Daily news roundups

Recaps & reaction to NYRB draw, USOC final to be broadcast on TCN, Hopp goal powers Hburg playoff win, much more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Breaking News: Tuesday’s US Open Cup final will be broadcast locally on The Comcast Network. 

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin praised his team’s spirit after they came from behind to draw 2-2 with New York on a rainy Saturday. “Our guys could’ve laid down and quit but they don’t — they respond and get a quick goal back and push the second half in a way that felt like a playoff game.”

Curtin said of Ribeiro, “He rises to the occasion every time. He’s a soccer player, man, the kid is — he’s solid. He’s got great feet. Great teammate, always a smile on his face, loves coming to work. I can’t say enough about him. He’s going to be a part of this organization for long time.”

New York’s Ibrahim Sekagya said of the foul that led to the PK call, “I didn’t touch him.”

Recaps and reports from PSP, here at PSP.

Our photo essay of the game will be up later this morning. In the meanwhile, here are photo galleries from Sideline PhotosDelco Times, and USA Today.

Brotherly Game looks at game changing moments from the game.

Naughty words were said. Naughty words were said back. The horror.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle says that Curtin has deserving of the taking the head coach job permanently. It’s a good read, particularly for comments from some of Curtin’s former coaches in college and in MLS that, along with Dave Zeitlin’s CSN Philly article from last week, helps give some insight into his personality and character. Nick Sakiewicz says in the ESPN article of the search for a new head coach,

It’s a big decision for our club. We’ve had five really good seasons off the field, and a couple of pretty good ones on the field. I want to get the next five years, the next decade right, because MLS I believe is going to be a much more dynamic place in the next decade than it has in the last decade. We need to absolutely get it right when it comes to the top soccer man who is going to be leading our on-field efforts.

In a piece at Goal.com, several Union players also give some insight into Curtin:

  • Zac MacMath: “He’s a player’s coach. He can relate to us. Having that communication with guys as a former player is big and he’s really used that to his advantage. Coach Curtin and Coach (Mike) Sorber have also emphasized that mistakes will happen, but if we continue to work hard we’ll cut down the mistakes and we’ve been able to do that.”
  • Ray Gaddis: “He has an understanding of the players. Whether it’s physically maintaining us, or teaching us things because he’s played at the highest level. He’s seen it, and he’s played with some of the best. He played on a great team in Chicago and I think that’s paid a lot of dividends. He has the guys’ respect. He’s a no-nonsense guy, but he’s fair at the same time and that pushes us to raise the bar.”
  • Andrew Wenger: “He has a calming presence, organizes us and lays out what’s expected and what we’re trying to do. The results show. He’s been very good for us.”

With Saturday’s draw, the Union drop one spot to No. 7 in ESPN’s power rankings.

By the way, today is roster freeze deadline day. The freeze kicks in at 5 pm EST.

US Open Cup

After Saturday’s draw, Jim Curtin said of Tuesday’s Open Cup final,

I’m from the city. As a player I won that trophy two times and lost it once and I don’t want that losing feeling. As a coach it’s different. I don’t want to let the city down so it’s different. It’s something that is a special feeling. The toughest thing for a club too is to get your first trophy. Once you get your first one there’s confidence. When people talk about the Philadelphia Union, they say they are champions. That changes things. Even us just playing in a final you can tell there is a buzz about this team now. Publicly in the media, when they say over and over again “Seattle vs. Philadelphia,” these are positive things to be mentioned in the same breath with Seattle this past several months is a good thing, they’re the best team in the league right now. I’m not going to sit up here and tell you they’re not. They’re flying on all cylinders. But, we respect them, we don’t fear them. We don’t fear anybody. My group is not scared. So, we will be ready to go on Tuesday, we’re excited for it.

Curtin’s lineup for Saturday’s draw against New York was drawn up with resting players for Tuesday’s US Open Cup final in mind. Delco Times, CSN Philly, and the Daily News have more on Curtin’s lineup calculations. A theme throughout from both Curtin and the players is that the team demonstrated its depth by getting a result against New York and that that depth will be vital as the Union continue their run to reach the playoffs.

Clint Dempsey said of the Union ahead of Tuesday’s Open Cup final, “They are a team that is really athletic, and they gave us a tough game at home. This will be a difficult game for us, and we must make sure we are prepared.”

At US Soccer, an article on Seattle’s desire to win their fourth US Open Cup. Also, a video preview of Tuesday’s game:

At the Union YouTube channel, Kerith Gabriel follows up his video piece on Bethlehem Steel with another on four-time US Open cup winner Ukrainian Nationals in which he talks to former players George Litynskij and National Soccer Hall of Famer Alex Ely. It’s good stuff and I, for one, am proud that my local professional team continues to value the region’s rich soccer history.

At the Union website, ten reasons why you should go to the US Open Cup final on Tuesday. You know, just in case you’ve spent the past couple of months living under a rock and sniffing glue.

Playing for 90 on what winning the Cup would mean.

Union Academy

The Union U-17-18s came from behind to draw 1-1 with PDA thanks to a 44th minute goal from Brandon Levano. As of this writing, the results from the U-13/14’s and U15/16 team’s games against their PDA counterparts haven’t been posted on the US Development Academy site and the Academy Twitter account has posted nothing since Sept. 10 so perhaps the games were postponed because of Saturday’s weather.


Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot’s 40th minute goal was all Harrisburg needed to end Orlando City’s final USL PRO season in the playoff quarterfinals. Top seed Orlando had won two of the last three USL PRO championships and were undefeated at home in the regular season with a 13-0-1 record, 19-4-5 overall.

City Islanders head coach Bill Becher said of Hoppenot’s tally, “It was a great goal. It was a good run by Jamiel and a good ball through. Antoine made a special run in behind. That goal was big for us.”

The City Islanders now face Richmond Kickers in the semifinals on the road on Saturday at 7 pm. More from Penn Live, USL PRO, Orlando City, Orlando Sentinel, MLSsoccer.comO-Town’s 11, and Sunshine Soccer News.

La Salle and Temple drew 2-2 in Saturday’s Philly Soccer Six matchup. Also on Saturday, Drexel and St. Joseph’s played to a scoreless draw.

Look for University of Delaware to further improve their national ranking after their 2-1 win over St. Peter’s on Sunday. The team is now 6-0-0, matching the best start in program history, which came in 1970.


In Eastern Conference play, first place DC (47 points) had the weekend off. Second place Kansas City (45 points) thrashed Chivas USA 4-0 on the road. Third place New England (42 points) topped last place Montreal (21 points), 2-1, for their fifth-straight win after coming from behind for the third-straight game. Fourth place New York (38 points) drew 2-2 with sixth place Philadelphia (37 points). Fifth place Columbus (37 points) drew 2-2 on the road with eighth place Houston (32 points). Seventh place Toronto (34 points) drew 1-1 with ninth place Chicago (30 points) after Gilberto’s last gasp goal was controversially disallowed.

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (54 points) defeated third place Salt Lake (46 points) 3-2 to become the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Second place LA (51 points) drew 1-1 on the road with eighth place San Jose (28 points). Fourth place Dallas (45 points) defeated fifth place Vancouver (37 points), 2-1. Sixth place Portland (36 points) drew 2-2 on the road with seventh place Colorado (31 points).

At SI, Brian Straus reports that while the sale of Chivas USA to a new investment group could be approved by the the league as early as the Oct. 6 meeting of the league’s board of governors, “Five sources either affiliated with current MLS clubs or who have knowledge of the Chivas sale process” tell him that the new franchise may sit out the 2015 and even the 2016 seasons as it rebuilds. Straus writes,

To maximize that long-term potential, a new owner’s most prudent strategy might be to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Selecting the right name and logo, hiring a front-office staff, establishing a club culture and finding a place to play while finalizing plans for a new soccer-specific stadium will take time (keeping the team in L.A. and building an arena are conditions for the sale). Most recent MLS expansion franchises enjoyed a two-year runway before liftoff.

Straus says that with NYC FC and Orlando City joining the Eastern Conference in 2015, “Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo, which have combined to win the past three Eastern Conference titles, could shift to the West.”

Don Garber tells SI that he want MLS to be the first professional league to test the use of video replays, a project you will recall from last Tuesday’s roundup that has been endorsed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Garber told Grant Wahl,

I would love to be able to do that. [MLS deputy commissioner] Mark Abbott was out in Zurich at a meeting last week [at FIFA headquarters] and let folks in Zurich know that we’d be happy to work with them to be that league. I don’t know what their plans are to experiment with that, but I believe the time has come for there to be a mechanism so that games are not determined by [referee calls] that are not right.

Dead man walking Tim Leiweke — president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owners of Toronto FC , who recently announced he is leaving the company — says he doesn’t think that Jermaine Defoe, who has been back in England nursing a groin injury, will return to the club. Speaking to a group of students on Thursday, Leiweke said, “I personally don’t think Defoe will come back. I think if he doesn’t want to be here, you get rid of him…My attitude if you want to be here and you want to buy into what we’re doing, let’s go…Roll up your sleeves and we’ll fight together. And I will be there with you every day…If you don’t want to be here, get the hell out of our way.” Leiweke also said he

Montreal Impact have signed 19-year-old midfielder Louis Béland-Goyette to a homegrown contract, the eighth in team history.

Former Union midfielder Andrew Jacobson, on loan from NYCFC to Bob Bradley’s Stabæk in Norway, scored the game-winning goal in the 3-2 victory over IK Start on Sunday, his first goal for the team.

At MLSsoccer.com, a profile piece on former Union man Chandler Hoffman, who has been tearing it up with USL PRO side LA Galaxy II.

Soccer America has a Q&A with Atlanta Falcons chief marketing and revenue officer Jim Smith about the hiring of Tottenham executive Darren Eales and other matters related to the launch of the new Atlanta MLS franchise. Before joining the Falcons in 2004, Smith was president/general manager of Columbus Crew.

They’re feeling positive in Sacramento about their chances of landing a franchise ahead of this week’s visit by MLS officials. In Las Vegas, soccer boosters are scrambling to grow local support for that city’s plans to build a publicly funded $200 million soccer stadium ahead of a city council vote on Oct. 1.


The USWNT demolished Mexico 8-0 in a friendly on Saturday in Sandy, Utah. Hope Solo earned a record 72nd career clean sheet with the result. The US and Mexico meet again on Thursday at 7 pm in Rochester (ESPN2 and Watch ESPN). Highlights and a photo gallery are but a click away. More on the game at ASN, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, and Goal.com.

Gus Johnson is stepping down as the lead announcer of Fox Sports’ soccer coverage. Johnson says his commitments to cover college football and basketball, as well as his desire to spend more time with his family following the recent death of his mother, influenced his decision.

Barack Obama sent the Belgian embassy a case of beer over the weekend to fulfill a bet that was made before the USA-Belgium World Cup game.


The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that FIFA executive committee members were given $25,000 commemorative watches by the Brazilian Football Confederation at the World Cup. Only US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, and Moya Dodd of Australia refused the gifts and reported the incident to the organization’s ethics committee even though everyone else on the executive committee, including FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, accepted their gift. (FIFA members are forbidden from accepting gifts of more than symbolic value.) FIFA said in a statement after the Sunday Times report that the ethics committee “is dealing with the matter.”

Canadian women’s national team player Kaylyn Kyle has agreed to a three-year endorsement deal with artificial turf manufacturer FieldTurf. In view of the ongoing efforts to force FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association to bring in natural grass surfaces for the 2015 Women’s World Cup to replace the artificial surfaces that will be used throughout the entire tournament, Kyle is was soon being accused of putting her own financial gain over the safety of her fellow women players, including reference to a since deleted tweet from 2013 that included a picture of her scraped up legs after on turf that was captioned, presumably ironically, “I love turf.” Since then, video has emerged from 2012 in which she says she really does prefer playing on turf rather than natural grass.


  1. Petke is a joke, I wonder what happened to him that day to make his so miserable.
    Fired up about the game tomorrow, can’t wait to go to my first final. Is anyone else worried that they keep sending out emails to buy tickets and such? Does this mean the crowd won’t be full tomorrow? Great news about it being broadcast btw.
    Why does FIFA even bother at this point?

  2. Despite what everyone says about the Western conference being stronger, the Union’s record would have them in 5th place in the West rather than 6th in the East.
    In the piece about going to the Open Cup tomorrow, they mentioned M’Boli and Edu as World Cup veterans. Did they forget Valdes?
    Also, they mentioned fireworks. Anyone know if those are planned for before or after the game?

  3. KC and Houston going to the west and Chivas potentially sitting out altogether *proof* that the MLS does have promotion/relegation.

  4. After the second NY goal, Luyindula looked like he wanted to go into the stands after someone — the ref had to direct him back to the center circle a couple times. Any idea what was said, or what he thought he heard?

  5. it seems soccer has been rescued from itself. thank you powers that be for letting me watch on TV.


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