Daily news roundups

Union news, #KickEbolaInTheButt, Gulati stands by Solo, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

We’ve been getting questions from readers who want to know whether, as a US Open Cup finalist, the Union could qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League if Seattle, who earned a Champions League spot as the Open Cup winner, also win the MLS Cup. It’s a reasonable question but unfortunately the answer is no. US teams can qualify for the Champions League by winning the MLS Cup, winning the Supporters Shield (best regular season record), winning the conference opposite of the Supporter’s Shield winner (a rule revision enacted for the current edition of the tournament and how Portland qualified), and winning the US Open Cup. And so, from the CONCACAF website:

If a single MLS team occupies more than one of the U.S. slots, or a Canadian team captures any of the above (Canada has one CONCACAF Champions League berth awarded to the Canadian Championship winner), the berth would go to the next best US-based MLS team based on regular-season record.

Guess we’ll just have to win the MLS Cup, then.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin wonders if the hamstring injury Ethan White sustained on Saturday will be Amobi Okugo’s ticket back into the starting lineup, with Maurice Edu sliding back into defense. It’s a question Zeitlin also considers in the latest Inside Doop:

[S]ome people are clamoring for Edu to partner next to Carlos Valdes at center back and for Okugo to play in the midfield with Nogueira, which would push defender Ethan White to the bench and get Philly’s most talented players on the field at the same time. And even though Curtin really likes White’s progression at center back, that’s probably what should be done — because, quite simply, Okugo is too good not to start.

More power rankings: At Soccer America, the Union drop one spot to No. 9. Same at SI: “Philadelphia slipped up in its race with Columbus for the final playoff spot in the East on Saturday, drawing at home against the lowly Dynamo. Perhaps the Union also suffered from a bit of an Open Cup hangover, which led to its second disappointing home result of the week and make the club’s two remaining matches against the Crew look even bigger.”

Sheanon Williams was named to Goal.com’s Team of the Week.

Maurice Edu was named to the bench in MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.

I missed this for Monday’s roundup, but on Friday at SI, Brian Straus had an article on Jim Curtin’s interim status as head coach. He quotes Nick Sakiewicz,

Everybody else calls him ‘interim.’ He’s our first team coach. He’s not going anywhere. He’s in the job right now. It doesn’t mean I might not do a reorganization down the line, or add on pieces to it. But Jim Curtin is not going anywhere…

I never announced he’s our interim coach. He’s taking care of the team and he’s doing a fine job of it. I don’t know if I’m going to re-engage the coaching search. That’s an honest answer. I don’t have to make any decision. Everybody wants me to make a decision. What decision should I make? He’s our coach…

I know Jim Curtin’s our coach and is going to remain our coach until I decide it’s necessary to make a change. But it’s not necessary to make any change right now. Jim and I had a chuckle after I made the coaching change [with Hackworth] and he said, ‘Yeah, they all ask about how I feel about being interim. Isn’t every coach ‘interim?’ It’s true…

If anyone wants me to do something with this team, they’ve got to convince me I should do it. Jim Curtin is my manager and I’m happy letting him do what he’s doing and I’m going to support him 100 percent. If anyone thinks differently, they’ve got to convince me of it.

Curtin says in the article, “I don’t pretend to have all the answers yet, by any means. I’m a young coach. I’m eager to learn and I want to push myself and be the best. I’ve learned coaching is a heck of a lot harder than playing.”

Kick Ebola in the Butt

Michael Lahoud talks to the Inquirer about the stigma of Ebola he and his Sierra Leone national teammates have experienced at the Africa Cup of Nations, which has included opposing supporters chanting “Ebola! Ebola!” for 90 minutes. Lahoud says in the article that he’s helping to launch the #KickEbolaInTheButt Challenge. For more info, go to www.kickebolainthebutt.com:


The Philly Soccer Six weekly awards have been announced. Penn’s Alec Neumann was named Player of the Week, with his teammate and goalkeeper Max Polkinhorne being named Defender of the Week. Drexel’s Colin McGlynn was named Rookie of the Week.


In CONCACAF Champions League play tonight, Kansas City hosts Nicaragua’s Real Estreli, who Sporting drew with 1-1 in August (8 pm: Fox Sports 1), and Portland hosts Guyana’s Alpha United, who the Timbers defeated 4-1 in August and are already eliminated from advancing in the tournament (10 pm: Fox Sports 1).

Ben Olsen has signed a multi-year contract extension with DC United.

NYCFC and Orlando City will participate in an “Expansion Priority Draft” on Wednesday. Basically, this means there will be a whole lot of coin flipping going on to determine which team picks first in the eight player acquisition mechanisms available to the clubs.

Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo says he hasn’t decided whether he will become an owner of Italian club Bologna, but he is in Italy “to evaluate.”


Attention continues to focus on Hope Solo continuing to represent the US on the WNT despite awaiting trial for domestic assault.

Meanwhile, US Soccer is standing by Solo. Federation president Sunil Gulati told USA Today,

U.S. Soccer takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously.From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the National Team. Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available we will carefully consider it.

USA Today notes that US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun has also expressed concern about Solo, saying, “The allegations involving Ms. Solo are disturbing and are inconsistent with our expectations of Olympians.” However, the article notes that the USOC has stopped short of calling on US Soccer to remove her from the roster: “[I]t’s believed that the USOC is concerned about Solo’s right to a hearing and due process under the U.S. Amateur Sports Act while she awaits a November trial.” More from ProSoccerTalk.

At the 2014 America Cup in Canada, the US Paralympic National Team opened Group A play with a 3-0 loss to Brazil before rebounding with a 3-0 win over Mexico.


The AP reports, “Qatar organizers dismissed any chance of the 2022 World Cup being taken away from the Gulf nation after a warning on Monday by a FIFA executive committee member.” Said Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater, “The only question now is when, not if. Summer or winter, we will be ready.” The comment comes after FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger said on Monday that he believed Qatar would not end up hosting the tournament.

Melbourne would be happy to host the 2022 tournament if Qatar does not. I love ya, Australia, but get to the back of the line.

The BBC reports that Conservative MP Damian Collins “has asked the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to request a copy of the report into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.” Collins believes charges could follow if the report demonstrates evidence of criminal activity. Hans-Joachim Eckerthas, the German judge who is in the process of reviewing the report, has said its contents will not be made public.

A report from The AP underscores that it may be wise to temper any expectation that Eckerthas will interpret his powers expansively and actually call the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to be removed from Russia and Qatar.

From The Huffington Post, James Dorsey writes,: “Israel appears to be mobilizing a grassroots campaign against Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup as part of the Jewish state’s effort to isolate Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the Gaza Strip, and bolster the fortunes of the Palestine Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.”

The Press Association reports, “A proposal allowing for a three-minute stoppage if a player suffers a suspected concussion will be discussed this week by Fifa’s executive committee.”

Like the idea of a “a pan-American Gold Cup with sites around the region”? Read on.

And then there’s this:



  1. Sakiewiecz is so full of shit.

    • I believe the guy actually wants the best for the team. But things would probably be better if he just wasn’t allowed to talk to the media at all.

      • Sure his heart’s in the right place. The nameplate on his door reads “Chief Executive Officer.” A CEO is there to lead. Not to wonder out loud what he is to do. Or to take a poll on the right course. Or to contradict himself publicly. Repeatedly. Or to pursue an international GK at the precise moment that you move up to draft another international GK, leaving your US GK out of a starting job with no obvious solution to the case where your GKs are called up. Or promising to sign a striker that you obviously need desperately only for him to he benched. There’s a pattern here. If it were another team, it might be amusing.

      • Metrostars fans are laughing at us…

    • He meant that the permanent coaching search he suspended for the USOC Final wasn’t the same search he announced when he named Curtin or the search he recently confirmed included 3 names or the search that Muelensteen said the other day has led to him. Got it? . . . Can’t Jay afford a muzzle?

  2. What in the blue hell is Sunil Gulati thinking, keeping Hope Solo on the USWNT? There is no way this story goes away, even if the charges do. Yeah, I know she’s the most marketable player right now. But you’re ten months from the one time every four years when women’s soccer gets the bright lights; every story about every player is going to take a back seat to “Hope Solo, Child Abuser”.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah I agree. I will never understand why sports people get chance after chance after chance… if you or I committed these crimes, we’d be fired and paying for it for the rest of our life. Oh wait… MONEY. My fault, I had a brain fart. It’s money. Ridiculous

  3. OneManWolfpack,
    Actually, I’m not so sure Hope Solo makes that much money, at least not compared to most professional athletes, and maybe not even compared to some normal people, considering her career will have only lasted 10-15 years before she retires.
    The not-as-sarcastic explanation you’re looking for is called double standards. Ray Rice is a guy, so he’s going to get punished more for domestic abuse than Hope Solo. Just like if you or I committed these crimes we’d be fired and paying for it for the rest of our lives, but I doubt a woman in a comparable situation would go through the same. I guess violence is one of the few double standards that go their way.
    But I agree about the sports stars sort of getting that buffer. They have such high profiles that I guess people seem to think having it all in the public eye and (potentially) losing their high-paying jobs is punishment enough.

  4. Multiple reports yesterday that “interim” tag removed. You know, the one the CEO said wasn’t there. Nothing on the team site. Unimpressive.

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