Daily news roundups

Who will Union play against NE? FIFA confirms dates for 2022 World Cup in Qatar, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

What will the Union look like on Saturday when they face the Revolution on the road?

Jim Curtin has said in recent press conferences he will sit players to ensure his starters for next Wednesday’s US Open Cup final are fully rested. And while there was no press conference this week, Curtin told the Inquirer’s Marc Narducci after Thursday’s training session, “You will see a different lineup.”

Could players who are likely to start still see minutes? Curtin said, “For sure. We will have all our guys traveling.”

The possibilities for the starting XI are of course affected by the latest injury report:

OUT: M Jimmy McLaughlin (concussion)
M Andrew Wenger (left MCL sprain, DNP 9/20)
F Fernando Aristeguieta (right groin strain)
GK Brian Sylvestre (left knee inflammation,

Therefore, depending on how aggressive Curtin decides to be with his resting of players the starting XI against the Revolution could be, as Matthew De George explains in his examination at Union Tally of the possibilities, “not pretty.”

Previews at PSP, Philadelphia Inquirer, Brotherly Game, MLSsoccer.com, New England Revolution (print, video), and Metro,

In US Open Cup final news, the broadcast schedule at ESPN has ESPN2 carrying the game at 7 pm. The game is now also listed as being broadcast on ESPN2 on the US Soccer website. However, as of this writing, neither the Union nor Kansas City have confirmed ESPN2 will broadcast the game and neither team’s website list a broadcaster for the game. If the game is not shown on ESPN2, it will presumably be available on YouTube, as has been the case throughout the tournament.

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead has a video breakdown of last weekend’s win over Houston:

That’s a lot of scarfs, artfully worn and displayed.


In case you were unaware, the Pope is a soccer fan.


In CONCACAF Champions League play, Real Salt Lake came from behind to defeat El Salvadoran side Santa Tecla, 2-1, to remain undefeated in their group with one game remaining.

Salt Lake needs only a tie to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals when they face Municipal on October 20. Soccer America notes, “If RSL advances it would mark the first time all four of MLS’s U.S. entrants have reached the CCL quarterfinals.” Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy and DC United have all clinched advancement. Vancouver was eliminated by Seattle earlier this week.

DC United midfielder Chris Rolfe has signed a contract extension with the club.

The Seattle Times on the “low-ball” offers from MLS to rookie players can hang over a player’s career.

David Beckham with an update on MLS Miami: “We’ve had a few mistakes along the way, which I’m glad we had them before rather than further along the line. But we’re looking good. We’re actually going to finalize the site in the next month, six weeks.”


Fathom Events has announced it has partnered with FS1 to show the USA-Mexico Confederations Cup match on October 10 in theaters across the US. As of this writing, the only showing in Pennsylvania is in Pittsburgh. The nearest showing to Philadelphia in New Jersey is in Trenton.

Soccer America considers the pluses and minuses of the USMNT having next summer off if it doesn’t participate in the Copa Centenario — wherever it is staged — and also fails to qualify for the Olympics.

Ah, the old 35-yard penalty kick shootout. Good times.


The AP’s Rob Harris tweeted at the conclusion of the FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich this morning:

Harris also tweeted it has been decided to relocate the next executive committee meeting, scheduled to take place in December in Japan to coincide with the Club World Cup, to Zurich because Sepp Blatter has travel concerns. You know, like being arrested if he travels outside of Switzerland. Blatter was supposed to have a press conference following the end of the executive committee meeting in Zurich today. The press conference was then canceled 10 minutes before it was scheduled to begin.

Among the other decisions was this:

In regard to the proposed amendments to article 36 of the FIFA Code of Ethics to allow the independent Ethics Committee to publish more information about its proceedings, the Executive Committee declared its support in principle and asked the FIFA Legal Committee for a final deliberation ahead of the next Executive Committee meeting. The independent chairmen of the committee’s two chambers, Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbély, had advocated this change in the interest of transparency and understanding of their work.

Writing at ESPNW on Thursday, Julie Foudy says, when it comes to reform, FIFA mustn’t forget improving its support for the women’s game. FIFA announced on Friday morning, “The executive also supported the call made by the FIFA Task Force for Women’s Football for greater inclusion and participation of women in football, which will be referred to the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee for consideration in the development of the final reform proposals.”

You can read a full list of the executive committee’s decisions here.

From the Press Association:

FIFA has handed over the suspended secretary general Jérôme Valcke’s emails to the Swiss prosecutors who are investigating his alleged involvement in a black market ticket scheme.

The world governing body had initially told the Swiss attorney general it would give access to the email accounts only if “several conditions be fulfilled.” However, it has now backed down and handed over all of Valcke’s emails since May and promised access to older messages.

More on the email access at the Wall Street Journal.

More on the extradition front from the New York Times.

Blatter calls for member nations to support the reform process in his latest FIFA Weekly column (p. 23):

We must put this right, once and for all, with water-tight reforms and a genuine commitment from all football administrators…We need to show that we understand the severity of this situation and that we are ready to take the right steps to fix it…This is the difficult path we must follow if we are serious about change…I expect all member associations to fully support this reform process at the Extraordinary Congress in February. To fail to do so would represent a betrayal of our institution, of football and of the millions of fans around the world that rightly expect the highest standards from those managing the game.

More on Blatter’s comments from Reuters.

FIFA presidential hopeful Michel Platini says he wants to minimize the role of politics in soccer’s world governing organization. “We have to care about the game, not politics. With me, there won’t be politics. With me, it’s about football, not politics.” I have no idea what that means.

The AP report quoted above continues,

However, Platini’s critics have often accused the Frenchman of putting politics before football, especially when he voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup weeks after meeting with then-France President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Platini acknowledged that he “might have told” American officials that he would vote for the rival United States bid. However, he changed his mind after the November 2010 meeting, hosted by Sarkozy at his official residence in Paris and also attended by senior Qatari officials. Platini said it was not anything prearranged.

“Sarkozy never asked me to vote for Qatar, but I knew what would be good,” he said, smiling.

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


  1. is Pfeffer fit?

  2. Mike Macheski says:

    My lineup prediction:

    4-2-3-1 with resting key players and current injuries:

    Pfeffer – Fred – Ayuk
    Creavalle – Lahoud
    Fabinho – Marquez – Vitoria – Gaddis

    Expect some minutes for CJ, Nogs, and Edu late.

    • except, Casey is coming into the (at that point scoreless) cup final as an 85th minute sub prepared to play a little more than a half hour, so he’ll need to rest this weekend

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Casey cannot go ninety; Aristeguieta’s hurt. Sapong or Le Toux about the 60th minute, all else being equal.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Fred is unlikely to go ninety; he did not in Lancaster against HCI.
        Hoppenot is available for minutes up top or out wide.
        Carroll ahead of Creavalle at DCM. HE AND lahoud have defended well together.
        Curtin is unlikely to break up the back line any more than necessary, altho’ Fabinho might be usefully rested.
        Perhaps the public telegraphing of a B lineup is suggesting to Jay Heaps that he rest some of the NE offensive horses.

    • i don’t see gaddis or fabinho playing in new england. no way curtin would risk his only two fullbacks getting tired or injured before wednesday

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Creavalle can sub for one, but who’d be the other? Wenger’s hurt.

      • anyone- we aren’t going to win it so put literally anyone at fullback as long as they are not a person that will be starting in the final on wednesday

      • Le Toux and Lahoud have both played some fullback in the past. Both are likely to be starters on Wednesday, so you run the risk with them playing and either getting hurt or just getting worn out.
        Wenger and McLaughlin both being hurt right now really impinges on the team’s ability in this weird situation. Either somebody who is a regular has to play FB (or share it, if you don’t mind burning a halftime sub), or you do something outside the norm – playing Ethan White, for example; or playing a 3-5-2.

      • i am thinking about this very differently. in my mind it does not matter if the person playing fullback tomorrow night has ever played fullback. the game tomorrow is not important at all compared to wednesday and they are playing on turf. put any player with a pulse in at fullback. hoppenot? sure. eric bird? why not.

      • Yeah, I got your angle, and even understand it. I think it’s one way of attacking the issue.
        For me, I’d rather have somebody there who has done it – because, though it may sound strange, I don’t want to get into a situation where somebody gets embarrassed. Pride is a big deal to professional athletes. I’d rather not potentially inject self-doubt into a player who is already floating on the “bubble” outside the regular 18.
        So for me, I would either do a 45 minute split between two players (Gaddis / Fabinho if it’s determined a little work is best for them, or somebody else if it’s determined to give them both the whole game off), or I’d rather do something entirely different and go 3-5-2.
        That all said, if somebody is comfortable being at FB, that’s the answer.

  3. Breaking news:
    ZURICH—The Swiss attorney general’s office Friday opened a criminal investigation into Sepp Blatter, the embattled president of soccer’s world governing body.
    Mr. Blatter was accused of signing contracts that were “unfavorable to FIFA” with the Caribbean Football Union and of making a “disloyal payment” to Michel Platini, who is the head of the European soccer confederation and is running for the FIFA presidency, Switzerland’s attorney general said.

  4. We must put this right, once and for all, with water-tight reforms and a genuine commitment from all football administrators…We need to show that we understand the severity of this situation and that we are ready to take the right steps to fix it…This is the difficult path we must follow if we are serious about change…I expect all member associations to fully support this reform process at the Extraordinary Congress in February. To fail to do so would represent a betrayal of our institution, of football and of the millions of fans around the world that rightly expect the highest standards from those managing the game.
    Wow. I think that might be the first time I agree with Sepp Blatter on anything he’s said. Huh. Guess there really is a first time for everything…

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      He wants to minimize his jail time; he has full confidence that the Incumbents will do as little as possible to disrupt the current flow patterns of the money.
      Now that he’s under investigation, his only hope is to turn state’s evidence for deal that suspends sentence in light of his age and/or health, if the Swiss do that sort of thing. He’s got to pray that the Swiss AG wants not just the big fish but the entire organization, that he’s not just running for re-election by holding Blatter’s severed head up to the mob but wants to erase the blackboard and create a new start from scratch.
      If the former, it will be business as usual six months after Blatter is convicted.
      The fundamental disharmony is that the decisions are made by majority vote, hence by the associations with lots of members. But the money is generated by the few big countries with prosperous – relatively – economies hence entertainment dollars to spend. Concacaf illustrates the principle well; the Caribbean has the votes and Central and North America have the teams.

      Our founding fathers resolved an approximately similar disharmony between state population size and state equality with a bicameral legislative system, where each principle generates re-election political capital by emphasizing itself and its importance, but the final legislative decisions are made by unknown ad hoc conference committees that reconcile the discrepancies between the two versions already passed in a fashion that will pass each house. Passing laws is like sausage making, you don’t want to know. The press maintains the deception, and we the public ignore it.
      FIFA needs a chamber in which each association has an equal vote, and a separate chamber in which each association’s vote is weighted by revenues generated cum recent on field successes. Decisions have to be taken by both houses. One cannot act without the other. That would ensure that both interests have to reconciled and would end the small associations selling their votes to the wealthy ones, which is the essence of the current system.

      • Oh, I agree he’s utterly disingenuous in making those comments, and is playing to the law enforcement crowd.
        I still agree with the words uttered, though. Which makes me feel a bit dirty inside…

  5. As far as I’m concerned, Platini is not the person to lead FIFA forward. I think he should be thrown into the same bucket as Blatter, Valcke, Warner, etc and get rid of them all.

    I loved him as a player, but I really can’t stand him now. No integrity at all.

    • I agree. Even though he has thus far avoided scandal, he just seems too much like a political operator. He has the same head-in-the-sand approach regarding replay as the other fossils in that organization. And frankly anyone who voted for Qatar to host the WC should not be considered as a serious candidate..

  6. I for one liked the old 35 yard shootouts that the NASL had and think they should replace penalty kicks in situations where a tie must be broken (even though it means the Union may not have won both shootouts in the Open Cup this year).
    I did notice yesterday that Comcast has the Open Cup final on ESPN2 in their listings next Wednesday when I went to setup the DVR to record it.

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