Daily news roundups

Edu, Okugo, Fernandes make TOW lists, vote MacMath, power rankings surge, Le Touch, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

For the second week in a row, Maurice Edu has been named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Also for the second week in a row, Amobi Okugo gets an honorable mention.

At SI, it is Okugo and Leo Fernandes in the latest Team of the Week. Okugo is a guest on the latest SBI Show podcast.

Vote Zac MacMath for Save of the Week! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that save was MacMassive.

Brotherly Game names Ray Gaddis the “Stat Hero” of Saturday’s match.

Sebastien Le Toux has scored or had an assist in every home opener since 2010 (six goals, one assist). As Amobi Okugo put it, “If I wanted to gamble, I would put money on Seba scoring in the home opener…Him and the fans have a great relationship. Every home opener, he gives the fans what they want. We’re proud of him because he’s a fan favorite and a club icon.”

So, what’s the secret? Le Toux said, “I don’t know, I get off to a good start. I hope I’m going to score more goals this year and help the team more offensively. It was good, I’m happy about that just happy that we got those three points. Two games with one tie and one win is a good start for this year.”

Le Toux’s described the excitement he felt before the game. “It was hard to fall asleep last night. We knew we would have a full house today. We came off a good game away in Portland and we wanted to get the win. You wake up, you eat breakfast, you’ve got a 4 pm game and you know you’re going to have a great turnout. It’s always an awesome thing to be on the field and to be able to start the home opener.

At KYW, Matt Leon talks to Aaron Wheeler, who says he is comfortable playing at center back. “I like to say I’m a soccer player, so if you put me out there, I’ll figure it out.”

Wheeler also describes how the team feels good about its prospects this season. “There’s a lot of confidence. We’ve always been a hard-working team, but now you see the quality as well. It’s been really nice. It’s definitely been a change in the locker room and you can just tell the guys are really confident about it and we expect to go out and get three points.”

At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead looks at some interesting stats from Saturday’s win over New England, including the Union’s first half dominance, the commanding performances from both Ray Gaddis and Amobi Okugo on the right of the backline, and the Union’s slower second half.

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin poses some questions worth thinking about. Have Fernandes and Gaddis shown enough to prove they should be everyday starters? What about the Union injury list? Zeitlin writes that, while “Williams and Casey will both still probably be questionable” for Saturday’s game in Columbus, will Austin Berry be ready to start after leaving the New England game early? Will Brian Carroll have sufficiently recovered from the flu that saw him as a late scratch from Saturday’s game?

Two weeks into the season and the Union find themselves shooting to to the top of power rankings across the US soccer media landscape. At SI, the Union climb six spots to No. 2. At ESPN, the Union climb four spots to No. 3. At Soccer America, it’s a eight-spot jump to No. 4. The rankings at SI note, “Fans might have a case for being cautiously optimistic after those two results.”

A report at Columbus Crew blog Massive Report notes that Crew coach Greg Berhalter was at PPL Park on Saturday to watch the Union. The report says Berhalter believes the Union “have a good group of four attacking players that they will have to keep an eye on,” and mentioned the Union’s “speed on the wings with the two fullbacks.” The report says Berhalter praised Fabinho for being “strong in the tackle and dynamic.” The report also has injury updates on several Crew players.

Brotherly Game wonders what can be learned from the Union winning the home opener based on how they did after winning previous home openers. Not much, really, as it turns out.

Philadelphia Union Academy defender Andrew Aprahamian has been called up for the US U-15 BNT camp taking place in Carson, Calif., from March 22-30. It is Aprahamian’s first call-up.


Harrisburg City Islanders have announced two Union-connected signings. Former Union man Morgan Langley has re-signed with the club for a fourth season. Also acquired is Clesio Bauque, the young Mozambique national who trialed with the Union over the preseason, and who joins the City Islanders on loan from Benfica.

The Daily Pennsylvanian looks at some Penn connections with the Philly branch of Street Soccer USA. Good read.

Continental FC has released its tryout schedule for its girls Director’s Development Program, US Youth Soccer, and Elite Clubs National League teams.


Tijuana hosts LA Galaxy tonight in the second leg of CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal play (10 pm, Fox Sports 2, Galavision). Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas said of the game, “It’s a war.” LA won last week’s first leg 1-0.

Jermaine Defoe has been named MLSsoccer.com’s Player of the Week after his two-goal performance in Toronto’s 2-1 win over Seattle, his MLS debut.

New York Yankees manager of professional scouting Will Kuntz has resigned to become Director of Player Relations for MLS. “He loves soccer and that’s a huge job,’’ said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

The New York Times has an interesting read on NYC FC head coach Jason Kreis, who is in the midst of a six month stay in Europe to learn Manchester City’s way of doing things. Kreis, says he will be able to take up to four Manchester City players on loan when NYC FC takes the field for the first time in 2015. He also describes how MLS has a long way to go in the eyes of many European soccer professionals.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve come over here and that I’ve been getting a fantastic reception about American soccer from everyone. They do think we’re really, really far behind. Some people think soccer in the U.S. is archaic.

I got asked this question: ‘Do you guys train every day?’ And this was someone in the professional soccer world. To have to answer that question shows exactly where we stand.

One European who is aware of the strides MLS has made is Gennaro Gattuso. Talking to Goal.com about the decline of Italian football, Gattuso said, “Even in MLS you see a lot of change, with the players that are coming here and a lot of money is being invested in the game, so things are really moving here too. Already you see it with the U.S. national team that already plays very well.”

Esteban Cambiasso to MLS? River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio said of the midfielder, who is out of contract with Inter Milan at the end of the season, “I would really love to bring him back here, but I can say with certainty that, when Cambiasso leaves Inter, he will continue his career in the United States.”

The Cambiasso report comes on the heels of a report from England that says the Galaxy is set to offer Frank Lampard a $6.6 million contract.


Following an AP report, US Soccer confirmed via Twitter and the federation website that the USMNT will play the Czech Republic in Prague on Sept. 3. For the Czechs, it will be a warmup for Euro 2016.


The Telegraph reports that former CONCACAF head, FIFA vice president, and well known crook Jack Warner and members of his family “were paid almost $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.” The firm in question was controlled by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former head of the Qatari Football association, president of the Asian Football Confederation, and candidate for the presidency of FIFA who was banned from world football after allegations that he tried to bribe Caribbean football officials to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

Reuters reports, “Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizing committee has denied being aware of any alleged payments by the disgraced former head of the country’s soccer association to an ex-vice president of FIFA.”

Turns out soccer players — even American ones — are pretty famous. To see how famous, click here.

Hooray! The Weinstein Company has bought the North American rights to Argentinian 3-D animated soccer movie Foosball. Boo! They have reportedly given it a stupid new name.

I actually started clapping as I watched this clip:


  1. I did the hometown thing and voted for MacMath. But that Rimando save was pretty sick.

    • That MacMath save paid for my season ticket. Was just amazing to stand behind the goal only circa 30′ away and see him make it.

  2. james lockerbie says:


  3. Jeremy Lane says:

    That fair-play clip is pretty nice, but man, that goalkeeper, huh? Not great.

    • ebradlee10 says:

      He’s the nephew of the German keeper who played in the friendly vs the US several months back.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Really…I’m thinking they only did that because they were already up by like 12-0 or the GK has a really hot little sister.

  4. The whole Qatar deal is just amazing.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    In regards to the FIFA corruption / Jack Warner thing… Deadspin had a good take on it: “It’s a good sign a sport’s governance is seriously screwed up when a report emerges that a FIFA executive received millions of dollars from a Qatari soccer official after Qatar was awarded the World Cup, and everyone’s first reaction isn’t anger, but more along the lines of “no shit.” What a crock.
    Not sure I’m on board with “MacMassive”, but that save was great and got my vote for Save of the Week. Kidding with you about “MacMassive” by the way.
    Grab another win, or at least a draw, this week and I will officially declare this team FOR REAL. Can’t wait for Saturday. I’m normally excited for games, but this year I am absolutely amped for each upcoming game.

  6. Not sure about Cambiasso, but Gattuso at City FC seems like a natural (assuming he still plays).

  7. “Sebastien Le Toux has scored or had an assist in every home opener since 2010 (six goals, one assist).”
    Well, except for the year he wasn’t here of course. 😉

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    I believe they are referring to LeToux’s goal for Vancouver in their opener. So not the Union, but still a goal in an opener. At least that’s what I think is going on here.
    And EWW! Leonard Pajoy. That name makes me throw up in my mouth a bit

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