Daily news roundups

Recaps and reaction to Union draw with Impact, Academy U16s advance in playoffs, US in WWC semis, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

It sure did rain a lot on Saturday.

After taking an early lead off of a wonderful goal from Eric Ayuk, the Union conceded two goals to Montreal, the second from former Union man Jack McInerney, before Maurice Edu 75th minute equalizer. Along the way, Montreal’s Patrice Bernier was sent off for a second yellow in the 67th minute, a man advantage the Union enjoyed for ten minutes before Ayuk was also ejected for a second yellow.

Did I mention it rained a lot?

Jim Curtin said of the game, “It was certainly a strange game in terms of weather, red cards, yellow cards, goals down a man, us coming back and thinking we were going to be able to put the nail in the coffin, and then having a guy sent off.”

Ayuk said of his ejection, “I was so disappointed because of the red card. I let my team down. We worked so hard to get to that point. I was real disappointed with the red card.” More on Ayuk’s game from CBS Philly, CSN Philly, and MLSsoccer.com.

The Union are off from league play until July 11 when they host Portland. Before that, they host DC United in the US Open Cup on Tuesday (7 pm, YouTube).

Recaps from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Inquirer,  Delco Times, CSN Philly, CBS Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Philly Sports NetworkVavelThe Sports Quotient, Sons of PennWomen United FCMLSsoccer.com, Montreal Impact, Mount Royal Soccer, SBIProst Amerika,  The Canadian Press, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP.

Checkout our postgame video and transcript of Jim Curtin’s press conference.

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will take place today at 12:30 pm.

Chaco’s dog has been found!

Union Academy

At the US Soccer Development Academy playoffs outside of Indianapolis on Friday, the No. 2 seed Union Academy U-16s defeated Houston Dynamo, 2-0, with goals from Tiger Graham and Raheem Taylor-Parkes. After Graham scored three minutes before the end of the first half, the second goal came two minutes following the resumption of play in the second half after a rain delay and lightning saw the game moved to a turf field. Finishing 3-0-0 in the Development Academy playoffs, the team next hosts New England Revolution on July 8 in the playoff quarterfinals, with time and location to be announced. (Earlier tweets and reports said the Union would face Connecticut’s Beachside SC.)

The Union Academy U-18s defeated LA Galaxy 1-0 to finish the playoffs with a 1-1-1 record, Yousef Samuel scoring in the 8th minute.


Harrisburg City Islanders drop to seventh place in the USL Eastern Conference after a 4-1 loss to Charleston Battery on Saturday. The Union’s Jimmy McLaughlin, Eric Bird, and Raymond Lee were on loan to Harrisburg for the game but looking at the official stat sheet for the game it’s unclear what minutes they saw because while McLaughlin is listed as playing 90 minutes, Zach Pfeffer as playing 15 minutes, and Richie Marquez as playing 90, and Pfeffer and Marquez were both with the Union. Looking at the Harrisburg Twitter feed for the game, McLaughlin did indeed start and go the full 90, earning a yellow card in the 43rd minute, with “Byrd” entering the game in the 65th minute, and Lee entering in the 79th minute. Recaps for the game at Charleston Battery and Penn Live.

In PDL play, Ocean City Nor’easters drew 0-0 at home to Baltimore Bohemians on Friday night. Match recap at Press of Atlantic City. On Saturday night, Lehigh Valley United Sonic were on the road to face DC United U-23s, losing 6-1. Reading United had the weekend off ahead of the big rivalry game on the road against Ocean City on Friday.


In Eastern Conference play, first place DC (35 points) drew 0-0 on the road with third place Toronto (23 points). Second place New England (24 points), down to ten-men, lost 2-1 at home to Vancouver. Fourth place NYRB (23 points) came from behind to defeat ninth place NYCFC (17 points) 3-1 at Yankee Stadium. Fifth place Orlando (23 points) had the weekend off. Sixth place Columbus (21 points) drew 2-2 on the road with Salt Lake. Seventh place Philadelphia (19 points) drew 2-2 with eighth place Montreal (18 points). Last place Chicago (14 points) had the weekend off.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (32 points) defeated New England 2-1 on the road. Second place Seattle (29 points) was thumped 4-1 on the road by third place Portland (28 points). Fourth place LA (28 points) fell 3-1 at seventh place San Jose (25 points). Fifth place Kansas City (27 points) defeated last place Colorado (15 points), 2-1. Sixth place Dallas (26 points) defeated ninth place Houston (20 points), 2-0. Eighth place Salt Lake (22 points) drew 2-2 with Columbus.

At article at ESPN posted on Sunday reports, “Italian star Andrea Pirlo will sign with New York City FC of Major League Soccer next week, a source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN Deportes’ Roberto Abramowitz.” Pirlo, Frank Lampard, and Gareth Bale, were in the stands to watch NYCFC lose to NYRB on Sunday.

ESPN reports, “US national team striker Aron Johannsson said he has down-the-road ambitions to play in Major League Soccer ‘at the peak of my career.'”

On Friday, Chicago acquired defender Ty Harden from San Jose in exchange for forward Quincy Amarikwa. Also on Friday, NYRB waived center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste. On Saturday, Seattle added Andy Craven to the first team roster from their USL team.

Could the StubHub Center, home to the LA Galaxy (and US Soccer on the West Coast), be the temporary home for a new LA-based NFL franchise as early as 2016?  More at NFL.com, LA Times, and New York Daily News. (ProFootballTalk writes, “It seems hard to believe that the NFL would move into a stadium as tiny as the StubHub Center, even for one season. But at least they can be confident they’d sell out. That’s not the case in St. Louis, Oakland or San Diego.”)

Vice Sports looks at LAFC’s efforts to build a new soccer stadium on the site of the Sports Arena in downtown LA.

Movement toward building a new soccer stadium in Sacramento, aimed at securing a MLS franchise for that city, continues.

The Charlotte Observer reports, “The city of Charlotte is considering using tourism money to help demolish and rebuild American Legion Memorial Stadium in Elizabeth to become a home for a Major League Soccer franchise.”


The US advanced to the semifinals of the the Women’s World Cup with Friday’s 1-0 win over China. They’ll face No. 1 ranked Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday at 7 pm (Fox, NBC Universo Now, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra). Unfortunately for Union fans, that’s at the same time as the US Open Cup match at PPL Park against DC United.

Recaps from PSPPhilly.com,  US Soccer, FIFA, MLSsoccer.com, Fox Sports, SIASN, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, and The Guardian.

Soccer America has three takeaways from the win, ProSoccerTalk has three things learned.

Player ratings at Soccer America.

ESPNW gives props to Morgan Brian for her steady performance on Friday. Heavy.com notes the connection between Brian and the Union’s Eric Bird.

Fox SportsUSA Today and ESPNW on the lineup dilemma facing head coach Jill Ellis ahead of Tuesday’s semifinal.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald looks at the history between the US and German women’s teams. “Tuesday night’s semifinal at Olympic Stadium will be the fourth matchup between the United States and Germany on women’s soccer’s biggest stage. On each of the previous three occasions, the winner has gone on to win the championship.”

Philly.com and SI on the USWNT’s reaction to Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Bloomberg reports that the ratings at Fox are up 23 percent since the coverage of the Women’s World Cup began with some 5.7 million viewers tuning in for Friday’s win over China.


Reuters reports,

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a newspaper interview on Saturday that he will not stand as a candidate to remain the head of world soccer’s governing body at a special elective congress of member associations which he called for earlier this month.

“I am not a candidate, I am the president. And I want to hand over FIFA in good condition,” the 79-year-old told Walliser Bote, a Swiss newspaper in the Valais region where Blatter is from.

The AP reports, “The Spanish football league is challenging FIFA’s decision to switch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to November-December.” The challenge was filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. No trial date has been set.

Reuters reports, “Bank of Nova Scotia has warned regional soccer body CONCACAF, which is deeply enmeshed in the FIFA bribery scandal, that it will withhold funds from a major sponsorship deal unless the confederation cleans up its act, according to a source familiar with the bank’s position.” The bank signed a sponsorship deal with CONCACAF in December, that included renaming the Champions League tournament the Scotiabank Champions League.

The Hollywood Reporter reports Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are producing a movie about the FIFA scandal and Chuck Blazer. The film is based on the book Houses of Deceit by BuzzFeed’s Ken Bensinger, which isn’t due to be published until 2017. What I want to know is who plays Chuck Blazer? More at  Vanity FairAwful Announcing, and Reuters.

Reuters reports, “Argentina’s judiciary will send inspectors inside the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) as part of an investigation into whether public funds handed to the soccer body for television rights were misused.”


  1. the role of Chuck Blazer will be played by Mandy Patinkin, obvs

    Chuck Blazer: What were his exact words, please?
    Loretta Lynch: “An American FIFA official has been turned.”
    Chuck Blazer: He said this in English?
    Loretta Lynch: Yes. He whispered it into my ear right before the guards pulled him away.

  2. I like John Goodman as Chuck Blazer. Any extra stone or two natty beard. He has the beady eyes down by nature of genes.

  3. Totally watching the Union game tomorrow, totally

    • John Ling says:

      And don’t miss this great tidbit, too: https://twitter.com/SoccerMorning/status/615547397045927937
      “Sakiewicz also called the fan protest at PPL Park “ill-thought of” and said fans didn’t quite have a grasp on all of the information”
      Nick really needs to learn to just keep his pie hole shut as much as possible…

      • I can’t wait to listen to the entire interview. I think I’ll wait until right before I go to the gym considering how I will likely react.

      • Sheesh. Even if he believes that, why would you say it? You know why? Dude has an ego the size of a planet. He’s gotta have the last word even if it’s on a soccer podcast a month or more after the fan protest. What a douche.

      • John Ling says:

        Exactly. Think it, but no way in hell you say it. I assume he was asked about the protests. The answer he needs to give there is really simple: “We appreciate that our fans are so passionate and care so deeply. We’re doing everything we can to show them their faith is warranted. We’ve made mistakes, and now we’re trying to fix them and move forward so we can win championships.”
        Bam, done. Simple statement.

      • Great One says:

        I think we all know he thinks he’s always right and the greatest, but really why would you ever say this.

      • John Ling says:

        I can think of two answers.
        1) He’s completely blind / tone deaf and has no clue how ignorant he sounds.
        2) He knows exactly how ignorant he sounds, but keeps saying this sort of stuff to keep the heat off Curtin and the players.
        I lean toward #1 myself…

    • Nope, he’s pretty much the worst. “Death Be Not Proud” banner(s) last year was dead on, this team is doomed as long as he’s in charge.

  4. God dammit… This F’N club. Hey Nick, STFU forever and go away.
    And yes, in case you’re wondering, that is how I really feel.

    • John Ling says:

      That was an ill-thought of statement, and you clearly don’t have all the information.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I can only assume this is sarcasm… you can’t possibly be defending this dope. And if it is sarcasm… my deepest apologies for totally missing it 🙂

      • John Ling says:

        It’s OK – it’s Monday. These things happen. Just install new batteries into your sarcasm detector…

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Consider it done. Ha

  5. Incredible that Nick Sakiewicz would say that shite just a few days after a couple thousand of us braved that insane deluge to support our team. We do support the team, Nick, we love the players, what we do not support is mismanagement. You’re right, we probably don’t have all the facts, so how about helping us out with a few? If we’re so misinformed about the operations of the team, then make some effort at correcting that misinformation instead of insulting us.
    Side note, I had an awesome time at the game despite having to take refuge in the porta-john in Lot A because the train arrived before anyone else got there, purchase new socks in the club shop, and come down with a cold in June. Games like that are what this is all about (well, part of it at least).

  6. The Realist Brian says:

    I was thinking over the weekend as I dried out, why don’t foreign players want to sign here? We have had a rash of foreign players pull out after visiting, and it can’t help that the stadium is in Chester. My buddy and I were talking about it on the way to the stadium, and it makes sense that after Philadlephia came into the league, there has been an obvious push to get stadiums built in the city limits (See Minneapolis, NYCFC, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami as the most recent examples), why did this policy change after Philly entered? You can argue that SLC is not in town, but I think the demographics and Light rail they have there into Sandy is ideal (If you haven’t been, great venue for USMNT and I recommend). But Sporting KC opened their downtown stadium with I believe an entertainment complex nearby (SMART) and have thoroughly kicked ass since, even though I despise them as a franchise.
    Now back to the Union… we have some Real Estate guys, city government types and politicians pushing to get the Stadium in Chester for dirt cheap money. Granted the stadium is nice, but I am firmly in the camp that the Union missed a huge opportunity to have the stadium in the city limits. Getting 18.5K fans there is nice, but oh what could have been if it was in the Philly were people could take mass transit or park on lots that would probably be paved…if it was in the sports complex. Can you imagine getting someone to see Philly and live downtown like the Phillies and Flyers guys do, because if you haven’t noticed, Philly is unbelievably hot right now to live in. But then we have our little 15 mile commute to….Chester. Can’t be winning potential hearts and minds with that stadium and that town (sorry- It’s an absolute shit hole).
    And talk about a cluster fuck…going on 6 years and they have YET to pave lot A??? That was a mud pit on Saturday, and people were grumbling about it. Nothing is cheaper than this assholes who are in charge who have yet to pave off a parking lot for the fans (who’s misguided, Sak of Shits?)
    So once again, boys and girls, we have owners who do not want to shell out money for the team, for the fans… they are only concerned with themselves and putting butts in the seats. So hit them were it hurts and don’t renew you Season Tickets. The fact that we brought Fred, Wegner and Williams off the bench shows how paper thin this team is, and this cheap ownership group WILL NOT SPEND. They don’t fucking care. Why should we?
    Final piece: Who is with me to protest Sak at the game? He needs to hear what an absolute SHIT HEAD he is. Get the fuck out of town, Nick.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      In short… yeah we’re amazingly screwed until this club is sold. Amazingly…

    • Last year’s MLS final involved the LA Galaxy and the New England Revolution, with the Galaxy winning their third championship in the last four years. Neither of those teams has a home stadium anywhere near the center of a major city (LA or Boston). Why, then, do some people keep suggesting that the Union have no hope for success playing in Chester instead of Philly?

      Of all the issues holding back the Union right now, the location of PPL Park is far, far, far down the list.

  7. TJunior1014 says:

    This is unbelievable.
    Sak on signing M’Bolhi: “I think Jim and Chris made a very good decision on that.”
    Way to throw those guys under the bus for your mistake, Sak.

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