Daily news roundups

Union bits, USL prez hopes for D2 status in 2017, more FIFA corruption charges coming

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Happy Roster Freeze Deadline Day!

Sebastien Le Toux will be doing a US Open Cup AMA on Reddit today beginning at 12:30 pm.

Maurice Edu talked to CBS Philly’s The Sports Zone about the upcoming US Open Cup final on Sept. 30? Haven’t gotten your tickets yet for the game? What are you waiting for? Click here, silly.

At the Sporting Kansas City website, a look at how KC and the Union are both looking to find their form ahead of the US Open Cup final. The post includes these interesting tidbits; “Every single team in Major League Soccer this year has been through a stretch of 10 regular season games in which they earned three or fewer victories…Sporting KC has one point in the last five games. Philadelphia has one point in their last four league home matches. Both teams have just three wins in their past 10 regular season games and share identical 3-5-2 records over that span.”

Jim Curtin is on SBI’s list of eight MLS coaches “on the hot seat.”

Power rankings: A one spot drop at SI to No. 18. At Soccer America, a one spot drop to No. 17. At ESPN, the Union remain at No. 18.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Reppert says the fan vote for the name of the Union’s USL team is fooling no one and that the team should just announce it will be Bethlehem Steel FC.

Local

University City Derby time: Drexel hosts Penn tonight at 7 pm.

Temple’s Alex Cagle was named Goalkeeper of the Week, and Jorge Gomez Sanchez was named Offensive Player of the Week, by the American Athletic Conference. Brendon Creed was named the Philly Soccer Six Defender of the Week

Meghan McCool (Penn Fusion; Glenside, Penn.) has been called up by the US U-20 WNT for a training camp in Honduras, Sept. 19-25, ahead of CONCACAF’s qualification tournament that will take place there, Dec. 3-13, for the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papau New Guinea. The team will play Honduras on Sept. 23.

Rachael Dorwart (Penn Fusion; Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.) are currently training with the U-17 GNT at the NAtional Training Center in Carson, Calif. for the camp that began Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 20. The qualification tournament for the 2016 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Jordan next September, will take place in March in Grenada.

The Philly Voice on the best Philly bars for “soccer hooligans.” Full disclosure: I work at one of them.

MLS

Tonight in CONCACAF Champions League play, DC United hosts Aribe Unido (8 pm: Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go), and Real Salt Lake are in El Salvador to face Santa Tecla (10 pm:Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go).

Seattle Sounders defender Roman Torres, who is also captain of the Panamanian national team, is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered before the end of the first half in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with San Jose. It was only his four start with Seattle after signing with the team on Aug. 12.

In a report at the LA Times on LAFC’s emphasis on reaching millennials as the club grows the it’s brand and identity, Kevin Baxter reports the club will announce its name today: Los Angeles Football Club.

At ASN, Wendy Thomas has a fascinating read on various non-monetary benefits that make playing in MLS attractive to foreign players.

An interesting read at MLSsoccer.com on how the “Drogba Legend” banner made its way from Stamdord Bridge to Stade Saputo.

Using data from WhoScored.com, Brotherly Game looks at formations used in MLS, the most popular of which is the 4-2-3-1.

At MPR, a look at what the tax breaks Minnesota United wants to construct a stadium in St. Paul might actually cost.

USL President Jake Edwards on the league’s plans to apply for second division status: “We’re in the middle of the process right now and hope to have something submitted to the Federation by the end of the year. When the Federation meets again early next year, we’re hoping to get a decision as quickly as possible in time for the 2017 season…We feel we have a very strong financial case. We feel good about it. We have the infrastructure in place and we think our case is very compelling. The USL is on the rise.”

US

In a Q&A at US Soccer, Jurgen Klinsmann talks about the recent Confederations Cup playoff and Olympic qualification tournament.

The BBC has an interesting read on the rising number of UK players who are opting for college soccer scholarships in the US.

Elsewhere

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference in Zurich that more indictments and arrests are expected as the investigation into FIFA corruption continues: “What I can say is that, separate and apart from the pending indictment, our investigation remains active and ongoing, and has in fact expanded since May…Based upon that cooperation (with Swiss authorities) and new evidence, we do anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities.”

Lynch also said she is also hopeful that individuals outside of the US who have already been indicted will be extradited to the US.

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said his investigation continues to gather evidence — “around 11 terabytes of electronic data — up from nine in the OAG’s June update — and 121 different bank accounts have been flagged for suspicious activity,” reports Reuters — and has also seized real estate suspected of being used in money laundering.

Lauber expressed surprise at the lack of interest from other national law enforcement agencies in the Swiss investigation: “Since we opened our criminal case against unknown persons, almost no foreign jurisdiction has requested mutual legal assistance so far…One can only speculate why this is and how it is.”

More on the press conference at The Guardian, ESPN (report, video), Soccer AmericaOmnisport, and the AP.

Reuters reports, “South America’s troubled soccer confederation CONMEBOL has approved a reform plan after it was caught up in the corruption scandal that has swept the sport and plunged governing body FIFA into crisis.”

Check out this week’s Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Champions League games.

31 Comments

  1. It’s amazingly simple, but LAFC is the right name. Nothing too cute, and a simple acronym.
    Now, when they sign Ronaldo in 2 years, I’ll be a bit pissed…but for now, it’s interesting to watch this rebranding.

    • You watch the brand of futbol they are playing in about 3-5 years when Brian Kleiben’s youth team players begin matriculating.
      .
      If you are unawares of his team’s style and philosophy…be ready. It is right. It is beautiful. It is the way forward for the game stateside.
      .
      He’s taken a bunch of SoCal boys of latin decent and built amazing teams… beaten the likes of Real, Ajax, gives Barca a fit… some of the great youth clubs in the world man.
      .
      LAFC. Watch out.

      • Infuriates me that you are correct. A team 2 years from even existing is already light years ahead of ours – who will almost be a decade old when LAFC debuts. Absolutely infuriating.

      • With out question they will be my surrogate team…after Portland Timbers from my time living in the Rose City…after The Cosmos.
        .
        Umm…is that too many? So American.

      • I was under the impression that the LA Galaxy acquired Chivas’ youth squad and thus all the players that Kleiben was developing. Did he sign a new contract with LAFC?

      • Your right my mistake I get the two confused. Apologies it was my contention when this happened that LAFC was out of its kind for not signing him..

  2. Question for the day — Would the Union perform better if Curtin was fired at season’s end and Jason Kreiss or Sigi Schmidt were hired to replace him?

    I think you have to go with yes, right? Maybe not a lot better, but better.

    • Possibly, but that still doesn’t address the team’s most glaring problem – lack of quality depth. I think Kreis or Schmidt is worth maybe 3 or 4 more wins out of this team as currently constructed over the course of a season.

    • A couple of years ago I might have agreed with you. But one of those guys is coaching a team loaded with talent that is just barely above the pathetic MLS playoff line (based on PPG), while the other coaches one of the two teams that is actually performing worse than the Union this season. So, not sure how you can say that.

      • I’m thinking along the lines of Ben T.’s response above, that either would find a way to win 2 or 3 games the Union has dropped. But, yeah, neither is exactly having a banner season.

    • Better if either one of them had any kickass power with the ownership/CEO and front office. Hopefully the coach could come in and rid the time of all of the non-MLS worthy talent who start and are on the roster!

    • Immediately? No. Therein lies the problem. Keep switching coaches every year and a half, and we’ll keep having lost seasons while the new coach adjusts the roster, and the players get used to the new coach.
      .
      Knowing the patience of Union fans, no coach we’d want would want to come here, because he’d be smart enough to realize that without immediate results, the fan base will bring out the pitchforks and torches and march on the castle.

      • Come on Rob…this is not accurate and it is not being intellectually honest.

      • I may have exaggerated, but we loved Hackworth until he went crazy, then called for his ouster, then cheered it.
        .
        We loved Curtin for a while, and now that we are having a rough season are calling for him to be fired.
        .
        We gave each about a year and a half. I admit, it is a small sample size, and I may over-simplify a bit, but it is the start of a trend.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        +1

      • I agree with point one but not point two. I think the fanbase still largely likes Curtin despite how bad the season has been. If he manages to win the Open Cup, he’ll be even more popular with fans.

    • No. Every time a new coach is hired, we go through a roster change, philosophy change, etc. That has a much bigger negative impact in the long run than a substitution coming 5 minutes late in one game. The data says that coaches actually make a very small impact on the success or failure of the team. That impact primarily comes from the owner/GM level. That’s where we need some improvement.

      • Agreed. The dirt always follow the path of least resistance when it rains.
        .
        And boy has it rained for this club so far in our inglorious on field existence.

      • Could you share with us the data you’re citing regarding the “very small impact” of coaching on team success?

    • Sigi or Jim?…….Is that a serious question?

  3. wow. that video for Drogba. i watched that like 3 times. how cool is that?!
    and from a secondary supporters club!

  4. Is it September 30th yet?! I just want to be at a meaningful game.

    • At least we have Champions League.

    • is it me or does it seem fewer are interested in the final? i had the trophy here in my building as a precursor with a bunch of union buzz. i hope we have equal if not better the crowd and environment than last year’s.

      • I think some money spent on advertising would help.
        .
        Get Comcast Network on board – trumpet the chance to win club’s first trophy…’come on down and support the Union stuff…great night by the river and bridge. Come on the U.’
        .
        Missed Opportunity IMO.

  5. The Unions’s USL Team Name : Honor Bethlehem Steel FC don’t tarnish the name of the club and its history join the Philadelphia Union and this new chapter and Lehigh Valley soccer with a name that represents the new and the old past and present in the form of this name “Union steel FC” join the movement use the writing.

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