Daily news roundups

US readies for WWC final, Union stadium name game, USMNT takes on Guatemala, more

All of us at PSP wish you a happy, and safe, Fourth of July weekend. May it conclude with the US lifting the Women’s World Cup trophy.

World Cup final: USA vs Japan

On Sunday, the US will look to avenge their 2011 Women’s World Cup final loss when they face reigning champions Japan in this edition’s final in Vancouver (7 pm: Fox, Telemundo, Fox Soccer 2Go, NBC Deportes En Vivo, SiriusXM FC). At Philly.com, a list of ten local bars to watch Sunday’s final. SteelStacks in Bethlehem will also be having a viewing party.

The loss to Japan in 2011 is understandably a prime motivator for the US team. Abby Wambach explained,

As a competitor you know in your heart that all the good stuff, none of it counted. How well we had played, how we had fought back from the brink of defeat in the quarterfinal, all the excitement. We lost. We didn’t finish the job. We weren’t champions…I want us to remember what happened last time and use it as motivation. I want the players who weren’t there to know that it’s no fun coming out of a final having lost. And I want us to think about what we could have done, those tiny little extra bits of effort that might have made a difference.

At the FIFA website, a Q&A with Wambach.

Delran’s Carli Lloyd said of losing the final in 2011, “It hurts to think about it and talk about it. But it is what makes you stronger. It is tough, but it builds character. Now there is nothing I want more than the chance to put it right.”

6abc talks to Lloyd, whose confidence ahead of Sunday’s final is palpable even before she says she’s confident: “Japan’s a great team. They’ve done really, really well this tournament. They move the ball well. They’re a great overall team, but I think that we’ve got so much momentum and we’ve had this momentum prior to the China game. And I think we’re peaking at the right moment, and I really feel confident in our team to win this thing.”

Goal.com on the US team peaking at just the right time. Yahoo Sports on head coach Jill Ellis’ evolution through the tournament. Keys to a US victory at Wall Street Journal, SI phones in three thoughts on Sunday’s game.

Lloyd, Julie Johnston, and Megan Rapinoe have been shortlisted for the tournament’s Golden Ball award. Hope Solo has been shortlisted for the Golden Glove award.

The Penn State Athletics site notes two alums are on the US team, Ali Krieger and Alyssa Naeher.

At Soccer America, Paul Kennedy writes that, while it would be wonderful if Sunday’s final does break the all-time US viewing record for a soccer broadcast, which is very likely to happen, what is more important is growing the base of support for the women’s game in this country.

As of Thursday, some 23,000 tickets had been sold for the USWNT’s post World Cup friendly at Pittsburgh’s Heinz field against Costa Rica on Aug. 16.

Philadelphia Union

The Allentown Morning Call reports PPL Park’s new name will be Talen Energy Park. The report says, “Though some Talen signs are already being put into place, the 18,500-seat park will remain PPL Park until after the current season. It will open the 2016 season as Talen Energy Park.” And I liked Talen Green so much.

But wait, perhaps it won’t be Talen Energy Park after all. At the Delco Times, Matthew De George reports,

Talen announced this week that they are exploring options to rename the Chester stadium. But the Union, through CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, told the Daily Times Thursday that the parties’ naming-rights deal includes a carve-out for the Union that went into effect four years into the deal signed in 2010, allowing the Union to pursue a new naming rights sponsor.

A spokesman for Talen Energy confirmed the opt-out and indicated that the company is working with that possibility in mind…

[The] original sponsorship deal, which transfers intact to Talen, is for 10 years and over $25 million.

Built into that is a clause that Sakiewicz helped negotiate that allows the Union to opt out after four years, a term that elapsed prior to the 2014 MLS season. The rationale was that the Union were brokering that deal during the depths of a recession that hampered other aspects of the team’s launch, illustrating to Sakiewicz and others in the ownership group the need for flexibility for a sunnier financial day.

“We can remarket it,” Sakiewicz said. “We’re out there talking to some people about the naming of the building.”

Sakiewicz stated that the opt-out clause is only for the Union and that Talen does not possess a similar clause, locking them into the full 10-year term. A Talen spokesman could not confirm those details as of press time.

Good on Sakiewicz for negotiating the “carve out” option for the Union, though it’s a shame ownership hasn’t invested more into the on-field product to make buying the naming rights to the stadium a more attractive proposition to potential new sponsors. Nevertheless, this stadium name thing could get fun.

The Union figure in two of Soccer America’s Best of June awards, but not in the way one would hope. The equalizer from NYCFCs Thomas McNamara in their 2-1 win over the Union was named best goal of the month, and the sequence between Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, which ended as the third goal in LA’s 5-1 rout of the Union, was named best pass and finish.

Brotherly Game also reviews the month of June. The Inquirer has a midseason review of the 2015 Union.

Brotherly Game talks to Union fan Jason Sutch, who started a GoFundMe campaign on June 30 to raise $400 million in order to buy the club from Jay Sugarman and the rest of the ownership group. As of this writing, the campaign has $399,999,880 to go.

Local

Heading down the shore holiday weekend? Why not watch PDL derby between Ocean City Nor’easters and Reading United at Ocean City’s Carey Stadium? Kickoff is at 7 pm and WFMZ has a preview. The PDL derby theme continues on Sunday when Ocean City hosts Lehigh Valley United on Sunday with another 7 pm kickoff.

Harrisburg City Islanders host Wilmington Hammerheads on July 4 at 7 pm. There will be fireworks!

The NSCAA boys and girls High School Scholar All-American teams have been announced. Area players named the boys’ team include David Howarth (M, Moorestown Friends School), Derek MacKinnon (F, Washington Township High School), and Louis Vilotti  (M, Washington Township High School).

Named to the girls’ team are Alana Cook, (D, The Pennington School), who was also named Scholar All-America Player of the Year, Lauren Brown (M, The Pennington School), Amanda Dafonte (F, The Pennington School), Allison Vickers (M, The Pennington School), and Cecilia Knaub (M, Phoenixville Area High School).

MLS

A league source tells Yahoo Sports the recently reported “Core Player” spot “is really just a new mechanism to implement allocation money from its new collective bargaining agreement and free up a Designated Player spot…the new mechanism isn’t a fourth Designated Player slot as some had speculated.”

New York Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall is out 3-4 months after successfully undergoing surgery for a broken right tibia suffered in NYRB 4-1 win over New York Cosmos in Wednesday’s US Open Cup Round of 16.

Sounders boss Sigi Schmid has apologized for his comments about the referee in Seattle’s 3-1 loss to Portland in the US Open Cup, when he said, “I didn’t want to get thrown out, so I just walked away from the bench because I was maybe going to choke a referee.” Schmid, whose father was a referee, said on Wednesday, “In 40 years of coaching I’ve never touched a referee, nor would I ever do that. But I want to make sure that young coaches out there who heard that statement understand that that’s not the right thing to say.” Second place in the Western Conference Seattle host first place in the Eastern Conference, and the league, DC United tonight at 11 pm (UniMás, Univision Deportes, Univision Deportes En Vivo, SiriusXM FC).

With the Minnesota United stadium plans in Minneapolis going nowhere, and the July 1 deadline to have a plan in place now passed, more on the league’s decision to meet with St. Paul city officials. Is the decision simply leverage to get Minneapolis officials on board for the original plan?

US

The USMNT hosts Guatemala tonight in their final game before the start of group play in the Gold Cup next week. The US is undefeated in its last 20 games against Guatemala. Kickoff for tonight’s game is at 7 pm (Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deports, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, Univision Deportes En Vivo). The US begins play in the Gold Cup on Tuesday at 9:30 pm (Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deports, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, SiriusXM FC).

Previews for tonight’s game at at US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, SI, Soccer AmericaGoal.com (preview, commentary), and ProSoccerTalk.

Greg Garza has officially been added to the US roster for the Gold Cup.

Elsewhere

UEFA has lifted the limits on transfer spending and Champions League squad size it had placed on Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in May, 2014 for violating Financial Fair Play rules. UEFA said in a statement, “The lifting of restrictions is subject to ongoing additional controls and audits.”

Breaking news from the FIFA website:

The top ten characters Russians would most like to see as the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ are, in Russian alphabetical order, an Amur Tiger, Bogatyr (a legendary medieval Russian figure), a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, a cosmonaut, a cat, a bear and a robot. This is the outcome of preferences of the 51,000 participants who took part in an online survey between 1 and 31 May 2015.

Alien.

Checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for the upcoming week’s listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio.

3 Comments

  1. “A league source tells Yahoo Sports the recently reported “Core Player” spot “is really just a new mechanism to implement allocation money from its new collective bargaining agreement and free up a Designated Player spot…the new mechanism isn’t a fourth Designated Player slot as some had speculated.””

    That is some next level rationalization and contempt for the intelligence of your fanbase.

  2. My guess for next year’s stadium name: Bimbo Park.

  3. Please not “Bimbo Park,” Sak! I’m tired of being the laughingstock of the league for our play; let’s not be the laughingstock of the league for our stadium name too.

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