Daily news roundups

Union friendly in Hburg, Le Toux approaching 50 & 50 milestone, concussion lawsuit, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Harrisburg City Islanders host the Union tonight in the clubs’ annual friendly. Previews from Harrisburg City IslandersPenn Live and Brotherly Game.

The Professional Referee Organization has released the referee assignments for the US Open Cup final. Carrying the whitle will be Armando Villarreal, with Peter Manikowski and Corey Parker as his linesmen and Jose Carlos Rivero as the fourth official.

At Soccerly, Kevin Kinkead looks at how Sebastien Le Toux, whose 11 goals and 5 assists in league play has largely gone unnoticed across the league, is quietly approaching the 50 goals and 50 assists mark, something only 15 other players have done in MLS history. Le Toux’s career total now stands at 45 goals and 42 assists.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin looks at the Maurice Edu-Amobi Okugo midfield partnership that was deployed for the first time in Sunday’s win over San Jose. Edu said, “I think we both have the natural ability to get forward, to be box-to-box players. I think we understand each other well. Obviously it’s a partnership that’s going to grow as we continue to get more games together. But as a starting point, I think it went well.”

Okugo said, “When he first came in, we naturally bonded. We’ve become very close. He’s been sort of like a big brother-type of guy to me, so when we get on the field during practice, we’re usually playing together. Whether it’s being partners for passing drills or juggling drills, we’re always pushing each other and keeping that competition lively. For us to finally play together, it was good.”

Okugo said of Sunday’s game, “I think we did pretty well putting out fires and keeping the ball moving. I feel like we can even raise it to another level.”

At MLSsoccer.com and CSN Philly, Zeitlin has more from Nick Sakiewicz on the construction of the new practice facility. Sakiewicz said, “We’ve had a pretty good month actually. Good games, good performances by our team, some great news on the sponsorship side, and the practice facility is finally underway. So it’s all good. We just have to keep the momentum going.”

Sakiewicz said the team also has plans to build “another structure that can house the team with more locker rooms.”

Following in the footseps of the big power rankings surge at MLSsoccer.com that saw the Union leap four spots to No. 7, ProSoccerTalk has the Union jumping four spots to No. 8. “The four-spot jump looks big, but that’s about more than the Union playing well. That’s Philly taking advantage of slips by Vancouver, Portland, and Toronto. Credit where credit’s due, though.”

Stoppage Time Soccer says the Union could be the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.

In his column this week, PSP’s Dan Walsh discussed the idea that Austin Berry, who has struggled mightily since joining the Union, might be an attractive trade proposition for a team like Colorado. Playing for 90 does the same in a standalone article.

Union Academy alum Zack Steffen makes ASN’s list of eighth college players who could make a big impact in the pros. “Zack Steffen is the US U-20 No. 1, he’s the best young goalkeeper in America, and will give plenty of top prospects around the globe a run for their money…For a nation that prides itself on quality in net, Steffen will likely carry on the tradition, and top dogs in Europe have already taken notice.”

Local

The Drexel men’s team has announced the addition of Greig Edwards as an assistant coach.

Penn Live has a preview of the Mid-Penn’s Keystone Division high school boys soccer season.

MLS

LA thumped DC 4-1 on Wednesday night. Landon Donovan scored from the penalty spot for his 141st goal and also recorded his 127th assist.

More on the Danny Mwanga loan to New York Cosmos. Colorado head coach Pablo Mastroeni said, “The only real growth is in games. Danny’s still a young player who’s had some success in the league, but he hasn’t had a lot of games as of late. And I think if we’re really going to push the envelope here, really make it competitive [and] a fight for every position, we have to start getting players in games.” An announcement on the Rapids website says, “The loan spell would be until the end of the NASL season, though the Rapids could recall Mwanga at any time up to the roster freeze on September 15.”

San Antonio Business Journal has more on the latest efforts in San Antonio to land an MLS franchise.

Sacramento is among those cities on the quest for an MLS franchise. Elk Grove, located nearby just south of Sacramento, isn’t giving up on its own MLS aspirations.

At Soccer Wire, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson says he isn’t concerned about the possibility of NASL teams leaving the league to join MLS. He then blathers on about promotion/relegation.

NWSL

Ahead of Sunday’s championship final between Seattle and Kansas City, the NWSL has announced the format for the 2015 season. Each team will play 20 games (down from 24 this eason) with a two week break for the Women’s World Cup. The announcement notes, “The Canada Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and United States Soccer Federation have all committed to allocate players for the 2015 NWSL season. While the three federations are planning on hosting extended training camps and events prior to the start of the World Cup, they have agreed to release their players to participate from the start of the 2015 season.”

The Women’s Premier Soccer League, the second division of women’s soccer in the US, will be going international in 2015 with the addition of the Club Tijuana women’s team, IsaMar FC.

US

Following in the footsteps of similar legal actions against the NFL, NHL, and NCAA, a lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco alleging that FIFA, as well as US Soccer, US Youth Soccer and American Youth Soccer Organization, have not done enough to prevent concussions among youth players. Forbes notes the plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages. “Instead, the plaintiffs are looking change the rules of the sport of soccer (including an alteration to FIFA’s substitution protocols) and to establish a medical monitoring program, while the attorneys on the case request their costs and attorneys’ fees to be covered by the named defendants. More on the story from Philly.comNew York TimesLA Times, Herald OnlineESPN, Soccer America, and The AP.

Huffington Post has a Q&A with Tim Howard, in case you were wondering, his favorite “Things Tim Howard Could Save” meme was the one of him catching Scooby Do. It is a good one.

Hugo Perez is out as the coach of the US U-15 BNT.

Elsewhere

Michel Platini has told delegates gathered in Monaco for the Champions League draw that he will not challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency and will instead run for another term as president of UEFA. ESPN has more on Platini’s “missed opportunity.”

Coverage of today’s Champions League draw begins at 11:30 am (Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, Fox Deportes, and UEFA.com). ESPN looks at how Platini’s plan to level the playing field between European footballs have and have nots in the tournament hasn’t panned out.

Citing “security reasons,” UEFA has postponed the European Championship qualifier Israel was scheduled to host against Belgium on Sept. 9 until March of 2015.

The Guardian has more on the movement to stop the 2015 Women’s World Cup from being played on artificial turf.

It seems to be international retirement week. You will recall that earlier this week, Frank Lampard announced his retirement from international play with England. On Wednesday, Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from Spain and Samuel Eto’o retired from Cameroon.

2 Comments

  1. I guess it’s hoping for too much at this point that Steffen would sign a Home Grown contract with the Union, seeing as he’s getting some serious interest overseas. Always good to see a U.S. prospect being so highly valued, just a shame from the U’s standpoint that he’s right from their own backyard and they wouldn’t get anything at all for him if he were to head straight overseas from college.

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