Daily news roundups

Casey knows the way to San Jose, fan vote opens today, USA v Brazil, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Road win

What do you do after going down a goal on a penalty kick following a silly handball in the box after holding red hot (even if missing some starters) San Jose to zero shots on target? Sub in Conor Casey, of course.

A ridiculously beautiful bit of service from Ray Gaddis, a lovely free kick from Tranquillo Barnetta, and viola, Casey’s put two in the back of the net and the Union are 2-1 winners. Understandably, Casey has been named to SI’s Best XI for Week 27. And ESPN’s. And ProSoccerTalk’s.

Curtin said after the win, “We seem to have our best performances when we’re at our most depleted and guys rise up and do a good job. We just have to transition this to playing this way at home.” (Full transcript of his postgame remarks, as well as comments from Barnetta and Casey here at PSP.)

San Jose’s Clarence Goodman — who said of the service to Casey for the first goal, “Gaddis puts in a one-in-a-million ball” —  said of his team’s performance, “So bad, so bad. To think we should have won is bogus.”

Saturday’s win joins NYRB and Montreal on the list of first ever road wins that have happened this season. At the Delco Times, Matthew De George writes that in Saturday’s win the Union also “provided another commodity in drastically short supply at PPL Park: Indications that there may actually be something to build, and someone to build it.” De George explains,

Jim Curtin’s in-game decision-making hasn’t always been sterling. But Saturday, he dialed up the kind of change that shows his knowledge of his players…

Hunch or intuition or whatever, it indicates that Curtin is getting a feel for the responsibilities of his office. More impressive is how he managed to keep the team’s spirits high enough after a loss to New England that such a road result was possible.

Curtin has only been on the job for 15 months, and he’s shown enough promise in playing the losing hand he’s been dealt by ownership and injuries to earn a chance to stick around. For a club lacking continuity in every respect, Curtin could provide a much needed dose while growing into the job.

De George notes the effect of injuries and red cards on that continuity that has been so lacking:

Including the U.S. Open Cup matches, Curtin has been forced to draw up 31 unique starting lineups to fill 32 matches.

That doesn’t mean he’s changed the lineup one week, then gone back to it another. It means 31 separate and distinct lists of 11 players. Even if you ignore the goalkeeping carousel, he’s still had to cobble together 30 different concoctions of 10 outfield players, a mind-boggling level of tumult.

Mind-boggling, indeed.

Recaps and reports from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia InquirerDelco Times, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel, Philly Sports Network, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, San Jose), San Jose Earthquakes, San Jose Mercury News (recap, photo gallery), SF Bay,   Center Line Soccer, Prost Amerika, SBIProSoccerTalk, The GuardianFootball Everyday, Football.com, Sports Mole, Paste Magazine, and the AP. USA Today has a photo gallery.

In the latest Inside Doop, Dave Zeitlin highlights Steven Vitoria’s strong play.

Kevin Kinkead has a video breakdown of the win at CBS Philly.

Fan vote

The fan vote for the name of the Union’s new USL team in Bethlehem opens today at 2 pm and runs through Sept. 28. You can vote on the Union website and at The Morning Call. (We’ll have links when they become available.)

Bedoya and more 

Remember the Alejandro Bedoya rumors? Kristian Dyer writes at Yahoo Sports that, according to an unnamed source, Bedoya “agreed to a contract in principle with the Philadelphia Union, but Nantes pulled out of the deal at the last minute, a source told Yahoo Sports.” Dyer explains,

The contract would have paid Bedoya close to $1.2 million a year and the transfer fee was north of $1 million for Nantes, according to the source.

Nantes currently has Bedoya under a long-term contract, but the Union were under the impression that their transfer offer was going to be accepted by the French club when they came to terms with the midfielder.

So close, so very close.

Power Rankings: The Union move up three spots to No. 17 at SI. At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 18. It’s a one-spot jump to No. 16 at Soccer America: “Philly needs a complete collapse from Montreal to have any real chance of a playoff spot but with eight points in its last four games it’s at least giving it a go.”

What do you know, the Union aren’t the unluckiest team in the league. Jared Young explains at American Soccer Analysis and Brotherly Game.

Andre Blake was in goal in shocking 3-2 home loss to Nicaragua in Friday’s World Cup qualifier. Blake was not at fault on any of the goals, the first of which came from the penalty spot, with the second and third coming on the counter. Jamaica will look to keep its qualification hopes alive tonight in the second leg in Nicaragua.

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff talks to former Union head coach Peter Nowak about being the head coach of the Antigua & Barbuda MNT. The team upset Guatemala 1-0 on Friday and plays the away leg tonight at 10 pm (beIN Sports Connect).


A scoreless draw at home on Sunday against St. Louis sees Harrisburg in seventh place, one point behind Pittsburgh and the final playoff spot, with three games remaining. The last game is at home against Pittsburgh on Sept. 19.

The Temple men’s team defeated No. 24 ranked Penn State 2-0 on Friday. Temple hosts Rider today at 4 pm.

The Penn men’s team played No. 7 ranked Washington to a scoreless draw on Friday. The Drexel men’s team lost Monday’s home opener to Washington, 1-0.

Villanova remain undefeated after topping Delaware 2-1 in double overtime on Saturday. Padraic McCullaugh, who scored both goals for Villanova, was named Offensive Player of the Week by the BIG EAST Conference and Philly Soccer Six.

The Penn women’s team had a good weekend, defeating Temple 2-1 on Friday (Temple’s first loss of the season) and then defeating Mount St. Mary’s 3-0 on Sunday.

Former Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc has announced her retirement.

Brotherly Game talks to Bearfight FC’s Jeremy Sharpe and Kieran Todd.

The AP reports: ” A Delaware street gang member was sentenced to death Friday for his role in a 2012 soccer tournament shooting that left three people dead, including a man who was supposed to testify in another murder case. Otis Phillips, 39, was sentenced to death for the murder of tournament organizer Herman Curry, 47. Prosecutors said Curry was targeted in an act of revenge and also to prevent him from testifying about a 2008 killing for which Otis Phillips was wanted.”


In limited MLS play over the international weekend, fourth place New England (40 points) handily defeated eighth place Orlando (29 points), 3-0. Third place Columbus ( points) was thumped 3-0 at home by Dallas, who are now third in the Western Conference with 44 points. Fifth place Toronto (37 points) fell 2-1 on the road to Seattle, who are now fourth in the West with 41 points. Sixth place Montreal (31 points) defeated tenth place Chicago (27 points) 4-3 in a wild game that included a Didier Drogba hat trick in his first MLS start. Seventh place Philadelphia (30 points) came from behind to defeat San Jose 2-1 on the road. San Jose are now seventh in the Western Conference with 38 points.

The Star Tribune reports,

Minnesota United owner Dr. Bill McGuire looked at 30 sites for a soccer stadium before settling on three that met his criteria of accessibility, public transit and development opportunities, he said Friday.

And although he didn’t specify the Midway bus barn site in St. Paul, said to be his final choice, McGuire told a group of community leaders at a luncheon that they “will like” the kind of potential development being discussed in conjunction with construction of the 18,500-seat stadium.

An article at USA Today gives a sense of what’s behind the timing of the possible NASL lawsuit against US Soccer. “NASL, whose teams include the New York Cosmos and the Minnesota United, applied for Division I status in May, but quickly hit a hurdle — thanks to proposed new requirements that USSF issued in June…The timing of the proposed new rules — one month after NASL applied for Division I status — prompted [NASL attorney Jeffrey Kessler] to accuse USSF of purposefully raising the bar in an effort to protect MLS from competition.” The article is accompanied by a video interview with Kessler that gives a good sense of what his arguments will be should a lawsuit come to pass, the central point of which is that US Soccer is “moving the goalposts” in order to protect MLS, colored with allusions to other leagues in this country (NHL) and abroad (Premier League), sprinkled with references to the ongoing FIFA scandal and promotion/relegation. Kessler makes no mention of how US Soccer has waived NASL’s compliance with Division II standards almost yearly since the league’s inception.

Northern Pitch has an analysis of the NASL’s case that concludes,

There is nothing in those requirements that says NASL cannot be a Division 1 league. The NASL is simply peeved that the requirements got tougher. But when the federal courts determine USSF can regulate professional soccer in the United States, changing the requirements seems entirely within its authority. These requirements are directly related to the ability of a top league to survive…

It’s not relevant whether we agree that a league should have 16 teams (and not 14), or that a stadium capacity should be 10,000 and above. The issue is whether the USSF has a legitimate reason for creating these standards and if they are reasonable.

Me thinks it isn’t now, nor will it be, as simple as that.


The US came from behind to defeat Peru 2-1 on Friday night. While the fight back was reassuring, the team continues to lack a certain…oomph. Will they have it when the team faces Brazil tonight at 8 pm (ESPN2, UniMás, Univision Deportes, SiriusXM FC)?

Roster changes ahead of tonight’s game: Joining the team for the Brazil game are Michael Bradley, Sean Johnson and Jordan Morris. Matt Besler and William Yarbrough have rejoined their clubs.

Clint Dempsey has not been called up. Klinsmann explained, “I had a good conversation with Clint. He’s still not 100 percent and we agreed it’s best to let him stay with Seattle to allow him to continue making progress ahead of next month’s match against Mexico.”

Previews at US SoccerMLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SI (Straus, Wahl), Fox SportsNESN, Yahoo Sports, Soccer America, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk,

Bradley said of missing the Peru game, “I never want to miss anything for anyone. The most frustrating part of MLS at the moment is that we still, in a lot of places, play through FIFA dates…It’s a lose-lose for players. As a player, you hope at some point the league will make the decision to stop playing through the international dates…For me, it’s very simple. As the league grows and as the league continues to attract better and better, you owe it to everybody – the players, the fans – to have the best product on the field every week. There’s got to be a solution.” Yep.

Recaps of the win over Peru at PSP, US Soccer, CONCACAF, MLSsoccer.com, Washington PostUSA Today, ESPNFox SportsCBS SportsSI, Sporting News, ASN, SBIGoal.comProsSoccerTalk, and The Guardian. Postgame quote sheet at US Soccer.

ProSoccerTalk has three things learned, CBS Sports has three takeaways, as does Soccer AmericaGoal.com has five takeaways, Fox Sports has five points, ASN has five thoughts.

Player Ratings at New York Times, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, SBI, and Soccer America.

SI, ESPNYahoo Sports, and US Soccer on Jozy Altidore and his brace bagging ways..

Jurgen Klinsmann says his biggest concern is developing world class strikers for the USMNT. He also clarified some of his remarks in the recent interview with the Washington Post.

Did you know Jurgen Klinsmann currently has the best winning percentage of any USMNT head coach in the modern era?

US Soccer has announced it will host Costa Rica in a friendly at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 13, three days after the Confederations Cup playoff match against Mexico at the Rose Bowl.

ProSoccerTalk has an interesting Q&A with U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog. While he said the team is focused on qualifying for the Olympics before talking about what senior players he might choose to fill the Olympic side, this passage caught my eye, particularly considering Klinsmann’s comments about developing a world class striker:

Maybe the one thing that is different in Europe is that when a player is 17 or 18 and is really talented, the teams tend to push him to play already at the highest level. In MLS it would be good if more young players get more opportunities to play. Especially for the future of the men’s national team.

It is good if you bring in a lot of superstars like Kaka and all these guys, but most of time they play in key positions and how do you want to give a young forward in MLS a chance to improve and get starting time if the best players are in those positions? On one side it’s good to bring the superstars into the league and on the other side, at least for the national team, it is a little bit risky, because if they play in the key positions and the young talented players aren’t able to play in positions like striker or the No. 10 role, then in a couple of years we will not have enough players in those positions. The pool of players for the U.S. will have no experience playing in this positions. It is a little bit of a dangerous situation which a couple of nations in Europe have had problems with already.

Yep. The U-23s play Qatar today in their final match before the start of the Olympic qualification tournament.

The AP reports, “Australia’s two-game series against Women’s World Cup champion the United States is in doubt after the players went on strike ahead of the last practice.” Australia is scheduled to play the USWNT Sept. 17 (Detroit) and 20 (Birmingham).


Reuters reports Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein ” will almost certainly announce later this week” his candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

Reuters reports: “FIFA presidential candidate Zico wants to hold a debate with his rivals in Zurich later this month, a source close to the former Brazilian international told Reuters on Saturday. Zico made the suggestion in an email to rival candidate Chung Mong-joon and also said the BBC was willing to organize the debate.” Zico has also released a manifesto that emphasizes “democratization, transparency, governance and the permanent evolution of world football.”

At The Guardian, Owen Gibson on how investment in soccer development in China could change the world’s game.


  1. Dear Ray,
    Prove him wrong. Prove Clarence Goodman is bogus. Do it again. And again. And again. More please.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      It is Goodson right? Not trying to be a dick, I just want to make sure we’re talking about the same guy. Regardless… I agree… hell of a service… do it again!

      • Apologies. It’s Clarence Goodson.
        I copy/pasted from the [incorrect] text on this page, not from the linked article.
        I meant no disrespect and I bet neither did Ed.

  2. Thoughts from the enthralling game against Peru…I repeat…
    What is it?
    It’s it.
    What is it?
    – Faith No More.

    • *queue flopping fish on the ground while the piano plays the exit music*

    • Haha, I actually just saw them play in NYC a few weeks ago and they f’ng smoked…and yes, they did play Epic.

    • I laugh at the “experimentation” JK is always up too…….but when its a match that means something, or a must win…..he reverts back to the old 4-4-2, park the bus, counter the heck out of them…which has been our MO for the past 20 years. Mark it, bucket 4-4-2 with two holding mids against Mexico….

      • Players need to change before the system does. That is why you see JK going after dual-nationals like Zelalem, college kids like Morris, and a lower-division guys like Ibarra. It is because the players he needs to play the way he wants are not in the current player pool.
        It is hard to get away from playing the bunker-and-counter the team has done for years when that is the way your personnel is set up.
        I keep saying, the biggest impact JK will have on US soccer is not while he is a coach but rather the things he is putting in motion for 10-15 years from now in the youth system and in the change of soccer culture overall (players, coaches, fans,…).

  3. The Bedoya link gives me hope that the current financial situation will not be the case forever.
    Bradley is 1000% right. Herzog has a really solid point that I had not really thought of before.

  4. Every team needs continuity. Landon even mentioned in regards to the USMNT (nice to see him continue his candid talk in regards to Jurgen’s job).
    31 Separate Lineups?!?! That’s insane. We are not happy where we are, and there are improvements needed, but dear God…can we get some health and consistency for our young manager, please?

  5. OK. Who’s secretly (or not so secretly) rooting for Nicaragua tonight so Blake gets fewer callups?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Well, I see your point, but, learning to handle the pressure of big games is not a bad teaching opportunity for the future benefit of your club side (Sept 30th, for instance?).

    • I agree with OSC: Blake should play as much as possible, and likely learns more, right now, playing for his country. We should all be rooting for MLS to stop playing through international breaks.

      • I’ll have to see if I can find it. I once sat down and tried to make a schedule that honored international dates while still having room for USOC and such. I was able to do it, but it’s actually not as easy as it would seem.
        My solution was to make all mid-week games “rivalry” games. So travel would be minimal for the away team, and it’s a game fans will care about which should help attendance. I mean, let’s face it: NYRB or DCU are going to pull larger Wednesday evening crowds at PPL Park than Chi or Dallas or SKC or whoever else. So take advantage of that.
        Now… my exercise was pretty simplistic. It didn’t take into account, for example, actual availability of the stadium. Or CONCACAF Champions’ League matches. So there’s that.

      • I’ve done the same and included the CCL matches. It can be done. Would be a grueling schedule for some teams and the weather issues early and late in the season cause some issues.

  6. Th 31 different lineups really sticks out. I’m not sure I could even do that on purpose, with time to plan, let alone it just happening by accident. I think most of us have resigned ourselves to the fact that the league games are practice for the final in a few weeks, and that’s the main focus. To that point, Casey must play in some capacity, the guy still has skill for 15-30 mins.
    Jurgen… Underwhelming. The roster choices or disparaging to say the least. Please let us best Mexico next month, is that too much to ask?

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    WOW that Bedoya information is really interesting. Could have been our first million dollar man. I’ll say it again… this offseason is MASSIVE for this team.

    • Still leads me to the same issue we had last summer (re Mbohli signing). Would a team that’s supposedly devoted large resources to finding a Director of Soccer sign a guy long-term to big (for MLS) money before hiring the Director of Soccer? Seems pretty foolish to me. Or it indicates the DoS hire is coming from within or not coming at all. Now 9.5 months since they announced they were going to hire someone…

      • As a rule the team should never ever sign a player who has played for more teams then number of professional years played divided by three.
        You hear me Sak!?!?
        teamsplayedfor > yearsplayed/3 means NO!

      • Surely, there have to be some exceptions to that rule, yes? I mean… just to muck around with numbers… Any player who has less than 3 years played will always fail this test, even if they’ve only played for one team.

      • Yeah, younger players are the exception to the rule. I thought about that but it was too late to edit.
        Shall we say the rule need only apply after 5 years as a professional?
        Or change to something like:
        teamsplayedfor > yearsplayed/2 means NO!
        *After 3 professional years

      • I was mostly just busting balls – it beats the hell out of actually doing any work in the office today. 🙂
        It’s actually not a terrible rule of thumb to look at, but rather than always being a “No” it should just raise a red flag in some cases.

      • I hear you, boss just left for a 3-day conference so I’m just on sports sites. 😛
        Oh and just to contradict myself:
        Before coming to the Union, Freddy Adu played 7 professional years, for 3 teams plus 4 more teams on loan from one of the main 3.
        Before coming to the Union, Cristian Maidana played 8 professional years, for 3 teams plus 4 more teams on loan from one of the main 3.
        But it any case, multiple teams should be a red flag that requires more investigation.

  8. I’m not suggesting NASL is a far inferior league, but I would rather see them continue to develop the teams they have and/or expand to places that don’t have MLS teams [yet]. OKC and Virginia were planned expansion teams, but were both scrapped. I am against promotion relegation (I don’t see why they need it. Idc if Europe does it), but the argument for it would be easier to listen to if NASL teams were playing in front of 10-12,000 a night consistently. I don’t expect the same numbers as MLS, but there should be a reasonable expectation that those teams can draw fans before they talk about making the jump to Division I. The constant battle they keep putting up for territory (Miami FC after Beckham’s announcement) and saying they can compete with MLS is just silly, when they should be focused on developing their product and actually building a league that can meet the USSF’s requirements, regardless of how ridiculous they are.

  9. I’ve seen other teams’ fans refer to the Union as PU in an insulting way. Just noticed if our USL team goes with Bethlehem Steel, they’d be BS. Cosmically appropriate for our owners- PU and BS.

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    That eliminating the goalkeepers only reduced the line-up discontinuity from 31 to 30 took me by surprise. I had assumed the keepers accounted for more of it.
    I would add to the three first time away wins an ability the squad has to play well above apparent capacity for particular single games, the ability to play “unconsciously”is my own imprecise colloquial label for it. All three coaches have had the ability to get that effort upon occasion, Curtin accomplishes it at least as well as the other two. My instinct that Curtin’s frequency is greater I attribute to my favorable bias in his favor.
    He also has had some successes in rehabilitating players thought to be beyond salvageable – Carroll, Fabinho – and off to difficult starts due to combinations of poor play and injury – Casey, Vitoria, Lahoud, Sapong (although the program in CA should get its due). The preliminary signs are hopeful for Blake after two moderate surgeries and two call-ups. The jury is still out on Aristeguieta (with the reminder that he has had two separate injuries and a call-up) and especially Wenger, but the preceding list relieves a little of the Wenger-angst. The relative success ratio of this list makes him even more credible than he already has been in his rejection of Mbohli.

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