Daily news roundups

Union top NYRB for IMG title, CBA news, preseason results wrap, much more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union defeated New York Red Bulls, 3-1, on Saturday with three rather flukey goals and some outstanding goalkeeping from Rais Mbolhi to claim the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic championship.

Jim Curtin praised Rais Mbolhi’s play: “He was excellent. At halftime, I mentioned he was the reason we were still in the game. He made a lot of big saves…There’s going to be games where you are going to call upon your goalkeeper to bail you out, and he did that.”

Curtin said of the bobbled save that resulted in Fernando Aristeguieta’s goal, “Anytime you can be on the receiving end of a fortunate goal, that’s part of the game and we’ll take it, but at the same time Luis Robles is a great goalkeeper in the league.”

It’s difficult to say the Union looked good in the win, but it is nice to be on the good side of fortune for a change. It’s also good to see Andrew Wenger and Aristeguieta each finish preseason play with four goals to their credit. And topping NYRB? Works for me every time.

Recaps and reaction from PSP, Philly.com, CSN PhillyPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly GameNew York Red Bulls, Empire of Soccer, Big Apple Soccer, Once a Metro, Bradenton Herald, IMG Academy, VavelTotal-MLS. At the Union website, a collection of reactions to the win on social media.

New York Red Bulls have video highlights of the game. None of the Union goals are included.

Season previews from Philly VoicePhilly Sports Network, and the Sports Quotient.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep says Freddy Adu is about to find a club (the soccer kind, not the dance kind): “Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that Adu is set to sign with a Swedish first-division club in a free transfer expected to be finalized in the coming days.”


Lehigh Valley Business reports on a proposed $5.5 million soccer field complex in Upper Saucon Township.

Former Ocean City Nor’easters defender Nick Bibbs has signed with new USL side Saint Louis FC.


CBA negotiations

Speaking on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber said he is hopeful a CBA deal can be reached before the start of the 2015 season on Friday. “I’m hopeful. I believe, and I know I speak for our owners … nobody’s looking for a work stoppage. We are prepared for it, but we’re all hopeful that we are able to bang through these issues.” Garber explained,

We’ll get together with the players–a lot of them–on Sunday at the (Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services) offices in D.C., and we’ve got a couple of days to bang out an agreement. A lot of players, like all players in any union, have issues they want to bring up with management and they have certain rights and the process provides them with the ability to use leverage and negotiate all those points that matter. And we as management understand and accept that. The issues as you’ve laid out and have been public with free agency; there’s a lot of other issues, and we’ll continue to bang as hard as we can to try to resolve them.

MLSPU executive board member Todd Dunivant told reporters on Saturday, “We have a lot of work to do…Both sides are motivated, there’s no doubt about that. Both sides know the stakes, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be a big week for everybody, and for soccer in this country. Both sides are excited to get back to the table.”

Without going into details, Dunivant said some progress had been made in the negotiations: “We’re still talking. I think last time it was a similar situation where it went down to the wire, and I don’t think anybody expected anything differently. We’ve got a long way to go and a lot of work to do. Both sides know that going into this week.”

At ESPN, Portland Timbers defender and MLSPU rep Nat Borchers tells Jeff Carlisle, without going into specifics, he is hopeful a deal can be reached. “I think it’s important that we keep the specifics of those items behind closed doors. I want to respect the process and both sides. We’re very hopeful in the next two or three days that were going to come up with something that’s a win-win solution.”

The Timbers’ Will Johnson sounded less optimistic in an article published on Friday: “There’s a lot of agreeing to disagree, unfortunately, at this point. We’re just in a spot where we’ve got to find a deal in there somewhere, where we come off a little bit and maybe they come off a little bit and see if there’s a deal in there potentially to be made, but both sides have fundamental principles that they’re sticking to at this point.”

But hope remains. Johnson continued,

As we get closer to the middle of next week when the ultimate decision has to be made, I hope to see some movement and some common ground. I know, speaking on behalf of the Players Union, with all our hearts we want to make a deal. We want to find a deal. At the same time, we have to make sure we look after all our members. It’s a catch-22 a little bit. I know the owners and the league are in the same boat.

Putting aside our differences, I hope we can reconcile in the last three days. But nobody should underestimate the amount of work that needs to be done and the amount of progress that still needs to be made to find that common ground for an acceptable deal for both sides.

Carlisle concludes,

At this point, there are three possible outcomes. The first is that the union decides to strike, which given the disagreement over free agency seems more likely with each passing day. Without question, there is a chance that a deal can get done, though that will mean major concessions from one side on the free agency issue.

The last possibility is that the two sides open the season without a new CBA, but that would hint strongly that a broad outline of an agreement has been reached on the big issues, and only minor details remain to be hashed out.

FIFpro spokesman Andrew Orsatti said, “The principle of free agency is one we support wholeheartedly. We stand by our colleagues in the United States who are presently locked in this battle which we want to see end of course favorably for the players but also in a manner which guarantees a fair and reasonable balance between all parties.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen was reportedly fined $150,000 by the league for his recent comments on the free agency, discussion of which he characterized as a waste of time. You will recall that two weeks ago, Hansen said in a different interview that he was reluctant to talk about the negotiations because “Every week I get a letter from the Commissioner telling me I’ll be fined $250,000 if I say much of anything.”

Hilariously, the only mention of the fine being related to comments about the CBA negotiations in the announcement on the league website comes in oblique references to “negotiations” in a quote from Garber:  “The comments made by Mr. Hansen are not permitted under the League’s Constitution. We are engaged in constructive negotiations with our players and such comments are not appropriate nor helpful to the negotiations.” Given that the site itself has shamefully avoided reference to the CBA negotiations and potential work stoppage, this comes as no surprise. More on the fine at Salt Lake Tribune, KSL, and Reuters.

Boston public radio station WBUR has a brief but illuminating Q&A with Ross Friedman, a Harvard graduate who was a rookie defender with Columbus Crew in 2014. Coming up through the Crew academy system, Friedman was signed as a homegrown player, making less than $40,000 while teammate Federico Higuain was on a base salary of $500,000. Asked if such salary disparities are noticeable, Friedman said,

Yeah, for sure. Definitely. It’s really interesting. A lot of people don’t know this. We had five, six, seven guys on our roster that lived at home. A lot of the home-grown guys lived with their parents. Guys living together in subsidized housing from the Crew. That’s kind of the rookie life in the MLS. You’re just trying to survive. You’re not doing it for the money. And then you’ve got guys who are making a lot of money, rolling in in their Porsche or their big SUVs or whatever they have. So you can actually see the disparity just in the parking lot of the training facility.

The Crew declined to pick up Friedman’s option after the last season and he has since retired. “You really gotta do it for the love of the game because you’re really not bringing in the big bucks unless you’re a top, top player on a team.”

ASN considers whether the players could skip the strike and instead sue the league.

More CBA negotiations reports and analysis at LA Times, the Columbian, US Soccer Players, Soccer AmericaSoccernomics, and Awful Announcing.

Preseason play

Philadelphia Union defeated New York Red Bulls, 3-1 to win the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic. In the IMG games, Columbus defeated USL side Oklahoma City Energy, 4-1, and Toronto defeated the Costa Rica U-23s, 2-1.

At the Carolina Challenge Cup final, Houston defeated nine-player Orlando, 3-0. NYCFC defeated Charleston Battery by the same score.

In the Desert Diamond Cup final, 10-men Real Salt Lake defeated Colorado, 2-1. Kansas City and Seattle drew, 1-1, and New England defeated PDL side FC Tucson, 3-0.

At the Simple Invitational, Vancouver drew 1-1 with Chicago. Portland defeated Norwegian side, 1-0.

In other preseason matches, San Jose opened their new stadium with a 3-2 win over LA Galaxy. FC Dallas lost 2-1 to NASL side San Antonio Scorpions.

More league news 

Don Garber wants the league to embrace new technology. “If I were king, we would have instant replays. … Our players would be wearing GoPro cameras and we would be doing all kinds of things to engage with [young fans] in a way that they are used to. Let us be the guinea pigs for just about anything these folks want to do.”

The New York Times on the choice for fans between NYRB and NYCFC.

The short sleeves are engineered into the fabric of the long sleeves.

The short sleeves are engineered into the fabric of the long sleeves.

Montreal Impact have unveiled their new second kit. The horizontal bars include fleur-de-lys details that are “engineered into the fabric.” Engineered into the long sleeve version are bars that are apparently an homage to short sleeves.

The Guardian on USL’s hopes to secure second division status along with the NASL.

Capital New York has an update on New York Cosmos proposal to build a stadium by the Belmont horse racing track in Long Island, which was first floated two years ago. Simply put, there is nothing new to report.


In their opening game at the CONCACAF U-17 championship, the US defeated Cuba, 5-0: “Joe Gallardo scored three goals, Hugo Arellano and Alejandro Zendejas tallied in the first half, while Christian Pulisic and Luca de la Torre each provided two assists to lead the way for the USA.” Postgame quotes here. The team faces Trinidad & Tobago today (6 pm: Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go).

The US U-23 WNT defeated Norway, 2-0, at the La Manga tournament in Spain on Saturday.

At ASN, John D. Halloran on the USWNT’s looming development crisis.

At the Washington Post, Matt Bonesteel considers FIFA recently gifting Fox the broadcasting rights for the 2026 World Cup and its implications in terms of the US hosting the tournament that year:

After handing the 2026 World Cup’s U.S. television rights to Fox in exchange for limited financial gain, why would FIFA then give the United States the right to host the event when it could wait until 2030 or even 2034, which are the next two World Cups without U.S. television rights-holders. By holding off for four or eight years, FIFA could open up a bidding war that almost certainly would include deep-pocketed heavy hitters such as ESPN, NBC and Turner Sports, along with Fox. They all would pay a staggering premium to broadcast a World Cup that takes place in the United States, where the games would have viewer-friendly start times and the event itself would be a much easier sell to both U.S. advertisers and more casual U.S. fans.


The AP reports, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter is concerned by a study that highlighted the scale of Russian soccer’s racism problem ahead of the 2018 World Cup, warning there ‘must be some sanctions’ if the extremism is not eradicated.”

Sepp Blatter wants the 2022 World Cup played no later than Dec. 18.

Soccer Gods says investigations into possible wrongdoing in the bidding to host the 2022 World Cup “might be racist and are definitely hypocritical.”

New York Daily News reports, “Former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, a cooperating witness in a federal investigation into corruption within soccer’s global governing body, remains a central figure in the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to recover millions of dollars in unpaid taxes from the regional soccer federation Blazer led for 20 years before his ouster in 2011.”


  1. Does this count as first silverware? Hmm, things that make you go……

  2. The article on ASN regarding USWNT is excellent and a very good explanation for what is happening. The fall from grace is inevitable it seems and quite disappointing. From this point of view, it is just one more indictment against US Soccer and why our set up is so woefully inadequate when compared to other nations. This is glaring glaring problem. But what do I know.

    • Very true. How much of the USWNT’s style of play has been dictated by their best player for most of the last 10-15 years (Wambach) simply being bigger & stronger than their opponents as well as great in the air?

      If you believe Stefan Szymanski’s theory in that Soccernomics post, the NWSL should just get rid of their salary cap and spend their way to success.

  3. “Engineered into the long sleeve version are bars that are apparently an homage to short sleeves.”
    Instant classic!

  4. Atomic Spartan says:

    Pink heifers highlights show great Mbohli saves. Union site has photos of post game celebrations. While I hate the heifers, ya gotta like their video execution. Where was the UNION’s videographer? Yet another indictment of a FO doing it all on the cheap.

  5. Joe Schmo says:

    Hey, Don….goal line technology? Sure. Instant replay to “engage with (young fans) in a way that they are used to”? GoPro cameras? No f@$king thanks.

    Soccer is great because it doesn’t have all that BS bogging it down. Play a half, take a break, play a half, go home. It’s perfect, even if the refereeing isn’t. Don’t mess with it, Mr. Commissioner. Selfies suck. Trust me.

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