Daily news roundups

Union development partners, locals abound on NSCAA end-of-season lists, Kreis to NYC FC, more

Photo: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union come in at No. 14 in the final power rankings at MLSsoccer.com. The blurb on the Union’s ranking says, “All about continuing the improvement curve — and finding that one midfield maestro who can tie the room together.”

Hopefully some of the continuing of the improvement curve can begin in Thursday’s first stage of of the Re-entry Draft. At Union Tally, Matthew De George has six possibilities for the Union.

Zach Pfeffer talks about his loan to Hoffenheim with SBI’s Dan Karell.

The Union announced their Youth Development Affiliates for 2014, which include 1776 United FC, Continental FC, Penn Legacy, Philadelphia SC, West Chester United/Penn Fusion, and Real New Jersey SC. From beyond the local area, North Carolina’s Cape Fear SC, which became a Youth Development Affiliate in June, returns and San Diego SC joins the affiliate program.

“The Union, in my opinion, has created the best MLS model for player development,” said San Diego SC Boys Coaching Director Brian Quinn. “We feel that this opportunity to partner with the Philadelphia Union provides our players and coaches another avenue to grow on both the coaching education side of the game and the player development side…Our players and coaches are looking forward to traveling to PPL Park in 2014 to compete and learn from one of the premier coaching staffs in the country.”

The Sons of Ben have announced they will be gathering at the Fieldhouse in Market East before the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, January 16 from 8:30am – 12 pm. No tickets or signup are necessary.

As you will recall, the Fieldhouse is also the location of the Help Kick Hunger charity event on Saturday, Jan. 18 from 7 pm – 10 pm. You will need tickets for this event — which, in addition to admittance will get you small bites and two drink tickets — and they are are on sale now at $40 per person through Dec. 31. Tickets will be priced at $45 between Jan 1 – Jan. 11 and go up to $50 after that.

The Brotherly Game’s series of positional season reviews concludes with a looks the Union midfield.

Nick Sakiewicz said of PPL Park being the site of  the College Cup semifinals and final this weekend, “We didn’t really set out to make PPL Park the go-to collegiate athletic stadium. But it’s earned that reputation…We feel geographically we’re in a great spot. And the building sets up terrific for collegiate sports.”

Former Union academy forward and Philly native Darius Madison will be playing for Virginia against Maryland (whose goalkeeper is former Union Academy player Zack Steffen) in the second semifinal on Friday at 7:30 pm. Madison said, “When I found out that the College Cup was going to be at PPL Park, I was really excited. My [personal] goal this season was to get back there and to represent the Union and play in front of everyone I grew up playing soccer with. Philly is my home and I’ve always felt at home playing at PPL Park.”

Asked about the prospect of one day playing for the Union, Madison replied, “When my dad told me [in 2009] that Philadelphia was getting a soccer team, he told me that ‘one day, I hope I see you playing there [at PPL Park] for them. I’d be ecstatic the day I get the chance to enter the MLS SuperDraft and hopefully get picked up by the Union. It’s always been a dream of mine and I’m just trying to do all that I can to make that dream possible.”

The recent snowfall presented a challenge to Union and PPL Park staff ahead of this weekend’s College Cup but, as this photo from the PPL Park Twitter account shows, they were up to the task.

PPL Park snow removal


The 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s All-Northeast Region team includes several area players. Receiving first team honors was Georgetown’s Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa.). Temple’s Robert Sagel (Las Vegas, Nev.) received second team honors, as did Penn’s Markhus (Duke) Lacroix (New Egypt, N.J.). Temple’s Jared Martinelli (Mechanicsburg, PA.) received third team honors, as did Wrightstown, Pa.’s Colin Skelly, a senior at Dartmouth.

On the All-Mid Atlantic Region first team is La Salle’s Jason Plumhoff (Ellicott City, Md.). Receiving third team honors were John McCarthy (Cinnaminson, N.J.) and Joe Farrell (Blue Bell, Pa.), both of whom also play at La Salle.

Receiving All-South Atlantic Region first team recognition are Delaware’s Borja Barbero (Vallodolid, Spain) and Guillermo Delgado (Tres Cantos, Spain). Drexel’s Ken Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.) received second team honors. Multiple players with area connections are on the third team list including Drexel’s Tal  Bublil (Kfar-Mass, Israel) and Nathan Page (Norwich, England), Delaware’s Ignacio Martin (La Laguna, Spain) and Vincent Mediate (South Lake, Texas), and Virginia’s Darius Madison (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Yardley, Pa.’s Jimmy Ockford, a senior defender at Louisville, received All-Midwest Region first team honors.

Woodbury, N.J.’s Tyler Miller, a junior goalkeeper at Northwestern, earned All-Great Lakes Region second team honors.

The Division III Men’s All-Mid-Atlantic Region list is bursting with area connections.

Delaware head coach Ian Hennessey was also named NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. West Chester’s Mike Benn received Atlantic Region coach of the year honors for Division II men’s soccer. Rutgers University-Camden Tim OSwald received South Atlantic Region Division III coach of the year honors, Franklin & Marshall’s Dan Wagner received the same for the Division III Middle Atlantic region.

The NSCAA All-America boys’ and girls’ teams have also been announced. Named to the boys’ team are Joey Cain (D; Salesianum School, Wilmington, Del.), Joe Hansen (M; Father Judge, Philadelphia, Pa.), Nathan Delgado (F; Conestoga Valley High School, Brownstown, Pa.), and Derek MacKinnon (F; Washington Township High School, Sewell, N.J.). Named to the girls’ team are Haleigh Echard (M; Cedar Crest High School, Lebanon, Pa.), Julia Panko (Notre Dame High School, Lawrencevill, N.J.), and Megan Schafer (F; Neshaminy High School, Langhorne, Pa.).

Named to the NSCAA Youth All-American boys’ team was Bryce Cregan (PA Classics, Dallastown, Pa.). Taylor Racioppi (PDA, Wayside, N.J.) received Youth All-American girls’ team honors.


To the surprise of no one, Jason Kreis has announced he will be taking the head coach job at New York City FC. More on the move from ESPN.

In related news, The New York Post is reporting that New York City FC is close to a deal worth some $400 million for a 28,000 seat stadium in the Bronx. According to the report, “Mayor Bloomberg has blessed the pact. However, the team will not move forward without mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s blessing, and he has not yet reviewed the deal, sources said.”

The New York Daily News headline on the possible stadium deal reads, “Bronx soccer stadium deal near Yankee Stadium offers big incentives to Arab firm” and continues with this opening line, “Will it be a last-minute gooooal in the Bronx for the Yankees and their Middle East sheik soccer partner?” Stay classy, NYDN.

Montreal have traded Davy Arnaud to DC in exchange for an international spot for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Seattle have traded a conditional 2015 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick for the rights to Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei. On Tuesday, TFC announced they had re-signed Joe Bendik.

Matt Reis has announced his retirement.

Pablo Mastroeni has announced his retirement.

From the Department of This Has Got To Be A Joke, could the new name of the yet to be awarded franchise in Miami Miami Beckham United? exMiami reports, “On Monday, Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment registered Miami Beckham United LLC as the name of a Florida company managed by Beckham Brands Limited. Also this week, the domain name MiamiBeckhamUnited.com was registered, and a lobbyist for the club registered with Dade County under the Miami Beckham United name.”


It’s official: Former Philadelphia Independence head coach Paul Riley has been named the new head coach of the NWSL inaugural season champions the Portland Thorns.

Riley said, “I want this locker room to be like the locker room in Philadelphia. We were the underdogs in Philly; it was a little bit different and we were the expansion team. My first speech to the players was, ‘Hey, nobody wanted you and now you’re here with me in Philly and we’ve got nothing to lose.’ I think this first speech is going to be a little bit different. ‘You’re a championship caliber team. Don’t rest on your laurels; we need to get better, don’t get complacent. We need to train harder, we need to get prepared.'”

More on Riley’s plans for Portland from Philly Soccer News and SBI.


Philly.com’s Sports Doc blog considers the affects that travel and local weather conditions will have on the USMNT at the World Cup in Brazil.

Sacha Kljestan became only the fifth American to score in Champions League play when he tallied the lone goal in Anderlecht’s 3-1 loss to Olympiakos on Tuesday.

US Soccer will announce its all-time Best XI Men’s and Women’s Teams next week, as voted on by an invited panel of “former players, coaches and administrators, as well as media members.”


The mayor of Manaus, the World Cup host city located in the Amazonian rainforest, would like everyone to know “there are not poisonous snakes and tarantulas roaming around the streets and falling from the trees.”

Reuters reports, “Shocking violence at a Brazilian championship match is not an indication of what can be expected when the South American country hosts next year’s World Cup, FIFA and Brazilian government officials said on Monday.” The running battle between supporters of Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama that halted Sunday’s game for 70 minutes comes in a year that has seen 30 fans killed in incidents in and around Brazilian stadiums. Andrei Rodrigues, the special secretary of major events at Brazil’s Justice Ministry, said on Monday, “I can assure you the lamentable scenes we saw yesterday will not be seen at the World Cup.”


  1. “Miami Beckham United” is probably just the ownership group’s company name, like Keystone Sports & Entertainment is the Union’s ownership group.

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