Daily news roundups

Notes from Curtin’s presser, HCI out of USOC, more on the FIFA corruption case

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin provided a number of injury status updates in his weekly press conference (full transcript here).

  • “Conor’s quad, unfortunately there’s a little tear in there. It looks like it’ll be possibly a week to two weeks.”
  • Ray Gaddis looked good in training on Wednesday but Curtin said his ankle is “still tender, I think. I think it still hurts him a little bit…I don’t want it to be a thing where he’s going to be re-injuring it over and over again, because ankles are tricky in that regard.”
  • Curtin said Ethan White played Sunday’s game in New York injured “with a lot of fluid in his knee…they did a scan and I think it’s OK. They kind of got some of the fluid out of there this morning. We’ll see for the weekend, we’ll see where he’s at, whether it’s as a starter or a reserve.”
  • Steven Vitoria is “rehabbing at YSC…it’s not in the immediate future that he’ll be back with us.”
  • On Michael Lahoud and Andre Blake: “it’s still a few weeks.”

Like all of us, Curtin is happy CJ Sapong and Fernando Aristeguieta are back with the team.

With Brian Sylvestre being Cup-tied after appearing for Carolina RailHawks in Wednesday night’s US Open Cup third round game, Curtin affirmed his confidence that John McCarthy can “do the job in the Open Cup and go on a run for us like we did last year.”

However, Curtin acknowledged the team needs to find a backup keeper if only for the Cup games: “we’re starting to explore that option.” He added, “We’re always looking to… solve the [goalkeeper situation]. Like I said, Brian’s done a really good job. So we’ll explore what that means between us and Carolina, about maybe down the road a purchase, we’ll see how that goes.”

Asked what the common thread is between the Union’s two wins, Curtin said, “The mentality in training that they’ve had. There’s been moments this year when we could’ve bailed out and took the easy way out and pointed the finger more. But they’ve stuck together…the work they’ve put in in training is starting to pay off on the field.”

Curtin also confirmed that Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen is training with the team “To prepare for Euros with Iceland.” He explained,

It was good to have him in training. He brings a level of class that is… a different level, so it was fun to watch. And he’ll be with us until, I believe, next Tuesday. So it’s pretty good stint of training sessions. It just worked out, geographically, and through different agents that reached out. He was possibly going to go to DC, but with them in Portland it didn’t fit in. We welcome him with open arms because it’s a great thing for our young players to learn from.

More from the press conference at Philadelphia UnionInquirer, Delco Times, and CSN Philly.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin talks to Fabinho about his contributions to the Union’s two-game win streak. Asked about the possibility that he might lose his starting spot if Ray Gaddis is available on Saturday, Fabinho said, “This is soccer, man. It’s not just me. Who’s playing, I don’t care. I think we just need to win.”

Brotherly Game has an optimistic/pessimistic take on the Union’s recent wins.

The Philadelphia Union Foundation has announced September 19 as the date for the fifth annual River Cup. Apparently,this year’s game will be preceded by a “Union Ownership Game.” Tickets will go on sale on June 15.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders were defeated by 10-men Rochester Rhinos 3-1 after extra time in Wednesday night’s US Open Cup third rounder at Skyline Sports Complex. Harrisburg took the 1-0 lead in the 106th minute after a scoreless opening 90 minutes — the Rhinos were down to 10 men in the 38th minute when striker Steevan dos Santos was shown a second yellow card — when Brett Jankouskas finished a saved shot from Eric Bird, who was on loan from the Union for the game. Two minutes later, Rochester’s Kenardo Forbes levelled the scoreline. The visitors took a 2-1 lead in the 115th minute off a goal from Asani Samuels, who had assisted Rochester’s opener, and would tally again in stoppage time.

Rochester advances to a fourth round meeting with the Philadelphia Union on June 16 at PPL Park.

Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher said after the loss, “I think we over celebrated after the goal. Maybe we learn a lesson from this — that it’s not over till the end.”

Recaps from Harrisburg City IslandersPenn Live, Rochester RhinosRochester Democrat & Chronicle, theCup.usUS SoccerPhilly Soccer News, and New England Soccer Today.

USL sides dominated the third round of the tournament, including Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ 1-0 win over NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies. Indeed, USL sides topped all of their NASL opponents. Only two NASL teams advanced to the fourth round, each by defeating amatuer teams with Atlanta Silverbacks prevailing 2-1 after extra time over NPSL side Chattanooga FC, and New York Cosmos besting PDL side Jersey Express 3-0. Union loanee Leo Fernandes, who scored in New York’s 3-0 win over San Antonio in league play last Saturday, opened the scoring for the Cosmos. Brian Sylvestre, on loan to the Union, returned to Carolina RailHawks after their starting goalkeeper suffered a concussion in league play last weekend and was in goal for their 1-0 defeat to USL side Charlotte Independence. Sylvestre is therefore Cup tied and ineligible to play for the Union in the tournament.

Ocean City Nor’easters got their first win of the season on Wednesday night, defeating New York Red Bull’s U-23s 3-1.

MLS

In league play on Wednesday night, Portland defeated DC 1-0. Seattle defeated Colorado, 1-0, and LA defeated Salt Lake, 1-0.

Sticking with the scoreline theme in friendly play, Columbus was defeated 1-0 by Valencia, and Toronto lost 1-0 to Manchester City.

Manchester City will be in rain soaked Houston tonight to play the Dynamo.

The fan vote for the 2015 MLS All-Star game is now open.

On Tuesday, Dallas signed signed Panamanian midfielder Rolando Escobar.

On Wednesday, Kansas City announced it had mutually agreed to part ways with goalkeeper Luis Marin: “The 32-year-old will return to his native Chile due to personal considerations.” The announcement notes, “homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin has returned from his loan with the San Antonio Scorpions and will be made active on Sporting Kansas City’s roster pending League approval.”

Bruce Arena says he expects Steven Gerrard to begin playing with LA Galaxy in July: “We expect him here before 11 July. We haven’t finalised a date yet. He will be here, he’ll get some training in and by the time that he’s eligible to play he’ll be ready to go.” The Galaxy play Club America in a friendly on July 11.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he is open to the idea of coaching an MLS team.

The Sacramento Bee has an update on Sacramento’s hopes to join MLS.

US

The US U-23s were defeated 3-1 by France in their opening game at the Toulon Tournament. All three of France’s goals came in the first 21 minutes, with two in the back of the net by the 11th minute. Jordan Morris tallied for the US in the 65th minute.

Members of the USWNT attempted to keep the focus on Sunday’s friendly against South Korea and the upcoming Women’s World Cup rather than the FIFA corruption investigation. Reports from the Inquirer, Daily News, SBI, and USA Today.

Elsewhere

A number of statements were issued by soccer governing bodies following the arrests of FIFA officials in Zurich on Wednesday. These include statements from FIFA, Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s independent ethics committee, UEFA, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, AFC, CAF, US Soccer, MLS, and the NASL.

The Canadian Press reports, “The federal sports minister says two probes into corruption allegations at soccer’s governing body won’t tarnish the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Canada.”

Corporate sponsors have also issued statements, including adidas, McDonald’s, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai, and Gazprom. The Huffington Post looks at Nike’s part in the corruption charges.

At an emergency meeting in Zurich today, Sepp Blatter said he will not resign, despite growing pressure from around the world, and a request from UEFA president Michel Platini, to do so. Friday’s presidential election will also go ahead as planned. ESPN on why Blatter will still win.

UEFA, which was considering boycotting Friday’s election if it was not postponed, will attend and has announced its support of Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.

The AP has a roundup of developments related to the FIFA corruption investigation.

Diez.hn reports that the Honduran FA secretary Alfredo Hawit will now head CONCACAF following the arrest of Jeffrey Webb. The Miami Herald reports on the FBI raid on CONCACAF headquarters.

Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner surrendered to Trinidad & Tobago authorities on Wednesday.

The Australian AP reports, “The Australian federal police may investigate a payment of $500,000 by Football Federation Australia to former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.”

Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry, called the arrests in Switzerland “clearly yet another example of arbitrary exterritorial enforcement of US law.” Lukashevich laughably added, “We hope that this will not be used to cast a shadow on the international football association in general, as well as its decisions, including appointments. Time and again, we call on Washington to cease its attempts to initiate court proceedings far beyond its borders with its own legal standards, and to follow universally accepted international legal procedures.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin said he found the timing of the arrests “odd,” adding, “Our American counterparts, unfortunately, are using the same methods to reach their goals and illegally persecute people. I don’t rule out that this is the case in relation to FIFA. I have no doubt that this is yet another evident attempt to derail Mr. Blatter’s re-election as FIFA president. We are aware of the pressure that he was subjected to in relation to Russia holding the 2018 World Cup.”

The South African Department of Sport and Recreation has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing in relation to the bidding to hosting the 2010 World Cup.

Inquirer sports columnist Bob Ford on the corruption investigation.

Bloomberg View on how the Department of Justice’s case is based on the same legal principles it uses to charge mafia organizations.

ESPN on how changes at FIFA won’t happen unless others join in with the US Department of Justice’s footsteps.

SI on how those who have been indicted will defend themselves.

At the Guardian, Simon Evans considers how Wednesday’s events raise questions about figures deeply involved in the soccer business in the US, principally Aaron Davidson, whose company, Traffic Sports, was instrumental in the formation of the NASL and major TV deals, as well as leading CONCACAF figures, which now “risks losing its second straight president to a corruption scandal.” Evans continues,

Geography and history have left the United States to work in a structure which has an in-built majority from Caribbean federations, several of which have been implicated in scandals. It has meant, for US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, trying to advance his federation’s interests in a region that has long been riddled with intrigue and dubious dealings…

Gulati has long, perhaps understandably, practiced ‘realpolitik’ in both CONCACAF and FIFA but with both organisations now teetering from the latest blows, there no longer appears much to gain from such an approach.

Evans also underscores the damage the growing corruption scandal does to companies that have sponsorship agreements with CONCACAF and CONCACAF backed tournaments such as the Gold Cup.

At World Soccer Talk, more on the ties between the NASL, Davidson, and Traffic Sports.

For more on the shady dealings of Chuck Blazer, who has been cooperating with the investigation, see these articles from BuzzFeed and the New York Daily News from 2014.

Diego Maradona, who has been a vocal critic of FIFA, said of the arrests, “They called me mad, but thankfully today the truth is out and I am enjoying it…They hate soccer. They hate transparency. Enough shady dealings. Enough lying to the people…We’re going to remove all the old-timers, we’ll have to see if Blatter wins this time. With Ali, the good will remain and the bad I will personally kick you know where.”

Reuters reports that fans across Latin America,  who have “long booed officials assumed to be on the take, amid deep public disgust at graft in the game,” have cheered the arrests and indictments.

 

44 Comments

  1. The Black Hand says:

    Anything on Blake?

  2. Next to Bobby Thompson’s, Shot Heard Round the World, in the days of analogue and fading static from guy wired radio towers, oh how loud the digital BOOM would be if somehow the prince overthrew the despot.
    .
    Here’s a double crossed finger these indictments will somehow, maybe shake the tree a bit. Let the rotten fruit fall.

    • And if the prince overthrows the despot, will the world soccer community get something more than a different group of guys with their hands out? Not meaning to sound cynical, I’m truly asking.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I think just the idea of Blatter being gone, would be enough to change the tide. Actual reform of course, we will have to wait and see… but you have to cut the head off the snake for starters.
        .
        My fear is that all these arrests do is muddy the waters, and people pick sides (mostly for political reasons) and nothing actually changes. Just because the facts are presented, doesn’t mean people have to acknowledge and accept them. But nothing happens over night. This is a good start.

      • Good question. All change needs a change agent so…… we can only hope.
        .
        Maybe it buys a decade or so of better rule. Get it? Buy. You enjoy myself, as Phish play.
        .
        Nothing like the 2nd person talking to the 1st person.

      • alicat215 says:

        Boy…….Man……..God………..Shit!

      • DarthLos117 says:

        Ill be at Merriweather, The Mann, Dick’s and Magnaball.
        .
        You?

      • alicat215 says:

        Have some nice shows there bro!I Haven’t been to a show in a few years….have young kids at home and it kind of stopped my wife and I’s phishing trips for a few years……I’m at 74, nothing to brag about…tough to squeez in while I was playing ball growing up! I rock couch tour when the kids are sleeping!

      • The Black Hand says:

        Mann was my first show…1993. I wanted to hit the stormy shows last summer, but my youngins decided that that was a bad idea. I’ve lost count of how many times I drove to see those yahoos…but they owe me thousands of dollars, two cars and a few brain-cells. Lived in Vermont for years…Fishman is a very small man and Trey’s eyes look like Christopher Lloyd’s did, at the end of Roger Rabbit.
        .
        Have fun, Los!

      • My first show was Bob Carpenter Center autumn of ’92.
        .
        Now, I tend to let Rush and Phish pass through.
        .
        Probably shouldn’t.
        .
        Old. Kids. Work.
        .
        Excuse Excuse Excuse.
        .
        Would love to hear, “Waiting all night” live though.

      • DarthLos117 says:

        First in ’95, spectrum.
        .
        Stopped counting after 150.
        .
        2 passions are Phish and Union.
        .
        Dream of Phish at PPL…they’ve played Toyota Park & yearly at Dick’s…
        .
        Always see Union jerseys at shows.

      • alicat215 says:

        93 Mann was my first too……..been all around the country and back….like you said…mad cash spent and brain cells…poof! Great times, wouldn’t change it for the world…..but could I do it again now…..hell no! 95 MSG New Years still best show I’ve ever seen…..amazeballs! Always liked summer shows at Merriweather……98 there is still one of my top 5’s…….the “cover tour”! i’ve met all of them in the lots in my time….they all look whacked! Fish is a small man……almost like a hobbit!

      • alicat215 says:

        TBH, come on bro….you know we have all looked like Christopher Lloyd in Roger Rabbit at a show in our time! Ride it like a wave and surrender to the phlow! Lol….

      • alicat215 says:

        besides, and I know this won’t make some heads happy, but the Bisco/EDM crew that invaded our scene pretty much ruined it for the rest of us. Shakedown was a pretty shady scene the last couple years I was active touring! A lot of spun out little wooks who couldn’t handle their shit!

      • The Black Hand says:

        This is true, Ali…but his are different.
        .
        Yes, scene became grimy…to many little urchins…”Spare a schwill”…GTFOH!!!
        .
        I do miss it, though.

      • alicat215 says:

        me too!

      • Wash Uffizi drive me to Firenze

      • Immediately had to hear it. Trey. Genius.
        .
        Though its Page who sends me….

      • So, since there are many from the tribe here that would understand this analogy: Is Sak Wilson?

      • DarthLos117 says:

        Yes.
        .
        Union fans are practically extinct from doing things smart people don’t do.
        .
        If Curtin can keep momentum, he may avoid being the ac/dc bags next victim.

      • alicat215 says:

        Haha…nice. Union supporters are the Lizard people……..I can totally see Sak talking shit near the hangman. I guess the unnamed GM the
        HPB told us about is Forbin?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Guyute got us tonight. We put up a valiant fight…

      • It depends on how this all plays out. If no one truly gets punished, I don’t think things will change. If some VPs or even Blatter go to prison, perhaps. If the new leaders see the old leaders doing hard time for taking bribes, maybe they won’t take bribes.

  3. “Apparently,this year’s [River Cup] game will be preceded by a “Union Ownership Game.””

    Wait, they’re playing a match where the winner gets ownership of the Union? Where’s that starting XI of PSP readers again?

  4. alicat215 says:

    the 21’s looked awful yesterday……………our CB’s are not good, especially #5…….and someone forgot to tell #3 RB that he actually has to play defense and track back from time to time. Julian Green didn’t impress either……

    • Agree. U21’s were a nightmare. And our Academy System were supposed top change all that. Guess what: these age groups play worse than 10 years ago (prior to Academies being established)!

      • As a simple statement without getting carried away by all the crud that a conversation like this can carry: The generation that ushers in sophistication, hopefully, from my POV, will be the Pulisic age kids.
        .
        Those kids 17 and younger.
        .
        I think we are a half generation away yet.

      • alicat215 says:

        Amen Guido……they have only produced more mediocre footballers with a decent first touch than we have ever had before. I say it all the time…….the best of the best were better 10 and 15 years ago!

    • i think green looked so bad because he’s barely been playing this past year

    • Where did you view the game? Live stream?
      .
      .
      .
      By the way, is the U20 World Cup being shown anywhere?

  5. US Soccer is staying very quiet about the whole FIFA scandal. Very worrisome; as if Gulati and/or some of his sidekicks are involved somehow.

    • gulati was just appointed to some committee or board or something that is assigned with evaluating the business practices of concacaf. i feel like if he was even tangentially implicated in this investigation he wouldn’t have been appointed

    • Jim Presti says:

      I don’t think they are staying silent at all. MLS, NASL, and the U.S. Federation, I believe, all made statements. I think they have more investigation up their sleeve and are letting the DoJ handle it from here on out. To do the talking for them, so to speak.

  6. This is a serious question and one that I’ve been pondering for awhile now: Is it possible that Sepp Blatter really has no idea what’s going on under him? I liken him to the owner of a company who stays far away and only shows up when there’s a problem, then assigns blame to everyone but himself. I’m not suggesting for a minute that Sepp is innocent, as he is the president and should therefore be aware of what’s going on, but is it possible – again serious question, open for debate – that he just sits in his little bubble in Zurich, completely out of touch with reality and just kind of pokes his head in every once in awhile? Some of the stuff he has said over the years sounds so ignorant, that maybe he just doesn’t “get it” and the people under him just tell him what he wants to hear to keep him happy. I mean he gets paid regardless of what happens, who wins or where the Cup is, and someone else probably handles those transactions. When there’s an “election” his minions pay everyone off to vote for him, and he’s left thinking everyone likes him and the organization is fine. I’m not sure I believe that scenario myself, but thought I’d bring it up.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      No. Not one bit. He is a mob boss, who maintains deniability because he never actually does anything directly or says anything directly. I don’t buy for one second he was clueless. Not when it is this systemic and on going. He may never gotten his palms directly greased, but any good mob boss is never directly involved… doesn’t mean they don’t benefit.
      .
      He also maintains power like a dictator… catering to the “masses” of Asia and Africa. Making them think he is a god who takes care of them. He will be re=elected because he has brainwashed Africa and Asia into voting for him. Europe is out. I assume CONCACAF is out, and CONMEBOL is up in the air. He doesn’t need people who use their brains… like those in those federations.

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