Daily news roundups

That call, what Blake needs, league results, US qualifies for U-17 WC, more

Philadelphia Union

Getting ready to watch Saturday night’s road game against Real Salt Lake, you may have been thinking, would Fernando Aristeguieta open his MLS account? Would Cristian Maidana start?

Well, Aristeguieta scored a brace, and not only did Maidana start, he was involved in all three of the Union’s goals on the night.

Indeed, the Union seemed on course to be realizing what Jim Curtin said would be necessary to get a road result against a team that lost just once at home last season: “if there is a little tentativeness with their new formation, we definitely want to pounce on things and take advantage.”

And then, the referee in the Saturday night’s game, Allen Chapman, made a stupefying penalty call in favor of RSL that gifted them an 86th minute equalizer.

The call was so bad, in fact, that Luke Mulholland, the RSL player who was involved in the play, said after the game, “Was it a penalty? In my book, no,” adding (see video), “I thought we won a corner or something.” Indeed, Mulholland was so surprised by the call that he felt the need to say, “Philadelphia is going to feel it hard, I hope they know that I didn’t take a dive.”

You may have then been thinking of the report from Kevin Kinkead at CBS Philly last Wednesday that the referee from the Union’s season opener against Colorado, Silviu Petrescu, had been suspended by PRO after missing two penalty calls for the Union in what ended as a scoreless draw.

So, for the second week in a row, the referee has missed or made decisions that have directly cost the Union points. Curtin said after the RSL game, “I don’t think that we get a lot of respect. Last week I got a call from Peter Walton at PRO and they told me that they missed the penalty kick and the referee wound up being suspended, and I think it might be a similar situation again.”

Understandably, the PRO Twitter account was filled with angry comments after Saturday’s game. And Union fans on Twitter were also understandably quick to point out that Chapman lives in RSL’s home state, Utah, and the possible bias this might suggest. Indeed, as Taylor Twellman tweeted, “Allen Chapman has done 7 @RealSaltLake games as the middle ref and awarded 7 PKs 5 for RSL.”

Outrage about the call was so deep that the Sons of Ben posted an open letter demanding an apology from the league that asks why the quality of officiating has not kept pace with the growth of MLS: “it is plain to see that in order for MLS to take its rightful place with the other professional leagues, the officiating must be world-class as well…We expect MLS to acknowledge, for the second straight week, that the officiating has cost our club, the Philadelphia Union, two points. Our owners, coaches, players and fans deserve an apology. At this juncture, anything less than that is unacceptable.”

What’s interesting is that RSL fans, at least as recently as 2013, also think Chapman is terrible. A RSL Soapbox post before a RSL-KC match that year concluded, “It’s really too bad this game will almost certainly have some controversy specifically because of the relationship between the man in the middle and one of the teams involved.” Apparently things were so bad that then RSL head coach Jason Kreis “actually changed where he sits on a bench and refused to shake hands with Chapman before [a previous] game. And also left a game early in protest because of Chapman.”

As we tweeted after Saturday’s game, “@MLS you have a refereeing problem.” Whether Chapman will be punished remains to be seen. But how are fans — let alone players, coaches, and, it must be said, bookies — supposed to have faith in the integrity of MLS matches when such nonsense is apparent to even the most casual of observer?

Recaps and reaction from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com (recap), MLSsoccer.com (Curtin reaction), Philly.com, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap), Brotherly Game (analysis), Vavel (recap), Vavel (analysis), Total MLS, Between the TouchlinesSalt Lake Tribune, Deseret NewsThe SpectrumKSL.com,  ABC4, MLSsoccer.com (RSL reaction), RSL Soapbox, SBI,  Goal.com, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP.

Postgame quote sheet here at PSP. At USA Today and Getty Images, photo galleries from the game.

Power rankings! The Union move up three spots to No. 16 at Soccer America. At ESPN, the Union drop two spots to No. 17: “the defensive balance in Philly’s midfield just feels wrong.”

Dzenan Catic, Raymond Lee, and Erik Ayuk were with Harrisburg City Islanders on Friday for their preseason match against University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Catic scored four first half goals, including a hat trick in the first 20 minutes, in the 6-0 win.

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Jamaica MNT head coach Winfried Schafer about Andre Blake and his situation with the Union:

I hope he can play. If he plays matches in Philadelphia, it’s good for us, and when he plays for us, it’s good for Philadelphia. He’s a big talent. Very good boy, very good character, and maybe if he doesn’t play, he has to change the club. He must play. He has to play football. A goalkeeper cannot sit on the bench…

He wants to learn. And he needs a coach — and I don’t know the coach for Philadelphia — but he needs to coach not only shooting and crossed balls, but the goalkeeper needs tactics. They have to play better football…

Give him 10 matches, OK, and he’ll go up (in form). Believe me.

The Bent Musket talks to Rochester Rhinos president Pat Ercoli about John McCarthy.

Juan Arango has an update on Carlos Valdes’ loan move to Nacional: “The Valdés move has completely backfired for him. Will be on bench for @nacional and has taken him a month to get in shape.”

Paste Magazine on why former Union man Freddy Adu still matters. Sorry, you didn’t convince me.


At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead on what it means for Chester to be the site of the third place match of this summer’s Gold Cup tournament.

LA Galaxy have signed 2015 SuperDraft pick Ignacio Maganto, who was with Reading United last season.

Haitian forward Max Touloute, who also played for Reading United last season, has signed with USL side Pittsburgh Riverhounds.


In Eastern Conference play, first place NYCFC (4 points) defeated last place New England (0 points), 2-0, in their home opener on a terrible looking Yankees Stadium pitch. Second place Orland (4 points) defeated Houston, 1-0, thanks to some hustle from former Union man Pedro Ribeiro that rustled in an own-goal from Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Third place Columbus (3 points) defeated fifth place Toronto (3 points), 2-0, in a game that included a controversial red card. Fourth place DC (3 points) had the weekend off. Sixth place Philadelphia was robbed by the ref in a 3-3 draw at Real Salt Lake. Seventh place NYRB (1 point) and eighth place Montreal (0 points) had the weekend off. Ninth place Chicago (0 points) lost, 1-0, in their home opener to Vancouver.

In the Western Conference, Dallas (6 points), the Union’s opponent on Friday, is in first place after defeating last place Kansas City (1 point), 3-1. Replays showed four Dallas players were offside for their second goal when the scoreline stood at 1-1 (not to mention this). Second place LA (4 points) came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with seventh place Portland (2 points). Third place Seattle (3 points) lost 3-2 at home to fifth place San Jose (3 points). Fourth place Houston (3 points) lost 1-0 at home to Orlando City. Sixth place Vancouver (3 points) defeated Chicago 1-0 on the road. Eighth place RSL (2 points) drew 3-3 at home with Philadelphia. Ninth place Colorado (1 point) had the weekend off.

Columbus Crew have extended the contract of head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter through 2017.

The Minneapolis as next expansion city momentum is speeding up. On Friday, SI reported, “Minnesota United, which currently competes in the North American Soccer League, is expected to be granted an MLS expansion franchise, according to multiple sources.” More at Northern PitchKTSP, KARE11, Reaction from rival expansion bid cities Sacramento (Sacramento Bee, CBS Sacramento (1), CBS Sacramento (2)) and San Antonio (San Antonio Business Journal).

At the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a post from a transportation planner on whether Minneapolis should build a downtown stadium says, “History has shown us that downtowns are great for stadiums, but stadiums aren’t always great for downtowns. If this dynamic was a Facebook relationship status it would read ‘It’s complicated’. To use myself as an example: as a fan, I would much rather see an urban stadium. Yet, as an urbanist, the suburbs may be better suited.”

The headline at the LA Times says, “Foreign stars no longer putting down MLS.” Huzzah!

Speaking of foreign stars, the latest to be linked to MLS include Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng and AC Milan’s Sulley Muntari, and Roma’s Daniele De Rossi.

The Professional Futsal League debuted in Dallas on Friday with FC Barcelona defeating Team USA 4-3 in the PFL International Challenge tournament, which also includes Team Mexico. The Dallas Morning News reports,  the PFL “plans to launch with 12-16 teams in November 2016.” Also at the Dallas Morning News, a Q&A with PFL primary investor, and Dallas Mavericks GM, Donnie Nelson.


The US outlasted Jamaica on penalty kicks in Sunday’s World Cup qualification playoff game at the CONCACAF U-17 Championships after finishing regulation time drawn at 0-0 (video highlights here, quote sheet here). Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic was the first to take a kick from the spot only to see his attempt saved. Then Jamaica’s second PK attempt went over the bar. The US was perfect from the spot after Pulisic’s failed attempt before Jamaica again missed and the US advanced as 5-4 winners. More on the win at ASN, SBI, and CONCACAF,

The U-17 World Cup kicks off in Chile in October with CONCACAF represented by Costa Rica (who defeated Canada 3-2 in the other playoff game), the US, and Honduras and Mexico (who met in the tournament championship game on Sunday evening with Mexico the 3-0 winners).

Christian Pulisic gets a nice profile piece at US Soccer. Good read.

The AP reports, “A weekend soccer player in the Detroit area whose punch killed a referee has been sentenced to at least eight years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.” Kris Bieniewicz, the widow of the dead referee demonstrated her displeasure with the length of the sentence by holding up a red card in the courtroom.

Yahoo Sports on why Gedion Zelalem should be wary of receiving the “Julian Green treatment” from Jurgen Klinsmann, whatever that means.


Reuters reports, “Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has urged his country’s allies to consider boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia if Moscow does not pull all its troops out of his country’s territory.”

The Press Association reports, “FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told Qatar ‘more must be done’ to improve working conditions in the country as it prepares to stage the 2022 World Cup.”

The AP reports, “Change at FIFA is ‘important for football,’ UEFA President Michel Platini said Monday in a recorded video interview two months before the world soccer body’s presidential election.” Platini said FIFA needs ”new ideas, a new program.”

The New York Times on what a winter World Cup in 2022 will mean.

Reuters reports, “San Lorenzo’s 3-1 derby win over Huracan was marred by the death of a fan who fell 50 metres from the back of a stand at the Nuevo Gasometro on Sunday.”


  1. Pretty upset to hear that Valdes’ move is going poorly. If he’s not successful there, that means we have a mess when the loan is up this summer. Ugh.

    • The Black Hand says:

      On the bright side; our CB’s are terrible. Valdes would be an upgrade…half full.

      • Maybe he’ll actually want to be here this time…

      • The Chopper says:

        Sadly, he would not be an upgrade. His knees are done, his career is toast. He used it all up to realize his World Cup Dream. The Union were very quiet about all this to try and find a deal for him, but the Valdez that came back to this team last year was no better than what we have now.

      • that ship has sailed – would be better to pay him not to play.

  2. Refereeing is a thankless job definitely not something I would submit myself to. Even though there’s no way that was a penalty I’m going to try to look on the bright side on this exotically warm Philadelphia day.
    Maybe all these blown calls will lead the MLS to implement a video review system for next year. All they need to do is have all penalty calls automatically go to review. This would take a lot of pressure off the ref and ensure the proper call is made. The directives to the refs would be, when in doubt call the penalty and we’ll review it after. That should help with the non calls as well. All other calls outside the box would be handled as they are now. Let the MLS lead the way on video review

    • Andy Muenz says:

      That works (albeit with slowing the game down) on calls like Saturday night, but there’s really no way to do justice to non calls since that means play is continuing on.

    • Video review? No thanks. It would kill the flow of the game.

      • If rather risk the flow of the game than the integrity the game.

      • Never. The game is flow. I’d rather have competent officiating.
        Goal line technology. That’s it. No more.

      • it wouldn’t slow the game down to watch the replay of whether there was a foul in the box. wouldn’t take more than thirty seconds and players arguing with the referee always takes longer than that anyway

      • Yeah, and the NFL always said replays would never take more than 1-2 minutes and now look at the pathetic MESS they have!

        It’s OK to have a human element. I completely agree with Joel, fix the people problem, don’t work around it with technology. The integrity of the game will be far more lost if it bows to the 20/20 vision of a bunch of backseat drivers.

      • +1,000,000,000,000,etc,etc

    • Reply would be great, as long as it is quick, like hockey, and doesn’t cause a 5 minute delay, like the NFL. One of the best things about soccer is the flow and lack of stoppages.

      • It is not going to kill the flow of the game. Players spend at least five minutes remonstrating no matter how clear the call is.

      • “One of the best things about soccer is the flow and lack of stoppages.”

        Correct. So don’t SCREW WITH IT!!!

    • No “F”ing way………….

  3. Yup. Still mad about that PK call….

  4. That murdered referee case in Detroit is tragic, but I love the red card as a form of social protest.

    • The next time either of these referees do a game at PPL park, all Union fans should hold up a red card in protest.

      • Love that idea. Or some sort of red card tifo

      • James Lockerbie says:

        they sell foam red/yellow cards in the stadium store. If everyone bought one we could help Albright with the next off season and send a message to pro! win,win!

  5. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

    If anyone has a little time to waste on something silly, we will happily sing your praises and tweet out a supercut of every time Officer Healy yells, “CHAPMAN!!” in Orange is the New Black.

  6. I think we need to take a step back and examine the MLS officiating issues with a different level of discernment. Is it possible the referee’s are just a symptom to a deeper problem. This has been branded as a physical league and I think MLS wants and likes that- not too far off from its real daddy the NFL.
    I for one detest the level of physicality of this league because we, IMO, begin to get what we have had in the last two games which is mixed martial arts and an inability for free flowing rhythm the game should have.
    As I wrote in my first post after the game, this level of physicality MLS is “proud of” puts the officiators into an untenable position– where their ability to judge what it fair, within the rules, over the top, or completely ludicrous is jaded. It is clear become lost in the cretinism.
    Chapman was conditioned to pull cards and call fouls in that game, just like the referee was in the previous game.
    Again, due to the overly physical BRAND of play MLS trumpets, the officials are conditioned to call fouls and lose their ability to accurately judge what is an infringement and what is not- leading to ghost calls at inopportune times.
    I ask you is the officiating that bad or is it a symptom of a deeper problem?

    • “I ask you is the officiating that bad or is it a symptom of a deeper problem?”
      My reply: those two aren’t mutually exclusive; both are a possibility.

  7. Garber wants this league to get respect world-wide with this kind of officiating… Wake up and do something, IMMEDIATELY… I’m not holding my breath for his actions…

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