Daily news roundups

Union bits, big US games this weekend, latest FIFA scandal news


Philadelphia Union

A head of the close of voting on Thursday night, Andre Blake had a slight lead over NYRB’s Luis Robles for Save of the Week.

At the Union website, a Q&A with Fernando Aristeguieta that has “little to do with soccer.” I want to meet his dog.

At the PRO site, referee Ted Unkel talks about officiating the US Open Cup final.


The Union will announce the name, logo, and colors of its Bethlehem-based USL team, as well as season ticket information on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 11 am. The announcement will take place at SteelStacks in the Blast Furnace Room. Click here to RSVP for the event.


At the Harrisburg City Islanders website, a season review.

Sydney Zandi (D: Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.) has been called up for the U-17 GNT camp in Carson, Calif., Oct. 11-18. Rebecca Jarrett (F: World Class; Washington Township, N.J.) has been called up for the U-16 GNT camp in Carson over the same period.


During halftime of Wednesday evening’s New York Red Bulls-Montreal Impact match, MSG broadcaster Shep Messing said sources told him Sigi Schmid would be leaving Seattle Sounders to take over NYCFC, with NYCFC head coach going to Seattle where he would be reunited with former RSL GM Gareth Lagerwey. Kries described Messing’s report “ludicrous.” Schmid said of the rumors of a move, “I hear they were started by Shep Messing, so that’s all I really need to say.”

Speaking of Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium is now home to the largest privately owned array of solar panels in Utah. The team expects the solar panels will meet 73 percent of the stadium’s energy needs and save the team $300,000 to $350,000 a year in energy costs.


The US hosts Mexico at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night in the single-game playoff to determine which team will go to the 2017 Confederations Cup (9:30 pm:FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Univision, Univision Deportes, Univision Deportes En Vivo).

Soccer America looks at which team has the edge by position. The Washington Post and MLSsoccer.com preview the game. The Guardian on Saturday’s game as a referendum on Jurgen Klinsmann.

Tim Howard on Mexico:

The bottom line is that Mexico is pissed off. They dominated soccer in our region of the world for decades and decades and we couldn’t land a glove on them. Over the last 15 years we’ve dominated the region…

“I think they look at Americans and they don’t think we can play football, they don’t think we are very good yet we continue to get results against them. We have made sure we have continued to win games and play the right way. Whether that upsets them or not I don’t know. I don’t really care, that’s kind of the way it is…

They will play any card they can to try to get an edge…We have done a great job over the last few years of making sure we have kept our heads in the game. You have to be prepared for some of Mexico’s antics. I don’t think that’s any secret.

When you look back for decades, the American player was so naïve. These Mexican players could get away with anything. They probably got a kick out of that. We are no longer rattled. We are no longer fazed by anything they do on the pitch. They used to be able to get under our skin. They can’t anymore. They used to be able to dominate us. They can’t anymore.

At ESPN, a review of some of the top USA-Mexico moments over the past 25 years. At MLSsoccer.com, an oral history of the 2-0 US Round of 16 victory over Mexico at the 2002 World Cup.

At US Soccer and SI, a look at the importance of the Confederations Cup.

Bruce Arena says of the Confederations Cup, “For the most part, the competition part of it is somewhat useless.”

On Saturday afternoon, the US U-23 team faces Honduras in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualification tournament (3 pm, Telemundo). ESPN and Soccer America have previews. A win will see the US in Rio.

Telemundo, NBC Universo, and NBCDeportes.com will broadcast all 52 games of the U-17 World Cup in Chile, which begins Oct. 17. The US opens play on the 17th when they face Nigeria at 3:30 pm (Telemundo).

The Columbus Dispatch reports, “A local group has filed a letter of protest to stop U.S. Soccer from trademarking the phrase ‘Dos a Cero,’ a reference to the four 2-0 World Cup qualifier wins against Mexico at Mapfre Stadium.” The report explains, “The point of the opposition, attorney Todd Fichtenberg said, is not that anyone local wants to own the rights to the slogan. The point is that nobody should own the rights to the slogan.” Spot on.

ESPN reports that Stephen Flamhaft, the state of New York’s delegate to the U.S. Adult Soccer Association, wants a letter of censure to Chuck BLazer to be read into the record when the organization meets this weekend and that “any reference to [Blazer’s] name be deleted and erased from any publications, recordings, transcripts, as well as any photographs be removed from any official documents of the USASA.” The report did not say whether Joseph Stalin was nodding sagely in agreement from the grave.


The New York Times reports on Sepp Blatter’s appeal against his suspension by FIFA’s ethics committee. Blatter spokesperson Klaus Stoehlker says, “He has appealed. He wants to go on until the congress on Feb. 26 and he is not giving up early.”

Reuters reports, “FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s loss of control of soccer’s world governing body had been evident to staff in its hilltop glass headquarters here well before Thursday’s announcement by FIFA’s Ethics Committee that he had been suspended.” The report explains, “According to sources familiar with the situation, many important FIFA decisions are now being initiated by its own attorneys, led by head of legal affairs Marco Villiger, who has been in the job for almost nine years. They are being advised by the U.S. law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.” There are some fascinating details in the report. Also from Reuters, as well as the AP, reviews of Blatter’s career. Goal.com looks back at some of the best of Blatter’s worst moments.

German Football Federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach has called for an emergency meeting of the FIFA executive committee in the wake of the suspensions of Blatter, Michel Platini, and Jerome Valcke. Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa backed the call for a special meeting.

Reuters reports, “UEFA defied FIFA’s suspension of Michel Platini on Thursday when it said he would not be replaced as head of European soccer’s governing body and gave him its backing in the appeal process.”

Platini issued a statement after his suspension was announced in which he said he rejects “all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague.” Describing the suspension as “farcical,” Platini said he is “more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.”

ESPN says the recent statements from sponsors calling on Sepp Blatter to resign may have had something to do with the FIFA suspensions. More on the suspensions at SI.

The AP reports Switzerland’s justice ministry has granted a request from the US to extradite Costas Takkas, the former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association and a former assistant to CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, to face bribery charges.

From Reuters: “Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, have been ordered to appear in court on charges of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of more than €4m (£3m).”

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


  1. Imagine how much better the world of football would be if Bruce Arena was in charge of FIFA.

  2. As an official, you never want to be the story – and in a final, even more so. The teams deserve every opportunity within the Laws of the Game to determine the outcome. I believe we accomplished that.
    Dear Ted Unkel. Please understand, I don’t say this lightly. Fuck you and your “within the laws of the game” determination. Maybe if you had the balls to card Zusi earlier in the game, or to send off any of the number of players who should’ve earned two yellow cards, we could’ve seen a game that was way less sloppy and way less clutch and grab. Instead, you allowed SKC to become soccer’s version of the 1990s era New Jersey Devils. Disgraceful.
    Hugs and kisses.

    • el Pachyderm says:


    • Atomic Spartan says:

      I’d pay good money to see an objective, professional assessment of Unkel’s performance in that match, and of the AR nearest River End. There may or may not have been goals directly attributable to an Unkel decision, but he did let SKC play the chippy kind of game they like to play against the Union, and that does influence overall outcomes.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Last year NBCSports did an awesome story on the life of a Premiere League referee, and how they are critiqued, and taught, and reviewed. I would like to see them DESTROY Unkel’s Open Cup Final.

      • My guess? He got average to fair marks for his performance. You don’t send players off in Cup finals, unless someone does something Zidane-headbutt stupid. If one team uses that to their advantage, well, that’s soccer.

      • Stupid like “Kick the goalie in the face studs-up” stupid?

      • Don’t equate that to Zidane’s headbutt; equate it to de Jong’s karate kick to the sternum in the 2010 World Cup final.

    • Come on guys, we can’t be too hard on Ted. Everyone knows the “Laws of the Game” state kicking a goalie in the face isn’t worth a yellow but sliding under one should have been an automatic red. We got lucky he only pulled his yellow for that.

    • I’m still shocked that people are ignoring the 4 blatant handballs that happened directly in front of Mr. Unkel.
      Seriously, this was not a well-officiated game, no matter how much spin PRO puts on it.

    • You act like going a man up would have helped the Union. If history is any judge, we would have been better off if Unkel sent off a Union player.

      • And a few of them could’ve earned it as well, frankly.
        More to the point, however.. if Zusi gets a card early – and he had plenty of opportunity to get one – he likely has to change his play at least a bit to avoid a second yellow.

      • Mercy, that is so bad 4 …… and so true.

  3. Dear Tim Howard. Famous last words?

    • My thoughts exactly. No matter the sport, always a bad sign when a player decides to run his/her mouth for no apparent reason.

    • The “we’re not afraid stuff” is fine, but talk of domination? I don’t have stats in front of me, but recent years feel pretty evenly matched to me. Far from domination.

    • I totally agreed with your sentiment El P, but like Tim too much to disagree with what was a pep talk.Wasn’t surprised then when they lost…more surprising was hearing commentators rush to Klinsman’s defense. I find his fingerprints on many of the youth soccer changes and don’t believe they should be pushed forth so quickly without experimentation and discussion. Our youth program has thrived since the mid90s and this massive forced change with less than two years prep is a bit much.
      He fills his team up with players with dual citizenships that play in Europe, tells American players to avoid MLS, etc. He epitomizes the euro-snobbery many non fans, casual fans, and soccer parents associate with soccer. And the MNT still lose so he blames American youth development. Stupid. Worse are people drinking his Kool-aid disrupting thousands of youth teams because of his ideas.

      • Every country has their own style of play and brings a unique flavor to the international game. By trying to be too European with USMNT we lost that identity. Embrace our American style and we will win! Or at least be more fun to watch!

  4. Nice Stalin imagery Ed. This Flamhaft guy probably has a portrait of him somewhere scoring a game winning goal.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Do not eliminate Blazer, instead orchestrate a campaign to make his name synonymous with corrupt soccer official.
      I am willing to bet that few reading this site recognize the name Nikolai Yezhov; many more will recognize Vikdun Quisling.
      Quisling is now synonymous with collaborator, the Norwegian who cooperated with the Nazis in Norway after its fall.
      Yezhov was head of the NKVD between Yagoda (1934) and Beria (1940), presided over the height of the Purges of the late 30s, and was eliminated from the historical record after his own liquidation, as described so well by George Orwell (even thought it is fictional, it is uncannily accurate.)
      Make Blazer an unforgettable symbol, not a forgotten footnote.

      • I like the cut of your jib, good sir!

      • So we should refer to, say, a Little League treasurer that steals the concession money as a ‘blazer’? Works for me.

      • This is why I love reading your posts. You take one reference to someone from 80 years ago and add your own terrific analogy from same era. O:-) Great idea but perhaps Snowden would resonate more with those born post 80s. For the rest of us who got it, we benefited from parents and grandparents who were part of the greatest generation!

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    In the parlance of medical terminology, what we have here…waiting waiting waiting for Union’s next game – is anatomical dead space- the difference between expired volume of air versus inspired volume of air. The stale hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, garlic and gruyere floating in our food tube and trachea.
    Anatomical Dead Space. The name of my make believe rock band of irreverance. Think 70s CBGB’s F.U. Punk.
    In the meantime… from an article on espnfc.com by 4-4-2’s Thore Haugstad,
    “Over the last decade, debates have surfaced about the death of the classic striker. False nines have appeared, lone forwards are in vogue and fewer top sides rely on crosses. Such is the modern game, they say; goal scorers must also dribble, create and assist. You can’t just lurk around the box.”
    Who knew having a team full of ‘classic’ strikers would ever be a problem…but it is clearly a problem for the Union…as the game is evolving and the demands placed on the forwards is growing.
    So this is my Saturday Night Special…Dear future SD and manager JC….go find me the modern day forward… look high… look low.. good with the ball at his feet, technical, pass and make the right run at the right time. Not some slow ass Ginger Ninja or balding near 40 former Colorado striker.
    The Striker is not that guy. Conor Casey is no longer that guy. CJ Sapong shows momentary glimpses but we need more and truth be told…he isn’t that guy either.
    Friends… we do not have ONE player on this team in double digit goals. I repeat…we do not have ONE player on this team with double digit goals….
    …and don’t give me red cards, broken noses, DUI, or concussions. A true goal scorer should be able to score 10 goals with a pair of wing tips, a rhino-rocket, and overly judicious judge and missed month of the season related to concussion symptoms.
    go find me a goal scorer…Jim and future SD. You are building a midfield capable of delivering the final pass…go find me a goal scorer. I’m not looking for a Robert Lewandoski but I am looking for 1/3 of a Robert Lewandoski.

    el P …Lyricist for Anatomical Dead Space

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