Daily news roundups

Reports on Curtin announcement, Mbolhi up for African POY, playoff recaps, Dispersal Draft date set, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

On Friday, Philadelphia Union made official what had long been understood: Jim Curtin is the head coach of the team.

Here at PSP, check out our post on Curtin being named head coach, a fine assessment of the decision to go with Curtin from Dan Walsh, as well as a transcript of the press conference with Curtin and Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, and a transcript of Curtin’s comments to reporters after the press conference. Much was said at the press conference and in Curtin’s post-press conference remarks that is of great interest to Union fans — more than can be reasonably recapped here — and if you haven’t yet read the transcripts, I urge you to do so.

More on the Curtin announcement at Philadelphia UnionMLSsoccer.com (1), MLSsoccer.com (2)Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily NewsDelco TimesCSN Philly, CBS Philly (1), CBS Philly (2), Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameProSoccerTalkSBIGoal.com, The Sports Network, and Playing for 90.

Here’s video of Curtin’s appearance on CSN Philly’s Philly Sports Talk.

Playing for 90 wants more additions are named to the coaching staff.

Rais Mbolhi is one of 25 nominees for African Player of the Year. Mbolhi and Algeria host Ethiopia in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Nov. 15, followed by Mali on the road on Nov. 19. The African Player of the Year will be announced on Jan. 8.

Local lad and left back Greg Cochrane is on the outs at Chicago Fire, according to Hot Time in Old Town. The Union could use a left back, just like they could when they passed on him in the 2013 SuperDraft.

Michael Lahoud talks to USA Today about efforts to assist the fight against ebola. Lahoud says,

What shocks and infuriates me is hearing people in Philadelphia say it’s not a problem America should get involved with and it should get no more attention than flu season or alcoholism

Even in groups of friends, people have looked at me with such disdain when I tell them I have been there and that I go to Africa to play for the Sierra Leone national team. They think I am an idiot. People have said to my face that the U.S. should close its borders. There is so much ignorance. Real humans are dying out there.

As Lahoud’s comments make clear, the fight against ebola is as much a fight against ignorance as it is against a deadly virus.

Union Academy

The Union Academy U-13/14s were in Winston-Salem for three games in the U-14 Academy Showcase over the weekend. On the team drew 0-0 with Orlando City in the morning before defeating Capital Area RailHawks Academy-CASL 2-0 in the afternoon, with Daniel Bloyou scoring a brace in the first 17 minutes of the game. On Sunday, the Union crushed Georgia United, 7-1. Tony Temple had a hat trick, with single tallies from Bloyou, Christian Contreras, Brenden Aaronson, and Carter  Emack.

Back at YSC on Saturday, the U-15/16s faced PA Classics, but no score is presently recorded on the US Soccer Development Academy website. The U-17/18s played the PA Classics counterparts to a 0-0 draw.


It was a championship weekend for Philadelphia University. The men’s team defeated Wilmington (Del.) 1-0 on Saturday to claim its second straight Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) championship. Also on Saturday, the women’s team claimed a second CACC championship of its own with a 3-0 win over Post University. The women last won the conference title in 2006. Both teams will find out their seeding for the NCAA tournament today.

Neumann University’s men’s team won its third Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Championship in five seasons with a 3-2 penalty kick defeat of Marywood after the teams were tied 1-1 after overtime. Both of those goals also came from the penalty spot.

The Temple men’s team finished its season with a crushing 5-0 loss to UConn on Saturday.

The Archbishop Wood boys’ team was eliminated from the PIAA-AAA state tournament on Saturday with a 2-0 loss to Lower Dauphin.


The Eastern Conference championship will feature New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls. On Saturday, New York lost 2-1 to DC United but prevailed on away goals after defeating DC 2-0 at home in the first leg. New England went into Sunday’s second leg game at home with a 4-2 road win already under their belts. A 3-1 Revolution win on Sunday ended the Crew’s postseason. New York will host New England in the first leg of the Eastern Conference championship after the international break on Nov. 23.

Los Angeles advances to the Western Conference final after a comprehensive 5-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday that included a hat trick and an assist from Landon Donovan, and a goal and three assists from Robbie Keane. Seattle hosts Dallas tonight in the second leg of their conference semifinal after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Tonight’s game kicks off at 10:30 pm on NBCSN.

Soccer America suggests some tweaking to the away goals rule.

The league announced on Friday that the Dispersal Draft of former Chivas USA players will take place “via private teleconference” on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The draft order will be determined by “a random weighted draw on Nov. 14 using an envelope method. The system will be weighted by giving the 2014 playoff clubs a single envelope and giving the non-playoff clubs two envelopes. The random selections will be conducted by an MLS league office representative until each club has been appointed a draft position.”

The announcement says, “clubs will be given one minute to determine their selection. The draft will conclude when all MLS clubs forego a selection.” The announcement also says clubs

must take players at their full 2015 budget charges and options must be exercised, including any associated transfers or loans. If a team selects a player in the Dispersal Draft but leaves him unprotected ahead of the Expansion Draft on Dec. 10, he will be available for selection by either Orlando City or NYCFC at that time.

Players unselected during the Dispersal Draft will take part in the Re-Entry Draft, if eligible, or will be made available via the Waiver Draft on Dec. 10.

Erick “Cubo” Torres will not be available for selection in the Dispersal Draft. Torres told reporters in Mexico last week there “will definitely be news on his future by Dec. 15.”


The Seattle Times says MLS must build on the TV ratings bump it experienced this year, which it connects with the World Cup.

To thrive long-term, MLS needs to consolidate support beyond a handful of flagship cities. And much of that success needs to come over the TV airwaves.

Until that extends beyond this year’s modest growth, it’s too soon to equate MLS with other major sports leagues. MLS can’t be mentioned in the same sentence as the NBA when pro soccer still can’t shake the WNBA on the nation’s top cable network.

An editorial at the Washington Post on the proposed soccer stadium at Buzzard Point says that DC’s city council and mayor “should cooperate to improve the deal without torpedoing it.”

An opinion piece at the Washington Post says,

Supporters of a new stadium for D.C. United are making it difficult to like the current deal on the table to bring a 20,000 seat facility to Southwest Washington. Not only are the alleged financial benefits for the city questionable in some instances, according to a recent city report, the team’s community relations has been tone-deaf. And the people most likely directly affected by the development, the residents near Buzzard Point, where the stadium might be located, have been nothing more than an afterthought.

At SI, Grant Wahl on how LAFC came to be. At Soccer America, Paul Gardner is not enthused about LAFC.

MLS Multiplex on why MLS will be one of the world’s best leagues.

An update on Houston Dynamo’s hopes to build a new stadium for their new USL PRO team.

The Toronto Globe and Mail on efforts at by Ottawa Senator’s to create a more soccer-like atmosphere at otherwise typically quiet home games. The report describes that such efforts “are believed to be the first team-supported attempt to foster the atmosphere of an avid soccer crowd in the NHL.”


Business of Soccer on how, after two years of play, the NWSL’s financial viability is still being tested.


The USMNT roster for the upcoming friendlies against Colombia in London, and Ireland in Dublin, are expected to be announced today. New England Revolution owner Jonathan Kraft says Lee Nguyen will get a call up. Jermaine Jones says he will be called up. Grant Wahl says he’s hearing that Clint Dempsey will not.

Lancaster’s Russell Canouse was called up for the US U-20 team’s trip to the U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain, but his former Hoffenheim teammate Zach Pfeffer was not.

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner says it is no fault of new head coach John Hackworth, but losing former U-15 coach Hugo Perez —  who “unashamedly stocked his teams with Latin talent” — is a step backward for Latino inclusivity.

Jeff Kassouf has a long-form piece on Delran’s Carli Lloyd.

Brandi Chastain tells NPR that heading the ball should be banned for players under the age of 14.

Edward Woodward, CEO of Manchester United, is bullish on expanding United’s brand in the US.


FIFA’s ethics committee is expected to release details from the investigation into alleged corruption in the bidding for the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup this week.

The Guardian reports that North Korean construction workers in Qatar working on preparations for the 2022 World Cup are being subjected to slave-like conditions with 90 percent of the wages being pocketed by the North Korean government.

Reuters reported on Friday, “A group of 13 members of the U.S. Senate have urged FIFA to switch next year’s women’s World Cup in Canada to natural grass saying the decision to play on artificial turf was a ‘short-sighted and counterproductive decision’.” The senators also sent Sunil Gulati a letter urging him to use his position as president of US Soccer to support the players. (Click here for a copy of the letter to Sepp Blatter; click here for a copy of the letter to Sunil Gulati.)

Among the signatories was Pennsylvania senator Robert P. Casey and New Jersey senator Robert Menendez. More on the senators’ letter from SI.

Around the same time, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, which is hearing the gender discrimination case brought by players aimed at forcing FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association to replace artificial turf fields at the 2015 Women’s World Cup with natural grass, announced it had turned down a request from the players for an expedited hearing. Instead, the tribunal offered early mediation as a mechanism “to provide the parties with an opportunity to resolve the matter in a timely way.” More on the decision from the AP.

While the players accepted the offer of mediation, the Canadian Soccer Association turned down the offer, saying the case had no merit.

Hampton Dellinger, the lawyer representing the players, said he will ask the tribunal to reconsider the request for an expedited hearing. “The tribunal’s decision was based on a false assumption that CSA was willing to join the players at the negotiating table. Clearly that is not the case. A hearing on the merits is now more important than ever.”

Speaking in Des Moines on Sunday, Abby Wambach said,

We deserve to play on the same surface as the men. The 2018 men’s World Cup will be played in Russia and most the stadiums are turf, and they’re slotted to rip the turf up to put grass in. In my opinion, that’s just a clear violation of gender discrimination rights, and especially by Canadian law…I’m optimistic that we can get the result that we want, but it’s going to be a fight.

I wish I could say I shared Wambach’s optimism.


  1. LOL at the dispersal draft lottery. Why don’t they just have the owners play darts, run the 100 yard dash or stick their hand in the “Boreworm” hole, first one to get bit picks first. Each is just as completely arbitrary as their envelope decision.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    “via private teleconference” & “a random weighted draw on Nov. 14 using an envelope method. The system will be weighted by giving the 2014 playoff clubs a single envelope and giving the non-playoff clubs two envelopes. The random selections will be conducted by an MLS league office representative until each club has been appointed a draft position.” —
    they could have just said rigged.
    Also, this 2022 World Cup,is getting out of hand. It’s been said so much I know, but it needs to be moved. FIFA is a disgrace.

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