Daily news roundups

Reaction to KC’s MLS Cup final win and US WC draw, Union Academy alumni in College Cup Final Four, more

Photo: Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City


Sporting Kansas City are MLS Cup champions after defeating Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks in Saturday’s final. Match reports and reaction from MLSsoccer.com, SportingKC.com, Kansas City Star, The Daily Wiz, KC Kingdom, RealSaltLake.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, RSL Soapbox, ESPN, ProSoccerTalk, SI, SBI, Soccer America, Goal.comThe Guardian, FIFA.com, The Sports Network, The AFP, and The AP.

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com and Goal.com.

ASN’s tactical analysis of the game comes under the headline, “Brute Force, Little Skill on Display at MLS Cup Final.”

At Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney writes,

“MLS has yet another franchise it can point to and say, ‘This is how you do it.’

“Former RSL owner Dave Checketts, in five seasons, turned RSL from an expansion struggler into a championship team that plays in an ideal facility and is adored by a loud, loyal fan base.

“Now SKC has joined the ranks of flagship franchises to which potential applicants, not to mention a few current stragglers, must aspire.”

The Courier-Post looks at the South Jersey connections on Kansas City’s coaching staff.

The league will use the brazuca, the official ball of the World Cup, when it begins play in March.

Montreal and Orlando are the first two teams to confirm their participation in February’s Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament.


So, on Friday we learned the USMNT’s opponents in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil: Ghana, Portugal, and Germany. Or, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “US draws worst group ever.”

Jurgen Klinsmann said, “Obviously it’s one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. But that’s what a World Cup is about. It’s a real challenge. And we’ll take it. We’ll take it on, and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”

More reaction from Klinsmann and US Soccer president Sunil Gulati with this quote sheet. At the US Soccer website, this quote sheet has reactions from a number of US players.

A few US World Cup veterans say not so fast to the “Group of Death” talk.

Reaction from PSP, Philly.com, The 700 Level, Brotherly Game, Zolo Times, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SI, CBSSports, ASN, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, The Boston Globe, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, Huffington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, and The AP.

FIFA has adjusted the kickoff times for seven group stage games for “television purposes,” including the US match against Portugal in the equatorial city of Manus on June 22, which will now start at 6 pm.

ESPN has an interactive look at all the groups that projects the USMNT’s chances of advancing out of Group G at 39.4 percent.

As if the opponents weren’t bad enough, the US is looking at something like 9,000 miles of travel to their games from their base in Sao Paolo. Klinsmann described the itinerary as “the worst of the worst.” Fans hoping to follow the team in a Brazilian market in which local airports are already stretched to capacity and which bars foreign airlines from domestic flights to its games do not disagree. At Slate, Josh Vorhees estimates it will cost you approximately $3,500 in airfare, including the cost of getting to Brazil, and some 60 hours of travel time to follow the US team through each of the three group games. Hotel expenses? Don’t get me started.

Who’s up for a pre-World Cup friendly against England in Miami in May?

Philadelphia Union

Former Philadelphia Union Academy forward Darius Madison recorded an assist in Virginia’s 2-1 win over UConn on Friday to help his team advance to the College Cup championship weekend at PPL Park. Joining him will be former Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen, whose Maryland team defeated California 2-1. Former Union Academy defender Andrew Herr’s Michigan State was defeated 2-1 by Notre Dame. More from Virginia Athletics, Maryland Athletics, and Michigan State Athletics.

Virginia and Maryland will face off in the semifinal at PPL Park this Friday at 7:30 pm. Click here for ticket information.

The Brotherly Game looks at the 2013 Union defense.


The Division III championship in San Antonio on Saturday was a local affair with Rutgers-Camden, who were making their first final appearance, facing perennial powerhouse Messiah College, which is located near Harrisburg. Tied at 1-1 after regulation time, Messiah won the title with a goal in the second overtime period to claim their tenth national title.

Rutgers-Camden advanced to the final courtesy of Keegan Balle’s second overtime period 75-yard free kick goal in Friday’s 3-2 semifinal win against Loras. You really have to see it to believe it.

Penn sophomore defender Caroline Dwyer was named to the NSCAA Division I All-American third team.


A league match in Brazil was halted for more than an hour because of fighting in the stands less than two days after the World Cup draw. More on the incident from The Guardian and The AP.

Reuters reports, “When soccer teams battle for the World Cup in Brazil next year, another fight for global supremacy will be played out on the pitches – between Adidas and Nike.”

Six people in England have been arrested as part of a match-fixing investigation, including Blackburn Rovers forward DJ Campbell.

The FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees have been announced. For the men it is Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Franck Ribéry. The women nominees are Nadine Angerer, Marta, and Abby Wambach.

Newsweek has a long-form article on the ongoing controversy over Qatar being awarded the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup.


  1. Anyone else catch Garber at halftime saying that the switch to a fall-to-spring schedule was not an ‘if’, but a ‘when’, and using the attendance for the final as a justification? I’d be more than happy to go to PPL Park in 20 degree weather for the MLS Cup. But for a mid-week night game against Toronto? I don’t think so.

  2. Well today was disappointing.

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