Daily news roundups

US faces Nigeria, Union host Rhinos in USOC, Palacios trialing, latest FIFA news, more

USA vs. Nigeria

The US faces Nigeria in their final group game at the Women’s World Cup (8 pm: Fox, NBC Universo, Fox Soccer 2Go, NBC Universo Now, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra, SiriusXM FC). As new PSP contributor Jami Dansingburg noted in her debut column on Monday, it is vital for the US to finish top of their group in order to ensure an easier path through the knockout rounds.

Head coach Jill Ellis says Alex Morgan will be getting more playing time against Nigeria.

Previews at US SoccerFox Sports, ESPNSIASN, Soccer America, and Goal.com.

Tonight’s game in Vancouver will be something of a homecoming for Sydney Leroux, who grew up in nearby Surrey.

The Province on the arrival of large numbers of US supporters in Vancouver ahead of tonight’s game.

At SI, Grant Wahl has an interesting read on how Nigeria’s anti-gay laws and culture affect the country’s women’s team.

Grantland says if the US is to win, this must be Abby Wambach’s World Cup. Good read at ESPNW on Wambach’s 122nd minute equalizer against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Cup.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a personal history of supporters groups and the US women’s team.

USA Today on US-born players playing on other countries women’s national teams.

Soccer America says FIFA was right to expand the number of competing countries in the Women’s World Cup.

In other World Cup news, the Globe and Mail reports on how the Brazil women’s team is barely followed or reported on back home. Interesting read, particularly the comments from the coordinator for the women’s game for the Confederation of Brazilian Football.

Philadelphia Union

US Open Cup

The Union look to complete some unfinished business tonight as they start their 2015 US Open Cup campaign against the visiting Rochester Rhinos.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday (full transcript here), Curtin emphasized he is not taking Rochester lightly. “They don’t concede a lot of goals, they’ve only given up  four goals, they’ve scored 16 — 8-0-4, so they haven’t been beat this year. So, we’re going to have to be on our game, can’t take them lightly. It’ll be a well coached, organized team, and they have a couple of weapons.”

John McCarthy will be in goal for the Union to face the team he played for last year, with Andre Blake as his backup. McCarthy said of his former team, “I’m sure they’re going to be really hungry. I remember being with them last year, we played DC United and New England Revolution, and we just tried to take advantage of the opportunity. We had nothing to lose, but it always makes you want to play a little bit better and you want to raise your own level to the highest level possible in those games.”

Rochester head coach Bob Lilley said, “I just think we’ve got to go and play. Every year (Cinderella in this tournament) is an overdone story because there have been Open Cups for the last 18 years for Rochester (actually, it’s 19). All that matters is what happens Tuesday. We just need to be ready to play. Our team is competitive, so I don’t think we’re going to be easy for anyone.”

Curtin said Fernando Aristeguieta is unlikely to be available for tonight’s game has he continues to experience pain in his ankle after being scythed down in the win over Columbus. Michael Lahoud is also unavailable after suffering what appears to be a non-training ground injury. However, Steven Vitoria appears to be an option to provide cover from the bench.

Previews at Philadelphia Union (preview, scouting report), US Soccer, thecup.us, MLSsoccer.comPhiladelphia InquirerPhilly.com, Delco Times, Brotherly Game (preview, opposite view), Philly Sports NetworkRochester Rhinos, and Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Wilson Palacios

Curtin confirmed in Monday’s press conference that former Honduran international, and former Wigan, Tottenham, and Stoke midfielder Wilson Palacios has been training with the club:

Wilson’s been in with us for about a week now. He’s done well. He is a guy whose career speaks for itself at the international level in the World Cup, with Tottenham, with Stoke, so a guy that’s played at big clubs. We had in him for the week to take a look at him. He’ll still be here through Wednesday and we’ll have to make a decision after that. But, he’s been good…we’re always looking to upgrade our roster and have competition in every spot, so it’s just like any normal team right now, the window’s about to open in July and there’ll be some player movement, not only from our team but from a lot of teams in MLS.

Asked if Palacios is out of contract, Curtin said, “I can’t speak for him, he’s not our player.”

Reports at CBS Philly, The Reporter, and HITC Sport. Palacios had recently been linked to Bolton Wanderers following his release by Stoke after making only 14 Premier League starts in four years with the club.


FC Anyang, the South Korean club currently home to Union loanee Austin Berry, has partnered with USL side Orange County Blues, who also have a player on loan to the club.


Ocean City Nor’easters have a recap of their 5-2 win over Westchester Flames on Saturday.


Didier Drogba to Red Bulls?

Herculez Gomez to MLS? Or maybe, the New York Cosmos?

MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott says the league will stick to its July 1 deadline for Minnesota United to have a stadium deal in place. The Star Tribune quotes,

“One of the primary reasons [we] selected Minnesota and its ownership group was this plan” to build a soccer-only stadium, said Abbott. The plan, he said, “needs to be something that’s final enough so that we understand and know that it will ultimately be built.”

“July 1st is the deadline that we put out there in March, and it remains the deadline,” said Abbott. “We’re going to decide [what happens next] on July 1, or closer to July 1st

You will recall that last week, Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire said he wasn’t aware of a firm deadline. The Minnesota legislature adjourned last week without considering the team’s request for “property-tax breaks and other tax reductions.”

CBS DC on how city officials could use eminent domain to acquire land for DC United’s new stadium.

Helping to bring an MLS franchise to San Antonio makes this list things newly re-elected mayor Ivy Taylor’s needs to do.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young tries to figure out how much the introduction of promotion/relegation might cost the owner of a relegated MLS club. It is of course a guessing game when it comes to valuation of clubs, but the bottom line is clear: pro/rel will not be implemented until a system of compensation is available.


At US Soccer, a Q&A with Jurgen Klinsmann about what the wins over the Netherlands and Germany mean for the USMNT. Klinsmann says, “I think the biggest thing that we take away from those games is the mental side of it, that we actually start to lose fear or having too much respect for big names because of who they are or what they’ve done in the past…When you get results like we did now in these last 10 days and a couple of other results over the last few years, over time it will add up and it will kind of set a new mindset within our players that, yeah it’s going to be a tremendous amount of work and you’re going to have to give everything you have, but it’s actually doable. You can also beat those nations on any given day and maybe more often if possible, so from a learning perspective it was very, very valuable.”

Good read at ESPN on Toby Charles, the voice of Soccer Made in Germany, the public television show that, for those who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, was the only regular source of international soccer on TV.

ESPN on the 40th anniversary of Pele making his debut for the New York Cosmos.


Chuck Blazer’s plea agreement was unsealed on Monday, confirming what was reported by the New York Daily News last November: Blazer agreed to work undercover for the FBI, provide documents, and testify against others in exchange for a reduced sentence. Blazer, who still has not been sentenced, was facing up to 75 years for money laundering, fraud, and other charges, will have to pay at least $2.5 million in fines plus back taxes. More at New York Daily News, New York Times, Washington Postthe Guardian, and the AP.

The AP reports, “The Nobel Peace Center says it will stop working with FIFA on a joint fair-play program called ‘Handshake for Peace.'”

FIFA responded to the Nobel decision, “FIFA is reluctant to accept this unilateral approach on what is a joint initiative between the football community and the Nobel Peace Center (NPC). This action does not embody the spirit of fair play especially as it obstructs the promotion of the key values of peace-building and anti-discrimination.”

From the Guardian: “The Asian Football Confederation has joined its African counterparts in countering suggestions that it was in favour of Sepp Blatter staying on as FIFA president despite him announcing his intention to resign amid a major corruption scandal…The Confederation of African Football said on Monday it had not heard of any of its members asking Blatter to remain in office.”

“Due to his current commitments in Zurich,” Blatter will not attend the U-20 World Cup final in New Zealand this weekend.

Reuters has an interesting read on the factors that go into the culture of corruption that runs through Caribbean politics and into CONCACAF and the CFU. A political scientist is quoted in the article, “There is a Jack Warner or two in every Caribbean parliament today.”

The AP reports, “Actor Gerard Depardieu personally intervened to persuade the Cannes Film Festival to show the FIFA-funded movie “United Passions” that sank almost without trace at the box office after being panned by critics.” Depardieu plays Jules Rimet in the film, which was shown on a beach at Cannes.


  1. Of all the positions the Union have a need for do we need another Midfielder?

    • The Black Hand says:

      We need to bring in a #6. Carroll is performing admirably, but he’s 33. Lahoud can’t get fit. Edu should be forgotten of, as a DM. Palacios would be a nice signing, actually.

      • He would, but he is a soon-to-be 31 year old midfielder who has been very injury prone the last few years. My money would be on Carroll being fit more often than Palacios would.

      • Dmids seem to be more attainable than other positions. Instead of getting good depth we seem intent on blowing our entire Rais wad on this one guy when we can strengthen 2-3 positions with that money.

      • Do we have Rais money?

      • Soon. At the very leadt his salary is coming off the books.

      • It’s all about having a body for when the time comes…which it will.

      • I am advocating for more bodies.

      • Dr. Union says:

        I like Palacios and he fits well I think. However, not much of a replacement for Carroll we over all need someone younger for more than a few years. But good to switch them in an out and gives good veteran presence in the middle of the park. My thoughts is at the right low price he is valuable to the Union. As far as Rais money goes I don’t think it will be enough of what we are all hoping for and it is still the same front office spending the money so it will not go to positions of need. My prediction is they buy another RB another CAM both for low money and keep the rest for themselves all not what this team needs. And I agree with TBH Edu must stay at CB now and forever while he is on this team.

    • I’ve already given them the name of the ex Wigna Honduran we need . . . Maynor Figueroa . If they’re not going to listen to my advice, then why are they even paying me . . . Oh I see!

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    If my calculations are correct, the US Women will qualify for the KO stages unless:
    They lose to Nigeria by at least 3 goals
    Switzerland – Cameroon ends in a draw
    Costa Rica beats Brazil
    Spain – South Korea doesn’t end in a tie (and if South Korea wins, they win by at least two unless the US loses by 4 or more)
    England either ties or beats Colombia (and if England wins, it is by fewer goals than Nigeria beats the US
    France – Mexico doesn’t end in 0-0 or 1-1 draw.
    A couple of those scenarios assume the US loses 0-3 and not 1-4 which would mean a 2-2 draw in France – Mexico would see the US through. Also, a couple of those scenarios could have specific scores where there would still be drawing of lots that the US could win.

    • Bravo on figuring that out! If Nigeria wins by 3 goals, the fallout might be more interesting than any knockout stage games would have been.

    • That’s all well and good Andy but what if a train is leaving Chicago at 3:00PM and another train is leaving NYC at 3:30PM? If both are traveling at the same speed carrying equal loads…how far will the USWNT advance?
      I may have this wrong. I was never good at math.

      • That question depends entirely on how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I think that would mean the Fire play NYCFC on a neutral field in Columbus.

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    Anybody see / complete the survey for the USL team the Union sent out? Thoughts? Anyone have any inside info on what’s up. Just sparking conversation…

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I took it but it was tough to answer. If the games were close enough and cheap enough, I would go to them. However my wife thinks I watch too much soccer (especially during the world cup, men’s or women’s) and I’m not sure she’d want to go…

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I answered the survey, and inferred that the legislature in Harrisburg is not likely to look favorably on City Islanders application for stadium improvement assistance and are likely leaving. Reinforcing my logic is that the survey asked if I would attend games in the “western suburbs” (Lancaster-Harrisburg area named).
    Look at the affiliation this season from the poin of view of Harrisburg. They have gotten few to no players, without them practicing with City Islanders as far as I can tell. Hence the bulk of minutes have gone to the players who have practiced with the team, no surprise. Last season, there were three guys just with HCI for their full season. We’re are benefitting from Richie Marquez’s “seasoning” now. No such seasoning for next year is occurring now because all loanees are continuing to practice in Philly. That practice means the value of the affiliation to Coach Becher is minimal. I can’t speculate about front office to front office value

  5. I would take Hercules Gomez in a New York Cosmos minute. Gomez and Sapong up top. That I would like to see.

  6. Is there live streaming for the Open Cup?

  7. Anyone watch the FIFA WWC Today show last night?
    Just curious, because I thought Eric Wynalda was drunk.

  8. Anybody hear anything about the ramp from I-95 north onto I-476 North being closed after the game tonight?

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