Daily news roundups

Union sign Creavalle, readying for Orlando, Bournemouth partnership, more news

Philadelphia Union

Creavalle signed as transfer window closed

The Union announced on Friday morning the acquisition of defender Warren Creavalle from Toronto.

So, how did the Union do over the course of the summer transfer window? Coming in, the team signed Tranquillo Barnetta and Creavalle. Going out, the team traded Sheanon Williams and terminated the contract of Carlos Valdes. Of course, trading Sheanon Williams was something of a blow, but the Creavalle signing mitigates some of the negative short-term consequences in terms of the resulting lack of depth at fullback while also providing some cover at defensive mid. It also does so at a lower salary cost (Creavalle’s base/guaranteed salary is $108,500/$119,000 compared to Williams at $145,000/$150,500) and the trade only cost the Union their lowest second round draft pick in 2016. Additionally, Kevin Kinkead tweeted Toronto is covering a portion of Creavalle’s salary.

(I don’t know enough about Creavalle to say whether he provides the offensive capability that was lost with the trade of Williams. Looking at their career numbers, Creavalle has 5 goals and 2 assists over 4,340 minutes, while Williams has 7 goals and 19 assists over 12,441 minutes, so one would think he does not. The Union’s biggest concern right now is to stop leaking goals, however.)

So, added quality to the midfield. Added lower cost depth to the defense. Cleared a massive amount of salary space for 2016. Sure, landing another high profile player would’ve been very nice but, all in all, not too shabby.

Of course, the team still has the albatross that is Rais Mbolhi hanging around the roster but time still remains in the various European transfer windows to get something done.

Orlando

If having to worry about Kaka and rookie goal-scoring machine Cyle Larin wasn’t enough, the Union go into Saturday’s game in Orlando with an injury list full of questionables. Will Jim Curtin rest players on Saturday in the hope that they will be available for Wednesday’s US Open Cup semifinal against Chicago? I would. Will new signing Creavalle be with the team in Orlando? Chris Albright said in the defender’s signing announcement “we look forward to him contributing immediately.” (Looking ahead to the Open Cup game, Creavalle’s arrival could offer some needed flexibility since, coming from a Canadian team, he is not Cup-tied.)

Larin — with 11 goals scored this season, including five over the last three games —  Curtin said of Larin, “He’s a confident forward, confident forwards are very tough to deal with…He’s lively, young, confident attacking player that’s living up to the No. 1 pick. He’s done well with it, he’s running with it, and scoring some goals.”

Andre Blake played with Larin at UConn. Blake says in an article at Delco Times, “He’s always going to score goals. I played with him for an entire year, and I know that this guy can score.”

That said, confidence is exactly overflowing in Orlando. The team has lost five of its last six games. The Union are on a three-game losing streak but at 2-3-1 over the last six games.

Previews of Saturday’s game (7:30 pm, TCN, MLS Live, DirecTV) at PSP, Philadelphia Union (preview, scouting report, importance of containing Kaka and Larin), Inquirer, Brotherly Game, and The Mane Land.

Union-Bournemouth partnership?

A report at Bloomberg on the Premier League debut of Bournemouth is titled “The Premier League’s Smallest Club Wants an American Friend.” That friend is Philadelphia Union. Club chairman Jeff Mostyn says of the club’s recent training camp in Philadelphia and friendly against the Union, “It’s the start of what I hope to be a very strong relationship.”

In a companion video clip, Mostyn elaborates on what Bloomberg describes as “courting a formal relationship with Major League Soccer team Philadelphia Union”: “For the last 18 months I’ve been working on a collaboration with an MLS club which, hopefully, we’ll announce in the not too distant future.” 

What exactly would such a collaboration entail? I have no idea. Stay tuned.

US Open Cup

In US Open Cup news, Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza has been handed a two-game suspension for violent conduct in the 3-1 quarterfinal win over Houston on July 21. Espinoza is already out for at least ten weeks after having a bone in his left foot broken by Dynamo midfielder Nathan Sturgis in the 86th minute of last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Houston in league play. On Wednesday, the league disciplinary gave Espinoza a one-game suspension for a studs-up challenge on Houston’s goalkeeper.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders will look to avenge their 4-2 road defeat in Richmond last weekend when they host the Kickers in the return match on Saturday at 7 pm (YouTube).

The USL announced on Thursday the number of regular season games each club plays will be increased to 30 games beginning in 2016.

Brotherly Game talks to Vineland, NJ native, and former USWNT goalkeeper, Jill Loyden.

Philadelphia Independence fans may be interested to learn that Lianne Sanderson has been acquired by Portland Thorns, where she’ll be reunited with former Independence head coach, and current Thorns boss, Paul Riley, as well as former Independence teammate Sinead Farrelly, who hails from Havertown.

MLS

How’d the transfer window close around the league? Here’s a roundup of Thursday’s moves:

LA thumped Trinidad & Tobago side Central FC 5-1 in CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday night. New signing Giovani Dos Santos scored in his Galaxy debut.

US

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports ticket sales for the upcoming USWNT friendly against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 at Heinz field, which have already surpassed the 40,000 mark, could set a new record for the highest attended friendly for the team. The current record stands at 46,037 and came in a doubleheader with the USMNT at RFK Stadium in 1998.

Carli Lloyd says she’s “really excited” that Jill Ellis has signed a contract extension to remain head coach of the USWNT.

The US U-17 BNT has been drawn into Group A with host Chile, Croatia, and defending champion Nigeria for the upcoming U-17 World Cup. Crikey. The US begins play on Oct. 17 against Nigeria in Santiago.

Vice Sports looks into the difficulty people have had buying USWNT jerseys in men’s sizes.

Elsewhere

The Premier League season begins on Saturday. You can see listings of all of the opening games, as well as listings of the week’s live soccer games on TV, online, and on satellite radio in the latest Footy on the Telly.

Reuters reports, “Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) director general Francois Carrard has been asked by scandal-plagued global soccer body FIFA to head its Reform Task Force.”

Also from Reuters: “World Cup sponsor McDonald’s has joined Coca-Cola and Visa in urging FIFA to adopt an independent reform commission in response to the scandals that have plagued world soccer’s governing body.”

Jon Stewart. Soccer player and fan.

38 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    I assume a partnership with the Union would mean one and done in the Premier League for Bournemouth followed by a drop to League 2 by 2018.

  2. Bournemouth? So Union.

  3. Also not mentioned, Toronto has signed Herculez Gomez.

  4. Atomic Spartan says:

    Sure would like to know who thought up the Creavalle deal. My theory: TFC approached Union and said, “We really need to get rid of this guy, can you take him?” Evidence: they’re paying him to play for us and taking magic beans in exchange. A promising deal to be sure, but if this originated in Toronto, it only proves and emphasizes our lack of and need of a DSO. So Union.

  5. How does a team that is dead last in the league, justify doing so little in the transfer window? I really would like to know.

    • It’s justified like this “we have a good plan in place and were going to go ahead with that”. As we hear over and over again and that plan is to crash and burn to be the worst most incapable franchise in sports (at least from how it seems). I mean come on M’bohli is still here , I know no one wants him, but there has got to be some deal to get rid of him so we don’t have to pay him for his whole contract.

    • The Chopper says:

      I think this tram is better off not doing too much right now. This club is not making the playoffs, so no need to spend and tie up future cap,dollars.

      Of course our hopes of a real GM may be in vain,mbut if we were to get someone with a clue and a plan, I would want them coming in with as many roster spots and dollars available as possible,

      Barnetta is long term, Creavalle is neccesary and cheap. For now, I can live with that.

    • “we’ll do a few little things where we can get someone to give us something for what we are offering, but until we undo the redundancy at keeper and striker and central midfield that is clogging up our cap, we are going to have to keep playing the same guys. it’s really pretty straightforward and those who appreciate what’s going on will understand what were trying to do both short term and long term. We’ve faced some tough breaks on and off the field. I’m still optimistic” – NS

      “I don’t think many understand what goes on behind the scenes here. I can speak in complete sentences in a calm and reasonable and intelligent sounding way and get our fans to hold on for a few more months and years before the value of the club, simply by being a part of the MLS, and without regard to the club staff, players and facilities, will triple or quadruple in value. Its a long view and I can spice it up with some familiar but not really well understood jargon such as ‘moneyball’ to keep the meme of ‘Union perseverance’ going. Really, its just going to take some more time and I am as frustrated as any of you that the housing bubble burst really killed the value of my mortgage backed securities fund and made it impossible for me to attend to the Union the way you always thought I was going to, without regard to whether I actually intended to follow through with anything we said we were going to do. it’s hard to be patient when you are losing this much money but its all relative – in that sense I am as patient if not more patient than the club’s supporters.” – JS

      “We’ll keep plugging away. the guys are all frustated, especially the team’s voodoo priest and tarot card reader as they can’t seem to catch a break.” – JC

      • Laser place club reports record attendance last Sat. Why change the plan?

      • Last place. D*mn auto correct

      • “its all relative – in that sense I am as patient if not more patient than the club’s supporters.” – JS

      • Chris Albright: ” We really believe that Warren Buffett can help us this year.”

        Kevin Kinkead: “You mean Warren Creavalle?”

        Chris Albright: “Yeah him too.”

      • Mr. Sakiewicz: “Important to remember here folks that while we may not be getting the results on the field I would be remiss to remind you, we are the best dressed little club in MLS….maybe you’ve heard.”

  6. Once the Union are numerically out of the playoffs the protests need to be ratcheted up. I sincerely hope Sugarman sells and that Sakiewicz takes his franchise killing skills elsewhere. I hope Albright is fired and Curtin and staff are put on a short leash by a new ownership and a new GM and told to coach or they’re fired. I hope the medical staff is put on notice about the consistent injuries. I hope MBolhi and Vitoria are exiled to some far off soccer outpost. I hope Gaddis, Fabinho, Wenger, Le Toux, La Houd, Creavalle,Ayuk are depth players out side of the top 18. I hope Fred, Casey, Carroll all retire finally. I hope White is let go. I hope Sylvestre is signed and either McCarthy or Blake are traded. I hope Nogueira, Maidana, Aristguetta are signed and forced to take yoga to prevent their constant injuries and that they are forced to somehow get faster. I hope Barnetta becomes a star in MLS. I hope the new ownership brings in top flight wingers, left back and right back. I hope etc, etc, etc.

    Sell this franchise to a competent and financially competitive ownership.

    FREE THIS FRANCHISE!!!

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