Daily news roundups

“Something special”: Recaps and reaction to win over Crew, Inqy calls out Sakiewicz, FIFA, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Well, that was freaking awesome.

How awesome was it? Perhaps the best praise comes from Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter. Asked about his team’s performance in Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss to the Union at PPL Park, Berhalter said,

Well, I think the starting point is the Philadelphia Union played an outstanding game. When you look at how effective they were and how they were winning challenges and moving the ball, and the competitive desire to win the game, it was outstanding. I think that’s the best I have seen Philly play.

Indeed. Oh, and, Jesse Marsch, that’s how you act with grace in defeat.

The Union have now won three of their last four games, all against teams above them in the standings. With Wednesday’s victory, the team also moves up to 6th place in the Eastern Conference, above the playoff redline.

Jim Curtin said after the win, “There’s now four strong showings in a row and I think something special is about to happen. Again it’s still only four games that we’ve put together so we need to keep it going.”

They’ll get their chance to keep it going when they host NYCFC on Saturday (7 pm: TCN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick).

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer NewsBrotherly GameVavel, Philly Sports NetworkColumbus Dispatch, Massive Report, SBIProSoccerTalk, The Sports Network, and the APUSA Today has a photo gallery from the game.

If you haven’t already, checkout our postgame video, including a postgame wrap with Eli and Mike, interviews with Richie Marquez, Sheanon William, Sebastien Le Toux, and CJ Sapong, and Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference.

Good work again from Kevin Kinkead breaking down some of the plays in Wednesday’s win:


More on Curtin’s “something special” comments at MLSsoccer.com, CSN Philly, and Philly Soccer News. More on Gregg Berhalter’s praise of the Union at MLSsoccer.com.

At American Soccer Analysis, the Union come in at 16 in a list of “the most tactically diverse” MLS teams in May. They are ranked 17th for the season through May.

Inquirer editorial calls out Sakiewicz

An editorial at the Philadelphia Inquirer calls out Nick Sakiewicz for a comment he made in the recent article by Caitlin McCabe at the paper about how “heavily subsidized” PPL Park has failed to be the economic engine powering Chester’s revival. You will recall that Sakiewicz was quoted in the article, “Revitalizing the city isn’t what we ever promised. One business doesn’t fix decades of economic mismanagement in a city.” The editorial says,

So why did the public pay for two-thirds of the stadium? The answer, of course, is that revitalizing Chester is what they promised. The stadium would be “the centerpiece of something special that will benefit the entire community for years and years to come,” Sakiewicz told the Daily News in 2007. It would generate “a boatload of jobs and real estate taxes,” he told The Inquirer around the same time, and “change the face of Chester.” The sentiment was echoed by a chorus of politicians, including State Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) and then-Gov. Ed Rendell, who in 2008 heralded the project as “the biggest redevelopment in history.”

The Inquirer makes an important point, but it does so by omitting some important information. It is of course true that the $122 million PPL Park was “heavily subsidized,” to the tune of $87 million according to McCabe’s article. But so too was the $512 million Linc ($256 million in public money), the $458 million Citizens Bank Park ($229 million in public money), and some public money was also used in infrastructure improvements associated with the construction of the otherwise privately financed $210 million Wells Fargo Center. Additionally, the editorial makes no mention of the vital role the recession played in halting whatever waterfront development plans may have been (realistically or unrealistically) associated with PPL Park’s construction.

Still, the Inquirer rightly underscores Sakiewicz’s disingenuous remark. Sakiewicz is correct to say one business cannot turn the fortunes of Chester around, and we, of course, don’t know what else he said when interviewed for the story. As PSP’s Dan Walsh remarked in a column earlier this week, “Nobody ever expected Philadelphia Union by itself to revitalize Chester, but the case for building PPL Park was definitely that the stadium would help revitalize the city.” Being caught in what is essentially a lie isn’t good for Sakiewicz, and it isn’t good for the wider perceptions of the Union as an organization. Quite simply, given his long experience as an administrator in professional sports, he should know better. Then again, while the Union PR staff might think differently, as Dan also said, “Sakiewicz’s type of response is why he’s a much more interesting interviewee than most.”

More

At the Union website, a good read on Michael Lahoud’s journey from his native Sierra Leone to the US, and back again.

Local

Ocean City Nor’easters will host Trenton Rebels (Central Jersey Soccer League) in a friendly on June 28.

Bubble soccer. In Bethlehem.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play on Wednesday night, first place DC (28 points, 8-3-4) defeated seventh place Chicago (14 points, 4-6-2), 3-1. Sixth place Philadelphia (15 points, 4-8-3) defeated fifth place Columbus (16 points, 4-5-4), 3-0. Ninth place Montreal (11 points, 3-4-2) defeated Vancouver, 2-1. Former Union man Jack McInerney scored the opening goal.

US

At the Inquirer, Lauren Green on Alex Morgan’s rise to be the face of the USWNT. The article includes comments from PSP favorite and former Philadelphia Independence head coach Paul Riley, who coaches Morgan at the Portland Thorns.

At SI, profiles on Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan ahead of the start of the Women’s World Cup.

USWNT team doctor Bojan Žorić talks to SI about how playing on artificial turf means longer recovery time for players. “[The research] can show that there are more injuries and that there are not more injuries. You don’t have a great answer. That’s with regard to acute injuries…The body is by far more fatigued, there’s a longer recovery rate, there’s certainly more of a feeling of being worn down after practicing and playing on turf.

At ESPNW, a look back at the US loss to Brazil in the semifinal of the 2007 Women’s World Cup.

Jordan Morris has joined the senior USMNT for its games against the Netherlands on Friday, and Germany on Wednesday. Morris was with the US U-23s at the Toulon Tournament. The US moved up one spot to No. 27 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico dropped one spot to No. 23, and Costa Rica remains the top ranked CONCACAF team, moving up one spot to No. 14.

A look at the scenarios the US U-23 MNT needs to happen in today’s final group games in order to advance to the third place match at the Toulon Tournament.

The US U-20 WNT was thumped 3-0 by Japan in the opening game of the NTC Invitational in Carson, Calif.

Elsewhere

Chuck Blazer’s testimony in his guilty plea on corruption charges was unsealed on Wednesday (click here to download the testimony). In his testimony, Blazer admits he and others agreed to accept bribes associated with the selection of the host for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, as well as the broadcasting rights for several editions of the Gold Cup. Reports from the New York Times, Washington PostNew York Daily News, CNNthe BBC, the Guardian, and the AP.

The AP reports, “South Africa’s organized and serious crime unit said Thursday it was conducting a “preliminary” investigation into bribery allegations surrounding the 2010 World Cup bid.” More at Reuters.

Qatar’s foreign minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah says prejudice is behind the questioning of Qatar hosting the 2022 WOrld Cup because some countries don’t like the idea of a Muslim country doing so.

The AFC has issued a statement reiterating its support of Qatar as host.

The Washington Post on how Bill Clinton gave Qatar some much needed legitimacy after it was awarded the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup.

The AP reports, “Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner made a televised address in Trinidad on Wednesday night, saying he will prove a link between soccer’s governing body and his nation’s elections in 2010…Warner said he has documents and checks that link FIFA officials, including embattled President Sepp Blatter, to the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago.” Warner, who says he fears for his life, said, “Not even death will stop the avalanche that is coming. he die is cast. There can be no turning back. Let the chips fall where they fall.” In 2011, Warner promised a “football tsunami” ahead of the FIFA presidential elections that year.

The Guardian reports, “Australia’s federal police have made inquiries to the Department of Health and Sport regarding payments linked to the country’s 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, as they determine whether Australian laws against international corruption have been breached.

More from Reuters on the FBI extending its corruption investigation to the bidding for the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups

From Reuters: “U.S. prosecutors may find it difficult to get a number of the people they have charged in the FIFA bribery scandal to face the music. Several cannot be found, and the authorities in some countries may not agree to extradition requests.”

The Telegraph says the world owes the US a debt of gratitude for taking on FIFA.

55 Comments

  1. ebradlee10 says:

    Any development in Chester was likely going to happen from the Buccini Pollin group. The Union themselves were never going to be a primary driver of building along the waterfront.

    • Buccini Pollin is an owner of the club and (nearly all of) the other owners are all real estate people too. The real long term money is in the real estate development, that’s why they bought in. The sports club/stadium raises the profile of the real estate development but is in no way the leading element in terms of why to invest. See, for example, the Brooklyn Nets, Ratner and Prokhorov. Buccini Pollin and the other owners need to make the rest of it happen – unless of course they are unconcerned about their credibility as developers.

    • BP is part owner of the Union and the public money went to the Union’s stadium as the centerpiece of larger redevelopment plans that were intended to help BP. The public made its investment, the Union’s owners (at least some of them) didn’t fulfill their stated intentions. The argument about the credit crisis is significant, however the worst of that was almost 7 years ago now. Now we have Sak turning around on his previous comments (the lowest point of the situation imo) and Chester (of all places) has additional financial burdens it can’t meet, as the Union benefits and watches franchise value increase. That’s sickening.

  2. Sakiewicz, as usual, said something stupid. But his larger point is correct, it isn’t on the Union to develop all of Chester. For the mayor to attack one of Chester’s 2 big employers for not doing more is evidence of the problem.

    Since PPL park opened there is nowhere in Chester for Union fans to spend money on before or after the games. Not a sports bar, fast food restaurant, or even a Wawa. Whose fault is that?

    • the owners of the property surrounding the stadium … which I understand is in part the same as the club ownership group. the parts they do not own should be condemned by the city and put to use.

    • also, not sure Union qualify as one of Chester’s two big employers. 25 players, staff and FO 25 more – and how many live in Chester? the rest part-time on home games. What about Widener? Crozer Chester MC? Harrah’s? Synygy in Buccini’s buiding next door? all full-time 5 day a week 52 weeks a year jobs. not all of their workers live in Chester either but the club as a business is not so sacred.

      • I mean come on the Union act like they can’t afford to revamp the line-up so how are they expected to really help very much a forgotten city

      • I meant the biggest employer on game days. My point is that the rest of Chester is sooo bad it doetn’t matter. If the Union ownership built beautiful high end condos and a great marina, who would want to live there? A block from the park in any direction is run-down, depressing and unsafe. And with no amenities.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I feel if the people who decided to build the stadium in Chester said the things they said in order to get it built (i.e. tax breaks, etc)… then they have an obligation to at least TRY to follow through. Throughout the country promises are made that stadiums create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods, cities… and oh by the way we need a ton of YOUR money to do this… yet rarely does it ever come to fruition. Ok, so the recession hurt. You can’t tell me with the market basically being through the roof the last few years, that these guys are still “broke”. They are choosing not to invest, which I suppose they have a right to do, but it makes you sound like an asshole when you promise to do something and then don’t follow through. Then make disparaging comments about the city itself. Then again I think we all know Sak (and friends) is what he is.

      • The Chopper says:

        Sak again proves that he should use some of that Widener money and take some basic P.R. classes.

        The City and the Union have been add odds for some time and the contentious relationship is why little is being done. That’s why the mayor fired a parting shot. The Union backed his opponent.

        Let’s see what happens when a new government is in place.

      • so, for about 60-80 hours out of a 2080 hour work year, they are biggest employer? not sure why that matters in their favor. they made promises to get the stadium built – and if they built it all properly and it was priced right, people would buy.

  3. Amazing how quickly everyone at FIFA are rolling over on each other. This will make a great sequel to their current movie. I imagine it to be similar to the end of Goodfellas.

  4. Did the current ownership group have any competition when they decided to buy the U?

  5. We could have been grand.
    .
    A club designed in the image of a nation birthed. Enormous and mighty. Named Union. Seen from 7 miles above the vein of river flowing to the sea.
    .
    A waterfront park just outside the downtown. Maybe a few miles up the I95 but easy to score a city Uber. We could have been GRAND. We could have David Villa. Frank Lampard.
    .
    But this club is piddling. Personification of the very self defeating ethos that has plagued this city for 100 years. That is truth wether hard to ingest or not.
    .
    It’s not my money on the line. I can withdrawal financially in an instant, and have to be true.
    .
    This is not my investment save the emotion and the aching futbol heart. It’s easy to point fingers in every direction. Cast blame at the feet of others. I walk away scot clean save the emotion. All I know is this club is valued much more than when it was started. All I KNOW is we could have been grand.
    .
    GRAND. Big. Bold. Centerpiece of the east coast football revitalization. Coulda.
    .
    With a vision and a philosophy and a plan aimed at that star.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed. We need a miracle savior to step in… ditch Chester / PPL… spend a boat load of money and move the team to Philly proper and build a stadium down off the Navy Yard (or somewhere like that). Sure is asking a lot, but you know if Miami doesn’t work… uh, calling Mr. Beckham…
      .
      To be clear not saying I don’t like PPL – just saying this is what is needed to make us the grand vision that Mr. Elephant has expressed

    • alicat215 says:

      Dude, as long as people want to sugarcoat the obvious and not hurt anyones feelings on either side of these topics……nothing will ever get done. People need thick skins discussing this stuff, as long as people get so easily offended ( yes, particularly the left), as you can see below, nothing good will happen………….PPL will stay in the middle of nowhere and Chester will stay Chester.

  6. alicat215 says:

    of course the Inqy will side with poor Chester……………….its a liberal rag. Objective journalism went bye-bye a couple decades ago. Its not the clubs job to pick the people of Chester up out of their plight….its the people’s job themselves. Lookout, the same liberal brown shirts that tell us to celebrate Bruce Jenner’s transformation…are the same that are going to come after our club for not helping the poor people of Chester out……creepy times!

    • lopezzzz says:

      I enjoyed this comment because it reminded me of my crazy uncle I only get to see at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

      • alicat215 says:

        your crazy Uncle is wise beyond his years………he probably says the same thing about you at Thanksgiving and Christmas to his friends….except instead of the crazy nephew…….your the liberal softy!

      • lopezzzz says:

        My crazy uncle also struggles with the difference between “your” and “you’re” as well.

      • alicat215 says:

        Touché Lopezzzzz, but dude……don’t be that pretentious dbag who listens or looks at how someone says something……to what they are actually telling you, it makes you equally stupid…..

    • Well that escalated quickly. Go Union!

    • haha wow, liberal brown shirts? maybe you should stick to talking about soccer

      • alicat215 says:

        nope, have a degree in history and political science from the same fine institution I played D1 ball at, thanks…….I have skillz in both brotha! Its not my fault you don’t see whats happening….or your actually cool with it. Keep on, keeping on comrades!

      • i’d say it doesn’t matter what kind of degree you have when your reaction to those that accept trans people is to compare them to nazis

      • alicat215 says:

        If someone wants to have that lifestyle, no problems here bro…….I just don’t need to hear about it on every media outlet and told that if I personally don’t agree with it…….I’m some sort of hater, which is not true at all.

    • Liberal Brown Shirt says:

      Huh. It turns out I disagree with most of your soccer-related comments AND your political perspective. Nice.

      • alicat215 says:

        than your never really right about anything then, are you?

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I have an advanced degree in history and have taught at both the high school and university levels. if you knew what “comrade” truly implies, you would realize that you as a dissenter from the Party would no longer be free to say anything about anything and would likely be destined for the department of “wet things,” having already disappeared from the public record as ever having existed (see Nikolai Yezhov, for one example.). You do know what the Lubyanka symbolizes on Dzerzhinsky Square opposite Children’s World.
        .
        If we are going to call each other nazis and commies, please make the effort to know exactly what they were/are. And realize that we would kill each other on sight, each side certain that it was morally fulfilling a Mandate of History as it committed acts of Positive social good.
        .
        stick to Republican and Democrat. So far, we are not killing each other. Wishing each other dead is not the same as actually killing.

      • alicat215 says:

        OSC, it’s called sarcasm. I hear everything your saying. Except, I never wished death on anyone dude, and never would….even if I disagree with them politically….that’s messed up. My point is, while the club should be part of the community…….it shouldn’t be obligated to prop it up. Decades of decay, for numerous and arguable reasons, have lead to the Chester we see today. The Union shouldn’t be held responsible for that.

    • you forgot to mention Bengazi
      also, Hillary’s emails
      try harder

      • alicat215 says:

        I’m not a republican either, keep thinking what the media tells you to think….Lol! I could care less about Benghazi or Hillary’s emails, even though she broke the law, you’ll admit that, right? You guys are just proving my point……

      • alicat215 says:

        15 years ago, it was the right who did this stuff. Today, its the left….own up to it.

    • Whoa. Here we go again! Ali is off his meds. Hold on, it’s going to get ugly.

    • But good to know that he is really smart and really athletic playing and learning at a D1 fine institution.

      • alicat215 says:

        Played……..and gradubated! The comments about Chester and the Union I meant…….the political sarcasm was exactly that, people get so uptight about this stuff…….I have fun seeing who bites! Really think about it……..I freaking compared Bruce Jenner, to the Union hit piece. While there is a hint of truth to a certain correlation between the two……really, wtf?

      • I have figured out that you are likely a fisherman at heart: surf, fly, deep sea, net.
        .
        I think the brashness of it is completely discombobulating. Keep it up.

      • alicat215 says:

        You get it bro, you get it. You forgot spear…….lol

      • Little Fish says:

        Chuckle.

  7. J in Section 125 says:

    There are 2 reasons to go into Chester for entertainment: PPL Park (be it for the Union or another event) and Harrah’s Casino. It seems the original visions of “if you build it they will come” was poorly planned and/or executed. Harrah’s was put right behind a prison so I can think of a lot of reasons why real estate developers would pass on that and the area around PPL Park has nothing to draw fans to after a game or concert. It will take people with true vision, deep pockets and a willingness to invest in the city and its waterfront to make the promises of 2007 become reality. And I don’t believe Union ownership or the politicians have those traits to make it happen.

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Sing Mr. Warner… SING!!
    .
    Last night has got me amped for Saturday. Can’t wait!

  9. Looks like soon Chester will have to declare bankruptcy; what then?

  10. I said they would be lucky to get a point from these 4 matches.
    Mea culpa.

  11. alicat215 says:

    I guess my one question after the dust has settled with our nice win on Saturday, why did Columbus rest so many players? Do they have a backed up fixture schedule too….or was it a lack of respect? I know why Parkhurst didn’t play, but the rest? Haven’t looked at their schedule……..

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