Daily news roundups

Blaketacular: Recaps and reaction from Union draw with NE, league results, latest FIFA scandal news

Photo: Kari Heistad, courtesy of Prost Amerika

Philadelphia Union

Let’s put it this way: After Saturday’s remarkable 1-1 draw in New England, a case could probably be made for Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to fill each of the five spots in the latest Save of the Week voting.

New England head coach Jay Heaps said “he was excellent,” noting he also almost stopped New England’s penalty kick goal. Jermaine Jones said “he was Philadelphia’s best player.” Juan Agudelo said it was “outstanding goalkeeping.”

It was, make no mistake, a jaw dropping performance, as well as a new club record for saves in a game at ten.

The humble Blake said after the game, “It was a good performance but I just want to say I have a great goalkeeper coach that I believe in. I have two goalkeepers, Brian (Sylvestre) and John (McCarthy), that we push each other every day so from here we only can get better.”

Naturally, questions about who will be the Union’s goalkeeper for Wednesday’s US Open Cup final will only grow louder after such a showing. At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead notes a case can be made for either Blake or John McCarthy, who has been the Union netminder in all of the previous Open Cup games this season, to start.

I don’t think McCarthy is the “sentimental” favorite just because of his local connections. I also don’t think he’s the de facto selection just because he played in the other USOC games. There are plenty of examples where a backup goalkeeper plays the early rounds of a cup competition, then cedes to the starter in a final or semifinal. That’s certainly an option here.

Choosing Blake gives you a superior athlete with natural shot-stopping and reactionary skills. Choosing McCarthy gives you an experienced goalkeeper with a proven penalty-saving ability.

More on what each player brings at Philly Sports Network.

Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle called Blake’s night the performance of the week: “Both the Union and Jamaica are in good hands with Blake for the next decade, if they’d just play the kid.” The UConn Blog also notes Blake’s outstanding performance. You can relive the magic here:

Hey, nice goal from Fernando Aristeguieta too.

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap, postgame quotes), Philadelphia UnionPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel, MLS (recap, Union, Revolution) New England Revolution, Boston GlobeWorcester Telegram, New England Soccer Today (recap, Blake, reportNew England Soccer NewsThe Bent MusketESPN, Sports Journal, Prost Amerika, SBISports Mole, and the APUSA Today and Prost Amerika have a photo galleries of the game.

Bostino notes while the Revolution have made Gillette Stadium into a fortress they remain second class citizens to the Patriots, with gridiron markings marring the field, which is itself reduced by five yards on each end because the endline “can’t run through the giant Patriots logo in each end zone.”

US Soccer confirmed on Friday Wednesday’s US Open Cup final will be broadcast on ESPN2 and Univision: “This will be the first Open Cup Final on an ESPN Network since 1999 and the first on any Univision network.”

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Jim Curtin, Mike Sorber, and Chris Albright about their personal experience in the US Open Cup and the importance of the tournament to the the Union.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young talks to Ethan White about Wednesday’s final. White says, “The season hasn’t been what we wanted, but you never think that the season is going badly because you’re still in the running for that trophy.”

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has more on the salary figures that were released last week by the MLS Players Union.

Union Academy

Another good weekend of play from the Union Academy. Facing Richmond United, the U-13s won 3-2, the U-14s drew 0-0, the U-16s won 4-2, and the U-18s drew 1-1.


Temple lost its first game of the season on Saturday, falling 3-2 on the road to Cincinnati in their American Athletic Conference opener.

A 4-2 loss that included three extra time goals from New York Red Bulls II eliminated Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the first round of the USL playoffs on Saturday.


In Eastern Conference play, first place NYRB (48 points) fell apart at home, losing 5-2 to seventh place Orlando (38 points). Orlando’s Cyle Larin scored a hat trick, setting a new record for goals in a season by a MLS rookie in the process. Second place New England (47 points) was held to a 1-1 draw at home by ninth place Philadelphia (34 points) and a remarkable performance by goalkeeper Andre Blake. Third place Columbus (47 points) lost 2-1 at home to Portland. Fourth place DC (45 points) lost 2-0 on the road to sixth place Montreal (42 points) thanks to a brace from Didier Drogba. Fifth place Toronto (43 points) came from behind to defeat last place Chicago (27 points), 3-2. In the process, Sebastian Giovinco set a new single season record for combined goals-plus-assists and, after further review, some other things. Eighth place NYCFC (37 points) defeated Vancouver 2-1.

In the Western Conference, first place LA (50 points) defeated third place Dallas (47 points), 3-2, with Steven Gerrard scoring his first MLS goal. Second place Vancouver (48 points) fell 2-1 at home to NYCFC in a game that finished with controversy. Fourth place Seattle (46 points) drew 1-1 on the road with fifth place Kansas City (45 points), who followed Philadelphia’s lead in resting players ahead of Wednesday’s US Open Cup final. Sixth place Portland (44 points) defeated Columbus 2-1 on the road. Seventh place San Jose (43 points) defeated ninth place Salt Lake, 1-0. Eighth place Houston (41 points) defeated last place Colorado (34 points), 3-2.

Three people were ejected from BC Place during the Whitecap’s 2-1 loss to NYCFC for holding up a banner “Refugees Welcome” banner (video here). The people who were ejected, members of Left Wing FC, maintain their message was not political and the banner was not blocking the view of the game. The Whitecaps issued a statement saying, while the team “appreciate[s] the sentiment and good intentions behind this banner” the banner was not approved by the team before the game, per its published guidelines, and that the ejections were “due to inappropriate behaviour and fan misconduct and was not related to the banner.” You will recall a similar banner was removed by stadium security during a recent game in Toronto.

New renderings of LAFC’s proposed stadium have been released.

Pioneer Press reviews where the major players in the proposal to build a new stadium in St. Paul for Minnesota United stand on the plan.

San Antonio Business Journal reports a local official in San Antonio says local government should be involved in a partnership to purchase Toyota Stadium, currently home of the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions, only if there is a clear pathway to MLS. More at KENS5.


The ceremony for the induction of this year’s National Soccer Hall of Fame Class, which includes Kasey Keller, Sigi Schmid, and Glenn “Mooch” Myernick, will take place Oct. 3 at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.


On Friday, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that FIFA president Sepp Blatter is the subject of a criminal probe alleging “suspicion of criminal mismanagement” and “misappropriation” of funds. The New York Times reports, “Swiss officials said Friday that they were specifically looking into Mr. Blatter’s suspected approval of a curiously small contract for World Cup television rights and a surprisingly large payment to another top FIFA official. That official, Michel Platini, is the head of European soccer’s governing body and a leading candidate to succeed Mr. Blatter as FIFA president next year.”

Reuters reports,

According to a person with knowledge of Friday’s events, the team of around 15 officials, including prosecutors and Swiss police, arrived to search Blatter’s office while he was attending a meeting of FIFA’s ruling executive committee. The officials seized unspecified data, the OAG said.

The prosecutors waited until the meeting had ended before approaching the 79-year-old FIFA boss and taking him quietly to a conference room near his office, where they told him he was under a criminal probe and interviewed him for several hours.

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber was not present and a senior deputy led the questioning, the source said.

If found guilty, Blatter could face up to five years in jail. Blatter could also face a separate investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee. The Wall Street Journal reports Blatter and Platini are already being investigated by the FIFA committee “and could face provisional bans from the organization as early as this week.”

The Guardian reported Monday morning Blatter “is back at work at FIFA headquarters, three days after being interrogated there by Swiss investigators, and is due to address staff at the scandal-battered governing body later on Monday.” Meanwhile, ESPN reports Mark Pieth, the former chairman of FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee, “has urged the organisation to appoint Theo Zwanziger as its temporary president amid the ongoing corruption scandal.” Zwanziger, you will recall, is being sued for libel by the government of Qatar and the Qatar FA.

The news that UEFA president Michel Platini received a “disloyal payment” of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.04 million) from Blatter in 2011, and that he was also questioned by Swiss investigators, has resulted in the reduction of the odds offered by bookmakers that he’ll be the next FIFA president. Platini said in a statement, “Regarding the payment that was made to me, I wish to state that this amount relates to work which I carried out under a contract with FIFA and I was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters relating to this with the authorities.” Nevertheless, questions remain.

At the heart of the investigation into Blatter is the TV rights deal FIFA signed with former CONCACAF president and well known crook Jack Warner, who is likely to fight extradition to the US to answer the corruption charges against him. Warner said on Friday when asked about the latest FIFA scandal, “I’m not answering anything about Sepp Blatter or Jack Warner or Sepp Mother or Sepp Sister. I have nothing to say. Let the feeding frenzy continue.” More at Inside World Soccer.

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said, “I have heard from many member associations over the last 24 hours, and what I have heard gives me confidence that, working together, we can emerge from this stronger…The need for new leadership that can restore the credibility of FIFA has never been more apparent.”

While The Guardian wonders if the latest scandal means that Blatter’s time is finally up, the LA Times considers whether the ongoing scandal could mean the end of FIFA, and the World Cup?

The Argentine Football Association says it is analyzing the idea of a intercontinental Champions League that would combine and replace the current Copa Libertadores tournament organized by CONMEBOl and the CONCACAF Champions League.


  1. Still a lot of seats available for the final.

    • TRE is almost completely sold out, which is nice. But yeah, plenty of seats in the rest of the building.

      • Hey has anyone ever taken public transit back to philly after a night game? I’m so hyped I don’t care if I get stranded in Chester!

      • I have. Shuttle bus to the train station, train to the city. You’ll be fine, even if it goes to PKs. The train line runs relatively late on weekdays.

  2. In the comments section on Saturday’s game, people were mentioning that Blake did well in a meaningless game but that McCarthy is the one who has done well in the win or go home games earlier in the cup. Can I remind everyone that Blake was in goal earlier this month for a win by 2 goals on the road or go home from the 2018 World Cup game against Nicaragua? I would say that is just as much pressure as any US Open Cup game.

  3. Andre Blake….in the words of the excellent Rush lyricist Neil Pert…
    …. Ceiling Unlimited.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Adam Cann noted flawed distribution, and VDS yesterday rightly pointed out that the are multiple aspects to being a world class keeper, which highlights the acute precision of “ceiling unlimited.” The shot stopping part of it is a Saturn C5A rocket seconds after liftoff.

      • el pachyderm says:

        This I understand. He seems to command his defense. He appears to read the game well. He is decisive in coming off the line. Humility. Yes. Is he a finished product? No.
        He is an absolute stud of an athlete which is more than I can say for any goalie to don the keeper gloves in our town. I get it my friends. Quell the enthusiasm… by I a history of relatively shitty play I offer you to allow me, ‘to dream a little dream’

  4. Ed:
    With all the FIFA news these days, I think a new “FIFA” section is in order before “elsewhere.” Lots of jokes can be made here, but I’m leaving it open…

  5. Ed,
    Did you ever post this link?
    great story! Nice stuff they post on that site!

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