Daily news roundups

Lahoud honored for work with at-risk youth, no joy for NY & NE, Drexel claims 2nd straight CAA title, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Michael Lahoud will be honored tonight with the Los Angeles-based Bresee Foundation’s Pioneer Award for his support of the foundation’s soccer programs for at-risk youth in central LA. Lahoud worked as a coach for 20 young players while he was with Chivas USA and continued to support the program by helping raise money to sponsor a visit by four Bresee players to the Union last summer.

Kerith Gabriel talks to Army head coach Russell Payne about the importance of Friday’s game at PPL Park against Navy and the kind of soccer the two academies play. Payne says, “At the end of the day, you’ve got two coaches that believe in playing the game the right way. We want to keep the ball on the ground, we want to build out, and we want to play attacking, free-falling, passing soccer, possession-based attacking soccer. That’s it.” Payne was first a player and then a coach at the University of Maryland, where, along with Union assistant coach Rob Vartughian, he helped lead the Terrapins to a NCAA title in 2008.

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George has more with Navy’s Shiiba brothers — Mark and Thomas — who grew up in Swarthmore and played at Strath Haven as well as the Union academy. While it is freshmen defender Mark’s first time playing at PPL Park, sophomore forward Thomas represented Navy in last year’s game and also was on the Union academy side that played Everton in 2011.

In addition to playing for the Union Academy U-18 team, Thomas Shiiba was a member of the Lehigh Valley United U-19 team that won the McGuire Cup — the US Youth Soccer National U-19 Championship —  this summer, where he was awarded the Golden Ball and named to the tournament’s Best 11. Other  local players on Navy include Lansdale’s Alex Evans and Lancaster’s Donny Burton.


With a 2-1 road win over the College of Charleston on Wednesday evening, the Drexel men’s team claimed its second straight Colonial Athletic Association regular season title, the third in the program’s history. Drexel will host the semifinal and final rounds of the CAA Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 16.

The No. 4 seed University of Delaware will host No. 5 seed Northeastern in the quarterfinals of the CAA Tournament on Saturday at 7:30 pm.

La Salle’s Kelsey Haycook, Maryam Huseini, Courtney Niemiec, and Jessica Wiggins received Atlantic 10 All-Conference team honors, Renee Washington received second team honors. Haycook and Jourdan McVicar were also named to the A-10 All-Academic team and Deja Davis to the All-Rookie team.

In the latest NSCAA high school boys’ soccer rankings, Malvern’s Great Valley jumps ten spots to No. 11 and Sewell, NJ’s Washington Township High School comes in at No. 21. Also receiving votes were Delbarton School (Morristown, NJ) and Appoquinimink (Middletown, Del.).

In the latest NSCAA high school girls’ soccer rankings, Mechanicsburg’s Cumberland Valley remains at No. 8, and Langhorne’s Neshaminy High School remains at No. 12, while Lenape (Medford, N.J.) comes in at No. 23. Also receiving votes was Eastern (Voorhees, N.J.).

Ronald Tompkins, a founding member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association, passed away on Oct. 25 at the age of 80.


They may now have a shield, but it’s another year, no cups. New York was defeated by Houston 2-1 (4-3 on aggregate) at home in the second leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Despite New York dominating much of the play, the score was level at 1-1 — and thus the series aggregate was level at 3-3 — after 90 minutes, putting the game into extra time. Omar Cummings was again the late hero, scoring the gamewinner in the 104th minute. It was the first Houston win over New York in five matches this season. More on the game from ProSoccerTalk, SI, and the AP.

Traveling to Houston for the first leg of the Eastern Conference final will be Kansas City, who defeated New England 3-1 (4-3 on aggregate). Kansas City led the game 2-1 at the conclusion of 90 minutes, which meant that the two teams were level at 3-3 after New England won the first game 2-1 at home. Claudio Bieler, the Kansas City Designated Player who hadn’t scored from open play since July 13, scored what proved to be the series winner in the 113th minute. More on the game from ProSoccerTalk, SI, and the AP.

The first leg of the Eastern Conference final kicks off on Sunday at 2:30pm on NBCSN.

The deciding games of Western Conference semifinals take place tonight with Real Salt Lake hosting the LA Galaxy (9 pm, ESPN2) and Portland hosting Seattle (11 pm, NBCSN, Univision Deportes). LA leads RSL in their series 1-0 while Portland leads Seattle 2-1.

At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis has a good read on how the scheduling of the playoffs means the league is missing a huge opportunity to promote itself. Davis writes, “The pace and rhythm of Major League Soccer’s playoff stinks. It’s broken, largely ineffective and fairly nonsensical. There’s no other way to say it.” Davis points to effect the lack of time between the end of the season and the start of post season play has on ticket sales and the ability to drum up interest among national broadcasters in showing the early rounds of the playoff. He continues,

“The season ends. Three or four days later, two teams are gone. A week after that, four more are out.

“Think about that: Within 11 days of the final regular season whistle, 6 of 10 teams are gone! The bulk of the playoffs – remember, that big red circle the league has pointed to over an entire year – are history in just 11 days.

“That is what MLS wants its playoffs to be about?”


Darren Mattocks has been getting spouty about his lack of playing time in Vancouver this season. He has since apologized on Twitter.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Nov. 19 will be the date Orlando City SC is announced at the 21st MLS franchise. The report notes, “While the plans appear solid, the timing could be thrown off if lawyers for the soccer club and MLS don’t work out the final details of a franchise agreement in time.”


There’s a good Q&A with Jurgen Klinsmann at the US Soccer website about what he expects from the upcoming friendlies in Europe against Scotland and Austria. “We want to play good football there and show them that we come to their countries and stadiums to compete,” Klinsmann says. “We are excited about these opportunities because we don’t have many left before training camp begins next May. Therefore, it’s going to be intense.”

Klinsmann makes clear that, contrary to earlier reports, he will call in MLS players for the European camp. “Because MLS scheduled their playoffs with respect to our FIFA fixture dates, it’s basically working hand-in-hand. We’re going to bring the best players into Scotland and Austria no matter where they play.”

Klinsmann will be pleased at Jozy Altidore’s strong play in Sunderland’s 2-1 win over Southampton in the League Cup on Wednesday.

The US U-17 WNT faces Mexico today in the semifinals of the CONCACAF championship in Jamaica for a berth at the U-17 Women’s World Cup (3 pm, Fox Soccer 2Go; tape delayed broadcast at 8 pm on Fox Soccer Plus).

The US has drawn Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala in Group A for the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship, which will be played in the Cayman Islands on Jan. 9-19.

The US U-17 MNT will face their counterparts from Brazil, England and Portugal at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., Dec. 9-15.


At ESPN, Brazilian writer Fernando Duarte gets to the heart of the matter after the announcement that the Soccerex business summit in Rio de Janeiro in December, expected to be attended by some 4,500 delegates, has been canceled. “If the Rio authorities have forfeited their contractual obligations, it will send a horrendous message around the world. The saga has already caused jitters among World Cup sponsors, with at least one, according to sources, expressing concerns to FIFA…In a global world, the need for respect toward signed agreements cannot be overstated. For decades the image of corruption, lack of accountability and a lax attitude toward commitments has plagued Brazil and Brazilians. This episode has done nothing to discourage those views.”

Adidas has denied a report that said the company would pay half of the Lionel Messi’s €250 million release clause if he would move to a club that wears adidas kits during the summer transfer window. The report from Mundo Deportivo said that adidas would also raise its commercial contract with whichever club Messi moved to by 40 percent.

Six teams in the seven-team women’s WK-League in South Korea are threatening to boycott the 2014 season because they do not believe Seoul City Amazones striker Park Eun-seon is a woman, despite her previously appearing for South Korea in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

For listings of today’s Europa League games on TV and online, check out the latest Footy on the Telly.


  1. Regarding the play-off format, why not have the 4-5 game on the first weekend along with the first leg of the 2-3 match-up? Then the winner of the 4-5 match plays the first leg at home vs. the #1 seed midweek before having the 2nd legs on the 2nd weekend.

    Another alternative is to just have the #1 seed host the 4-5 winner in a one game playoff that 2nd weekend. That would really be an advantage to the #1 seed as they only have to play one match vs two.

    I think MLS needs to avoid only giving a few days to sell tickets to a mid-week match. Plus, this also makes it more palatable for NBCSN and ESPN to find time for these matches as there are more marketable slots for weekend programming rather than during a weeknight.

    • The big albatross right now is the international weekend. If not for that, you could have the 4-5 games midweek and then all the rest of the games over the weekends. Next year, that weekend will probably only be UEFA 2016 qualifying, so maybe MLS will not work around it.

      It is an argument for the Aug-Apr/May schedule since there are usually no international dates in April or May.

  2. Your first scenario would punish teams for getting the #1 seed. The #1 would be forced to play twice in 4 days, while #2 and #3 would play twice in 7-8 days.

    • True, that’s why I suggested the alternative which is much fairer to the #1 seed and gives them a clear advantage over the other teams.

  3. Stumbled across this older article from Grant Wahl. Interesting playoff structure here.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      That is an amazingly good idea. Which means it will never see the light of day.

      • Sad but true…
        Best part about this setup? It works equally well when the league expands to 24 teams. (Or, at least, the playoff part does. The regular season schedule part would need tweaked.)

      • I like his playoff schedule. I think he’s wrong about the regular season being too short though. 34 games is fine to me. That’s what Germany plays, and it works fine for me. If they could reasonably do 36-38 games, then great, but I don’t think they need to jump through hoops to force it.

      • Agree, Dan. Somewhere between 34-38 seems about right to me, too. And anyway, a whole lot of his schedule talk is blown out of the water by the expansion to 24; when he wrote that, he was assuming only 20 teams for a while.

  4. Could not believe the play-off games were so hard to find on TV last night. Even Ray Hudson mentioned during the daily football show that he could not find any of the games last night. I found the NY-Houston match on some Spanish channel I never watch and thought it was exciting and worth watching. Never found the other game on DirecTV.
    Too bad that at a time when we can see all the EPL matches on weekends, we can not see a MLS play-off game… Makes one wonder.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    “Six teams in the seven-team women’s WK-League in South Korea are threatening to boycott the 2014 season because they do not believe Seoul City Amazones striker Park Eun-seon is a woman, despite her previously appearing for South Korea in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and at the 2004 Summer Olympics.”
    Well ain’t that somethin’…
    Anyway… not having those games on for a national audience last night was ridiculous. They were highly entertaining games. What a shame. Bad move MLS.

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