Daily news roundups

Losses in Toronto, salary info, USMNT tops Cuba, FIFA election date set, more

Photo: Courtesy of Toronto FC

Philadelphia Union

So, the Union went to Toronto and lost on Saturday, 2-1. Fair enough, right? Giovinco and all that.

But perhaps more importantly in terms of Tuesday’s US Open Cup quarterfinal at Red Bull Arena, Andrew Wenger was subbed out with what Jim Curtin referred to as a mild concussion, and Richie Marquez was subbed out after rolling his ankle. With CJ Sapong suspended for the game after receiving an utterly ridiculous red card, that means the team will be without three regular starters for what is their most important match of the year, this year riddled with injuries and stupid suspensions. Curtin said after Saturday’s loss, “We lost more than a game today, I think we lost some good players, some guys. But that’s why we have the next-man-up mentality.” Who will step up, who will man-up? We’ll know soon enough.

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philly.com, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Philly Sports Network, MLSsoccer.com (recap, report), Toronto FC, Toronto SunThe Canadian Press, Waking the Red, SBIGoal.com, ProSoccerTalk, All Sports News, MLS Multiplex, Vavel, The Sports Network, and the AP.

Curtin said he subbed Cristian Maidana out “because he gets kicked in the foot early and didn’t look like himself the rest of the time out.” At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle puts it differently, and explains on how Toronto’s Marco Delgado marked Maidana out of the game: “Maidana is a talent, but he’s a one dimensional one, and by having Delgado nipping at his heels all day TFC took that dimension away.”

Our thoughts were with you, CJ.

Player salary info released

The MLS Players Union released the latest salary information for the league on Friday. At $5,578,401.13, the Union have the tenth largest salary in the league, more than first place DC (16th at $4,349,763.83) and third place NYRB (20th at $3,884,228.39). It is worth noting four of the Union’s five biggest salary numbers — Carlos Valdes ($400,000; on loan), Steven Vitoria ($400,000; 9 appearances, 810 minutes), Fernando Aristeguieta ($350,000; 11 appearances, 856 minutes), and Rais Mbolhi ($350,000; 5 appearances, 450 minutes) have a combined total of 2116 minutes of game time between them this season. Put another way, their combined $1.5 million in salary accounts for 27 percent of the Union’s player budget. (Loaned players — Austin Berry, Danny Cruz, Leo Fernandes, and Valdes — account for $700,186, or 12.5 percent of the budget. Zac MacMath’s $130,000 is being paid for by Colorado). So, it seems the Union, while squarely in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, is also clearly not getting good value from many of its biggest salary outlays.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George has a good analysis of Saturday’s loss through the lens of the gulf of spending between the Union and Toronto, whose total budget tops the league at $22,774,566.74. At Union Tally, De George has an extensive breakdown of the Union’s numbers. More at the Inquirer.

Congratulations to the Union’s video department, which won Best Overall Video Display in Soccer at the Information Display and Entertainment Association conference in Seattle, “an annual gathering that recognizes superior achievement in the large screen and matrix display industry.” This marks the first win at the conference for a Philadelphia team since 2007, when the Flyers won Best Special Occasion Video.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy U-16s were defeated 3-0 by FC Dallas U-16s in the US Soccer Development Academy semifinals on Thursday but bounced back to claim third place with a 2-0 win over Georgia United on Saturday. Tiger Graham opened the scoring with a goal in the 40th minute with Anthony Fontana adding another tally in the 80th minute. Dallas went on to thump New York Red Bulls U-16s 4-0 to win the national championship, recording a remarkable 13 goals scored with none allowed from the quarterfinals through to the final.


CSN Philly talks to Women’s World Cup hero, and Delran’s own, Carli Lloyd. Burlington County Times talks to Lloyd’s personal trainer, James Galanis.

A week ago Sunday, Harrisburg City Islanders defeated New York Red Bulls II 2-0 on the road. On Saturday, ten-men Harrisburg fell 2-0 at home to NYRB II. Recaps at Harrisburg City Islanders, Penn Live, USLNew York Red Bulls, Once a Metro, and Empire of Soccer.

In their last home game of the season, Reading United went down 1-0 to Lehigh Valley Sonic in the ninth minute only to explode with seven unanswered goals for a 7-1 victory with Paul Marie recording a second half hat-trick and Bradley Fountain a brace. Recap at Reading United.

In order to be assured of a playoff spot, Reading needed Ocean City Nor’easters to defeat Jersey Express in their final home game of the season but it was not to be, with Ocean City finishing with a 1-1 draw.

Reading tweeted after the Ocean City draw the result meant they would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Drexel women’s team has announced its 2015 schedule.

National Soccer Hall of Famer Benny McLaughlin was pothumously inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame last Thursday. What took them so long?


In Eastern Conference play, first place DC (35 points) was defeated 2-1 on the road by Dallas. Second place Columbus (30 points) defeated last place, and ten-men, Chicago (18 points), 3-1, their second win over the Fire in five days. Third place NYRB (29 points) were 2-0 winners over sixth place Orlando (24 points), who finished the game with ten men for the third straight game. Fourth place Toronto (27 points) defeated sixth place Philadelphia (22 points), 2-1. Fifth place New England (27 points) defeated ninth place NYCFC (21 points), 1-0, ending a five-game losing streak. Eighth place Montreal (21 points) lost 2-1 on the road to Kansas City.

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (35 points) defeated DC, 2-1. Second place LA (34 points) defeated eighth place San Jose (25 points) 5-2, coming from behind a two-goal deficit with Robbie Keane scoring a hat trick, and Steven “I feel like a kid again” Gerrard a goal and an assist in his MLS debut. Third place Vancouver (33 points) drew 1-1 with sixth place Portland (32 points). Fourth place Kansas City (33 points) defeated Montreal, 2-1. Fifth place Seattle (32 points) lost 1-0 at home to last place Colorado (24 points). Seventh place Salt Lake (26 points) defeated ninth place Houston (24 points), 2-0.

San Jose have signed US youth international Marc Pelosi.

Didier Drogba to Chicago? Maybe Inter.

David Beckham’s MLS Miami ownership group has reached a tentative agreement to build a privately-funded stadium next to Marlin’s Park. More from Miami Herald (report, opinion), Local10.com, DeadspinEFE, Reuters, and The Guardian.

It looks like St. Paul city officials and other parties have been discussing the possibility of building a soccer stadium for at least two years. More at MPR.

Good for you, Drew Moor, good for you.


A Clint Dempsey hat trick powered the US to a 6-0 win over Cuba in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Saturday. The team next faces Jamaica in the semifinals on Wednesday (6 pm: Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go, Univision Deportes En Vivo).

Recaps and reports from PSP, US Soccer, CONCACAF, Fox Sports, ESPNSICBS Sports, Washington Post, New York TimesNew York Daily News, New York Post, USA Today, ASN (report, analysis), MLSsoccer.comYahoo Sports, SBIGoal.com, ProSoccerTalk, Sporting NewsAmerican Soccer Analysis, Brotherly GameReuters, and the AP. Postgame quote sheet at US Soccer.

Goal.com has five takeaways, Fox Sports has five points, ASN has five thoughts. CBS Sports and Soccer America have three takeaways, ESPN and SI have three quick thoughts.

Player ratings at New York Times, ESPNCBS Sports, Soccer AmericaASNMLSsoccer.com, Goal.com, and World Soccer Talk.

With the World Cup championship secure, Alex Morgan underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on Friday. She we be out from playing with Portland Thorns for three to four weeks but could be available for the start of the team’s ten-game victory tour, which begins Aug. 16 in Pittsburgh.

Sydney Leroux will have surgery on her right ankle early this week and will be out three months.

The AP reports, “A federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Soccer Federation and other organizations had not done enough to reduce the risk of injury from concussions and repetitive ‘heading’ of balls.” More on the news from Reuters.

At Yahoo Sports, more on how the petition to FIFA, led by Crossfire Premier, DeAndre Yedlin’s former youth club, to sue US Soccer and MLS to secure solidarity payments could have far-reaching consequences.


FIFA has announced the extraordinary congress that will vote to elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter will take place Feb. 26, 2016. With the announcement come reports that four of the world’s six soccer confederations — CONCACAF, UEFA, CONMEBOL, and AFC — have backed Michel Platini to run for the FIFA presidency. Reports at The Guardian, BBC, Sky SportsPress Association, and the AP.

FIFA also has announced its support of “a range of important reforms to be submitted for decision to the upcoming extraordinary Congress.” These include “enhanced centralized integrity checks for Executive Committee members, the introduction of term limits, higher standards of governance at all levels of football structures including confederations and member associations, as well as individual disclosure of compensation.”

Former CONCACAF president and FIFA executive committee member Jeffrey Webb pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering charges on Saturday. The AP reports, “Webb posted a $10 million bond at his arraignment in federal court. He surrendered three passports — two from the United Kingdom and one from the Cayman Islands — and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of his release.” More from New York Daily News and Reuters.

Reuters reports, “Two top sponsors of FIFA and its World Cup tournaments on Friday ratcheted up pressure on the global soccer body for major reforms as a corruption scandal casts a lengthening shadow over the sport. Coca-Cola Co and McDonald’s Corp both made it clear that they are deeply unhappy with the way FIFA is governed and want major change.”

The BBC reports Coca-Cola wants independent commission to oversee reform

The AP reports, “The president of the Brazilian football confederation will not attend FIFA’s upcoming executive committee meeting in Switzerland, where his predecessor was arrested on corruption charges less than two months ago.”

Reuters reports, “U.S. securities regulators are examining the behaviour of several companies with links to FIFA or other soccer bodies caught up in a major corruption scandal to see if there were possible violations of U.S. federal bribery laws, a person with knowledge of the matter said.”

Reuters reports, “The head of Bolivia’s soccer federation, Carlos Chavez, was arrested on Friday on charges of corruption in the management of finances, the Bolivian public prosecutors office said.” Chavez who is also the treasurer of CONMEBOL, “was arrested on suspicion of a scam in the case of a fund set up for the family of a fan who died at an international match in the central Bolivian city of Oruro in 2013… the fan’s family never received any money from that fund.” The secretary general of Bolivia’s FA was also arrested.

Vice Sports on the audio nightmare that is the soccer highlight video soundtrack.


  1. 400 K on Vitoria … WSSM.

    • Safe to say he will have to stay healthy and play lights out for the rest of the year for that option to buy being picked up.

      • It is what it is. Mbohli was bad management Vitoria was bad luck. I think no matter what Marquez played him out of town. Ethan White is a serviceable back up and so long as Edu is here I think the Union are more or less happy with what they have. Or at least not unhappy enough to pay his salary.

      • At least Valdes is/was a National team player … Vitoria wasn’t even getting playing time at Benfica before coming here. How can you commit that much salary to him?
        … our talent evaluaton is mind boggling.
        Knowing where we rank in total salary – 10th – we can’t say we are not spending enough. The problem is HOW we are spending it.

      • Well if he was a starter wouldn’t have been able to get him at all. Any transfer at the Unions budget will have a slightly larger margin of risk.

    • Don’t forget to add on the $50K plus that they had to pay Vancouver for his discovery rights!

  2. Also at the FIFA presser…this…


  3. The salary info here doesn’t really even matter all that much, and doesn’t include too many surprises beyond Vittoria being paid a little more than we thought. The biggest problem is the rest of the league moving forward as we stay still. If Edu was our 3rd DP at 800k, to a Klestjan and Wright-Phillips for example, no one would bat an eye at him making that much. This is an organization wide problem that we leave our team behind further and further until there is a change at the top.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    So do we have any idea who the backup keeper is tomorrow afternoon or is the strategy to pray that McCarthy doesn’t get hurt or red carded?

    • MLS pool keeper?
      Sly is cup tied, Blake at Gold Cup, Rais shunned. Unless they pull another few day loan type thing the only option is a pool keeper or position players (yikes).

      • Andy Muenz says:

        It’s not an MLS game, so I don’t know if a pool keeper would even be available.

      • I don’t think the competition matters. It is simply a roster number rule (28 max players on active roster).
        I found an article from back in 2011 that Chris Konopka was called in by the Crew for a friendly.
        Been trying to find something more recent but it is hard to search for considering most are called in to sit the bench.

      • MLS pool keeper Trey Mitchell tweeted last night that he is on a long flight. Likely he will be our backup.
        Union Rumors ‏@UnionRumors 10h10 hours ago
        Union Rumors retweeted Trey Mitchell
        If @mls pool goalie Trey Mitchell is making long flight, have to think it is to join @PhilaUnion for @usopencup game

    • Academy kid? I think it happened to the Red Bulls a few years back.

  5. Any idea why the Union didn’t seem to appeal Sapong’s red card?

    • curtin said that there isn’t really a clear mechanism to do that for the open cup because it is outside of league play and outside the authority of the disciplinary committee

  6. Have there been any rumors regarding any players coming in besides the Rodlfo’s (not happening apparently) and Dittborn’s of the world? I’ve actually been surprised that there is nothing going on. It looks like we’re just waiting to drop M’Bolhi and put Dittborn on at around his salary. I would take Dittborn at this point, but we need more.

  7. I am perfectly okay with the 10th highest payroll in MLS. That is good enough. .
    The problem?
    Vision. Philosophy. Plan
    Please hire some one capable of implementing this absolute necessity. Where is the GM, the Sporting Director we’ve been told we were going to have. .
    Otherwise it is just money spent chasing an idea of what is neccessary. The idea is important but only 1 piece.

    • I think for what we are as a team, standings, depth, etc., to be tenth is kind of embarrassing. If we were last or toward the bottom that would make sense. The fact that two teams like DC and NYRB are so successful and spend less than we do is a direct result of the disgrace that is our FO.

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Also, this is pretty interesting… especially for the The Elephant:


    • My dearly departed. Whatever it takes to get back on the field regularly.

    • Great One says:

      Was he possibly overvalued here?

      • If you are asking me no.
        If you are asking generally I’m sure some will say yes.
        Could be okugo doesn’t fit the emerging picture in Orlando- the guy is a rock solid defensive midfielder. Defensive.

      • Great One says:

        Oh I don’t think he was overvalued, I loved him, and is sorely missed this year. Just wondering if the outside perspective has changed.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Orlando has changed their approach as the season has gone on. At the beginning, Okugo was deployed as an out and out D mid, with Ceren patrolling in front of him in a more classic box to box role. Since then, I believe in his desire to keep defenders from draping themselves all over Kaka, Heath has moved to a set with two mids in Ceren and Higuita who push forward and try to get into the attack. Even missing one of those guys, he has gone to Eric Avila, Lewis Neal or his son, Harrison Heath, in lieu of using a natural D mid. Sucks for Okugo, but it has lead to some entertaining, breathless attacking play out of Orlando (as well as some similarly breathless scrambling defense to cover back when everyone has gone forward). Seems like a fundamental philosophy shift, thus making the move to offload Okugo make sense.

      • Well said Eli. .
        Agree. 100%.

      • I do miss him. He was a great player in the system the U were using. I think that he may have been under valued by the FO. To bad for both!

      • I’d say over valued. This is for Pachy, I never expected Okugo to be a goal scorer. I don’t think he does well what a DCM needs to do well. He doesn’t defend well. He doesn’t pass well. He doesn’t snuff out problems. I look at what Brian Carrol has done this year, and its all that Okugo doesn’t do.

  9. An American linesman seems to have been instrumental in that dubious Mexican penalty call. But how could they have 2 minutes of extra time after the extra time?! Would not be surprised if Panama beats Mexico on Wednesday.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Would be amusing to see Jamaica-Panama in the finals. (Would definitely make for an interesting day at PPL Park on Saturday for the 3rd place game.)

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