Daily news roundups

US faces Germany in WWC semi, Union faces DC in USOC, that Sakiewicz interview, more

USA v Germany

Tonight at 7 pm, No. 2 ranked USA will face No. 1 ranked Germany in the Women’s World Cup semifinals (Fox, NBC Universo Now, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra).

It promises to be a classic.

Previews at US Soccer (preview, scouting reportFox Sports, CBS Sports, ESPNW, ESPNWPhilly.comThe Washington Post, LA TimesNew York Post, New York Daily NewsThe GuardianMLSsoccer.com, SISoccer America, Goal.comProSoccerTalkVoice of America, Reuters,

There’s been a lot of discussion on how the two team’s goalkeepers will be a key component of the semifinal. For example, see the New York Times, ESPNW, and the AP.

In related news, SI reports that US Soccer “paid to have two of its goalkeepers coaches travel to Seattle and train Hope Solo” during her 30-day suspension earlier this year.

ASN wonders who is really in charge of the USWNT, Jill Ellis or Abby Wambach.

Playing the tournament on turf, the ridiculous seeding of the brackets, these are two things that wouldn’t happen in a men’s world Cup. Now comes word that opposing teams have been required to share hotels throughout the tournament. Stay classy, FIFA. Reports at AFP, New York Times, Washington Post, and Deadspin.

Philadelphia Union

US Open Cup

In his press conference on Monday ahead of tonight’s US Open Cup match against DC United (transcript here at PSP), Jim Curtin stressed that, even if DC puts out a second team (the team flies to Seattle for a game on Friday after tonight’s game), they are still a dangerous opponent. “Regardless of who they put out, they have a deep team, they have a winning team, and they have a mentality right now that they can beat anybody. Confidence goes a long way in this game and they’re going to be a confident team.”

Curtin acknowledged that when teams are coming up on a break like the Union are, “there’s a tendency to be a letdown.” He explained, “I’ve seen that with teams down in that final game leading into a break. So, we’re aware of that, we don’t want to let that happen.” He added, “We’re not a team that’s going to throw out a second group in the Open Cup, as well, we’re going to play to win. It’s a competition I take very seriously, that this club takes very seriously, so we’ll have to be ready for a tough team coming in.”

Curtin also discussed the choice he needs to make in terms of who will start in goal, John McCarthy or Andre Blake, with much of his comments focused on Blake, who will soon be leaving the team to join Jamaica for the Gold Cup. At Delco Times, Matthew De George makes clear he believes Blake should be the choice for tonight.

On the injury front, Curtin said Fernando Aristeguieta will not be available for tonight’s game as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. He did say Conor Casey, Michael Lahoud, and Sebastien Le Toux might be available off the bench.

The practice update from Monday at the Behind the Crest blog notes that Lahoud and Le Toux did not participate in “a game of transition possession” and instead worked on strength and conditioning. Cassey, however did participate with the rest of the team in the possession drills.

Previews for tonight’s game (7 pm, YouTube) at Philadelphia Union (print, video, scouting report), Philadelphia InquirerPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Philly Sports Network, DC United, CSN Washington, Black and Red United (possible DC lineup, scouting report), US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, and TheCup.us.

In related news at the Washington Post, Steven Goff looks at possible schedule conflicts ahead for MLS teams in the US Open Cup that have summer friendlies near or on the same days as the Open Cup quarterfinals. If those teams advance, should they have to forfeit or could the Open Cup games be rescheduled?

Sakiewicz

Nick Sakiewicz appeared on the Soccer Morning radio show on Monday (full transcript here at PSP) and quotes in which he referred to the May “We deserve better” protest as “ill-thought of” and “with all sorts of lack of information” saw an immediate angry reaction from fans who remain fed up with the Union CEO. Sakiewicz’s comments that the Rais Mbolhi deal was a good business transaction — and one which Jim Curtin and Chris Albright are solely responsible for — didn’t help matters.

There was some actual news in the interview, namely that the club has made a decision on Fernando Aristegueita. Sakiewicz said, “I’ll say that a decision has been made, but we just made it. So we are going to be announcing that shortly.” Stay tuned.

There’s much to think and say about the Sakiewicz interview, far too much for this roundup.

Do yourself a favor and read the epic Twitter rant Kevin Kinkead posted after he read the transcript of the interview, which was kindly Storified by Soccer Morning host Jason Davis. It’s an informed and concise expression of the discontent many Union fans continue to feel regarding the team’s direction, and its leadership under Nick Sakiewicz and Jay Sugarman. The sad thing is that there is nothing to suggest changes will be coming anytime soon.

More

CJ Sapong was named to the Team of the Week at MLSsoccer.com and ESPN.

Power ranking: At SBI, the Union are ranked at No. 18: “Great week for the Union, who will use these four points to help boost morale heading into a bye week.” At ProSoccerTalk, they move up one spot to No. 17: “Better than they’ve looked, can Maurice Edu possibly overcome their poor start to the season? A gauntlet is up ahead.” (Me thinks it will take more than Edu to overcome their poor start.) MLSGB has the Union at No. 18.

The Reporter on Eric Bird’s visit with Pennridge Youth Soccer Association.

Philly Sports Network has five free agents the Union should target. One is already taken, and the other four won’t happen.

World Soccer Talk has an update on former Union man Freddy Adu in Finland and it is pretty much what you’d expect:

Four months since signing with his eleventh club, KuPS, Adu is nearing the exit door. Although the club haven’t said his time is nearly up, their actions have spoken loudly.

Unfit and unable to even make the bench for KuPS, Adu has found himself in the team’s reserve squad. The club’s reserve team, Kuopio Futis-98 (KuFu), currently play in the fourth-tier of Finnish soccer and it is a place Adu is expected to find some semblance of form in. Yet, that hasn’t exactly happened…

While Adu’s play for KuPS has been nothing to write home about, he did tally his first goal for KuFu a week ago. It was Adu’s first goal since September 2012 while playing for the Philadelphia Union. And since arriving, Adu has shown very little of what made him so sought after a few years ago.

MLS

LA Galaxy have announced that Steven Gerrard will be introduced to fans at halftime during Saturday’s match against Toronto. Gerrard will begin training with the club on July 7

Seattle Sounders have signed Swedish midfielder Erik Friberg, who played for the club in 2011 before returning to Europe. He will officially become part of the roster after the opening of the transfer window on July 8.

Vice Sports reports that DeAndre Yedlin’s youth club, Crossfire Premier, has petitioned FIFA for solidarity fees, otherwise known as development subsidies. The report notes no US club team has ever filed such a petition, explaining, “U.S. Soccer guidelines prohibit youth clubs from collecting these fees—which are meant to reward youth clubs for helping develop players—despite the fact that FIFA mandates that these payments be made by professional teams. MLS abides by these U.S. Soccer guidelines and does not pay out any fees to youth teams that it receives in the transfer of MLS players, such as Yedlin.” According to documents in the petition, Crossfire alleges that MLS collected the fees but kept them to itself. More on what could develop into a very big story at SI.

Union Hulk, I need you to sit down. It pains me to say this, but, sniff, it looks like MLS transfer rumor generator Ronaldinho has, sniff, joined Antalyaspor, some newly promoted club in Turkey, where he’ll be reunited with former Barcelona teammate Samuel Eto’o. I know, Union Hulk, I know, it’s OK to cry…oh, the humanity! If it’s even a small consolation, the club president says the team will soon be announcing another big signing — perhaps it will be Rais Mbolhi.

Billionaire Glen Taylor, part of the Minnesota United ownership group, says the team will likely ask for an extension of the July 1 deadline by which they are supposed to have a stadium deal in place in order to join MLS. The team is looking for tax subsidies from the state, without which Taylor says the team will be too costly to sustain. “We know that getting started is going to be costly. In the long run we’ve got to have some way to make this thing so it’s at least break even.” Billionaire.

Has San Antonio lost momentum in the MLS franchise race?

The New York Times and Fusion on what’s in a name.

US

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff reports the USMNT will play a friendly against Peru at RFK Stadium on Sept. 4. Another September friendly will also be announced, although Goff has no details on that match.

Vice Sports looks at the hiring of “a tiny Belgian firm called Double Pass,” the firm that is credited with helping the current “Golden Generation” of Belgian and German players (not to mention also working with clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Dortmund, and Bayern Munich), to work on the US Soccer Development Academy system.

Elsewhere

The Press Association on the lawyer Jack Warner has hired the lawyer, and the lawyers many unsavory clients, to represent him as he fights extradition to the US.

Reuters reports, “UEFA has softened its break-even ‘Financial Fair Play (FFP)’ regulations in an attempt to encourage investment in European club soccer and move from “austerity to sustainable growth”.

Cool photo gallery at the Guardian on “calcio Storico,” the violent football form that appeared in the 16th century and has roots in the ancient Roman game of harpastum that was revived by Fascist Italy in the 1930s and now continues to be played as a tourist spectacle in Florence.

15 Comments

  1. Do we have enough for official business today? Nine amongst us for a quorum?
    .
    Yes?

    .
    Let’s vote then.
    .
    Advancement tonight for the women?
    .
    I go … No.
    .

  2. I just read k. Kinkead’s Twitter. I was on the west coast as the U formed so I don’t know a lot. So why would MLS let a majority owner like Jay Suga take in a market like Philly? K.K says sugarman just wanted to buy a pro team….now what pro team does not require investment?

    • One prevailing theory is that the MLS is being propped up by expansion fees and the Union were the last of the Pre Portland/Seattle MLS clubs that showed the way to bigger expansion.
      So there was less due diligence for a league that had lesser expectations when the Union came in.

    • I think the whole job was rushed. MLS wanted into the 4th largest media market. The SOBs were already formed. Sak wanted another team to run into the ground.
      .
      Demand forced product – but not the best product.
      .
      In a way we have to blame ourselves a bit, calling so hard for a team we forgot to mention we’d like them to be successful?

      • Thanks for the insight guys. If being successful was too easy we prob wouldn’t appreciate it enough, It just wouldn’t really be “philly” if the U were great from the start. I have the patience and fortitude to survive this, but what about casual fans? I don’t know if the U has any of those…

  3. Some of those calcio Storico pictures look like an MLS match.

  4. The game tonight is free for STH, right?

  5. Mr. Kinkead, that rant was utterly fantastic. Well done sir. Keep it up.
    .
    There better be a serious display from the SOBs on July 11.

    • Dr. Union says:

      Start now, why not tonight?

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Agreed, but I just figured the July 11 game would be a larger crowd. Especially with the possibility of the weather later.

      • Dr. Union says:

        True however I’m suggesting protests at every event game everything regarding the Union period then maybe Sak will get it through his thick head that they need to sell.

  6. I wanna have Kevin Kinkead’s baby after reading that stupendous, on-point Twitter rant. And I’m a straight guy.

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