Daily news roundups

Previews, notes from Curtin’s presser, Valdes update, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union host New York Red Bulls tonight at 7 pm (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes,MLS Direct Kick).

Interim head coach Jim Curtin said of tonight’s game, coming so quickly on the heels of Saturday’s draw with Colorado, “There’s two ways this New York game could go: You could feel sorry for yourself, or you could get off the mat. It’s a real swing game. This season can kind of go either way. It’s that big of a game against New York, to bounce back and put together a good performance and get a result.”

Curtin had plenty of respect for Bradley Wright-Phillips — “obviously on fire, everything he touches is going in the net” — and Thierry Henry — “He’s special…As he goes the Red Bulls go.”

Ray Gaddis said of New York,

They have quality players all over the field, especially in attacking areas. Henry is Henry and Wright-Phillips is the hottest forward right now in MLS, leading the league in goals. And then you always have to worry about the presence of [Australian World Cup veteran Tim Cahill] making a late run, and Lloyd Sam.

They have a variety of weapons. I just think we need to play our game and play tough and play hard, and everything else will take care of itself.

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union (video)MLSsoccer.com, Daily News, Delco Times, Brotherly Game, Big Apple Soccer, Once a Metro, Stoppage Time Soccer, WhoScored.com, Goal.com, and The Sports Network.

Red Bulls defender Roy Miller, who picked up an injury during training while with Costa Rica at the World Cup, will not be available for tonight’s game.

Midfielder Peguy Luyindula is questionable for tonight’s game.

Some highlight’s from Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference, a transcript of which you can read here:

  • On when Brian Brown might get his first minutes: “At a certain point you have to get thrown into the fire.”
  • “We’re going to have to do something that this club has never done this year, which is win three games in-a-row…at some point we’re going to have to go on a run. That’s a real run, not just win one here, lose one, win two, lose two. It can’t be that, it has to be a real upward movement now because we’ve dug a deep hole, and we have to get out of it. The only way you do that is putting consecutive results together.”
  • On talking to PRO head Peter Walton about appealing Amobi Okugo’s red card: “I asked him the exact same question: is that appeal worthy? He said it would be a waste of time…There’s no video, there’s no audio of the confrontation, so it’s not something you’re going to win on appeal. It’s an expensive process as well, as you guys all know, so it’s not something that was deemed by our club worthy of an appeal, it’s more of a “Let’s keep our mouths shut after the game because, whether the refs are good, bad, or indifferent, it’s not going to change anything yelling at them after the game.
  • Austin Berry and Vincent Nogueira are both healthy and available for selection.

More notes from the presser from Soccerly, Union Tally, and Big Apple Soccer.

Carlos Valdes

Curtin said of Carlos Valdes in the press conference, “It’s taking a little longer than we had hoped, but we’re still cautiously optimistic that maybe we can get something done and come to an agreement and have him back here.”

According to a report from infobae.com (crappy Google translation here), Valdes’ agent Ricardo Pachón says the center back will soon join San Lorenzo after he finishes his post-World Cup vacation. Pachon also says San Lorenzo paid the money it owed to MLS, “as owner of the sporting and economic” rights of Valdes, two weeks ago and MLS has yet to pay Valdes. It is unclear from the report if the money paid by San Lorenzo — which was paid after San Lorenzo “had some difficulties in their commitments” — is money owed to Valdes or money owed to MLS.

Valdes at Cali WC ceremonyAs we noted in Tuesday’s roundup, Valdes was in Cali to be honored by his former club America de Cali for his participation in the World Cup. El Pais has video of the ceremony that includes comments from Valdes.

San Lorenzo head coach Edgardo Bauza said (crappy Google translation here), “I hope that we can have (Valdes) quickly and then see, depending on how it is, if it can hold or not.”

TyC Sports has video of Bauza’s comments on Valdes.

Soccerly has an English language report based on the above sources.

More Union news

Andrew Wenger said of the team’s recent resurgence of offensive confidence,

Guys just feel good about it. Plays are coming off, things are working out. Sometimes when they’re not, we’re getting lucky bounces. I got a lucky bounce the other night – Amobi makes a great play, but it just kind of trickles through. It’s happened for a lot of guys. Things are just coming off at the moment, and you don’t really want to talk about it so to speak, you just want to keep going through what you’re doing and making the plays.

Long may it continue.

At the Union website, a look at how Cristian Maidana is quietly becoming one of the best playmakers in the league.

Brian Brown says, “I score. That’s what I do best: I score goals. I may not play much but I like to score. So if I get my chance, I’ll put my chance away.”

Ethan White said of Brown, “He’s a left-footed, dangerous finisher. He’s athletic. He’s another guy that’s hard to deal with the entire time. I think a lot of teams will be surprised when he steps on the field.”

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union remain at No. 13.

Sheanon Williams came in at No. 8 in the latest Castrol Index Top 20 Performers list. In the full index, the top five Union players are Conor Casey (No. 18), Andrew Wenger (No. 22), Leo Fernandes (No. 65), Amobi Okugo (No. 66), and Danny Cruz (No. 73).

In the latest ASN rankings of the top 100 US players, Maurice Edu comes in a t No. 29, Okugo at No. 47, and Williams at No. 82.

The Stoke blog at metro.co.uk is unhappy thatEdu tweeted a thanks to his sponsor Puma for sending him an Arsenal jersey. “From a Stoke fan’s viewpoint, such a move is incomprehensible…The gift may just have sealed Edu’s move away from Stoke – and maybe that was the intention behind the social media message.” The replies to Edu’s tweet from Stoke supporters are, shall we say, less polite.

The league disciplinary committee has suspended Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill one game for that horror tackle on Danny Cruz last Saturday. You remember the tackle, right? It’s the one that only resulted in a yellow card whereas some naughty words from Amobi Okugo after the game resulted in a red card.

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel has an interesting read on how the World Cup has inspired Gaddis and Okugo. Okugo says,

You can see with coach Klinsmann’s roster selections that he is picking a new type of player. This new player is not only just technical, not only just physical but you have to have a bit of everything especially with the way the game is changing. The teams that have had the most success have players that recognize how to adapt to the competition and not play one-dimensional. I feel like Klinsmann is looking for that well rounded type of player and I try to model my game off that.

Here’s video of the assist and game-winning goal from Zach Pfeffer in the US U-20 MNT’s 2-1 win over Chile in their opening game at the NTC Invitational we linked to in Tuesday’s roundup.

Pfeffer says in the video, “Anytime you come off the bench, especially when you’re representing your country, you just want to come in and make as big of an impact as possible. In the game, we were down 1-0 against Chile, about 25-30 minutes left, and I just had to come on and help the team in the best way possible and try to make a difference.”

Jim Curtin said of Pfeffer,

For Zach, listen, he’s a guy that I’ve had since he was 16 years old, so I know what kind of quality he has. It’s just doing it day in and day out. You look at his performance last night and that’s the Zach we all know. I’ve had discussions with him and he knows this. I see a kid like Diego Fagundez and I see Zach in the same light as him, they’re similar players. Has Diego gotten more of a chance in gotten thrown out there? Absolutely. Zach’s a guy though, he even says, “Yeah, I agree, that’s the type of player I should be, I should be scoring goals in MLS in that wide spot and being dangerous.” People forget how young he is. The fact that he’s still with the U-20 national team to me makes me smile because it feels like he’s been on the Union for 10 years. But, he’s a a guy, again, great performance last night. We’re proud of him.

More on Pfeffer from Union Tally. At the US Soccer website, a profile piece on Pfeffer and his experience with Hoffenheim.

The Philadelphia Union Foundation will be unveiling a Safe Playground at the Showalter School (1100 W. 10th Street, Chester, PA) on Aug. 14.

At Philly.com, more on Widener University men’s soccer coach Brent Jacquette nomination as the Union’s representative for this year’s MLS Works Community MVP award. You can vote for Jacquette, who also works on the Soccer for Success program, here.


Union loanee with Harrisburg City Islanders Jimmy McLaughlin has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week after scoring a goal and an assist in last weekend’s win at Dayton. Garret Pettis and Yann Ekra received honorable mentions. Former La Salle, Reading United, and Ocean City Nor’easters goalkeeper John McCarthy, now with Rochester Rhinos, was also named to the team of the week after recording his seventh shutout of the season.

Penn Live profiles Harrisburg left back Raphael Cox.

After a delay ‘due to lack of field availability,” Reading United came from behind to defeat Northern Virginia Royals 4-1 on the road on Tuesday night. After scoring three goals in a six-minute span, including a brace from Guillermo Leo Delgado, Reading never looked back.


In addition to tonight’s Union game, there are three other league games:

7:30pm – Columbus Crew vs Sporting Kansas City – MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick
8:00pm – Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps – MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick
10:30pm – LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution – MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick

Columbus Crew and Spanish midfielder Alvaro Rey have mutually agreed to part ways, citing personal reasons. Rey came to Columbus from Toronto in exchange for Dominic Oduro in June.

A report from Spain says Xavi is “almost certainly” joining New York City FC on a three-year deal at $8.1 million per year.

The Guardian on what MLS needs to do to retain fans who have come to the game through the World Cup.


Portland Thorns are starting a girls youth academy.


The US U-20 MNT will face Bermuda today at 4 pm in their second game at the NTC Invitational. The game will be streamed on the US Soccer website.

The Hollywood Reporter talks to Univision senior vice president for digital Mehul Nagrani about the networks record breaking numbers for streamed games during the World Cup. “When the World Cup ends, soccer doesn’t end. You’re going to see us stream more and more of those games and provide that full mobile experience.”


The Premier League is unlikely to adopt the use of free-kick spray in the upcoming season. How sad.


  1. It’s Shauns brother Bradley we’ll have to worry about tonight…

  2. Weirdest loan ever.

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