Daily news roundups

Edu back in training and other presser notes, Bedoya, SoB elections on hold, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Notes from Curtin’s weekly presser

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference on Wednesday (full transcript here at PSP) is that Maurice Edu is back at full training with the team. Curtin said, “He has a little bit of soreness that comes with returning to play, getting back up to the speed of things. But, I’m going to trust Mo, he knows his body very well and how it will respond after today’s session will be important. I’ll talk with him after this and we’ll put a plan together, but the hope is to have him back and available for this weekend.”

And if he’s not ready to play on Sunday against Houston? Curtin said, “If it’s a situation where maybe he’s not ready for Houston we do at least give him live minutes in the New England game and then we kind of step back and evaluate if from there.”

Curtin said he’s unlikely to wait until the Open Cup final to play him should Edu need more time to recover from his groin injury. “I don’t think that’s a good way to handle it, not fair to Mo, not fair to the team, to throw him in just to the Open Cup.”

Edu tells Matthew De George, “Just trying to take it day-by-day, see if I can keep progressing and just see how much pain I can tolerate. I’m trying to get through it.”

And if he cannot get through it? Edu said, “I would never do anything for personal gain to jeopardize the results or the success of the team. If I felt like I was going to be more of a liability as opposed to an impact in the team, then I would do the smart thing and say, ‘look, I’m not ready.’ So I’m just pushing it, hopefully I can get some minutes before the cup final, but at the end of the day, it’ll be a last-minute decision I’m assuming, and it’s up to the coach to make the decision. I say that I feel comfortable, that I’m available to play. But at the end of the day, it’s in his hands who he puts out there.”

Curtin said it is easier to work Edu back into the lineup at center back rather than in midfield. “It’s less running, certainly. The ground that you cover as a center back is less. In some ways, with the pain and the fitness level, maybe it keeps Mo at home a little more. In midfield, the tendency will be to run and break up a ton of plays — might not be the best thing on a groin that’s bothering you a little bit. So, again, we’ll evaluate it the whole we, we’ll see how Mo responds, and we’ll do what’s best to try to get a result.

Asked about the goalkeeper situation, Curtin said, “We have a plan in place for that that gives us the best option to win against Houston and also to maintain form for the Open Cup final.

On the injury front, Curtin said Andrew Wenger injured his knee in training. “His knee twisted a little bit and it’s taken a little longer than we thought. It’s on his left, so it’s not his dominant foot, but it still gives him a little pain when he strikes the ball so we’re being smart with that. Obviously, a guy you would like to have on the bench, a guy who you have an eye on for the final with, and you would also like to get back in some way, shape, or form as a sub against Houston and maybe to start against New England to get him going again.”

Curtin also discussed the team using drones to record training sessions. “[W]e’ve kind of stumbled into it and it’s become a good tool, one that maybe it’s unique and a little strange to have that thing hovering over you during a practice but it gives you, certainly, a view you can’t replicate with a handheld on the sidelines or even the camera angles from TV. It’s a unique view and I’m open to sharing and showing what that looks like. It’s pretty impressive, though, and, again, something we’ll incorporate and have out there.” More on the drones at Union Tally


At SI, Grant Wahl writes,

Look for U.S. national team midfielder Alejandro Bedoya to make a move from his French club, FC Nantes, in the next year. I’m told that talks are ongoing between Bedoya’s representatives and the Philadelphia Union, which nearly acquired him at the end of the recent transfer window. A German Bundesliga team was also heavily interested in Bedoya, who could move in January or next summer.

One question is whether Philadelphia would still want to move for Bedoya if the Union would have to wait for another year.

Stay tuned.


Looking ahead the the game against Houston on Sunday, a report at MLSsoccer.com underscores how the Dynamo are a team that has been affected tnhis season by lineup inconsistencies due to injury and international callups. Add suspensions to the list and it sounds very familiar.

At the Sporting Kansas City website, an interesting comparison of what Cristian Maidana and Benny Feilhaber bring to their teams.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young considers what fans deserve from their team and concludes two things are deserved: “A good game experience and an honest attempt to win.” Young writes what fans don’t “deserve” is a winning team: “Fans might feel they deserve a winning team for their money but any amount of bad luck or bad moves might cause a team to lose. What fans do deserve though is an honest effort to fix the issues.”

Sons of Ben

The elections for two open positions on the Sons of Ben board have been indefinitely suspended “due to the lack of interest within membership to participate in the election process.” The latest SoB newsletter notes, “We had one nomination for the Travel Director and one nomination for Treasurer. We will reach out to the two nominees along with other candidates we feel would be a good fit for the open seats and see if we can generate interest in that manner and then make a decision that is in the best interest of the Sons of Ben.”


A Jason Plumhoff hat trick, along with goals from Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot (who also had a goal called back) and Andrew Lubahn, powered Harrisburg City Islanders to a 5-0 road win over FC Montreal on Wednesday. The win sees Harrisburg move into seventh place, one point behind sixth place Charlotte Independence, with one game remaining. That final game takes place in Harrisburg on Saturday against Pittsburgh Riverhounds who, after drawing 1-1 with first place Rochester Rhinos on Wednesday, are in eighth place and one point behind the City Islanders.

Two second half goals saw Temple’s men’s team defeat Villanova, 2-1, on Wednesday. Undefeated with a 5-0-1 record, Temple travels to West Philly on Sunday to face Penn at 7 pm.

Area teams have been awarded four of the 36 slots in the local qualifying track of the Open Division of the 2016 US Open Cup, including Vereinigung Erzgebirge and West Chester United of the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania, and Junior Lone Star and Salone FC of the Philadelphia Premier League. The fixtures for the first local qualifying round (Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25), and the bracket for the second qualifying round (Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22), will be announced on Monday, Sept. 21. The Open Division includes all teams not in USL, NASL, or MLS. Reading United has one of the PDL’s 15 slots for the 2016 tournament.


In midweek play on Wednesday, first place New England (46 points) extended their win streak to six game, and their unbeaten streak to seven, with a 2-1 win over second place NYRB (45 points). Eighth place NYCFC (31 points) defeated fifth place Toronto (37 points) 2-0, with Frank Lampard scoring his first MLS goal. The game also produced this entertaining comment from TFC head coach Greg Vanney on the size of NYCFC’s field at Yankee Stadium: “It’s borderline ridiculous. It would be a perfect field for 12 year olds.” Sixth place Montreal (33 points) drew 1-1 on the road after going down to ten men against San Jose, who remain seventh in the West with 40 points. (Evan Bush, Marco Donadel, Didier Drogba, Justin Mapp, and Ignacio Piatti were all sent back to Montreal to rest following Saturday’s scoreless draw against LA and so did not participate in Wednesday’s game.) The Union are now in ninth place in the East with 30 points following Wednesday’s results.

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Vancouver defeated Olimpio 1-0. A road win against Seattle next Wednesday, which comes four days after the Sounders face the Whitecaps on the road in league play on Saturday, will clinch advancement to the tournament quarterfinals.

A CONCACAF spokesperson has confirmed discussions are underway to change the Champions League tournament schedule to a single-year, spring-to-fall format. This would certainly find MLS team’s in better form, and mitigate the distinct advantage Liga MX teams have had, but also raises the question of whether increasing roster size/improving squad depth in MLS would be required to be able to effectively compete for both the Champions League and MLS playoffs, not to mention the specter of a whole lot more midweek games.

Joining in the displays of solidarity from soccer fans and clubs around the world with Syrian refugees, fans at last weekend’s Toronto FC match against New England held up a “Refugees Welcome” banner. Some 20 minutes later, stadium security asked them to take down the banner, even though it was being displayed in a supporters area in which ticket buyers are warned could have an obstructed view. A spokesperson for Toronto FC owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment said, “As per both venue and league security policies, banners containing political messaging of any kind are not permitted.”

Defender Kofi Opare has signed a multi-year contract extension with DC United.

Construction of Orlando City’s new stadium is underway.

WRALSportsFan has an interesting read based on interviews last spring with past and present NASL officials and team owners about the league’s aspirations for Division 1 status.

It’s official: Reno will be the home of the USL’s 28th franchise. The team, which is owned by Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon, will begin play in 2017. Beginning play in 2016 will be FC Cincinnati, Rio Grande Valley FC, and the soon to be named Union-owned club in Bethlehem.


The USWNT’s World Cup Victory Tour continues tonight as they face Haiti in Detroit at 7 pm (Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Go). As you will recall, Australia was originally scheduled to face the US tonight in Detroit, and in Birmingham on Sunday, but withdrew after a players strike.

The New York Times reports,

After four months of doubt and speculation, all signs now point to U.S. Soccer withdrawing as host of the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament over unresolved concerns about legal liability that emerged after several top soccer and marketing officials connected to the tournament were arrested in May…U.S. Soccer officials will not attend a meeting in Mexico on Thursday to determine the fate of the troubled tournament, and multiple officials with knowledge of the organization’s position indicated that if the United States did not host the Copa América, then it was also probable that its national team would not participate.

And that, dear reader, is some disappointing news.


The Guardian reports, “FIFA reform campaigners have called on the British authorities to do more to ‘follow the money’ and help United States and Swiss investigators tackle corruption at world football’s governing body.” You will recall Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said in a joint press conference with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch earlier this week he has been surprised by the lack of requests for mutual legal assistance from other national law enforcement agencies.

Another European club tournament? The AP reports that at a meeting in Malta, UEFA representatives “explored the merits of a new competition for teams that fail to advance from the qualifying rounds for the Champions League or second-tier Europa League.” THe reports says, “They also considered whether the competition could be reserved for teams from smaller countries who never participate in the group stages of the existing cups.”

The AP reports, “The captain of the Iranian women’s soccer team will miss the Asian Cup tournament as her husband has confiscated her passport in a domestic quarrel, local media has reported.” Iranian law permits a husband to forbid his wife from traveling outside the country.

Manchester United is trying to raise another $400 million through a new share offering.


  1. Bedoya. Another midfielder. Jeeze. Why don’t we pick up a stud US defender or goal scorer… oh that’s right…no linebackers or wide receivers in this football.

    • Bedoya can play out wide, and in MLS I think he can thrive there. But if we’re assuming Maidana will be gone if we bring him in, then Curtin could go with a tight diamond in the midfield – Nogs-Barnetta-Bedoya-Carroll – with Seba and CJ up top.

    • Yeah, why would we be in the market for Bedoya after bringing Barnetta here?

    • we don’t have a lot of good wing options right now

      • Bedoya isn’t get up the field and attack type wingman though…IMO. He is surplus to goods…less you’re moving Madaina on…Noguiera isn’t staying or Edu is forever finally a CB.
        I don’t get it. Not fooling me.

  2. So I’m guessing the Union will win the Open Cup but then when the Champions League schedule gets switched, the teams that qualify for Champions League this year will get skipped for the teams that qualify next year.

  3. It really doesn’t surprise me that the SOB elections have been delayed. I think this has been the culmination of a lot of separate threads coming together at one time. Between poor play, the fact that you don’t have to be a member to sit in the River End anymore and the marketing of the river end as “Hey look at us we are the biggest assholes out there.” You end up with a bunch of assholes in the river end who have no reason to join the SOB’s and a bunch of people who rather not join an organization that seemingly caters to assholes just to watch a team that sucks.
    Hell I am considering just sitting on the other side of the field figuring if I’m gonna watch a team suck around people I may want to punch in the neck I might as we be able to sit.

    • This is so funny. And I thought I carried the sharpest razor for scathing commentary.
      You win.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      It’s a shame that 6 years into our club, the SOB’s are having trouble drumming up interest. I am not a member, as I do not have the time to dedicate to be involved, but as I get older, I will certainly entertain the idea. Regardless, it’s sad news, and I hope the owners of this club see what is happening. Build a winner = sell tickets. Give us what we have = people leave.

  4. Funny how the manager talks about drones and recording practices as if they ‘just stumbled upon it’ …managers have been buying raised cameras for a birds eye view of futbol training for a long time…hell the 3four3 guys have been videoing 10 year olds…
    How is it I know this and know the company to buy said camera from and I’m a hack not managing a professional franchise.

    Can someone ‘splain it to me like I’m a 2 year old.’ …to quote from Denzel Washington in Philadelphia.

    • “Eight year olds, Dude…eight year olds”

      • hell…even I choose seats in the nose bleeds for the better dimensioned view. Whatever. I’m glad they have drones for training now…I guess.
        Is that a full time staff member…cause the camera only costs about $3,000 and if somebody is flying a robot over every practice…that is money to be spent else where but hey…whatever.
        Fly on.

  5. In other news…not hosting the Copa ’16 is really really disappointing.

  6. USL team name “UNION STEEL FC” honor club don’t tarnish name bind the areas together

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