Daily news roundups

Casey for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, Forbes values Union valued at $90m, local NCAA action begins

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Conor Casey is one of three finalists for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award. New England’s Kevin Alston and Seattle’s Lamar Neagle are also in the running for the award which will be announced on Dec. 2.

On Wednesday, Forbes released its first estimates of the value of MLS franchise since 2008. The Union come in at No. 11 on the list with an estimated value of $90 million (Seattle tops the list at $175 million with Chivas USA at the bottom at $65 million). Forbes has the club’s revenue for 2012 at $21.4 million (13th in the league) with an operating income or profit of $1.1 million (9th in the league). Aside from being a good read on how teams make money, the article is quite bullish on how far the league has come — when Forbes last compiled the list the average value of MLS clubs was $37 million and is now $103 million — and its future prospects, particularly with negotiations for new TV contracts now underway.

In case you’re wondering, Forbes estimates the value of the Eagles as $1.3 billion, the Phillies as $893 million, the 76ers as $418 million, and the Flyers as $336 million.

Forbes also has a list of the league’s billionaires. Union owner Jay Sugarman isn’t on it.

Additionally, Forbes looks at the league’s soccer specific stadiums and how they are key to a team’s ability to maximize revenue and has a list of players earning more than $1 million a year. As the article notes, there are only nine such players but the $23 million they earn equals about 40 percent of the total league salary expenditure of $56 million.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has his take on the the Forbes MLS franchise value list.

In the latest edition of the Top 10 Union moments of 2013 it is the Amobi Okugo goal and assist from Sheanon Williams in the 4-1 loss to Los Angeles and Michael Farfan’s indirect free kick goal in the 3-1 win over Chivas USA. Cast your vote here. Kleberson’s free kick goal in the 1-0 win over Toronto swamped Zac MacMath’s save in the 1-0 road win over Kansas City in the first vote.

A mock draft at MLSsoccer.com has the Union picking up midfielder Leo Stolz and left back (and Reading United alumnus) Ben Sweat. They have local lad Steve Neumann, who is compared to Roger Torres, going to Seattle.

The Brotherly Game reviews Brian Carroll’s 2013 season.

Local

Play begins tonight in the NCAA men’s tournament. Penn hosts Providence (7 pm at Rhodes Field with a free live stream here) while Drexel is on the road to Old Dominion for a 6 pm kickoff. The University of Delaware hosts St. Johns (7 pm at Delaware Mini Stadium) while Penn State hosts St. Francis (7 pm at Jeffery Field with a free live stream here).

More on the UPenn, Drexel, and Delaware games at the Union website and on the Delaware game from Delaware Online.

Continental FC, formerly known as FC Delco, rounds up the many awards won by women alumni of its Elite Clubs National League Teams in this season’s college play.

In the latest NSCAA high school boys’ soccer rankings, Wilmington’s Salesianum School is ranked at No. 2 with Lancaster’s Conestoga Valley at No. 23. Out of the top 25 but also receiving votes were the Delbarton School (Morristown, NJ), Great Valley (Malvern, Pa.), and Washington Township (Sewell, NJ).

In the latest high school girls’ soccer rankings, Langhorne’s Neshaminy High School is ranked No. 7, Medford’s Lenape High School at No. 14, and Vorhees’ Eastern High School is ranked at No. 22. Also receiving votes was Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, NJ)

MLS

Looks like Juan Agudelo is staying in MLS for now after Stoke City was unable to secure him a work permit. At ASN, Brian Sciaretta says clubs in Spain, France, and Portugal are interested in Agudelo.

The Seattle Sounders have re-signed Brad Evans.

The Columbus Crew are reportedly set to sign Costa Rican left back Waylon Francis as soon as rosters are unfrozen.

At MLSsoccer.com, why MLS believes the league will succeed in Florida this time.

Orlando City’s Brazilian owner Flávio Augusto da Silva believes the team will help MLS break into Brazil. “This shows that the Brazilians are very, very interested in soccer in America. They are discovering that MLS is a great league and Orlando City has a Brazilian owner and we intend to bring a Brazilian soccer star to the team. So I believe that Brazil is going to be a very important market for us as a club but also for MLS to expand their brand and expand their business. We believe in that.”

The club also believes their new stadium, which still hasn’t been designed, let alone broken ground, will have “one of the most intense atmospheres in the whole of MLS.” Team president Phil Rawlins said, “We’re going to make the coolest place to watch football, not only in the Florida and the Southeast, but hopefully in the whole of the country.”

Orlando City has backed current coach Adrian Heath to lead the team into MLS. The article also notes the club’s interest in bringing in a “Brazilian Beckham” like Kaka.

Orlando has also begun the process of designing a new logo.

While it has been widely assumed to be the case, Don Garber has confirmed that David Beckham’s option to buy an MLS team at the discounted rate of $25 million expires on Dec. 31.

Fans in San Antonio are still hopeful their city will be the home of a MLS franchise after the formal announcement on Tuesday that Orlando would be the leagues 21st franchise and increasing momentum toward Miami also joining the league.

At ESPN, Alex Labidou on why expansion might not be a good thing.

Black and Red United has a list of five rule changes MLS should adopt.

US

At ASN, Liviu Bird has an analysis of the the USMNT’s loss to Austria on Tuesday.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep guesses, I mean projects, the US starting XI at the World Cup, which is seven months away.

Elsewhere

With Uruguay’s 0-0 draw on Wednesday against Jordan seeing them through 5-0 on aggregate, the 32 team field for the 2014 World Cup is now set. The Wall Street Journal has a visualization of the field.

The US is one of 11 qualified teams to have made the last five World Cups. In the Guardian’s rankings of the 32 teams that will be going to Brazil, the US comes in at No. 15.

12 people were killed and some 240 injured during celebrations in Algeria after that country defeated Burkina Faso on Tuesday to reach for the World Cup.

How nice, Croatian defender Joe Simunic celebrated his team’s 2-0 win over Iceland to qualify for the World Cup by leading the stands in a pro-Nazi chant. Simunic denies any political implications in the chant.

Following Amnesty International’s report, Sepp Blatter has conceded that working conditions in Qatar are unacceptable although he is “convinced that Qatar is taking the situation very seriously.”

FIFA has announced that referees at the 2013 Club World Cup will use the vanishing spray familiar to watchers of MLS that is used to mark off the distance between a free kick spot and a defensive wall during. FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca said in a statement, “After the Club World Cup in Morocco further evaluations will be made. We will review the results and discuss if the spray will be used also in future FIFA competitions.” In case you’re wondering, the vanishing spray “is produced and licensed by the Argentine company ‘9.15 Fair Play Limit.'”

Adidas will continue its sponsorship of the World Cup through 2030.

At ESPN, Graham Hunter on how FIFA’s decision to extend the deadline for the Ballon d’Or from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29 harms the award and can only lead to confusion and conspiracy theories.

10 Comments

  1. I am so afraid of the draft. Its clear we need a Mid and LB the most. But hackworth, we’re going to draft a striker and GK 2nd and 6th.

    • You draft the best players available in MLS, no matter what position, or you trade your picks. There simply isn’t enough assured talent in the draft that you can choose positional need over base talent.

  2. After 2 years, 5 months, and 5 days, world cup qualifying ended not with a bang but with a whimper. Granted last night’s game was essentially meaningless after the 0-5 result in the first leg, but we really saw how mediocre Uruguay can be (especially considering Jordan left about half of their starters at home). Getting into Uruguay’s group probably wouldn’t be a bad draw for the US (depending on who else ends up there).

  3. I’m rather dismayed with the MLS award finalists. I mean how did Mark Geiger not even make the list for referee of the year? After all, he is basically our national ref…

  4. I think Alston wins comback player of the year. Even as good of a year as Casey had, coming back from cancer is going to win the award.

  5. Based on what I read on Dan’s piece a few weeks back and from other snippets here and there I believe the Union will get their new starting LB the pro ranks of one of the 2nd tier European Leagues or Central/South America. Then they’ll have one of Anding/Gaddis/Fabinho as the backup depending on whose still here come start of the season

    I think the key to the first two picks will be their Generation Adidas status. This makes sense for the team financially since MLS foots the bill, but even more so with a looming two team expansion draft at the end of 2014. Generation Adidas players are automatically exempt from the draft and do not take up one of the protected slots teams are allotted. I definitely think one of the picks will be a play-making MF, I hope the other pick is a young CDM but it depends on who accepts the GA offer. There are also rumors that MLS is trying to sign U-20s Cuevas and Joya to GA contracts which would make them part of this draft. If that’s true one of those guys will definitely be snapped up @ #2.

  6. How are the Sixers worth more than the Flyers?

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