Daily news roundups

US Open Cup Final tonight, report says Union to name sporting director, more news

Philadelphia Union

The time for talk is almost over. At 7 pm tonight, the Union will host Sporting Kansas City in the final of the 2015 US Open Cup. The weather outlook is improving so if you’re one of those shrinking violets who use the possibility of a little rain as an excuse to not attend games, get serious. This is the freaking US Open Cup final. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 877-218-6466.

Adam will add to his strategic analysis of Sporting Kansas City with a preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out PSP’s roundtable discussionKevin Kinkead’s discussion of why an Open Cup win would make for a successful season, as well as a our review of the Union’s history in the Open Cup, and our look at the history of area teams in the Open Cup final.

After that, there are these previews (including some that were in Tuesday’s roundup in case you missed them) from US Soccer (as Dan said in his column on Tuesday, perhaps the best piece of marketing the team has produced. Philly Sports Nation also has a video.

If you haven’t yet, check out Tuesday’s column from Dan Walsh on why he believes Andre Blake should be the starter in goal for the Union tonight. At Delco Times, Matthew De George says of Curtin’s dilemma of who to start in goal tonight, “If the Union end up on the short end Wednesday, Curtin will be second-guessed left and right. If McCarthy get is rusty or overmatched, then he should’ve played in New England. If Blake plays and he’s less than spectacular, then why the risk?”

Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com, and Matthew De George at the Delco Times, have articles on CJ Sapong facing his former team in tonight’s final. Sapong won the Open Cup with Kansas City in 2012, the year they defeated the Union in the semifinals. Sapong says, “Obviously I’ve known that for a while that that’s who we’re going to be facing. Now I’m just approaching it like it’s a cup final. Obviously it’s going to be a little bit emotional when the game starts, but I like to think that’s to my advantage.”

At SB Nation, Brotherly Game talks to Maurice Edu about his Open Cup memories. Also at Brotherly Game, a comparison of the Union’s 2014 and 2015 Open Cup squads, what winning the final would mean, and a look at Kansas City’s sports scene. SB Nation Sporting Kansas City blog The Blue Testament has a primer for the gameasks the Brotherly Game three questions, and considers what an Open Cup win would mean.

The Kansas City Star profiles Sporting’s Krisztian Nemeth.

Good read at MLSsoccer.com from Sam Stejskal on the history of the original Open Cup trophy, the Dewar’s Cup.

A Sporting Director? Finally?

Empire of Soccer reports, “According to well placed sources,” the Union are about to name Octavio Zambrano as Sporting Director.

Kevin Kinkead tweeted a statement from the Union soon after that read, “Any report regarding the decision of a sporting director is not true. Our focus is preparing for the Open Cup final vs Sporting KC.” As are most of us. Stay tuned.

Union Academy

At MLSsoccer.com, Charles Boehm has a must tread on the YSC Academy. Great stuff.

Local

Temple is on the road to face Delaware tonight. While Temple fell out of the latest NSCAA national rankings following their loss over the weekend to Cincinnati, Mike Jensen writes at the Inquirer the team is still getting plenty of national attention.

Drexel hosts Hofstra tonight.

NCAA has a preview of Friday’s Army-Navy Cup game at PPL Park.

MLS

Soccer America observes that home teams are winning at a near-record pace this season. The Union excepted, of course.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle considers why some DPs coming from abroad to play in MLS adjust quicker than others and says “a player’s ability to cope with the physical aspects of MLS is a huge asset to have upon his arrival.”

Empire of Soccer reports that while speaking at a fan event last weekend, New York Cosmos COO Erik Stover said US Soccer has demonstrated “a clear pattern of moving the goal on [NASL],” when it comes to Division I standards “and that is something the Department of Justice looks very negatively upon.” Stover also said US Soccer has been “stacking” its board with people associated with MLS and also accused US Soccer and MLS of “planting” an article in the New York Times to hurt the NASL: “They put that article in the paper. That is what we are going to be dealing with and I know we will be ready for the fight.” Here’s a link to the article in question, which you will recall from an earlier roundup concerned fan protests in North Carolina calling for new ownership of the Carolina RailHawks. The team’s owners are Traffic Sports USA, which has pled guilty to bribery charges as part of the FIFA corruption case and whose president, Aaron Davidson, is under indictment for bribery and money laundering.  More on Stover’s comments at ESPN and SBI. You can listen to Stover’s remarks here.

After the EOS report was published, the author, Dave Martinez tweeted a clarification for those who don’t understand what the word “proposals” means: “Update on D1 status change proposals, they’ve NOT passed. In fact, they haven’t even been brought to vote.”

Perhaps more importantly in view of any thoughts the the New York Times, US Soccer, and MLS might have about libel, Stover later tweeted a series of tweets to Times reporter Andrew Das that read, “I apologize for my poor choice of words. It was not my intention or inclination to challenge the integrity of the Times. In an effort to be open and transparent with our fans, I expressed a personal opinion in response to a question. I was careless in making my point and I honestly feel that the NYT article I referenced was fair and balanced.” Das tweeted, “That settles this for me.”

US

A report says El Salvadoran referee Joel Aguilar Chicas will officiate the USA-Mexico Confederations Cup playoff game on Oct. 10 (crappy Google translation here). MLSsoccer.com notes, Aguilar “recently was in charge of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final between Mexico and Jamaica, and has also refereed games at the 2014 World Cup, 2013 Confederations Cup, 2011 Club World Cup, and more. He also was the head official for the 2013 Gold Cup final between the US and Panama, and the Americans’ unforgettable World Cup qualifier played in blizzard-like conditions in 2013 against Costa Rica.”

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “Sepp Blatter has not ruled out trying to stay on as FIFA’s president beyond February’s scheduled election, despite facing a criminal investigation and a possible internal ethics probe.” A “a close confidant,” former public relations adviser Klaus Stoehlker, says “About 10 days ago [Blatter] gave an in-house conference at FIFA and he said to everyone there, ‘we don’t know what will happen on February 26 but when there will be no candidate elected, I (will) feel obligated to stay.’”

Reuters reports that, in the interest of avoiding the appearance of a conflict of interests, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter has agreed with the organization’s lawyers that he will not use official FIFA platforms or personnel to issue statements in his defense in response to an investigation by Swiss prosecutors, two sources close to the matter said.”

More from Reuters: “UEFA president Michel Platini says the nine-year delay in him receiving a two million Swiss francs payment, which is at the center of a Swiss prosecutor’s investigation, was due to FIFA not being able to pay him on time.” Platini says though FIFA was not able to pay him until 2011 for work he did between 1998 and 2002, “Of course all the moneys received at the time were declared to the pertinent authorities.”

Reuters reports, “Swiss authorities are treating UEFA head Michel Platini as somewhere ‘between a witness and an accused person’ in a soccer corruption probe that was widened last week to include FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Switzerland’s attorney general said.” While the Swiss Attorney General says he’s prepared to prepared to raid UEFA’s offices if necessary to investigate the payment, Platini says he’s still determined to run for the FIFA presidency.

Meanwhile, Swiss authorities have approved the extradition to the US of ex-Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li.

From the AP: “Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says a lack of hotel accommodation for teams and officials is a major problem facing 2018 World Cup organizers.” Hey-oh!

At Goal.com, Jon Arnold on why a “Americas Champions League” involving teams from CONMEBOL and CONCACAF is a bad idea.

Interesting read at ASN on “profit-shifting” and ongoing scandals in world football.

6 Comments

  1. Fair Warning. Van Halen.

    The last two songs on that most excellent album: max volume. Sunday Afternoon in the Park transitioning into One foot out the Door – the two songs resembling the energy and venom I want from The Snake ….. on this greatest evening in Union history…a slow build into out right smoke.
    .
    It’s our night.
    .
    LET’S GO.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    How about the speakers the physics lab built that can handle one full watt of power each, playing Beethoven’s Egmont Overture as the March-on, and Resphigi’s Pines of the Appian Way from the Pines of Rome as the victory celebration after they win?

  3. My goal is not to be able to teach tomorrow because I have no voice.

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