Daily news roundups

Union bits, Ebola taunts in area HS game, Garber slams Klinsmann, USWNT scrapes by T&T, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The latest Daily Doop, Kerith Gabriel shares some snippets from the interview that Nick Sakiewicz with CSN Philly that will air on Friday, Oct. 24 (7 p.m. on The Comcast Network; 11:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet):

Sakiewicz says getting a bona fide attack minded striker is “number one” offseason priority.

Alludes to the fact that our contingent of goalkeepers “need to get games” under their belt.

And that he knows “the shelf life of Philly fandom” is short and that doing all it takes to get wins and only wins is the main mindset going into offseason preparation.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin contextualizes the possibility that Amobi Okugo, who is out of contract after this season, could be leaving the club for Europe. He also notes that, but for the final result of the last two games, Danny Cruz would probably be getting some deserved praise for assisting the go-ahead goal against Chicago, and scoring the opening goal against Columbus.

Conor Casey, who is out of contract at the end of the season, tells Dave Zeitlin that he wants to re-sign with the Union:

We’ll see what the offseason brings, but I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff and the club. It’s a tough time of the year, but I think it’s a great city and I think it’s a great organization. From a player standpoint, you feel like you let the club and the fans down, and you want to do better next year so they have something to cheer about.

Lancaster Online has a profile piece on local lad Andrew Wenger. Curtin says of Wenger in the article,

Andrew is an incredible athlete. He’s gifted. He can run forever. He’s powerful. He’s very good with the ball technically. He’s a guy who probably doesn’t realize how fast and strong he is. Once he gets that under wraps, I think the sky is the limit for him. He should be a U.S. National Team player for the future. People forget he’s still a 23-year-old kid, so he’s still learning and growing.

Playing for 90 believes Curtin should rest veteran starters like Sebastien Le Toux, who also happens to be nursing an ankle injury, in the final two games of the season in order to give “younger players valuable playing time that they didn’t see during the season.”

Sons of Ben

A Q&A session with candidates for the upcoming Sons of Ben Board election will take place this Sunday between 1-3 pm at the Field House in Center City.


Two coaches of the Lehigh Valley’s Northampton High School team have resigned following an investigation that revealed Northampton players used “Ebola” taunts and racial slurs in a game last week against Nazareth High School player Ibraham Tounkara, who is a native of Guinea in West Africa.

Drexel defeated James Madison 2-1 in double overtime on Wednesday.

Someone has made logos of NBA teams done in the style of the new MLS logo. The one for the 76ers is terrible.


Don Garber responded to comments recently made by USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann about MLS. Some highlights:

  • “Jurgen’s comments are very, very detrimental to our league. They’re detrimental to the sport of soccer in America and everything we’re trying do north of the border. And not only are they detrimental, I think they’re wrong.”
  • “When we have a national team coach who in essence is telling players when they sign with our league that it is not going to be good for their career – and not going to be perceived well by the national team coach who is selecting the US national team – that is incredibly damaging to our league.”
  • “[Klinsmann] has done a great job with the national team, but he needs to think very, very hard about how he manages himself publicly, and how he should motivate players that are playing in our league.”
  • Also, “I regret not saying this at that time, and I’ll say it now: I believe Landon should have been in Brazil. Not because he earned it or deserved it, but because his performance dictated it. And if anyone disagrees with that – clearly Jurgen did – then I believe his treatment was inexcusable.”

Jeff Carlisle writes at ESPN of the Garber-Klinsmann spat, “Welcome to soccer as it’s experienced elsewhere in the world, where tension between national federations and the domestic leagues is the norm and not the exception.”

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff on what Garber got right, and what he got wrong.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep writes, “Garber did his best to stick up for his league, but in doing so he delivered a tone-deaf message that argued points Klinsmann hadn’t addressed, and came off sounding defensive, entitled, and in some instances, delusional.”

At Soccer America, Mike Woitalia writes, “It’s time for Klinsmann to reevaluate his motivational tactics. And while he’s at it, realize that his MLS-bashing comes across as a hollow excuse when he can’t lead his team to a win at home against Honduras.”

Also writing at Soccer America, Paul Gardner — who believes Klinsmann should be fired for soccer reasons rather than making controversial remarks, says,

There is no doubt that Klinsmann has been spectacularly stupid. At the very least, Gulati must surely tell him that he has to apologize for his remarks.

That might calm things down for a while. But it won’t alter the fact that the USA has a national team coach whose repeated public statements make it clear that he has no faith in the value of this country’s pro league, and not much more in the players it produces.

More on Garber’s comments from MLSsoccer.comESPN, SISBI, Soccer AmericaProSoccerTalkGoal.com, Reuters, and The AP.

At ESPN, Graham Parker wonders if Klinsmann’s motivational style of publicly calling players out will be successful in his second World Cup cycle with the team.

New England, looking to finish the season in second place in the East with two games left, is in Houston tonight (8 pm, ESPN2).

It’s official: Dominic Kinnear will be the new head coach of San Jose Earthquakes after the end of the season.

SBI reports that New York Red Bulls’ sporting director Andy Roxborough will leave the club after the the end of the season.

Former Union man Chandler Hoffman is one of six MLS players who will be part of the new “What’Cha Got” series on ESPN. The players compete “for the chance to win a year-long lease of the Lamborghini.”



The USWNT defeated Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 with a goal from Abby Wambach in their opening game of the CONCACAF 2015 Women’s World Cup qualification tournament. It was hardly a convincing win: In their previous seven meetings, the US had defeated T&T by the combined score of 54 goals to two.

Recaps from US Soccer, SISBISoccer America, Goal.com, MLSsoccer.com, and The Guardian.

The team next plays Guatemala on Friday (8 pm, Fox Sports 1).

Alex Morgan talks to USA Today about why players don’t want to play on artificial turf.

Looks like Carli Lloyd will be playing her club ball in Houston next season.


At ASN, Brian Sciaretta asseses how the USMNT did in the October friendlies. It is not a very favorable assessment.

At Goal.com, Seth Vertelney looks at the numbers from the 2014 World Cup and says the performance of the US team in the tournament does not justify the decision to leave Landon Donovan back in the US.


The Guardian reports, “The Albanian Football Association has released a detailed statement that alleges its president, Armando Duka, was hit with a piece of concrete and players were attacked by supporters, security personnel and the police after the Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade on Tuesday.”

Reuters reports, “Serbia’s interior minister said on Thursday that Albania was ‘not mature enough’ to join the European community, stepping up a war of words over a drone stunt that forced a soccer match between the Balkan nations to be abandoned.”

The Guardian looks back ten years ago to when Lionel Messi signed for Barcelona — on a napkin.


  1. Hope someone got the taunting on video and those individuals are charged with hate crimes! Unfortunately the real issue of people dying is ignored by these lowest forms of society’s bottom feeding scum!
    Speaking of lifeforms, Sakiewicz pseudo event with Kerith Gabriel should be another one of his lame attempts at getting ahead of issues they are way too far behind on. We know JC is manager and Sakiewicz is a snake oil salesman. Nothing new to report here folks. The dog and pony show continues.

    • Is it a bit harsh to call a few kids with no sense of common decency bottom feeding scum- or guilty of committing hate crimes. I mean, this could be a seminal life learning event for them don’t you think. With Playstation and XBox and Minecraft and The Sims, iPhones, Pintrest, Facebook how can anyone these days, let alone a child with a developing brain know what is real and what is fantasy- what is based in truth and kindness or simulacra and anger. What is really happening in the world. Maybe if one of them came down with a flu-like symptom of their own the sardonic attempt at being funny would come home to roost. Roost like an avian flu for all to taunt on IM or Facebook. Kids. What an extraordinary difficult time it is for kids these days. There is still no replacement for compassion and kindness- that is anchored in real life.
      I am curious why the coaches stepped down- did they condone it. Did they even know it was occurring?
      Shouldn’t we hold the kids accountable and require them to take a class on having a clue or two- send them in to an inner city where people, and real life, and the marginalized tend to gather. Have them work a soup kitchen. Administer vaccinations to young children. To gain a greater world view.

      • Joel:
        Your comments are often long and usually good. You should be a writer for PSP not just a commenter. MLS offseason will be here soon. Spend some time thinking about it. Talk with the editors. Cheers.

      • Hmm. I would be required to really know what I am espousing then. Sounds like work. Kidding. Maybe. I like the opportunity to keep sharp the writing instrument here at PSP. Lots of good thinking by many.

      • Yes the learning moments would be great and used from the moment of cognitive thought and initial parental guidance. The fact that these are high school teens gives them no quarter above being bottom feeding scum. Bullying, gay bashing, violence against women and intolerance is becoming more and more prevalent so the teaching moments are always there. Ebola is forefront in every topical media outlet. So they learned enough to be mean spirited and hateful about the topic so to me they are bottom feeding scum.

      • Familiar with Thievery Corporation? They have a dub- March of the Hate Machines. The moral middle becoming more and more ambiguous these days- life in the post, post modern world. One way or the other I like to hope for each knucklehead marching a hate machine there are four kids disarming it.

      • Here here. I will say my reaction was emotional. I work with victims of hate crimes here in NYC. At times it takes all I have to maintain an impartial stand when I’ve seen first hand evil and unabashed hatred. I count myself fortunate to work with some very savvy teens and young adults who are quite a positive influence.

      • old soccer coach says:

        Back when AIDS emerged and HIV was a death sentence teenagers expressed their fears in similar ways. “Ring around the Rosie” is a children’s rhyme dealing with the Black Death in the 14th century, according to some.

  2. I appreciate Don Garber sticking up for the game stateside as it relates to the USMNT but there is a part of me that sees JK’s point as well in all this. I think JK is a bit callous sometimes but he is right and people often don’t like the truth.
    I imagine it is rather annoying to Klinsman that all of a sudden – now, after years of US players trying to break through the ceiling in Europe, these mid career guys are all leaving and coming home to play. Is Klinsman wrong? A year ago Michael Bradley was on a team vying for Champions League rights and now in 2 weeks his season will be over on a team that truth be told sucked a bit. Meanwhile, the next crop of hopeful USMNT players are on the threshold of busting on first teams at Dortmund or Bayern et al and Diskerud’s are gaining valuable international experience.
    It is an interesting time for soccer here. We need the high end americans home to legitimize our league and raise the level of play but it is still a bit intramural by comparison to continental europe.
    Better look out, – guys like Bradley, Klinsman will drop in a heart beat – lub-dub- if he doesn’t feel you are plying your trade at the highest levels available- your outside the circle of trust and truth be told I think I am okay with that- cause the biggest of big pictures is how we are viewed on the world stage in the largest events. This is what will trigger the growth and respect our domestic league needs to be taken seriously someday. I really believe that until our domestic league stops being populated to a large degree by college graduates it will be second rate- and this brings us back to the Union and giving its homegrown academy kids chances to play. In 15 years or so- college kids won’t be part of the professional picture just like most high school soccer kids aren’t part of the developmental picture now. What a quandary.

    • I think Garber was foolish for making these comments.
      First of all, he’s only bringing greater attention to Klinsmann’s remarks. If Garber truly thinks that Klinsmann’s attitude towards MLS is detrimental to the league, why invite more and more people to hear what Klinsmann has to say? This wasn’t much of a story until Garber opened his mouth.
      Second, I think Klinsmann is right in criticizing players who voluntarily drop down to a lower level of competition. What competent coach wouldn’t want his players training and competing at a high level throughout the year?
      The best high school teams are full of players from top travel soccer clubs. The best college teams are led by young men and women who train with US national teams or compete in high-level summer leagues when not on campus. Why wouldn’t the USMNT manager want his top players to compete in the best leagues in Europe if they have the chance?

      • I understand your point and really am only commenting that I like the fact that he is sticking up for the MLS. I think it would be hard for him to ignore some of the stuff that has been said. So while I am uncertain it is the right thing to do, from a big brother sticking up for little brother I understand the sentiment.
        Regarding US Soccer and travel and high school. I recognize your point as well here too, though I think it is a fair assessment that more and more developmental and ‘elite’ travel teams are frowning on kids playing in high school as well as with their club team and I think this is a general trend that is going to continue. I envision an MLS in ten to fifteen years that has very few college level players. I think as the game ingrains in the culture more and more, college soccer is a dead end for making it to the highest level.
        Unless that is- if the college season changes or the rules are altered a bit. Like allowing the Big Ten Champs to compete as a team in Open Cup or in other mid pro level competition or finds a way to link MLS with collegiate programs.

      • old soccer coach says:

        A coach at any level is most concerned with the growth and development of the individual human being entrusted to his or her care. It happens at all levels. The Union let Valdes pursue a dream. They let Mondragon raise his family where his family wanted to be raised. The story is not told in any detail out of respect for personal privacy; I suspect something more fundamental than soccer occurred in Jeff Parke’s life that meant he had to get out of Dodge. I had a period in my coaching career when I was an adjunct assistant at a college preparatory day school. My two proudest memories are when good players, each one a starter, neither one a noted academic powerhouse, quietly told me how much their GPAs had improved.

  3. old soccer coach says:

    The basic long term strategic question for the development of professional soccer in the United States is whether the game will generate enough revenue for clubs to support minor leagues and developmental academies. Baseball has in the past and currently does so. Football and basketball use college sports to provide free farm teams, although basketball is perhaps beginning to move away from complete reliance on the NCAA as alternatives now exist in Europe and Asia. Klinsman is speaking truth and Garber is wrong. MLS imports its super stars from the big European leagues, it does not grow them and keep them. MLS has improved dramatically. But the elite athletes in North America know that that they will make much more money playing football baseball basketball or ice hockey than they will playing soccer, along with the other non-monetary “perks” that come to star athletes from middle school onward.

  4. Can Sak please stay quiet? Every time he talks, foot goes directly in mouth. The “short shelf life of Philly fans”? This isn’t south Florida. Very few, if any cities have more loyal fans. Will some dial it back a bit and go to fewer games, buy less merchandise, etc if the product on the field continues to struggle? Maybe, but they’ll still follow and support the team. Here’s hoping that Sak has a short shelf life in the FO.

  5. I happen to like Don Garber. I don’t agree with every move he’s made, but I think for the most part he has done a very good job in growing MLS in a steady, responsible way and he has a clear affinity for the game. He was certainly by a longshot the least reprehensible commissioner in American sports, at least until David Stern stepped down and it’s still too early to tell about Adam Silver.
    That said, I think he doth protest too much. I totally get defending the league and its players, but nothing that Klinsmann said is really all that wrong or worthy of that strong a rebuke, even if it came off as callous or elitist. I also think that Garber’s comments regarding the Donovan situation are frankly unprofessional and needlessly stoke a fire that desperately needs to be put out.
    He and Juergen need to sit down, have a Heineken (that’s the new league beer sponsor right?) and hash this thing out, because neither of them look good on this issue at the moment.

  6. “Sakiewicz says getting a bona fide attack minded striker is “number one” offseason priority.”

    If only we had a young, quality striker… You know, a potential national team talent who has proven they can score in MLS…

    Someone like Montreal’s striker who scored as many goals as Casey did but who’s young and can play 90 minutes consistently…

    • old soccer coach says:

      But will not those admirable characteristics gain such a player significant interest from leagues more prestigious and wealthier without salary caps and with traditions of committing organizational suicide through huge player contracts in the pursuit of trophies? Why do all those European leagues have table points penalties for going bankrupt otherwise?

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