Daily news roundups

Open practice at YSC today, more Union bits, league and national team news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Today’s Union practice at YSC Sports in Wayne is open to the public, 12-2 pm. It’s the last training session at YSC before the team heads down to Clearwater for the second phase of preseason training.

At MLSsoccer.com, more on Jim Curtin’s comments that the Union will soon sign a new goalkeeper. “There will be an announcement in the coming days on a decision that’s already been made. We have Rais, who’s been doing well at the Africa Cup of Nations. Andre has been very sharp; he’s come into camp and looked excellent…We’re going to need a third that can come in and be a guy that not only sits on the bench but be ready if he’s called upon in a game.” You will recall that comments from Union goalkeeper coach Paulo Grillo published in an article at CBS Philly suggested that John McCarthy would be the new keeper.

Rais Mbolhi and Algeria will face the Ivory Coast in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal (2:15 pm, beIN Sports Connect).

The league announced on Thursday that MLS Live will be back for 2015, despite the announcement in May that ESPN would stream out-of-market games on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN. As was the case in 2014, the Union is among those teams with no blackout restrictions for local broadcasts of games, which means if you don’t have cable, you can still see the Union’s home games on MLS Live. Nationally broadcast games on ESPN, Fox, UniMas, and Univision Deportes Network will be streamed on the networks’ online platforms such as Watch ESPN and Fox Sports Go. You can subscribe to MLS Live for $64.99 through Feb. 23.

Does the Union, after only five seasons, have its own “legends and cult heroes”? Brotherly Game explores.

On Wednesday, former Union man Gabriel Farfan went the full 90 for Chiapas for the second Copa MX game in a row, a 2-0 win over Oaxaca.

Sons of Ben

Today is the last day that Sons of Ben members can exchange their already purchased season parking pass for one that will allow them to park in the new SoB Lot.

Local

The Penn men’s team has announced the addition of eight players for the 2015 season, four defenders, two goalkeepers, one forward, and one midfielder. The announcement notes, “Three members of the Class of 2019 – Gavin Barger, Nigel Blackwood and Etan Mabourakh – were invited to training camp with the U18 US Youth National Team this year, while another two – Gideon Metrikin and Erik Swenson – have spent time in U15 and U14 National Team camps earlier in their careers.”

MLS

In an interview with Orlando Sentinel, MLS Players Union executive director Bob Foose says free agency and player compensation “are the central focus” of the union in the CBA negotiations: “Those are the dominant issues. They’re more and less of equal stature. There’s not one ahead of the other.” He added, “There is no negotiation going on at this point with regard to free agency. That makes it impossible to get a deal done. If that’s going to stay the same, I certainly don’t see a deal getting done.” The current CBA expires at midnight on Saturday but negotiations will continue up until the season opener on March 6.

If you have questions about the MLS CBA negotiations, put them in the comment section or tweet them to PSP using the hashtag #MLSCBA2015. PSP contributor Steve Holroyd, who happens to be a labor lawyer, will answer them in an upcoming post.

Toronto FC has signed French midfielder, and Olympique Marseille veteran, Benoît Cheyrou. Is it some yet to be announced change in league rules or simply “creative” accounting that is allowing Toronto to continue to make a sham of the notion of parity as it spends on players like a drunken sailor on shore leave for the second season in a row?

According to the Daily Mail, Tim Howard “could leave Everton ahead of the new MLS season” and Toronto, LA, and NYCFC are interested in signing him.

No official announcement from the club yet, but Juan Agudelo tweeted on Thursday that he had just re-signed with New England Revolution. ESPN reports Agudelo “will not be a designated player.”

Ariel Lassiter, son of MLS legend Roy Lassiter, has signed with LA Galaxy II.

NYCFC has announced Tom Glick as the president of the club. The announcement also says that chief business officer Tim Pernetti will leave the club after its first game of the 2015 season to become “President of Multimedia for WME | IMG’s college business.”

The league announced on Thursday the sale of KICKTV, “its global soccer media platform with a core presence on YouTube,” to Copa90. The announcement says, “MLS will retain an ownership stake in the newly created company and will work strategically with Copa90.”

Reviewing the increase of foreign ownership of US teams, World Soccer Talk wonders “whether the lack of local ownership of clubs in major markets is a hindrance to the growth of the game and of American players.”

Sacramento Republic continue to bolster their case for becoming a MLS franchise with the news that the San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York will invest in the USL PRO side. You will recall earlier this week came word that NBA side Sacramento Kings will be investing in the club. More on the 49ers news from Sacramento Bee, CBS SacramentoFox40, and KCRA.com.

Meanwhile, Sacramento neighbor Elk Grove will go ahead with plans to annex land for a soccer park and stadium that is part of their very unlikely bid to land a MLS franchise.

The verification of signatures collected for the petition aimed a forcing an advisory vote on the use of public money for the proposed soccer stadium in Las Vegas should be completed next week.

At EOnline, David Beckham gives an update on his Miami MLS plans: “We’re pretty close to announcing certain things and then the stadium will come after that. You can’t build a stadium overnight, so finding the right site, finding the right place in Miami is important for us. But it will all start coming together pretty quickly and everything will start happening pretty soon. I’m really excited about that. Being an ex soccer player to have my own team, I’m excited about that.”

US

ASN looks for the positives from the USMNT’s 3-2 loss to Chile on Wednesday. Goal.com has five lessons form the game, SBI has five observations, the Guardian has five things. A quote sheet from the game is available here.

Goal.com reports that Emerson Hyndmann will miss up to six weeks after suffering a broken collarbone in the US win over El Salvador in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship playoff game last Saturday.

Soccer Gods on how Hope Solo’s suspension could provide her with an opportunity to redeem herself.

Former USMNT coach and National Soccer Hall of Famer Bob Gansler “is back home and recovering well” after being hospitalized offer the weekend following a stroke.

Milton Aimi, the former US Soccer chairman and National Soccer Hall of Fame builder, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Elsewhere

The Press Association reports Sepp Blatter “has fired his opening salvo in his campaign for re-election by saying Australia deserves to host the World Cup and that it is an ‘unfortunate omission’ the country has not done so before.”

At World Soccer Talk, Simon Evans considers the chances of Sepp Blatter’s challengers for the FIFA presidency.

The AP reports, “Russia will cut the budget for hosting the 2018 World Cup as part of plans to slash state expenditure while recession looms, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.”

FIFPro has announced it will take legal action for the rights of unpaid players after the latest unsatisfactory proposals from the ECA (European Clubs’ Association) and EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues). FIFPro’s Division Europe president Bobby Barnes said, “The basic right of players to be paid according to the terms laid out in their contract is non-negotiable.”

At ESPN, a preview of Saturday’s Asia Cup final between South Korea and host country Australia (4 am,One World Sports).

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

39 Comments

  1. Man… nothing is happening on the Union side of things.

  2. Imagine for a moment and do not be surprised— Toronto, LA, NYCFC are interested in Tim Howard.
    .
    The irony in in Curtin claiming to be prepared to sign a new goalkeeper is more than any one person should bare. Regardless of the ‘need’, the whole goalkeeper thing is a mirror reflecting how ridiculous this organization has become. This of course is only the opinion of me.

    • Howard would be a good addition. He’s taking time off from the USMNT so he doesn’t have to worry about international dates. He could fill in for the 3 or 4 games Mbolhi misses.

      • There is zero, nil, empty set chance of Tim Howard playing in this city. Ever. Sadly. Remember, we are the steamer from a cows rectum (podunk shit pile) as LCB below so eloquently puts it. Less you were just kidding A.M.
        .
        My comment above was two separate thoughts sorry if unclear- one being any surprise who is interested in Howard and the second being the ridiculousness of goalkeeper talk in this town as it wears on and on as the only real news while other ‘needs’ remain unfilled. Again a mirror reflecting is all.

      • My comment was meant compleletly tongue in cheek. We need a keeper for the games when Mholhi/Blake are on international duty, but not a big name/salary like Howard.

      • I figured.

    • Wow Joel I thought you we’re joking man and then I saw that. How can TFC possibly bring in Howard . . . I know The MLS abides and will create a new “bald keeper with a beard” exception, but seriously he’s gotta be DP and they’re maxed out yet again?
      .
      So Guzan and Cameron will be the only guys left carrying the US banner in the EPL . Dempsey barely got a snif at Spurs now I gotta hope for Yedlin?

  3. Johnny Carson as The Amazing Kreskin: “Santa Claus. Bigfoot. Chris Albright will sign a top striker before the season”
    .
    (Opens the envelope)
    .
    The Amazing Kreskin: “Name three things no sane Union fan believes in”
    .
    Ed McMahon: “Ayy-yoo”

  4. I would think that Seba, after 5 years, has reached some kind of cult status. Nogs is quite a hit, if he sticks around a few years….and we win some kind of hardware….I could see him hitting cult status. Glad to hear about McCarthy too! Hope it goes well for him……local boy!

  5. Even if the Union somehow make a couple of significant signings, for them to put this fan base through so much BS is beyond the pale in my opinion. If this is to be the norm every year than we are screwed. I sincerely hope that we can organize a campaign to hopefully force the sale of this franchise and bring in financially competitive ownership. I would also hope a bew ownership would get rid of every vestige of the current front office. Since the first whispers of MLS the idea of a league without Philadelphia was inconceivable. The letter writing, emailing, petitioning, blood,sweat, and tears, and calling out of Don Garber,and the never ending work of the Sons of Ben proves that we deserve more than this mid-level, 2nd rate,dog and pony show! While I can understand those among us who call for calm and patience, I have to ask for how much longer? To me we’ve been patient for 20 plus years. I feel that from day one we’ve shown extraordinary calm only to be taken for granted way too much. This is Philadelphia! Not some podunk shit pile between NY and DC. Again if we go into this season with the roster as is we must campaign for financially competitive ownership worthy of this fan base and market!

    • I never thought I’d see the day – something Red Bulls fans and Union fans agree on: both teams’ owners need to go. Maybe you could start a #SugarmanOut movement and join forces with #RedBullOut?

    • I’d take second rate at this point.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Take heed of World Soccer Talks musings about lack of local ownership. The track record is a bit spotty for out of town ownerships. When The Atoms were sold to a Mexican organization, the team and their following went into a tailspin. Granted, the NASL wasn’t far behind in going into a death spiral. But look at Chivas USA as well. No, a club is better off with at least a pied a terre in a team’s hometown, not that local ownership is doing wonders for the Union right now.

      On another note, what do the 49ers and Sacramento Kings know that the Eagles and Sixers don’t? Looks like, at least in CA, it might be good biz strategy to have a financial stake in a potential competitor. Comcast, please buy the Union…NOW.

      And PSP, please return your reassuring Don’t Panic button to your site until the CBA is resolved and the Union bring in those wonderful new signings. We need it for our sanity.

    • No amount of letter writing will convince an owner of any professional sports team to sell their team off. The only time an owner ever sells a team is if they are losing an incredible amount of money or if they stand to gain a huge ROI.
      Unless more investors/sponsorships/partnerships are added I can’t imagine seeing the ownership loosening their checkbook too much. Without an extra influx of cash flow they’ll stick to trying to groom young regional talent and hope to find diamonds in the rough via South America and Europe.

      • Campaigning is more than letter writing. Of course letting writing would also be to organizations trying to convince the to invest or buy the franchise. Also emailing and using all sorts of social media to put on pressure. It’s a start and it would be better than sitting on our hands and nay saying.

  6. ‘podunk shit pile.’
    .
    i can see the heat rising from the steamer of us as you speak.

  7. In other news….. Cuadrato for Schurrle at Chelsea? Interesting..
    and yes I understand this is a Philly blog but at least something is happening somewhere.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Schurrle is still there. They are hoping to send Salah (on loan, with option…) to Fiorentina. Schurrle possibly to Wolfsburg. That’s all I have…
      .
      Must be nice to have that Russian oil cash!!!
      .
      Eff Chelsea!!!!!!!

    • Hope Shuerrle stays (only since I have his Chelsea Jersey!!). Getting Cuadrato will be ace!!

      • The Black Hand says:

        He is nice. Always produces when he gets on the pitch. I think Chelsea are over-acquiring talent. They have a good thing going. Why mess with it? Cuadrado is an enormous talent, but comes with a big price-tag. I’m not sure that you need o spend like that.
        .
        My “eff Chelsea” was for your club’s Cap One elimination of my beloved Reds.

  8. MLS LIVE? Pro’s/Con’s? Go…

    • I’ve used MLS Live for the past few years. I lived in California and now live in Ohio, so I have relied on MLS Live heavily to watch the Union when they’re not playing an away match near me. Aside from a few minor technical glitches, I’ve always found it to be very reliable and of good quality (though it can be frustrating when forced to listen to the opposing team’s broadcast).

      • old soccer coach says:

        I would echo Jon above, with the proviso that you are in a place that gets good 4G. In rural areas lacking that, the effectiveness is limited to non-existent.

    • To me the only downside is that many of the commentators around the league are terrible/borderline unlistenable. If you have even a mild interest in watching some of the other games that don’t involve Philly it is definitely worth it. The quality is really good (especially when compared to illegal streams) and I think it is really nice to be able to watch archived games. Also if I’m not mistaken they have condensed archived games available which let you see a lot more than just the basic highlights without having to watch two hours worth of game.

    • If you have an AppleTV or other streaming device that gets the app it’s outstanding. HD quality and sound streamed right to the tv. I switched to RCN last summer so I didn’t get TCN, but I was able to catch the away games that were on that network in the fall. But yea, you usually have to hear the home team’s (i.e. opponent) broadcast, which is usually nowhere near JP’s level.

    • I’ve had it for 3 years. I love going back and watching highlights of the past few games. Never had a problem, outside of Comcast’s crappy service.

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