Daily news roundups

“Unacceptable”: recaps and reaction to loss in Columbus, Garber says more expansion coming, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Columbus Crew

Philadelphia Union

Remarking upon Philadelphia Union’s performance in Saturday’s 4-1 road loss to Columbus Crew, The Guardian described the Union as “demoralized-looking.” Which is smarty pants Brit talk for saying the Union, with a few exceptions, looked like a bunch of wilting violets in a big steaming pile of crap.

Jim Curtin was more blunt: “We got our asses kicked tonight. It’s unacceptable.” (Transcript of postgame quotes from Curtin, Brian Carroll, and Ray Gaddis here at PSP.)

He added, “I learned a lot about a lot of players tonight, the guys that stuck with it and pushed and the guys who bailed out. You want to be able to look yourself in the mirror after a game and say that you gave everything. That’s what we talked about before the game, and I think we got a lot of answers. Especially in the second half, the guys that stuck with it.”

Message to the bailers: If you think bailing in a losing effort is acceptable, then you better accept fans bailing on you. Because after watching Saturday’s embarrassment, the thought that rang through my head was this: Why should I care about this team? Why should fans invest time, money, and, most importantly, emotional commitment when they’re being subjected to such gutless displays?

Equally alarming is the disconnect between Curtin’s comments and comments from players. While Curtin talked after the game about “guys who bailed out,” Ray Gaddis said, “the team never let down and never gave up.” Brian Carroll said, “I thought the guys kept fighting…Everyone stuck together and kept on working for one another. It shows me we’re still together and guys care.” Yes, I know, what do you expect, the player quotes are simply the usual cliches. But now, more than ever, wouldn’t it be good to hear a player speak honestly?

Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle wrote of the two-goal performance from Ethan Finlay, “Finlay was the Man of the Match on Saturday, picking up two goals and an assist and generally just beating the living hell out of Fabinho.”

He added, “Philly are so bad in transition. This is brutal from first to last.”:

Yep.

Finlay said of his team’s performance, “The movement was fantastic…and the end product. We were spot-on tonight. We probably could have had a couple more.” Again, yep.

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Delco TimesPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel (recap, analysis), MLSsoccer.com (recap, report), Columbus Dispatch (recap, analysis), ExaminerColumbus UndergroundMassive ReportThe PitI Geek SoccerSBIProSoccerTalkSports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP.

If you missed the livestream on Saturday night, here’s our postgame wrap with Eli Pearlman-Storch and Kevin Kinkaid.

At Columbus CrewUSA Today, Columbus Underground, and Massive Report, photo galleries from the game.

ESPN mercifully keeps the Union at No. 18 in their latest power rankings: “The Union’s fragile psyche was obliterated against the Crew, particularly in defense where Fabinho was given a torrid time by Finlay. Now they have to face an in-form Jozy Altidore.” Yeah.

Zach Pfeffer assisted the game winning goal and played 87 minutes in the US U-20’s 1-0 win over the Croatia U-20s on Saturday in Austria. The win concludes the week-long training camp there.

Union Academy

In Academy play on Saturday, the U-14s played Cedar Stars Academy to a 0-0 draw. The U-16s crushed Baltimore Bays 5-0 with a brace from Raheem Taylor-Parkes, and single tallies from Colin Brezniak, Patrick Murphy, and Jerren Nixon. The U-18s defeated Baltimore Bays 3-1 with a brace from Conor Bradley and a goal from Ryan Miller.

On Sunday, the U-16s took a 1-0 lead on PA Classics with a goal from Robert Campbell but finished with a 1-1 draw. The U-18s drew 1-1 with PA Classics thanks to an 80th minute equalizer from Mohamed Conde.

The U-16s are currently in first place in the US Soccer Development Academy’s Atlantic Division of the East Conference (54 points, 18-2-0). The U-18s are in fourth place (36 points, 10-5-6).

Local

A 57th minute equalizer from Dante Leverock saw Harrisburg City Islanders draw 1-1 on the road with Charlotte Independence. On loan from the Union for the game were Jimmy McLaughlin and Dzenan Catic. Recaps at USLCharlotte Independence, and Penn Live.

Shane Campbell, Rob Sagel, and Jordan Wilson, three defenders who were a key part of Reading United having the best defense in the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division in 2014, will return to the club for the 2015 season.

MLS

In the Eastern Conference, first place New England (14 points) crushed Salt Lake 4-0. Second place DC (14 points) defeated ten-men Vancouver 2-1 on the road. Third place NYRB (12 points) drew 1-1 with Los Angeles. Fourth place Columbus thumped ninth place Philadelphia (6 points) 4-1. Fifth place Chicago (9 points) defeated eighth place — and ten men —  NYCFC (6 points) 1-0. Sixth place Orlando (8 points) lost 2-0 at home to seventh place Toronto (6 points) with Jozy Altidore scoring a brace. Tenth place Montreal (2 points) had the weekend off.

In the Western Conference, first lace Vancouver (16 points) fell 2-1 at home to DC. Second place Dallas drew 1-1 on the road with tenth place Colorado (7 points). Third place Seattle (13 points) defeated eighth place Portland (9 points) 1-0 with a 77th minute goal from Clint Dempsey. Fourth place Los Angeles (12 points) drew 1-1 with NYRB on the road. Fifth place Houston (10 points) drew 4-4 with sixth place Kansas City (10 points). Seventh place San Jose (9 points) had the weekend off. Ninth place Salt Lake (9 points) lost 4-0 on the road to New England.

In an interview with the Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday, Don Garber said expansion beyond 24 teams is coming. “In the next six months, we’ve got to come together and develop a plan with our ownership to determine when we go further, because we will. We will expand this league beyond 24 teams. It’s not an if, it’s a when.” Garber said Austin, Sacramento, St. Louis, and San Antonio are leading contenders followed by El Paso, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas.

Garber said promotion/relegation will not come with expansion because “our teams are not clubs, they’re local businesses.”

I believe that we can expand and manage a league far larger than we are today without having to contemplate promotion and relegation. I will certainly tell you in the near term, and that near term is a long time from now, there’s not going to be promotion and relegation. It makes absolutely no sense. There is not a developed secondary division. We have union agreements. We have national television deals. We have investors that have put in billions of dollars. It is not going to be something that could be managed in anytime soon.

Garber also said the league will continue to try to sign top US national team players to MLS “regardless as to what our national team coach might want to do.” He explained, “We will do whatever we need to do to ensure that we have the best possible American players here, because we have to be a league of choice for everyone that cares about the game, that’s players and fans.” (Apparently “here” includes Canada?)

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said, “I don’t know what Don was asked specifically, but frankly, I wouldn’t have said some of things he did the way he did.” Gulati said further that Jurgen Klinsmann “absolutely supports the league and knows it’s critical to the national team’s development…The success of the US national team is directly linked to the success of MLS. Jurgen knows that, Don knows that, I know that…Let me be real clear. If Don or anyone criticizes the national team or its success, that’s inherently saying something about where the league is. And vice versa if you criticize MLS, which is central to our national team.”

Garber also said the league will be revamping the allocation order that is the primary mechanism for bringing in international players.

Our owners have the right, after investing what they’ve invested, to determine how players come into the league. It’s not going to be determined by the player…

We’ve created a system that has evolved over the years that provides us with some sense of order, so that we have a logical way for players to enter the league. We’re still working though that.

SI notes that “working through that” has included some shall we say memorable episodes such as the “blind draw” that saw Jermaine Jones land in New England. Garber said,

All I can say is that what happened in the past isn’t what will happen in the future.I won’t apologize for that, either. We’ve had to made decisions over the years of developing this league that have allowed us to be put into the position where we are today, and that’s pretty darn good.

I think the time will come, and that time may not be far from now, when there will be far more transparency than there is today.

During the meeting with the Associated Press, it was also revealed that the CBA has yet to be ratified. MLS president Mark Abbott said that, while he couldn’t give a precise date for when the CBA would be ratified, he didn’t think it would “be that long of a period of time” before it was.

Garber also took part in a Q&A on Facebook, which you can see here.

If you were thinking Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson might be loaned to Montreal for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champion’s League deciding game, apparently you can stop. You will recall that starting goalkeeper Evan Bush will miss the final for Montreal due to yellow card accumulation. Montreal has said it would appeal but no decision has yet been announced.

Liverpool’s Kolo Toure to NYRB?

MLS remains the most diverse professional sports league in North America.

NWSL

First place Portland (7 points) drew 2-2 with third place Chicago (4 points). Second place Washington (6 points) defeated fifth place Sky Blue (4 points) 3-1 on the road. Fourth place Houston (4 points) lost 3-2 to seventh place Boston (3 points). Sixth place Seattle (3 points) had the weekend off, as did eighth place Kansas City (3 points) and ninth place Western New York (0 points).

US

USWNT defender Ali Krieger, who suffered a concussion recently in league play, is beginning to train again.

Quoting a report from Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion, Goal.com reports, “The referee who oversaw the United States’ controversial World Cup qualifier victory against Costa Rica in March of 2013 says he was praised by FIFA for his handling of the game.” The Snow Game. Good times.

Elsewhere

According to a study by the Daily Mail, Qatar spent “an astonishing £17.2 billion directly and indirectly” to land the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup. That’s more than $26 billion.

The AP reports from Serbia, “Authorities say at least 50 people have been injured and 40 arrested after fierce clashes between Red Star and Partizan fans.”

27 Comments

  1. “Our owners have the right, after investing what they’ve invested, to determine how players come into the league. It’s not going to be determined by the player…”

    The MLS is the worst.

    • el pachyderm says:

      This is the single worst indictment of the league. It is a culture built on money first not one striving for brilliance or potential brilliance. yuck.

      • el pachyderm says:

        The whole MLS brand and league smells of business. Whatever is in the best interest of the owners and business. Puke. Makes. Me. Want. To.
        .
        Maybe someday the culture will change, but I doubt it.
        .
        It will grow to be the smelly locker room of NFL’s little buddy jock strap. The NFL bringing MLS along just enough but not too much. Too much to lose if futbol goes loco and eats in to margins and profits of the Original Big 30.
        .
        OH MY ACHING FUCKING HEART.
        .
        This team.
        .
        This league.
        .
        This game we have mangled beyond recognition.

  2. 700 Chopper says:

    I love your commentary Mr Farnsworth your spot on

  3. Can’t wait until the ratings. I know we’ve seen one or two 10’s in the past . . but I don’t recall ever seeing a 0. Me thinks one may be coming to a certain player destined for orbit!

  4. One of the most disappointing things to me in all of this, is that pretty much all of us saw this whole situation happening. From them signing Mbolhi, to deciding to hire Curtin, to blowing the okugo deal, to the expansion draft, not signing anyone until late, going bargain basement, etc. it was always heading to this.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah agreed. There’s always that tiny hope that, against all odds, it somehow works. It sucks like hell when you end up being right. It’s (basically) only May… gonna be a long summer.

  5. Also, after these comments from Curtin, if Le Toux plays he is full of shit. Pardon my French

    • The entire performance struck me as merde, so no pardoning is necessary. The action on the left back, which I will not credit as actually “playing” by Fabinho was unbelievable. I think that this was worse than any of what I had thought was reaching bottom before. If I wanted to be frustrated by what I was watching happen in front of me, and dissatisfied with the result, I would just go to work. The idea that I am giving up recreation time to watch this is making me doubt my sanity. I have always been a huge Le2 supported, and wrote before about how he was an ideal team player, ready to direct traffic in the parking lot if the Union asked him to do so, and I understand how passes to the wrong foot and other mistakes can get to him, but I watch the gesturing and obvious communication of what can only be negative commentary to his teammates, and I wonder what has come over him. Fabinho’s 2 was generous in the player ratings, and I cannot imagine that Le2, Chaco or anybody else out there thought that their overall performance was a good thing. Unfreakingbelievable.

  6. Brian Carroll is here for his veteran leadership. For him to say what he said is beyond unacceptable. There is no accountability. Ed is spot on. Fans want change, they need to vote with their feet.

  7. Amobi Ribiero says:

    I left the 700 at halftime, went home and enjoyed a good movie. From the second half against NE throughout Saturday night we basically are a team for others to scrimmage against. Try out new things. Maybe play a guy out of position a little higher up. Because they’re frankly afraid of nothing this U team has to offer. This team is turning into a week off for the rest of MLS.

  8. el pachyderm says:

    Laughingstock.

  9. By Curtin saying some of the team bailed out, he absolves himself of some responsibilty. By leaving his team out to dry verbally, He is showing that he must be replaced very quickly. All players need some protection by the coach or they will turn on that coach in a heartbeat. This might be happening already.Carroll was spot on in his post game comments. As a player, he wants to protect his team mates and fix things from within hopefully.

    • BANG! That press conference is troubling on many levels. And yes, your absolutely correct…….a good coach protects his locker room and players……even if he wants to strangle them. Its the reason Murinho is loved so much….he puts all the pressure on him and takes it away from the players….so they just play! Thats what the best coaches do……..make it all about them……intentionally. Its part arrogance…….but its also the understanding between the players and the coach he is doing this for them…..so they never have to deal with the press and just play the game. Jim threw his team under the bus there……he looked juvenile and irrational the whole match….during and post match. The players responded by throwing him under the bus………what a mess. Jim needs to go…..your not getting the locker room back after this.

  10. The good news is that MLS took over Chivas ownership group after 5 straight years of missing the playoff and plunging attendance. So we hopefully have only two more years to go! And yes I do view that as good news because I see no alternative for a turn around with this feckless ownership group.

  11. Being honest according to yourself, is a way of bailing out. The observer or writer has No idea of what is going on between the coach and the players, so honesty means you are just worried about covering your own ass whether coach or player.

  12. The [liquid-infused] candor is top notch. Good analysis, agreed with nearly everything. KK’s “frankly” count?

  13. el pachyderm says:

    Here’s my suggestion.
    .
    REWRITE YOUR ENTIRE BUSINESS PLAN. Scratch the one you have- NOT working- – unless that is, your goal in this thing is to be A LAUGHINGSTOCK. If being A LAUGHINGSTOCK is the business plan, congratulations Mr. Sugarman and Mr. Sakiewicz, you are a resounding success.
    .
    If being a LAUGHINGSTOCK is not your business plan, book a plane ticket Mr. Sugarman and Mr. Sakiewicz, hop on an airbus to Amsterdam, tour the city for a day or two, enjoy yourself then go directly to the Ajax Academy – find your future coach and assistant coach there. Hire an American GM familiar with MLS laws, bylaws, and dark corridors.
    .
    Invest in these 2 things for the next five to seven years. Hoist the MLS Cup, The Supporters Shield or the Lamar Hunt Cup or all three- go for it- win a treble. Allow your money to make more money for you as people from far and wide decide they want what you have- they want your youth players, they want your veterans, they want your brand.
    .
    Do the smartest thing you have ever done, hire someone from one of the greatest academies and clubs in the world. There is AJAX spawn all over the globe. Find him. Hire him. Give him the keys. Rejoice. Revel.

    • It is more likely they will hire the crack head on the corner in chester who happened to get hit with a soccer ball. They will tell him you are the next big thing and they will laugh as this team falls to nothing and people still pay to watch soccer in chester.

      • might do a better job…..he’ll at least be motivated to get more crack! I don’t know what motivates the current staff………….

      • True. But knowing Sak and Sugarman he’ll pay him in cut crack to make it go further.

  14. There’s going to be more than 24 teams in MLS at some point? That’s ridiculous. 20 teams was plenty with the lack of talent in our league. Do you know how bad this league will be to watch when it gets to 24 teams or whatever the final count will be?

    • el pachyderm says:

      They are looking for 40 teams I bet – but no relegation and promotion. No that would cut into margins and profit. That would push the quality of play to become anti-Philadelphia Onion. That would relegate Mr. Sugarman and Mr. Sakiewicz to the 2nd or 3rd Tier where their shit operation belongs- and that was not part of the business plan.

  15. Sell this franchise to a competent and financially competitive owner!
    This is all I’m going to say about this organization. There’s no need to analyze it. And no I’m not going to stop saying it!

    FREE THIS FRANCHISE!!!

    • el pachyderm says:

      This is a fine idea and I have considered it myself. I am currently working out the logistics of my catch phrase -what I do know is: Puke, Shit, Laughingstock will be part of the catch vernacular once I lay my angst to rest and simply check in, once a day, as you LCB Line- to say my peace and then go on my merry way.
      .
      Still, today, I like to vent and rail and formulate new and kitchy ways to voice my contempt for this rotten dream of a team.
      .
      oh and lest I forget, FREE THIS FRANCHISE.

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