Daily news roundups

Houston calling, RIver Cup, FIFPro challenging FIFA transfer system, FIFA general secretary suspended

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Sunday night at the 7 pm, the Union will host Houston Dynamo in a nationally televised game (FS1, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go). Forget about the playoffs, we can probably all agree it would be nice to get a win at home for a change in the last game at PPL Park before the US Open Cup final on Sept. 30.

Previews at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Brotherly Game, Blue and Gold Blog, and MLSGB.

Speaking to the Inquirer’s Marc Narducci, former Union, and current Dynamo, man Sheanon Williams says of Sunday’s game, “It’s going to be a lot of fun. Obviously I enjoyed my time in Philadelphia and it was definitely tough to leave, but I find myself in a good situation.”

At the Houston Dynamo website, Williams is perhaps a little more forthright: “Obviously spent a lot of time there, definitely gave a lot of energy and effort to that team and felt that they kind of turned their back on me. So I’m looking to get back and have a good showing.”

In a piece at MLSsoccer.com, Maurice Edu tells Dave Zeitlin scoring in last year’s US Open Cup final was one of the special moments of his career. Looking ahead to this year’s final on Sept. 30, he said,

Obviously losing the Cup final here last year, that sucked, and we’ve done an unbelievable job to get back in the same position to host it again this year. Of course, I want to be out there, I want to be out there helping the team… [Winning] the first trophy in club history, that’s motivation enough for me to fight through whatever injury I have and play through whatever pain threshold there is to try to be a part of it.”

At The 700 Level, Dave Zeitlin has more on the Union’s use of drones to film training sessions. Neat video.

River Cup

The fifth annual charity River Cup match between the Sons of Ben and the Union technical staff and front office will take place at PPL Park on Saturday at 11:30 am. The Sons of Ben will be facing a Union side that includes head coach Jim Curtin, assistant coach Mike Sorber, technical director Chris Albright, as well as team owners Jay Sugarman, Nick Sakiewicz, Richie Graham, Rob Buccini and Chris Buccini (click here for a roster card of the two teams). The game will be followed by the Delaware River Craft Brewfest at 3 pm. Click here to purchase tickets.  Proceeds will benefit the Philadelphia Union Foundation

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders must win Saturday’s regular season finale at home against Pittsburgh Riverhounds if they are to reach the USL playoffs (7 pm, YouTube). Also at stake is the Keystone Derby Cup. Pittsburgh currently leads the series with two wins and a loss. Previews at Harrisburg City Islanders and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

The City Islanders will be holding a rally before the game at 6:30 pm to encourage support for the team’s efforts to gain funding for a new stadium.

Major Arena Soccer League’s Harrisburg Heat will open the new season in Detroit on Nov. 6.

The Daily News has a profile piece on Central High School boys soccer head coach, and PSP contributor, Josh Trott.

At the Courier Post, a profile piece on Pat McCarthy, a center midfielder at Cinnaminson High School and younger brother of Union goalkeeper John McCarthy. He said of practicing taking shots against his older brother when he was younger, “I used to hate shooting against him. The great shots I took playing against a goalie my age, he would make the saves and it would frustrate me.”

35 years ago today, goals from George Gorleku and Richie Reice saw the Pennsylvania Stoners defeat Sacramento Gold 2-1 in front of 7,723 spectators at Allentown School District Stadium to win the American Soccer League championship. If the UNion’s USL team gets attendance like that in nearby Bethlehem, thinks will be looking good, I should think.

MLS

Who can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, you ask? Click here.

At ESPN, Columbus Crew captain Michael Parkhurst writes about the importance of a consistent routine when preparing for games.

David Villa, just a kid from Tuilla.

US

Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick as the USWNT defeated Haiti 5-0 in Thursday night’s World Cup Victory Tour game in Detroit. The team faces Haiti again on Sunday (3 pm, ESPN2).

Looks like Mexico captain Andres Guardado will be out six weeks with an ankle injury he picked up in PSV Eindhoven’s Champions League win over Manchester United on Tuesday and will therefore miss the Confederation’s Cup playoff match against the US on Oct. 10. Never like to see anyone injured but, you know, fingers crossed!

CONCACAF released a statement about the meeting in Mexico City on Thursday staging the Copa Centenario, a meeting US Soccer did not attend:

Today in Mexico City, CONCACAF had a very productive meeting with CONMEBOL and our broadcast partners, Univision and Televisa, regarding the Copa America Centenario. While all parties recognize that there are still issues that must be resolved, we are all in alignment regarding the next steps to be taken as well as the aggressive timeline towards realizing our common goal of staging the Copa America Centenario in the United States. We remain committed to working with all parties to resolve outstanding issues and operational components of the tournament.

Time is ticking on the tournament, scheduled to take place June 3-26 in 2016, being staged in the US. More on Thursday’s meeting from the AP.

Elsewhere

Where to start? How about this: FIFPro announced today it has “filed legal action against FIFA, in the form of a competition law complaint lodged with the Directorate General Competition of the European Commission in Brussels, challenging the global transfer market system governed by FIFA’s regulations as being anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal.” FIFPro President Philippe Piat said in the statement,

FIFA fails to administer professional football the same way it has failed to govern itself. Commercial interests of a few prevail, while the majority of players and clubs are disadvantaged. It is time the rule of law prevails over the interests of cartels. The ones benefiting from this are few – major clubs, agents and third party owners. The ones undermined are many and we now call for change.

The legal action from the global players union is seeking to replace transfer fees with a bargaining system, ending the loan system, limits on roster sizes, and a cap on agents fees. Reports and analysis from The Guardian, ESPN, BBC, and PA Sport.

The FIFA corruption allegations are getting closer to the top. FIFA has suspended general secretary Jerome Valcke, the organization’s No. 2 official, following reports that he was involved in scheme to resell tickets to the 2014 World Cup for personal profit. Reports on Valcke’s suspension at The GuardianReuters and the AP.  The Guardian and Reuters on Valcke’s checkered history at FIFA. Reports on the allegations against Valcke at Estadao (crappy Google translation here), and the Daily Mail.

The Press Association reports, Valcke “tried to secure a pay-off of several million pounds from FIFA just a week before he was suspended.”

Meanwhile, ceremonies in Russia marking 1,000 days until the start of the 2018 World Cup went on without Valcke.

Reuters reports, “Swiss authorities have approved the extradition of Uruguayan citizen Eugenio Figueredo to the United States as part of an investigation into suspected corruption in soccer.” The AP notes Figueredo, a former FIFA vice president, “is accused of bribery and fraudulently obtaining American citizenship.”

Keir Radnedge reports, “Gorka Villar, son of FIFA vice-president Angel Villar and a member of the world federation’s new reform committee, has been accused of ‘pressure and extortion’ by eight Uruguayan clubs.”

ESPN reports, “Thirteen women’s soccer players have been removed from their national team rosters in the upcoming FIFA 16 video game after the NCAA told game maker Electronic Arts that putting the players in the game would compromise their eligibility.”

Electronic Arts said in a statement,

We do not agree with [the NCAA’s] position. All rights were secured following standard protocol with national governing bodies and federations, and none of these NCAA student-athletes or potential student athletes were to be individually compensated by EA SPORTS for their inclusion in the game.

We believe this decision denies these 13 athletes the opportunity to represent their countries in the game, but we have removed them from FIFA 16 to ensure there is no risk to their eligibility.

FIFA 16 is set to be released next Tuesday, Sept. 22

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

40 Comments

  1. Want some good commentary on the pro/rel discussion…check out the most recent article and comments on 3four3 site.

    • Kleiban is the man. Is he still signed on at LA? I know the Galaxy took over Chivas USA’s academy. Not sure if it will be returned to LAFC in the future or if it was absorbed into the current LAG system. Would love for the Union to pick him up for their academy or even the first team.

  2. I am enjoying this meltdown of FIFA. I am hoping for more and more corruption charges to be filed, more ExCo members to be charged and jailed, and for the whole system to come crumbling down.
    Now with FIFPro attacking from another flank, FIFA will be forced to defend itself from multiple directions.
    .
    Oftentimes true reform cannot happen without the collapse of the establishment. Hopefully we are seeing the beginnings of that collapse now.

    • And if we get real lucky, the NCAA will be next…

      • The NCAA staying at 68 teams for Men’s basketball instead of going to 96 or somewhere in-between, and moving to a playoff instead of the BCS, was a step in the right direction for NCAA, as in the former they turned down more money, and the latter made it a theoretically more level playing field. It’s not nearly as corrupt as FIFA (they are still run by the almighty dollar however) but the real problem is that a vast majority of their rules are Draconian at worst and downright ridiculous at best. Their battle with EA over football and now FIFA for eligibility purposes is absurd.

      • The NCAA makes all of their money from uncompensated labor. They profit from the likeness of college athletes but don’t pay them any residuals. The kids voluntarily do this, but if they knew their market value, they wouldn’t stand for it.

      • Ohio State football….I remember the kids selling their rings….was it Terrell Pryor? I think. But imagine….your a broke college kid without two dimes to rub together….you walk by the school store….and your jersey is selling for $85!

      • Rank in order of corruption:
        1) FIFA
        2) IOC
        3) NCAA

        In order to work at any of those three, make sure to check all morals at the door. They will not only be unnecessary, but a grand hindrance.

  3. Is there any way to get Sak involved in this FIFA corruption scandal? Just sayin….

  4. So…somebody smarter than me please help me out? What’s wrong with loans, at least from FIFPro’s perspective?

    • I doubt I’m smarter than you, but … loans are a problem with FIFPro because the player has no say in the club they get loaned to.

    • Loans also allow the biggest clubs to control the most amount of players (i.e. – Chelsea, Man City, etc.) which is anti-competitive from FIFPro’s perspective.

      That said, as long as you limit the amount of players that a club can have out on loan at one time, that would be sufficient from my vantage point.

      • That plus general roster size limits would seem to fix that issue.
        .
        Maybe it’s my limited perspective – I wasn’t really much of a soccer fan until the Union. But I see situations like the Union loaning players to H-Burg or Fernandes being loaned to Cosmos this year as good for the players. It gets them playing time when they might otherwise just be sitting around.

      • True, but many times, the team who is loaning the player out has to pay all or a large portion of that player’s salary which again favors the larger clubs. IMHO, It’s not a convincing argument by FIFPro on this issue, but I guess to be consistent, they’ve taken this position.

      • It could also be part of their “case” because it gives them something to negotiate away later. They could relent on loans (maybe with some small stipulations) in exchange for things they want more.

      • plus in any cup competitions…these guys are cup tied and can’t play against the owning club…….

      • I think all, or at least most loans should have some sort of buy-out option when the loan ends so the team using that player can purchase him, but that agreement also includes an adjusted and negotiated salary which the team he is loaned to must cover for the duration of his stay. There could also be a player or team opt out clause if certain requirements aren’t met, such as playing time, position or health and safety.

  5. More upset than ever that my company needs me to go out of town Sunday and that I’m going to miss my first game of the season. Was really looking forward to seeing Sheannon.
    .
    At least tomorrow, the SOB fans can boo Sak with complete impunity 🙂 River Cup is a lot of fun watching bad soccer and a chance to give back to the local community.

    • This will be the first River Cup that I miss. My U16 team plays at 12:30.

    • “bad soccer”!!?? I resemble that remark. I actually think the quality of soccer will be pretty good this year. Doubt I’ll see much of the field. And yes, it’s a great opportunity to blast the FO from the stands. There’s always a few good chants for a chuckle.
      .
      COME TO THE RIVER CUP PEOPLE! Just don’t boo the bald guy on the SOBs…he’s “one of you.” 😉

  6. Is it too late to vote for “Pennsylvania Stoners” as the name for the USL team?

  7. I imagine the discussions related to the US holding the Copa Centenario going something like this:
    .
    FIFA: We’ll hold the Copa in the US, if you promise not to arrest us when we get there.
    .
    US: No.

  8. Don’t dishonor the club Bethlehem Steel FC and their history. Join the regions Philadelphia / Delaware river and Lehigh Valley. With write in name like “Union Steel FC” joining the new and the old in honoring both.

    • Old Soccer Coach. says:

      But doesn’t your juxtaposition violate the actual labor history of the region? I may be all wrong, haven’t opened a U.S. textbook in nearly two decades. I thought “Little Steel” was strongly anti-Union.

      • Well let’s say that the UNION is an action joining together separate individuals and that STEEL pieces can be welded or joined together to form one strong larger piece. So that is how I saw the two teams being joined and the regions. Join or die become larger stronger or be broken.
        Besides this will never be Bethlehem Steel FC Lehigh Valley FC shows no ties to the Union and what the team ends up not playing in Bethlehem

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