Daily news roundups

News ahead of season opener, league news, and more

Photo: Via Twitter, courtesy of Carl Mandell

Philadelphia Union

Despite doubts about whether a new CBA deal could be reached in time, and Thursday’s snow storm, the season opener against Colorado Rapids is finally here! Check out our match preview and quick reference.

Nick Sakiewicz said of the preparations at PPL Park after Thursday’s snow,

I can assure everybody that PPL Park will be ready…Snow will be out of the way, and we will play the game.

As it is right now, in real time, our plan is in full swing with a crew of 70 shoveling today in two shifts as snow accumulates, and back tomorrow for whatever residual snow is left from the storm. We have heavy equipment moving large amounts of snow offsite, off the parking lots, and snow chutes for the seating areas on hand. I want to thank our friends over at the Eagles who are experts at moving snow during games, and they provided a lot of equipment and things that we needed to effectively clean up the stadium and be ready to play. So we’re very confident it’s going to be a great day, a great day for an opener and hopefully another great moment at PPL Park.

MLSsoccer.com notes the Union’s efforts to prepare PPL Park for Saturday’s game following Thursday’s snow storm.

Jim Curtin spoke to reporters on Thursday ahead of the opener (4 pm: 6abc, Direct Kick, MLS Live). You can read a transcript of the teleconference, which includes remarks from Nick Sakiewicz, here at PSP. More at the Daily News.

Curtin is high on Fernando Aristeguieta:

He’s a guy that has a strong mentality for a young kid, good head on his shoulders, he can handle coming into a new group just because of the way he plays. His style of play is work ethic, doing the dirty running for his teammates, anything to win, anything for the Union badge.

Aristeguieta says, “When you arrive to a team, you are very motivated, you want to work all the time. The fans have been great with me, and all the teammates have told me that the atmosphere in the stadium is awesome.” Aristeguieta says he reached out to former Union man Alejandro Moreno for advice when he joined the team.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on how Curtin is putting his stamp on the team.

Jonathan Tannenwald has pieces at the Daily News and Philly.com previewing the Union ahead of the start of the season. In a piece for the Inquirer, Tannenwald examines how the Union’s comparatively limited budget affects the team’s ability to sign proven goal scorers.

MLS Players Union reps Brian Carroll and Danny Cruz spoke with reporters on Thursday about the new CBA. The teleconference contains a lot of very illuminating info, which you can read in full with our transcript. More on the remarks from Carroll and Cruz at Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, and Philly Soccer News.

Fellow SB Nation blogs Brotherly Game and Burgundy Wave ask one another three questions ahead of Saturday’s game.

MLSsoccer.com includes Andrew Wenger on a list of five players who are poised to have a breakout season. At the 700 Level, Steve Moore explains why Andrew Wenger will be the key to the Union’s success.

Also at the 700 Level, Moore on the start of the Union season.

At MLSsoccer.com, a guide to the 2015 Union.

At Metro, Jeff McMenamin has ten Union storylines for the start of the season.

A roundup of Designated Players at MLSsoccer.com lists Cristian Maidana and Maurice Edu as returning and adds Fernando Atristeguieta. (I think they may have this incorrect, with Maidana not a DP this season and Rais Mbolhi maybe joining Aristeguieta as a new DP. But, hey, pre league and club rules, what do I know?)

At the New York Times, a MLS season preview says of the Union, “Bringing in the Dutchman Rene Meulensteen as technical director will not have as much of an impact as the additions of Steven Vitoria (Portugal) at the back and Fernando Aristeguieta (Venezuela) up front.”

Is there anything more worthless than power rankings? How about preseason power rankings. At SBI, the Union are at No. 15.

All four soccer writers at SI predict the Union will miss the playoffs.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has a good read on Dzenan Catic’s path from Bosnia to the US, to Germany and Kaiserslautern, back to the US and Davenport University, and to the Union.

Burlington County Times talks to local lad John McCarthy about signing with his hometown club.

Brotherly Game considers the Union’s depth at forward.

Former Union man Brian Brown is joining NASL side Indy Eleven, also home of former Union man Kleberson, on loan.

Grantland wonders what the heck happened with Freddy Adu.

Sons of Ben

Click here for info on the Sons of Ben’s opening day plans.

The Sons of Ben Movie will have its Philly premier in June. From the press release:

The Philadelphia premiere of SONS OF BEN: THE MOVIE will take place Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the Ritz Five Theater (214 Walnut Street). Guests will be invited to the red carpet premiere and screening of the film, and tickets will be available to the general public for a screening at the Ritz East (125 S 2nd Street). There will be an official after party taking place after the screening with special guests, the details of which are soon to follow.


The new MLS season kicks off tonight at 10 pm on Univision Deportes and UniMas with LA Galaxy hosting Chicago Fire. But what if you don’t speak Spanish? Judah “Forgive Me My Jersey” Friedlander and Nando Vila demonstrate how watching MLS broadcasts on UniMas in English is easy as pie:

Check your channel listings for where to find UniMas. In Philly on Comcast, it’s on channels 251 and 563 and, as far as I’m aware, you don’t need a special subscription to receive the channel. Also, check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio, including all of the opening MLS games.

World Soccer Talk has a rundown of the plans of the league’s national broadcasters for the new season.

CNN looks at the league’s growth as it starts its 20th season.

The “20 storylines for the 20th season” angle is popular, with reports on that theme from the Washington Post, ESPNYahoo Sports, and US Soccer Players. Soccer America cuts things in half with ten reasons to be excited for the news season.

Also at Soccer America, Mike Woitalla talks to PRO head Peter Walton about the organizations instructions to referees before the start of the season.

Sky Sports, who will be broadcasting MLS games in the UK this season, have five things to look out for at the start of the season. The Guardian has the same.

In more MLS in Europe news, the league has announced a four-year contract with Eurosport to broadcast MLS games in continental Europe.

Reuters has certainly been doing its part to provide understaffed sports departments at news outlets with plenty of copy on the start of the new season. There are reports on foreign coaches in the league, a bullet point list of storylines at the start of the new season, the continuing impact of the Beckham effect, how the US is no longer a “barren” landscape as MLS begins its 20th season, a timeline of key events in the development of the league, and an interview with Don Garber on progress made since the league’s founding.

With “new stars, teams and sponsors,” AdWeek says MLS has staying power.

ASN on who won the CBA negotiations.

Thumbs up.

Thumbs up.

Colorado have unveiled the new away jersey they’ll be wearing at PPL Park on Saturday. Simple and effective, and I like the reference to the Colorado state flag.

FC Dallas have released a tidy new second kit. Seattle has nicely updated first and second kits that keep things simple.

Kansas City have confirmed their interest in signing Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.

Orlando have signed Irish international defender Sean St. Ledger.

Colorado have signed forward and SuperDraft pick Dominique Badji.

At 8 by 8, Robert Kehoe on why the USL is the key to the future of MLS. At Vice Sports, Kehoe wonders why there are no black head coaches in MLS.

The bid that is competing against the one from the Minnesota Vikings to land a MLS franchise in Minneapolis is still fighting.

At SBI, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson on the new MLS CBA. He says of his league’s system,

I’ve seen that some people were concerned because we don’t have a minimum salary, but we have something even better, and it’s called total free agency. If a club makes an offer to a player and he doesn’t like it, he’s free to go somewhere else and get another offer. That’s the real advantage here.

We’re comparing apples and oranges here. They have a system that they like with the CBA. We have a system that we love, and that’s a free market system.


The USWNT faces Switzerland today in their second group game at the Algarve Cup in Portugal (12 pm: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Go). The US defeated Norway, 2-1, in their opening game, coming from behind with two goals from Carli Lloyd.

Fox Sports has a piece on the team’s mentality going into the game.

The USWNT took time out from training in Portugal to honor young Courtney Wagner, a 17 year old battling brain cancer and, unbeknownst to her, was a guest on the Ellen show. I’d type more about the segment but my allergies seem to be acting up and I can’t quite see the computer screen. Just watch the video.

The US defeated Guatemala, 4-1, in CONCACAF U-17 championship group play on Thursday (highlights here). Josh Perez had a first half hat trick. The team next faces Honduras on Sunday (9:30 pm: Fox Soccer Plus, Univision Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go).


Reuters reports, “Sepp Blatter has asked Iran to end its ban on women watching football matches, describing the situation as intolerable.” Took him long enough.

World Soccer Talk on FIFA’s continuing reluctance to address the disgraceful conditions of workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Reuters reports, “In a bid to keep South America’s notorious ‘barra brava’ hooligans away from soccer stadiums, Chile is implementing strict rules that fans complain will take the fizz out of proceedings at the Copa America in June.”

Do you think tactical analysis in soccer is “dumb”? Vice Sports agrees.


  1. Kind of a off topic question to get the thread going…

    whatever happened to Christian Hernandez? I may have missed some news over the last year, but I do not see him on the Union roster, he was not in camp from what I saw, and Harrisburg’s website is still in 2014 mode…

    Was he not supposed to be the next best thing?

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    To address the last point first, if that is Vice Sports’ opinion, then Vice Sports is “dumb”! Teams have won games by noticing opposition in-game adjustments and exploiting the new opportunities.

    Two, I continue to have in my memory the point that I read somewhere during the acquisition of Rais Mbohlithat he would be a DP for one season because of a transfer fee being involved, but that after that, he would not be.

  3. the more secondary kits i see, the more i wonder who at the Union thought a quilted paper towel was the way to go.

    that Colorado kit is gonna be nice bonus tomorrow.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah I agree. Other than the Bethlehem Steel jerseys I’m still waiting for a really nice new one. I still own the original blue, sans Bimbo, and I won’t get a new one until something blows me away.
      And yeah Colorado’s new yellow is nice.

    • The quilted quicker picker upper. When nobody buys the 2nd- they will know it was a dud.

  4. NASL. Free Market System. Gotta love it. Here’s some pie in your eye Bill Peterson says.

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