Daily news roundups

Union bits, transfer rumor, Reading hosts Harrisburg in USOC 2nd rounder, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At Metro, Sons of Ben public relations director Tim Sosar says of the general discontent with the Union ownership that led to the “Union fans deserve better” protest before Sunday’s game, “We’re not exactly sure of the goal of the ownership. Is this a hobby for them? Is this a way for them to gain extra revenue? What can we expect out of them moving forward? Are they just trying to pay the bills or are they trying to build a franchise? These are the questions that are on a lot of people’s minds.” Good questions, all. More on the protest at Brotherly Game.

How about a nicely diverting rumor? The BBC’s daily roundup of transfer gossip notes a report in the print edition of the tabloid the Daily Express linking the Union to Glasgow Rangers defender Richard Foster, “the right-back who has just returned to action following a hernia problem,” and striker Jon Daly. A right back, hurray!

In MLSsoccer.com’s power rankings, the Union remain at No. 20: “Magnificent moment from Zach Pfeffer after a tough week. Now it’s time to hope Vincent Nogueira’s late injury was nothing to be too worried about.”

The Union also remain at No. 20 at SBI: “Not only did the Union pick up an absolutely much-needed win, they did so against one of the league’s best teams. Despite fan protests and overall unrest, the Union played smart, calculated and, perhaps for the first time this season, as a team. That challenge now lies in replicating that performance, but the Union have plenty to smile about after a big victory.”

The latest injury report from the league does not list Nogueira:

OUT: GK Andre Blake (right medial meniscus tear, out 4-6 weeks) – REPORT
OUT: M Michael Lahoud (hip flexor injury 5/2, out 4-6 weeks) – REPORT
GK John McCarthy (concussion symptoms)
D Steven Vitoria (left knee strain, DNP 5/6)
M Fred (right calf strain, DNP 5/16)

We’ll learn more during today’s weekly press conference at 12:30 pm.

At the Union website, a look at Zach Pfeffer’s growing importance within the team.

The Union announced on Tuesday, “Ahead of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, U.S. Women’s National Team players Morgan Brian and Julie Johnston will visit the Union Training Center located adjacent to PPL Park on Thursday, May 21, 2015 to host a soccer clinic and Q&A session with young fans. The event starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m. with the Q&A session scheduled for 7:30 p.m.” No information about how one’s children can participate in the clinic or if the Q&A session is open to all.

Bill Hamid’s save on Conor Casey is up for Save of the Week – never mind the fact that Casey was offside. Former Union man Chris Konopka is also a nominee

Late reports on Sunday’s win over DC at Sports Journal and The Sports Quotient.


Reading United hosts fellow Union affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders tonight in the second round of the US Open Cup. Kick off at Exeter High School’s Don Thomas Stadium is at 7 pm. The victor will host the winner of tonight’s Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL)/ Rochester Rhinos (USL) game in the third round on May 27. Previews of tonight’s game at Reading United, Harrisburg City Islanders, and US Soccer.

Harrisburg’s Dante Leverock has been named to the USL Team of the Week. Ken Tribbett received an honorable mention.

At the Ocean City Nor’easters website, a preview of the team’s forward corps. The team opens its 2015 PDL season on the road against DC United U-23s on Saturday.


Kansas City hosts New England tonight (8 pm:ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, Watch ESPN, SiriusXM FC). Last weekend’s postponed match between Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids has been rescheduled for Oct. 21.

Jozy Altidore is out four to five weeks with a hamstring strain.

Don Garber was in St, Louis on Tuesday to meet with local officials about the proposed new stadium for the St. Louis Rams — or another NFL team if Rams owner Stan Kroneke, who also owns, among other teams, MLS’ Colorado Rapids and is majority owner of Arsenal, moves the team to California — which is also being touted as the possible home of a MLS team. “This is a soccer town,” Garber said. “We’ve never been able to even think hard about a real opportunity to be here. We’ve got a lot of work to do before we get here. But we think that there’s a possibility. And that’s really what today’s all about. It’s our first fact-finding mission — there’s absolutely no timeline.” Reports from  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio, Fox SportsMLSsoccer.com,and the AP.

In a report from Reuters, Garber said of the league’s expansion plans, “We are continuing to manage expansion carefully…Unlike other parts of the world which have small leagues, this is a very big country and we also play in Canada. We have almost 400 million people represented in the two countries where we play across three time zones and multiple climate zones…So we can support a larger league than even the 24 teams that we are looking at by 2018. These are the good days in MLS, and we have to cherish the good days.”

Garber also said in the report, “We have not yet been able to create the ubiquity that exists with the other more established leagues, like the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. That’s really our next frontier.”

The Minnesota legislature ended its spring session on Monday without addressing the requested tax breaks Minnesota United says it needs to make building an otherwise privately financed stadium financially viable. With a league announced deadline of July 1 in place for the stadium plans to be finalized, Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire says the team will continue to push forward. The team also released an official statement on the lack of progress during the legislative session.

Asked what would happen if Minnesota United misses the July 1 deadline, team president Nick Rogers said, “I don’t want to speculate. We’ve said what we think we need to do to move forward, and that’s around these particular tax measures. We’re still pursuing that, and I’m very hopeful. I’m very hopeful that we’ll get something done here. I don’t want to get into speculating about, ‘What if we don’t?'”

The Sun Sentinel has an update on the visit to Miami ESPN reported Garber will make within the week to try to kickstart stadium plans for David Beckham’s proposed MLS franchise. From the Sun Sentinel report: “Dan Courtemanche, MLS executive vice president of communications, said Tuesday that Garber will be in Florida for vacation this weekend and then in meetings with Univision in Miami. Courtemanche added that as of early Tuesday evening, there were no Miami expansion meetings confirmed yet.”

Eric Cantona is suing the New York Cosmos for what he says is $1 million in unpaid wages from his time as the club’s director of soccer.


A SI report on Fox’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup notes the schedule for the US games, all of which are nicely prime time:

June 8 vs. Australia (7:30 p.m. ET/FOX Sports 1).
June 12 vs. Sweden (8 p.m. ET/FOX).
June 16 vs. Nigeria (8 p.m. ET/FOX).

Fox Sports on Hope Solo’s renewed focus.

Soccer America looks at the USMNT’s attacking options for the June friendlies against Netherlands (June 5) and Germany (June 10) following the news of Jozy Altidore’s injury.

Following Tuesday’s 2-1 come-from-behind win over Australia, MLSsoccer.com on why you should be excited about the US U-20s and the upcoming U-20 World Cup.

T-Mobile customers can get a free 12-month subscription to Bayern Munich’s subscription channel.


Following the recent arrests of foreign journalists in Qatar trying to report on working conditions in Qatar for migrant workers engaged in building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, Marina Hyde writes at the Guardian, “Clearly there must be a magic number of slave deaths in the world’s richest country that would render the Qatar World Cup a moral and political no-no. But what is that number? What is the ballpark figure where deaths in the construction of ballparks become unacceptable?”

Reuters reports, “FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, visiting the Middle East to try to persuade the Palestine FA (PFA) to drop a proposal to suspend Israel from the world body, on Tuesday proposed a peace match between their national teams.” More from Vice Sports and the AP.

The AP reports, “The three challengers bidding to oust Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA have discussed joining forces against the 79-year-old Swiss incumbent.” ESPN reports that Luis Figo and Michael van Praag will withdraw from the race.

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb talks to ESPN about some of the challenges facing the confederation.

At ESPN, Paris Saint-Germain comes out on top of a survey of pro sports clubs that pay the highest wages. Eight of the top ten teams are soccer clubs, joined by LA Dodgers at No. 5, and New York Yankees at No. 9.

Video footage of police in Portugal beating a man with truncheons in front of his 9-year-old son at a Benfica game last weekend has resulted in an official investigation of “alleged abuse of power by police.”


  1. Yes ! We’re getting a right back ! wat…

    • The Black Hand says:

      To think that we were worried that our FO didn’t know what they were doing…

    • I’m not sure how much stock to put in the rumor, but Wikipedia tells me that Foster is versatile:

      “Foster has spent most of his career playing as a right winger, but has more recently been deployed at both right and left full back. Foster is a versatile player, as goalkeeper is the only position in which he has never played.”

      And if all else fails, then we can sign him as another keeper…

      • This makes much more sense if he’s naturally a winger, given the general struggles we’ve had there this year.

      • sounds like you just read Fabinho’s scouting report before he signed.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised if Sak started this rumor just to piss us off.

  2. pragmatist says:

    I am amazed that this is the first I’ve read about Casey being offsides on Hamid’s save. It was obvious at the time that he was nowhere close to being onside.

    Silly season is upon us. We get more rumors about us acquiring players that would yet again create massive redundancy. 2 natural Right-Backs aren’t enough? If they sign a right-back, I think we can officially recognize that the FO learned nothing from the goalie fiascoes off the past 2 seasons.

    • Rumor has it Shem Messing is looking to goalkeep again and was spotted having High Tea with Mr. Sakiewicz and Pooh.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I noticed Casey looked offsides too. No mention was made of it on the broadcast (and I didn’t notice one way or the other live at the game) so I was assuming that there was a player offscreen keeping him on.

  3. Netherlands and Germany. Wow friendlies.

  4. The Black Hand says:

    I had thought that GK,CB,LB,CDM,CAM,LM,RW,ST and MGR were positions of need…apparently it’s RB. What do I know??

  5. It struck me on the way to work this morning just how chantable “Free This Franchise” is.

    • A new permutation. Well done.

    • The difficulty I have is that it’s really a non starter. Why would/should they sell? If they don’t give a crap by now, they won’t because of a chant.

      • With all due respect. When I coined the phrase “FREE THIS FRANCHISE” I did it comfortable in the knowledge that someone would write exactly what you’ve written. Won’t sell, why would/should they sell, non starter. Well we’ll have to see my friend. Lots of things have come to pass as a “non starter” like professional soccer being in Philadelphia. Other pro sports franchises in Philadelphia have changed ownership’s despite others saying they were a non starter never happen why would/should they…

    • Trust me cszack4 I thought long and hard about what FREE THIS FRANCHISE would mean. To me it means getting out from under years of fecklessness and stupidity. It means getting out from under a weak ownership and CEO who obviously don’t respect the passion and demands of the best fan base in sports in one of the top markets in the country. After years of campaigning for an MLS franchise we finally got one. The announcement made was that Jay Sugarman would be the partners with Sakiewicz and he would be CEO of this franchise…wait what? WTF?? Run like a small market with limited funds? FTS!! Philly takes a backseat to nobody!! I tried to overlook that nugget but it was like a dormant cancer waiting to finally start spreading. I knew Sakiewicz came with baggage but didn’t know a whole lot about Sugarman. So I had hope. Hey they had Petr Nowak right? Then the nightmare that I prayed would never come to light happened. FREE THIS FRANCHISE was me being PC when I really wanted to go postal with some explatives that would have never been OK even for PSP!

      Sell this franchise to a competent and financially competitive owner!!


  6. How about the St Louis Union? That city is fine following a loser for decades…

    • Don’t want the Union to leave. If that were to happen and we win our lawsuit against Sugarman, Sakiewicz and MLS. The new franchise in Philly would have the new stadium in Philly and our affiliates would play in PPL Park…. Dream scenario.

      • alicat215 says:

        +1…………the stadium should be downtown somewhere. Keep PPL for the affiliates, college matches and games, and tournaments. A stadium downtown somewhere where you could actually meet people at a pub pre-match…..the way its suppose to be!

      • Going to the game was a lot more fun when it was at the Linc (despite Joe Biden).

      • pragmatist says:

        Yeah…there’s no way in hell the city of Chester would let the team go.
        It’s food for thought, but the legal aspects would prevent it from ever happening.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        -1. For those of us who don’t live in Philly, getting into the city is much more painful than getting into Chester. Plus getting out of Lot A after a game is MUCH easier than getting out of the lot at the Linc or the Wells Fargo Center.

      • John Ling says:

        I’m in Bucks. Getting to PPL requires me to drive past the sports complex, so I’d much prefer to just get off I-95 there. Especially since PennDot seems utterly determined to have construction projects from the DE line to the NJ line, it seems.

      • I drive down from NYC and I OK with Chester for now. Besides the place will really be on the map with the soccer world on stage there. To bad we have shite for ownership and management!

      • I don’t understand why some people keep complaining about PPL Park.
        Would I have preferred a downtown Philly location for the team (similar to what Portland has to offer)? Yes, but a decision was made less than a decade ago to build in Chester, and there’s no way that the Union will be playing anywhere else anytime soon. Why keep bringing it up?
        Face it, there are far worse options than PPL Park in this league. The Union’s home is a perfect size (not too large, not too small), with good views of the pitch throughout, and its riverside setting is quite nice. Access to/from the parking lots can be a pain at times, but that’s the case at most sports facilities, including those in South Philly.
        Certainly, there are plenty of things to complain about regarding the 2015 Philadelphia Union. The team’s stadium, however, is not among the top 100.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        +1 I rie in from south jersey. I enjoy getting to an from the stadium back to New jersey from chester a lot better then south philly. Yes, the stadium is the least of our worries. It’s actually one of the bright sides of the U

      • pragmatist says:

        It’s not just the Union. It’s the MLS standard. In order to have soccer-specific stadiums, they need to put them in…shall we say, “Economically advantageous” locations. Look at LAFC. That stadium is going up in South Central LA. Ask Ice Cube how good that neighborhood is.

        With very few exceptions, teams will continue to build in low-rent areas.

  7. … telling Kevin Kinkead,
    “At this moment, it’s most important to support and assist the players, Jim, his staff, and the organization, and not point fingers at me or any one individual that is part of our organization. We are a team, and will continue to work hard at getting better each and every time we play.”
    its just too good to let founder into the next day’s news cycle…. for awhile, this comment needs to be front and center.
    my Word were it to be…. if he would have just said yesterday in follow up to the letter, I am the/a leader of this organization and I accept responsibility for the way in which things have gone. I have FULL intention of working with this team to build and move in the proper direction…. I love this club….
    … instead when Mr. Sakiewicz ‘speaks’ all I see are words words words yada yada yada.

    • alicat215 says:

      and he included him, the coaches, and the players as “WE”………why don’t people get that?

      • You are correct 2I5. And I appreciated the first letter, the comment to Kevin a day later rubs me the wrong way.
        Know why …cause if and when they turn this thing around he will likely be at the front and center of the rebirth accepting the praise. Gotta take the heat too.
        Basically I am being a dick. Slow news day.

      • The way Sak thinks he could mean the royal “WE”

      • James Lockerbie says:

        Yes, he is included in the “we” but it’s the finger pointed at him that has him so upset.
        Because We are telling him even if you fire Curtin we will still be pointing our fingers at you Nick.

  8. The Realist Brian says:

    Nothing on the U-20’s. Big tourney coming up.

    • I’ll be surprised if they do well. Don’t think highly of Ramos since his results have been very disappointing up to now.

  9. Wonder what it is like for Eric Cantona to walk around with the anger of a Red Devil inside him.

  10. Dr. Union says:

    Once again their stupidity never ceases to amaze me. A RB you say sure that’s what we need right now. Oh you say he is versatile sure lets play him out of position like we do with everyone we bring in. Hey IMBECILES in the FO we don’t need more people playing out of position. Here is what we need: you all to resign in the FO and sell the team to financially competitive owners. A GM, a coach, Jim goes back to being an assistant an learning more, a LB, a CB, a young promising CDM (who we already had), a LW, and someone to lead this team.

    • I want to believe that Curtin still has a shot. Ben Olsen had no experience when he started at DCU, and he’s become a fine manager. I say that because DCU doesn’t have nearly the star power of most of the other top MLS teams.

      I haven’t seen as much of the head scratching moves I saw with Hack, either. The biggest bone I have to pick with Curtin is his continuing to play Wenger. But Wenger alone isn’t the reason the Union are so bad.

      Let’s see if Curtin can do something positive.

      • Dr. Union says:

        While I like the optimism the Union make basic mistakes and have no structure or plan on how they play this to me is directly related to how Curtin coaches. While Hack may have had those head scratching moments you at least could see what he was trying to do it just didn’t work. Curtin says he is defense first and counter attacking style of play and yet they can’t defend if their life depended on it there is no organization to the defensive structure just 11 guys running around like a kids soccer match. No one covers areas there is no organized shifting if someone is out of position. I just don’t see what Curtin is going for I like the honesty and the attempt at moves, but he is out of his element. I find this clear in his attempt to still play Wenger game after game after game.

      • You could be right. But he’s not at the top of my list in terms of things that need to change. I just think that if we don’t let him have at least the entire year, other coaches aren’t going to want to manage the Union.

  11. alicat215 says:

    A right back…….are you fecking serious????? I wonder how Ray Gaddis feels about that? My money is, he remains classy, keeps his mouth shut, and works his ass off. Jim just tells him your our right back……..then he reads in the press that the Union are seeking a right back from Rangers…………doesn’t add up, and tells the players not to believe a word from their coach or Sak.

    • Dr. Union says:

      What this means is that ultimately any position that ever has 2 promising starters on the Union will be a position of need. The Union will then buy said 3rd player give them the highest paid contract start them when they are untested and unproven and alienate what little talent they had. Let’s see how many times the union have done this there was M’bohli replacing MacMath and Blake, Edu replacing Okugo and Lahoud, Pajoy replacing McInnery and Mawanga, Porifor Lopez replacing Gabriel Farfan and Gaddis, Freddy Adu replacing Michael Farfan and Roger Torres, cutting any time for Pfeffer and McLaughlin as well.

    • The Black Hand says:

      From what I have read, and as Jon had mentioned, Foster has had some success at LB, as well as on the wing. His versatility makes him an interesting prospect. Now, will we land him? My money is on NO.

    • John Ling says:

      Didn’t we have this sort of discussion in the winter about Kvist? (Am I remembering his name correctly? I suck at names…) “Why are we looking at a D-mid? We don’t need another one.” And so on.
      It’s a Silly Season rumor; who knows where it came from. Hell, his agent could’ve randomly picked an MLS team and then given an “anonymous tip” to a reporter, simply to drive up chatter about his client.
      If they actually sign him, then I’ll complain. Until then… it’s just more Marcus Mariotta-esque useless chatter to fill the 24/7 news cycle.

  12. Everyone rest easy. Sepp Blatter will single handedly bring about peace between Israel and Palestine. I don’t know why no one thought to bring him in before. Perhaps he is every bit as wonderful as he thinks he is.

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