Daily news roundups

Curtin says Union targets could come on loan, pass on Dispersal Draft, Expansion Draft rules released, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union had the 17th pick of Wednesday’s Dispersal Draft. They passed. Only seven players were selected in the draft.

In a post at MLSsoccer.com from Dave Zeitlin, Jim Curtin reiterated comments he recently made made on the KYW Philly Soccer Show that he and Chris Albright will soon be embarking on “multiple trips to Europe and South America” in search of a new striker. Echoing comments he made when he was announced as head coach two weeks ago, Curtin said, “We’re not going to bring in a $7 million forward. I talked to the owners, and that’s not something that is going to happen. But you can still find a quality goalscorer in Europe for that next tier of spending.”

The Union’s financial limitations and salary cap concerns mean that Curtin and Albright may need to look for loan deals to get the player they want.

We have a clear agenda of which guys we want to target. And there are good relationships with clubs for loans. That’s going to be kind of our mechanism to bring players in. We’ll look at every opportunity to get the best bang for our buck because we’re limited by the salary cap…

We’re not going to go on a wild goose chase. The targets are clear. We know who we want to see, and we’re going to see them.

Curtin also said whether the club will pick up the option to sign Brian Brown is “an ongoing discussion.” He also said he hopes to secure the return of Conor Casey and Brian Carroll. “Those are guys that have done a ton for the club. They’ve contributed a great deal … It’s a tricky offseason so there are no promises, but those are two guys I’d like to have around in Union shirts. But there’s an expansion draft, a re-entry draft, and what you want and what you get are two different things at this time of the year.”

Regarding Curtin’s recent comments about buying Maurice Edu’s contract from Stoke and playing him at center back, Brotherly Game notes that, while the sample size is small, the average number of goals allowed by the Union dropped when Edu was in defense under Curtin, the average number of goals scored also dropped when he wasn’t in the midfield.

Soccer America has a shoutout for Andre Blake for his performance in the Caribbean Cup final.

Round Two of the fan vote for the top ten Union goals of 2014 pits Conor Casey’s goal against Colorado in July that was the culmination of 13 passes involving nine different players against Zach Pfeffer’s first MLS goal, scored against Columbus in the final game of the season.

Brotherly Game continues its “You be the GM” series with Ethan White. Also at Brotherly Game, a roundup of what former Union Academy players have been doing with their college teams.

Playing for 90 on preparing what Amobi Okugo leaving the team might mean.

Delaware Union are the Union’s latest Youth Development Affiliate partner. I believe that brings the number of YDA partners to ten.


Reading United has announced it will host an open tryout at Body Zone Sports & Wellness Complex in Wyomissing on Dec. 30.

Four Penn players have received All-Ivy honors. Duke Lacroix was named to the All-Ivy first team for the second consecutive season, Alec Neumann was named to the second team for the second season in a row, while Forrest Clancy also received second-team honors. Max Polkinhorne received an honorable mention.

Bucks County Courier Times recaps the high school girls soccer season, which has headlined by Villa Joseph Marie’s PIAA Class AA state championship.


On Wednesday, the league released the rules for the upcoming Expansion Draft. A post on the league website notes,

Among the most notable items in the rules, MLS clubs can protect 11 players on their roster, meaning those players will not be eligible for selection Orlando City or NYCFC. Even if a player’s contract expires at the end of 2014, he is still considered part of his team’s roster for the Expansion Draft, and teams will have to decide whether to protect him or not…

Teams are also limited in the number of international players they protect. They may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three. The rules state that any non-domestic US players will count as international players for the Expansion Draft.

The Expansion Draft will take place on Dec. 10. No team can lose more than two players.

Montreal Impact had a Members General Assembly on Monday night in which season ticket holders could ask questions of team officials. What a novel idea.

The Guardian reports that, with Yaya Toure to be with Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Manchester City will look to have Frank Lampard’s loan from NYCFC extended.

At Soccer Gods, Zito Madu on why the low wages paid to most MLS players are “reprehensible.”

Washington DC mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser says she supports the DC United stadium plan and hopes that a deal will be completed by the end of the year. More from Washington Business Journal, MLSsoccer.com, and Soccer America.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a Q&A with MLS Atlanta president Darren Eales.

Representatives of groups in Sacramento, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas looking to become the next expansion franchise are meeting with league officials today. At Soccer America, an overview of each of the expansion bids.

Here are reports on the Sacramento group from Sacramento BeeCBS Sacramento, KCRA, Fox 40, and News 10.

Minneapolis has two groups competing to land a franchise, one backed by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the other by NASL side Minnesota United. Reports from Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business JournalTwinCities.com, KSTP, MPR,

Las Vegas Review-Journalon the Las Vegas bid to land a franchise.

Left out of the meetings are El Paso and San Antonio.

At ESPN, Graham Parker details why he loves following MLS.


At ASN, Brian Sciaretta says Jurgen Klinsmann needs to turn things around.

At ESPN, Graham Parker has some homework for Klinsmann during the break before the start of the January camp.

Yahoo Sports wonders when Klinsmann will take the team forward.

Former USWNT coach Tom Sermanni tells Soccer America he’s not bitter for being fired and wishes the SU team well.

Howler on how the “pay-to-play” development academy model means low income families are marginalized and the USMNT misses out on a vast pool of players.

Franz Beckenbauer talks to SI about his time in the US with New York Cosmos.


The AP reports, “The judge and prosecutor behind FIFA’s World Cup bid corruption investigation will meet Thursday in an effort to repair their relations and restore the reputation of a case seemingly in disarray.”

FIFA whistleblower Phaedra Al-Majid says she is now being protected by the FBI after receiving threats. Al-Majid, who was head of international media for the Qatar 2022 bid, told Sky Sports, “Do I regret being the Qatar whistleblower? It has cost me personally, it has cost me emotionally – I know for a fact I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.” More from the BBC.

The Guardian reports, “The FIFA president Sepp Blatter has challenged the Football Association to waive its right to legal action against the world game’s ruling body and it will publish Michael Garcia’s conclusions on England’s 2018 World Cup bid in full.”

At The World Game, former FIFA Ethics Committee member Les Murray has some very interesting observations about the corruption investigation.

The US Treasury Department has put Colombian club Envigado on its “Kingpin List,” alleging that the club has laundered money for drug cartels. More from the Guardian, who note “The Kingpin Act allows the US to freeze the assets of companies thought to be involved with money laundering.”

FIFA has awarded Japan a 3-0 win over Venezuela for a friendly played in September. Venezuela fielded an ineligible player in the game, which finished as a 2-2 draw.


  1. murphthesurf says:

    Honestly, please let BC retire already, thanks.
    Get Mix at whatever cost!

    • I have to disagree murph. If we are going to spend big money- adding Mix to the stable of midfielders isn’t going to solve the problem. If we were to spend big money, now, Jozy Altidore is a different argument IMO.
      He has so much to prove. Coming to MLS and being a leading goal scorer seems like a fine place to start and I am quite convinced Noguiera and Maidana and Wenger and Okugo (fingers crossed) are more than capable of getting him opportunities.

      • murphthesurf says:

        sadly, Okugo is a goner…

        I like your altidore idea- go for it!
        Why not try to get Mix as well ?

        sometimes you have to throw the ball at the hoop…you never know, it might go in~

        ymmv, of course.

      • If Jozy is trashing LA he isn’t coming to Philly. We’re going to see somebody we likely haven’t heard of. Doesn’t mean they can’t succeed in this league. Doesn’t mean their guaranteed to succeed.

      • To me this is why you keep Edu. It may not land an altidore (or it could) but perhaps he could be a reason for fence hangers to come here. Again Edu gives you a dominant CB moving forward and a recognizable asset to build around.

      • Curtin is looking at loan options because of the “financial limitations.”

        Union don’t have the cash for Altidore and he doesn’t want to come here.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I believe you could add a guy like Altidore on loan. Won’t be cheap by any means, but a loan is something the U can handle, and not have to make a long term financial commitment.

      • The Little Fish says:


    • Hey, Murph… you started a good one here! Good discussion all around. I still like Cruz off the bench. He leads by example to throw yourself into the game and gets the opposition D a little off balance with fresh legs and a bulldog mentality. It’s helpful in certain situations. Carroll…I like his ability to see the game and direct others, but he’s not the player we need, especiall with the other guys on the roster. That’s a tough one. If another mid can step up to field general, we certainly could use that. If you see another “general” out there, please let me know, because I just haven’t picked it up.

      I think we have a good core. In my opinion we have to have a more consistent starting 11 with limited changes for very specific reasons. I’m fearful we mix it up a little too much and the chemistry breaks down.

  2. Note to “Coach Curtin “,you want to distance yourself from Hackworth, than upgrade this roster from Carroll/ Cruz types. You bring that mindset into discussions about 2015 you are toast with this fanbase. Upgrade this roster and keep it moving. It’s been 5 years of the same business as usual BS from this organization. The jury is still out regarding you part in choosing talent and skill. We ALL want the local boy makes good scenario but you tether yourself to missteps by previous coaches by words and deeds you are setting yourself up. To lose Okugo and find a roster spot for Carroll/ Cruz types is a recipe for disaster. Upgrade this roster PLEASE! !

    • murphthesurf says:

      thank you +1

    • For everyone who complains about depth on the Union why are we so hellbent on jettisoning our depth?

      Cruz and Carroll aren’t the problem, especially off the bench.

      What is needed to go are the Hoppenots and the Wheelers.

      • Yup. No problem with Danny Cruz being on this team. Danny Cruz as a starter though…
        Maybe that is what LCB is referring too.

      • You’re right. I used it as a generalization, which I probably shouldn’t,but I did say types. I will say this though the gap between Cruz and an MLS starter is big enough that replacing him with a better skill set would be my preference. They need to let Carroll go in my opinion.

      • Sorry dude, Carroll is most certainly a problem……keep him to have a veteran presence in the locker room….but thats it! Need a new CDM!

      • Never said Carroll was a starter at this point in his career.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Problem is, for some reason, our coaches like to use guys as starters that EVERYONE else knows are subs/depth guys. That is why guys like Cruz and Carroll should go.

      • I disagree with Sieve!. The Union’s continued reliance on players with significant limitations – like Cruz (skill) and Carroll (age) – is a sign that the team either: a) has a severe shortage of quality backups on its roster, or b) has some quality backups on the roster, but lacks a coaching staff with the ability to identify and utilize such players.

      • They are bench players. They are used for situations where their skill sets are best utilized. Who do you think they are going to get to replace them?

      • I don’t have specific replacements in mind, but if C and C are the best this team has to offer on its bench, then the Union will continue to struggle in 2015.

      • Sorry I can’t agree with this at all. We should def. say goodbye to Carroll. please tell me what use to the team he would be at this point.

  3. This is why I think keeping Edu is a bad idea. If we have Edu as a center back how much money are we going to have tied up in our defense? We will have Edu, Valdes, Mbolhi our right backs and some hypothetical Left Back. So much that we can’t spend on a forward.

    Man we aren’t getting new Left Back.

    • Spot on. Edu is not a value at $650K, much less his total salary with Stoke at $1.3M PLUS transfer costs. And then to shackle him to the back 4 screams insanity. Better to not protect him and dare someone to choke on that contract.

      • Not to mention they still need a Dmid… Unless they have confidence in Carroll and and Lahoud. I have my doubts.

  4. I love how the Union claim they developed all these kids in college, no they did not. You had most of these guys for 1-2 years at most(17-18) and their was no residency yet. Club and HS coaches developed these guys….your just reaping the rewards! Stop taking credit for things you didn’t do…….except for owning all these guys rights to move on in the game!

  5. Mix is completely overrated……….ask Anderlecht about Mix. 15 scouts were there to see him against Ireland……..heard anything yet? I think he was the guy that Jurgen was referring too when he said players need to get nastier……..he doesn’t have the engine or tenacity to play in the middle of the pitch!

    • Totally agree – he is a good late offensive sub but not a 90 minute player in a physical environment (he disappeared against Colombia too, not just Ireland).

  6. I just don’t see the need to spend big money on another CM. Striker is still the main area of need as far as I am concerned. The likes of an Adam Taggart should be available on loan from Fulham, or even a outright purchase of a player like Bobby Wood would be a huge upgrade.

  7. Perhaps I’ve seen this movie too many times, but I remain skeptical about bargain-basement strikers.

  8. The Howler ‘pay to play’ article is quite good. I encourage you to read it.

  9. “The rules state that any non-domestic US players will count as international players for the Expansion Draft.”
    Can somebody tell me what this means? Is it referring to players like Le Toux who have a green card, and so count as “domestic” as far as roster spots are concerned? Or does this mean something else?

  10. Isn’t getting a striker on loan kind of self-defeating ? If he plays sucky, we still suck. If he plays well, then we lose him because whoever owns him wants a lot of money. (And remember, this is the Union, we can’t spend money…)

    (Would seem to work for other teams because they can afford to pay if the loan turns out well.)

    Only makes sense if we’re trying to win it all next year, not if we’re trying to grow the team from the academy and from the homegrowns and “the right way.”

    I know, how about if we sign another few undersized midfielders to homegrown contracts! And then not let them play in MLS!

    Oh, and if anyone really thinks Brian Carroll and Connor Casey have a role on a competitive MLS team in 2015, you’re kidding yourself. What does the Union FO see in them? They’ll sign cheap contracts! Don’t kid yourself into thinking they’ll be back for any other reason.

    • Getting a striker on loan is not necessarily self-defeating so long as the transfer fee is agreed on before the loan begins. So we might end up with a bargain if he plays better than expected. Or better yet, if it’s the last year of his contract, we might not have to pay a transfer fee at all.

  11. Does anyone know if Nogs and Maidana are still DPs next year? I figure since their DP status was because of the transfer fee and not their actual salaries, we might have those DP spots opened up for next season.

  12. Imagine that quality SA strikers are cheaper than their European counterparts. Valdes & Maidana could vouch in their home countries. Anyone know who might be in our price range?

    • The Little Fish says:

      Totally agree. There must be some quality buried in Argentina or Columbia. That’s where I’d book my flights.

  13. Wow! I haven’t even read the entire article but I have to say I’m disappointed that Curtin wants to keep Carroll and Casey. I think it’s a waste to keep them when we could use that money, (considering if they are worth anything), to try to grab quality players. It’s not an optimistic move at all. We know what they are and what they have to contribute. It’s time to move forward.

    • Not sure about Carroll, but I think the presumption is that Casey would return at a reduced salary as a part-time player (20 minutes off the bench, spot starts). That sounds okay to me.

      • Parts Unknown says:

        Why is everyone down on Casey? Seems to me the guy was one of our best offensive contributors. I probably wouldn’t look to him to play entire games, but I love him off the bench wrecking people for 30 minutes …

      • Parts… One can argue about Casey’s contribution, but, in the end, if that’s “the best”, don’t we deserve better? He’s “the best” because he got minutes. Slow, questionable first touch, out of position quite often….harassing the keeper and picking up the scrap in front of goal is about all he’s about…. not a real, world class striker in my opinion.

      • Parts Unknown says:

        Fair enough JT, point taken …

  14. Parts Unknown says:

    Is Hulk available?

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