Daily news roundups

Fernando with Venezuela, Sak backs Curtin, Reading in USOC play tonight, more news

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Fernando Aristeguieta has been named to Venezuela’s preliminary roster for the Copa America 2015 tournament, which runs June 11- July 4 in Chile. Aristeguieta traveled to Venezuela on Monday to participate in the preliminary camp. Venezuela’s first game in the tournament is on June 14 against Colombia. Aristeguieta will miss Sunday’s home game against DC. Assuming he makes the team, does this mean he could potentially be away for as many as eight league games? We’ll find out in today’s weekly press conference, which is scheduled to start at 12:45 pm.

In an article at the Inquirer recounting some of the factors contributing to the Union’s woes, Nick Sakiewicz tells Marc Narducci, “We are very active in looking for players and finding a solution to support Jim [Curtin]. We are 110 percent behind Jim.” Sakiewicz added, “This is not acceptable where we are.”

Here’s the Sakiewicz quote from Dave Zeitlin’s article, “Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz backs John Hackworth, outlines desire for high-profile striker,” that was published at MLSsoccer.com on May 15, 2014: “We stand behind John Hackworth, each member of the technical staff and the players. We are working every day with the resources available to us and are confident that with some additional key players this group can become the team we envision it to be.”

The primary transfer window closed on Tuesday night. So, if the Union are looking to bring in “a player under contract with a club overseas” they’ll have to wait until the secondary window opens on July 8. That window, otherwise known as the summer transfer window, closes on August 6. Now, so far as offloading any players — coughMbolhicough…

In case you missed it, here’s last night’s 90th Minute Radio Show, with Richie Marquez as the guest. Good player, good guy.

The latest injury report:

OUT: GK Andre Blake (right medial meniscus tear, out 4-6 weeks)

OUT: M Michael Lahoud (hip flexor injury 5/2, out 4-6 weeks)

OUT: F Antoine Hoppenot (left hamstring strain)

M Eric Bird (hernia repair recovery)

GK John McCarthy (concussion symptoms)

D Steven Vitoria (right groin injury)

MLSsoccer.com’s power rankings have the Union at No. 20: “Last year at this time, they were 1-5-5. It’s impossible to imagine they’ve actually been worse, but it’s true: Philly are now 1-7-3.” At Fox Sports, the Union come in at No. 19: “Another weekend, another difficult setback for the Union…At some point, Union boss Jim Curtin must wonder when the luck will start to turn.”

First the Flyers took the Doop song. Now the 76ers have taken the Union’s crest.

Union-76ers logos

Given the fact that the Union seem to be hellbent on taking the 76ers’ legacy of underperforming disappointment, I guess we can’t complain.

Sons of Ben: The Movie is the US entry in this summer’s Kicking + Screening Film Festival in New York.

Former Union goalkeeper Oka Nikolov on the state of soccer in the US.

At Philly.com, Office Style: The Philadelphia Union edition. My ticket rep, Darrell, one of the finest people I know, is looking good.

Also from Philly.com:

Interested in landing a career in sports? On Wednesday, June 3, score a goal at PPL Park (1 Stadium Dr.) during a networking event with the Philadelphia Union. From 4:45 to 6:15 p.m., young professionals will have the opportunity to meet the staff behind the soccer team including Dave Rowan (chief revenue officer), Drew Young (VP of sponsorship), Carl Cherkin (VP of business relations), Ashley Dabb (VP, marketing/special events), and Kacy Harmon (director of ticket sales). Paul Becker, manager of corporate development of the 76ers, will be on-site, too.

PPL security staff might want to search this Becker fellow from the 76ers on his way out to make sure he doesn’t nick anything else.


Ahead of tonight’s US Open Cup first round game against Maryland Bays at Don Thomas Stadium at 7 pm, the Reading Eagle has a fine look at the history and philosophy of Reading United. Click here for previews of all of the first round games.

Harrisburg City Islanders’ Enric Valles was named to the USL Team of the Week, with Jose Barril receiving an honorable mention, following the team’s 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls II at Red Bull Arena last Saturday.


DC hosts Orlando tonight (8 pm: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes).

The league disciplinary committee has suspended Montreal head coach Frank Klopas “for violating the league’s policy on entering the field/leaving the bench area” last week’s 2-1 home loss to Portland. Klopas was suspended for one game in the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this year.

Sky Sports reports, “Steven Gerrard decided to leave Liverpool for the [sic] MLS because appearing as a substitute was not as exciting as starting for Liverpool.”

You will recall that the Galaxy recently signed Sebastian Lletget from West Ham United in a deal that required paying New England Revolution $50,000 for the midfielder’s discovery rights. Bruce Arena said, “We had him in camp in Ireland, but due to the issues in our league with actually signing a player, it was made as difficult as possible, but we finally got it accomplished. All that was a blackmail job, that’s all it is.” Have I mentioned lately how much I love Bruce Arena?

Columbus have mutually agreed to part ways with Argentine defender Hernan Grana after what seems to be a simple case of homesickness.

Carlos Tevez to MLS?

Great story at MLSsoccer.com about former Union man Chris Seitz meeting Phil Richiuso — the man whose life he saved by donating bone marrow, a procedure that saw Seitz miss the end of the 2012 season– for the first time last weekend.

Complex has a very entertaining oral history of the league’s “frenzied first season,” 1996. Lots and lots of great quotes.

A group of cretins at last weekend’s Toronto game are paying the price for hurling sexual taunts a female TV reporter during a live broadcast. One has already lost his job because of his offensive behavior and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is trying to identify each of the louts in order to ban them from all MLSE facilities and local police are considering criminal charges. Kudos to the reporter for standing up to the troglodytes. More at Fox Sports and the AP.


The USWNT snorefest against Ireland last Sunday outdrew the New York derby game in the ratings.

A report at St. Louis Business Journal on plans for a new NFL stadium says the nearby Union Electric Light and Power Company building, “built in 1904, would be refurbished and used as an entertainment facility, with restaurants and potentially an amphitheater and National Soccer Hall of Fame — if a Major League Soccer team locates here.”


The AP reports, “In a rare interview with a free Swiss daily newspaper during his re-election campaign, FIFA President Sepp Blatter claims he has tried to ‘tame the monster’ of soccer’s success during his 17-year reign.”

The AP reports, “Soccer’s international governing body says it rejected informal offers it received to lay down real grass for the Women’s World Cup in part because the proposals didn’t include the practice fields.”

FIFA has banned Tahiti Football Association general director Reynald Temarii for eight years for “accepting an amount of EUR 305,640 from Mr Mohamed bin Hammam, who was then a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the AFC President, to cover the costs of his legal expenses in the context of an appeal against the previous ban imposed by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 17 November 2010.”

 hell has donated close to $8 million to Save the Children’s earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. You can see Ronaldo and Real Madrid try to overcome a 2-1 deficit in the final UEFA Champions League semifinal game against Juventus today at 2:45 pm (Fox Sports 1, ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, SiriusXM FC).

ESPN reports, “The Spanish High Court said it will now wait until Thursday to decide the legality of a threatened La Liga strike by the Players’ Union.”


  1. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Ahh, the dreaded vote of confidence

  2. Great One says:

    “I am 100% behind Jim, he did it, it’s all him.”
    Btw, can we add the Nando news to the “what else could happen article yesterday?”

  3. So we are losing Aristeguieta? I guess that explains why we are looking for another striker.


  4. i am hoping that 4 dc players get red carded tonight

  5. Aristeguieta doesn’t have MLS speed, let alone the National level, how did he make the roster? Plus his first touch, you might think he wears bricks as boots.

    I had hopes that he would be a quality striker for us, but I’d be fine if this is his only season with us.

    • Great One says:

      this is a little harsh.

      • You’re probably right … it’s hard to see anything positive at this point.

      • Great One says:

        Can’t argue with that

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Just a tad.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Definitely harsh, but not completely wrong. We made him out to be more than he is. He busts his ass, admirably, but his game is far from polished…and, ultimately, lacked effect.
        I think that we have seen the last of Fernando Aristeguieta. He found his window out…

      • Dr. Union says:

        While I agree he might not be great he is clearly steps above most people on this team, but should we really have expected a 22 year old striker who wasn’t playing in the french ligue 1 to be our savior. I for one think that with some proper players behind him Nando could be a great MLS player however he won’t have the proper players behind him here.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. He is a fine player. His early explosion of pre-season goals had us thinking that he was the answer…he isn’t. He is a great MLS option, if there is some quality play around him (as you have said).
        I believe that his loan is up this summer. I don’t see him sticking around.

      • Knowing what this team needed up top, I think I was mostly just surprised at his lack of speed.
        He does bring many other qualities, but it’s Obafemi like speed that worries a back line. The book on Fernando is to simply play him extremely physical, while he will keep at it, it has pretty much kept him in check so far.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Teams are able to play him so physically because the service is so utterly non-existent. If he could move into space and look for a pass rather than having to check all the way back into midfield, defenses couldn’t just beat the crap out of him.
        Also, it is still pretty early on in his bedding in process. At 22, it might take him half a season to have his legs fully under him. He’s been an absolute horse despite playing injured and is one of the few guys who consistently tries to put the ball on goal, leading the team in shots and shots on goal by a mile. Yes, he should because he’s the center forward, but this is much more of a 4-3-3 than it has ever been before, and none of the wingers can come close to him in terms of his efforts to get the ball on target.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Nando is another square peg. On his own, he’s a solid player and could be prolific. On this team, he doesn’t fit.
        Who does fit?

      • there would have to be a cohesive plan in order to classify a player as fitting or not fitting

      • Dr. Union says:

        Agreed there is no cohesive plan, but its not so hard to see.
        As bad as Le Toux has played on the wing with him and Nando out and out strikers up top they did have some connection. So I would argue in a 2 striker set Nando works well with someone who has some speed up top like a darren mattocks, dominque badjii type. Which either puts you at a 4-4-2 or a 5-3-2 in my opinion with the players this club has. Personally the easiest and most reliable formation for the union with their personal is probably a 4-4-2. I mean why not have a midfield four of Maidana Nogs Pfeffer and Ayuk.

      • The Black Hand says:

        That midfield quartet would leave us with very little shielding of a poor back line.
        I think that we need a DM…not named Brian Carroll.
        It really doesn’t matter. This season, and this group of players, is/are toast.
        Tear it down!

      • Dr. Union says:

        Wait hold the toast find out why the new account is unhappy. …..

        Oh wait sorry… you were saying the Union are toast yeah they are so why not throw out the 4 that can’t shield the back four. Get a back four that can handle things on their own. gaddis edu marquez and any new LB.

  6. here’s another news item: leo fernandes made nasl’s team of the week

  7. Could you imagine, for a moment, if The Apache came to MLS. Provided he linked with a true CAM and another guy who can play a little, he would average greater than a goal a game. No doubt.

    • The Black Hand says:

      There would be a RC a game, as well…because thats the only way that MLS back lines could stop Tevez.

      • Boy I’m not sure anyone would get within 3 feet of him- that is a well earned nickname.
        An intensity we only wish we saw on a regular basis in these parts. I hope he sticks a 2 gol dagger in the Spanish capitals heart today.
        That and Juventus is through. At least Paul Pogba is back.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I’m torn…a Classico, Champ League Final would be something…
        I really like Juventus’ game, though. Tough team.

  8. Serious question…do the Union have 18 players to name this Sunday? Assuming Catic and McLaughlin continue to play for HCI, I think I only count 17 available healthy players this weekend, and that’s counting Nogueira as healthy and Raymond Lee as a player who’s still with the Union (what’s his status? I’m honestly not sure).

    • Great One says:

      Good question.
      (3) FWD: Casey, Le Toux, Wenger
      (7) MID: Ayuk, Carroll, Fred, Edu, Maidana, Nogueira, Pfeffer
      (5) DEF: Gaddis, Lee, White, Williams, Fabinho
      (2) GK: Silvestre, Pool Guy (Pun intended)
      That’s 17. If Vitoria is okay or Sapong makes it back, we would have 18.

  9. Losing Nando: having never actually been kicked while I was down (at least that I can remember)… I now know what it must feel like. Thanks Union!!

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Never seen more than 2 red cards in a game. What’s the minimum number you must put on the field in order to keep playing in the pros, assuming there is one.

    • Well luckily MLS is instituting a 4 goal mercy rule just for this club. .
      With any luck this weeks game should be over by the 60 minute mark and I can go out back and have my son hit off his batting tee.

    • Minimum is 7 players on the field (including goalkeeper). If it goes below that number for any reason (another red card, injury, etc.) then the game is abandoned.
      We should be so lucky…

  11. The Little Fish says:

    Okay glass half full: Big, big game during which DC United pisses our guys off (as usual) resulting in abundant yellow cards and ultimately fisticuffs. Mo Edu and Ethan White are right in the middle of it. It will be a tough, nasty game that wakes up the Union players from their malaise. LeToux starting up front scores two goals signaling the beginning of his hot goal scoring streak of 2015. Union wins 3-2.

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