. Then you will find maybe two or three groups that are much easier, at least on paper easier. It’s unbalanced now with that seeding procedure and it will cause a lot of question marks, a lot of discussion and debate once the groups are finalized. It is what it is, but I’m not very happy with it.”

Klinsmann also said,

The fact that MLS scheduled their playoffs according to our schedule is a tremendous plus. It’s very respectful and gives us a chance to take some MLS players with us to Europe. How many we’ll take, we’ll see. We’ll see how things are going for every individual player. But, I think it’s a really good sign from MLS looking at our schedule, respecting the FIFA fixture dates there and giving us the option to take MLS players to Europe.

Klinsmann’s comments in the Q&A on ending Panama’s World Cup hopes are also worth a read.

Oguchi Onyewu has signed with Queens Park Rangers.

Elsewhere

After being incorrectly introduced at the CONCACAF summit as FIFA vice president, Sepp Blatter said, “I think you’re a prophet. [There may be] a new FIFA president in the near future and this president could be [CONCACAF president] Jeffrey Webb.”

Webb has called for a regional professional league to help Caribbean countries qualify for the World Cup.

ESPN reports that Lionel Messi “has just become the first footballer to break into the top-10 list of America’s favorite athletes, according to the vast ESPN Sports Poll (October 2012-September 2013).”

Three more El Salvador national team players have been given worldwide bans by FIFA. Last week FIFA announced 14 lifetime bans to El Salvador players involved in a match-fixing scandal.

Reuters reports, “Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe were forced to play in knock-off versions of their own shirts bought from street vendors outside the stadium after forgetting to bring their change uniforms to an away game at the weekend…Bogota-based Santa Fe began the game in their grey training kits, adding numbers with surgical tape, while an assistant bought counterfeit shirts on the street for 12,000 pesos ($6.37) apiece and scrawled names and numbers on with a red marker pen.” I’m not sure if Carlos Valdes played in the game, but more on the story via this crappy Google translation of an article from the Santa Fe website.

3 Comments

  1. So wait. With Orlando getting a team, not only will the teams be unbalanced again, But how many teams will be in the Eastern Conference as opposed to the West?

    • They’ll most likely move Houston back into the West. They didn’t move them back after Montreal joined because they didn’t want to have them switching divisions every time someone joined, but with NYCFC and possibly (likely) Orlando joining MLS, it’s clear that someone needs to move to the West.

  2. As much as I’ve appreciated what Casey brought to the Union this year, I’m finding it hard not to root for Kevin Alston to get Comeback Player of the Year. Dude came back from friggin’ leukemia.

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