Daily news roundups

Cheesesteaks, sweepstakes, replacement refs for week 2, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The big Union social media news on Tuesday was that a number of players — Zac MacMath, Ray Gaddis, Jack McInerney, Antoine Hoppenot, Maurice Edu, Amobi Okugo, Ethan White, and Jimmy McLaughlin — would be behind the counter at Jim’s Steaks on South Street and that fans who showed up in Union gear would get a free cheesesteak. The Union website has a Storify thread with tweets and pictures from the players and fans and it looks like a good time was had by all. When they’re behind the counter at DiNic’s or John’s Roast Pork, I’ll be first in line.

At the Union website, Pedro Ribeiro says he’s “up for the challenge” of putting in the hard work necessary to succeed in MLS. John Hackworth says of the rookie, “You have to have a physical presence and component. We like that. We also know that it’s a fine line because we want guys who are physical and aggressive but also very skilled in other ways. Big guys are nice, but we need all-around players and Pedro fits that mold. He’s very skilled and he can also go up and make a play. I like that.”

Ribeiro, along with Cristhian Hernandez and Richie Marquez, recently visited patients at Crozer-Chester Regional Cancer Center. Ribeiro said, “It was a great experience. It was good to come hang with these people and hopefully put a smile on their face. Everyone was extremely welcoming and it was a really unique experience. I was happy to be a part of it.”

ProSoccerTalk has the Union at No. 7 in its power rankings. In ProSoccerTalk’s Team of the Week, Maurice Edu and Amobi Okugo receive honorable mentions.

For the final round of the Generation adidas Cup, the Union Academy U-17s have been drawn into Group C along with Dallas, San Jose, and Chivas de Guadalajara. Group play begins April 14. You will recall that the Union, coached by Jim Curtin and captained by Zach Pfeffer, won the tournament in 2012, defeating Toronto on penalty kicks for the club’s first piece of silverware.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders have re-signed striker Garret Pettis, who missed the 2013 season with an injury.

Brotherly Game talks to Bearfight FC founders Jeremy Sharpe and Justin Lee. Also at Brotherly Game, a report on last Saturday’s benefit dart tournament in support of the Camden Youth Soccer Club.

McDonald’s began it’s Player Escort Sweepstakes on Tuesday, “giving young soccer enthusiasts in the Greater Philadelphia Region the opportunity to meet their soccer heroes…and walk hand-in-hand with some of the world’s best soccer players as they take the field for a 2014 FIFA World Cup match.” The winner, aged 6-10, “along with their parent or guardian, will represent the Greater Philadelphia Region and embark on a four-night, five-day trip to Brazil, with the first stop in Rio de Janeiro. The 25 McDonald’s Player Escorts will lead players onto the field in one of four match cities Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Manaus or Recife.” To enter the sweepstakes, click here.

MLS

In the opening of quarterfinal play in the CONCACAF Champions League, Alan Gordon equalized in the 95th minute to give San Jose a 1-1 home draw with Mexican club Toluca.

Player moves:

  • Kansas City have signed Spanish midfielder Antonio Rodriguez Dovale, who was last with Celta de Vigo.
  • San Jose have re-signed Jamaican midfielder Khari Stephenson, who spent last season away with Real Salt Lake after joining the Earthquakes in 2010, and waived midfielder Walter Martinez.

At the Guardian, Elliot Turner looks at the health of MLS compared to other US pro sports and the Premier League.

SI reports that this weekend’s games will again be officiated by replacement referees after the Professional Referee Organization (management) canceled negotiations with the Professional Soccer Referees Association (workers) that had been scheduled for Tuesday following last week’s lockout. PSRA president Steve Taylor said in a statement, “It is unknown at this time when PRO will agree to resume talks as required by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board).”

to download a PDF with the title, “MLS Scab Referee Details.” After a quote from Jack London that ends, “A scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class,” the executive summary explains the document “was compiled by PSRA in an attempt to educate the public about the experience level of the scab referees being employed by PRO to referee MLS matches during its lockout of our members.” The summary concludes, referees listed in the document are “hereby advised that performing such work will result [in] PSRA’s designation of that individual as scab who has engaged in activities that will undermine the interests of the soccer officiating professional.”

USA Today has launched a new weekly roundup of MLS results and happenings.

US

The USWNT saved some face after falling 5-3 to Denmark on Monday in the Algarve Cup with a 3-0 win over North Korea to finish seventh in the tournament. Abby Wambach scored two goals with Heather O’Reilly marking her 200th cap by tallying in the 88th minute. The loss to Denmark was the first time the US women had ever given up five goals and it’s first consecutive losses since 2001.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep takes stock of the USMNT after last week’s loss to Ukraine.

Stuart Holden will be out 6-9 months after surgery to repair ligament damage sustained when he re-injured his right knee last week in a Bolton U-21 game.

The chance Gedion Zelalem will ever play for the US could soon be nil after the young Arsenal midfielder was called up by Germany for UEFA Euro U-17 qualifying.

Elsewhere

You will recall that on Tuesday we linked to a letter from from two US senators calling on FIFA to expel Russia from the federation, ban the country from the 2014 World Cup, and take away the hosting rights to the 2018 tournament, because of “Russia’s military occupation of a sovereign Ukraine.” Members of the Russian parliament have responded by calling on FIFA to expel the US from the federation and ban the USMNT from the 2014 World Cup, citing “U.S.’s military aggression against several sovereign states” and “numerous cases of human rights violation all over the world revealed by E. Snowden.”

Last week, UEFA president Michel Platini dismissed calls for expelling Russia, telling CNN, “I don’t know why 11 players would not be allowed to play at the World Cup. Where is their responsibility? Why don’t you (shut down) the Embassy? Embassies are still in the country.” More from Reuters and The Wire.

The Press Association reports, “An American investment firm has acquired a quarter of all Manchester United shares available on the New York Stock Exchange, it has been confirmed. Baron Capital has been buying up stock and now owns 24% of all the United shares that were sold by the Glazer family in 2012, though that still only represents 2.5% of the club.”

In the latest installment of a Guardian series looking at rule changes that could improve soccer, Toby Moses makes the reasonable suggestion of taking the accounting of injury-time out of the  hands of the referee.

You know, just a walk in the park:

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18 Comments

  1. I laughed out loud when I saw the Russian demand that the US not play in the World Cup.

  2. I’m not saying that Stuart Holden is cursed, but if I saw him boarding my flight, I would switch planes.

    • He clearly came back too early. (Maybe for the second time.) It’s a shame. A physician needs to know when to hold back an overeager player.

      • Reminds me of the Canadian who played for ManU, Owen Hargreaves. He also had so much potential, got hurt but never got back to what he was. Looks like it will be the same for Stuart, unfortunately. All thanks to a ManU player… or was it the way he was brought up thru the American youth system (playing too many games when he was too young)

      • No it was definitely Jonny Evans.

      • not so sure; look at Rossi who seems to be more injured than he plays….

  3. Sean Doyle says:

    Does anyone else feel the replacement refs did a pretty OK job officiating matches during week one of the season? I realize the replacements weren’t perfect, but neither are the regular egomaniacs that preside over MLS matches.

    • Sean,
      I was thinking the same thing. I saw refs that managed the games well, stepped in when they needed to and did not make any ridiculous game changing calls. I did not see every game but watched 3 MLS games last weekend. Overall, I was surprised how well the replacements did.

    • If it wasn’t news I read beforehand, I really don’t think I would have even had the slightest thought they were replacement refs.

      • The Chopper says:

        Exactly. This was not like when the NFL refs were out and the officiating was an absolute joke. Fans were actually demanding the regular refs return.

        MLS regular officiating is already often a joke, so these replacements looked more than fit for the job.

      • From the Union game (and the little bits of other games I saw), the scabs did fine. But it was one week, and everyone was on their best behavior — heck, even Bruce Arena didn’t try to bully the scab ref. Wait until the season drags on, and it gets hot, and familiarity starts to breed contempt. Then tell me the scabs are as good as the real refs.

    • it ain’t really about how well the scab refs do but about an end to the lockout and fair negotiations resulting in fair compensation for the refs.

  4. So, what’s up with Fred? All indications were that he was signing, and still nothing. Kinda weird.

    • james Lockerbie says:

      According to Hackworth their still working on getting him. Seems to be a mls problem again because of how he left the league and possibly another team is interested in him I think he said Minnesota so I guess that’s a second tier team.

    • MLS apparently low balled his offer, so he’s considering Minny of NASL. He may also be subject to the waiver process. He got “single entity’d”.

  5. Reading that USMNT article almost made me think of Klinnsman as Hackworth (semi joking). If Altidore and Dempsey continue on their paths, can they really start at the World Cup? We’re talking 3 games, that’s it. This isn’t a season where guys can work things out. The hot hand, especially on offense, could mean all the difference.
    .
    Obviously a lot can change in 3 months, but still it’s alarming. I can understand him not wanting to totally change things, or to go too offensive with the teams we’re going to play, but something needs to change. Dempsey looks the most out of sorts, I think Jozy would be more likely to get out of his funk.
    .
    Personally I would go 4-4-2
    Howard
    Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley
    Zusi, Donovan, Bradley, Johnson
    Altidore, Johannson

  6. Has anyone heard anything about pickets by the PSRA?

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