Daily news roundups

Notes from Curtin’s weekly presser, new Bimbo deal, 8000 USOC final tickets sold so far, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Curtin’s weekly press conference

JIm Curtin’s weekly press conference touched on a number of topics on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:

  • Curtin expects that Zac MacMath will start against San Jose on Sunday.
  • Rais Mbolhi, who was expected to be arriving from France on Wednesday afternoon, will start when he tells Curtin he is a hundred percent ready.
  • Curtin acknowledged that Mbolhi will soon be away from the team again to play for Algeria in September’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
  • Curtin said Mbolhi’s visa problems are related to a glitch in the global database used by the US State Department to process visa and passport applications that is affecting millions around the world.
  • Curtin said of Cristian Maidana’s continuing recovery from a hamstring injury, “Fingers crossed, it’s very positive, he looked great today, he looked like the Chaco Maidana we saw for the good run that he was on.”
  • Curtin is pleased with Carlos Valdes’ fitness level after returning to the club from his extended post-World Cup break, although he believes the defender “has a whole nother level of fitness that he can get to — and he will, soon.”
  • Fabinho was due to have an MRI for a knee knock he picked up in training this week.
  • Dont expect Zach Pfeffer to start anytime soon: “Zach’s fighting to get in an 18, he’s not fighting to start. “

You can read a transcript and view video of the press conference here at PSP. More from the press conference at The Inquirer, Delco Times, MLSsoccer.com, and Soccerly.

MacMath said of the goalkeeper situation, “It’s kind of become a certainty of uncertainty, so I’ve kind of gotten used to not knowing what’s going to happen each week. But I’m preparing the same as I would if I was going to be the starter each and every week.”

New Bimbo sponsorship deal

Philadelphia Business Journal reported on Wednesday that the Union have signed a new five-year, $11 million deal to retain Bimbo as its shirt sponsor. Soon after, the Union announced the deal on the team website, as did MLSsoccer.com, although there was no information on the value of the new deal in either announcement.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald writes of the new sponsorship deal,

More importantly, the new deal is exclusively with the Union. Dave Rowan, the club’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer, told me that Bimbo opted to not extend its league-wide sponsorship package.

So while the amount of money on the table may at first seem like a decrease, in reality it is not. The $12 million in the old deal was split between the Union and MLS headquarters. Rowan wouldn’t tell me exactly what the old split was, but he did tell me that the approximately $2.3 million per year the Union will get now is “an increased investment on an annual basis.”

“The average amount of the deal is higher than it was in the first four years,” Rowan said, “and they committed an additional year on top of the investment being an increased amount.”

Unsurprisingly, fans who object to the Bimbo logo voiced concerns about the new deal on social media, with some wondering why the US-flag influenced Bimbo Bakeries USA corporate logo couldn’t be used instead. Bimbo Bakeries USA senior vice president Vince Melchiorre told Tannenwald, “There were never any discussions about [putting] anything but the Bimbo logo on the jersey. The Bimbo logo is the brand logo that we use on teams throughout the world. We’re going to stay consistent with that.”

Some fans also wondered why the logo of a Bimbo brand such as Stroehmann’s couldn’t be used instead of the Bimbo logo. Melchiorre said, “There were never any discussions about putting any of our brands other than Bimbo on the jersey. The Bimbo logo is really the important logo.”

US Open Cup tickets, more Union news

Buried deep in the Bimbo story at Philly.com is an update on how ticket sales are going for the US Open Cup final. Dave Rowan says about 8,000 tickets have been sold so far, mostly to non season ticket holders, including 480 reserved for Seattle’s traveling support. Rowan reminds season ticket holders that they have until Sunday to purchase tickets to be loaded onto their account if they want to sit in their regular seats.

Andre Blake has won SBI’s Save of the Week.

At the Union website, a post on how Valdes is settling back in with the team.

At The Athlete Story, Andrew Wenger writes about the importance of “playing to the tune of your instincts.”

Good news ahead of Sunday’s game! New San Jose Earthquakes’ DP signing Matías Pérez García is out four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

The school supply drive to benefit the City Team and Chester-Upland School District continues on Sunday at PPL Park. Collection bins for school supplies will be available at Toyota Plaza and the Sons of Ben tailgate before Sunday’s game. Click here for more information.

The Sons of Ben are adding two new spots on their governing board. If you’re interested in being considered to run for election, they’re accepting bios through the end of September. Bios and any questions should be sent to SoB president Kenny Hanson at kenny.hanson@sonsofben.com.

Local

Brotherly Game has created rankings of the top 100 soccer clubs in the US and Canada. The Union come in at No. 8, Harrisburg City Islanders at No. 33, Reading United at No. 44, and Ocean City Nor’easters at No. 67.

MLS

Sunday’s Union opponent, San Jose, came from behind to draw 1-1 on the road with Seattle on Wednesday night. LA bounced back from their 4-1 loss in Columbus over the weekend to defeat Colorado with a 4-3 comeback win on the road. The second Colorado goal was scored by Edson Buddle, making him the eighth MLS player to score 100 career goals. Landon Donovan scored the winning goal in the 80th minute, the 139th of his MLS career.

In CONCACAF Champions League play, DC defeated Waterhouse FC 1-0, while Montreal held off CD FAS in El Salvador to win 3-2. By the way, you can sign up for a free seven-day preview of Fox Soccer 2Go.

Jermaine Jones says reports that he has signed with MLS are not true. Goal.com reports, “Jones has agreed to a contract structure to join the Chicago Fire, but because MLS cannot guarantee that Jones will be allocated to the Fire, contract talks with MLS have hit an impasse, and no contract has been signed.” ESPN reports that New England is willing to pay more money for Jones than Chicago is but Jones doesn’t want to play there.

ASN’s Brian Sciaretta includes former Union man Jack McInerney on his list of 10 US players who deserve a USMNT callup. Sciaretta writes, “Sometimes it’s easy to forget about Jack McInerney because he has never really been on a good team.”

Columbus Crew will unveil their new logo and brand on Oct. 8.

Red Bulls commercial director Marc de Grandpre says the club is not for sale but it is embarking on a new philosophy. “I think over time we have tempered expectations — in MLS you can’t come in and buy championships because of the league’s structure. It’s a long-term build.”

MLS Atlanta owner Arthur Blank says more than 14,000 people have put down a $50 deposit for season tickets and has issued a challenge to fans to buy the 11,000 remaining. The team will take the field for the first time in 2017.

NWSL

With the NWSL postseason beginning this weekend, SI wonders if the league will be able to avoid the pitfalls at past attempts at establishing a women’s professional league in the US.

US

The US defeated Switzerland 4-1 in a friendly on Wednesday night, a scoreline that included three penalty kick goals, one for Switzerland, and two for the US. Click here for the postgame quote sheet.

The AP on the trend of European clubs opening academies in the US.

40 Comments

  1. 1.) I’m glad I bought an inaugural season Union jersey before they went out of stock. I hate, hate, hate that BIMBO logo on our jerseys.
    .
    2.) Typical Tannenwald making a Stroehmann argument. Anyways, I had no idea that Stroehmann was a BIMBO brand. I buy their bread all the time.
    .
    3.) How is that US Open Cup final not sold out yet? Great opponent, historic event, normal ticket prices… what’s missing here? Sadly, I can’t make it b/c of plans made prior to the announcement of the date. Seems like a great game to bring along a potential Union fan.

    • A Tuesday night in September at 7:30 will keep people away who are on the fence. Traffic is brutal, the possibility of extra time, a school night. It’s unfortunate but I’m just not sure they’ll get a full house for that night. I’ll be there, and hopefully I’m wrong!

    • It’s possible that other fans also made plans before the date was announced.

      • Or other fans’ bosses made plans for them. I’m hoping I can find a bar in Norfolk that gets GolTV.

      • Atomic spartan says:

        Wah wah wah… If traffic keeps people away, we don’t need em. Never complain, it’s a sign of weakness. Just come to the game. But Norfolk guy, I feel your pain.

      • Coming to the game!…FROM CHINA. Pretty excited

    • Given that it’s 3 weeks plus away, I’m thinking the 8,000 number will climb quite a bit. The window for season ticket holders to load their existing seats to season ticket cards hasn’t even closed yet. Hopefully, Sunday night’s game serves as a strong reminder to get moving and get tickets for the 16th.

      • The way I read it is the 8,000 sold is single ticket sales and doesn’t include the season ticket holder pre-sale figure. If true, then I’m assuming at least 8,000 season tix holders and assuming 6,000 of those seats will sell. So it may be closer to 14,000 sold already. I bet the Union have a sell-out for the Open Cup game.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        The 8000 number is total sales and includes single ticket sales and tickets purchased by STHs. The article states, “Rowan noted that a majority of the tickets sold so far have gone to non-season ticket holders.”

  2. No discussions? More BS! The question should be asked why wasn’t it discussed? Also does Union fo realize it’s unpopular and as usual, the fo is out of touch? The kit looks like crap!

    • It’s not as unpopular as you think. As Tannenwald points out in his article:

      “Both the Union and Bimbo have stressed repeatedly that the brand has has strong and positive name recognition throughout Latin America and the United States’ Hispanic community…” and “Bimbo’s recognition in the soccer sphere, as the Union are one of eight soccer teams in CONCACAF with the same logo on their shirts.

      Look, I’m not thrilled with the logo on the kit. Not because of the name, but because it clashes a little with the colors. That’s it. It’s a large, internationally known and respected company, headquartered within spitting distance of the stadium, recognized in the regional “soccer sphere” and they are giving up multi-millions over multiple years. I’m ok with their name the same way I’m ok with shopping at Dick’s and BJ’s – because I’m an adult who knows that some words have more than one meaning.

      • Heh heh… BJs

      • JJ – Sounds like you don’t have a teenage or middle school daughter who loves the Union and wants to wear their jerseys all the time. What seems irrational and senseless to you actually makes a lot of sense to some of us adults. Maybe be a little less dismissive of and patronizing to the people who object to the jersey logo. Thanks.

      • it is ironic that you are saying he is being patronizing when in fact it is you who is being patronizing and condescending

      • You bet.

      • I am a female, high school teacher and wear my Union jersey with the Bimbo on the front to school. I take it as an opportunity to educate. I have never been ashamed to wear my jersey, though I do have to agree, the colors clash with the rest of the jersey.

      • You bet.

  3. So everytime the Union have a game Saturday – Wednesday, their next game is Saturday against a team without a midweek game. Yet for San Jose, it’s Sunday after the Wednesday game. What gives?
    .
    I also have to ask about the math in last night’s USWNT game. 1 PK for Switzerland + 2 PK’s for US doesn’t quite add up to 4…

  4. No one loves having a shirt that says BIMBO on it, I think that’s clear. I imagine that few other global brands were lining up to spend a several million dollars a year for the shirt rights to a mid-table MLS franchise, though. On the list of things that I’d like to see made better for this team, though, this deal (an increase over the previous one, mind you) doesn’t even register; it surprises me how many people get worked up about it, though.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    I have a pre-Bimbo jersey. However, the logo doesn’t bother me so much. What bothers me more is that it doesn’t seem like the Union FO went after any other options for the sponsorship. There are quite a few on the list that might have worked: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_based_in_the_Philadelphia_area

    • What makes you think any of these companies on this Wikipedia list would be willing to shell out the $$ to sponsor an MLS team?

      Its not like there is a bunch of companies clamoring to sponsor MLS team. It took Colorado over 10 years to get a jersey sponsor. The Union were lucky to get one as soon as they did.

    • It’s silly to assume that the FO didn’t go after, or even receive offers from other sponsors. Like T-Bone said, how many on that list of yours were willing to spend multi-millions over multiple years for a spot on the kits? How many are recognized internationally, specifically by one of the sport’s most targeted demographics? Like it or not, it’s a smart deal for the Union for many, many reasons.

      • Lidos (who?) reportedly paid $2.8M x 5 yrs. to logo DC United. It’s about a pot to buy players. Ours didn’t grow. That’s just not good.

      • they are a defense contractor. at least our sponsor is a bakery and not a war profiteer

      • Ok. IBX? Subaru? Aramark? Vanguard? J&J? $3M/yr isn’t much of Subaru ‘ s annual ad spend. Whether these companies (& others) were approached or not is useful. Again we’re talking about net cash to buy better talent, which won’t get cheaper during this deal.

      • if there is one thing i know about this ownership group it is that they don’t like spending money and they do like receiving money. if they thought they could have gotten more money by asking one of those companies they definitely would have done it

    • Shoulda went with WAWA!

  6. I’m reeeeeeally hoping that the Crew re-branding will be something close to this but i’m not counting on it… http://mwillis.com/post/75161598280/identity-sketches-for-the-columbus-crew

  7. Now that we’ve re-upped with Bimbo, what are the chances of a Bimbo Cup with real Chivas, that club from Costa Rica and whatever other teams Bimbo sponsors in Central America?

  8. Isn’t it Bee-mbo anyway. Funny, I am.

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