Daily news roundups

San Jose on Sunday, more Union news, Harrisburg continues playoff hunt, new ASL begins play, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

REMINDER: If you are a Union season ticket holder and plan to attend the US Open Cup final against Seattle on Sept. 16, you have until Sunday to purchase discounted tickets that will be loaded onto your season ticket card and so guarantee that you will sit where you usually do for Union games. After that, all season ticket holders seats will be up for grabs to the general public and there will be no guarantee that you can sit in your usual seats.

Philadelphia Union

The Union host San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday night (8 pm: CSN, Univision Deportes, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV). Get used to hearing this: it’s a must-win game.

“They’re a dangerous team, they are very dangerous,” Jim Curtin said. “On our home field, though, it’s about us. We can talk about San Jose all we want but we know we have seven of ten here down the stretch, so we will only be able to look at ourselves in the mirror at the end of the year and say we’re a playoff team or not, and it’ll be our fault if we don’t make it, and it’ll be because we played well that we do make it.”

Previews from PSP and David Murphy’s Union Blog,

In a look at the Union’s goalkeeping situation following the Rais Mbolhi signing and subsequent delay in his being with the club at CSN Philly, as well as his expected upcoming absences for African Cup of Nations qualifiers, Zac MacMath says, “Regardless of if he’s here or not, I’m putting in the work that I need to put in. Some guys get injuries or whatever it may be. Whether they’re here on the field, not on the field, we’re a team and we’re all trying to go for the same goal.”

More on the goalkeeping situation at Delco Times and The Inquirer.

Carlos Valdes says of his post World Cup fitness, “We had a couple weeks off after the World Cup, and starting over isn’t that easy. I am trying to do my best.” He added, “I missed my time here, and I love playing here in front of the home crowd.”

MLSsoccer.com and Delco Times have pieces on Pedro Ribeiro’s MLS debut.

Ribeiro said speed of play was the biggest challenge in his debut, “It’s just a lot quicker. You’ve got to know what you’re going to do before you get the ball. You’ve got to be more physical. The guys are a lot bigger, and they know how to use their bodies better. That’s the main difference.”

Ribeiro said of his versatility, “In games, I’ve had to play in a holding mid role, up top, out on the wing, so I don’t mind. I just want to get on the field. That’s my main thing.”

In the wake of the renewal of the Bimbo shirt sponsorship deal, Zolo Talk on why “the sexist claims” of some Union fans who object to the company name “are a load of shit.” The brief review of other shirt sponsors around the league demonstrates there’s something to object to with all of them.

Ray Gaddis will be participating in an Ask Me Anything session today at noon on Reddit.

Brotherly Game has the good, the bad, and the ugly from last Friday’s loss in Houston.

Power rankings: At ProSoccerTalk, the Union drop one spot to No. 12.


Harrisburg City Islanders will look to bounce back from last weekend’s loss in Orlando and continue their playoff hunt on the road on Saturday against Rochester Rhinos. Head coach Bill Becher told Penn Live, “We’re sitting in fifth place and we control our destiny at this point…We’re gonna push as hard as we can to get as high as we can. If fifth place is as high as we can get, then that’s where we’ll go. We want to finish on a roll here and get to the best spot we can get.”

Becher said of Rochester, “They’re in a pretty desperate spot with only three games remaining and they’ve got to get points. We do, too. That’s why we’ve got to look at it as a desperate game for us. They’re good, just like everyone in this league is.”

The new ASL begins play this weekend. Locally, AC Crusaders will host Philadelphia Fury on Saturday at 7 pm at Egg Harbor Township High School. Next Saturday, the Fury will have their home opener at Washington Township High School in New Jersey against Icon.

The Fury have signed midfielder Nick Kolarac, who recently graduated from Saint Francis University.

Soccerly has more on the new professional league ahead of its debut, which seeks to gain sanctioning as the third division of the US soccer pyramid, despite the fact that USL PRO already enjoys such recognition. At present, the ASL is sanctioned by the US Adult Soccer Association.

Burlington County Times has a rather inspiring story about Jade DiSanti, a 13-year-old player who had much of her left leg amputated after complications during surgery to repair damage from an ACL injury she suffered in a U-14 game in May. A benefit game is being planned for Sept. 27 at Delran High School that will feature alumni from the Delran and Riverside high schools, as well as two other games, including one featuring DiSanti’s team. Donations can also be made here.


Vancouver have acquired midfielder Mauro Rosales from Chivas USA in exchange for Nigel Reo-Cooker.

Jermaine Jones update: Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop said on Thursday, “Three weeks ago we identified the player, got to a good place with him and he’s excited to come and obviously we want to follow that through now and get him here. So we’re hoping that everything goes through and that he will be joining us pretty soon.”

You will recall that earlier this week that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke denied reports that he was stepping down, saying, “It’s not true. One-hundred per cent not true. I’m fully committed to the season at hand.” Well, turns out the reports and Leiweke were both correct because on Thursday, MLSE announced that Leiweke would be leaving the company — owners of Toronto FC, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Toronto Raptors– “by June 30, 2015 or until a successor is found.”

Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said of the news, “This was always sort of the plan for Tim. We knew it wasn’t going to be a long-term thing. I guess it was more of a surprise to the public in terms of the timing of when it was announced and how it was announced. We knew that he was here to shake things up and get people to think big and I think that’s what he’s done. His legacy will endure.”

Soccer America looks at five of Leiweke’s biggest moves.

MLS and KickTV have announced they will partner with The Whistle Sports Network “to collaborate on and distribute content via the MCN’s Xbox app.”

MLSsoccer.com looks at Austin’s aspirations to land a MLS franchise.


Kansas City will host Portland in Saturday’s championship semifinal (1 pm: ESPN2, Watch ESPN). The victor will face the winner of Sunday’s semi between Seattle and Washington (11 pm: ESPN2, Watch ESPN).


Tim Howard has requested a break from international soccer and will not be considered for US national team selection until September of 2015.

Howard explained in a Q&A on the US Soccer website, “Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time.”

To be clear, Howard is taking a break only from international soccer and will continue with Everton. So, as ProSoccerTalk and Goal.com say, hold off on comparison’s to Landon Donovan’s sabbatical.


Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer games on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week. There are a lot of them.

The Guardian reports, “Mario Balotelli is poised to make a remarkable return to English football providing he agrees a Liverpool contract with several stringent clauses regarding his behaviour.” I imagine the “no biting” clause must be pretty standard in Liverpool contracts at this point.

Also at the Guardian, David Conn has more on the Glazers and Manchester United’s struggles.


  1. that zolotalk article about sponsors was pretty good

    • Former Season Ticket Holders says:

      It is not sexist. Just stupid. Our teenage girls not only won’t wear jerseys, but won’t root for the team. And they were massive U fans earlier, and are still massive soccer fans. And it is BECAUSE of the Bimbo jerseys.

      Way to tell half your prospective fans that they matter less than marginal sponsorship bucks.

      • i’m not looking to argue about this but i just don’t see the word bimbo as a slur that is used in the common parlance. when i see that word i think of the food corporation and i don’t think of what seems to me like outdated slang.

      • 1. Common parlance, maybe not but common knowledge absolutely.
        2. Unless you’re from Central America or the Southwest US or you work for the company, I don’t believe for a second that your first thought when seeing the word Bimbo is of the food corp.
        3. The fact that it may be outdated, which is debatable, doesn’t change the meaning. The word harlot is even more outdated but I still wouldn’t want to own a jersey with that emblazoned across it and I certainly wouldn’t want any female family members wearing one. Would you?

        I firmly agree the money was too good to pass up. I just think it’s unfortunate and won’t spend the money on gear that I would with another logo.

      • i don’t know what to tell you; when i see the word bimbo i think of the food corporation. a lot the convenience stores in my home town carried their baked goods. i know that it was used as a slur as well but i think i have heard the word harlot used more often than i have heard people actually call someone a bimbo

  2. I don’t think anyone said the Bimbo name was sexist. Aside from people like me who hate jersey sponsorship. Most of the people who had a problem with Bimbo didn’t want to wear it because of the connotation. So it wasn’t the fact that that the Bimbo name was sexist it was the fact that Bimbo is a magnet for the sexism of others And who the fuck wants to deal with that any more than they already have to?
    So to the anonymous bro who just said “It’s no big deal.” And “Deal with it.” maybe I should dust off my plans to start the IMPOTENTe’ corporation in hopes of making an obscene amounts of money and becoming a jersey sponsor. We’ll see how comfortable dudes are with wearing that.

  3. People around here have called Wenger-for-McInerney the worst trade in MLS history. Chivas TBD may have just outdone it.

  4. I don’t blame the Union for taking the Bimbo money. I agree that no other company was prepared to pay that much to sponsor them. Overpay, if you ask me. However, the Zolo Talk article misses the point. Again, I don’t fault the Union but I would own a lot more Union gear if I didn’t mean having Bimbo across my stomach. I’m just not wearing that logo and I won’t allow my daughter to either. The article implies that some Union fans are objecting to the company intself. I have never heard of anyone having an issue with the quality or history of the Bimbo coporation. I’m sure it’s a fine establishment and a great place to work. But the fact is that word is not something some of us want to wear and while those that keep bitching about it are wrong to spew such vitriol at the team, Zolo Talk is also wrong for their ridiculous comparisons. I think the author just wanted to be able to say a group he disagrees with was full of shit. Didn’t they learn at an early age that saying “everybody else is doing it too” is no excuse?

    • What should bother all fans who want a winning program is that the Union jersey is not more marketable today (& for the next 5 years) than it was 5 years ago. That is a commentary on the last 5 years (no surprise to this audience), and on the next 5. Logos are here to stay, so get the most money you can to spend on talent. MLS is growing. In a market this size, this organization can’t move the needle. That’s going to hurt.

      • Please explain what you mean by “marketable” in this context, and “move the needle.” I’m not a business person. I don’t understand your comment. I know the new deal means more $ to the U than the last deal. They got a raise, even though they did not deserve one. Is that what you mean?

      • I think what Phil is saying is that as a given team progresses they hope to move more product (gear, etc.)in their given market. Certainly over 5 years. His thought is that the Union will miss out exponentially on those sales because of the logo. The needle won’t move in terms of their profitable sales of Union paraphernalia within the Philadelphia market.

      • Yes (why buy another LeToux jersey?), plus the annual payments are not themselves greater in the new deal. As the price of top talent goes up, this money will buy less. Who else might pay? I don’t know, but, for example, Subaru’s US HQ is local. All car makers have big ad budgets. Car makers sponsor jerseys (GM/Chevrolet, VW, Kia). It doesn’t have to be local – Red Bull’s HQ is outside LA. When you re-up at the same price, there likely was no other bidder. To me that means the organization hasn’t convinced potential sponsors to get so much exposure a jersey offers.

      • I see your point, but I still think the Union are lucky to have this kind of a deal. It’s a lot of money based on the quality of the team and the league they play in.

  5. Jersey sponsors are stupid. They look dumb, and nobody wants to be a walking billboard. Whether it’s Bimbo or Samsung, I am against it. I realize that in the world of soccer it is widely accepted and is almost a necessity, but I wish that there were some other way for teams to get those funds without changing a historical or sharp-looking uni into a billboard.

    • Socialist Sympathizer says:


    • OneManWolfpack says:

      People want the league to grow and have more money to spend on players, etc… but they lose their mind over a shirt sponsor?!? I don’t get this at all

      • John O'Donnell says:

        It’s quite simple math really, I bitch about it because I like to spend other people’s money. The best post are the ones that suggest the team can just go and get a better deal from another local company. Sak must be sitting in his office with Bimbo making the deal, as xfinity, Wawa and Yuengling are stuck in the reception area never getting a chance to make a pitch.

  6. I honestly don’t get all the heartache over having Bimbo on our jerseys. Does anyone even use that word in converation any more? It’s better incorporated into the jersey than it once was too (not perfect, but better). Bimbo has a history of sponsoring some pretty famous soccer teams, and have surely offered the best deal available to the Union. I have no issue wearing Bimbo on Union gear, nor would I have issues with anyone in my family wearing it. That whole line of discussion just feels tired now.

    • If it doesn’t affect me it must not be a problem.
      The fact is I have known people who have mentioned how they disliked the use of bimbo on the Unions jerseys. And they inevitably are in that most coveted mystic unicorn kind of fan… The casual fan.

  7. old soccer coach says:

    The controversy illustrated above reminds me of a phenomenon many may not recall several decades ago. The energy company now called Exxon was re-branding itself from whatever it had been before it adopted Exxon. I spent quite a bit of money and time making sure that all the various candidates were not offensive in any of the markets around the world in which it did business, which was virtually all of them. They came up with the made-up term Exxon as the best candidate. Or, Nissan motors was known in this country for years as Datsun, to avoid the association between Nissan and Nippon, Japan’s name for itself. Brand names do make a difference, negatively and positively.

  8. Thanks for all the great info Ed. I love the passion on the shirt sponsor topic. I have a Bimbo jersey and will buy another at some point. My wife buys gear that doesn’t have the logo on it. I agree that my collection would be bigger if the logo were different. But not a lot…

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