Daily news roundups

Union schedule, Reading’s Bono signs GA deal, Gerrard official, Altidore rumors, Marsch for Petke, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

The 2015 schedule is out!

Look for a breakdown of the schedule here at PSP later today. In the meanwhile, here are schedule release posts from PSP, Philadelphia UnionPhilly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Brotherly Game, and Playing for 90.

And from the Union, a video breakdown of the schedule with Kerith Gabriel and Peter Pappas:

The Union’s home game against NYCFC on April 11 makes MLSsoccer.com’s list of must-watch games in March and April.

At the league website, more on the changes accompanying the release of the 2015 schedule, including the expansion of the playoff field to 12 teams, more Friday night games, Sunday doubleheaders on Fox Sports and ESPN, June and August Rivalry Weeks, flex scheduling of national TV broadcasts over the second-to-last weekend of the regular season, and the “Decision Day” format for the last day of the season, in which all Eastern Conference games will kick off simultaneously at 5 pm, followed by Western Conference games at 7 pm.

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel cautions against reading too much into rumors: “There is always an ulterior motive.”

The NASL’s Jacksonville Armada will play the Union in their first-ever game in a friendly on Feb. 7. On the club website, a “Know the Opponent” infographic on the Union.

Brotherly Game has season reviews for Conor Casey and Brian Brown.


Former Reading United goalkeeper Alex Bono has signed a Generation adidas contract ahead of next week’s draft. More at the Daily Orange.

At the Ocean City Nor’easters site, profiles on Shawn McLaws, Markhus “Duke” Lacroix, and Tyler Miller, three players who have been a part of the team who have been invited to the MLS Combine.

Top Drawer Soccer on the leadership role Zach Steffen, and Kellyn Acosta, will have with the US team at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship tournament, which kicks off on Friday (5:30 pm: Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes). Acosta has been named team captain.

Registration is open for Drexel’s annual College Soccer Prep Camp. The camp will take place February 28 and March 1 at Vidas Field.

Adrian Cox has been named the new varsity head coach at The Baldwin School.

In one of those stupid slideshow posts that Bleacher Report “excels” at, Lincoln Financial Field comes in at No. 11 in a list ranking the atmosphere at Gold Cup host stadiums. Pointing to the underwhelming attendance at the poorly promoted Roma-Inter match hardly seems representative of the atmosphere at the Linc for soccer games.


Gerrard, Altidore, and Kljestan

It’s official: Steven Gerrard has signed with LA Galaxy. He should debut for the Galaxy on July 17 against San Jose.

So, will Gerrard go out on loan during the MLS offseason? Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo,

I’ve not even thought about the possibility of a loan I’ve not had that conversation with anyone. I can’t rule it out, but I can’t confirm it would happen either.

The way the season works in the MLS there’s a break around winter time. What I can say is that I’d love to be able to come back and train with the lads to keep my fitness levels up. Whether that could lead to playing for the club again I don’t know. That wouldn’t be my decision. You’d have to ask others that question.

Galaxy president Chris Klein says an offseason loan has “never been discussed,” adding, “Gerrard’s focus will be LA Galaxy.”

There are a gazillion articles out there about the Gerrard signing. Here are a few from the MLSsoccer.comLiverpool Echo (1), Liverpool Echo (2), Irish IndependentESPN.co.uk, and the AP.

New York, Portland and Toronto are tweetedly leading the chase to land Jozy Altidore. (Yeah, I just made up the word “tweetedly.” I’m testing it out as a substitute for the word “reportedly” to distinguish between information that comes from an actual written/spoken news report and information that is tweeted. It’s one of my bugbears.)

According to the Toronto Sun, TFC “appear to be the front runner.” More on the rumors at MLSsoccer.com and ProSoccerTalk.

Are the Red Bulls close to landing Sacha Kljestan?

Petke fired

It’s official (and officially perplexing): New York Red Bulls have fired head coach Mike Petke. Replacing him is Jesse Marsch.

The Empire Supporters Club, a Red Bulls supporters group, issued a statement saying,

The Empire Supporters Club is highly disappointed in today’s managerial change by the New York Red Bulls. Mike Petke, a beloved player and coach for this team, won the Supporters’ Shield in 2013 and advanced to the conference finals in 2014. He was fired because [new Sporting Director] Ali Curtis felt like it, nothing more, nothing less. If this is Mr. Curtis’ idea of connecting or ingratiating himself with the fans, then he either has a very rough time ahead of him, or someone will show mercy on him and make his tenure as sporting director very short.

Mike Petke is the only person to have a lifetime membership with the ESC, and is welcome to join us anywhere at any time. He will be welcomed as a hero, as he should be. Thank you for your service, Mike.


Curtis says, “At the end of the day, it was my decision. I own it, and it was very difficult. But this decision wasn’t about getting rid of Mike. It was more about bringing in Jesse Marsch.”

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta on how “in a city that hosts sad sack franchises like the Jets, Knicks, and Mets,” New York Red Bulls and NYCFC “are winning the race to become the Big Apple’s most dysfunctional team.”


At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle has an update on the CBA negotiations. Carlisle says the MLS Players Union (MLSPU) “has staked out its two primary aims, those being increased compensation for players, and free agency”:

The salary issue is one where there can be considerable give and take however, and it seems likely some sort of middle ground will ultimately be reached. It is free agency that will ultimately determine whether there is a work stoppage or not.

MLSPU executive board member Todd Dunivant says, “I’d say the tone between the two sides is better than last time. I think there’s mutual respect from both sides. Both sides want to get to the same place; they want this league to get to the same place…There’s not a lot of things checked off the list yet, there’s still a lot of work to be done on both sides.”

MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott is confident a deal can be reached before the first game of the season on MArch 6. “There will be enough meeting time to get a CBA done. It’s just a question of agreeing on the principal issues.”

Lagerwey, other player news

New Seattle GM Garth Lagerwey talks about leaving RSL for new challenges with the Sounders.

Kansas City have signed forward Jacob Peterson to a new contract.

Portland have signed forward Gaston Fernandez to a new contract.

Picked up by Montreal after Chicago made him available in the Re-entry Draft, former Union man Bakary Soumare bemoans the decline of the Fire from when he was first with the team, saying he believes “there’s a lack of will to succeed on every level.”


NASL side Indy Eleven are looking for public funds to build an $87 million soccer stadium.


The Chilean Football Association has announced the friendly on Wednesday, Jan. 28 against the US will take place at Estadio Municipal El Teniente in Rancagua.


The AP reports, “The 11 nations of the Oceania Football Confederation have expressed unanimous support for the re-election of Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.” Little countries with limited financial resources and commercial opportunities like the money that FIFA has distributed to them under Blatter.

At SI, Ben Lyttleton on why Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein stands little chance of unseating Blatter for the FIFA presidency.


  1. While ultimately rumors mean next to nothing, and if a dining is made then no one will care about rumors beforehand, it’s just sad every day seeing the glut of news from other teams while we do nothing.
    I’m still waiting on renewing season tickets. Last year I didn’t until after the big 3 were signed. I will definitely still go to some games, but why shell out $1300 plus concessions if they’re going to trot out the same old mess? I have to hope they see the ticket non renewals, or new purchases after signings and hope that it has at least some effect on them. Otherwise, really the fans have no hope but to wish that we catch fire one year by luck.
    Idk maybe I’m “negadelphian”, but I just don’t see why it’s wrong to be upset about a team being dysfunctional and cheap when it really doesn’t need to be. I won’t support another team and will still always care, but this FO just knows how to suck the life out of you, and personally I just don’t know what else they care about except hitting them in the pockets

    • “why shell out $1300 plus concessions if they’re going to trot out the same old mess?”
      Because it’s fun to go watch soccer? That’s why I shelled out my money. It gets real easy to read the comments on this site and get sucked into the ever-expanding cycle of despair about this move or that non-move (“OMG, we’re not pursuing Altidore, I’m giving up!”). Hopefully the groupthink-induced anguish doesn’t overshadow the real reason we’re all here in the first place — because watching soccer and supporting a club is fun.

      • Come on it doesn’t aggravate you in the least Philadelphia isn’t mentioned in the pursuit of Jozy Altidore?
        I started the damn lobby for Altidore in the fall on this very blog. It annoyes the hell out of me there is likely zero chance Altidore plays in this city. But I’m too negative I suppose.
        That striker is exactly the tipping point for a mediocre club to become high end both in excellence and I dare say—- Branding.

      • Jozy will play in Philly every year, just in a different kit…

      • I’m pretty sure I +1’ed your lobby for Altidore. It would be awesome to have him here, and a player of his caliber could indeed be a ‘tipping point’ to excellence. However, I am neither annoyed nor aggravated that the Union isn’t in the list of suitors. But that’s just me.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I’m annoyed. Very annoyed, but I understand that isn’t our club, yet. It better be our club one day though… but for now, I can live with it.

      • I agree that the level of fear and loathing in comments here has been really quite astoundingly high after last year;s finish, which was a full-blown debacle. Not going to lie. I get the outrage, but it’s too early to grade an offseason that’s not nearly close to being over.

        I still expect this club to be a playoff team this season and to compete with NE, NY, Orlando, and DC for a top 4 finish.

        The reality is, Philadelphia is a “have not” club in a a league with more and more “haves.” It’s going to require smarts to be successful and I’m not going to be here saying I expected the team to fail if they miss the playoffs again this year. I expect them to succeed and will hold them accountable if they don’t improve.

      • Thank you. My sentiments exactly.

    • You do you Great One.

      Vote with your wallet. There’s no reason you have to buy ahead of time. Should be plenty of tickets available on StubHub as the season unwinds.

    • its funny to read this comment because after the disastrous end to last season and the almost unforgivable personnel decisions made so far in the offseason i was also feeling really down about this team but as soon as they released the schedule i got irrationally excited about this upcoming season and all of those bad feelings feel less bad

    • Oh Great One. I don’t think you are being a Negadelphian as you potentially label yourself. I am a season ticket holder and am getting a little frustrated seeing the same teams on this blog signing players while we wait anxiously for something to look forward to other than a few pops in the PPL parking lot. Maybe the U have the irons in the fire and we have to stay patient as an article on this blog around Christmas suggested. But I would be 10X more excited to see Altidore in a Union kit. I also read that Emmanuel Adeboyer (Tottenham) may be coming to MLS. Those are 2 potential strikers that would excite the fan base and maybe bring on some happier postings from the Union faithful. Come on Union make some noise!

  2. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:


  3. Good luck to Adrian Cox!
    Last 24hrs was a great time to have access to SiriusXM. Was great to hear the Red Bull fans whining on the various soccer shows on channel 94 about Petke getting fired. If the Union FO had any balls they would hire him immediately.
    Was not surprised but wish we would be in the running for Altidore.
    Interesting things happening in Spain: Mr. Dracula is becoming another Special One and Barcelona is in great turmoil. Would love to see Messi come to my beloved Chelsea!

  4. Sacking Petke makes no sense to me at all. Gy just won the supporters shield and was in the EC finals after beating the conference champs, DC (winning the table should earn you the champ title, not the playoffs — especially now that half the league’s teams are going to qualify for the MLS cup).

    It really is as if the RBs didn’t want NYCFC to get all the negative press this month.

    • At least their GM owned the decision, instead of denying he had any say in the matter (unlike some other GM’s we could name).

  5. “Tweetedly”? I don’t think it will find it’s way into Merriam Webster but I support your effort Ed.

    • old soccer coach says:

      Tweetedly. Grammatically you get the same message across with the sentence “It was tweeted that … ,” or “It has been tweeted that … .” We need to consult a linguistic historian to discover how “reportedly” came to be accepted as an adverb. But aside from “tweetedly” jarring the ear, so to say, the two are not completely congruent as synonyms. “Tweetedly” – as you propose it – has one, very specific, precise meaning and only one, to wit, information tweeted into the public domain by means of Twitter. “Reportedly” does not mean ONLY that which has been reported in print media; it is broader, not specific to a particular medium. If one hearkens back to set theory in mathematics, the proposed “tweetedly” is a subset of “reportedly,” hence not congruent in equivalency.
      Having beaten that horse to death twice, I nonetheless completely applaud, agree with, and support your intent to differentiate among those public comments created from wishful thinking without a shred of independent supporting evidence, and those based on evidence that passes muster with traditional journalistic ethics and standards. Social media creates untruth as easily as it disseminates truth. Resolution of the problem is a worthy goal and you are to be thanked for caring and trying.

  6. ebradlee10 says:

    If DiMatteo can get sacked after winning the Champions League, then Petke can get shitcanned for winning a hubcap.

  7. I will never understand how the NY teams can dick around so much. They have an enormous and embarassing amount of riches and tools around them, yet they continue to mire themselves in mediocrity, including the Yankees who are usually World Champs or crap. I hate all New York teams, but I still have to admit then when NY teams are successful, or at least relevant, the leagues tend to be better off. Hopefully NYCFC doesn’t turn out to be a massive mistake for MLS.

    • old soccer coach says:

      Oh, I wouldn’t mind beating both New York teams like Roman Legionary timpani during battle for the next several years!

  8. old soccer coach says:

    Excellent. The first domino has fallen. Now the rest may proceed. That there is a transfer fee is to be expected, Stoke had the leverage, since the Union and MLS needed him more intensely and sooner in time than Stoke did. The proportion of the fee fell to the league as opposed to the team would be an interesting detail.

  9. I like “tweetedly” very much. I hope it catches on.

  10. fredricschwartz says:

    My expectations for this club have hit an all time low. It’s possible that they just may finish even lower on the table this year than last. I’m still looking forward to the season, but will be watching comfortably at home as opposed to PPL park. When the team starts to invest in some players, i’ll invest in the team, and not just my time in front of the tube or on this blog. The big surprise would be that the current squad can actually compete in this league and makes the playoffs.

  11. John O'Donnell says:

    Ah the January love for teams that go out and sign big names. It seems like just yesterday that Toronto had the conference all wrapped up about this time last year. Six teams will make the playoffs and we have two expansion teams in our conference, they might sound unbeatable on paper much like the Eagles dream team of a few years ago but they’ve yet to kick a ball as a team yet. Red Bull went out last year and signed hardly anybody as did New England. Jermaine Jones was added after the World Cup break and that helped them beat Red Bull in the Conference Final. Get a striker of pedigree to add with Casey and Sapong for depth this team should make the playoffs.

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