Daily news roundups

Union back in Philly, HCI owner on possible move, mediator brought in for CBA talks, more

Philadelphia Union

The Union arrived back in Philly on Thursday. The players have the weekend off before returning to Clearwater on Monday. The team begins play in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic on Wednesday against the Costa Rica U-23 team at 2:30 pm. Hopefully we’ll have some news about the stream for that game soon.

At MLSsoccer.com and CSN Philly, more from Wednesday’s teleconference with Steven Vitoria.

A Valentine’s Day video featuring Jimmy McLaughlin and Antoine Hoppenot.

PSP Fans’ View contributor Staci Klemmer and her family were included in the Union’s “#STMSpotlight” series.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has more on the Union Academy’s participation in the second leg of the East Regionals of the Generation adidas Cup in Orlando.

Looking for a summer job? Here’s a long list of job and internship openings with the Union.

Local

At Penn Live, Michael Bullock has more on the report we linked to on Thursday that Harrisburg City Islanders owner Eric Pettis is considering moving the team — going so far as to meet with officials in Nashville last fall — because of the lack of progress in building a new stadium for the team. Noting that an expanding USL means “the bar keeps getting raised higher and higher,” Pettis said,

So that pushes the level of competition up and then we need to raise more money to bring in more competitive players in order to stay relevant. So the question becomes do we want to stay relevant in the league? Well, we’re pushing forward with vigilance. But we can’t sit back and think we can keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them. We’d be dead within a year.

Pettis added, “It is definitely our priority to stay here, that’s definitely objective No. 1. But I’ve invested so much time and effort into this team, I have an obligation to my partners to keep looking at the best options that are out there.”

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has the transcript of his interview with USL president Tim Holt about the league’s plans to apply for Division Two status. It’s a fascinating, expansive interview covering a great deal of ground that also discusses some of the issues connected to the rising bar that Eric Pettis referred to.

Yann Ekra is returning to Harrisburg for a fourth season.

Ocean City Nor’easters are partnering with the Ocean City Department of Recreation for an indoor and an outdoor recreation soccer league this spring for boys and girls, ages Pre-K to 7th grade.

College Soccer News has ranked the 2015 recruiting class of the Penn men’s soccer team 12th in the country.

2010 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2011 tournament in Paris.

MLS

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports, “With negotiations over new collective bargaining agreement seemingly at an impasse, MLS owners and the MLS Players Union have employed the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help reach an agreement.”

Here at PSP, labor lawyer and soccer historian Steve Holroyd breaks down what bringing in federal mediators means.

In a review of the issues involved in the CBA negotiations at Grantland, Noah Davis writes, “The recent history of sports leagues versus labor unions doesn’t favor the MLSPU.”

An editorial at Empire of Soccer says now is the time for the players to strike. “In the end, no one wants a strike, but if it happens … we’ll understand.”

Chicago finished its preseason training rip to England with a 1-0 win over “a Queens Park Rangers side” that “featured several members of the Premier League club’s First Team.” Real Salt Lake defeated Orange County Blues, 1-0.

The ATX Pro Challenge kicks off tonight in Texas. Included in the preseason tournament are Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, and Austin Axtex. All the games will be streamed on the Austin Aztex YouTube channel.

The Desert Diamond Cup commences next Wednesday. In addition to host club FC Tucson, the tournament features Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders, and New England Revolution. All games will be streamed on YouTube and MLSsoccer.com (but not MLS Live).

Orlando City have waived Brazilian defender Gustavo, who joined the team in January. Also waived was SuperDraft pick Akeil Barrett.

At World Soccer Talk, Simon Evans on why “MLS is in a position to, in time, become the second truly globalized soccer league in the world,” after the Premier League, by 2026. Evans writes, “A key element is that MLS (like the EPL) is an English-language product,” which makes it easier for a global audience to follow, “an area where the Bundesliga, Serie A and to a lesser degree La Liga (with its dominant position in Latin America) struggle to compete with the EPL.” Evans says, “That doesn’t mean that MLS would be the second best league in the world in terms of quality or competitiveness. But rather, commercially it has the potential to be truly globalized in a way that few other leagues can be.”

In a letter to Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, Don Garber says Las Vegas is out of the running for consideration for an expansion franchise until after 2018, so ending the proposed stadium deal there. Soon after, Findlay Sports & Entertainment, the group behind the Las Vegas effort, announced it was withdrawing its bid for a franchise. More from MLSsoocer.comLas Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas SunCBS Las VegasFox5Vegas, KNPR, and KLAS.

ProSoccerTalk says the withdraw of Las Vegas opens the door for Sacramento and Minneapolis.

US

The USWNT faces England today (3 pm: Fox Sports 1, Univision Deportes). Previews at The Equalizer and Empire of Soccer,

Seemingly out of blue, FIFA announced on Thursday that it had extended the broadcast rights to the World Cup — and several other tournaments including the 2023 Women’s World Cup — to Fox and Telemundo through the 2026 World Cup.

The extension beyond the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, for which Fox and Telemundo had won the rights in 2011 without opening the rights for bidding, understandable raised quite a few eyebrows. Alexi Lalasthe Big Lead, and others soon wondered if the extension is FIFA’s way to assuage Fox’s concerns that the 2022 World Cup will be moved to the winter, thus competing with Fox’s NFL and college football broadcasts. SI’s Richard Deitsch writes, “Some insiders suggest granting Fox and Telemundo an extra round without opening up the bidding means a move to the winter for the 2022 Qatar World Cup is a done deal.”

More on the news at Washington Post, New York TimesWall Street JournalGoal.com, Soccer AmericaTSN, and the AP.

CONCACAF announced on Thursday that the US will again host this year’s men’s soccer Olympic qualifying tournament. Host cities have yet to be announced. You will recall that last time around, qualifiers were played in Nashville, Kansas City, and Los Angeles.

Vice Sports looks at US Soccer’s policy — and by extension, the policy of any professional or amateur team in the US — of not paying training fees to clubs that developed a player when that player signs a contract. This despite FIFA regulations requiring teams to do so.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta has an interesting read on attraction to, and challenges of, US players playing in Eastern Europe.

Soccer Gods talks to Alexi Lalas about what makes him “a Twitter samurai.”

Elsewhere

The Edmonton Journal reports that FIFA is requiring the artificial surface at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium must be replaced before the start of the Women’s World Cup. The issue? Despite efforts to remove them, the remains of the markings for gridiron football remain visible.

FIFA has voiced its opposition to using the stadium in Manaus — some 1,770 miles away from host city Rio — for the upcoming Olympic soccer tournament.

The Press Association reports, “Gibraltar will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May to fight to join FIFA and enter 2018 World Cup qualifying.”

At Reuters, an interesting take from former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson on the massive Premier League broadcasting rights deal that was announced earlier this week.

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

16 Comments

  1. I consider myself a pretty level-headed and knowledgeable fan but this offseason is causing me to descend into some weird snarky territory that I’m kind of uncomfortable with. Look, I’m sure everyone’s hard at work at hammering out that tricky 3rd goalkeeper deal for John McCarthy, but it sure would be nice if we could get a signing that actually, you know, improves the team. See that? Snark! I’m not used to this…

    • I hear ya man. In a better world we could eagerly discuss how the U’s exciting offseason acquisitions are going to gel with the trio of Nogs, Chaco, and Edu, different lineup combos, how we are gonna make NYFC question who really is their parent club, and so many other fun stuff…but no; we are left with involuntary snark cause because all of those fun directions of commentary are sadly fiction in this reality. We are atill with this team 100% just with a little snark to stay sane

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Yeah it’s really getting old… just everything. The talk of signing that MUCH NEEDED striker… actually announcing (or completing) the McCarthy deal… the sounds of the impending strike… watching highlights of teams that either sucked last year or didn’t exist RUN past the Union (both on on paper and on the field)… and realizing that through two games against “lesser” opponents not only haven’t the Union won, they have only scored one goal.
    .
    Look, I’m an optimist in life. I wrote a little while back that I think the Union will finish 5th or 6th in the East, and make the playoffs… and I still believe it. But man, something good needs to happen, and happen soon. This has been a ROUGH off-season on a lot of fronts.

    • Cynicism and optimism are not mutually exclusive. I’ve never had one bad day, ever — but I can be a cynic to rival Diogenes.
      .
      It is healthy and to your point OMW, I agree, not much to laud in these parts. I think getting smacked around by NASL teams that have just stepped on the field together for first time this season or are in first game of a newly minted franchise is exactly the whipped-cream-on-top-of-shit low light that it presents itself to be. Preseason or Not. Any chance we beat QPR like one of our other MLS teams did yesterday? No way….. and in the words of John Bender from Breakfast Club -” Not even close. BUD.”

    • 3 weeks out from the season opener and the only news the Union are publishing is Valentine’s Day advice from two kids.

      But hey, there were requests to be more positive here in the comments, so I celebrate another day that the Union followed MLS rules and complied with the salary cap!

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    not as rough as the Phillies’ I think. Their management of their financial problems would seem to make our favorite Polish former coach a management genius by comparison.

    • Amen.
      While we aren’t likely to make a groundbreaking signing, we are 1 or 2 solid players away from some really good things happening.
      The Phillies are sitting on a rotting foundation with little cause for optimism at any point in the next 5 years.
      By comparison, we look good! :p

  4. Is Simon Evans huffing Dust-Off at World Soccer Talk? What does the english language have to do with anything regarding me watching Serie A or Bundesliga or La Liga with english commentators. I don’t need to speak or understand Italian, German or Spanish to just watch the game. No Simon, the quality of product will dictate the globalization of the game. Good God, Serie A has maybe two good teams and one fair team and a whole bunch of so-so teams and is STILL infinitely more sophisticated and enjoyable to watch than NE vs SKC. Sorry. Not even close.

    • Joel – I was right there with you until the Serie A preference. Perhaps I’m a snob, but I can’t watch matches with stands that are 1/3 full and a running track around the pitch. Ruins everything for me.

      • Not to mention that they are possibly the biggest collection of divers in world soccer. I can’t tolerate 90 minutes of play that contains 20 minutes of unnecessary rolling around on the ground.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah, I can’t do Serie A AT ALL. Almost as bad as Liga MX

  5. I hope Gibraltar gets accepted into FIFA and joins UEFA. San Marino and the Faeroe Islands need some competition!

  6. Kevin Kinkead is reporting Union close to signing a striker on twitter. Now name yet given the Union’s over the top homeland security routine.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/PhillyUnion

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