Daily news roundups

Fred suspended second game, Pfeffer appears in US U-23 loss, on the US draw, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The league’s disciplinary committee has added one game to the automatic one-game suspension Fred got along with the straight red card he was shown in Sunday’s loss in Chicago: “The committee ruled that Fred’s blow to the head of Harry Shipp (WATCH HERE) was ‘violent conduct which endangered the safety of an opponent.'”

We’ll learn more today at Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference where the Union stand on the injury front, but Graham Zusi will be unavailable for Kansas City with a hamstring strain.

Sunday’s game in Kansas City will be the final game of Zach Pfeffer’s two-game suspension for violent conduct. In Denmark with the US U-23 MNT on Tuesday, Pfeffer entered the game in the 59th minute shortly after the US went down a goal and was involved in several scoring chances in what ended as a 1-0 loss. Recap at MLSsoccer.com.

Incidentally, new blog Scratching the Pitch, which aims to focus on lower division soccer in the US, says Pfeffer’s loan to Harrisburg during his two-game MLS suspension “has all the appearances of a duplicitous attempt to skirt the rules,” adding, “It seems clear that the loan to Harrisburg was an attempt to mitigate the punitive effects of the suspension for Pfeffer and for the Union. This should not sit well with fans of American soccer.”

The problem with this view is that there appear to be no rules prohibiting an MLS club from loaning out a suspended player, nor does USL have rules prohibiting teams from taking a suspended player on loan. The only related rule seems to be a section of the MLS Disciplinary Committee Principles and Parameters concerning suspension manipulation in the case of players called up for national team duty. In such a case, if a player were to miss a league game they would otherwise be suspended for because of a national team call-up, that player would serve the suspension with the next available league game. Pfeffer was called up for international play with the US U-23 team but the friendly in Denmark did not conflict with a league game and so Pfeffer will be suspended for the upcoming game against Kansas City, as he would be if he had not been called-up.

Just why a team loaning out a suspended player to a lower division side in the absence of rules prohibiting it “should not sit well with fans of American soccer” is unclear. The MLS team is already being punished once by that player being unavailable for the term of the suspension. Are they not being punished twice if they are forbidden from providing a suspended player with an opportunity to maintain match fitness? And if the concern is about USL teams benefitting from the use of MLS players, then shouldn’t every USL team that is not affiliated with a MLS team object to all loans that come from affiliation?

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young looks at three stats that highlight the differences in the Union’s performances against Salt Lake and Chicago.

Power rankings: MLSsoccer.com has the Union at No. 20: “Looked disorganized in central midfield, which has been the theme for this group over the last 180 minutes.” Same at SBI: “The Union have struggled to muster anything in three of four games, a sure sign of worry for head coach Jim Curtin.”

Point Noted has a quick Q&A with Ray Gaddis.

In partnership news, Acme is now the official supermarket of the Union and PPL Park, TruMark Financial the official financial institution. More at Philadelphia Business Journal.

Wilmington Biz on the addition of former Union men Aaron Wheeler and Nick Zimmerman to USL side Wilmington Hammerheads.

Union Academy

The Union U-16 team faces their San Jose Earthquakes counterparts in their final Group C game at the Generation adidas Cup today at 3 pm. Both teams are winless after defeats to Brazilian side Palmeiras and Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sons of Ben: The Movie

Well played SoB: The Movie, well played.


Bermuda’s Royal Gazette on the recent signing of defender Danté Leverock by Harrisburg City Islanders.

Ocean City Nor’easters alum Jordan Murrell has signed with Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake’s USL affiliate.

The Poughkeepsie Journal on Nick vonEgypt signing with Philadelphia Fury after unsuccessfully trialing with fellow ASL side Evergreen Diplomats as well as Harrisburg City Islanders.

The Villanovan profiles Villanova men’s team player Oscar Umar, and his path to the team from his native Ghana.


Former Union man Jack McInerney’s strike against Orlando has been named SBI’s Goal of the Week.

More on former Union man Pedro Ribeiro impressing with Orlando. Sigh.

NYCFC have signed former Norwegian youth international and Manchester City Academy goalkeeper Eirik Johansen.


The US looked better than they have in months against Switzerland on Tuesday, taking the lead with a fine free kick goal just before the end of the first half, and creating a flurry of scoring chances after the start of the second half. And then Jozy Altidore was shown a red card for mouthing off at the referee. Minutes later, a rejuvenated Swiss side scored the equalizer and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. It was the eighth time in eight games since the World Cup that the US has conceded a goal after the 80th minute.

Jurgen Klinsmann said of the ongoing trend of conceding late goals,

It might be a theme, but it’s not a problem because we know the reasons why certain things happen. Maybe some games we kind of ran out of gas earlier and then made individual mistakes.

This was a mistake that had nothing to do with their physical condition, which is good. I think we’re making progress. We’re going to get closer to the 90 minutes that we were playing in the World Cup, so this is good to see and the players too have willingness to take the game to their opponent and go all the way to the end. So even if it happened in the 80th minute as well today, we’re through with that. It’s not a concern at all.

Klinsmann said of Altidore’s dismissal, “He used some verbal words. I asked the ref, obviously — I told the players at halftime: ‘Guys you can probably do fouls, you can do certain things but never joke with an Italian referee.’ It’s unfortunate but it happened. He got sent off for a verbal comment by an Italian referee.”

Altidore said, “I want to apologize to our fans and my teammates. Emotion got the best of me and I put our team in a tough position. That’s not the type of role model I want to be.  All credit to the boys for grinding it out and earning a positive result.”

Recaps and reports from PSP, US SoccerMLSsoccer.com, Fox Sports, ESPN (Carlisle), ESPN (McIntyre), CBS Sports, beIN Sports, SI (Straus), SI (Wahl), ASN (recap), ASN (analysis),  Washington Post, New York Post, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, Soccer America, SBIGoal.com, ProSoccerTalk, American Soccer AnalysisPhilly Soccer NewsReuters, and the AP.

MLSsoccer.comProSoccerTalk, and SB Nation have three things from the game. The Guardian has five things, Goal.com has — gasp — eleven things.

Player ratings from MLSsoccer.com, ASN, Soccer AmericaNew York Times, ProSoccerTalk, and Goal.com.

From the New York Times: Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, BFFs.

From US Soccer: “The U.S. Beach Soccer National Team scored a goal in the last 10 seconds of regulation to top Barbados 4-3 in its second group match of the 2015 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship at Estadio de Fútbol de Playa Costa del Sol in San Salvador, El Salvador.”


From the Guardian:

As of Wednesday, FIFA will no longer be responsible for an industry worth billions, the governing body deregulating a business that, it claims, is rife with underhand and unlicensed transactions across the world. In an attempt to increase transparency, it will be the duty of each national association to supervise agents and a licensing system that has been in place for years will end.

“I think it’s going to create anarchy and everybody is going to be sorry about it,” says Mel Stein, chairman of the London-based Association of Football Agents. “Fifa couldn’t cope so they decided to hand it over to the individual territories. I can see the bloke in the pub who knows a parent or a footballer’s dad saying ‘I’ll represent you’ and then undercutting everyone.”

The AP reports, “UEFA and players’ union FIFPro want to strengthen a forthcoming worldwide ban to stop third party investors from owning player transfer rights.”


  1. Freds extra game was probably equal parts “Philly get your shit together with the discipline.” and the swing itself.

  2. Agree 100% with your view of the strained logic in the Scratching the Pitch post. Pfeffer was suspended from two MLS games. Not two or three weeks. Is he supposed to turn in his cleats like a suspended cop turns in his badge? His suspension serves the purpose the MLS disciplinary committee intended. He will be unavailable for two important league games. It punishes him and his club. Mission accomplished.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Is the player getting paid for those games in the USL? If so, doesn’t that defeat part of the punishment of not getting paid while suspended? Also, it’s easy to send someone like Pfeffer to the USL. What happens when someone like Kaka gets suspended for a red card incident? Does he go down or not stay in match shape?
      I think the player should be able to practice while suspended but not play. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens in other sports.

      • My question is what happens in other soccer leagues. If Wayne Rooney is suspended by the FA for two Premier League games, can he still play for Man U’s U21 side or does he have to sit out of all games? I’d rather be on the same page as the rest of the major soccer leagues as opposed to being on the same page as the NFL.

  3. The Black Hand says:

    It’s like the old saying goes, “If you can’t play the 10…clock them in the face”.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    How do other National systems handle similar situations?

  5. Huh. Wow. I was 100% sure the last entry was an April Fools joke (FIFA giving up control over something, yeah right) until I clicked on the link. Unless the Guardian’s having a go…

  6. i voted Jack for goal of the week. well done, sir

    • There’s nobody on the Union roster who would even dare try that shot. Pfeffer might have at one point, but I worry the coaching staff has drained that out of him.

  7. Never go in against an Italian Referee when death is on the line!

  8. I gotta tell you — it’s so irritating when the Union office can’t get the live-stream going on the press conference, now for the second time.

    • It’s bush league, but hardly surprising. Their “communications staff” is something like one guy, a goat, and probably a couple interns.
      Oh yeah, and that one guy does all the marketing, too. Streamlining the workforce, baby!

Leave a Reply

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