Daily news roundups

Union blow 2-goal lead to lose in DC, Barnetta, US disappoints again, more

Photo:Barb Colligon

Philadelphia Union

Loss to DC

Twenty seconds in to Sunday’s Union game at DC, and CJ Sapong had scored the fastest goal in Union history, and the seventh fastest in league history. By the fourth minute, the Union were leading, 2-0. At the final whistle, they were the 3-2 losers.

Jim Curtin said after the loss, “It was difficult. We obviously had a great start to the game – guys came out with energy. You knew, though, with the two early goals, knew D.C. was going to wake up and they’re a team of quality and get some chances. We didn’t do a good job of holding on but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. But at the same time, we come up a little short at critical moments in the box.”

Maurice Edu was more blunt: “We zoned out on too many plays.”

If the loss wasn’t bad enough, there’s this from Vincent Nogueira after the game: “I pulled my quad and feel pretty bad.”

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philadelphia Union, InquirerDaily News, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Sons of Penn, Philly Sports Network, MLSsoccer.com (Union, DC), DC United, Washington Post, CSN Washington, Black and Red United, The GuardianSBIProSoccerTalk, Prost AmerikaVavelAll Sports News, Sports Mole, The Sports Network, and the AP. USA Today has a photo gallery.


In Friday’s pre-DC game press conference, Jim Curtin said of Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta, who has been training with the team, “He’s making a big decision right now. You can see his quality in training, obviously, and on the world stage for Switzerland and at Schalke in big games. It doesn’t take a genius when you do a scouting report on him, the first game that pops up is against Real Madrid in the Champions League. He’s a quality player, a guy we’re obviously very interested in and we hope to wear this badge.”

Swiss news outlet Blick reported on Sunday (crappy Google translation here) Barnetta is likely to turn down more lucrative offers in Europe to play for the Union: “It excites him to get to know the United States.”

Curtin added, “The appeal of America is a real one now. The appeal of our league has become a real one. A lot of big players are coming here. It’s an exciting time for the league. It’s growing quick. This would be a new challenge for him. We’re hopeful he makes a decision to join us.”

Chris Albright said, “He’s here seeing if Philadelphia and MLS is a fit. It’s a player whose pedigree I think speaks for itself. You look at his resume playing in the last three World Cups and playing in the Bundesliga. We’re hopeful that we can get it over the line, but right now, it’s a feeling-out process.”

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead has a video report on Barnetta training with the team. More at the Inquirer.

Williams and more

At Friday’s press conference, Curtin spoke of how difficult it was to trade Sheanon Williams: “It’s a tough part of the business, but in this league, if you want to get quality, you have to be willing to part ways with quality. It’s hard for me, but I wish Sheanon all of the best in the future.”

Albright said, “It’s a move that was welcomed by both sides. I think that we weren’t kicking Sheanon out the door. I think it’s something that he sees a new opportunity to go there and be the No. 1, and right now Ray’s the No. 1 for us. I think it’s a really good opportunity for Sheanon, and again, Sheanon’s a guy I’ve played with and respect a ton. You love his mentality, love the way he battles and we wish him the best.”

Williams started at right back and played the full 90 in Houston’s 3-0 win over LA on Saturday.

In the latest power rankings at ESPN, the Union drop three spots to No. 20: “The best and worst of the Union was on display in Washington on Sunday.”


Sunday’s Gold Cup final — click here for PSP’s recap of Mexico’s 3-1 win — was, at 68,930, the sixth largest crowd for a soccer game in the US this year. (Very happy to be wrong in thinking there would be lots of empty seats with the US crapping out.)

Wallet Hub has a ranking of the best cities in the US for soccer. Of 172 cities listed, Philly comes in at No. 22 overall, 11th in the “Team and Performance” ranking, and and 47th in the “Cost & Fan Engagement” ranking.

Down a man  trailing 3-1 with less than 30 minutes to play, Harrisburg City Islanders rallied to defeat Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4-3 on Sunday.

Ahead of the Houston Dash-Western New York Flash match on Saturday, Carli Lloyd has voiced her displeasure at being traded from WNY last fall: “That’s the reason no one wants to go play there. Because if you don’t treat people with respect, you’re not going to get respect in return and I have lost all respect for the organization. I would never want to play for an organization that doesn’t respect me, doesn’t respect what I do.” Lloyd went on to score the lone goal in Houston’s 1-0 road win.

The Temple men’s team is bringing in 14 new players.


In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (38 points) came from two goals behind to defeat ninth place Philadelphia (22 points), 3-2. Second place Columbus (31 points) squandered a three goal lead to draw 3-3 with fourth place Toronto (28 points). Third place NYRB (29 points) had the weekend off to play (and defeat) Benfica. Fifth place New England (28 points) drew 2-2 on the road with tenth place Chicago (19 points). Sixth place Montreal (24 points) defeated Seattle, 1-0. Seventh place NYCFC (24 points) defeated eighth place Orlando (24 points) 5-3 in a wild game that saw the debut of Andrea Pirlo and two goals from David Villa.

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (38 points) thumped sixth place Portland (32 points), 4-1. Second place Vancouver (36 points) defeated ninth place San Jose (25 points), 3-1. Third place LA (34 points), were battered 3-0 by eighth place Houston (27 points). Fourth place Kansas City (33 points) lost 2-1 on the road to seventh place Salt Lake (29 points). Fifth place Seattle (32 points) lost their sixth game out of seven, falling 1-0 on the road to Montreal. Tenth place Colorado (24 points) had the weekend off.

Shaun Wright-Phillips has joined his brother at NYRB.

ESPN reports, “The Montreal Impact has acquired the MLS rights to Ivorian striker Didier Drogba from the Chicago Fire, and is poised to sign the player to a contract.” The report says Drogba has been offered “an 18-month contract in excess of $3 million per year.”

Dax McCarty has replaced the injured Frank Lampard on the All-Star Game roster.

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle looks at tactics over the league’s first 20 years.

MLS and DraftKings, together at last.


The US lost on penalty kicks to Panama in the Gold Cup third place match at PPL Park on Saturday. Recaps from PSP, US Soccer, CONCACAF, Inquirer, Daily News, Delco Times, and CSN Philly. Postgame quote sheet at US Soccer.

Jurgen Klinsmann admitted the loss to Jamaica “took the wind out” out of the team. That, combined with the circumstances surrounding Panama’s loss to Mexico, made for a “weird” atmosphere for Saturday’s game. Klinsmann said, “This game today had a weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to just to make sure nothing bad really happens there and let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any players if mistakes were made.”

The playoff match for a place in the Confederations Cup between the US and Mexico will take place at the Rose Bowl on Friday, October 9.

Sunil Gulati affirmed his support for Klinsmann after Saturday’s loss. At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a transcript of Gulati’s comments, including his thoughts on the team’s performance in the tournament:

It’s obviously a disappointment. I wouldn’t call it a step back – the team had been playing well in the spring and coming into the tournament. The goal was obviously to win the Gold Cup and not have a playoff game. But we’ve got a reprieve, in the sense that we won the last one, so it’s still a chance to go to the Confederations Cup.

There’s no panic. We’ve won, what, seven of our last 10 games, drawn two – obviously lost this one on penalties – and lost one game in that period. So it’s a big disappointment. We move on.

Any time you don’t win it’s a setback of sorts, but when you win it’s a step forward. A step back to what? We’re not going to win every game, so that means every team in the world has a lot of setbacks by that definition. It’s not a win, so we’re disappointed.

Post-mortem at MLSsoccer.com.

ASN wonders what Klinsmann will learn from the Gold Cup fiasco.

Before the third place game, the draw for the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup was held in St, Petersburg. The US will face Trinidad and Tobago in its first qualifier in November. Looks like the game will be in St. Louis, which is expected to be announced today.

Is US Soccer getting its money’s worth with Klinsmann? Washington Post looks at his record.

At FC Yahoo, Kristian Dyer says Bob Bradley should be brought back to coach the USMNT.


CONCACAF has announced that Mark Geiger, referee of the Mexico-Panama Gold Cup semifinal fiasco, has “accepted that officiating errors had been made.” The brief announcement concludes, “We at CONCACAF regret these circumstances but accept that such human errors are part of the game.”

The AP reports, “CONMEBOL member countries still want to play the 2016 Copa America Centenario in the United States despite an ongoing bribery investigation, their president Juan Angel Napout said Friday.”

Reuters reports, “U.S. prosecutors could eventually try to impose a court-appointed monitor on FIFA to ensure that soccer’s corruption-hit governance body cleans up its act, according to attorneys who have helped troubled companies and other entities to reform.”

Also at Reuters, “New York state’s banking regulator has contacted more than six banks about how they may have handled money that U.S. prosecutors said was laundered through accounts related to world soccer’s governing body FIFA.”

Reuters reports, “FIFA will meet its leading commercial partners next month after three of them increased pressure for major reforms to soccer’s governing body following a series of corruption scandals.”

Meanwhile, the AP reports, “The FIFA corruption crisis is hurting its search for new World Cup sponsors.”

Possible FIFA presidential candidates were in Philly for Sunday’s final.


  1. Gaddis blowing coverage on Espindola’s game winner must’ve felt so sweet for Williams. I wish him all the best in Houston. “Gaddis is our #1” make me want to vomit.

  2. Funny that Barnetta has been in Philly for probably the nicest weather week ever in mid-July.

  3. Any confirmation that we sold Valdes to Nacional? I am assuming not if it isn’t in the roundup.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Bizarre stat of the day. The Phillies should want the US teams to play at PPL Park more often. This is the second time they’ve thrown a no-hitter during a national team game there, the first being during the 2010 playoffs when the women were playing China in a friendly.

  5. Man that Shaenon trade was bad. What is Barnetta doesn’t sign? Then it was catastrophically bad, and was literally only done to get the team some money.

    • Well Sheanon was out of here and pretty much a distraction over Gaddis. The complaint should be about choosing Gaddis over Williams, because one had to be chosen over the other eventually. Platitudes about competition for every spot aside, one of them eventiually had to go. Lets Face it if Sheanon was chosen (and I personally would have chosen him) people would have complained about trading Gaddis. Such is life.
      As far as Barnetta goes, The union HAVE to go for it. We are punching so far above are weight price wise for a position of need they have to roll the dice.
      Will it work? Who knows.
      Will that money get spent on someone no matter what? You bet.

      • I agree we have to go for it Barnetta, absolutely. I was saying if we go for it and don’t get him, then Shaenon was given away for nothing almost.
        And I disagree that we had to trade one of them, why can we not have a legitimate backup at at least ONE spot on our roster. Although you’re right that people would complain the same way if Gaddis was traded. It just doesn’t help that Gaddis is struggling more than he ever has right when Shaenon is traded, and the defense in general is totally porous.

      • Sheanon was leaving at the end of the year anyway. If you don’t move him now, he walks for nothing.

      • Sieve!!!! says:

        and it becomes trade Gaddis fans complain, trade Williams fans complain, et Williams walk for free fans REALLY complain,

  6. NYRB get Shaun Wright Phillips and he will be ready for the game against the Union….awesome.

  7. Andy Muenz says:

    I have to question why the game on October 9 is in the US rather than in Mexico? After all, the US had the home field advantage for both Gold Cups, why shouldn’t their opponents get the home field for the playoff?
    And I think the US should give Jurgen an ultimatum to win that game. At that point, all of the national team players, whether domestic or overseas, will be in midseason form. So let him pick the team as if his life depends on it. Given that the qualifying group the US is in is relatively weak, a replacement would have a year to get his act together before the hexagonal. (At least the US didn’t draw group B.)

    • TJunior10 says:

      The Rose Bowl will be, essentially, a “home game” for Mexico.

    • A USA-Mexico match at the Rose Bowl in LA gives more of a home-field advantage to Mexico than it does to the USA. That was the venue for the 2011 Gold Cup final between the USA and Mexico, and I recall it being a decidedly pro-Mexico crowd.

    • Just because it is played in the USA doesn’t necessarily give the USMNT a home field advanatage. There have been plenty of instances where a US-Mexico match was played in the US but the number of Mexico fans vastly outnumbered American fans. A game in Southern California could easily turn into a “home” game for Mexico.

    • The 2013 Gold Cup champion was designated as the host of the playoff game at the time that this whole boondoggle was announced. So, USA is hosting.

    • For all those who are saying that playing in the Rose Bowl will be like playing a home game for Mexico, let us not forget the Azteca. While there may be a lot of Mexico fans, it is nothing like traveling to Mexico city to play in the Azteca

  8. When PSP releases it’s player ratings this week, can we start to include a rating for the coach?

    • if it didn’t happen for Nowak and Hackworth its not happening now.

      • I agree refs in this league are horrible and we all enjoy reading those ratings, but isn’t the coach someone to be evaluated just like the players?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        On several occasions Eli and Adam have given (what I consider) valid reasons for not evaluating the coach. I wouldn’t expect a change now.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I agree with Andy Muenz. There are aspects of a coach’s overall decision-making that are based on information and dynamics that should remain within the team rather than emerge into the public domain, whether they exist at the youth level or whether they exist at the highest level.

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Jim Curtin has shown that he is intensely loyal to players who have succeeded for him. He does not change whimsically, as some on these pages complained of Peter Nowak years ago now. We probably get some idea of the origins of his policy if we look at his own experiences as a player, looking at the coaches for whom he played. He is slow to change.
    He wants to keep a close eye on everybody’s development daily. Granted there are two fewer roster spots this season than last, but only Eric Bird has had significant time in Harrisburg, and that time is limited because he’s competing with Harrisburg’s three best players for minutes. There will be no one like Richie Marquez next season. He seems to need a true farm team where he calls the shots rather than an affiliate in the manner of Harrisburg where Hackworth and Becher spoke every day and the Union’s needs meshed with those of Harrisburg.
    Last observation for the moment. How many times has a Curtin team come out well in the first fifteen or twenty minutes? By no means always, but it’s not unheard of either. That says to me his pre-match preparation is okay, perhaps better than okay. The inability to sustain it is frustrating, no question. But at least sometimes a better team has responded to the challenge and made the necessary adjustments. On Sunday, our guys were gassed in the second half, no surprise given a week ago tomorrow.

    • OSC – It seems unfair for you to praise Curtin for his pre-game preparation without criticizing him for his in-match decision making. Sunday’s collapse is not solely the fault of “gassed” players failing to make adjustments on their own. The head coach has to share the responsibility – it is up to him to make decisions on tactics and substitutions, right up to the final whistle.

  10. Geiger accepted that errors were made? don’t believe that. He would never admit such a thing.

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