Daily news roundups

Off to Toronto, Union U16s fall in Development Academy semis, US readies for Cuba, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

The Union are on the road Saturday to face Toronto FC (4 pm: CSN, MLS Live, Direct Kick). Our preview will be up later this morning. In the meanwhile, checkout our quick reference to get up to speed on the Union’s history with Toronto and listen to the latest KYW Philly Soccer Show for a preview from Greg Orlandini and Kevin Kinkead of the game, and see these previews from Philadelphia Union, Brotherly Game, Toronto FC, Waking the Red, and The Guardian.

Will Fernando Aristeguieta be available for selection on Saturday? The Union’s Behind the Crest blog reports on Wednesday, he, along with Eric Bird, “were back in full action…participating in contact drills for the first time in a few weeks.”

Toronto’s Giovinco, is loving life. Or, as Jim Curtin put it,

He’s the best attacking player in our league right now. A lot of their play goes through him. He’s a guy that can beat you a lot of ways. He’s not just good on the dribble, he can shoot from distance so you have to be honest and respect the fact that he can hit a ball from 35-40 yards out. If you step to him too close, that’s when he has the quickness and speed to go by you. He can also make a final pass, so he’s kind of a triple threat in a lot of ways

As Behind the Crest notes, “Without Edu, there’s a good chance Ethan White will be back in the starting lineup to pair with Richie Marquez in the back.” Marquez made his MLS debut against Toronto when the team defeated the Union 1-0 at PPL Park in May. Marquez says, “I definitely feel a lot more confident now.”

He may be suspended because of yellow card accumulation from Saturday’s game, but at Union Tally, Matthew De George talks to Jim Curtin about why he believes Edu’s been the Union’s best, most consistent player this season.

At the Behind the Crest, a look at how the Union’s record when Cristian Maidana and Vincent Nogueira combine for at least 120 minutes of play in a game the team’s record is 5-3-3, but drops as low as 0-6-0 when the pair combine for 90 or less minutes.

Philly Sports Network considers the Union’s slim options at forward in next Tuesday’s US Open Cup quarterfinal against NYRB.

Union Academy

The Philadelphia Union Academy U-16s were defeated 3-0 by FC Dallas U-16s in the semifinals of the US Soccer Development Academy playoffs on Thursday. The team will now face Georgia United on Saturday at 1 pm ET in the third place game. This year’s final will feature Dallas against New York Red Bulls U-16s and will take place on Saturday at 8 pm ET.

Local

West Chester United takes on Chula Vista today in the semifinals of the USASA Werner Fricker Open Cup at 4 pm. Follow @Michael_Fricker for updated from the game.

After defeating them 2-0 last weekend, Harrisburg City Islanders host New York Red Bulls II on Saturday. Kickoff is at 7 pm (YouTube).

The 2015 PDL season concludes this weekend, On Saturday, Reading United hosts Lehigh Valley United Sonic with a 7 pm kickoff. Reading needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. On Sunday at 7 pm, Ocean City Nor’easters hosts Jersey Express and also need a win and other results to go their way to reach the postseason.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta has a good read on Downingtown’s Zack Steffen.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Kelly Smith, formerly captain of the England WNT and currently a soccer analyst at Fox, about her fond memories of playing forPhiladelphia Charge for three years in the WUSA. “They were some of the best days of my life, that first professional league. The crowds were amazing, the whole town kind of took to the Philadelphia Charge. We just loved playing in front of such passionate fans, and I’m surprised that they don’t have a team, because it’s such a good sporting city and I feel that they need one.” Truth.

The Penn Men’s team have announced three captains for the upcoming season, Alec Neumann, Matt Poplawski and James Rushton.

The Drexel men’s team have announced their 2015 schedule.

MLS

On Thursday afternoon, the MLS Players Union announced its members had voted to ratify the collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated just before the start of the 2015 season. Apparently, 91 percent of membership voted in favor of the CBA, which is a whole lot more than might have been expected given reports of player dissatisfaction with the deal when was first announced. More at UPI and the AP.

SI reports Clint Dempsey’s youth club, Dallas Texans SC,  is one of ten youth clubs that have joined the petition to FIFA brought by DeAndre Yedlin’s youth club, Cross Fire Elite, seeking permission to sue MLS and US Soccer for the solidarity payments and/or training compensation owed to them according to FIFA regulations. Describing the “overwhelmingly positive response” Crossfire has received from other US clubs, Crossfire lawyer Lance Reich said, “Many clubs are joining us, and soon, we intend to have a public list of all clubs in our class, both U.S. Development Academy clubs and not, so that no individual club will fear to be singled out.”

At SI, Grant Wahl reports, “The Portland Timbers have acquired 22-year-old Argentine forward Lucas Melano from Lanús for a $5 million transfer fee, a source with knowledge of the deal told SI.com on Thursday. Melano has signed a guaranteed four-year contract (with an option year) that will pay him around $1 million per year, and the Timbers will cover the entirety of the transfer fee.” Wahl adds, “Portland is using MLS’s new targeted allocation money to pay down the salary budget value of Fanendo Adi, who will no longer count as a Designated Player.”

DC United have acquired Costa Rican national team forward Alvaro Saborio from Real Salt Lake in exchange for Luis Silva.

FC Dallas have acquired former Union defender Bakary Soumare from Montreal Impact in exchange for Canadian international and midfielder Kyle Bekker.

Erick “Cubo” Torres has arrived in Houston and will begin training with the team today.

Orlando City’s Brek Shea has undergone surgery to repair a sports hernia. An announcement on the club website says he “expected to return this season.”

David Beckham’s business partner, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, will be meeting with Miami officials via video conference today to discuss building a soccer stadium there for the long proposed and little progressed MLS franchise there.

US

The US faces Cuba in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup on Saturday at 5 pm (Fox , Univision, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, Univision Deportes En Vivo). Soccer America has a scouting report.

Speaking to the converted, Goal.com says the US must improve if it is to win the tournament. SI reviews the tactical issues the US (and Mexico) have had in the tournament: “Mexico’s biggest problem was the chaos created by Herrera’s experimentation, and the U.S. also suffered from a lack of familiarity. Rather than being confused by the system, though, the Americans often looked as if their collective design simply hadn’t been properly choreographed despite playing similar formations as in the past…Herrera and Klinsmann’s experimentation magnified the chaos of playing teams with less skill that will kick and scratch to keep the U.S. and Mexico from getting into the attacking third.”

Good read at MLSsoccer.com from Tim Froh on the USMNT’s improbable Gold Cup championship in the tournament’s first edition in 1991. The video of Peter Vermes’ goal against Mexico is sick!

Elsewhere

At ASN, Interesting analysis of why Sunil Gulati did not testify at Wednesday’s US Senate subcommittee hearing on FIFA corruption:

Gulati could not have been charged with perjury on the basis of his testimony, since the witnesses did not testify under oath. He could, however, have been charged with making false statements, a close cousin to perjury for statements made to government officials, should he have been caught in a lie about his role in the unfolding corruption.

Moreover, the nature of the indictment and Gulati’s position in FIFA makes it possible that he will be ensnared even if he did not directly commit any illegal act. If the Justice Department were able to establish that FIFA was a RICO conspiracy, all members of the FIFA executive committee could potentially be liable as co-conspirators under the theory that they agreed to pursue what was classified as a criminal endeavor.

Reuters reports former Traffic Sports USA head Aaron Davidson, one of 14 officials indicted as part of the US investigation into corruption at FIFA, “has since his arrest in May been ‘actively engaged in plea negotiations.'”

The Daily News quotes Swiss officials on the extradition of Jeffrey Webb to the US on Thursday, “He was handed over to a three-man U.S. police escort in Zurich who accompanied him on the flight to New York.”

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald reports on FIFPro opening up membership to women.

Germany’s Celia Sasic, the Golden Boot winner who will be remembered in this country as the person who missed the penalty kick in the Women’s World Cup semifinal against the US, has announced her retirement. Speculation that she would retire began in May ” when she ended her contract with FFC Frankfurt in May before the Champions League final.”

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

7 Comments

  1. Unrelated to the article but I saw this today and it made me think about the Chester vs Sak/Union earlier this year over the promise to “transform” the waterfront.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1124&v=xcwJt4bcnXs

    • LOL, glad I wasn’t the only one thinking the same thing when I watched that episode on Monday. You could easily say the same about Red Bull and Harrison as well.

  2. I see the player salary info has been released. Just a quick glance, but can’t believe Vittoria making $400k- ugh. But on the plus side Mbohli “only” making $350k not the widely reported $500k- so we got that going for us. Also a little surprised Fred making the same league minimum as the young guys. Would have thought there was a veteran’s minimum a little higher for guys like Fred.

    • John Ling says:

      Yeah, that was surprising but I think it’s actually good news for the Union. If Vitoria’s loan really was only for a half-season, it’s time to thank him for his service and cut our losses there. We can use his 400k and international roster slot for one of the trialists they’ve been eyeing.
      .
      Obviously, I’d prefer to get rid of the completely dead weight brought on by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but Vitoria seems to offer another route the team can investigate.

      • I hadn’t heard that Vittoria was potentially a half season loan. Heard it about Aristigueta. If true, yes, letting him go would make financial sense. But you’d only have 3 CBs on the roster then. So it might not make roster sense.

  3. * from philly.com article
    .
    Edu is earning $768,750
    .
    Union goalie Rais Mbolhi compensation for this year is $350,000.
    .
    Steven Vitoria ($400,000), Fernando Aristeguieta ($350,004), Vincent Nogueira ($330,000), Sebastien Le Toux ($285,228.13), and Andrew Wenger ($282,000).
    .
    Cristian Maidana is earning $217,250

  4. Heard from someone at the PHILA.-DALLAS semifinal that Phila. hardly played soccer, mostly kick and run long ball and was no competition for Dallas.

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