Daily news roundups

Williams acknowledges pressure, league news ahead of Cup final, US-Netherlands friendly, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Sheanon Williams says of his 2014 season, “For me, it was up and down and inconsistent. Injured, not injured. Center back, right back, left back. Not having the consistency I’m used to. I hadn’t really had injuries throughout my time in Philly, so with all the changes in position and the injuries and what not, some games I was good and some games I was too inconsistent.”

Entering the final year of his contract, WIlliams acknowledges there is pressure on him to perform better. “It puts pressure on me. Not a bad pressure. It’s a good pressure…Everyone has to earn their place on the field. Nobody gets to just show up in the preseason and have a starting job.”

The fan vote series at the Union website continues with Zac MacMath’s penalty kick saves in the US Open Cup semifinal against Dallas vs. the atmosphere at PPL Park for the Open Cup final. Not really a fair comparison, but there you have it. Last week, Andrew Wenger’s first tally in his brace in the 4-2 win over San Jose beat out Danny Cruz’s goal against New England with 76 percent of the vote.

Union Academy

US U-18 international Sebastian Elney has played eight games with the Union Academy U-17/18s, scoring two goals. On Wednesday, he tweeted that he’s headed to London to train with Tottenham. Here Is the City reports he’s with “the north London club for a two-week training stint.”

The Brotherly Game rounds up how former Union Academy players in the NCAA tournament ahead of the quarterfinals.

Sons of Ben

Don’t forget that the discounted price for tickets to the Help Kick Hunger event ends on Saturday. HKH takes place on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Brauhaus Schmitz.

In support of HKH, shoppers who bring a can of food to Media FC on Sunday, Dec. 7 between 12 pm and 5pm will receive a $10 discount off any 2014/15 replica jersey. Click here for more info..

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders have traded defender Matt Bahner to new NASL side Jacksonville Armada for “an undisclosed amount.” More from Penn Live.

A number of local players have been named to the NSCAA’s Division I Women’s All-Mid-Atlantic Region teams.

Dakota Mills, who will be joining the St. Joseph’s women’s team next year, has been named NewJersey.com’s Colonial Valley Conference Girls Soccer Player of the Year. You will recall we mentioned in last week that Mills was named The Trenton Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

MLS

The MLS Cup final between La Galaxy and New England Revolution kicks off on Sunday at 3 pm (ESPN, UniMas, Univision, Watch ESPN).

At Soccer America, three reasons why LA will win, and three reasons why New England will win.

Goal.com on the question of why the final is on at the same time as NFL games.

At SI, Grant Wahl has a Q&A with the always good for an entertaining quote Bruce Arena.

At ESPN, Graham Parker talks to Robbie Rogers.

Obafemi Martins has won the Goal of the Year. Luis Robles has won the Save of the Year.

Seattle Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer announced at an end-of-the-season press conference on Thursday that Sigi Schmid has been given multiyear contract extension that will see him at the club “for the foreseeable future.”

Seattle has declined the options on eight players: Marcus Hahnemann, Josh Ford, Onyekachi Apam, Djimi Traore, Tristan Bowen, Sean Okoli, Cam Weaver and Eriq Zavaleta. Also, Jalil Anibaba is out of contract. On Wednesday, Hahnemann announced his retirement on Instagram.

Houston Dynamo have signed four-year Dynamo Academy midfielder Jose “Memo” Rodriguez to a homegrown contract.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle has a Q&A with Don Garber that attempts to clarify comments made earlier this week by the league commissioner in his State of the League address. Garber refuses to breakdown how much of the stated $100 million combined loss is from clubs and how much is from the league. Garber also strongly denies that the league is relying on expansion fees, now up to $100 million for a franchise, to bolster its finances.

In an article at SI from Brian Straus on the forthcoming CBA negotiations, Players Union executive director Bob Foose says,

We can’t be structured so drastically differently from every other league in the world and think somehow we’re going to compete with them. [MLS has] a system that’s unattractive for players. At the end of the day, we have to be able to attract the players or we can’t be at that level. So the system has to change.

The Wall Street Journal wonders what’s next for the league.

The Mexican edition of Forbes has released a list of the 30 most valuable soccer teams in the Americas (crappy Google translation here). From MLS, New York Red Bulls come in fifth, Kansas City eighth, LA ninth, Seattle 21st, Montreal 25th, and Columbus 29th. More on the list at ProSoccerTalk.

NYCFC have announced their pre-season plans, which will include a 10 day training camp at Manchester City in February, during which the team will play two exhibition matches.

Fox Sports takes an in-depth look at the two competing bids for a franchise in Minneapolis.

KSTP.com reports that Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat supports an outdoor stadium in Minneapolis, which is part of the proposal from the group that includes the ownership of the NASL’s Minnesota United and is competing against the bid from the Minnesota Vikings.

By the way, Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Vikings stadium.

Dan Gargan, the Philly native who currently plays for LA Galaxy, became a father on Wednesday.

US

SI reports that the USMNT will play Netherlands in a friendly “likely to take place on June 5.” You will recall that the German Federation recently announced a friendly against the US to take place in Köln on June 5.

Tim Howard has won the Futbol de Primera 2014 Player of the Year award.

An announcement on England’s Professional Footballers’ Association website says the PFA “did not receive any correspondence from Brad Friedel with regard to denying Tim Howard a work permit.” Soccer Gods parses the announcement.

From US Soccer: “DeAndre Yedlin has been voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year, Morgan Brian has been voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year and Gavin Sibayan has been voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year.”

Former USMNT and LA Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson has been named the head coach of the Cal Poly men’s team.

Elsewhere

Ahead of Saturday’s Women’s World Cup draw, the New York Times has an opinion piece that concludes FIFA simply is waiting out the challenge calling for the artificial turf that the tournament will be played on to be replaced with natural grass until it gets to the point where it will be too late to do so. Yep.

UEFA has announced, “The UEFA Executive Committee has approved the final format and fixture details of the new UEFA Nations League…The new competition, which will begin from 2018, will feature promotion and relegation, will see a winning team every odd year and will replace most international friendlies, thereby giving added status and appeal to national team football.”

Reuters reports, “A European-led boycott of FIFA or the World Cup is unrealistic in the foreseeable future and, even if a breakaway were to eventually take place, experts say it could leave soccer’s administration hopelessly splintered.”

Also from Reuters: “The 12 stadiums used in this year’s soccer World Cup cost 50 percent more than planned and only six of the 35 promised public transportation projects were finished on time, according to an as yet unpublished report from Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court.”

From Reuters: “Crimean clubs have been suspended by UEFA from playing in Russian domestic competitions.”

The Bundesliga has voted to use goal-line technology beginning in the 2015-16 season.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the the upcoming week’s live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio.

4 Comments

  1. When is the deadline for teams to list who they have released? I kind of want to see who goes as an indication of where we are going forward/
    /
    That Garber interview crazy in how defensive and unhelpful he was…. He didn’t clarify anything and only made things worse.
    /
    Marcus Hahnemann had a really cool retirement instagram
    http://instagram.com/p/wLHoFNquVK/

    • Agreed on Garber. The league has a propensity for portraying financial figures in a misleading fashion (i.e. – the Beckham contract, allocation $, etc) and given the savvy of the fan base, no one believes that the league is losing $100M each year. So when he gets pressed on that claim, he puts the brakes on the discussion. You can’t have it both ways, Garber.

  2. Oba owes Jon Busch a beer. His reaction to that goal is what won it for Oba.

  3. Jacksonville Armada is a great name.

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