Daily news roundups

“We know the urgency”: Fire previews, are NYRB’s days numbered, Women’s WC lawsuit filed, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

At Tuesday’s weekly Philadelphia Union press conference, Jim Curtin was reluctant to describe tonight’s game against Chicago Fire at PPL Park (8 pm: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes) as a must-win, saying, “We know the urgency, we know what needs to be done. We know we have the advantage of being at home for three in-a-row. We like that, and we have to show the fight to do whatever it takes to get three points.”

Tonight’s game is complicated by the possible absence of both Sebastien Le Toux (ankle) and Ethan White (hamstring), both of whom are day-to-day as they recover from injuries. Maurice Edu said,

We have a deep squad. We have a lot of players hungry to come in and get a chance. If the situation is that [Le Toux is] not fit, then obviously it’s an opportunity for another guy to come in and make an impression and help this team. We have a deep enough squad, a talented enough squad, where we should be able to adjust…

We’re trying to make a playoff push, and that’s what our sole focus is on. So whoever’s on the pitch, the 11 guys, the three that come off the bench, everyone’s committed to the same cause, and that’s trying to make the playoffs.

Just how difficult will it be for the Union to reach the playoffs? An article at the Union website notes, if they win the four remaining games, they still need two of the following to happen: a Houston loss or tie; two Toronto losses; one New York loss and one tie.

In other words, tonight’s game is a must-win.

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia Union (video), InquirerDaily NewsDelco Times, Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire (video), Chicago TribuneThe Sports Network, and The AP.

More from the midweek press conference: At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin focuses on comments made by Jim Curtin regarding the possible effect of international call-ups while the team is in the midst of a playoff hunt. At Philly Soccer News, Kate Harman focuses on comments made about the availability of Sebastien Le Toux and Ethan White.

MLSsoccer.comDelco Times, and Tribal Football have articles on the return of Antoine Hoppenot to the club following his loan to Harrisburg City Islanders.

Could Hoppenot, who hasn’t scored for the Union since the gamewinner on the road in Vancouver on July 27, 2013, be one of those players that Curtin said will have to do something special to lift the team and keep the playoff chase on track? The young forward said, “Everyone tells you sometimes you only get one chance, so I’m ready for that one chance. I work hard at practice. I worked hard with the Harrisburg team. So I’m waiting for that one chance, and you never know when it’s going to come.”

More power rankings: At MLSsoccer.com, the Union drop three spots to No. 10.

Brotherly Game has the good, the bad, and the ugly from Saturday’s loss in DC.

The Union’s series of Mic’d Up videos continues with Ray Gaddis.

I really enjoy this series but I can’t help but think of how much fun stuff probably ends up on the cutting room floor.

Sons of Ben

The deadline for the submission of candidate bios for the Sons of Ben’s first open elections was at midnight on Tuesday. Six candidates are running for two seats on the board and you can view their bios here.

MLS

SI’s Grant Wahl reports, “Don’t look for Red Bull to be involved in MLS in the long-term future.” According to sources, Red Bull’s interest and investment in the New York franchise is declining as its focus sharpens on its teams in Europe and its global profits have dropped. Wahl writes, “While Marc de Grandpre, the club’s head of commercial operations, says the team is not for sale, one source says that if a buyer approached Red Bull and offered $300 million for the Red Bulls and their stadium, the deal would get done within 48 hours.”

A source also tells Wahl there is “zero chance” that Thierry Henry will re-sign with the team, although Wahl says, “That doesn’t necessarily mean that Henry will retire, however.”

The idea that NYRB is for sale was met with strong denials from the club and MLS commissioner Don Garber.

The club issued a statement saying, “There are no plans to sell the New York Red Bulls. While interest in soccer continues to grow in the U.S. and the MLS continues to expand, Red Bull is confident now more than ever in the investment and committed to the franchise and its supporters.”

Garber said he “can absolutely assure” that the New York Red Bulls is not for sale, adding, “Both the owner and management team in Austria and New York are as committed as ever to Major League Soccer, the club and their fans.”

Colorado Rapids have signed Zat Knight, the former Fulham, Aston Villa, and Bolton defender who, you will recall, was for a time linked with the Union.

FC Dallas have signed 16-year-old midfielder Alejandro Zendejas to a Homegrown Player contract.

Sporting Kansas City was at the White House on Wednesday.

New England Revolution have partnered with Sporting Clube de Portugal, which most of us know simply as Sporting, to “to promote collaboration on training and development methods for both the clubs’ first teams and youth squads.”

Here’s a marketing perspective on the league’s new logo.

On the importance of the Hispanic market to growing MLS.

Apparently, Orlando City is planning on playing three pre-season games in Brazil before its MLS Debut next year.

A new plan is in the offing that will reduce the public outlay for the proposed soccer stadium in Las Vegas from $150 million to $85 million. However, Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, “A controversial plan to build a $200 million Las Vegas soccer stadium won a crucial City Council vote Wednesday, with the caveat developers work with the city to eliminate the need for a public subsidy.” A final vote is expected to take place in December.

US

At MLSsoccer.com, more roster speculation ahead of the USMNT’s friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras.

The USWNT will be in Brazil in December for a tournament that will include Brazil, China, and Argentina. The International Tournament of Brasilia runs Dec. 10-21 and the US opens play against China on Dec. 10.

Elsewhere

A lawsuit has been filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Toronto arguing that playing the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada on artificial turf amounts to gender discrimination. Attorney for the plaintiffs Hampton Dellinger said in a statement,

The leaders of CSA and FIFA are embarrassing the game and, even more, themselves. The gifted athletes we represent are determined not to have the sport they love be belittled on their watch. Getting an equal playing field at the World Cup is a fight female players should not have to wage but one from which they do not shrink.

Whether the tribunal will be able to reach a decision before the start of the 2015 tournament remains to be seen. You will recall that earlier this week, Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s deputy director of the competitions division and head of women’s competitions, said, ”We play on artificial turf and there’s no Plan B.” More on the lawsuit from The EqualizerSISoccer America, SBIToronto Sun, and Reuters.

UEFA president Michel Platini has announced his support of the public release of the report on the investigation of into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups:

As long as the regulations of the FIFA code of ethics regarding the actual investigation are respected, I support the publishing of the Garcia report.

I have no issue with the findings and recommendations of the report being made available to the public.

From The Times of Israel, Palestinian press reports say that Diego Maradona is “in negotiations with the Palestinian Football Association over the possibility of coaching the Palestinian national team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, which kicks off in Australia in January.”

13 Comments

  1. According to the MLS website, the yellow card Edu received late against D.C. United was his 5th, which means he should be suspended for the Chicago game. It’s been awhile since his previous yellow card, and if the fair-play rules still exist it should be long enough to absolve him of 1 of those, yet the website says 5. Any information on that? We can’t afford to have Edu miss this game.

  2. I think Red Bulls desire to sell is less a refocusing on Europe and more of a seeing the writing on the wall type thing. For all the money put into the Red Bulls they never really filled the stadium, or the trophy case for that matter. Better to get out now before the New York franchise kills them.

    • Metropolitans versus Yankees you mean?

    • +1 to Joel for linking “Mets” to “Metro”, but Sieve has got this one right, it’s a Devils vs Rangers situation slowly playing out in front of their eyes. Unless the blue team completely screws up their opportunity, Red Bull will forever be an afterthought in media exposure and attendance.

  3. Can we have one of the greatest goal scorers in history. Henry. Good for 15 I bet. Heartbeat.

  4. New England. Latest team to partner with a european club. When is our turn? Do the heads in Philadelphia figure to be smart enough to see the mutual benefit of such a move? How nice would it be to send Zach or jimmy overseas for a season or two to ripen with Benfica or down to River Plate to commune with those footballing marvels. How bout a few of the U18 or U16s. This is the future and we are sitting by idling in the NE Corridor WTF Department of WTF while other teams are zooming along the Throughways.

    • For MLS clubs that have partnered with European clubs, what benefits have actually been realized by those clubs? Not trying to be a smartass, I really just don’t know the answer. I agree that on paper it seems like there is potential for great mutual benefit, but I’m curious as to what has actually come of any of these partnerships.

      • Especially given the very small size of our current operation, one advantage would be having a European scouting group.

      • ideas for one. ideas for two. pedigree for three. quality for four. we are in the birthing stage of all this. i do not have a certain answer to your question. partnership is the future of the game for MLS. everything everywhere is ‘Linked Up’ and the stateside beautiful game (i give long pause to calling it the beautiful game here but with the partnerships we mover closer towards that end) will be no different. you’re either on the Superhighway or your Standing Still.

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