Daily news roundups

Union bits ahead of Saturday’s game in DC, FIFA news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union will try to make it three wins in a row on Saturday when they face DC United at RFK Stadium (7 pm:TCN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick, DirecTV).

Look for our quick reference and preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, here are previews from Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia Inquirer, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, and MLSsoccer.com,

With Ethan White nursing a knee injury, Dave Zeitlin says at CSN Philly that it is likely Brian Carroll will start at defensive mid against DC with Maurice Edu, now back from suspension for yellow card accumulation, at center back. An Edu-Richie Marquez partnership? I like it.

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George on Fernando Aristeguieta’s return to the team following a series of injuries and a call-up by the Venezuelan national team. Aristeguieta says, “We’re starting to play good, to get the results. I couldn’t be here, so I have to get into the group again. I have to get into the winning streak and try to help the team.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin on CJ Sapong’s return to the team.

The Washington Post on how DC hopes its decision to not play key starters  in Wednesday’s road game in Portland will pay off on Saturday:

Coach Ben Olsen started a team made up almost entirely of reserves. Chris Pontius, Chris Rolfe, Sean Franklin and Davy Arnaud were healthy, but stayed back in Washington. Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva, Michael Farfan and Nick DeLeon were injured, while Bobby Boswell and Perry Kitchen started the game on the bench.

With the Union looking to add to their two-game win streak, the Guardian says of Saturday’s game, “This weekend Philadelphia visit a fatigued DC United for a rematch of the 17 May game in which the Union’s Zach Pfeffer stole the match with a 93rd minute goal for a 1-0 Philly win. Back then, the Union were underdogs, DCU strong favourites. We were so naive.”

The headline at Metro says, “DC United, Philadelphia Union looking like playoff contenders,” while the article seems to forget that DC lost on Wednesday in Portland. Don’t worry, the article concludes, “The sky is the limit for the union [sic] and a real test comes to them this weekend down in the nation’s capital.”

in Wednesday’s press conference. Marsch was quoted in an article published at the league website, “I would call what Philly did this weekend as basically survival mode. I wouldn’t call it a game plan. We were on top of the game for almost every level for 57 minutes.” Zeitlin notes that before Sunday’s game, he wrote an article for MLSsoccer.com about how much Curtin values his friendship with Marsch, who was a teammate and mentor to Curtin when he began his professional career at Chicago Fire.

Philly Sports Network has some Fabinho love.

Finally, CBS3’s, and PSP contributor, Kevin Kinkead has been working for months to get a new video segment analyzing Union tactics. Support him by watching the video below and sharing the link to his post at CBS Philly and the video with as many people as you can. The more clicks, the more likely he’ll have the support he needs to continue doing the segment.


Harrisburg City Islanders are on the road to face Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday (7 pm, YouTube). The City Islanders lost the first game of this year’s Keystone Derby, 5-2.

In area PDL play, Reading United hosts Ocean City Nor’easters on Saturday night at 7 pm. Lehigh Valley United Sonic are on the road to face Baltimore Bohemians on Saturday, also at 7 pm.

Reading United will host the 5th Annual Hometown Heroes Soccer Fundraiser on Saturday, June 13 at 6 pm at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium.


On Thursday, MLS announced that San Jose’s new Avaya Stadium will be the site of the 2015 All-Star Game.

The Wall Street Journal on how the tiny dimensions of NYCFC’s pitch at Yankee Stadium affect play.

The Boston Globe on how, “Lost amid the hoopla and histrionics over hosting the Summer Olympics,” is the fact that New England Revolution might finally get to build a soccer stadium in Boston.

MinnPost wonders if Minnesota United are looking for a location outside of Minneapolis for a new stadium.

Sacramento Republic are asking its fans to support its expansion bid on social media “because MLS officials are always paying close attention to social media trends.”


The US begins group play in the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday (12 am:Fox Sports 1, NBC Universo, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra, NBC Universo Now). MLSsoccer.com, SBI (1, 2), ProSoccerTalk have overviews of the US team and the tournament, ASN has a scouting report on Myanmar.

Gedion Zelalem is with the US U-20s after finally being cleared to represent the US by FIFA. He told ESPN, “I wasn’t sure where I would be this summer, with Jurgen’s team or Tab’s team. But for me it didn’t matter, because I just wanted to play for the U.S.”

Zelalem said of the anxious wait for FIFA approval,

I was supposed to get the FIFA approval much earlier. When there was a week left, I didn’t think it would happen because I had been waiting four of five months. It was rough…Jurgen and Sunil assured me that everything would be OK and that we’d get it. They were right. I’m really happy.

Before the U-20s play, the US U-23 team will try to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to France on Wednesday in the Toulon Tournament when they face the Netherlands today (10:45am, beIN Sports Connect).

For the first time, the EA Sports FIFA video game franchise will include women national teams: USA, Germany, France, Sweden, England, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, China, Italy, Mexico.

Soccer America reports, “English Premier League viewership on NBC and NBCSN averaged 479,000 viewers, up 9 percent from last season’s record-setting figures.”


The vote for the next FIFA president will take place today minutes after this roundup is posted. Click here for more on how the vote will take place.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced the US will vote for Sepp Blatter’s rival, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein: “This is a vote for good governance & promise for our game.”

Acknowledging the consequences for the US could be bad if Blatter is re-elected after voting against him, Gulati said,

Would I like to see the United States host a World Cup in the future? The answer is, of course, yes. But for me, and for U.S. soccer, better governance and more integrity at Concacaf and FIFA are far more important than hosting any international soccer tournament.

I’m sure there are some people who would disagree with that decision and would prioritize things differently. But this is how we feel, and we are doing what we think is right. If being on the right side of issues costs us from hosting a World Cup in the future, that would be unfortunate. But we are prepared to deal with that.

More on Gulati’s comments at SI and Goal.com.

Canada and Australia have also said they will vote for Prince Ali, and reports from South America suggest CONMEBOL countries are abandoning their support of Blatter.

Speaking on Thursday at the opening of the FIFA congress in Zurich, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said,

The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over soccer and this Congress…They bring shame and humiliation to soccer and demand change from us all. We cannot allow the reputation of FIFA to be dragged through the mud any longer.

I know many people hold me ultimately responsible….(but) I cannot monitor everyone all the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it.

Blatter also said, “The next few months will not be easy for FIFA. I am sure more bad news may follow but it is necessary to begin to restore trust in our organization.”

Delivering what the Guardian described as “a rambling 25-minute speech” this morning ahead of today’s presidential election vote, Blatter said, “We are at a turning point. We need to pull together and move forward. We can’t constantly supervise everyone in football…You can’t just ask people to behave ethically just like that.”

Blatter also said FIFA wouldn’t be under such scrutiny if Russia and Qatar hadn’t been awarded the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups: “[I]f two other countries had emerged from the envelope we would not have these problems today. But we can’t go back in time, we’re not prophets, we can’t say what would have happened.” (What about his “I am sure more bad news may follow” comment on Thursday, you might ask.)

He concluded, “Let’s repair what has been thrown down and let’s do it immediately right now. I appeal to all of you to join us, the executive committee and president. Join us to put Fifa back on the right track, where the boats will stop rocking and go placidly into port.”

UEFA president Michel Platini said the federation will meet next week to consider its options if Blatter is re-elected. Asked if UEFA would consider boycotting the 2018 World Cup, Platini said, “We will be open to all options. There may be proposals. I honestly don’t wish that.”

England FA chairman Gregg Dyke says England could consider boycotting the 2018 World Cup if Blatter is re-elected.

CONCACAF announced on Thursday it has “provisionally dismissed Jeffrey Webb and Eduardo Li, and — also in accordance with its Statutes — named Senior Vice President Alfredo Hawit as CONCACAF President.”

The statement also said,

The Executive Committee appointed Victor Montagliani, the President of the Canadian Soccer Association, Justino Compean, the President of the Mexican Soccer Federation and Sunil Gulati, the President of U.S. Soccer Federation to a Special Committee charged with the duties of evaluating and sustaining all of the business operations of the Confederation in the wake of the indictments brought against certain members of FIFA and CONCACAF.

The Washington Post looks at the background of Nike’s deal with the Brazilian Soccer Federation, which was a key factor in the company’s global rise and is also a part of the latest FIFA corruption scandal. Nike said in a statement on Thursday, “The charging documents unsealed yesterday in Brooklyn do not allege that Nike engaged in criminal conduct. There is no allegation in the charging documents that any Nike employee was aware of or knowingly participated in any bribery or kickback scheme.” More at ESPN.

Reuters reports,

Brazilian police began investigating allegations of corruption in its soccer industry on Thursday, prompted by the arrests of top officials at world soccer body FIFA in a U.S. bribery probe.

And the country’s Senate, led by former national soccer star Romario, who is now a prominent legislator, moved to open a formal inquiry into alleged bribes paid to obtain contracts with the Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF).

Also at Reuters, background on José Hawilla, the founder of sports marketing company Traffic and “one of four convicted defendants who helped U.S. investigators build their case.”

The Wall Street Journal has more on how the latest corruption scandal is being received by FIFA’s corporate sponsors.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution looks at how local property deals are part of former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb’s indictment.

The AP reports, “Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner left a Trinidad jail by ambulance Thursday, a day after he was charged in a U.S. corruption case that has led to the arrests of more than a dozen international soccer officials and businessmen.” Pictures of him dancing with supporters at a political rally appeared a few hours later.

Warner said at the rally, “If I have been thieving FIFA money for 30 years, who gave me the money? How come he is not charged? Why only persons from Third World countries have been charged?” Recall that Warner’s son has already plead guilty and is working with US authorities, and Chuck Blazer, who has also pled and is cooperating, and Aaron Davidson are both US citizens.

PA Sports reports the UK’s Serious Fraud Office “is actively assessing ‘material in its possession’ relating to FIFA corruption allegations revealed by the FBI this week.”

Following the news that Swiss authorities have opened an investigation into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Qatar has released a statement: “We conducted our bid with integrity and to the highest ethical standards.


  1. If UEFA boycotts the World Cup, I’m telling you right now the pressure for Blatter to step down would be ENORMOUS.
    I would expect to hear a resignation within hours to days if that happened.
    Hear’s hoping.
    “High I’m Sepp Blatter and I am above all this. Don’t blame me.” Again, a true leader would accept responsibility. What a flake. Somebody put him up on the mountain where he can billy goat away.

  2. Blatter also said FIFA wouldn’t be under such scrutiny if Russia and Qatar hadn’t been awarded the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups: “[I]f two other countries had emerged from the envelope we would not have these problems today.
    Yes and if the Lufthansa bandits didn’t start buying outrageoues gifts for themselves after the heist . . . then Jimmy “Two Times” wouldn’t have got whacked and his body ended up frozen so stiff it took them three days to thaw him out.

    • The Chopper says:

      It was Frankie Carbone who took three days to thaw out.

      Blatter is the last of the great Mafia dons. He sits on top of the biggest organized crime family in the world. He works only through one person so nothing come backs to him. It is time for him to get whacked.

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    If UEFA as a whole, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay were to leave FIFA, in other words any national association that has ever won the World Cup, FIFA would die. They would have a product no one would want to buy.
    Bob ford had a good p[iece yesterday that offered the detail that Chuck Blazer is cooperating with the investigation because the IRS didn’t like the way he handled his US taxes. FIFA forgot to bribe the IRS apparently.

    • Jim Presti says:

      FIFA forgot to pay a damn good law firm that specializes in US Tax Laws. That’s embezzlement 101

  4. Great breakdown Kevin. Hopefully this will be a continuing part of Union coverage. Well down.


  5. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Even better, if the eight world cup winners all boycotted the next World Cup, who would watch?

    • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

      Nobody, and the rest of the useful footballing nations would follow suit. Just curious as to what the name of the new organization would be..

  6. The corruption will continue. Nothing will change for FIFA until Blatter is out just like nothing will change for the Union until Sakiewicz and Sugarman are out!


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  8. Marsch recognizes that soccer games last 90 minutes, right? Not 57 minutes? Whiny quotes like that make you sound ridiculous. NYRB got beat. Be a good sport and accept it.

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