Daily news roundups

Last Union game of 2014, prepping for offseason, USA v Mexico tonight at PPL Park, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Well then, this is it.

On Sunday, the Union close the 2014 season on the road in Columbus (4 pm: TCN, UniMás, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick).

Previews from PSP, Philadelphia Union (video), and Brotherly Game. Also, fellow SB Nation blog Massive Report asks Brotherly Game three questions.

Much of Jim Curtin’s press conference on Wednesday was concerned with the transition to the offseason, particularly how the Expansion Draft affects planning. Curtin tells CSN Philly,

We have a good idea of the guys we’re going to protect already. But things can change with injuries and complications and when you hear rumors of who maybe New York is high on and who Orlando’s high on. You do get little inklings along the process, but we have a pretty good idea who the guys who will be protected are, who the guys that are going to be back and whose contract is going to be renewed.

More from Curtin on the offseason at the Daily News and the Inquirer.

Amobi Okugo is one of those players who will almost certainly be on the protected list. Out of contract at the end of the season, Okugo tells Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com,

Some guys, they’re so focused on going to Europe they don’t look at all the aspects. You don’t want to just go to go. You want to go to a situation that you feel is right…

With my situation, because I’m a free agent, I have a little bit more leverage with teams not having to pay for a transfer fee. But there are a lot of other aspects. We haven’t really sat down and made a decision on whether I’ll stay with the team. I haven’t been formally offered anything. I think everyone’s just waiting until the season’s over to clear our heads and go from there.

As a PSP reader noted in a comment to one of our posts, while the Soccer America report we linked to earlier in the week that notes MLS is set to break its record for average attendance, it also notes that the Union’s average attendance for 2014 of 17,631, good for tenth in the league, is a 7 percent drop from 2013’s average of 17,867, which was itself a 1 percent drop from 2012’s average of 18,053. In terms of average percentage of capacity, 2014’s 95 percent capacity is down from 2013’s 97 percent capacity.

Ray Gaddis gets an honorable mention in the list of top MLS defenders in 2014 at ISISportsweb.com.

Brotherly Game rounds up how Union Academy alum have been faring with their college teams and also gives out “some premature end-of-the-season awards.”

At the Union website, a look at how the club’s Summer Select program “shaped an entire family.”

Looks like former Union man Freddy Adu could be on the move again. MLSsoccer.com reports “the FK Jagodina outcast” is “free to leave the Serbian top flight club in January should he find a new club. Adu was signed this past summer by manager Mladen Dodić, who was then fired in September.”

Former Union president Tom Veit will host a talk show on NBC Sports Talk 1080 in Orlando that will be on weekdays from noon until 3 pm. A look at his career at Sports Talk Florida recounts, “Veit ventured to the Philadelphia Union, first as a consultant and then as President. Veit oversaw the startup of Major League Soccer’s 17th franchise. Veit built the front office from scratch overseeing every aspect of the team’s launch including construction of their 18,000 seat soccer stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.”

Women’s World Cup qualifiers at PPL

The semifinals of the CONCACAF 2015 Women’s World Cup qualification tournament take place today at PPL Park, followed by the third place game and final on Sunday. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, October 24 
4:30 pm  — Costa Rica vs Trinidad and Tobago
7:30 pm — United States vs Mexico

Sunday, October 26
3 pm — Third Place Match
6 pm — Championship Match

Tickets are still available for both days at PPL Park. Click here to purchase. As far as I’m aware, this will be the first time a World Cup qualifier has been played locally, for the women or the men.

If the US defeats Mexico tonight — and they should — they are guaranteed a spot in the World Cup. Previews from PSP, US Soccer (preview), US Soccer (game notes), MLSsoccer.com,

USA Today on how, with memories of their loss to Mexico in the semifinals of 2011 Women’s World Cup qualifiers still vivid, the US is wary of being over-confident heading into tonight’s semifinal against Mexico.

At the Daily News, John Smallwood says the USWNT is facing a moment of truth.

At the Inquirer, Frank Fitzpatrick on Christie Rampone, the “unquestioned leader” on the USWNT. “On Friday night she will become just the second player in the sport’s history, man or woman, to play 300 games for his or her country, a total that includes four World Cups and four Olympics.” The other person to reach 300 games? Kristine Lilly.

In related news, the “independent consultant” hired by FIFA to examine the quality of the artificial turf fields that will be used for the entire 2015 Women’s World Cup doesn’t sound very independent in an interview on the FIFA website, saying that artificial turf is “an integral part” of the “strategy” of promoting the women’s game.

Strangely, he says, “To date, over-laying artificial turf with natural turf in stadiums has not been successful due to the inability of the natural turf to form a stable surface.” Apparently, he isn’t aware that this was done during the 1994 World Cup at the Detroit Silverdome. When asked about playing on that surface, former USMNT player and current Union assistant coach Mike Sorber told PSP in an interview in June,

It wasn’t spongey, the field was perfect. It was carpeting, it was like a pool table, one of the best fields I ever played on. We were the first game on it, the seams had come together. It was firm, fast, it was awesome.


Penn Fusion’s Sydney Zandi (West Chester, Pa.) and Rachael Dorwart (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) have been called up for US U-17 WNT camp, Nov. 1-8 in Carson, Calif., along with Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colt Neck, N.J.).

Archbishop Wood defeated Lansdale Catholic 1-0 in the Philadelphia Catholic League girls soccer semifinal on Thursday.

Friends of Vernon Park President Ruth Seeley responds to the NewsWorks story we linked to on Thursday about the Soccer Sisters United’s goal theft. Seeley was not pleased with the report saying FVP originally opposed Soccer Sisters United using Vernon Park.


Kansas City will not advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League after losing 2-0 to Saprissa in Costa Rica on Thursday night. If Kansas City had lost by one goal, they would have been through to the quarterfinals.

Soccer America notes, “Only two MLS clubs survived the group stage, the fewest since 2011, and only one U.S. entrant, No. 1 seed D.C. United, is still alive, the fewest since 2010.”

When the quarterfinals kick off in February, No. 1 seed DC will face No. 8 seed Alajuelense of Costa Rica, while No. 4 seed Montreal will face No. 5 Pachuca of Mexico. THis will be the first time under the current format of the tournament that a MLS team is the No. 1 seed.

The New York Times reports that referee Jose Carlos Rivero was suspended on Thursday “after he was arrested for claiming more than $14,000 in unemployment benefits while he was employed.” PRO said in a statement, “The Professional Referees Organization is fully aware of the alleged charges against Jose Carlos Rivero. Mr. Rivero has been suspended with immediate effect and will be not be assigned to any further matches pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.” Since 2011, Rivero has been the referee or fourth official in 76 matches, “including at least three as a referee or fourth official since his arrest this month.”

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has apologized for a tweet he sent to the Portland supporters group The Timbers Army. KPTV reports tweet came following the Timbers elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League to Olimpia in Honduras:

The Timbers Army account tweeted, “Here is a reality. We did not address obvious defensive concerns coming into this season. Who is that on? Why didn’t they fix that,” taking a shot at team management.

A couple minutes later, Paulson responded, saying “@timbersarmy you know people tell me to stop tweeting – and sometimes they are right – whoever is running this feed stfu.”

After deleting his tweet, Paulson said, “I was questioning letting someone who’d flown off the rails tweet from the acct. But it was a stupid response by me…Not my place to comment on the official TA acct. While I was surprised it was used that way last night, it’s not my call.” KPTV says, “Leaders of the Timbers Army declined to comment on the Twitter exchange, saying only that they’re moving past it.”

Jermain Defoe says he’s likely to have surgery in the offseason to repair the lingering groin injury that has limited his playing time. He also believes his commitment to Toronto has been “mischaracterized.”

In more Toronto news, SportsNet.ca reports, “In a bit of a shocker, coach Greg Vanney told members of the media that Canadian defender Doneil Henry was sold to a club in Cyprus earlier this season, and that team then loaned him directly back to TFC for the duration of the 2014 Major League Soccer campaign.” More on the story at SB Nation and MLSsoccer.com. Don’t go changing, TFC.

The Express says Manchester City want to keep Frank Lampard past the expiration of his loan from NYC FC on Jan. 1. “And they could do that by hosting part of New York’s pre-season training camp at their new £200million training facility.”

The LA Galaxy and AEG will invest $15 million in upgrading The Home Depot Center. An announcement on the Galaxy website says, “Highlighting the multi-faceted improvements to StubHub Center will be the largest LED video board in Major League Soccer and dedicated locker rooms and training facilities for the Galaxy’s player development program including LA Galaxy II and the LA Galaxy Academy.” Hasta la vista, Chivas USA.

Is San Jose Earthquakes about to reach a deal with tech giant Avaya for the naming rights to their new stadium?

Reuters reports, “Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber says an apparent lack of political will is making the bid to set up a franchise in Miami “complicated” and that David Beckham will need to find a stadium — or no club will be formed in the city.” Garber said, “It really is a very simple position we are in – if we can’t get the right stadium, we can’t go to Miami.”


Sunil Gulati spoke to The Washington Post about the recent Garber-Klinsmann spat. “Given some of the comments, I wasn’t surprised it became a hot-button issue. But the fundamental views of all of us involved are: ‘We’re on the same page.’ We got diverted from that, so it will go on for a little bit. I don’t view this as there being an undercurrent going forward. There won’t be any lingering issues.”

Gulati acknowledged, “Some things could have been phrased differently because the actual opinions of the two guys – and me and the leadership at MLS and U.S. Soccer – is actually closely aligned with where we see the game going.”

More on concussions in soccer at The New York Times.


The BBC reports that European Club Association “could ask world governing body FIFA to play the Qatar 2022 World Cup in May.”

Everton has released a statement following a series of troublesome incident involving supporters in Lille for Thursday’s Europa League game. On Wednesday, Everton supporters were attacked by “with metal chairs and battered by up to 100 hooligans who swarmed on the pub where they were gathered.” On Thursday, French police used tear gas to disperse Everton supporters who had gathered at Lille’s main square before the game. So far as the game itself? It was a 0-0 draw.

Remember that European Cup qualifier between Serbia and Albania that was abandoned after a drone flew of the stadium with a pro-Albanian banner and sparked fights on and off the pitch? The Guardian reports that UEFAs disciplinary committee “has decided to sanction both teams, with Serbia and Albania each being fined €100,000 (£78,000) and the home side being awarded a 3-0 victory. However neither side will get any points, because Serbia have also been docked three points.”

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for the upcoming week’s listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio.

El Clasico!


  1. Gee, I sure cant wait to see players like Danny Cruz and Brian Carrol one last time!

  2. Practice field update – They started putting up the brick wall around the field yesterday (just in the northwest corner so far).

  3. ISIS has a sports page and gave honorable mention to Ray Gaddis? Damn!

  4. The attendance decrease is not 7%, it’s a bit more then 1%. I have no idea how Soccer America came up with 7%.

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