Daily news roundups

“Sickening”: Reaction to Fire draw, PA senator wants release of WC report, more

Philadelphia Union


If you felt ill after watching the Union concede a stoppage time equalizer against a team they largely bossed for 90 minutes, all but ending any realistic chance the team will make the playoffs, you were not alone.

Jim Curtin said,

It’s difficult. It’s not in our hands anymore, that’s for sure. We’re going to need a miracle, more or less. You’re going to have to win your last three and then you’re going to also need a lot of help. After we scored, after Amobi gets the goal, you feel high, you feel like you have a chance even though that wasn’t our best night. And then to have that happen, it’s tough for the guys. Sickening is the word that kind of everybody feels right now. It’s tough.

SportsClubStats has the Union with an 8.5 percent chance of reaching the playoffs after Thursday night’s draw.

That howler of a clearance from Rais Mbolhi that led to the equalizer? Curtin said, “You’re taught a very young age at the end of games where to play the ball: You play it forward and if it goes out of bounds a hundred yards from your own goal, that’s fine. What happened was a series of mistakes by a lot of different guys. It’s sickening. That’s kind of the way I feel right now.”

Mbolhi said of the goal,

Mistakes happen. It’s not the first one it’s not the last one, you know? I know how to handle these kinds of situations, but I will admit it’s hard for me tonight.

I know we needed the three points tonight, unfortunately I made the mistake in the back. Like I said, it’s very hard for me tonight, but this is football. Mistakes happen all the time, but hopeful we can battle back and win the next game.

Presumably, Mbolhi will not be in goal for the next game, which is against Columbus on Oct. 11, as he is expected to be called up by the Algerian national team for African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Malawi on Oct. 11 and Oct. 15. Heck, he could miss the game against Kansas City on Oct. 18, too.

Danny Cruz said of Mbolhi,

We always shake everyone’s hand when we get back in this locker room. We’re a team. We win together. We lose together. If we score two goals, it wouldn’t have mattered, right?

At the end of the day, we have to pick him up. And we have to help each other. We have to stick together. And we have a group of guys with a manager right now that I believe can do that.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep writes that Nick Sakiewicz shares some of the blame for the loss for signing Mbolhi:

Sakiewicz wanted Mbohli and made the deal happen. Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that Sakiewicz was the driving force behind the acquisition, so when his luxury signing committed the kind of mistake that might have just wrecked the Union’s season, it is tough not to blame the man most responsible for him being on the field.

With Thursday night’s result, Chicago has 17 draws on the season, a new league record. Inside the Fire notes the team could finish 2014 with more points from draws than from wins.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer, Daily News, Delco TimesCSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, Chicago Fire ConfidentialHot Time in Old Town, US Soccer Players, ProSoccerTalk, SBIFourFourTwoGoal.com, The Sports Network, and The AP.

Transcript and video of Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference, locker room interviews with Rais Mbolhi, Antoine Hoppenot, Danny Cruz and Amobi Okugo, and postgame quote sheet here at PSP.

Our photo essay of the game will be up later. In the meanwhile, USA Today has a photo gallery.

On a lighter note, from Philly.com: “The Surf and Turf Burger, sold during Philadelphia Union games at PPL Park, was today named ‘Best new menu item’ and a Silver Spoon Award winner by Venues Today, an international magazine covering the sports and entertainment industry.”


Senator Bob Casey (D – Pa.) has called for the public release of the report on the investigation into corruption in the bidding for the hosting rights for 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

This just in from the Department of Not Cool At All, the Ocean City city council is considering a proposal to convert the surface of Carey Stadium, home of Ocean City Nor’easters, from natural grass to artificial turf.

Villanova will have a dedication ceremony on Saturday for the new $3 million Higgins Soccer Complex, presumably before the men’s team hosts DePaul at 1 pm. On Wednesday, the Villanova men’s team defeated La Salle, 3-0.

Temple is in Tampa on Saturday to face No. 22 University of South Florida (7:25 pm, Bullcast).

The latest in Brotherly Game’s weekly five questions with Philadelphia Fury president Graham Charters.

Daniel Heinze, former treasurer of the Horsham Soccer Association, has admitted to stealing more than $64,000 from the youth club. He says he used the money to pay for “household bills.”

At icethetics.com, what NHL team jerseys might look like if the were soccer teams. Here’s their take on the Flyers:

Flyers soccer jersey

I’d happily wear either of those.

MLS (mostly New York edition)

Red Bulls’ head of global football Gerard Houllier tells France Football that Thierry Henry will not be returning to New York in 2015.

Soccer America on recent reports that Red Bull is losing interest in its New York franchise:

In the big picture, the lesson of the Red Bulls is that a wealthy global owner has no guarantee of success even if it is investing in a global sport like soccer in the United States. Indeed, the one thing certain about MLS is that it pays to be local. Almost all the most successful teams have local owners or owners who have embedded themselves in their local markets.

At US Soccer Players, J. Hutcherson writes of the league’s continuing push to make New York and Los Angeles each the home of two franchises:

MLS can’t resist the idea that they can push professional soccer into the limelight in both of those markets. The question for the future of MLS isn’t just whether or not the league even works in NYC or LA. It’s if MLS can put so much effort and resources toward the two biggest cities in the country while making sure they do enough to maintain interest in the real American soccer cities.

At Queens Chronicle, more on possible plans to demolish the Aqueduct Race Track in order to build a stadium for NYCFC. Meanwhile, residents in South Bronx say they haven’t heard anything about a proposed stadium site in their neighborhood in months.


In a wider-ranging interview, Landon Donovan talks to SI about his retirement plans and more. Donovan says he has not spoken to Jurgen Klinsmann about his last national team game, against Ecuador on Oct. 10 (apparently it was Sunil Gulati’s idea that he play one last game with the national team). Donovan also said he has not received the apology Jurgen Klinsmann said he was due after his 17-year-old son, Jonathan, posted a mocking tweet when he was not included on the US World Cup roster.

The 20-player USWNT roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers was accidently posted on the US Soccer website on Thursday. It has since been taken down and will be officially released on Monday.

Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.) had two assists in the US U-17 BNT 5-2 win over Costa Rica in the Panama U-17 International Tournament. Haji Wright had a hat trick.


German international and FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Nadine Angerer, who is among the more than 40 international women players who have filed suit against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over the use of artificial turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, says there are no plans to boycott the tournament.

While current members of the Canada women’s team have remained silent about the artificial turf issue, presumably becasue they are afraid of reprisals from the CSA, Canada Soccer Hall of Fame player Carrie Serwetnyk pointed to the Canada men’s team being ranked 120th in the world and said of the Canadian Soccer Association,

That terrible men’s showing doesn’t just happen from mediocre planning and organizing skills, that’s from pathetic leadership and poor decision-making over time. Yep, those are the same people who are running the World Cup next year.

I feel like it’s sending a continuing message that women are really not important enough.

The New Yorker on headers and concussions.

Lionel Messi will face trial for tax fraud. ESPN reports, Messi’s “appeal against being tried for tax fraud has been rejected after a judge found that the Barcelona star should have been aware of how his father, Jorge, was managing his financial affairs

And finally, this just in from the Department of Hahaha, Reuters reports, “Dani Alves has blamed the media for Brazil’s unsuccessful World Cup campaign but conceded that the team did not prepare properly ahead of the humiliating 7-1 defeat by Germany in the semi-final.”


  1. 12 hours later, still sucks.

  2. Yup still sucks. In retrospect, however, I think that Brian Brown and the rest of our non-finishing front line is the bigger goat than M’Bohli for that game…

    • big problem, but not a bigger goat in this game. No way you blow a 1-0 home game after 89 minutes, against a bad team, in a must-win game. Should the ball have been played all the way back like that? maybe not, but a World Cup goalie should be able to blast that ball deep into the other end. M’Bolhi blew it in this one.

      • Edu was getting pressured and could only go back… M’Bohli “F”ed up. It’s only his fault alone.

  3. I’m done. Not watching this team anymore till they are good. Can’t believe I put up with this. Bye.

  4. I knew I liked Senator Casey for a reason.

  5. PhilaDOOPia says:

    The blame needs to go all around for this game….but it is top heavy. YES the players on the field were lacking in about every offensive aspect of the game, except Wenger and Okugo (who isn’t even attacking in the least). But having that lack of quality on the bench to be able to play in a game like this is on Sak, M’Bohli being on the field is on Sak, Curtin and by extension his decisions are on Sak. We needed a Striker, he bought a Keeper and it bit us on the a** last night and screwed our entire season. If Curtin had won the Open Cup and the team had fallen apart in league it still would have been okay, had he lost the cup but we made an honest playoff run it would be okay. This is why an interim cannot have the tag taken off after just a couple months. Curtin has proved in the last 5 games that he is not ready, Red Bull is the only excusable one. He was great when the team was energized under new management but when the heat was on he’s fallen short with the “BEST XI” this team has ever had. But at the end of the day, is anyone else not surprised at all that its come to end like this?

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      I have a hard time putting too much of this on Curtin. I like him; I don’t know if he deserves the job or not, at this point; but Mbolhi is all Sak, as is the lack of a striker/bench. Curtin’s made very few managerial mistakes, in my opinion. The team lacked speed (of thought and body) last night, but they also had the game won, if not for…

      • Starting Fred and making Maidana a winger when you could have put on Cruz is a check against Curtin.

      • stone nailed it you did.

      • Curtin took too long to change to a diamond 4-4-2. Hell he should have started with that formation. After he finally switched to it we looked more threatening. Chicago is notorious for sitting back, hence the league record in ties. We don’t have any strikers with any experience and you start with that formation. Don’t tell me that isn’t on Curtin.

      • stone nail it you did.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Though, I would have played a flat three, ahead of Amobi. This would have kept Noguiera a little more comfortable, while still being able to operate as our 10-ish player. Two strikers (not named Hoppenot) were needed, from the start. Ribiero and Brown could have worked.

      • Ribriero should never see the striker position again. He clearly has no idea where to be and how to get himself open. He was sooo bad.

      • Did you mean that the game was almost saved from the inept finishing by the front that Curtin chose by the player Curtin benched and Curtin played only because of injury to a starting CB? Hey, I like Curtin, too, but. . . .

    • This team will never be one of the top teams in MLS so long as Sak is in charge….

  6. 1) This is the danger of bringing in someone to replace a player that didn’t need replacing. The minute he screws up one thing, it’s a controversy. Then again, I guess it wouldn’t be a Philadelphia team without a goalie controversy.
    2) I’m still calling for Wheeler to rejoin the squad as a striker. Brown lost whatever support I had for him last night with a point blank miss followed up with a make-up shot that almost landed in the club deck. Put Wheeler in front of Ribeiro when Casey can’t go.
    3) I can understand wanting to rest some guys last night, but starting Fred against Larentowicz simply wasn’t going to cut it. I would have preferred a diamond of Okugo, Nogueira, Maidana and Ribeiro, with Wenger and (fill in the blank) up top.
    3) Maidana is not a CAM. He roams out to the sides and seems reluctant to get in the box.
    4) Those Flyers soccer uniforms are ugly. Stripes don’t work with orange and black. It looks like a bad Halloween costume. Go with a solid black kit with orange and white trim, like what they used to wear in the late 90s.
    5) The Surf and Turf burger is quite good. I almost always get one at the game.

    • Maidana wasn’t playing CAM last night. He was out on the wing with Fred as CAM.
      That being said, the Union started last night with 7 natural midfielders and 3 defensemen (one of whom was Fabhino). Not the recipe to score a lot of goals.

      • You’re right. I forgot that he was playing on the wing. That point was geared toward my usual frustration of when he does play CAM. We never seem to have a second threat in front of goal, and that has to come from him if he’s going to continue playing there when we’re healthy.

    • crusty old coach says:

      Joe C – I like your thinking. I’ve taken some heat about my criticism of Casey, so I never brought up the idea of Wheeler/Ribiero, but as I hear you saying this, I like it. Unfortunately, it’s a short term fix when we’re already out of time. This being said, at the end of the day, we need to go find another Robbie Keane (or somebody) or we’re doomed to mediocrity.

      Dump Mbolhi. We have Zach and Andre, with Zach Steffen coming out of Maryland in a couple years (already a Union home-grown product with results). In my opinion, the rest of the guys, if played properly, can do the job if they get better support up top without having to rely on Seba to make runs to fill in the holes left by an absent Casey.

      That marquis striker, with some work on tactics and positioning, and I think we can have a good product. Is JC up for the job? That one I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer right now. I think he’s scrambling a lot right now, looking for that miracle quick fix. It’s not his fault Seba is out.

      • It’s October, which means we’re in the business of short-term fixes. Finding depth is a problem for the off-season. I don’t blame Curtin for the lack of options or the makeup of the roster. This is what was handed to him when he stepped into the role. Also, we planned on having more options available from the beginning of the season. Wenger was supposed to replace McInerney, but we discovered that he was better suited for other roles, which left us with a gap behind Casey in the depth chart. We tried filling it by bringing in Brian Brown on loan, he hasn’t exactly locked down that role for us.
        For right now, we have to address the next three games with the resources we have. We’re not going to get nine points from Columbus and SKC by leaving one guy on an island up top and having everyone else hover around the edge of the box. Casey needs to start all three matches, and he needs someone willing to follow him into the box. If Maidana isn’t willing to do that, then he needs to be on the wing and Ribeiro needs to play centrally behind Casey. When Casey comes out, we throw in Wheeler, Brown, Antoine, whoever is available.

  7. Man the chill between Landon and JK. makes me think social studies. High School. wonder what that locker room will be like next week.

  8. Forget Mbolhi. 18 shots. 2 on target. Nothing off how many set pieces or crosses. 1 goal in 2 home games against 8th & 9th place teams when you’re frantically making up ground. 4 points pissed away. Sickening? You bet I felt it. About 3 hours earlier. When I saw your starting lineup.

    • * 8th & 7th * (although probably same result with Montreal)

    • This. Ok, Mbolhi made a huge mistake, but I don’t think Mbolhi is the real problem here. The 18 shots and only 2 on target from last night is just the tip of the iceberg.
      Looking back at the last 5 games:
      – 77 shots, just 20 on target
      – 155 open play crosses. Their opponents sent in just 63.
      – 47 corners for the Union, 17 for the other teams.
      Those numbers are sickening.

      • The second and third set of numbers aren’t sickening on their own, just in combination with the lack of wins. Usually having a 3 to 1 edge in corners would be considered a good thing. It’s the 0 goals that’s the problem.

      • Agreed, a high number of crosses and corners is typically a good thing – same can be said for shots – after all, you can’t win the raffle if you don’t buy a ticket. Unfortunately the Union seem to be buying their tickets from a crusty scalper hiding in the alley.

      • I completely agree that the offense is a major issue and if they score 2 goals last night that’s it, game over, 3 points. But the issue for me is that scoring has ALWAYS been an issue, and goalkeeping was not, but instead of getting a striker who could score goals, they got a keeper we don’t need, and last night that move cost us 2 points. So I’m not really mad at M’Bohli for making a bad mistake, I’m made at Sakiewicz for putting him – and the team – in a situation where that can happen.

      • PREACH!!!

      • Can a brother get an AMEN?

      • James Lockerbie says:

        how bout a hallelujah!

      • I’m totally with you there, Brian. It’s not just limited to the last 5 games, or even the current season, it’s been this way for too long.


      • James Lockerbie says:


      • It’s all true!

  9. “SportsClubStats has the Union with an 8.5 percent chance of reaching the playoffs after Thursday night’s draw.”

    Three weeks ago, the Union had won three games in a row and had over a 60% chance of reaching the playoffs…

  10. OneManWolfpack says:

    Two things: this team is fundamentally broken. Top to bottom. We have Sack running things with less of a clue then my 9 year old… and an owner who is more than content to just keep the money coming in. We have no bench whatsoever and no one who can score.
    AND… the Union don’t belong in the playoffs. Period. 2 draws and a loss in three games you needed at least 5 points from? Diagraceful.
    I don’t blame Curtain but to me he can not manage this team next year. We need a better direction and a player or two who has been paid his whole life to score goals. Not some 20 year old “up and comers”. Another wasted season…
    That loss last night was worse than the U.S. Open Cup game. To lose like that was just embarrassing.

    • I agree with much of this.

      And I will bet you a box of doughnuts that Curtin will get a head coaching job elsewhere — Portland or Dallas or Chicago — and win the MLS cup.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I don’t think that he is ready to manage…yet. He will be good, one day. I would keep him on as an assistant and bring in a real manager, for him to learn from.

  11. The most depressing thing about this is I see no major changes to our starting outfield 10 next year. I literally see them starting the 1st game of next year with the same primary 10 guys. Casey-Wenger-LeToux Maidana-Nogs-Okugo Gaddis-Edu-Vadles-Williams . . . only the GK is likely to change and that may be the one thing we don’t need changing.

    So if that lineup isn’t good enough to make the playoffs now, it certainly won’t be next year when NYFC (and Orlando join.) I don’t see how they progess until they completley overhaul specifically the front 3 . . . and I can’t see them replacing Wenger or LeToux. I feel like we’re destined to be the football equivalent of the 1985~2006 Phils all over again

    • Might not have Edu since he is on loan from Stoke. Will depend on the new CBA.

      Now how can you forget the 1993 Phillies. That in it self gives me hope. Even a lost organization can muster up one MLS Cup run. Right?

    • I expect this to be Casey’s final year. I think it’s clear to everybody – including him – that he’s giving everything he has, but it’s just not enough to get it done. I expect he retires if he doesn’t move to one of the expansions.
      I also have a hunch, unfortunately, that Okugo won’t be here next season as well. I suspect that bridge has been burned by the team benching him for the Open Cup final.
      Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Williams or Gaddis moved. A year ago, I would’ve said keep Williams; now, I’m not so sure. Gaddis might have more upside, but I think Williams is still the better player overall. But either of them gives you a movable asset to acquire something else you need – like another defensive midfielder or goalie.

      • I still prefer Williams-Gaddis with one out of position to Fabhino with either of them.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Casey is probably very close to calling it a career. Man, what a career it was. Very good player!!
        I hope that you are wrong about Amobi!!!!
        I would have sent Williams out this past summer. I don’t see it being close, between he and Gaddis.
        I’m sure that you will be correct, with our choice of acquisitions. A couple of DM’s and a keeper…sounds about right.

      • I hope I’m wrong about Amobi as well. I just don’t see why he resigns here, given the situation.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I see your point. Curtin mishandled that one. Is it time for TIFOS, begging Mobes to stay? I’ll get my four-year old coloring ASAP.

    • I don’t see them keeping both Okugo and Edu, though I’d love to see Edu stick around as a starting CB next to Valdes. I think that could be a great pairing. Given they both prefer the same CM spot, I think we only keep one. I’d definitely hang onto Gaddis and Williams. Casey could very well retire. The offseason needs to be all about a top tier MLS striker, another attacking option on the wing to spell LeToux and Wenger, and someone who can give some minutes behing Maidana at CAM.

      • Except I don’t see Valdes being here next year, either. He came back after the World Cup for the stretch run as a thank-you for the loans that got him in the World Cup. But I expect he will be looking for an actual transfer to Europe in January; staying in MLS isn’t getting him in the 2016 Copa.

      • Didn’t Carlos sign a multi year deal?

  12. Welcome to being a Philadelphia sports fan. Its own brand of insanity. See that only took me 5 years to feel the same apathy I feel for the other Big Four teams. Phew- everything is quotidian.

    • +1,000,000 What’s it called “Stockholm Syndrome” right. Maybe we should create a new syndrome called “Philadelphia Syndrome” for fans who follow the city teams that will hardly ever win anything, treat fans poorly for the most part and lose in the most agonizing way. Geeze I’m getting depressed. Sometimes after a crappy sports weekend I look forward to Monday morning at work. 🙁 PLUS, I’m a Hammers fan (West Ham United) which seems to fit this “Philadelphia Syndrome”

      On the bright side I only renewed one of my two season tickets for next year!

      hmmmmm, well the Flyers start soon….. Eagles should beat the Rams right?

      At least we can look forward to the Sixers winning another lottery pick. Think we can go for the trifecta and draft someone who is injured and won’t play the whole year in 2015-2016.

      Maybe we all should move…

  13. I very much like Cruz’s quote. It’s exactly the right thing to say to the media.
    Thank you to Chaco for signing some autographs after the game behind the bench. The match was disappointing, and his right shoulder was clearly still bothering him from that hard tackle. But he gave a lot of kids something to smile about after the match.
    So why didn’t Williams start, or even make the 18? He wasn’t listed on the injury report.

  14. Mr Blue 55 says:


    Is sports betting legal on MLS games in Algeria?

  15. Why do we insist on playing Ribeiro out of position?? Just an illogical decision give his physical ability or lack of physical ability to play that position. He just does not have what it takes to be a striker. Why not leave 100 year old Fred on the bench, let Ribeiro play CAM and put Wheeler up top?
    Fred is old…get him out. Let the youth play.
    Cruz, I can’t get enough of your work ethic but your technical ability just is not there…maybe the MLS of years past, you would be a great player but not now.
    Brown…send a postcard from Jamaica cuz you are not at the level to play here yet.
    Nogueira, thank you for working your bum off every game and I hope you stick around next season.
    Lastly, Okugo deserves the damn Captains arm band…if anyone slightly follows this team they can see what kind of leader, on and off the field he his, criminal he has not received it on a regular basis. Also Okugo let me know where you are transferring to so I can get that jersey with your name on the back, you are such a quality and classy player….

  16. Playing games. That counts a lot more than platitudes in press conferences and puff pieces. They finally got down to playing games that mattered. USOC Final? Can’t score that winning goal. Two must-win home games against teams they should beat? One goal in those two games.
    That just doesn’t cut it.
    I believe this is one of those rare occasions in sports where the CEO himself has “lost the locker room.” There are some quality players on this team, but any time injuries or fatigue forced Curtin to scrape below the surface of that talent, he was left with Fred. Or an out-of-position Ribeiro. Or Fabinho. Or Brown.
    It must have been a real fun stoppage time in the Owner’s Box.

  17. In February Jack was our finisher. Playing for a big raise in his next contact. By April, he wasn’t finishing. He was finished. Hackworth mismanaged his players and he was next to go. Really good finishers are in great demand. And expensive. And different: poachers, hold up targets, etc. Why would you sign one before you hire your next coach? And why would he come here then? Who does he sign? I can accept that. And I can accept Mbolhi. But not with Blake. If you were going to trade Zac, it was in May when his stock was sky high. But you have no backup for your 2 international GKs, so you can’t trade Zac. Sak displays no coherent strategy. Ultimately Sak’s horrible excuse for conducting that search and his continous self – contradictory monolog is why he has to go.

  18. Next years team ‘could’ be radically different. One of the goalies IS gone. We probably won’t buck up and pay for Edu’s full transfer. Gone. Okugo probably will look around for a better opportunity and will find one. Casey may retire. Fred is older than Moses and may be gone too. So that is five slots that could look completely different next year. Personally I think there will be a turnover of 10 players from this year to next. Not so sure that’s a good thing though.

  19. The Black Hand says:

    I wouldn’t hate a full shuffle. We really don’t have a foundation to build upon. Keep Gaddis, Amobi, Noguiera, Chaco, Wenger.

    • My list is those guys plus Le Toux and Williams. If Maidana turns it around, I could be interested but he’s not on the list right now.

      This offseason is going to be really interesting.

  20. Hey Everyone! Ribriero needs to sit. Is he better then Chaco? because if not then he shouldnt touch the pitch at all! Hes been looking so so bad….

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