Daily news roundups

“A hard one”: Recaps and reaction to Union’s loss to NYRB, league results, more news

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Well, we can all agree defeating New York Red Bulls three times in a row would’ve been a tall order. But for the Union to concede the game winner seconds after scoring an equalizer was hard to take, particularly after NYRB first got on the board with what was, at least from where I was sitting, a very soft PK call (Welcome to MLS, Tranquillo!).

The Union, currently in last place in the Eastern Conference and in the league, have now lost three league games in a row, their third losing streak of three or more games this season.

In his postgame press conference (full transcript here at PSP), Jim Curtin said, “This is a hard one. There’s been games where we’ve been outplayed and you can tip your cap to the other team but I thought tonight we actually deserved something from the game. New York is a very good team; again, it would be tough to beat them three times in a row. But I thought we did enough to get something from the game.

Curtin also said it’s difficult not to feel like the team is “snake bit”:  We talk about that as a staff, there’s been some difficult situations, for sure, whether it be injuries, calls that you think maybe could go your way. It’s a challenge, you know?… we’ve been a team this year where whenever we take one step forward we kind of take two back, so it’s been a fight in that regard, and we’ll have to dig ourselves out of it.”

Curtin agreed the penalty was soft. “It’s a freak one where the guy is trying to stop and Tranquillo is trying to get out of the way…Poor Tranquillo: I put [him] into the game and within 30 seconds he’s on the wrong end of a tough call. That has nothing to do with him it’s just an unfortunate, freakish, freak play. He did everything he could to not touch the guy, it’s just a tough one.”

He said further, “Of course you hope that you don’t start like this but it happens sometimes and you have to refocus, try to play easy and I think after this I was better and came into the game. I think I gave away two or three passes that I think I usually make so for myself I have to work hard next week to get better and I’m sure that you’ll see a Barnetta on the team sheet…I hope that next time I can give Philadelphia more than a penalty.”

Barnetta’s teammates rallied behind him. Fernando Aristeguieta said of the PK call, “He has no fault on that. He’s an experienced guy. He’s a guy that will handle it good. He knows that the team is behind him. For me, he doesn’t have any fault.” Zach Pfeffer said, “It’s unlucky. It can happen to anybody. He’s a great player, great person and a great addition to our team.”

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.comInquirer, Daily News, Delco TimesCSN Philly,  Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Philly Sports Network, New York Red Bulls, North Jersey.com,  Big Apple SoccerEmpire of Soccer, Once a Metro, SBI, The Guardian (Barnetta, Wright-Phillips), All Sports News, Vavel, Joe.co.ukSports Mole, Ball Ball, and the AP.  USA Today and NJ.com have photo galleries from the game.

The Exponent Telegram of Clarksburg, West Virginia has a profile piece on WVU alum Ray Gaddis on the occasion of his 100th MLS start on Saturday. Gaddis is full of praise for the fans — “I appreciate them more than they know” — and also talks about his national team aspirations:

I feel like my break is on the horizon and I’m getting closer to it. I definitely think I can contribute on that level, and it would be such an honor to get to wear the jersey and represent my country. But I know that opportunities like that don’t just appear.

I have to keep working and keep coming in with the same mentality. I want to be there, so I just have to keep my head down and continue moving forward and getting better.


Harrisburg was defeated 4-2 on the road by Richmond Kickers. The game was level at 2-2 until the 88th minute. The Union’s Antoine Hoppenot came on as a sub and played 36 minutes, with Eric Bird playing the final 7 minutes. Dzenan Catic saw no minutes.


In the Eastern Conference, first place DC (41 points) came from being 2 goals down after 21 minutes of play to defeat Salt Lake 6-4, becoming the first team in league history to come back from 2-0 deficits to win in consecutive games. Second place NYRB (32 points) defeated last place Philadelphia (22 points), 3-1. Third place Columbus (31 points) was thumped 5-2 on the road by seventh place Orlando (27 points). Fourth place New England (31 points) were 3-1 winners over fifth place Toronto (28 points) in a game that saw Jozy Altidore sent off for kicking out at a defender. Sixth place Montreal (27 points) defeated eighth place NYCFC (24 points) 3-2 on the road, spoiling Frank Lampard’s debut. Ninth place Chicago (22 points) defeated Dallas, 2-0.

In the Western Conference, first place Vancouver (39 points) defeated sixth place Seattle (32 points) 3-0 on the road, giving the Sounders their seventh loss in eight games. Second place Dallas (38 points) lost 2-0 on the road to Chicago. Third place LA (37 points) defeated last place Colorado (24 points) 3-1 on the road. Fourth place Kansas City (34 points) drew 1-1 with eighth place Houston (28 points), extending their undefeated streak at home to 14 games. Fifth place Portland (33 points) drew 0-0 on the road with ninth place San Jose (26 points). Seventh place Salt Lake (29 points) blew a 2-0 lead to lose 6-4 on the road to DC.

Saturday’s games resulted in 39 goals, a new league record.

FC Yahoo reported on Friday Aron Johannsson “is interested in exploring options within Major League Soccer.” The author of the report, Kristian Dyer, has previously written several Union-related reports for Metro. On Monday morning, ESPN reported that Johannsson is in talks with Werder Bremen. The article notes reports from Germany and the Netherlands say the forward and Werder Bremen have agreed to terms for a four-year deal.

Orlando City have placed Ireland international defender Sean St. Ledger on waivers due to what the team describes as  “a serious breach of club policy.”

Orlando City have unveiled renderings of the 100 percent privately funded 25,500 seat stadium that will be the team’s home. It’s a beaut. More at Orlando Sentinel.

DC United will use the same architectural firm that designed Orlando City’s stadium for their new stadium.

You will recall the Miami Today article we linked to last week that detailed the large number of rules Beckham’s Miami MLS team will have to deal that basically give the Marlins precedence on everything ranging from scheduling games to stadium naming rights. While the Miami Herald has an article expanding on the Miami Today report, The Kansas City Star quotes a tweet from Beckham business partner and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure saying the original report isn’t true.


By the end of the first day of sale, more than 20,000 tickets were purchased for each of the upcoming games against Australia in Detroit (Sept. 17) and Birmingham (Sept. 20) that are part of the USWNT World Cup victory tour.


Alejandro Burzaco, one of the 14 sports executive who have been indicted in the FIFA corruption case, pleaded not guilty on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn following his extradition from Italy. Reuters reports, “US Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon set Burzaco’s bond at $20 million and authorized his release subject to travel restrictions and electronic monitoring. A private security service approved by U.S. authorities is to provide additional around-the-clock monitoring.”

Reuters reports, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter was relieved of his International Olympic Committee ex officio membership on Monday.” IOC President Thomas Bach said, “Mr Blatter wrote me a letter on July 23 informing me that it would be inappropriate to seek another eight-year term as he was retiring from his position at FIFA in seven months when a new president will be selected on Feb. 26.”

Reuters reports, “Paraguay has offered to be one of the official backers of Michel Platini’s bid for the FIFA presidency, the country’s soccer association said in a letter sent to FIFA.”

Also from Reuters: “South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale is considering running for president of world soccer’s scandal-hit governing body FIFA.” He would certainly win the award for Best Name of a FIFA Presidential Candidate Ever.

The Human Rights Foundation has criticized Lionel Messi for a recent visit to Gabon, which is ruled by the dictator Ali Bongo. Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen said, ““In providing PR services to Gabon’s Bongo family, Lionel Messi has seriously undermined the credibility of his own charitable foundation. Whereas Messi claims to support children’s rights, and even serves as a UNICEF ambassador to promote youth education, he has endorsed a kleptocratic regime that refuses to investigate the ritual murder of children in Gabon.” More at ESPN.


  1. Gotta say, it makes me feel just a little less horrible about this team that RSL did as badly against DC as we did (though they scored 4 goals).

  2. Gaddis wasn’t stellar in this last game, but keep in mind he was facing off against Grella, B. Wright-Phillips, S. Wright-Phillips and Kljestan. They’re all great offensive weapons who are great on the ball and move off the ball (unlike our players), and the only help Gaddis had in front of him was Ayuk. So I think Gaddis is doing ok as our starting RB (although it would be nice to have some depth at that position).
    That said, I don’t think he has a shot at the national team as he claims. At least not for a couple years, probably not while the Union are outside playoff range, and especially not while Klinsmann is the coach. In fact, Williams has a much better chance of making the national team with Klinsmann’s futile attempts at imitating attacking soccer.
    Gaddis isn’t great, and he isn’t bad. He’s just ok. He’s a decent, inexpensive, MLS starter who rarely gets injured and can run for days. That’s all he’ll ever be, as the overall league skill level improves along with his own, and that’s ok.

    • The last paragraph you stated is the reason he shouldn’t wear the national kit…….I hope at that level we aspire for more from our flank backs than to be mediocre and can run all day…….that’s high school soccer……not MNT…and it shouldn’t be ok for an MLS club either…..

      • The way I look at it he’s got mediocre skills *compared to other starting MLS-level* fullbacks. Add in his outstanding work ethic and you get a solid MLS starter. Insinuating that he’s at the high school skill level is just useless hyperbole.
        But hyperbole aside, I agree that he’s got a very slim chance of making the national team.

      • The way you described him in your last paragraph describes a good high school flank back…….your hyperbole, not mine…I think he is good guy to have on your roster…not necessarily a starter……but at least we agree……nowhere near MNT level.

  3. Curtin – “Guys don’t worry about it. No need to work on your crosses, shooting or defensive coverage during our ‘game speed’ practices (since we don’t have them). . . we’re just snake bit!.

    Now anyone who shot a ball into the River End Saturday, you go over there and work on your dribbling around those stationary cones, anyone who crossed a ball into the River End you go work on your juggling. Anyone who did both, I’m looking at you Fabinho . . . you go run a lap. That should prepare us for next game!”
    .96 PPG . . . You are who we thought you were

  4. “Oh, and don’t bother practicing set pieces, they’ll take care of themselves!”

  5. I’m curious… is getting bit by a snake dumb luck?.
    Nothing unlucky about a snake bite….at all. You all can read between my lines. If I was in college sitting around a table playing a drinking game Id say, ‘Bullshit!’

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      A psychologist I know insists that if you believe in “Fate, Luck, Chance, or Magic,” you are at least unrealistic and probably a bit dysfunctional. Jim, it’s not about bad Luck. The Union keep getting bad calls from officials because they have proven their ineptitude far too many times, not because there are snakes on the field (cue Samuel L). It is a very bad sign for a manager to curse his stars instead of facing the facts and doing something about them (ahem, make better subs, sharpen fundamental shooting skills, have a clue on attacking tactics, not play Wenger…). .
      Much of a leader’s job lies in getting your people to believe that your Vision, Plan and Philosophy can really work (cf: Fred Shero). Saying you’re “snakebit” isn’t really that far from saying WSSM. It’s also kinda ironic, given our club logo, isn’t it?
      So Jim, now that you’ve let the snake out of the bag, what’s your next move?

    • its a bit unrealistic to demand brutal honesty from a man: (1) with his arm 3/4ths of the way up an undernourished cow’s vagina trying to pull out a half gestated calf that seems determined to stay in, and (2) who is culturally if not contractually bound to try to maintain the farmer’s, the cow’s and the calf’s morale in the hope that things work out. I know I say “unlucky” or “next time” to teammates who mishit a pass or shot, miss a tackle or score an own goal when I could say something … less supportive.

      • You win…the imagery is so good I have no rebuttal. My head bowed. My elephant puckered.
        that said…. I agree with Atomic Spartan.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I trust R3er knows that he’s described one of a large animal vet’s more valuable skills, given that every live birth calf is an addition to a farmer’s wealth.

      • I do too. I try to make lowered expectations lemonade … being a coach in the media/blog/comments age is truly thankless.

  6. we no longer have to refer to the U as Chivas East. we are, and for the foreseeable future, the Union. Synonymous with that perennial basement-dwelling, mismanaged, now-defunct team.

  7. Tokyo Sexwale??? Oh please let him win. I couldn’t care less about his platform. His name alone would get my vote.

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