Daily news roundups

Pfeffer called up, Academy U-18s win, State of the League, player moves, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Zach Pfeffer has been called up for the US U-20 fitness camp in Bradenton, Fla., Dec. 3-10.

SBI has announced its 2014 Best XI. Sebastien Le Toux made the third team.

Futbol Red reporter Juan Pablo Arevalo says Santa Fe, partial owner of the rights to Carlos Valdes, is not seeking his return in 2015 (crappy Google Translation here), although Millonarios is still interested (crappy Google translation here).

Our annual season review series began on Monday. So far, topics have included 2014’s winners and losers, and whether Vincent Nogueira was a savior for the Union in 2014 or overrated. The series continues later today and will run until Christmas.

Union Academy

After losing its first two games at the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in Florida, the Union U-17/18s finished with a 2-1 win over St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri. Zach Zandi scored the opening goal for the Union before Will Campbell finished a Morgan Hackworth free kick for the win.

The Union U-15/16s, who have a win and a loss so far at the Winter Showcase, finish up today at 11 am against BSC Connecticut Academy.


Reading United goalkeeper Alex Bono, and La Salle’s Kelsey Haycook, are semifinalists for this year’s Hermann Trophy.

Shea Moyer (FC Revolution; Wyomissing, Pa.) has been called up for the final US U-18 WNT camp of the year, which will take place at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Ca. from Dec. 7-14. You will recall that Moyer was recently named to the NSCAA 2014 Girls All-America Team.

The USFF Greater Philadelphia Futsal Cup will take place Jan. 24-25 at Competitive Edge Sports in King of Prussia. Champions and finalists of the tournament, open to U-8 through U-18 teams, will qualify for the 2015 World Futsal Championships Aug. 6-10 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Click here for registration information.

The Lou Ramos Soccer Center opens in Allentown on December 8. Very nice, indeed.


State of the League

In his State of the League address, Don Garber said of the ongoing CBA negotiations,

This process now is in the beginning phases. It’s talking about what our respective priorities are. There will likely be another meeting in December. And then we’ll get down to the negotiations in earnest, and I am confident we will be able to reach an agreement that is good for the league and good for the players. The dynamic is one that I would describe as positive. We have informed the players in a very transparent way that the league isn’t performing financially the way we would like. I think they accept that and understand that. At the same time, there are a wide variety of things important to them that we are going to have to listen to.

Garber said the league’s franchise combine to lose nearly $100 million annually.

Some other highlights also include:

  • Garber said the league is working to provide more transparency in its player acquisition mechanisms.
  • The league would like to create a “Decision Day” format in which the final 10 games of the season kickoff at the same time. If time differences preclude this, then the league will try to play all intra-conference matches at the same time.
  • The league would like to put flex scheduling in place for the final weeks of the season so that national broadcasters can chose big match-ups.
  • Garber confirmed the league wants to change to the playoff format from 10 teams to 12.
  • Time is running out for David Beckham’s Miami franchise hopes.
  • The league will not interfere with the decision about whether Frank Lampard’s loan to Manchester City will be extended.
  • Promotion/relegation is “not happening anytime soon.”

Player moves

Thierry Henry spoke to reporters about a number of subjects in his final day at New York Red Bulls. More here and here.

Chicago Fire have signed Nigerian striker Kennedy Igboananike as a Designated Player.

New York Red Bulls announced on Tuesday they have declined the options on local lad Bobby Convey, as well as  Saer Sene, Kosuke Kimura, Marius Obekop, Damien Perrinelle, Ibrahim Sekagaya, and Richard Eckersley. The club said it is still having discussions with Obekop, Perrinelle, and Sekagya about remaining with the club for the 2015 season.

Toronto FC have declined options on local lad Ryan Richter, as well as Jeremy Hall, Dwayne De Rosario, and Andrew Wiedeman. Former Union man Chris Konopka’s option was picked up.

Columbus Crew have re-signed midfielders Bernardo Anor and Justin Meram.

FC Dallas have re-signed former Union man Chris Seitz. The team declined the options on Jair Benitez, Walter Cabrera, Andres Escobar, Raul Fernandez, George John, Peter Luccin, Adam Moffat, Hendry Thomas, Jonathan Top, and Nick Walker.

The Guardian expects Frank Lampard’s loan to Manchester City to be extended.

Super Sport reports, “Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey has opted for a new adventure in the MLS with Portland Timbers.”

Awards and reports

Ben Olsen has been named Coach of the Year.

The league has announced its 2014 Best XI.

Portland’s Rodney Wallace was named Comeback Player of the Year.

The AP reports a study by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport on MLS’s hiring practices “shows a decline in overall gender diversity but says the league maintains high marks for racial and gender diversity inside its central office.”

Stadiums, expansion, lower divisions

Reuters reports, “The District of Columbia Council gave initial approval on Tuesday to a deal worth more than $300 million to build a stadium for DC United.” A final vote is scheduled for Dec. 16. More at the Washington Post.

News10abc in Sacramento parses Garber’s comments on expansion for positives for that city’s bid to join the league. Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal does the same.

The Minnesota Vikings have released images of what the soccer set-up at their new stadium will look like.

A post at US Soccer Players on the relationship between MLS and USL PRO concludes, “USL-Pro is in a place where, by definition, not all of its franchises are pulling in the same direction. The question becomes, how do the franchises find answers locally and how does the league find answers nationally, while serving more than one purpose.”

You will recall that we have linked to reports saying that the owners of the Atlanta Silverbacks have been looking for someone to buy the franchise, which might include the franchise moving to another city, a possibility underscored by the addition of MLS Atlanta, which is due to begin play in MLS in 2017. On Tuesday, the NASL announced that it will run the franchise in 2015 “while it looks to secure a local ownership group in the market.” NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said in a statement, “We have tremendous belief in the Atlanta market, and we know that we can have long-term success there.”


Grant Wahl has nominated Tim Howard for SI’s Sportsman of the Year Award.

The US Soccer site has a look at this year’s Female Athlete of the Year nominees.

Christian Pulisic (Hershey, Pa.) scored the lone goal as the US U-17 MNT lost 4-1 to Brazil in the concluding game of the Nike International tournament. The US finished second behind Brazil in the tournament.


Sepp Blatter says the working conditions for those employed in the building of stadiums and other infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup are the responsibility of their employers, not FIFA. Blatter also said workers in Qatar are enjoying better working conditions because of the World Cup.

The AP reports, “Atletico Madrid on Tuesday expelled seven club members and a radical group identified by Spanish police as having participated in a brutal fight with rival Deportivo La Coruna fans that left one man dead.”

UEFA has rejected appeals from Serbia and Albania against their punishments following the abandonment of their Euro 2016 qualification match in October. “Both teams were handed 100,000 euro fines by European football’s governing body, while Serbia was ordered to play its next two home qualifying games behind closed doors.”

On Tuesday night, Ecuador scored off of a free kick in stoppage time after 120 minutes of scoreless play to defeat Trinidad & Tobago, and so qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.


  1. I think a Decision Day-style final day would be great fun, even if they do it in two parts (all the Eastern games, then all the Western games). I’m also glad to see the idea of moving to a winter schedule doesn’t even merit a mention.

    • as long as they have divided tables, all-East then all-West could help TV viewing.
      With the shared coverage we have options to watch matches that matter over say with the obvious stinker like the U turned out to be, you’d be subjected to watching that Crew match rather than a flexed game. i’d like to be able to flip over to something else more palatable.

  2. You wake up excited to go to a game, maybe drink a bit too much, maybe say some things you shouldn’t have said and instead of walking home or catching the Metro to sleep it off and revel in a win or be forlorn over a loss, you wind up with an MD calling time of death. Now that sucks.

  3. I wouldn’t read too much into the the teams collectively losing $100 million a year. I don’t dispute that figure, but I also think it’s only part of the entire story and the silver linings and positive revenue stories are being left out due to the negotiations with the players’ union. Having been involved in collective bargaining situations before, I’ve seen first hand how management will claim to be poor one minute, than go on a rash of upper level promotions and spending the next minute after the CBA is signed. It’s all posturing and part of the negotiations…

    Also, love how Blatter says FIFA isn’t responsible for the working conditions for the world cup stadiums, then goes on to take credit for conditions being better in Qatar because of the world cup…

  4. You really have to feel for the T&T women. They had three chances to go to the Women’s World Cup, all three went to overtime, one to penalty kicks, but it just didn’t go their way. And I thought their fan group was the best at PPL Park that weekend. Yes, the US had more fans, but we weren’t having nearly as much fun as they were.

  5. Sepp Blatter is a clown. I will get too angry if I write more.

  6. Would love to know what Curtin and Albright are up to. I would like to say I trust their ability to pick talent but in my gut I just don’t. Still don’t understan why bringing in a GM to be the one the report to wasn’t made a priority. This is why I feel the entire press conference with Sugarman was the same old Union dog and pony show. Until they prove otherwise no news from the Union isn’t necessarily good news. I hope I’m wrong however…

  7. random thought, does george john play left back?

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