Daily news roundups

Union bits, results wrap, US draws with Sweden at WWC, Steffen big as US falls to Serbia at U-20 WC, latest FIFA news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

With the Union beginning US Open Cup play against Rochester Rhinos on Tuesday, Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will take place today at 12:30 pm. John McCarthy is scheduled to talk to the press at 12:15 pm.

Curtin tells US Soccer of Tuesday night’s game,

We’re going to put out a strong team for sure. Maybe I sprinkle in one or two young guys, but they’re young guys that have played for us already this year and contributed. I’m not going to be fielding a second team and not having a game on the weekend is a good advantage for us.

The guys are confident right now, they look like the group I remembered from the good moments last year. We’ve gotten healthy at a good time, and everyone’s kind of pushing each other. We’re getting even more healthy, Fernando Aristeguieta is going to be back, Conor Casey, Michael Lahoud, Steven Vitoria are all coming back.

Curtin said of Rochester, “It’s a very strong team, very organized, don’t give up a lot of goals, they score a bunch and haven’t been beaten this year. We’re not going to take them lightly.”

Matthew De George at the Delco Times: “The Union’s struggles have myriad root causes. But the clearest manifestation of all the inconsistency is simple: They aren’t picking up draws.”

Looks like Andre Blake is continuing to come along well from his injury and surgery.

At the Union website, Kyle Baselow talks to John McCarthy about his path to the pros — and the Union.

At Philly Soccer News, Andy Jasner on Zach Pfeffer’s emergence as a regular in the Union game-day 18.

LA Galaxy have released a commemorative poster for Saturday’s game against the Union.

The Union Soccer Schools website has a report on last week’s visit by soccer campers to PPL Park.


Harrisburg City Islanders drew 1-1 on the road with St. Louis FC on Saturday. Erik Ayuk, on loan from the Union along with Eric Bird, Raymond Lee and Jimmy McLaughlin, opened the scoring in the 39th minute. A post on the Harrisburg website, since updated, originally described the Union quartet as on loan for the remainder of the season but a Union spokesperson told PSP the players will continue to train with the Union and will rejoin Harrisburg if they need game time. Match recaps at Penn Live, St. Louis FC, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Post-Dispatch notes the game was a homecoming for Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher, who grew up in the area.

A  Tom Barlow hat-trick, and single tallies from Nico Delgado and Quincy Thomas, powered Reading United to a 5-2 win over visiting Baltimore Bohemians on Friday night. Match recaps at Reading United, Reading Eagle, and WFMZ. The game was the club’s annual Kicks Against Cancer charity night.

On Sunday, the team drew 1-1 on the road with New York Red Bulls U-23s. Neco Brett made it 1-0 for Reading in the 81st minute, only to be ejected for excessive celebration. NYRB equalized in the 89th minute.

Ocean City Nor’easters defeated Westchester Flames 5-2 on the road on Saturday. Matthew Vasquenza scored a hat trick, with John Manga and Alex Ridsdale also each recording goals, Risdale from the penalty spot. Ocean City have now scored 13 goals in the last three games.

The Temple Men’s team has released its 2015 schedule.

Ukrainian Weekly notes the Ukrainian Nationals U-13 Rangers won the National Championship Series (NCS) Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup Championship in May.

The Washington Post has a nice profile on Street Soccer Philadelphia.


In Eastern Conference play, first place DC (28 points) lost 1-0 to third place Orlando (20 points). Second place New England defeated ninth place Chicago, 2-0. Fourth place Toronto (19 points) had the weekend off, as did fifth place NYRB (17 points), and seventh place Philadelphia (15 points). Sixth place Columbus (17 points) drew 1-1 with LA. Eighth place Montreal (14 points) lost 3-1 to last place NYCFC (14 points).

In the Western Conference, first place Seattle (29 points) defeated fifth place Dallas (22 points), 3-0. Second place Vancouver (26 points) had the weekend off, as did third place Kansas City (24 points), fourth place Portland (22 points), seventh place Houston (20 points), eighth place San Jose (19 points) ninth place Salt Lake (18 points), and tenth place Colorado (14 points). Sixth place LA (22 points) drew 1-1 with Columbus on the road.

Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath has been fined by the league for tampering after comments he made about wanting to sign Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer. More at Orlando Sentinel and Kansas City Star.

More hopes in Charlotte for a MLS franchise.

At World Soccer Talk, Kartik Krishnaiyer questions the viability of Puerto Rico FC, the newly announced NASL side owned by the NBA’s Carmelo Anthony.

Creative Loafing Atlanta wonders if the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks will survive the addition of a MLS team in Atlanta.


Women’s World Cup

Thank goodness for Megan Klingenberg, right?

The US managed just two shots on goal in Friday’s disappointing 0-0 draw with Sweden on Friday, with Klingenberg’s headed goal line clearance proving to be the biggest play of the day.

Recaps and reports from PSP, US Soccer, FIFAFox Sports, ESPNESPNW, SICBSPhilly.com, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journalthe Guardian, ASNGoal.com, SBIProSoccerTalkReuters,

Player ratings at ASN and Soccer America.

Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd say the artificial turf was a factor in the US’s goalscoring woes. At ESPNW, Jeff Carlisle says the turf can’t be an excuse.

Will the US be able to get its attack restarted on Tuesday against Nigeria? Advancement scenarios into the Round of 16 at US Soccer.

Friday’s game was the most viewed soccer game ever on Fox at an average of 4.5 million viewers, peaking at 6.4 million at the game’s end. Reports from Philly.com, Awful Announcing, and the AP.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati responded to the letter published last week by Senator Richard Blumenthal questioning the federation’s response to the Hope Solo domestic violence charges. Blumenthal described the Gulati’s explanation as “tone deaf” and “nonsensical.” At Philly Soccer News, Charles Cuttone describes Blumenthal’s actions as “grandstanding.” Solo’s husband, Jerramy Stevens, told USA Today that the media’s coverage of her amounts to a “witch hunt” and is “unpatriotic.” More from Philly.comNew York Times, and ESPN.

U-20 World Cup

Zach Steffen made two penalty kick saves in the match against Serbia — who are coached by former Union player Veljko Paunovic — at the U-20 World Cup on Sunday, but the US penalty kickers missed three attempts (the first attempt was saved), giving Serbia the win after the teams were scoreless through regulation and extra time. Heartbreaking stuff.

Gedion Zelalem said after the game, “I think we’ve done well, but we also want to reach higher. We’re not satisfied just getting to quarter-finals. We want to be reaching finals and winning tournaments.”

Recaps and reports at US Soccer, FIFA, Soccer America, ASN, SIGoal.com, MLSsoccer.com, SBIProSoccerTalk, and the AP. Quote sheet at US Soccer.


Looks like those two game-winning goals scored by Bobby Wood against the Netherlands and Germany may have gotten him a new contract to play for Stuttgart.

Bobby Warshaw on Michael Bradley.


Citing an anonymous source, Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag reported on Sunday that Sepp Blatter is reconsidering his decision to resign after receiving messages of support from African and Asian soccer federations. More from Sky Sports.

The AP then reported, “Sepp Blatter was warned from within FIFA on Sunday not to attempt to backtrack on his pledge to quit as president.”

PA Sport then reported, “Sepp Blatter has indicated there has been no change of heart in his decision to step down as FIFA president.” More at the Guardian.

The Press Association reports, “Switzerland’s attorney general will make a statement on Wednesday about his investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Wall Street Journal reports US officials are examining payments made by Nike as part of their 1996 sponsorship deal of the Brazilian national team. More at Reuters.

Reuters reports, “Morocco’s soccer federation denied on Sunday allegations that the country had paid a bribe to a FIFA executive during its unsuccessful bid to host the 1998 World Cup.”

From the AP: “Sepp Blatter thinks FIFA can reform itself. Anti-corruption experts say an institution in that much trouble won’t be able to clean itself up without an outsider.”

The AP reports, “A defiant Jack Warner is predicting a lengthy legal battle to extradite him from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. to charges in the FIFA corruption case.”

John Oliver and Jack Warner: The gift that keeps on giving.

Mitt Romney for president of FIFA?

From ESPN: “Croatia could face punishment by UEFA after a swastika pattern could be seen on the pitch for its European Championship qualifying match against Italy.” SMH.


  1. That was tragic for the 20’s. Steffan bailed them out three times…..need to get it done when the keeper does that for you…..all were must saves too. I don’t understand after Rubio tried to trick the keeper it was abundantly clear he wasn’t falling for any tricks……why they tried to do it two more times? After 120 minutes….run up and drill the freaking ball into a corner…….that wasn’t the time for trick PK’s!

    • Chile and El Tri tonight could be a tasty one…………

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      There were some beautifully struck penalties in that shootout and they all had something in common. The shooter picked his spot before his runup. I completely agree that it was ridiculous to be waiting on trying to read the goalkeeper instead of just powering the ball into either corner.

      Two great goalkeepers in that shootout. Doubt that’s the last we hear of that Serbian keeper.

      • Yup, they were both nasty…..

      • Cameron-Vickers look on his face said it all before he launched that one into the upper deck……it said: ” I really don’t want to take this, I hate these”. Good CB, just not a PK taker!

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Yeah. Don’t expect there will be too many PKs in his future. Other than his spot kick, pretty much everything else he did was excellent, made even more impressive by the fact that he’s the youngest guy on that team.

      • Very true For a neutral, it was a fun shoot out to watch given the shifts in momentum between the two teams.

        PK’s are such a mental thing especially after 120 min, but I’ve never understood how some players approach the ball without a plan of action. When I played, I loved taking them as it was such an easy exercise (granted I never took one in such a high level pressure situation like Sunday AM’s match). I would approach it to hit it to the GK’s left (I’m right footed) with my instep. As I’m opening up my body in my approach and see the GK cheat that way out of the corner of my eye, I would just close my my body and hit it to the other half of the goal. If the GK doesn’t cheat I just go forward with my original plan to hit it at the GK’s left.

        Or if you weren’t comfortable with that, just rip it right down the middle. Simple. Have a plan of action and stick to it.

      • alicat215 says:

        George, I loved taking them too…..and would do the same. I took them in club and HS, my college coach had me as our number three taker…always pissed me off! When keepers knew who you were and they had a scout on you….you just went the other way with it…..never missed. The rules have changed a little since then with keeper movement…….I guess sometimes…depending on the keeper…you have to take a glance up to see if he’s cheating and be ready to adjust…if he’s not moving…just rip it in a corner like we used too!

      • alicat215 says:

        the higher up you go…the keepers are huge and cover a lot of net….you have to rip it…..or these big dudes just eat it up……

    • Still slack-jawed over Mali beating Germany.
      The cue ball always moves faster than the object ball – if you kick the ball harder than someone is able to move….scoring a PK is rather easy. That’s why football is a passing game…ball always moves faster than a person.
      Pick right or left, waist high and below…. let ‘er rip. Pretty well unstoppable.

    • If you want to see bad PK’s, you need to see some of Portugal U-20’s from this past weekend. The failed panenka always makes me laugh.

  2. Wonder if Nico Brett mooned the other team with his ‘excessive celebration’ after scoring a gol. Seems rather harsh to get a straight ejection.
    In other news, I am curious…. is it only the Americans playing on the artificial turf to be using it as an excuse to not score? Please. Please. No more of that.

    Develop a usable idea, exact said idea, deposit ball in gol. Everybody is playing on the turf….Jeeze.
    Somebody needs to give Sepp Blatter a severed horse’s head in his satin sheeted bed.

    • I too was wondering about that goal celebration ejection- I even read the link first this time! Unfortunately, it didn’t clear it up :(. Maybe he already had a yellow and took his shirt off in celebration for a 2nd yellow. I’m not a rules expert, but a straight red must mean taking his shorts off and wearing them on his head while he ran around or worse.

  3. If I score 2 game winning gols at YSC Pick Up…. wonder if the white shirted team outsiders aren’t allowed to play on -will pick me up.
    Congratulations to Bobby Wood.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    The scenarios in the WNT link said that the US won’t know about qualifying as a 3rd place team until after group play is over Wednesday. However, since they can finish no worse than 3rd with 4 points, I think they can clinch a place in the round of 16 today if Germany and Canada both win. If one of those two happen, they can still clinch a spot before they play if Switzerland-Cameroon doesn’t end in a tie.

  5. Does Temple still play in Ambler? Someone please wake me up when that changes. As an alum it truly pains me that I can’t easily go support my Owls in my favorite sport.

    • alicat215 says:

      I still remember playing against them in the old stadium on Cheltenham Ave…….I remember thinking…..this is pretty cool, like you are in South America somewhere! Yes, they still play in Ambler….nice pitch, better than Cheltenham Ave.!

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