Daily news roundups

Union preparing MacMath to start against SJ, Maidana update, video of practice facility construction, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin told reporters at Tuesday’s training session that new Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi is expected to rejoin the team today after time spent in France dealing with visa issues. Mbolhi was to rejoin the team on Tuesday but Curtin said he had missed his flight after being involved in a minor car accident in which the goalkeeper suffered no injuries.

Curtin indicated that, given Mbolhi’s extended absence from integrating into the team, on top of the break after the World Cup, the team is preparing for Sunday’s game against San Jose as if Zac MacMath  is the starter. “We’ll see where Rais is at, and we’ll have a good honest talk. If I had to guess, last time when he came back and trained for four days, he was coming off of a pretty long layoff, and that sort of (continued) now that he had to go back (to Europe) and the unfortunate setback that presented. He wants to be 100% before he goes out there. I don’t want to speculate, but we’re preparing Zac as though he’s going to start.”

Curtin also shared his reasoning behind Andre Blake starting against Houston last Friday. “Zac has been good over the last stretch, but it was a moment where I thought I could get Andre a game. It might be the only chance that we have for it. So, to be honest, that’s the reason why we went with it. I thought Andre played well. He gained a lot of valuable lessons and experience. Some of the little things, like when to come off the line, when to hold, I think he got to see that, and in a tough spot, too, in Houston. We have confidence in him.”

Curtin also said that Cristian Maidana continues to work toward complete match fitness after suffering a hamstring injury a month ago. “The medical staff determined that he was not up to where they wanted him to be physically [following the Open Cup semifinal], so they sent him home. He had a [platelet rich plasma] injection in the hamstring and that’s settled down now.  He feels very good today. We have to be cautious with him because we know what it took to get him fully going and acclimated and fit and we don’t want to have any more setbacks.”

The Union posted information about parking in Lots B and C now that construction of the new training facility is underway. Also posted was this video of the ongoing construction:

Power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union drop one spot to No. 11. “The Union missed out on crucial points with a loss to Houston, but promising MLS debuts from Andre Blake and Pedro Ribeiro show that Jim Curtin should have Philly humming along again soon.”

Speaking of Pedro Ribeiro, who is the guest on this week’s KYW Philly Soccer Show, at ESPN, Professional Referee Organization head Peter Walton cops out of answering why a foul wasn’t called on Houston’s David Horst when he grappled with the Union rookie when the Brazilian was on a breakaway in last Friday’s game.

No Union players in the latest Castrol Index Top 20 performers list. In the full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Andrew Wenger (No. 26), Conor Casey (No. 27), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 60), Amobi Okugo (No. 88), and Maurice Edu (No. 95).

Brotherly Game looks at the stats and concludes “the Union seem to perform better when Gaddis is placed on the left.” While that may not be a surprise, the post notes something that probably is: “Fabinho has better statistics on the left than Williams does on the right.”

The recently concluded Carlos Valdes saga began with Colombian national team coach Jose Pekerman advising the central defender to leave MLS to improve his chances of making the team’s World Cup roster. On Tuesday, it was announced that Pekerman has signed a new contract that will see him remain with the team through 2018.

Brotherly Game rounds up news of Union Academy players beginning to train with their college teams.


Former Union draft pick Robbie Derschang and Union loanee Leo Fernandes received honorable mentions in the latest USL PRO Team of the Week for their play with Harrisburg City Islanders.


In CONCACAF Champions League play, Portland defeated Guyana’s Alpha United 4-1 on the road on Tuesday night. In Nicaragua, Kansas City drew 1-1 with Real Estreli after first conceding an own-goal.

There are several midweek games tonight. In league play, Colorado host LA (9 pm, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick) and Seattle host San Jose (10 pm, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick). In CONCACAF Champions League play, DC host Jamaica’s Waterhouse FC (8 pm, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports GO) and Montreal face CD FAS in El Salvador (10 pm, Univision Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go).

US Soccer Players has an interesting read on some of the problems presented by participation in the CONCACAF Champions League that concludes with a though provoking question: What if teams weren’t obligated to play in the tournament?

Colorado’s Drew Moor is out for the rest of the season with a orn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral meniscus.

Toronto Globe and Mail reports, “Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke knocked down rumours on Tuesday that he is about to leave the country’s largest sports concern.” MLSE owns Toronto FC, in addition to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

An update from myfoxorlando.com on the site of where Orlando’s new stadium will be built.

Capital New York has an update on NYCFC’s search for a location to build a new stadium. Not much to report other than the site located near Yankee Stadium that was proposed after the site in Queen’s fell through also seems to be off the table.


The USWNT hosts Switzerland today in a friendly  in Cary, NC (7:30 pm: USsoccer.com).

USA Today takes issue with US Soccer promoting the fact that, with a shutout in tonight’s game, Hope Solo will set a new world record, despite her facing domestic assault charges in Washington. Federation spokesperson Neil Buethe said, “We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment. At the same time, she has an opportunity to set a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the National Team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognize that in the proper way.”

Connect Sports has an interesting interview with US Soccer director of administration Tom King, the person responsible for handling the travel arrangements of national team players. I always enjoy learning about the logistics involved with team travel.

The Albuquerque Journal reports, “The University of New Mexico has cancelled its women’s soccer season opener and is conducting an investigation into allegations of hazing in an incident that sent two players to the hospital Sunday night and caused two players to quit the team.” The article notes, “Local television station KOB-TV reported that, in addition to the girls being forced to consume large amounts of alcohol, they were forced to strip naked and were sprayed with urine.”

Viewership of the first five Premier League games of the season on NBC is up 23 percent compared to last season.


From the Guardian, “Barcelona will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after Fifa confirmed it will not be able to sign any players in the next two transfer windows. FIFA announced on Wednesday that it had rejected Barcelona’s appeal against the sanction imposed in April over breaches of rules around the transfer of under-18 players.”

The Press Association reports, “UEFA have launched an inquiry into alleged racist comments made by the Italian football federation’s newly-elected president Carlo Tavecchio.”

Also from the Guardian, “A Swedish paper has apologised to Red Bull Salzburg for an article putting the Austrian club in the same bracket as Adolf Hitler and Josef Fritzl, the man who held his daughter imprisoned in his cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.” The article began, “Austria has not only given us Josef Fritzl and Adolf Hitler. There is also Red Bull Salzburg, the most hated football club of our time.”

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s live games on TV, online, and on satellite radio.


  1. team just looked out of sorts. blake is making the mistakes rookies make, and shows why he isnt ready yet. hell be a good 2 behind Rais

    • The Black Hand says:

      Blake showed that he is ready. At least, three of his stops (strong save, twice off the line) would have been goals…had Zac started…in my opinion. (This is not a knock on Zac). Zac MacMath has been outstanding for us. His penalty stops and, overall, maturity have been impressive. He has developed into a fine MLS keeper. That said, Blake’s raw athletic ability is lightyears ahead of MacMath’s. If he can study his craft and translate that to the pitch, he could be something special. His ceiling is very, very high. Personally, I would pursue a MacMath transfer and let Blake study M’Bohli (finished keeper).
      It will be telling, to see how the front office handles their surplus.

  2. “some of the little things, like when to come off the line” = gold

    • There was a lot of praise for Blake after the game but no one pointed out that he was out of position on both of his goals… and a lot of the rest of the time.

  3. I personally think Hope Solo is a total tool but if she sets the record, it can’t be ignored.

    • I’m conflicted about the whole thing. On one hand, it’s a positive move for equality, in that an athlete is lauded for on the field performance despite sociopathic behavior off the field; the athlete in question just happens to be a woman. On the other hand, she is a sociopath.

  4. Andrew Wenger is first the in the castrol index… Why is this even put out there anymore?

  5. Wait…I thought Red Bull New York was “the most hated football club of our time”

  6. CONGRATULATIONS UNION AND BIMBO!!! FIVE MORE YEARS!!! Thanks for all the money and I will continue to proudly wear the red and white on my jersey! #totallyworthit

    • Crusty Old Coach says:

      That atrocity of a logo should be blatantly dismissed by all who love the sport of soccer! Ugly colors against our kit. Say what you will, but it takes a ton of ribbing. Mostly just obnoxious, and overbearing against our kit. Almost as ugly as that Seattle sea-puke green! The U can get sponsorship money from many other companies that might “message” better with our “brand.”

      • Ummmmmmmmmmm……..no. No, they can’t. Bimbo is overpaying. Bless their Mexican hearts.

      • if there were better sponsorship deals available with other companies they definitely would have taken them

  7. Great! 5 more years with the gaudiest, ugliest sponsors logo defacing the kit. Wouldn’t be so bad if didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

    • old soccer coach says:

      Sticking out like a sore thumb, and feeling like one, too, are together the entire point of advertising.

      • Crusty Old Coach says:

        It lacks class and style. It also doesn’t message well with our brand. Being abhorent isn’t necessarily equate to “good advertising.”

      • there are so few jersey sponsors that are within the realm of bearable imo

      • Former Season Ticket Holder says:

        +1 at least it’s not Laughing Clown Malt Liquor

  8. BIMBO re-upped for $2.3M/yr? I thought RSL got $3M/yr x 10 starting 2014. How much bigger is this market? Now how will we afford Tim Howard??

    • rsl’s sponsor is a pyramid scheme company. i would not be surprised if they have legal or financial problem before long

      • And Herbalife? Anyway I’m surprised a local or regional powerhouse – IBX, Vanguard, Subaru, DuPont, J&J, etc. – each with big ad spend – can’t be enticed. Bimbo clearly didn’t outbid anyone. And why is FO scooped – by local & national media?
        You may not like any logo, but you should like the players it buys. This deal won’t pay for more talent than the current one. Less, in fact, as talent price increases. Very disappointing.

  9. To me it’s another example of Sakeiwicz’ s lack of sincerity and his disingenuous way of doing things. It just seems like so much of what he delivers has a back door way about it. I thought there was a poll taken showing how much the overall fan base disliked the logo. It’s just my gut feeling and I’m trying to think about things in a positive light,but things that have happened over the course of the Union’s existence involving Sakeiwicz make me question his motives and reasons for why he does things the way he does them. The logo is ugly and defaces the kit!

  10. OneManWolfpack says:

    How is Comcast not our sponsor?!? Completely ridiculous. I am SO F’N GLAD I have an original no-logo jersey.

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