Daily news roundups

Mbolhi & Blake call-ups, no Disney Classic in 2015, Academy news, playoffs kickoff, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

The Union announced on Tuesday that Rais Mbolhi and Andre Blake have been called up for national team duty during the November international break. Mbolhi will be with Algeria when they face Ethiopia (Nov. 15) and Mali (Nov. 19), while Blake will be with Jamaica for the 2014 Caribbean Cup, which includes Martinique (Nov. 11), Antigua & Barbuda (Nov. 13) and Haiti (Nov. 15) in the group stage before the third place game and final.

Orlando Sentinel reported on Tuesday that Houston Dynamo had traded Tally Hall and an international slot to Orlando City in exchange for allocation money. While the Sentinel report notes, “He has long been management’s top goalkeeper target,” the goalkeeper suffered an ACL injury that is expected to see him miss all of the preseason and perhaps the first month of the 2015 season. Why is this in the Union section of the roundup? The Orlando Sentinel report concludes,

Orlando City may target a goalkeeper in the expansion draft to find a starter who will be available for the beginning of the MLS season. It could be a loaded position in the draft, with players like the Philadelphia’s 23-year-old goalkeeper Zac MacMath, out of favor on the keeper-loaded Union roster and possibly available.

In other news from the Sunshine State, a report out of central Florida says the Disney World Pro Soccer Classic will not be taking place in 2015, news which opens the question of how the Union the will be playing their preseason warm-up games. Will they be joining in on the fun at Bradenton? The Desert Classic in Tucson? Somewhere else? Stay tuned.

In the last Castrol Index Top 20 Performer’s list of the regular season, Amobi Okugo comes in at No. 16. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Andrew Wenger (No. 20), Conor Casey (No. 39), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 51), Okugo (No. 56), and Maurice Edu (No. 58).

Okugo made Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Ten list of the best local pro athletes on Twitter.

Le Toux receives an honorable mention in ISportsWeb’s Top Ten MLS Forwards of 2014 list.

Pedro Ribeiro is No. 10 in Soccer America’s candidates for Rookie of the Year.

From MLSsoccer.com’s final power rankings: “The wheels came off and the attack disappeared after the US Open Cup final. Philly went 1-3-2 down the stretch, and now they get to spend a couple of months figuring out if they can get a goal-scorer for the top of that 4-2-3-1.”

Soccer America — which dropped them from 12th to 13th in their final power rankings of the regular season, one spot lower than they finished in the league table — had this to say about the Union:

Losing its final game to the Crew, 2-1, neatly summarized its late-season fizzle. The Union won just one of its last seven games and needed to at least double the six points it accrued in those matches to reach the postseason. Newcomer Cristian Maidana led the team with 11 assists, but a few other moves didn’t work out, Maurice Edu wasn’t quite as impactful as expected, and the fan base is divided as to whether interim head coach Jim Curtin is the right choice long-term.

This is what what said in ProsoccerTalk’s power rankings, which dropped the Union one spot to No. 12: “Things are looking up here. John Hackworth should be sticking around, Maurice Edu, Amobi Okugo and Andrew Wenger look ready to stay atop their games and Philly has an offseason to adjust their roster for a better run in a tougher than most think East.”

In ProsoccerTalk’s look at the teams that failed to reach the playoffs, this is the assessment of the Union: “Not bad, not great.”

Brotherly Game reviews how the Union “has managed — and mis-managed — the previous two expansion drafts.”

Union Academy

My apologies for being late with this, but on Saturday, the Union U-13/14s fell 4-2 on the road to New York Red Bulls Academy. Tony Temple equalized for the Union with goals in the 45th and 65th minute before the Union conceded the lead in the 76th and 80th minute. The Red Bulls Academy has a match report.

The U-15/16s were on the road to Seacoast United on Saturday and returned home the 4-1 winners with goals from Jerren Nixon and Auston Trusty, and a brace from Anthony Fontana.

The U-17/18s also faced Seacoast United and were the 3-0 victors with goals courtesy of a brace from Yousef Samuel and a single tally from D. Jones.

On Sunday, the three Union Academy teams are on the road to face their DC United counterparts at Catholic University.

By the way, in O When the Yanks rankings of the top 200 Class of 2015 players, the U-17/18s’ Sean Wilson (D) is ranked fourth in country, Sebastien Elney (F) is ranked fifth, Chris Gomez (D) is ranked 44th, William Campbell (D) 59th, Michael Swift (F) 128th, Cameron Keys (GK) 143rd, Morgan Hackworth (M) 186th, and Brandon Levano (M) 195th.

In the rankings of the top 160 Class of 2015 players at College Soccer News, Sean Wilson comes in at No. 11, Chris Gomez at No. 21, Cameron Keys at No. 38, Kevin Carvalho (F) at No. 89, Morgan Hackworth at No. 147, and Zachery Perez (D) at No. 151.

In the rankings of the top 150 Class of 2016 players at O When the Yanks, Jack Skahan (M) comes in at No. 25, and Raheem Taylor-Parkes (F) at No. 28.

In the rankings of the top 150 Class of 2016 players at College Soccer News, Isaiah Young is 34th, Raheem Taylor-Parks is 44th, and Andrew Verdi (GK) is 50th.


Archbishop Wood are the 2014 Philadelphia Catholic League boys soccer champions with a 1-0 overtime win over Roman Catholic on Tuesday night.

The Penn men’s team was defeated 1-0 at home by West Virginia on Tuesday night.

The Drexel men’s team hosts Delaware tonight.

Cheltenham School District have confirmed that a hazing incident took place involving the Cheltenham High School boys’ soccer team. NBC10 reports that the “allegations stem from a Sept. 23 incident that district referred to as ‘ripping’ – a type of wedgie” and that “an internal and external investigation has led to action being taken against athletes and employees.”


The playoffs begin tonight with the Western Conference knockout game between fourth place Dallas and fifth place Vancouver (9 pm, MLS Live). The winner will advance to face Seattle in the semifinals.

Seattle Sounders have signed Obafemi Martins to a contract extension. Martins said, “I hope to play here for at least three years, as the contract says.”

Jermain Defoe talks to The Guardian about hurt feelings, possibly returning to the Premier League.

With the news that the successful Chivas USA Academy will shut down at the end of the current US Soccer Development Academy season next spring, US Soccer Players wonders if MLS and US Soccer are heading in the right direction with youth development.

A Portland Timbers supporter could face criminal charges for a fight that took place in the stands at Toyota park in last weekend’s game against Dallas. It was one of a series of regrettable incidents reported to have occurred during the game.

MLSsoccer.com on Orlando City’s preparations for the Expansion Draft, which will take place on Dec. 10.

Sacramento Republic officials and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson met with Don Garber in New York on Tuesday to present their case for a MLS team. More from Sacramento BeeCBS Sacramento, and KCRA.

KARE11 on the competing efforts to land a MLS team in Minneapolis.

In NASL news, the owners of Atlanta Silverbacks could be selling the franchise to buyers in another market. Also, NASL coaches don’t like the quality of officiating in their games either.


The AP reports, “The Canadian Soccer Association is denying allegations that it targeted players involved in a legal challenge to the use of artificial turf at next summer’s Women’s World Cup.” You will recall on Tuesday we linked to news that lawyers representing the players who filed suit with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario have alleged that FIFA, the CSA, and other national federations including US Soccer, have brought pressure on players to withdraw from the suit, one backed by a number of prominent USWNT stars.

Josh Sundquist is celebrating his inclusion in the US Amputee Soccer Team by dressing up as a foosball player for Halloween.


Russia 2018 WC logoThe logo for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been unveiled. Sepp Blatter says it shows Russia’s “heart and spirit.” Vitaly Mutko, the head of the Russian organizing committee, said, “The World Cup will change our country and will present a new, modern Russia to the whole world.” Sure, just like the Olympics did.

The Daily Mirror rounds up some tweets to answer the question, Where have we seen that logo before?

From Reuters, “Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday security at the 2018 World Cup would be ‘effective but not intrusive,’ underlining to his security chiefs the need for subtle measures that will not scare off fans.”

From The AP, “FIFA says it has not decided to keep Russia and Ukraine apart in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, despite reports to the contrary.”

Only a few hours after Messi was included on the shortlist for the 2014 Ballon d’Or, Sepp Blatter said the decision to award Lionel Messi the Golden Ball award at the 2014 World Cup was “incorrect.”

Carlos Ancelotti said of Blatter, “It always surprises me what he [Blatter] does, but what are we going to do. It is impossible to shut up the FIFA president. This is a matter which is always talked about.”

When to stage the 2022 World Cup? FIFA wants to hold it in November. UEFA wants to hold it in January. European Club Association chief and Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wants to hold it in April-May. A FIFA task force will be meeting to hear proposals on Nov. 3.


  1. I assume that ProSoccerTalk meant “JIM CURTIN should be sticking around…”…

  2. Interesting how the first paragraph is seeming unrelated to the next two when really it pinpoints the need to protect MacMath so the Union have someone who is not going to be called up for international duty. On the other hand, if Orlando only needs Zak until Hall gets healthy, maybe they can work out some sort of deal to draft him and then trade him back to Philly…

    • Unless MLS expects to honor international dates next season, of course.
      I’d still protect MacMath and leave Mbohli exposed; I wouldn’t expect either team would take Mbohli.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Agreed. Leaving M’Bolhi exposed is a risk they should take, as it is unlikely someone grabs him. And if they do, we really haven’t lost any ground at the goalkeeper position.

      • hopefully M’Bolhi doesn’t have a no-trade-clause in his contract, otherwise we’re forced to protect him

      • I don’t think the concept of ‘no-trade clause’ exists in MLS.

  3. I don’t recommend reading the Brotherly Game’s expansion draft review. The writer hasn’t read the International player rule for the expansion draft. (http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/official-mls-expansion-draft-rules)

    He complains about us protecting Juan Diego Gonzalez in 2010 and Keon Daniel & Faryd Mondragon in 2011 without realizing that the only allowed alternatives were protecting Eduardo Coudet in 2010 and Gonzalez & Veljko Paunovic in 2011

    • Yeah didn’t get much from it either. Plus my biggest issue with the Union’s past expansion draft experience is that they didn’t take advantage of it to try to acquire additonal talent (ie “pick this guy for us an we’ll trade you X allocation dollars, etc”)

      • interesting angle, sort of like what Chivas did using Vancouver to take Alejandro Moreno from us in 2010

  4. The Chopper says:

    Have the Union announced where they will be training this spring? Deltona is out. They can not train within 50 miles of another MLS home city. That is probably why the Disney Classic collapsed. Teams were probably not interested in having camp more than 50 miles away from Disney and having to travel there for games.

  5. The Chopper says:

    The rule does seem silly for spring training, but it is part of a larger rule preventing MLS clubs from selling sponsorship packages, rights deals etc inside another team’s protected market space. Exceptions are New York and LA where Red Bull and the Galaxy were compensated to a allow another club inside the market.

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