Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction to Fire draw, Valdes’ to arrive in US “in a few days,” Reading make playoffs, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Well, that was close.

A generous handball decision from the referee in the 89th minute gave the Union the opportunity to equalize with Chicago Fire on Saturday. Sebastien Le Toux promptly did so, scoring his 12th consecutive penalty kick in a Union jersey.

Any time you get a goal in the 89th minute, you’re happy with that,” Curtin said. “You take the point and you move on…I am proud of our guys. They fought hard, third game in the week. It is a good result on the road.”

Needless to say, Chicago weren’t pleased with the penalty call. Head coach Frank Yallop called it “one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen.”

The Union are now 2-1-2 under interim head coach Jim Curtin in league play, 5-1-2 including the US Open Cup.

Recaps from PSP, at PSP, the postgame quote sheet. At USA Today, a photo gallery.

Brotherly Game has game changing moments from Saturday’s draw.

Carlos Valdes

On Monday morning, Carlos Valdes’ agent Ricardo Pachon said the center back was in Colombia and would fly to the US “in a few days” to arrange his future.

Pachon’s comments come after a report on Saturday on futbolmls.com (crappy Google translation here), MLSsoccer.com’s Spanish language site gave more cause for optimism that Valdes is coming back to the Union. The subheading of  the report, which was later referenced on the the main MLS site, says, “Source confirms that Carlos Valdes will return to Philadelphia Union, after leaving San Lorenzo.” The report describes the Union as a “second family” for Valdes. The Union declined to comment for both reports.

Reports on Sunday from comutricolor.com (crappy Google translation here) and Zona Deportiva on Sunday (crappy Google translation here) both picked up on the reports on the official MLS websites about Valdes returning to the Union.


Africa Football Shop has a report on the Union’s interest in Algerian national team goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi. The report says, “The 28-year-old’s agent has linked M’Bolhi with many clubs including Olympique Marseille, Queens Park Rangers, FC Porto and Benfica – but Philadelphia Union are the only club to follow up their interest in the player.”

The All-Star Game roster was announced on Saturday and the Union is one of nine teams with no players on the roster.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union come in at No. 13.

Zach Pfeffer started against Australia for the US U-20s in their final game of the NTC Invitational but retired from the game, which ended in a 0-0 draw, after only 8 minutes. The tournament championship in hand, the US U-20s next begin preparations for the 2015 U-20 World Cup qualifiers which begin in January.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Philadelphia Union Academy has been named Best Overall Club in the Eastern Conference in the US Soccer Development Academy 2013-14 End-of-Season Awards. (“To be considered for this award, a club must have a U-12 through Pro Development pathway.”) The Union Academy also won the Best Training Facility and Community Awards. PDA’s Brian White, who has played for the Union Academy, was named to the Eastern Conference U-17/18 Best XI and named conference Player of the Year. PA Classics’ Austin Maloney was named to the U-15/16 team.

On Saturday, Brian White scored the first goal, and assisted the second, as PDA U-17/18s defeated Bethesda-Olney 2-0 to claim their first Development Academy U-17/18 Championship.


Reading United defeated NJ LUSO Parma 3-0 on Saturday, giving them a second place finish (31 points) and a playoff spot behind first place Jersey Express (33 points) in the Mid Atlantic Division. Match reports from Reading United and PDL.

Reading will begin their seventh consecutive postseason campaign on Tuesday when they host Connecticut’s CFC Azul, who finished in second place in the PDL’s Northeastern Division, at Gurski Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm and fans who wear Reading United apparel will gain free admission to the game.

Harrisburg City Islanders played Wilmington Hammerheads to a 0-0 draw at home on Friday. Second half substitute Antoine Hoppenot, on loan from the Union and who missed two chances from close range, said after the game, “The guys created a lot of chances for me today. It’s my job to put them in the back of the net and it wasn’t my day today.” Match reports from Penn Live and USL PRO. Harrisburg is at home again on Wednesday when they host Oklahoma City Energy FC at 7 pm (NSCAA TV, YouTube).

Ocean City Nor’easters, who finish in fourth place in the Mid Atlantic division with 23 points, lost 3-0 at home in their final game of the season.


In the Eastern Conference, first place Kansas City (35 points) defeated LA Galaxy, 2-1. Second place DC (34 points) defeated Chivas USA, 3-1. Third place Toronto (26 points) drew 2-2 with ninth place Houston (19 points). Fourth place New York (24 points) drew 1-1 with San Jose. Fifth place New England (23 points) fell 2-0 on the road in Dallas, their seventh loss in a row. Sixth place Philadelphia (23 points) drew 1-1 on the road with eighth place Chicago (20 points). Seventh place Columbus (23 points) defeated last place Montreal (14 points), 2-1.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (38 points) had the weekend off so they could host Tottenham to a 3-3 draw in a friendly. Second place Dallas (29 points) defeated New England, 2-0. Third place Salt Lake (29 points) drew 1-1 with sixth place Vancouver (27 points). Fourth place LA (27 points) fell 2-1 in Kansas City. Fifth place Colorado (27 points) lost 2-1 on the road to seventh place Portland (24 points). Eighth place Chivas USA (23 points) lost 3-1 in DC. Last place San Jose (17 points) drew 1-1 in New York.

Kansas City announced on Saturday the signing of World Cup duo Matt Besler and Graham Zusi to “long-term Designated Player contracts.”

The BBC reported on Saturday that Frank Lampard will sign with New York City FC this week.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George says the league needs to do a better job attracting top talent from CONCACAF.

Justin Findlay, whose Findlay Sports and Entertainment Group has been working to bring a MLS franchise to Las Vegas, says the city is on the short list to land a team.

With his commitments as a commentator in Fox Sports increasing, Eric Wynalda is stepping down as coach of the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, although he will remain the club’s technical director.


First place Seattle (43 points) drew 1-1 at home with fifth place Chicago (27 points). Second place Kansas City (34 points) drew 1-1 on the road with sixth place (24 points) Western New York. Third place Portland (29 points) defeated last place Boston (11 points), 6-3. Fourth place Washington (27 points) lost 4-2 on the road to seventh place Sky Blue (19 points). Eighth place Houston (17 points) had the weekend off.


Clint Dempsey on whether the US can win the 2016 Copa America, which will be staged in the US. “Yeah, I think that’s realistic and it’s something that you have to push for. It’s not just saying it, it’s doing it. It will be difficult but at the same time, anything is possible. On home soil, you want to make it count.”

At Al Jazeera America, Graham Parker writes, “There is a fair argument that if Klinsmann is to succeed with his USA project, even with much more modest outcomes than Germany, a successful and well-supported MLS will be a crucial part of the process. It has a way to go – as fast as high-profile US players come in, rapid expansion arguably dilutes the talent pool – but if US fans want to watch their team go beyond the round of 16 in 2018, they may be asked to dream global, watch local, in the meantime.”

Business Insider has an interesting look at the demographics of soccer in the US based upon tweets during the World Cup.

Deseret News on the slippery slope of trademarking phrases such as “I believe that we will win,” which San Diego State is trying to do.


In all of their celebrating, the Germany players broke their World Cup trophy.

Six Shakhtar Donetsk players refused to return with the team to Ukraine after a friendly in Lyon on Saturday.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says the team will honor two supporters who were among those killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH417 was shot down over Ukraine on Friday. John Alder and Liam Sweeney were traveling to see Newcastle play in New Zealand. Western Sydney Wanderers supporter Jack O’Brien was also among those killed.

The Algerian FA and national team have agreed (crappy Google translation here) to donate $100,000 “to the children of Gaza and express their full solidarity.”

A modification to Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 called “FIFA World Cup Host Resolution” allows players to exploit migrant workers “in order to host the future FIFA World Cup.” A desription of the modification reads, “There have been dozens of FIFA branded video games. Dozens. Yet every one of these titles ignore the all-powerful FIFA in their gameplay. They don’t showcase the scandal, the copious wealth, the controversial remarks. They’re just about soccer. And that’s not enough. That’s not FIFA.”


  1. I checked the U-20 game on the Youtube, and I didn’t see Pfeffer come out in the 8th minute. I don’t know when he came out, but I think the 8th minute was a typo.

    • Did he leave hurt?

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I haven’t seen the game, I’m going off what the match report on US Soccer said: “11-Zach Pfeffer (10-Romain Gall, 8)”.

      • Update–I was wrong, he did come off in the 8′. I didn’t see an injury, very strange actually. Here’s the Youtube link (from PSP’s twitter): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F20jnQdW9ks

      • Thanks for the link. It looks like he injures his groin when he collides with the goalie. Probably just slight pull since he kept on running.

        Did you notice their were three Union academy products on the field!?! Pfeffer, Canouse, and Steffen. The Union should sign Steffen as a HGP and loan him to Harrisburg or an NASL team with a good goaltending coach.

      • the speculation on steffen is that he is going to keep playing in college to see if a european team picks up his scent and brings him in

  2. FYI – Crystal Palace’s Tour Squad

    Palace’s American Tour squad: Barry Bannan, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Hiram Boateng, Yannick Bolasie, Marouane Chamakh, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney, Dwight Gayle, Jake Gray, Adlene Guedioura, Wayne Hennessey, Mile Jedinak, Chris Kettings, Joe Ledley, Adrian Mariappa, Paddy McCarthy, Glenn Murray, Stuart O’Keefe, Lewis Price, Jason Puncheon, Peter Ramage, Julian Speroni, Jerome Thomas, Joel Ward, Jonny Williams.

    Read more at http://www.cpfc.co.uk/news/article/eagles-land-in-the-usa-1771405.aspx#CozEVOgl8AmrDiec.99

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    What’s wrong with this picture? The Union Academy won best overall training facility while we keep hearing about how much the Union need new training facilities…

    • old soccer coach says:

      The quote indicated the training facility being complimented was from U-12 to Pro
      development academy. It did not include facilities for the senior team. Under Nowak they trained in a park in a residential neighborhood northeast of Chester or in northeastern Chester I don’t remember which.

      • The “Academy” actually trains at YSC in Wayne. They have their class rooms setup across the street in the office park. YSC is a nice facility.

        I have asked about the Unions practice facility and they are getting everything ready to build it in Lot B.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I understand that this was not referring to the senior team. I was just suggesting that there was something wrong with having the best development facilities and the worst for the senior team.
        I believe that the neighborhood they practiced in was in Wallingford where the team also played their reserve league games.

  4. Awesome to see the academy get some recognition. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a homegrown player and it was disappointing to see such highly rated players like pulisic and barbir head to Europe. Does anyone know if we have any bright young prospects that could play their way onto the first team?

    • Pfeffer is already first team, and Steffen is really good, which makes me wonder why they drafted Blake. There’s also McLaughlin, who’s been playing well.

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