Daily news roundups

Chicago previews, Union Academy begins GA Cup final play, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union are goalless in two games, conceding five goals while scoring three for a 0-1-2 record. Chicago are goalless in two games, conceding five goals while scoring one for a 0-3-0 record. With both sides dealing with selection issues because of injuries and/or international callups, the beautiful part of the game may go missing.

Jim Curtin said on Wednesday of Sunday’s game in Chicago (5 pm, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, Watch ESPN),

It’s very early. It’s three games in the year so there’s no panic from either team but at the same time you want to get that first W. Chicago is on national TV and always a tough place to play. They’re coming off of a game that they actually played pretty well in and a home opener of a brand new stadium. They’re a team we respect.

I’m not going to lie and say that it’s just another game because both teams need three points right now. The good news is that no one has really grabbed a hold of the Eastern Conference. No one has been the dominant team. We need to bounce back on Sunday.

Previews from PSP, MLSsoccer.comBrotherly GameSky Sports, and Goal.com (sort of).

At CSN Philly, Ryan Bright observes that Rais Mbolhi hasn’t exactly lived up to his “game-changer” title. “With the Union still in search of their first win, it’s time for the World Cup standout to prove it.”

Noting eight players are unavailable for selection because of injury, suspension, or personal issues, Zolo Talk reviews possible formations for Sunday’s game.

Brotherly Game asks fellow SB Nation blog Hot Time in Old Town three questions.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin on the promise of 18-year-old Eric Ayuk.

Chicago Fire Confidential on why Quincy Amarikwa is still Chicago’s best hope for scoring goals, despite the club scoring only one goal in three losses to start the season.

At the Union website, a quote sheet from Wednesday’s weekly press conference.

In a ranking of the top 500 clubs in CONCACAF at Brotherly Game, the Union come in at No. 48. Harrisburg City Islanders come in at 101.

Union Academy

The Union U-16s begin play in the Generation adidas Cup finals on Sunday. In Group C of the Championship division, here’s the Union’s schedule:

  • Sunday, March 29 at 4:30 pm vs. Palmeiras (Brazil)
  • Monday, March 30 at 3 pm vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
  • Wednesday, April 1 at 3 pm vs. San Jose Earthquakes

A post on the MLS website says games are played over two 35-minute halves, with ties decided by a shootout and the winner earning an extra point in the standings. The winner and second-place finisher in each group in the Champions Division will advance to the tournament semifinals, with all teams being guaranteed five games. The Union are not among the seven group games that will be streamed on the league website but all semifinal and the championship game will be streamed.

Sons of Ben: The Movie

Tickets for the Philly premiere of the Sons of Ben movie will go on sale on April 8. The premier is June 10 at the Ritz 5 in Old City.


Harrisburg City Islanders begin their 2015 season on the road against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, the first of four “Keystone Derby Cup” matches between the clubs this season.


Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said again on Thursday that it is very unlikely that just announced MLS expansion side Minnesota United will receive public funding for a new stadium. “I just think politically — I think the term ‘stadium fatigue’ describes it. That’s with the Legislature, myself, the public. I just don’t think there’s any public appetite for taking on the financing of another stadium.” Minnesota has subsidized the building of three stadiums in the past decade, including the now under construction Vikings stadium.

More on Minnesota United’s from the bottom up approach to gaining a franchise at ESPN.

At Soccer Gods, Minnesota United’s rosy prospects compared to whatever is going on in Miami. At World Soccer Talk, Simon Evans on how David Beckham and company can turn growing animosity toward a Miami franchise into a positive.

Sacramento Bee on why Sacramento Republic should have been chosen as the next MLS expansion franchise rather than Minnesota United.

Portland have acquired Ghanaian winger Ishmael Yartey on loan from Swiss Super League side FC Sion with an option to buy.

San Jose have signed former Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez.

You will recall Jason Kreis saying he doesn’t know how he’s fit Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez into NYCFC. According to reports from Spain, it looks like he’s going to play in Qatar, anyway. At nearly $10.5 million per year for three years, who can blame the 35-year-old?

NASL has announced ESPN3 will now carry “the vast majority” of its matches. Why not all of the matches? Because three teams — the Cosmos and two Canadian teams — already have deals with other online platforms to show their home games, “but the majority of their road matches will be shown on ESPN3.” The NASL-ESPN3 partnership began last season with ESPN3 streaming a NASL “Game of the Week.”

You will recall the plan was that ESPN3 would replace MLS Live this year as the online platform for MLS, but that was put on hold. At World Soccer Talk, Kartik Krishnaiyer writes,

With MLS focusing its TV deals on regular time slots on Fridays (UniMas) and Sundays (ESPN2 and FOX Sports 1), that leaves a huge hole on Saturday nights that NASL can fill given that Saturday night games on MLS are only available nationally via MLS Live.

Now, the second-tier NASL has suddenly become more accessible online to soccer fans in the United States than MLS. The ESPN3 deal could prove a boon to the nascent NASL in their efforts to provide “a highly competitive alternative,” as the league claimed yesterday in an official release related to Minnesota United’s impending move from NASL to MLS.


US Soccer has announced Berti Vogts as Technical Advisor to the USMNT. An announcement from the federation says, “In his role as Technical Advisor, Vogts will oversee the development of players in Europe, working with Herzog and Matthias Hamann on scouting, building and improving club relationships and identifying talent. Vogts will serve as a resource for technical development initiatives and coaching education.” You will recall Vogts, who won the World Cup with Germany in 1974 and coached Germany to the 1996 European Championship, was a “special advisor” to the team during the last World Cup campaign, admitting that he would still be rooting for Germany when they played the US.

Some statistical analysis of Wednesday’s USMNT loss to Denmark at American Soccer Analysis and MLSsoceer.com.

US Soccer has a postgame quote sheet from Wednesday’s loss.

NYCFC head coach Jason Kries doesn’t know why Mix Diskerud wasn’t selected for the current USMNT roster either.

At the FOOTIE 7-Provoa 2015 tournament in Portugal, the US Paralympic National Team lost 2-1 decision to Argentina.


Reuters reports, “FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan believes that world soccer’s governing body is taking the wrong approach to development of the sport, leaving many national associations without basics such as kit and pitches.”

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


  1. Regarding the CSN/Ryan Bright article, it is crazy to think the best tenders in the world could have come in here and looked any better over the past 50+ games with the back line mess that’s been put in front of goal. Last year it was mismanagement under Hackworth and re-adjustment under Curtain. This year hasn’t gotten off to a great start due to White’s play and injuries.
    I’m not trying to make excuses for MBohli, but geez, at least look at the whole picture. The guy was left exposed BADLY twice last weekend, not much ANY keeper can do in those situations.

    • Agreed— though every time I see the picture of him above with his hands on hips after “the guffaw that should never be mentioned” I get light headed.
      saving one of them would have been nice. saving two of them is a certain stretch.
      1 saved 1 goes in – still lose. Not the goalies fault.

    • I don’t think Mbolhi has been a problem, but I also don’t think he’s proven himself to be an upgrade over MacMath. It’s early, so I’m not writing him off. But so far, I’m not sold.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I see M’Bohli as a definite upgrade over MacMath. Now Blake…that’s a different story. Rais is a very good keeper. Blake is not as good (right now), but he has a very high ceiling.
        The smart move(s) would have been: (A) Pass on Blake>draft another position of need>make move for Rais M’Bohli or (B) draft Blake>have him spell MacMath for a year>make Andre Blake the staring keeper in year 2. Instead, we opted for the ‘Union’ way…the wrong way (cash pissed away).
        MacMath is not a starting quality keeper. He showed some nice moments but,overall, he was quite poor.

    • The Black Hand says:

      A keeper of M’Bohli’s quality should have stopped one, if not both, of those goals. He had a poor match, which is understandable given the amount of football he has played (African Cup). He needs a rest…but we, somehow, have no over option a keeper.
      We are one of the most poorly managed clubs that I have ever seen.

  2. Wait … clubs are still acquiring new players? You can do that?

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Mbholi plays a different style of Keeper than did McMath, as far as I can tell. Mbohli does not leave his line as freely, whereas McMath was much more inclined to be a sweeper-keeper. Mbohli has read the necessity of coming out well, so far I think; when he comes, he comes hard and has not yet misjudged a rush as I remember. He saved against Castillo last Saturday twice, as I recall, granted the ball spilled but he recovered it. He won’t be perfect, but not even Lev Yashin was that, quite. I have not been following Zac in Colorado closely, but I had the impression that Clint Irwin has been starting.
    Keepers develop more slowly. We all remember Seitz when he was here. He’s now starting for a pretty good side six years later. Zac needs reps. Blake’s athletic upside has been higher; hopefully it remains so after the cartilage surgery.

  4. What’s more amazing about that Union ranking of 48, they found 452 worse teams…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *