Daily news roundups

“Outplayed”: Reaction to Union’s thumping in LA, US faces Colombia in WWC, Dempsey, more

Photo: Courtesy of LA Galaxy

Philadelphia Union

What is there to say after the Union were handed a humiliating 5-1 loss by Los Angeles on Saturday?

Jim Curtin said, “Everyone has to take a good hard look in the mirror when you get outplayed like that. Starts with myself, but all of the guys as well, it was disappointing.”

Brian Carroll called the result a “Wake up call.”

One thing seems clear: The 2015 Philadelphia Union lack both the talent, and toughness, required to be a playoff team, let alone one that can seriously challenge for a league title. They simply aren’t good enough on so many levels.

And, man, does it hurt.

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia UnionPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Philly Sports NetworkThe Sports Quotient, MLS, (recap, analysis) LA Galaxy (recap, three points), NBC Los Angeles, Examiner, LA Soccer News, LAG Confidential (recap, analysis), SBI, Prost Amerika (recap, photo recap), Sports Journal,  Papson SportsSports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP. Photo gallery at LA Galaxy and Getty Images.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George looks at the bench that Jim Curtin had to choose from, and Bruce Arena’s bench, and concludes, “A drubbing like Saturday’s brings to light the grim reality that the Union’s slight surge briefly obscured. Here and there, the inconsistency of MLS will allow them to poach a result against a team on an off day. But to consistently churn out results, to keep pace with ever-improving MLS, things must change.”

The Bolton News wonders if Wilson Palacios will join Bolton to trial with the team on a preseason tour, or if he will be signed by the Union. “A move to Qatar fell through last season after he failed a medical and his reported £2million-a-year wages would be beyond the reach of Wanderers or an MLS club like Union at present.”

Congratulations, Pauno.


The US faces Colombia tonight in the Round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup (8 pm, Fox Sports 1, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, SiriusXM FC). Will the offence find its killer instinct and finally click and prove this team is built to win the World Cup?

Colombia’s Lady Andrade, who famously sucker punched Abby Wambach during her team’s 3-0 loss to the US in the 2012 Olympics, predicts her team will win tonight, telling USA Today, “They belittle us. They think we’re a team they’re going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them. We’re going to beat them since they like to talk so much.”

The response from the US, as Fox Sports paraphrased, was basically along the lines of, “Wait, what?”

Said head coach Jill Ellis,

I think the thing for me is I would ask…what have we said that was belittling? …What I know about this [US] team is that they’re classy. They like to play with their feet. I can’t imagine our players acting that way. If you said to me, ‘We said this’, I can respond. But to say that we belittled and there is no fact behind it or comment behind it?…Everything has to be about what is inside of us. The thing that will help us in this tournament is self-belief and confidence. Do we mind (Andrade) said she is going to win? She should say she is going to win. Does it derail us? No.

Alex Morgan said, “We never started (this). We have respected every team we have played in the World Cup so far. We want to let our actions speak on the field.”

More on Colombia’s smack talk at Goal.com.

ASN has some very interesting statistical analysis of the US’ offensive woes.

Vice Sports on the USWNT’s use of analytics.

Good read at Slate on the first women’s league in the US.


Harrisburg City Islanders were on the verge of giving the visiting Rochester Rhinos their first defeat of the season until they allowed an 87th minute equalizer to finish 1-1. Recaps at Harrisburg City IslandersPenn Live (1, 2), Rochester RhinosRochester Democrat & ChronicleNew England Soccer Today, and The Bent Musket.

Reading United defeated Westchester Flames 3-0. Recaps at Reading United and Reading Eagle. The team is currently second in the Eastern Conference’s Mid Atlantic Division with a game in hand on first place Long Island Rough Riders.

Sixth place Ocean City Nor’easters played New York Red Bulls U-23s to a 0-0 draw.


In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (31 points) came from behind to defeat second place New England (24 points), 2-1. Third place Orlando (20 points) fell 2-0 to fifth place Montreal (17 points). Fourth place Toronto lost 2-0 at home to eighth place NYCFC (17 points). Sixth place Columbus (17 points) had the weekend off. Seventh place Red Bulls (17 points) lost 2-1 at home to Vancouver, with David Ousted saving two Bradley Wright-Phillips penalty kick attempts. Ninth place Philadelphia (15 points) were given a 5-1 road hiding by Los Angeles. Tenth place Chicago (14 points) had the weekend off.

In Western Conference play, first place Seattle (29 points) lost 2-0 at home to seventh place San Jose (22 points). Second place Vancouver (29 points) defeated Red Bulls 2-1 on the road. Third place Portland (25 points) defeated ninth place Houston (20 points), 2-0. Fourth place Los Angeles (25 points) humiliated visiting Philadelphia witha 5-1 win. Fifth place Kansas City (24 points) lost 2-1 on the road to eighth place Salt Lake. Sixth place Dallas (23 points) drew 1-1 on the road with tenth place Colorado (15 points).

So, MLS has decided to suspend Clint Dempsey for three games after he ripped up the referee’s card book in last week’s US Open Cup loss to Portland. Because Dempsey is a pro player, MLS has jurisdiction in disciplinary matters. While US Soccer’s rules for pro players in cases of “Referee Assault” call for a six game ban, the league — and ultimately, Don Garber — decided that because there was no physical attack on the ref himself, Dempsey committed “Referee Abuse,” which calls for a three-game ban. That Dempsey is not only one of the league’s marquee players and is the captain of the US team, a team that will soon be playing in the Gold Cup — of which his participation in would be affected by a six-game ban — has nothing to do with the league’s decision. Nothing at all.

Needless to say, the Professional Soccer Referees Association, the referee’s union, was not pleased with the league’s ruling, which it referred to as a “a light slap on the wrist,” adding, “The ceremonial discipline issued by MLS not only fails to deter such reprehensible conduct going forward, it conveys the message that a player can physically engage, destroy property and threaten a Referee and suffer minimum consequences. In late 2014 MLS was moving in the right direction in their response to referee assaults. Unfortunately, this is a serious step backwards. Referee safety is an important issue at all levels of the game and MLS should have used its high profile position to lead rather than regress.”

US soccer announced the US Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel will hold a hearing this week to determine if further sanctions are necessary. Any suspension will apply only to participation in the US Open Cup.

More on the decision at SI, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, ASN, and the Seattle Times,

Multiple reports say Andrea Pirlo is set to sign with NYCFC. The New York Daily News reported on Sunday that he “is on the cusp of signing a contract,” adding “His salary with NYCFC will be about the same amount as Lampard’s and Villa’s, or between $5-$6 million per year, a source said.” Pirlo. Whether Pirlo, who was photographed at a Yankees game on Friday, will join NYCFC this season or next is unclear.

Ryan Babel to MLS?

The Minneapolis city council voted on Friday to establish “a working group examining infrastructure needs, development sites and tax implications of a new professional soccer stadium.” More at MinnPost and Mineapolis Sun Times.  St. Paul is ready to step in if a Minneapolis deal can’t be reached.


Reuters reports, “A global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies said that financial institutions have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by officials at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, and cautioned banks to step up scrutiny.”

Reuters reports, “The Russian government ordered 30 billion rubles ($560 million) in cuts in spending on the 2018 World Cup finals on Monday, the latest cutback as an economic crisis takes a toll.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin says Russia won the hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup fair and square.

The AP on whether Michel Platini will run for the FIFA presidency.

Also from Reuters, “Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona has decided to stand as a candidate for the FIFA presidency to replace Sepp Blatter, Uruguayan journalist and author Victor Hugo Morales has said.” Hahaha. good one, Diego.

An article at Huffington Post titled “Why Should U.S. Taxpayers Fix World Cup Soccer?” might be better named “I Don’t Really Know What I’m Talking About And Selectively Present What Little I Do Know.”


  1. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

    Seconded. Congratulations, Pauno!!!

  2. It’s not that bringing in a player like Palacios is ever a bad thing, I just don’t see how that is a huge need right now and how that money isn’t better spent in other areas.
    Carroll and Lahoud are not great by any stretch, but they are certainly serviceable. We also have Edu who can play DM, and cover for him at CB. Nogs and Maidana, for their pay and skill level, should be able to boss the midfield enough for Carroll/Lahoud to do their thing shielding. We also have Pfeffer who plays central mid.
    The most obvious upgrade needed is on the wing, by far 100%. Wengers career seems to more than prove that the Wenger we briefly saw last year is the exception. Le Toux is not and will never truly be a winger. He is not even close to consistent enough. (That these two make a huge sum of money is another problem). Besides that, there is no depth there whatsoever, at what is a hugely important part of the team in our preferred system.
    Look at some of the corollaries that happen with the wing play being so bad. The Fwd is often left alone and asked to do a lot himself. The defense is on its heels more often as the wingers don’t come back to help as needed. Also, I love Gaddis as much as anyone and he got forward more than usual Saturday, but you can’t tell me there wasn’t a noticeable difference in the backs offensive contribution with Fabinho out and Shaenon moved to the left side. With true wingers, there isn’t SUCH reliance on the backs to influence the game offensively, which should also help on the break defensively.
    The Union are a floundering franchise, dangerously heading over the precipice of the lost. I can’t say all these new cities talking expansion doesn’t frighten me just a little with how pathetic we have become.

  3. MCFC’s July shopping list
    . Frank Lampard ✔
    . Andrea Pirlo ✔

    Nicky Saks July Shoping List
    . 3 pkgs Hamburgers ✔
    . 3 pkgs Hot Dogs ✔
    . 6 pkgs assorted rolls ✔
    . 1 Lb American Cheese ✔
    . 1 bottle mustard ✔
    . 1 bottle ketchup ✔
    . 20 pkgs sparklers to celebrate another fantastic summer ✔

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Note to Union Management: If the TV Loyalty code is going to be BEATLA, you may want to plan to display it in the first half before the Union are down multiple goals.

  5. Well considering that we are playing an absurd 5 games in 15 days the one good thing about the cross-country trip and loss to LA was that at least we were smart and strategically rested most of our starters in order for them to be fresher for the imminently more “winnable” game against a depleted Sounders team making their own cross-country trip to play us at home on Wednesday. Oh wait, what …we didn’t do that?!? Instead we played essentially the same team that went 120 minutes on Tuesday night before flying out to LA.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      From my comments two weeks ago on the player ratings after the NYCFC game:
      I do have a very different lineup for the LA game. Sylvestre, Gaddis, White, Vittoria, Lee, Ayuk, Fred, McLaughlin, Pfeffer, Wenger, Aristeguieta. (unless Lahoud is healthy in which case he plays instead of Wenger). Bring McCarthy as a backup keeper. Maybe bring 3 guys on the bench, maybe not. Take a page out of DC’s book and don’t bring a full squad when you’ve got a cross country trip and then another game back east four days later. Aristeguieta and Gaddis are there to help them get back into match shape. Wenger can get the time off against Seattle and Montreal.
      The first reply was “that lineup would be interesting to see. they would most likely get blown apart completely”
      Needless to say, the actual lineup was pretty much blown apart completely and setting the Union up for 3 more losses in the next week and a half.

      • See, what you described is something called a “plan”. That is a dirty word in Unionland.
        This team… this organization… this FO… I got nothing else today. What a disgrace Saturday night.
        Time for another death march from the SOB’s?!?

      • Can you enunciate the word for me?
        “P-lan, Plan”
        Can you use it in a sentence?
        “Nik Sakiewicz has no PLAN to hire a GM as that would take away his decision making and cost him money”
        “Oh Plan!”

      • The Black Hand says:

        I love flan!

  6. Nothing changes.
    The song is a 45 skipping on an old gramophone: Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Vision. Philosophy. Plan.
    Maybe we can get Mr. S&S to lend a dime – place on the stylus and get the broken record to stop the ceaseless skipping.

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