Daily news roundups

Sakiewicz confirms he’s out, Trusty named to US U-17 WC team, US tops Canada in Olympic qualifier, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

In perhaps the only piece of news that could bring hope to many Union fans following Wednesday’s US Open Cup final loss, Kevin Kinkead reported at CBS Philly that Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz “will be removed from his duties on Friday morning.”

Kinkead reported Union majority owner Jay Sugarman will be in Chester this morning and has called a mandatory meeting for all staff. Fans have informed PSP that Sugarman will also be holding a roundtable discussion with select season ticket holders this morning.

Sakiewicz confirmed the news in statements to ESPN (tweets 1, 2report) and Philadelphia Inquirer: “I enjoyed my time at the Philadelphia Union and am proud of the team, the organization and the stadium that we built. I wish the Union, Jay Sugarman and the entire organization the best of luck and continued success.”

Marc Narducci reports at the Inquirer, “A source familiar with the situation said that the move had been brewing for some time and that the penalty-kick loss to Sporting Kansas City in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday had no bearing on the decision.”

Stay tuned, folks. More reports at PSP, Delco TimesCSN Philly, Philadelphia Business Journal, and Soccer America.

Meanwhile, the Union are on the road to play Toronto on Saturday (5 pm: TCN, MLSLive). Brotherly Game has a preview.

Writing at CSN Philly after the Open Cup loss, Dave Zeitlin says,

So what does that mean as the Union soon embark on what will be another crucial offseason? The roster doesn’t need to be blown up and Curtin should not be fired because the constant turnover this franchise has undergone has done more harm than good. Curtin and technical director Chris Albright have a plan in place, and they know they need to upgrade certain spots and acquire more high-caliber players like Barnetta. That’s going to happen.

But Curtin also knows that, at some point, this team has to learn how to win, to not crumble when holding a lead, to not spoil great performances with brief lapses.

More postgame reaction at CSN Philly from Ryan Bright.

Soccer America reports, “Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final between Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union drew an impressive audience of 333,000 viewers on ESPN2 and another 48,000 on UDN. The viewership on ESPN2 is higher than all but two of the 25 MLS games on the network so far this year.”

At the Union website, a report on John McCarthy and his support of Team Cameron. Nice story.

Union Academy

Union Academy defender Auston Trusty has been named to the US U-17 World Cup team. Other local connections on the World Cup squad include goalkeeper Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.), defenders Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Penn.) and Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), and midfielder Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; Hershey, Pa.). The tournament begins in Chile on Oct. 17 against Nigeria.

Local

The Army-Navy Cup game, scheduled to be played this evening at PPL Park, has been postponed until Tuesday at 7 pm due to the high winds and large amount of rainfall that has been forecast for today.

MLS

Portland’s Will Johnson has undergone surgery to remove two screws in his right tibia, broken last year in a match against Toronto FC. It is unclear if he’ll be able to return in time to contribute to Portland’s playoff push.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a look at MLS salary data since 2007, when the MLS Players Union first published player salary information.

More on Louisville’s MLS aspirations.

The league website, MLSsoccer.com, has been redesigned with a new look largely aimed at making it more user friendly on smartphones. Greg Lalas writes, “More than 50% of visits to MLS digital content happens on a mobile device. So we started the entire design process by looking at our phones and how we and others use them, then worked our way back to the desktop version.”

NWSL

The day after Sporting Kansas City defeated the Union in the US Open Cup final, FC Kansas City defeated Seattle Reign 1-0 to claim the NWSL championship for the second year in a row. Former Philadelphia Independence forward Amy Rodriguez scored the 78th minute game winner. Former Independence goalkeeper and local lass Nicole Barnhart was in goal for KC, with former Independence midfielder Jen Buczkowski going the full 90. Fox SoccerSI, and the AP have reports.

US

The US U-23 team began the CONCACAF Olympic qualification tournament on Thursday night with a 3-1 win over Canada. Jordan Morris scored two for the US with Jerome Kiesewetter generally tearing things up on the wings. Local lad Zack Steffen was in goal for the US. The team next faces Cuba on Saturday (5 pm, Telemundo). Recaps at US Soccer, CONCACAFASNFox Soccer, SIProSoccerTalk, SBI, and Kansas City Star.

ESPN has three thoughts, Soccer America has three takeaways, and ProSoccerTalk has three things learned from the win. Goal.com has five takeaways.

Mexico has named its roster for the Confederations Cup playoff game on Saturday, Oct. 10. Included on the roster is Giovani Dos Santos, as well as Andrés Guardado and Rafael Márquez, both of whom are injured. Reports at ESPNFox Soccer, and Goal.com.

The US Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Team opened play in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire, or CISM World Games, with a 7-0 loss to South Korea. A report at DVIDS notes,

The South Korean military team went into the first game heavily favored with a roster of athletes who had played for various teams in the K League, or Korean professional league. In fact, the Sangju Sangmu Football Club of the Korean military plays teams in the K League year-round.

The U.S. Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Team, on the other hand, has only been playing together since Sept. 13, when players reported to training camp at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego, California.

Sounds like the old days of US Soccer.

Elsewhere

From Reuters: “One of Michel Platini’s main backers in his bid to head world soccer’s governing body, Bahraini Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, might stand himself if a Swiss investigation hampers the Frenchman’s candidacy, two sources have told Reuters.”

CONCACAF has confirmed four players on Cuba’s U-23 Olympic qualification squad have defected. Cuba drew 1-1 with Panama in its opening game in the tournament on Thursday.

18 Comments

  1. Wow. Sak is out. What a day. What a chance for a fresh start 🙂

  2. Not enough for me to Re-Doop, but still, a good start.

  3. So here’s the big deal about Sak being out. And I don’t think I’m over-simplifying, here.
    .
    We are about to find out if Sak was the problem all along, or if Sugarman is the problem and Sak was the fall guy.

    • The Oenophile says:

      Agreed. Or both were / are!

    • Hey look… there can’t be change without change. Sounds stupid but think about it. Sure time will tell, but that’s why it’s a damn good start. Someone had to go. Better Sak than nothing.

      • Perhaps you misunderstand my point, then. And if so, that’s my fault for making it so quickly before running off to a boring two hour meeting.
        .
        You’re exactly right. Something had to change; up until this point in time, there are two constants in the history of the Union: Sugarman as majority owner, and Nick as CEO. The way you figure out which of those is the issue is by making a change. (And Oenophile is also right – the answer can be “both”.)
        .
        This is a good move, if for no other reason than it clearly places Sugarman on the hot seat. If Nick was the problem, we’ll see that pretty quickly I would imagine. If Sugarman is the problem, we’ll see more of the same. Either way, in my opinion, is a plus for fans. If Nick was the roadblock to success, then we should start seeing improvement – improvement in the front office structure, improvement in recruiting and signing, improvement in academy kids signing homegrown contracts, and (in time after those other things) improvement on the field. If Sugarman is the roadblock, we’ll see the team continue to drag their feet in hiring a sporting director; we’ll see academy kids continue to pick college or going overseas instead of signing here; we’ll continue to pay (or overpay) for fringe players rather than targeting our needs.
        .
        My guess? As fans, we’ll have a good idea by this time next year.

    • You’re right. But I think signs point pretty strongly to Sugarman leaving the team management to Sakiewicz (who is the real soccer guy, after all). I’m betting we’ll see real change now. The question, of course, is whether that change will lead in a positive direction. But first, as Wolfpack says below, there’s no change without change. And second, there’s not much worse for this team to get. So it’s hard to view this news as anything but an unalloyed positive.

  4. They still do not have a sporting director.

  5. The relatively high television ratings of the Final are promising. I doubt that too many people outside of the Philadelphia and Kansas City areas made it appointment viewing. The interest in the Union is dormant, but not dead. With the change at CEO, a competent sporting director, and a 2016 playoff push, the fans will be back in their seats next season. I know….tall order. And the Union’s track record ain’t good. But one can hope.

  6. Sunday shapes up to be a tasty day of football:

    830a – Everton v Liverpool
    11a – Arsenal v ManU
    230p – Atleti v Real
    3p – PSG v Marseille (the latter will be on Bourdain’s CNN show on Sun night)
    930p- Sounders v Galaxy

  7. I was all set to write this team off like a bad habit. Glad Sakiewicz will be gone but for me it’s just the tip of the iceberg. While I like Curtin, I never thought I would want this local guy gone, IMO he is not head coach material. He is Philly all the way and lovable. But this team needs an ass kicker and someone to get in the faces of officials who suck,staff who suck, players who suck making the same dumb mistakes over and over.We all saw where the laps in judgement lead to the tying goal. We need someone who is going to let it be known that teams and officials are not going to come into PPL Park and disrespect in any way, shape, or form. In other words Jim Curtin looks weak and at times like a punk(that’s right a punk). That “oh golly gee gosh Richie Cunningham” BS routine is tired. He will probably stay so next to go or be housecleaned should be that weak ass front office. The new Sporting Director needs to be someone with the power to hold the front office, coaching staff and players responsible and put a well place foot up the arse of anyone who needs it. I don’t want to hear another f&*king word about their inability to no bring in quality and an occasional star or two. Rant over!

    • Dude, we’re all damned upset about this season, with the Open Cup loss being the cherry on the sh*t sundae. But I figured this would be music to your ears.

      • Scottso anybody who has been on this site long enough to know me and my past comments knows all too well how I feel about this news.:)

  8. “Sugarman will also be holding a roundtable discussion with select season ticket holders this morning”
    .
    Hoping this includes lapsed STH’s as well. Hearing why people didn’t renew is probably more important that hearing just from us happy suckers who did.

  9. Sugarman commutes to and from game in chopper Wednesday, fires Sakiewicz Friday.
    .
    All I can think about is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5vMkV2OqvY

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