Daily news roundups

Union host USOC final with win over Dallas, Valdes’ return, US open Women’s U20 WC play, more


Philadelphia Union

US Open Cup final will be at PPL Park if Union defeat Dallas

Before we get to reports and reaction to the return of Carlos Valdes and other Union news, the following piece of news broke last night: If the Union defeat Dallas in next week’s US Open Cup semifinal game, PPL Park will be the site of the US Open Cup final against the winner of Seattle-Chicago on Sept. 16, Sept. 17, or Oct. 1.

How cool would that be? Fantastically, brilliantly, incredibly, amazingly, totally cool. The last time an Open Cup final was in the area is when United German Hungarians hosted the 1994 final, won by Greek American A.C. 3-0 over Bavarian Leinenkugel. That was the tenth time a Cup final took place in Philadelphia and the only time the final didn’t involve a local team. Before that, the last time a final took place in Philadelphia was when Ukrainian Nationals defeated Orange County at Cambria Stadium in 1966.

More on the news from TheCup.us.

Hopefully, Dallas and the Union can come to some sort of arrangement to stream the semifinal game.

Carlos is home

On Monday, the Union announced the return of Carlos Valdes in a press conference featuring the defender along with Nick Sakiewicz and Jim Curtin.

And the good news, as was mentioned in the announcement on Valdes’ return on the Union website, and by Curtin and Sakiewicz in Monday’s press conference, is that the defender is back with the club on a new “multi-year deal.” Valdes’ previous contract was set to expire at the end of 2015.

We also know that Valdes is not a designated player under the new contract, although he did get a raise.

What remains unclear is if the Union (or, more precisely, MLS) now completely own Valdes’ rights or if they continue to own 60 percent of them.

At present, though, it’s simply nice to share in the evident happiness that Valdes felt in returning to the Union. Saying he was ” very, very happy” to be back in Philadelphia, Valdes explained, “When I left from Philly, I always was thinking to come back one day becasue, as I told you before, I think this is my second family and I love the fans, I love the team, I love the people in Philadelphia, I love my teammates. As soon as the World Cup finished, I was starting thinking again to come back to Philadelphia.”

Some highlights from the press conference, a transcript of which you can read here:

  • Curtin said as soon as Valdes says he’s ready, he will be in the starting lineup
  • Valdes said that, after a two week break following the World Cup, he began training again and that he might be ready in time for Saturday’s game against Montreal.
  • Curtin indicated that just who Valdes will partner with will “be game-by-game and we’ll decide that as it goes.”

Sakiewicz emphasized that work will continue to strengthening the team.

We’re not done. We’re an ambitious club. We want to win, and we want to lift trophies. And, if anyone thinks we’re going to kick our feet up on the table and relax? Certainly not for the rest of this year, but long term? We want more. We want to bring the very best players here, and we want to win the championship – as executives, as players, as an organization — and we expect to do that. So, we’re not done…

[T]hese deals were really important to do becasue we want to create stability in our core, and these are important players that need that stability in a club here…We want to build a sustainably competitive team every year and this is part of the first steps of doing that.

Union technical director Chris Albright said of the protracted negotiations to secure Valdes’ return, “To be honest, you have to take it day by day. That’s about as boring of a sports quote as you’ll get. But there were a bunch of scenarios that arose. The league, I think, was adamant to have Carlos back — that’s a big piece in this. They were extremely cooperative in order to get this done for the Philadelphia Union.”

Albright further explained,

It’s been obviously a lot of back and forth. There’s multiple parties involved when you’re dealing with MLS, the league, San Lorenzo, Carlos, and the Union. There was some stuff to sort through. Again, the loan deal was a bit complex, and I think that’s why you saw it take the time that it did. We wanted to make sure Carlos was happy in the end, with a new deal that rewards him for being the player that he is. We had to see the process through until the end like we did, in order for all sides to be happy with how it ended up.

In all ways it was an amicable solution. I think San Lorenzo, the league, the Philadelphia Union and Carlos were all happy in the end. We never had to get litigious.

Reports on Valdes’ return from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com, Inquirer, Daily News (hopefully they’ve already replaced the picture of Marfan for one of Valdes), Delco Times, CSN Philly, Soccerly, Philly Soccer News, The 700 Level, Brotherly Game, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, SBI, isportsweb, and The Sports Network.

MacMath on M’Bolhi signing, more Union news

Zac MacMath has spoken about the signing of Rais M’Bolhi.

I was taken a little bit aback, but this is a business, and [Mbohli] is only going to make me better and will make the team better – and that is the most important part…

It is disappointing. They told me when he is ready and fit he will be the No. 1…

I will continue to push [Union keeper] Andre [Blake] and Rais to the best of their abilities.

You will recall that we reported on the Union’s interest in Algerian national team center back and captain Madjid Bougherra. Well, the defender has signed with Fujairah of the Arabian Gulf League. After our report, Jim Curtin indicated that the Union’s interest in Bougherra was more as a backup plan if Valdes was unable to return to Philadelphia.

Power rankings! At SI, the Union move up one spot to No. 12, same as at Soccer America.

Brian Brown received an honorable mention in MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.

Brotherly Game has a statistical analysis of the draw in Kansas City.

Zach Pfeffer played the second half for the MLS Homegrown team in the 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers U-23 side on Monday night. He had several goal scoring opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. More on the game from SBI and SI.

Brotherly Game looks at how some ex-Union players have been playing.


We linked to a report in Monday’s roundup on the US U-17s 6-0 defeat of China in their opening game at the Copa Mexico de Naciones in Mexico City on Saturday. Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic scored a hat trick and Bethlehem’s Kevin Silva was in goal for the shutout. On Sunday, Pulisic scored in the 2-0 win over Mexico. Silva was rested for the game but Allentown’s Danny Barbir played the full 90 in the defense (well, the full 70, anyway; games in the tournament are played over 35 minute halves). On Monday, the Pulisic scored again in the 2-1 win over Paraguay. The team next faces Colombia in the tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday.


Montreal begins play in the CONCACAF Champions League tonight when they host El Salvador’s C.D. FAS. (Shame they didn’t have to travel to El Salvador ahead of Saturday’s game against the Union at PPL Park.) Kansas City and Portland begin Champions League play on Aug. 19, DC on Aug. 20, and New York on Aug. 26.

Toronto’s Jermain Defoe is out 2-3 weeks with a groin injury.

The City of Orlando is dropping its eminent domain suit against the church that refused to sell its land for the construction of a new downtown soccer stadium. Instead, the city is shifting the location by one block, which will require spending $4 million to fill and re-route a retention pond on the new site and also move a fire station to a new location. Perhaps not coincidentally, $4 million is what the city offered the church for its land. The church wanted $30 million.

Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins said, “We applaud the Mayor for finding an alternative solution that is a win for everyone involved. The new location allows us to remain on schedule to play our matches in the new stadium starting with the home opener in 2016. Our fans will benefit from added amenities created by the new location such as more entertainment areas prior to and after the matches.”


The US faces Germany today in the opening game of Group B play in the 2014 Women’s U-20 World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (7 pm, ESPNU and WatchESPN). The game is a rematch of the final for the 2012 edition of the tournament, won 1-0 by the US in Tokyo.

Soccer America has six reasons to follow the US in the tournament. You can learn about the players in the video below:

Clint Dempsey hopes to keep playing for the national team through the 2016 Copa America. “I would like to continue playing for the U.S. team, but that depends on performing and getting called in. For me, I would like definitely to push to play in Copa America. It’s a tournament that I always valued and wanted to participate in.

The proposal to expand the collegiate men’s soccer season to a fall-winter-spring schedule will be heard by MLS’s technical committee today in Portland. More on the story from Soccer America.

Manchester United defeated Liverpool 3-1 in the Guinness International Champions Cup final in Miami on Monday night.

Average attendance at the 2014 International Champions Cup was 49,395, a 20 percent increase over the 2013 average of 41,048. Excluding the 109,318 who attended the Manchester United-Real Madrid game, the average still increased by 8 percent. In all, some 642,135 attended tournament games in 2014 compared to 306,344 in 2013. By the way, the 12,169 who attended the Roma-Inter game at the Linc is still more than the 10,603 who attended the Olympiakos-AC Milan match at Toronto’s BMO Field.


Xavi has announced his retirement from international football.

The AP reports, “UEFA has punished three Champions League clubs for the racist behavior of some supporters at matches last month. UEFA says Steaua Bucharest, Debrecen and Maribor must close stadium sections at the next Champions League or Europa League match they host.”

Corinne Diacre became the first woman to coach a team in the top two tiers of any European football league on Monday when Clermont faced Brest in the teams’ Ligue 2 season opener. Unfortunately, Clermont lost, 2-1.


  1. Right now Carroll, Berry and MacMath look very tradable and are probably very willing to go.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I don’t see how MacMath is tradeable given the international schedule coming up.

      • I agree. I think it’s very unlikely he gets traded during the season. I see us protecting him in the expansion draft and then trading him, possibly to one of the two expansion sides.

      • I can see trading him before the expansion draft, as part of a deal to protect other players on the roster. But otherwise, I agree he’s not going anywhere during the season because we’ll need a goalie during the international windows coming up.

      • Pragmatist says:

        Hoppenot too.

        Agree that MacMath is with us through 2014 because of international issues.

        The problem is that Blake and M’bohli are both the class of their national pools. As such, they both probably disappear for every international fixture date. As long as MLS plays through the FIFA windows (and it will), MacMath is a critical piece.

        Would be shocked if Blake isn’t loaned out before the end of the transfer window.

      • I doubt we can get much for Hoppenot.

      • I think they’ll try harder in non-World Cup years. That said, with an international competition every summer through 2018, this is likely to be an ongoing issue.

  2. U-20 video is really funny, definitely give it a play.

  3. MacMath’s comments are classy, I must say.

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    There is no excuse not to stream the Union / Dalls game next week. None. Get it done.
    With that said… I hope the boys come through… It would awesome to see the Final live!!
    Pulisic is lighting it up. Is he Union property?
    Agreed on the U-20 video. I wish I took soccer more seriously when I was young… it looks fun to play on a National team. Haha!
    As long as we get something we need in return for MacMath, I will be happy. I’m not overly exited he’ll be gone, but that’s business. I suppose before I jump to any conclusions. I should hope M’Bolhi can adjust to the team and play well…

    • If we could spend MacMath’s $120k salary + Fabinho’s $98k salary on a quality LB and a pay raise for Gaddis, I’d be very happy with that. My point is that we don’t have to get anything for MacMath directly–we just need to use his salary well.
      And as many have said, we need MacMath for the rest of the year. He still has a big part to play in the Union’s playoff push.

  5. Me, Grimlock says:

    I really don’t understand the Union’s insistence on undermining MacMath AND wasting draft picks on keepers. It’s getting ridiculous.

  6. MacMath will not stay, so we’ll need a backup during Internationals. Blake is loaned or plays for HCI for experience. What does Carroll fetch? Edu will leave & his DP money will be available.

  7. James Lockerbie says:

    In the last four off seasons, we have all been blind sided with crazy trades. The front office leaving a very important player (mapp) unprotected from the last expansion draft. I find it amazing how sure people sound with their predictions for the remainder of this season and this coming off season.

    I for one will be waiting for the next move, let’s hope it’s as exciting as these last to anouncements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *