Daily news roundups

Pros and cons, Henry done, State of the League address today, FIFA fun, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

At Reckless Challenge, Ray Stellhorn goes through the pros and cons of possible changes in the relationship between the Union and USL PRO affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, as most recently reported by Kevin Kinkead at CBS Philly. Stellhorn concludes,

As far as Reckless Challenge has been able to surmise, the City Islanders current situation is unchanged. Our sources say that Harrisburg’s front office has indicated that the recent rumors of the team moving operations to southeastern PA are false. There is a plan for a new stadium on City Island by 2016 to be mostly funded through private sources with some funds coming from Dauphin County. You never know, though, how this will shake out because things quickly change in USL PRO. More and more MLS teams are controlling their own franchises in the league rather than having an affiliate.

Brotherly Game’s “You be the GM” series continues with Fabinho.

Union Academy

The Union U-15/16s continued play at the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase at Lakewood Ranch, Fla. on Monday, falling 2-1 to San Jose Earthquakes. Tiger Graham, who scored both goals in the winner against Seattle on Sunday, equalized for the Union before San Jose scored the go-ahead goal. The team wraps up play on Wednesday against BSC Connecticut.

The Union U-17/18s finish up play in the Winter Showcase today against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri after losing their first two games, 1-0 against Seattle, and 5-0 against RSL.


I got nothing.


League commissioner Don Garber’s annual State of the League address will be streamed live on the MLS YouTube channel today at 2 pm.

Thierry Henry has announced he will not return to New York Red Bulls next season. You can find a gazillion reaction posts to this news but here are two, one at ESPN that says Henry embraced MLS, and another at USA Today that says he was never willing to give the league what it deserved.

NDTV reports that Kaka was given “a rousing reception” after Sao Paulo’s 1-1 draw with Figueirense on Sunday, his last home match before joining Orlando City.

Montreal Impact have signed Italian defensive midfielder Marco Donadel, who last played with Hellas Verona.

Real Salt Lake have declined options on Robbie Findley, Benji Lopez, Rich Balchan and Aaron Maund, while extending bona fide offers to Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert and Cole Grossman.

Former Union man Andrew Jacobson is back from his loan stint with Norway’s Stabaek and ready to get going with NYCFC.

Chicago Fire assistant coach C.J. Brown has resigned in order to join the coaching staff of NYCFC. Brown worked under NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis at RSL from 2011-13.

Mark Geiger will be the referee for Sunday’s MLS Cup final between LA and New England.

Soccer America reports the three postseason matches on NBCN “averaged 286,000 viewers, up 56 percent from the average for six postseason games in 2013 — and up 149 percent from the average for eight games in 2012, the network’s first season.” Next year, ESPN and Fox will share the broadcasting of MLS games. Another report at Soccer America notes that the recent Manchester United-Arsenal game “averaged 1.4 million viewers to rank as the most-watched live Premier League match in U.S. history.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, “The Las Vegas City Council on Monday extended the deadline to vote on a soccer stadium subsidy deal to Dec. 17.”


Abby Wambach is one of three finalists for FIFA’s Women’s World Player of the Year award. Also nominated were Nadine Kessler and Marta. Wambach won the award in 2012.

Wambach, Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd, Sydney Leroux, and Christen Press have been nominated for US Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year Award.

Paste Magazine has five unlikely heroes of soccer in the US.

including Philadelphia —  after the Second World War.


CNN reports that FIFA “is set to hold talks with team representatives over plans to hold the 2015 [Women’s] World Cup on artificial turf.” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke will meet with players and coaches in Ottawa at the Women’s World Cup draw this Saturday, Dec. 6 (12 pm: Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go).

UEFA president Michel Platini denies a Sunday Times report saying that he was offered a Picasso painting by Russian president Vladimir Putin in return for voting for Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, calling it a “ridiculous rumor.” Platini said, “The allegations in the Sunday Times are completely fictitious. This case is now in the hands of my counsel for possible libel.”

Michel d’Hooghe, the head of FIFA’s medical committee who is reportedly under investigation for vote trading, denies any wrongdoing, telling Inside World Football, “The allegations hurt me. I didn’t promise anything to anyone, I didn’t vote for Russia — I voted for my own country — and I never received Russian art. Do you think after 23 years with a reputation for integrity that I would sell my vote for a stupid painting that has no value? You can come and play darts on it if you like.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Manuel Neuer are this year’s Ballon d’Or finalists. The winner will be announced on Jan. 12, along with the winner of the Women’s World Player of the Year, the Coach of the Year, the Goal of the Year, and several other award winners.

ESPN makes the case for each of the Ballon d’Or finalists.

The Trinidad & Tobago women’s team hosts Ecuador today in the final leg of the intercontinental play-in series for a berth in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. T&T managed a 0-0 draw in Ecuador in the first leg.

Could Barcelona be about to adopt a home kit with horizontal stripes for the first time in its 115 year history?


  1. “I got nothing.”

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    I am betting my house that Geiger makes sure Landon goes out on top. Mark it down now. Get you’re Geiger Counters ready!!!!

    • I’m not sure that Landon has made a lot of friends in the refereeing community over the course of his career.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        It’s not about Geiger helping Landon… I should clarify… it’s about MLS having their guy go out on top. I’m pretty sure Geiger giving LA a questionable penalty kick after the 70th min to break the 1-1 tie (not too late so it’s not too obvious) might be in the cards / hinted at by Garber (I’m being ridiculous of course, don’t take me too seriously)
        PS – if that scenario plays out I will be playing Mega Millions A LOT in the coming weeks

      • John O'Donnell says:

        If they were to fix the game you would think that it would go to the Revs. Why promote a player on the way out? Helping MVLee or Jones score would make more sense as they try to get funding for a new stadium. Out with the old and in with the new you might say.

  3. It is going to be really really hard looking up at NYCFC all the time.

  4. Do you think it is worth trying to get Robbie Findley in the Waiver Draft as depth at forward? It worked well with Conor Casey…

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      As long as he would be viewed as a replacement for Hoppenot or Brown, i.e. a depth option, I would definitely be interested. Experienced forward with some pace. Wouldn’t hurt to have a guy like that to provide a spark off the bench.

  5. I thought it had already been decided that Fabinho was being fired into the Sun?
    The ratings are great and all, but they’d be even better if the league stopped going directly against NFL football. Say what you want, but MLS won’t win that battle. The fact that the Final is a Sunday afternoon is horrible, I know I won’t be watching, which is a shame bc I really would have liked to.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Dude, give me some time… building a rocket to the sun takes time and money. Haha

    • If they’re not competing with the NFL on Sunday, they’re competing with college football championship games on Saturday. It’s a no-win situation. I think they’re banking on people not being interested in whatever NFL game is on during the final. Obviously, that won’t be the case in some markets.

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