Daily news roundups

Casey negotiating, Curtin on losing Ribeiro, Madison a champion, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union made no picks in phase one of the Re-entry Draft, which took place on Friday. At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel examines the strategy behind selections in the two-part acquisition mechanism, phase two of which takes place on Friday.

Conor Casey was not available in Friday’s draft. We suggested in Friday’s roundup that this likely means that Casey and the Union are negotiating a new contract. Dave Zeitlin tweeted later on Friday:

In a follow-up tweet, Zeitlin said, “Union will look to bring Casey back on a restructured deal. They still might do the same for Brian Carroll if no one takes him in re-entry.”

In an interview with Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com, Jim Curtin said of losing Pedro Ribeiro in the Expansion Draft,

When we lost Pedro, it was a tough one for us. He’s a guy I like a lot – a big, strong body that has the rare ability to have good, soft feet. But if we’re doing our job this offseason, Pedro’s a bench player for us. You want to bring him along and have the patience to do it, but I know our fan base isn’t going to have patience anymore. I’ve got to build a winner right away.

(Not to sound like a jerk, but in terms of his long-term job security, Curtin should probably include “our ownership” along with the fan base among those who aren’t going to have patience anymore in terms of building a winner right away.)

Curtin said of the decision to protect Fabinho, “we had some intel that Fabinho would have definitely been picked.” He explained, “It’s not necessarily about protecting your starting 11. It’s about protecting the 11 that have the most value in your league at the current time. That’s based on the phone calls you get. We get phone calls about Fabinho all the time. He has value.”

O-Town’s 11 on why Ribeiro may be the best of Orlando City’s expansion draft picks.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has a review of the Union’s 2014 season.

Michigan Daily reports that box-to-box midfielder Tyler Arnone, who has been invited to the MLS Combine, will first have an “evaluation with the Philadelphia Union.”

Brotherly Game previews the upcoming SuperDraft through the Combine.

Union Academy

Philadelphia’s own Darius Madison (La Salle College High School, Union Academy, Reading United) scored the lone goal for Virginia in Friday’s 1-0 semifinal win over UMBC. On Sunday, Virginia defeated UCLA in the final on penalty kicks after the teams went scoreless through overtime. After the final, Madison was named to the Men’s College Cup All-Tournament Team.

Madison gets some love from MLSsoccer.com.

It’s official: Zack Steffen has signed with Freiburg in the Bundesliga. More at the Washington Post, who first broke news of the signing.

First up for Steffen is the US U-20 camp in Honduras, Dec. 15-22, where he’ll be joined by Lancaster lad Russell Canouse.


Former Reading United goalkeeper Alex Bono (Syracuse) is one of three finalists for the Hermann Trophy. More at NSCAA.

Reckless Challenge reports, “Multiple sources have confirmed that USL PRO plans to submit an application to USSF for Division 2 status in 2017.” More on the intricacies involved at Sounder at Heart. Very interesting development.


Three players were selected on Friday in phase one of the Re-entry Draft:

Toronto have re-signed Nigerian international Bright Dike.

Kansas City have acquired Jalil Anibaba from Orlando City, who acquired the defender from Seattle in last Wednesday’s Expansion Draft. The move was part of the deal that saw Aurelien Collin leave Sporting for the Lions.

Business of Soccer looks at the role player salaries plays in the Expansion Draft.

The Telegraph reports, “New York Red Bulls are targeting Steven Gerrard as their star signing should he fail to agree a new deal to stay at Liverpool…and are hoping to take advantage of the 34-year-old midfielder’s strong relationship with their sporting director Gérard Houllier.” According to the report, NYRB has made a discovery claim on Gerrard.

From Orlando Sentinel: “Brek Shea is coming back to MLS, and this time he’ll be wearing Orlando City purple.” The Sentinel report says a deal is “expected to be completed in the coming days,” with WFTV reporting the deal is “very close.” More from Stoke Sentinel. You will recall that Shea trained with Orlando over the summer.

Sky Sports reports, “Roma coach Rudi Garcia has denied rumours that Ashley Cole may be set to quit the club in January to play in Major League Soccer in the United States.” Reports in Italy say Orlando City have made inquiries about Cole.

The Orlando Sentinel on the “distinctly international flavor” of Orlando City’s roster, one they believe is strong enough to find success in the team’s inaugural MLS season.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he wants Frank Lampard to remain on loan after the expiration of his current loan at the end of December: “I think Frank is a very important player for us and I hope we will not have any problems for him to stay here.” Pellegrini explained, “Frank wants to stay, we want to keep him. Now we must resolve the problem with New York City and the MLS.” On Saturday, Lampard scored the lone goal in City’s 1-0 win over Leicester.

Tim Cahill says he has no plans to make a guest appearance with any A-League club before Australia begins play in the Asian Cup in January. As for his future with the Red Bulls, Cahill said,

They [Red Bulls] let me go? Look, for me it’s easy. I’ve got loads of options, but if I want to stay [with the Red Bulls], I’ll stay. I only join a club with a vision and if the vision is fulfilled, then I’ll fulfill it and if it’s not, then I’ll fulfill it somewhere else.

So it’s a great club [RBNY], great set-up, great people and we’re on great terms. But at the end of the day for me it’s more about my family and what’s good for international football.

At SI, Brian Straus on the impending stadium deal for DC.

MLS hopefuls Sacramento Republic have won approval to expand the capacity of their current stadium. Reports from CBS SacramentoKCRA, and Capital Public Radio.

From TV By the Numbers, “UniMás’ broadcast of the Liga MX Apertura 2014 final between America and Tigres reached 4.8 million Total Viewers who tuned into all or part of the broadcast.” That’s more than double the average number of people who watched the MLS Cup final on ESPN and UniMás/Univision combined, but then again, the average number is apples to the orange of total viewers. Oh yeah, Club America won, defeating Tigres, 3-0 (3-1 agg.).


Doubts about the USWNT will surely rise after their 3-2 loss to Brazil on Sunday in the International Tournament of Brasilia. The US was up 2-0 after ten minutes with goals from Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, but a Marta hat trick saw Brazil come from behind for the win.

Is Werder Bremen interested in taking Jozy Altidore in January?


The Champions League and Europa League draws took place today.

The New York Daily News has more on efforts in Switzerland to create more oversight of organizations like FIFA.

The AP reports from Riyadh, “A Saudi newspaper says a woman arrested after attending a soccer game claims she did not know women were prohibited from going to the stadium.”


  1. Congratulations Darius Madison’12! 2014 College Cup Champion! Well done, Explorer!

  2. Gruntled Fan says:

    Maybe other club supporter groups are pressing their team to grab Fabinho so they can get the rocket to the sun project off before we can?
    Are left footed soccer players who can play defense that rare these days?

    • Apparently. We haven’t had a starting quality left back since…we’ve never had one. When Harvey was here back in 2011 he wasn’t better than Fabinho is currently.

    • For all we know they are getting calls for NASA. He is a must get for our Mars program.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      The whole, “we had intel that Fabinho would be selected…” stuff seems like a CYA type thing. That, or they got completely played by Orlando on two fronts: “the handshake deal to NOT take a player” and “hey, tell ’em we’ll take Fabinho and maybe they’ll leave Ribiero unprotected”. It’s all speculation yes, but something tells me I’m not completely wrong on this one.

  3. To summarize Curtin’s comments above, he likes Ribeiro a lot but decided to protect Fabinho instead because of the latter’s perceived value to other teams.

    In other words, if the Union don’t end up trading Fabinho for someone/something greater than Ribeiro, then this expansion draft strategy will have been a mistake.

    • There was a strategy?

    • The “strategy” was to protect players who are valued by OTHER teams instead of protecting players who are valuable to your OWN team. Once again a player who the club “values highly” is gone for nothing and a player who is less talented and plays a less significant role remains with the team. And they can’t even give away a goalkeeper. And the front office expects us to trust them?

  4. The Black Hand says:

    Everyone relax. Brian Carroll will be back. We have nothing to worry about!

    • If Brian Carroll is on this team next year, i can guarantee that the 2015 season will be a failure! The FO would be out if their minds to do that and probably disgrace the club by making him the captain again.

  5. On Extra Time Radio last week, Simon Borg said Ribeiro was the best pick in the whole expansion draft. That felt good to hear. ::facepalm::

    • About 2/3 of the way through the season Simon Borg also picked the Union to finish 2nd in the east. He also said before the World Cup that the US has NO CHANCE! NO CHANCE! to advance out of the group.

  6. I’m not sure why anyone is surprised by anything that’s going on. Take a good long look at who is controlling the team right now. Two 35 year old ex players who have no player acquisition experience prior and little international knowledge, a guy who has great street cred internationally but doesn’t know MLS and is only half in, and a guy who has destroyed two prior clubs.
    At this point I’ll be more shocked if we finish better next year then if we are bottom of the league. We will almost surely finish behind the two expansion teams. It’s sad bc I care so much but bad decisions keep being made. If our bench (or worse starting lineup) include Carroll, Fabinho, Cruz and Lahoud next year, the front office will have failed.

  7. The Union still have time to make some substantial moves representative of this top market. However if in the end they give us the same old BS talent and sign BC etc… then support of this organization should stop. This fan base deserves better than penny pinching cheapskates. If he Union can’t compete with NY, and Orlando as the 2nd largest market on the eastcoast then I personally want them gone. I’d rather wait until we can have ownership capable of bringing in real talent and not have the baggage of Sakeiwicz and the financial limitations Sugarman. I appreciate that fact that we have an MLS franchise but this is Philadelphia not “2nd rate outpost USA!” Curtin is right the “FAN BASE” is sick of waiting and the clock is ticking!

  8. I thought the story around expansion draft time was that there were trade inquiries for Fabinho? Not that he’d get picked in the expansion draft if unprotected. That’s a big difference. Protecting him to flip him somewhere else for a different piece that fills a need for the Union makes sense. Keeping him just to mess with Orlando doesn’t make sense. And yes, Pedro would be a bench player for the Union….as will Fabinho. That decision will never make sense to me.

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