Daily news roundups

No more Valdes, Sak says Union-Eagles will bid to host WC qualifier, more news

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Philadelphia Union

The Union announced on Monday the termination of Carlos Valdes’ contract with the club by mutual agreement.

So endeth the saga. And there was much meh-ing.

There’s no need to recount how far fan opinion has dropped regarding Valdes. Once at the center of a defense that led the team to its only playoff appearance, Valdes soon became little more than a tourist, checking in occasionally as he went on loan again and again, while the rest of us sifted through unreliable Twitter rumors and reports from South American news outlets in an attempt to divine just where he would land next. It was tiresome and distracting and now, thankfully, it is done.

No doubt, the Union are as happy to close the book on Valdes as many fans are. As Matthew De George put it, “Valdes’ stature has taken such a hit that his departure doesn’t even warrant a perfunctory executive quote in the press release.”

So, what does the contract termination mean for the team?

It isn’t stated in the press release from the club, but Kevin Kinkead reports at CBS Philly that the termination takes effect after this season. Valdes is of course on loan with Nacional, where things apparently have not gone so well, and the termination means he’ll be able to rejoin Independiente Sante Fe on a free transfer before the Colombian transfer window closes. While this means the Union will receive no transfer fee, they free up $400,000 of space in the salary cap for next season, and also open an international spot on the roster. (Valdes’ salary doesn’t count toward the salary cap, nor does he take up an international spot, while he is on loan.)

In other words, the termination is about long-term planning rather than short-term gain. Gone is the distraction of further Valdes-related storylines in the offseason (did anyone seriously think he would ever wear a Union jersey again?). More importantly, the Union have resources to add to the 2016 portion of any contract that might be signed during the current transfer window. And if they are successful in offloading Rais Mbolhi before the end of the transfer window a week from Thursday on Aug. 6, that will be another $350,000 removed from the cap and an international spot for other usage. What will be happen with the conclusion of the loans of Austin Berry, Danny Cruz, and Leo Fernandes (a combined $278,519 in base salary) remains to be seen.

Reports on the Valdes contract termination at PSP, CBS Philly, Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Brotherly Game, Philly Sports Network, and MLSsoccer.com.

Zach Pfeffer is part of the MLS Homegrown Player team that will face the Club America U-20s tonight as part of the All-Star Game festivities. The game is on MLS Live and you can cheer him on beginning at 9 pm.

At Delco Times, De George writes of the Union’s loss in DC,

Of all the missed opportunities pock-marking the Union’s path to what is likely a fourth straight playoff-free season, Sunday’s misstep — a 3-2 loss at D.C. United after the Union held a two-goal lead four minutes in — stands as the most colossal…And even if the general unwillingness to lean on fatigue as an excuse prevailed, the Union’s lack of depth remains the primary culprit in what increasingly seems like their destiny to miss the playoffs…the primary predicament for the Union (6-12-4, 22 points) remains; they have essentially tried to mount a playoff charge with a core of 15 of 16 players logging the vast majority of the minutes.


Postgame quotes from Sunday’s loss in DC.

Brotherly Game argues, with the chances of making the playoffs increasing slim, it’s time to start Andre Blake. Why not?

Another power rankings with the Union dead last after Sunday’s loss in DC: SI says, “It started brightly but fell apart.” (That’s your softball for the day – swing, cynics, swing!). At Soccer America, it’s a four spot plummet to No. 17: “The Union has several tough losses on its 2015 ledger, but losing, 3-2, at RFK after scoring twice barely three minutes into the game might be the bitterest.”


At Philly.com, Nick Sakiewicz tells Jonathan Tannenwald the Union and the Eagles, with the support of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Sports Congress, will bid to host one of the USMNT’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Whether the site of the game bid upon is the Linc or PPL Park would depend who the opponent is.

Philly Voice talks to Mexico and Jamaica fans at Sunday’s Gold Cup final at the Linc. “Each time the Jamaican keeper took a six-yarder the Mexican fans yelled “oooaah,” the way basketball fans make noise during a foul shot or at a football game during kickoff.” “Oooaah”? Nope.

A reminder from US Club Soccer: August 3 is the deadline for the organization’s adult teams to apply for participation in the 2016 US Open Cup.


Monday began with the announcement that Shaun Wright-Phillips had signed with New York Red Bulls. The announcement noted, “He will be available for the Red Bulls Saturday when the Red Bulls travel to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union.”

Within hours, Chicago announced it had acquired former Toronto FC Designated Player Gilberto off of waivers, using Targeted Allocation Money to bring down the budget charge of Kennedy Igboananike and so open a DP spot.

The third paragraph of the announcement read, “The Fire also completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Montreal Impact, acquiring general and targeted allocation money in exchange for Ivorian international Didier Drogba.”

That’s right, it’s official, Didier Drogba has signed with Montreal Impact. (The Union face Montreal one more time this season, on the road on Aug. 22.)

At USA Today, Martin Rogers asks, why now with all of these big ticket, big name signings from abroad in the likes of Drogba, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, and Kaka? More at NPR.

On Monday, the league announced a multi-year partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, the school Slate has described as “the Amazon.com of higher education.” The league announcement explained, “Through the partnership, SNHU will empower MLS players to pursue their higher-education degrees, while MLS will provide exclusive learning opportunities and experiences to current SNHU students. The university will partner with MLS to reach and support students that require innovative education options.”

ESPN has a nice interview with Landon Donovan.

Different takes on analytics, and the newly approved technologies that will help to gather them, at Fusion and the New York Times.

The proposed site for a new stadium for David Beckham’s team in Miami could require the relocation of some area residents. Miami mayor Tomás Regalado says Beckham will cover the costs: “We don’t know yet how many, if any, apartments will have to be dealt with. In case there are some, the city will be working with them for relocation and the Beckham team will pay for it — or if they qualify for affordable housing, the city will do the due diligence.”

Looks like Reno could be the home of a USL team in 2017.


It’s official: St. Louis will host the opening qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in St. Louis on Nov. 13. The US will face the winner of St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Aruba, who face off in their Third Round qualification series on Sept. 4 (when the US is playing Peru in a friendly at RFK) and Sept. 8 (when the US is playing Brazil in a friendly at Gillette Stadium). The other Group C opponents for the US are Trinidad and Tobago and the winner of Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala Third Round qualification series.

US Soccer also announced, “The 10-game fall tour to celebrate the USA’s championship run at the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the final matches in a U.S. uniform for midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday.”

ESPN roundtables Jurgen Klinsmann’s future with the team. At ASN, John D. Halloran argues it was injuries and bad luck that resulted in the poor showing of the US in the Gold Cup.

The Guardian on the questions raised by this summer’s tournaments for both the USMNT and USWNT.


The Press Association reports, “Michel Platini is set to declare he will run for the FIFA presidency this week and an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.”

From Reuters: “The race to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president is like a ‘poker game,’ long-serving FIFA executive committee member Michel d’Hooghe said on Monday.” I don’t know what that means.

Also from Reuters: “FIFA boss Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Prize for his stewardship of soccer’s governing body, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview aired by Swiss broadcaster RTS on Monday.” Good one, Vlad, good one, you bare-chested joker, you.

The AP reports, “A [Trinidad and Tobago] court is giving former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner more time to fight being extradited from Trinidad & Tobago to the United States to face corruption charges…Trinidad legal experts believe Warner’s extradition could take years to resolve.”

Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera allegedly punched Television Azteca sports anchor Christian Martinoli at Philadelphia International Airport after Mexico’s Gold Cup final victory.

How to fix the Gold Cup.


  1. “bitterest”

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Bitter, certainly. Most recent hence clearest in memory, obviously. Bitterest? Giving up two goals in stoppage time to SKC because of a cowardly goalkeeper.

    • Oh yeah, the KC loss was way, way worse. After that one, I felt like my girlfriend had dumped me. The DC loss I was more than half expecting, especially after seeing DC look like the far better team starting around minute 25.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah the DC loss this past weekend was like a train waiting to hit a car stuck on the tracks… you want to look away, you know it’s going to happen, but you watch anyway.

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