Daily news roundups

New MLS logo, Union focus now on reaching playoffs, Sak quashes Moyes rumors, more

New MLS logo-Union logo comboThe league unveiled its new logo on Thursday, one that is intended to be personalized according to the colors of each club. “This is not a replacement for the club brand; instead the new league brand compliments and allows the club to be the real hero. We want to reinforce the ethos of the new brand, which encourages clubs to ‘own’ and adapt the crest to match the colors they and their fans associate with and support. (To the left you can see the new the league logo (left) and the logo in Union colors.) The announcement on the league website also says, “The new MLS brand will begin to appear in 2015-related programs and products this fall, and will be fully launched at the MLS Combine and SuperDraft in January 2015.”

A press conference on the new logo will be streamed on the league website today at 11:15 am.

MLS chief marketing officer Howard Handler talks to SI about the new logo, which he describes as “aspirational.”

Check out the hashtag #ExplainTheMLSLogo on Twitter for some pretty funny responses to the new logo.

Philadelphia Union

In an open letter, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz praised the fans who created an outstanding atmosphere at PPL Park in the US Open Cup final, adding, “I hope you’re thirsty, because last night’s final was just a taste of what’s to come for this club as we will continue to battle for League supremacy both on the field and off. The first step will be putting last night’s loss in the rear view mirror and focusing on the immediate task at hand: making the MLS playoffs.”

That first step was recognized by Union players even as they dealt with the heartbreak of losing the final:

  • Sebastien Le Toux: “We have to move on. It will be up to us to kind of pick our heads up and be ready for Houston because we’re in a playoff race and we want to be in the playoffs. It’s an objective for this team and we are six games away from that.”
  • Zac MacMath: Seattle’s been great all year long and we were toe-to-toe with them and probably deserved to beat them in the first 90. It just goes to show this team has a lot going for it, and hopefully we can turn this into a positive and take this into our playoff race.
  • Pedro Ribeiro: “Of course it hurts. It’s got to hurt. But we’ve got to keep moving forward to MLS because we know we’ve got to win a few games to get into the playoffs and have a good run. We can’t let this affect us. We have to think about it, but we’ve got to get over it and move forward from it.”

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel on how, despite losing, the Union made a statement in Tuesday night’s US Open Cup final loss to Seattle.

Nick Sakiewicz said after the loss,

It’s a big step for us to get to our first final. It wasn’t an easy road. There were some tough games along the way, and I’m proud of the team and the organization. Despite the result, I think the guys fought hard. We were the better team in some respects, in others not. But we stood toe-to-toe with Seattle…

It’s one step at a time. When your organization is only five years old, there’s a lot of steps to building a great organization. We’ve had a lot of them, whether it’s the playoffs in 2011 or the All-Start Game in 2012 or many of the other great league games we’ve had here…

It all stacks up. It shows how competitive we are, how ambitious we are as a club trying to make a championship run, it’s all important. That’s what being a successful soccer club is all about.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin says losing the cup final shouldn’t hurt Curtin’s chances at securing the head coaching job permanently.

Curtin has nothing to apologize for. Since taking over, he’s pushed almost all of the right buttons to get an already-talented team to click. He’s said all of the right things to the media, with his admission that he felt a huge burden to win a title for his home city the latest example. And, as a Philly native who grew up cheering for the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and 76ers, he’s the best person to bridge the divide between the casual Philly sports fan and the diehard Union supporters and create a better soccer culture in his home city.

Zeitlin quotes Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid: “Jim Curtin’s done a great job here with the Philly Union. I don’t know if I’m his agent, but he deserves a shot at this thing.”

Nick Sakiewicz said loss changes nothing in terms of Curtin prospects of having the interim tag removed, “Nothing changes with Jim. He’s been in the club for a long while, and he’ll continue to be a part of the club for quite a while. He’s been leading the team in the locker room and in practice, and for me, nothing changes. He’s our man.”

More on the head coaching job speculation at SBI.

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George says Zac MacMath rewarded Curtin’s faith in him with his performance on Tuesday.

More on the game from Kevin Kinkead at Soccerly, and Graham Parker at The GuardianAt ESPN, Parker on why the US Open Cup matters, despite the lack of hype. Additional match reports at Examiner (1), Examiner (2),

SBI on how the Dempsey-Martins partnership was the difference in securing victory for Seattle in Tuesday’s US Open Cup final. Soccerly has a collection of video of postgame reaction from Seattle’s Sigi Schmid, Clint Dempsey, and DeAndre Yedlin.

Sounder historian Frank MacDonald on how to make the Open Cup even better.

Nick Sakiewicz has dismissed rumors linking David Moyes to the head coaching job. “David Moyes is a friend and colleague of a number of us within our club and he was visiting our youth academy and club setup on his way to another location in the US. We played Everton FC in 2011 at PPL Park and since then we’ve had a friendship with David. He is an outstanding individual and we are honored to know him and have an ongoing relationship.” You will recall that Moyes was first sighted at PPL Park when the Union played the Red Bulls last Saturday (he also visited the Red Bulls training session at the north Jersey training facility on Friday) and was also at Tuesday’s US Open Cup final.

Brotherly Game looks at the current playoff picture.

Michael Lahoud’s Sierra Leone national team coach has been fired.

The Army-Navy men’s soccer game will continue to be played at PPL Park through 2017.

Local

At the USL PRO website, a profile on the Harrisburg City Islanders ahead of Saturday’s semifinal game in Richmond. USL PRO announced on Wednesday the addition of Charlotte Independence to the league. With the Independence 2015 debut, Charlotte Eagles moves down to the PDL. The hopes in Charlotte are that the Independence will eventually join MLS.

The Inquirer has a good read on new Camden Catholic head coach Larry Sullivan, the person Jim Curtin recently described as the most influential coach in his career, and Chris Albright’s uncle. A Vietnam War vet, Sullivan says, “I’ve always said a soccer game is nothing but two squads of infantry platoons. In soccer and war, you’re trying to move in a certain situation. Of course, war is brutal. But it’s the same mechanics; it’s the same engineering. It’s that same spirit, that same psychology: men moving together, working as one.”

Temple fell 1-0 in overtime on the road to Fordham on Wednesday.

Brotherly Game has a report on Philadelphia Fury’s 3-0 win on Saturday over AC Crusaders.

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Montreal defeated New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Wednesday. Jack McInerney got 8 minutes at the end of the game. Tonight, Kansas City hosts Saprissa (8 pm: Fox Sports 1, Univision Deportes).

New Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney has officially announced his coaching staff.

The Seattle Times has some interesting excerpts from a conversation with PRO head Peter Walton about the physicality of MLS, the use of technology to assist in officiating games, and changing the negative perceptions of the quality of officiating.

Marcelo Claure, David Beckham’s business partner in the effort to build a downtown soccer stadium in Miami in order to secure a MLS franchise, said in an interview on Univision’s Despierta America morning show on Wednesday, “We have a new project which is the purchase of a soccer team for Miami. We are partners with David Beckham and even with all the problems that we’ve had with Miami politics when it comes to stadiums, I believe that we are in the final stages of making some important announcements, because it’s a very important goal for me that Miami has a soccer team.” He added, “It can’t be that the most Latin city in this country doesn’t have a soccer team. My job is to make sure to change this.”

Sacramento Republic announced on Wednesday that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase land that will be used for a new soccer specific stadium that it is hoped will be the clincher for a move from USL PRO to MLS. Click here to see renderings of what the new stadium might look like. (The project to bring new life site’s Sacramento Railyards location — described as “urban infill” — is apparently partially inspired by the successful revitalization of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.)  More on the story from Sacramento Bee.

NASL commissioner Bill Peterson remains bullish on expansion. In response to concerns that quality will suffer with expansion, Peterson said, “Our core belief is that this is a global market. We are limited by U.S. Soccer as to how many foreign players we can have but there’s a world of really good players out there who can be had for a fair price.”

US

Following the victory over the Czech Republic, the US moved up one spot in the FIFA rankings to No. 17. Mexico also moved up one spot to No. 16.

The USWNT hosts Mexico in the last of two friendlies tonight in Rochester (7 pm: ESPN2 and WatchESPN).

Soccer America and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle note the friendly will be played on artificial turf, something a number of USWNT players are working to prevent happening at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports, “Roma and CSKA Moscow should discover on Thursday afternoon if UEFA will open disciplinary procedures against either club following the crowd trouble at their Champions League group game.” The report describes, “After 70 minutes of Wednesday evening’s game at the Stadio Olimpico CSKA fans let off flares and threw them at their rival section. These were subsequently returned by Roma fans, and the Russian supporters then tried to attack them and fought with stewards and riot police. Outside the ground further violence ensued with it being reported that at least two CSKA supporters were hospitalized.” More from Soccerly. By the way, Roma won, 5-1.

Reuters reports, “FIFA executive committee members are among more than 50 football officials who have been told to return watches, worth an estimated $25,000 each, which were handed out as gifts by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) during the World Cup. FIFA’s ethics committee said in a statement that the gifts breached the organisation’s code of ethics and should not have been accepted. However, it said it would not instigate proceedings against officials who return the watches by Oct. 24.”

Mario Balotelli, dog lover. Just another item in a long list of reasons why he’s awesome.

8 Comments

  1. The new logo is definitely Better than the old logo. I also love the idea of changing it with the team colors. However I’ve looked at it a bunch of times now and I just can’t seem to grasp on and like it. I like the intentions though and I think it’s a good move.

  2. I like the rebrand but I really am looking forward to hearing why I’m wrong.

  3. I like the new crest but why does everything in it have to “mean” something. The “slash” means this and the two halves symbolize that…who cares. That just seems like a good way for some “creative” to justify their overpriced fee to the league for this new design.

  4. One thing that worries me is that the Union are 1-3-4 so far this season against their remaining opponents. Not a record that inspires one with confidence.

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Andy Munez, the stats your pointing out, were those games played under Hackworh or Curtins?

    • Some of both. The win was at Sporting KC under Hackworth. The losses were at Columbus and home against DC under Hackworth and at Houston under Curtin. The draws were Houston under Hackworth, at Sporting KC under Curtin and at Chicago twice, once with each coach.

  6. James Lockerbie says:

    Thanks for responding, but now I see your reason for concern. Lets hope this past Tuesday will motivate the guys to rise above the previous results.

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