Daily news roundups

Dispersal, Curtin says Edu “willing to play center back,” Blake wins Golden Glove, US embarrassed, more

Photo: Courtesy of Nick Leimbach

Philadelphia Union

The Union have the 17th pick in today’s Dispersal Draft of Chivas USA players. At Union Tally, Matthew DeGeorge deciphers the dispersal.

The Union have announced they will host a pro combine at YSC Sports, Dec. 16-17.

In an article from Dave Zeitlin published here at PSP as head coach and last week on the KYW Philly Soccer Show about the status of Maurice Edu and Amobi Okugo: He wants both players but the team needs to buy Edu’s contract from Stoke, and he expects that Okugo will look to play in Europe.

One difference with his latest comments is that he seems more certain that, should the Union acquire his rights — Curtin says he’s “cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to make something work” — Edu will play at center back: “He’s willing to play center back, for sure.” The Stoke Sentinel highlights Curtin’s comments on Edu.

Curtin also acknowledged losing Okugo will be upsetting to many fans. “I recognize he’s a very popular guy. He’s a popular guy in our locker room and he’s an important part to our team, as well … We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if he’s back. There is some unknown there.”

As noted last week in our offseason issues series, if Okugo does go to Europe and Edu partners with Carlos Valdes at center back, the question then becomes who will play holding mid?

All the roster concerns are of course complicated by the upcoming Expansion Draft. At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead speculates on the Union’s options in terms of who they will protect in the draft.

Jamaica won the Caribbean Cup championship on Tuesday. The game went to penalty kicks (video here) after finishing regulation and extra time tied at 0-0, the Union’s Andre Blake came up with a huge stop on T&T captain Kenwyne Jones, who took the first penalty kick for his team. After the final, Blake was honored with the tournament’s Golden Glove award. With the win, Jamaica earns a berth in the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

MLS Multiplex on the fall and rise of the 2014 Union. I didn’t realize Sebastien Le Toux “had a season season-ending ankle injury in late September.” It sure looked like it was him playing 170 minutes and getting an assist in those last two games against Columbus in October.

At the New York Red Bulls website, a recap of the victories of their U-16s and U-18s wins over their Union Academy counterparts last weekend.


The USL has announced that Lehigh Valley Sonic will join the PDL in 2015. With Reading United and Ocean City Nor’easters already in PDL, the area rivalry factor just got a whole lot more fun.

The latest Kensington Soccer Club newsletter is out.

Nick Leimbach has designed soccer jerseys for each of the 50 states as well as DC. Thankfully, the Pennsylvania first kit is one of my favorites (and also looks a lot like a mock Union jersey design I fiddled with back in 2009), and the second kit looks pretty great, too. The Delaware designs aren’t bad (I like the home kit), but the New Jersey designs don’t really grab me.

PA jerseys

PA jerseys concepts: Home (left) and away (right). I’d buy the home one right now if it were available.


Mix Diskerud, who is out of contract, on the possibility of moving to MLS: “I’m open for anything right now. I have my people to talk to and discuss [options], so we’ll see what happens. But I’m holding all options open right now.”

Lots of player news from Chicago Fire, who declined the options on 11 players, including former Union man Bakary Soumare. Among those whose options were picked up was left back and local lad Greg Cochrane. Patrick Nyarko re-signed with the club.

Same with Columbus Crew, who announced they have declined the options on seven players, including Jairo Arrieta. 16 players had their options picked up by the club.

Reaction to the Boston Globe report we linked to on Tuesday on a possible site for a New England Revolution stadium in Boston from CBS Boston. WBUR, and Bostinno. Fans tell NECN they like the idea.

NYCFC and Orlando City will face each other in the opening game of the Carolina Challenge Cup on Feb. 21.

San Jose Mercury News reports that the Earthquakes will announce tech firm Avaya as its stadium sponsor today.

In an interview on the Arsenal website, Arsene Wenger says leagues like MLS and the Indian Super League are perfect places for older Premier League players to finish their career, simultaneously being an ambassador for the game and also satisfying the desire to continue to compete.


The NWSL announced on Tuesday that “Executive Director Cheryl Bailey will be leaving following two years as the head of the Division 1 women’s professional soccer league. Following the completion of a national search for her replacement, Bailey will step down from her position but will serve as a consultant to assist with the transition.”


The last time the US lost by three goals was against Brazil in 2012, an occasion that prompted Klinsmann to say, “we need to get an edge, more nastier.”

After Tuesday’s embarrassing 4-1 loss to Ireland, Klinsmann said the same: “I’m telling you that again. We’ve got to get nastier. It’s not a negative word. We have to become more physical. We have to hold our ground more, dominant, and send signals out all over the field.”

Klinsmann said, “[W]e are not there yet. We have quite a way to go,” adding that he believes the team is still suffering from a post-World Cup hangover.

SI says the US needs to learn how to handle success (whatever that means). Soccer America says, “Instead of conjuring nonsensical excuses, Klinsmann may want to reflect on his tactics.”

Alejandro Bedoya said, “I think that we’ve been taught some lessons the past few games. You can say whatever you want — that this is part of the learning process, the development, the progress — but we just have to get it together.”

Reports from PSP, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, US Soccer Players, Soccer AmericaASN, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBICBS SportsWashington Post,  the Irish TimesIrish Independent, the Irish Herald, the GuardianPA Sport, and Reuters.

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com, Soccer AmericaNew York Times, Goal.com, and ProSoccerTalk.

MLSsoccer.com and ProSoccerTalk has three things from the game, SI has three thoughts, Soccer America has three takeaways.

Just to make matters worse, after defeating Russia and Ireland earlier in the Marabella Tournament in Spain, the US U-20s lost 1-0 to Canada on Tuesday.

On a happier note, the US U-17s drew 2-2 with host Chile at the Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, a scoreline that included a goal from Hershey’s Christian Pulisic. On a down note, the US gave up an equalizer after first battling from behind to take the lead. The team next faces Brazil on Thursday.

Lastly, thanks, Paul Caligiuri. Not only was the goal you scored 25 years ago today one of the most important in the history of the national team, it was also a pretty tasty strike.


The Guardian reports, “In a further twist to its farcical attempt to deal with corruption allegations surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding race, FIFA has lodged a criminal complaint against certain individuals involved with the Swiss authorities. The New York Times reports doing so means FIFA has handed over the full investigation report from Michael Garcia to the Swiss authorities. You can read FIFA’s statement here.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, the chair of FIFA Ethics Committee adjudicatory chamber, and the author of the much maligned summary report of the investigation, explained in an interview on the FIFA website, “During my analysis of the report from the chairman and deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, I came across indications that pointed to suspected unlawful activity in connection with Switzerland. In the circumstances, I saw it as my duty to bring this to the FIFA President’s attention and to recommend to him that the Swiss criminal prosecution authorities be informed.”

He added,

I would like to point out that not once did my statement involve a so-called “whitewashing” of the award process with regard to the various allegations and assumptions made, contrary to what has been claimed in some quarters. My statement was based on the Garcia report – I can only work with the material contained in it, and in my view, there was insufficient clear evidence of illegal or irregular conduct that would call into question the integrity of the award process as a whole. However, in certain places, the report does indicate that further clarification is needed of certain circumstances. Much of this clarification work can be carried out by the FIFA Ethics Committee itself, while the remainder is the responsibility of the relevant national investigatory authorities.

In a separate interview on the FIFA website, Sepp Blatter said, “I have no doubt that the Ethics Committee has done all it possibly could under the FIFA Statutes to shed light on the issues surrounding the awarding of the World Cups.” As for calls that the full investigation report be released, Blatter said,

Once again, we have examined this matter very, very carefully from a legal point of view. The result was clear: if FIFA were to publish the report, we would be violating our own association law as well as state law. The people who are demanding in the media and elsewhere that FIFA publish the report are obviously of the opinion that FIFA should or must ignore the law in this regard. We obviously cannot do that. FIFA’s headquarters are in a constitutional state, and we therefore have to abide by the country’s laws.

The headline for Marina Hyde’s column at the Guardian reads, “Ethics report shows war on FIFA is as futile as ‘war on terror’.”

At Al Jazeera America, Graham Parker on the turf lawsuit ahead of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The AP reports that Marseille president Vincent Labrune is one of three people arrested by French police “as part of an investigation into the 2010 transfer of France international Andre-Pierre Gignac to Marseille.” French police are also investigating possible match-fixing in France’s second division.


  1. Okugo to Europe, Edu to CB, which means Dmid will be…DUN DUN DUN…Brian Carroll. (I hope I’m kidding)

    • Why not put Noguiera in the deep playmaker role (like Pirlo) and have him hold?

      • Nogueira seems to be at his best (and it’s a natural tendency of his) when he can drift side to side to collect the ball and push upfield. I think the DM role requires someone with a bit more positional discipline to properly shield the back line. I wouldn’t want to force that on Nogueira. If Okugo goes, I would think a new player comes in as the primary, with Lahoud as a backup.

  2. If Okugo leaves, Edu plays CB and assuming we don’t lose Berry or White in the expansion draft, we’ll go from having almost no CBs and an abundance of CDMs last offseason, to having an abundance of CBs and no CDMs this offseason. If Okugo leaves I think it’s pretty obvious Edu should be playing CDM, but this team has baffled me before.

  3. I love how it feels like all of America has turned against Klinsmann. Which is amazing considering he got us out of the group.

    Of course, by no means am I defending him. He has made bad decisions and is subpar tactically. But I know there is a tinge of defensiveness and American exceptionalism in criticism of him.

    I for one am still behind him 100%. We have a long way to go to become a top 5 nation and I still want someone in charge with the kind of pedigree Klinsmann has. I don’y think America soccer is at a point yet where we are going to produce a coach good enough to get us where we need to be. Not just from an on the field perspective, from an EVERYTHING perspective.

    • I understand you sentiment. My position is why are we meddling with the line-up in the early stages of a cycle. We have a team that got out of the group with an injured center striker. Now the center striker is healthy and I am yet, I believe, to have seen the same team start a game. Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle the alchemist as if the starting ‘real’ first team is cohesive and good enough that they don’t have to play. That team should be playing against all teams as often as possible trying to improve how they work together- there is no Euro 16 to be concerned about ini the US. You bring in one or two new players maybe. Then what– in two years— fiddle fiddle fiddle again and change key players cause someone ‘looks’ to be a solution and now we are in a WC cycle with players who still have no real continuity.
      Changing positions for players as if by dumb luck something is going to catch hold. Fabian Johnson in the midfield? Bradley as a 10? and can we please stop playing Timmy Chandler- a right footed LB? and… and …. and….
      I support JK, he is what we have. But what I see is no different than the team of 06, 10 or 14. It is more of the same.
      I am a royal SOB, that’s son of a bitch, not son of ben and I have ridiculously high expectations. So I apologize for ranting ranting ranting about the state of the USMNT. 4-1 to Ireland? No way!

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah I agree to a point, Joel. I like bringing in new players and trying things, that what friendly’s are for, especially this early in the cycle. But too many players are being misused, and tactically this team is very messy. Losing 4-1, to what I am told was a B/C Ireland team, is not something that should be happening right now.

  4. Brian Carroll is not the holding mid this team needs by any stretch. He will bog things down too much. If Okugo goes then to me it signals just how inept the Union management is and at 24 Okugo is taking a big risk with his career. I just don’t see him impacting much in Europe. He will be a star in MLS accomplishing great things and open a lot of eyes. I’ll wish him well though . The Union better find someone to replace Okugo fast. Edu to me is an all-star CB and his career and stock will rise if he takes the position and runs with it.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed. And with Okugo still being relatively young, he could spend 2-3 more years here, and raise his game/profile even more, then leave for Europe at 25-26. Not even being on the senior USMNT radar, and believing you have a chance to play legitimate time in Europe, is a bit ambitious in my opinion.

    • Why are we still talking about Okugo when Curtin already said that the player is not going to displace Noguera, Chaco or Edu in midfield. Curtin said Okugo is the odd man out in his midfield and so it makes sense that Okugo should rightfully be looking for another team Europe or not. The Okugo and Edu saga is proof to me that Philadelphia Union is not a serious club. I cannot understand why they cannot keep the two players.These are two players that can solidly play two positions for you effectively. The Union is nothing but a cheap mother.

  5. if you don’t have the horses to play in a four back with a strong holding mid presence……………why play in a four back at all? Why are MLS teams so tactically stringent? Does US soccer tell them how to play too, like the academies? Why not go to a 3 back and 5 man midfield?

    • I love the way that you think, but in order to play three at the back, you need two good wingbacks who can give you width and the Union don’t have that either.

      The last successful team to play three at the back over a extended period of time was the Revs in the mid-2000’s. It used to be more prominently used, but once teams started employing lone strikers up top about 10 years ago, it no longer made sense for teams to play it as you can put that extra man into midfield.

  6. The US got torched yesterday because they only played with one holding mid……..and a subpar Becherman at that! They were running at them from the midfield at will…………………Tactical “f” up by Jurgen yesterday! He went 4-1-3-2 instead of 4-2-3-1 and paid for it…..

    • that was the worst I’ve seen Beckerman play and maybe you are correct. He isn’t quite able to man the fort by himself. at least Bradley provides better support. Morales and Diskerud basically were absentee players.
      All of this standing to my points all around the PSP the last 2 days: fiddle fiddle fiddle the alchemist — yet he expects us to have cohesion and unity when things are changing each game — even the basis of formation and identity — that he has been preaching- but if we just played more “nasty.” More nasty? Would that have solved things?
      good catch alicat215.

      • Thanks Joel, if you noticed…Beckerman was dropping back even with the back 4….the three midfielders in front of him were much higher up the pitch….leaving this huge gap that the Irish completely exploited! I’m no fan of Beckerman at the international level, he’s a great MLS player, but in over his head here! The US needs two holdings at all times……at the WC, we ran in a 4-4-2 with both interior guys designated as holding mids. Funny, in this day and age teams that generally run a 4-4-2 do so….because if they try to dictate a match in another shape….they get flamed!

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