Daily news roundups

Let the Valdes watch begin! Union bits, new WC ratings record, massive jersey deal, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

So, Twitter reports (here’s one) indicate that Carlos Valdes was a no show yesterday at what was apparently supposed to be his first San Lorenzo’s training session since Colombia was eliminated from the World Cup. And while San Lorenzo supporters went bonkers at his absence — play in the Copa Libertadores is about to resume — Union beat reporter Dave Zeitlin tweeted, “Would not be shocked if he starts vs. the Red Bulls.”

Meanwhile, according to multiple tweets (here’s one example) and a Facebook post, Valdes will be honored today in Colombia for his participation in the World Cup by former club America de Cali.

On Tuesday morning, the Twitter account for San Lorenzo TV tweeted, “We are still waiting to Carlos Valdés.” So are Union fans. Grab a seat, this may take a while.

Are the Union interested in Algerian national team goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi? If so, why?

More on Ethan White’s first start with the Union and Brian Brown’s arrival from Delco Times.

At MLSsoccer.com, Danny Cruz talks about playing in front of his father, an Army sergeant with multiple overseas deployments, for the first time at PPL Park on Saturday. “I kind of got a little choked up early before the game. He has never been able to see me play here. He hasn’t seen me play in a really long time. I haven’t seen him in about six, seven months. I had no idea he was coming to town until [Friday], so it was even more of a surprise.”

Cristian Maidana received an honorary mention in MLSsoccer.com’s latest Team of the Week.

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin notes that, “Almost lost in the cloud of shoddy officiating” of Saturday’s game  “were three masterful goals from the Union.” Well, the Union have released a nice diagram of the first goal:

Casey goal chart v COL 7-12-14

Power Rankings! At ESPN, the Union come in at No. 14. At Soccer America, it’s a two-spot drop to No. 17.

Second half sub Zach Pfeffer had the assist on the equalizer and scored the game winner as the US U-20 MNT came from behind to defeat Chile 2-1 in the NTC Invitational tournament on Monday.

Brent Jacquette of Chester Upland’s Soccer for Success program is up for the league’s Community MVP award. You can vote for Jacquette here.


At Penn Live, Harrisburg City Islander Garret Pettis on scoring his first goal in nearly two years in Saturday’s road win over Dayton.

The Inquirer on the World Cup final watch parties organized by Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street and the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School on Frankford Ave.

There was a time when any soccer coverage in the local papers was a good thing. Sorry, Daily News and Inquirer, we are past that time.

The Drexel women’s team has released its 2014 schedule.


How nice. Ahead of Wednesday’s game at PPL Park, Thierry Henry has been named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week, was also named Player of the Week, and is up for Goal of the Week.

Chicago Fire have signed Romanian midfielder Razvan Cocis.


Sunday’s World Cup final set a new viewing record in the US. The AP reports, “An estimated 26.5 million people in the U.S. watched Germany’s extra-time win on Sunday afternoon, the Nielsen company said. The game had 17.3 million viewers on ABC and another 9.2 million on the Spanish-language Univision. In addition, just over 750,000 people were watching the game during a typical minute online through services provided by each network.” The previous record was 24.7 million, set during the USA’s 2-2 draw with Portugal in group play and the 2010 final.

Soccer America notes, “The 2014 World Cup ranks as the most-viewed tournament ever on English-language TV as ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined to average 4,557,000 viewers, an increase of 39 percent from 2010 and 96 percent from 2006.” More on ESPN’s numbers here.

Soccer America notes “Univision delivered its most-viewed World Cup final ever for Sunday’s German-Argentina game at Rio de Janeiro’s Estadio Maracana. The 9.2 million viewers were 4 percent higher than the 2010 final on Univision.”

At Soccerly, Simon Evans on what the US can learn from Germany’s success in the past decade.

The US comes in at No. 11 in SI’s World Cup Expectation rankings.


The BBC reports, “The British boss of a FIFA partner firm being investigated over alleged illegal World Cup ticket sales has surrendered to a judge in Brazil.”

The New York Times on Qatar’s big wallet ambitions for soccer credibility in time for hosting the 2022 World Cup, especially through the Aspire Football Dreams program.

Forbes reports, “English soccer team Manchester United and German sportswear maker Adidas have agreed to the richest uniform deal in the history of sports. Adidas will pay $1.3 billion over 10 years to United, or $130 million a year, beginning with the 2015-16 season.”

Emmanuel Adebayor will miss Tottenham’s North American tour after contracting malaria.


  1. I like that they are so upset of Valdes’ no show. It means he was good enough for them that they care

  2. Yeah, that infographic is nice and all, impressive to see who touched the ball before Casey put it in the back of the net. I’d be more interested to see how – moreover how quickly – Colorado responded and equalized.
    If M’Bohli is signed (feels like a Sak-move akin to the signing of Nikolov), then I wouldn’t be shocked if MacMath was on the move. OCSC anyone?

  3. Macmath has been good, but not so good that I wouldn’t trade him (directly or indirectly (MLS style)) to help us get a high quality left back or striker.

  4. If MacMath is traded then management is admitting the season is over. Who is going to play goal, the untested Blake or some new foreigner (that the U will have to give up something to acquire)?

    MacMath has responded to the drafting of Blake by stepping up his game, which shows his character. He is probably the team MVP so far.
    I have no problem if Macmath can be traded for value, but trying to get another goalie seems to be low on the priority list.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Depending on the interest, I would trade MacMath. Blake is obviously the future. If the Union could secure M’Bohli, he could start immediately. This would give Blake an experienced keeper to apprentice under.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Picking a goalkeeper at no. 1 means that he is ready to play, now. Why overpay for a goalkeeper like M’Bolhi because of his World Cup bump and push Blake to the back up roll for a second season. He’s already playing for his national team. If they want to move MacMath while his stock is high, go for it. But then Blake needs to start. Why would a player of his ability accept sitting on the bench for 2015?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Good point. M’Bohli’s price tag would have to factor. There is no sense in ‘breaking the bank’ to get the Algerian, unless the plan was to roll with him as the #1…for years. That would require us trading Blake, which I’m not adverse to, if we can get a proper return. Drafting Blake was an awful move!!!

      • SPOT ON.

      • How can you say that Blake is the future? Last time I checked, MacMath is younger by almost a year and at this point is the better GK. If the Union bring in a veteran GK, Blake will probably be on the move for another piece within the league. The veteran GK will be their to push/mentor and also provide stable backup in the event that Zac goes down with injury.

      • I like the veteran as a backup plan, but why would the Algeria NT keeper come to Philadelphia as a backup player? I honestly don’t know what the Union FO is thinking on this one.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Blake is the future for 1 simple reason. He’s FREE! That GA contract that the Union love to go after.

      • trauma215 says:

        to view blake as the the “future” simply because he is free is obsurd. the front office has started spending money to attempt to put a competitive team on the field, take a way the only reason this team doesn’t get smashed in the back and you take 10 steps back.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        MacMath has been great this year. No one is arguing that. The fact remains, you have the number 1 pick on the bench and MLS teams cannot afford to have two number 1 goalkeepers on the roster. The reason people are talking about moving MacMath at all is because he is playing well and his value now is as high as it has ever been.

      • John Ling says:

        Also, let’s not forget there’s an expansion draft coming up. If prior drafts are good precedent, MacMath needs to be protected while Blake doesn’t.
        So swing that thought back to AD22’s idea of MacMath moving to Orlando. Part of that deal very well could be, “You don’t select anybody from our team.” Orlando gets a quality keeper; we protect our roster of superstars* from OCSC (though NYCFC could still raid the cupboard, of course), and Blake ascends to the #1 spot, where he can very much provide salary cap relief in the near future because of his GA status. If Valdes is coming back, they have to do *something* to make him fit in the cap, after all.
        * OK, I’ll now remove my tongue from my cheek…

      • trauma215 says:

        honestly, the only reason he is the NT starter is because the lack any competition at the position. He was 3rd choice at his club team until this past season.

      • The Black Hand says:

        They drafted him with the #1. If he’s not the future, than we have an awful front office…which we do…maybe Blake is not the future.
        As for comparison, I think that Blake is far more athletic than Zach. There has not been much of a showing to judge Blake on, other than video, but he does appear to have something and I see his ceiling going a bit higher than MacMath’s.

      • trauma215 says:

        Athleticism only gets you so far for so long. most good goalkeepers get better as they age. ones that rely simply on athleticism decline.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Every coach who has seen him has been unable to control themselves in their praise for him. He was regarded by almost everyone as by far the best player in the draft. He was the number 1 pick. There is absolutely no reason not to expect Blake to be an excellent goalkeeper.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I would love to see examples of athletic goalkeepers, that have declined. MacMath is a flatfooted keeper playing above his means. I would be hesitant to let your clubs’s future ride on him!!

      • McMath is Good. Blake’s ceiling is great. Simple. Case closed.

  5. Why would you trade MacMath? He is only 22. Hold on to him for a couple more years. Get a transfer fee.

  6. Can someone tell the coach to wear ties with Union colors and not your opponents?

  7. Andy Muenz says:

    Thursday we are going to see more examples of why the FIFA rankings don’t make sense. The US is going to drop about 2 spots (passing England but being passed by Netherlands, Chile, and France), in part because of their loss to Belgium. That added a 0 to the numbers that were averaged into the calculation. Had Ghana beaten Portugal and advanced over the US, it actually would have helped the US rankings. It seems to me there is something wrong when not advancing to the knockouts is better than advancing. FIFA needs to tweak its formula.

    • To be fair, we’re probably better than England and worse than the Netherlands, Chile, and France.
      Our WC showing was decent enough, although beating Portugal would have been a big boost for our FIFA ranking. Now, we need to win the Gold Cup the next 2 cycles, perform well at the Copa America Centennial (which I’m guessing will ultimately be endorsed by FIFA) and at the Confederations Cup, and win CONCACAF 2018 qualifying to move our ranking into the top 7.
      We should also plan our friendlies like the Swiss did to inflate our ranking. Fewer friendlies = higher FIFA ranking, as competition games are worth 2-3 times the points of friendlies. The more friendlies you play, the more your score is diluted. And by all means, don’t schedule a friendly you might lose!

      • The Black Hand says:

        I don’t think we pass England, nor should we. We are a promising national team but I don’t think that we can be discussed with the top clubs…yet. England’s result was terrible, as was Spain’s, but that does not drop them beneath the US. Too much quality within the ranks.

      • It all depends on what you mean by “top clubs”. Do you mean teams that could legitimately win the WC? We certainly don’t fit into that category, and neither does England (or Chile).
        Would you consider teams that consistently advance to the round of 16 as “top clubs”? Here are the teams that advanced to the round of 16 in 2010 and 2014: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, United States, Uruguay. Italy missed out twice in a row. I think we fit into the bottom level of this category, and I think we should expect to get out of any group we encounter in the future, as our team has generally been improving since 1990, and we just got out of one of the 2 toughest groups in the tournament.
        Moving forward, we could make future World Cups easier for ourselves by gaining a top seed. This is especially true for the upcoming cycle because of all of the FIFA tournaments we could participate in between now and 2018.

      • Our best hope is to begin winning the group stage and setting us up for games against Algeria and not eventual quarterfinalist. Every second seeded team lost this year and I bet that is emblematic more often than not.
        To be a top club you need to be in the quarters in my mind if we use the WC as our litmus test. Yes Italy and Spain played poorly but believe me they are LIGHTYEARS ahead. Plain and simple the FIFA world rankings mean shit. total shit.
        That said, did anybody watch us play those 4 games? Please don’t tell me, yet, that we are a top club. We couldn’t even retain possession of the ball when we were LOSING a game. Mexico AND Costa Rica outplayed the USMNT in technique, style and class. I dare somebody to argue me on that.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        We pass England based on the FIFA calculator. Remember, this is the same ranking system that put Switzerland ahead of The Netherlands for WC seeding.
        My real problem with the ranking system is that the US was penalized for making it to the round of 16. Their points are going to drop from 1035 to 962. It seems to me that there should be a factor in the points that if you make it out of the group stage, your points go up regardless of your individual game results.

      • and I bet the Germans now rank #4 for winning. that algorithm is broken.

  8. If Valdes really does show up in the starting XI tomorrow, PPL Park will explode. Not a bad visual on national TV. Hopefully MLS sees the benefit in bringing him back.

  9. Murphthesurf says:

    Antonio Conte just became available…

  10. The different information coming out of the different camps is astonishing. I’m not sure who to believe (about valdes)

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