Daily news roundups

Ready for Houston, Curtin says Ribeiro could start, USMNT friendly announced, more

Philadelphia Union

What a remarkable seven days it has been.

A win over Montreal last Saturday sees the Union in a playoff spot for the first time since I don’t know when. Three days, 1300 miles, and 120 minutes of play later in the Texas heat, the Union defeated Dallas in the semifinals of the US Open Cup. Another 225 miles, a whole lot of humidity, and three days later, the Union are facing Houston Dynamo in a nationally televised game (9 pm, NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra). Oh, and on Thursday, construction began for the new practice facility that will be located in Lot B at PPL Park.

What a week. And if they get a result tonight, the team will be, including league and Cup play, unbeaten in the last eight games.

Throughout this busy period, interim head coach Jim Curtin has reiterated that, as tough as having three games in such a short span, the travel, and the conditions will be, his team is prepared to deal with them.

Curtin said after Tuesday’s US Open Cup semifinal win in Dallas, “Is it a difficult situation? Yeah, but we aren’t making excuses. We have a short turnaround in arguably one of the tougher places to play in our League [in Houston’s BBVA Compass Arena]. We are dealing with tough weather, tough fans and a team that’s desperate right now. They’ll be seeing blood in the water considering we have just played 120 minutes [in our Open Cup semifinal].”

Talking to reporters via conference call on Thursday, Curtin said, “We’ll be fine for Houston. We will juggle some things obviously with tired legs, but we have a lot of depth now.” He added, “The commitment of the guys has been the most important thing. The commitment that they’ve shown, to empty their tank in every game and fight for every ball, has been what’s been really impressive.”

Curtin related, “It’s funny, as I was walking off the field at halftime of the Dallas game, and I look as I’m walking through the tunnel and my reserves in the pinnies are Carlos Valdes, Brian Carroll, Fabinho, Fred is walking with me, Danny Cruz is walking with me. And I kind of quipped in my head, wow, we can field a second team here that’s pretty darn good.”

One player we might see is Pedro Ribeiro. Jim Curtin said, “We have Pedro Ribeiro, who’s been playing great for Harrisburg and has been flown in. He’s a guy I’ve always been high on, not just off the bench, but there’s a possibility he starts in this game. Again, we have a lot of tired legs right now. This is the third of a tough three-game stretch, as tough as I’ve ever seen in MLS, with the games played in the heat. But we’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to put a team on the field that can play with Houston and get a result. Pedro’s a guy we trust, he’s in now with the team and we’ll train and I’ll see where he’s at physically, and maybe it’s a game where he gets a run.”

Curtin suggested Cristian Maidana may be used as a substitute rather than as a starter following his return from a hamstring injury. “We’d like to kind of ease him along in that process…he’s an option for Friday.”

One player who definitely will not be in Houston is Rais Mbolhi, who continues to deal with visa-related issues. Curtin said, “It’s crazy. But these things happen. With the process of getting a player fully here, there’s a transitional period and that’s just part of it. He’ll be back with us on Monday and we’ll see where he is, where he’s at mentally, and we’ll go from there.”

Houston’s Will Bruin is expected to start after returning from an ankle injury.

At the Houston Dynamo website, a look at Maurice Edu and DaMarcus Beasley, former teammates with the USMNT and Rangers, now opponents.

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Soccerly, Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, Houston DynamoDynamo Theory,  Stoppage Time Soccer, and The Sports Network.

Philly Soccer News on Ethan White’s rise in form.

MLSsoccer.com looks at the US Open Cup final matchup between the Union and Seattle.

By the way, if you’re wondering why, despite an announcement from the Union on Twitter on Wednesday, tickets for the US Open Cup final haven’t, as of this writing, gone on sale, it’s because US Soccer hasn’t confirmed whether the game will take place on Sept. 16 or Sept. 17. As soon as the federation confirms the date, the Union will open a presale for season ticket holders to purchase discounted tickets. After the presale, tickets will be available to the general public.


Harrisburg City Islanders are in Florida on Saturday to face first place Orlando City, who the defeated at home last weekend (7:30 pm, NSCAA TV, YouTube). Previews from Harrisburg City Islanders, Orlando City, Bright House Sports Network, and Soccerly.

Local college teams are preparing for the start of their season. Look for the start of our series of Philly Soccer Six previews later this morning.

The Temple University men’s team has begun preseason training. This post at the team website reviews the members — new and returning — of the team.

Albert H. Laverson, a midfielder at Temple University before and after World War II who then played professionally with Philadelphia Americans of the ASL and was captain of the US team at the 1953 World Maccabiah Games in Israel and also had a 43 year career as an assistant coach at Drexel, passed away on Aug. 2 at the age of 94.


Could MLS teams soon be participating in the Copa Libertadores? Paraguayan  Juan Angel Napout, the new president of CONMEBOL, backs the idea, saying “It is important that this happens for the relationship between CONMEBOL and CONCACAF. After all, America is one. This is an idea that interests everyone.” Travel issues aside, how cool could that be?

ASN looks at the sale of DeAndre Yedlin to Tottenham.

Montreal’s DP signing from San Lorenzo, midfielder Ignacio Piatti, will be available to play on Saturday when the Impact host Chicago on Saturday.

Chivas USA have acquired forward Felix Borja on loan from Ecuador’s First Division side Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito.

FC Dallas are looking to finalize an affiliation with a USL PRO team for 2015 before fielding their own third division side as early as 2016.

Fans of MLS hopeful Sacramento Republic like light rail. Sacramento Regional Transit has noticed.

More on San Antonio’s hopes for a MLS team.


Former USWNT and Philadelphia Independence midfielder Lori Lindsey is retiring. After finishing the season with Washington Spirit, Lindsey will finish out the rest of the year with Canberra United in Australia. More from Philly Soccer News.


The USMNT will host Ecuador in a friendly on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Conn. (7 pm, ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio).

The Toronto Sun has run a regrettable commentary piece that calls criticism of the use of artificial turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup “despicable” and “delusional.” It’s a masterful display of obfuscation and misdirection that begins by dismissing a photo of US forward Sydney Leroux’s bruised and abraded legs after playing on turf tweeted by the NBA’s Kobe Bryant as “disingenuous” and “propaganda laden.” It then ignores the international representation of players who are signatories to a letter calling on FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association to install grass for the tournament, and the signatories’ supporters, dismissing them as “whiners south of the border.” If that wasn’t enough, the piece goes on to brush aside opposition of the use of artificial turf in the tournament founded on the notion that it is an example of gender discrimination by employing the kind of “the jury’s still out on the natural grass vs. artificial turf debate” logic that wouldn’t be out of place in an opinion piece written by a climate change denier. More ridiculousness follows that revolves around the argument that, instead of being criticized, the CSA should lauded for stepping in to host the tournament because the only other bidder was Robert Mugabe-controlled Zimbabwe. The piece is breathtakingly embarrassing, more so for being written by an otherwise decent soccer journalist.


Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week, including the start of the 2014 Premier League season.

Just a few weeks ago he was having a postgame beer with Jim Curtin  at PPL Park. On Thursday, Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis quit the London club over differences with team co-chairman Steve Parish. Palace open the season against Arsenal on Saturday.

Goal.com reports, “A Colombian lawyer says he plans to sue FIFA for 1 billion euros over ‘moral damages’ caused by sub-standard refereeing at the World Cup in Brazil.” The report says Aurelio Jimenez is seeking €1 billion in damages because “poor decisions by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo in the quarterfinal tie between Brazil and Colombia caused him distress and saw him taken to hospital with heart problems as a result.”


  1. this was tweeted yesterday by US soccer… not sure what the holdup is

    U.S. Soccer‏@ussoccer·Aug 14
    The #USOC2014 Final will be held Sept. 16 between @SoundersFC and @PhilaUnion at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

  2. Please can we get Tony.

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    I have no say in the matter, but I would be very happy with Mr. Pulis. Keep Curtain on as an assistant.
    I love the Columbian lawyer suing FIFA. That’s just funny stuff right there. Go for it man!! Haha!
    Hoping Riberio starts and plays well. We will need him down the stretch for depth

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