Daily news roundups

Edu out for final games of season after sports hernia surgery, notes from Curtin’s presser, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union announced on Thursday morning that Maurice Edu has undergone successful surgery to repair a sports hernia and will miss the final two games of the season. Union technical director Chris Albright said, “Mo played through a lot of pain in our run to the U.S. Open Cup Final over the last few months and we certainly commend him for that. Having the surgery now ensures he’ll be ready to go come the end of January.”

While Jim Curtin said in his weekly press conference on Wednesday (full transcript here at PSP) he hopes the team can play spoiler to NYRB’s Supporters Shield hopes when the two teams face off at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, much of the questions concerned moves into next season. Curtin said the final two games of 2015 will be part of ongoing evaluations of which players will return for 2016, but he also said those decisions won’t be made until after the final game against Orlando.

  • Regarding Fernando Aristeguieta and Steven Vitoria: “[T]here will be decisions that need to be made on any player that’s here on a loan, and those discussions will happen after the year.”
  • Asked about Union players out on loan (Austin Berry, Danny Cruz, Leo Fernandes, and Zac MacMath), Curtin praised the season Fernandes is having with New York Cosmos and also mentioned that, despite dealing with injuries, Cruz had been doing well in Norway. “
  • On the goalkeeper front, Curtin said Andre Blake would return from international duty with Jamaica in South Korea today and is expected to start the remaining two Union games. Noting Blake has “turned a lot of heads in the league,” Curtin said “[H]e’s had a good run of games here, he’s shown he can be the guy who makes the big save to keep you in the game, to win you the game, so we’re very high on him right now. Again, I don’t want to announce anything but the hope is that he is in the mix to be the guy going forward to solve our goalkeeping.” More on Blake from Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com.
  • Curtin acknowledged Cristian Maidana and Vincent Nogueira are at the end of their two year contracts but said the team has options on the contracts. “[W]e’ll make the smart decision, obviously, on those. I’m not going to reveal anything in terms of moving forward until after the game but, again, two guys that are an important part to the team, to the core of the group, and two guys that are gutted, just like I am, that we have played in a big game, in the final, two years in a row and came up a little short. Didn’t make the playoffs either, so, again, they’re hungry, they want to do more, and they both do want to be with the Union, so that’s also an important piece.
  • On the injury front, Curtin said Brian Sylvestre has undergone knee surgery and Jimmy McLaughlin had appendicitis. Both will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Regarding James McFadden training/trialing with the club, Curtin said, “He’s a guy who’s been good in training, he provides an intensity level that is good for some of our younger guys to see. No decision has been made, we’ll probably take until the end of the week and discuss it but, yeah, he’s done very well.”

More on the press conference at Delco Times.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George notes McFadden is “an odd fit” for the Union, both because the deadline for bringing in new players has passed and tactically. Echoing what we reported when news of McFadden’s arrival first broke, De George writes, “Several practice days remain for McFadden, and it’s possible that the Union could decide to keep him around for the rest of the season to train and evaluate him. But don’t be surprised if McFadden joins the list of brief Chester cameos.”

Fernando Aristeguieta said when asked if he wants to return to the Union next season, “I want to stay here. I’ve said that from the first moment and I haven’t changed my mind.” When he responded to fan questions on the Union Twitter account later on Wednesday on Wednesday afternoon, he was asked if he talked to Alejandro Bedoya when he was linked to the club. He responded:

Tranquillo Barnetta will be doing a Reddit AMA today beginning at noon.

Former Union vice president of soccer development and community relations Rob Smith has been named director of the newly formed Kent County (Del.) Regional Sports Complex.

Local

Villanova defeated Providence 2-1 on Wednesday. La Salle drew 0-0 with VCU. On the road, Drexel was thumped 5-1 by Delaware while St. Joseph’s lost 2-1 to Rhode Island.

Harrisburg City Islanders are holding an open tryout on Nov. 24-25.

MLS

Toronto (49 points) defeated first place NYRB (54 points) 2-1 on Wednesday night to move into second place in the East and clinch a playoff spot for the first time in club history. Toronto’s Jozy Altidore — on the bench after playing 45 minutes in the USMNT loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday night — received a red card in the 34th minute for “foul and abusive language.” Sebastian Giovinco, who returned from international duty with Italy less than three hours before the start of the game, came off the bench to score the second goal. It was another beauty:

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (54 points) defeated third place Vancouver (50 points), 2-0. Sixth place Portland (47 points) defeated ninth place Salt Lake (41 points) 1-0 on the road.

Montreal Impact midfielder Andres Romero is out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear to his right knee suffered in the loss to Colorado on Saturday.

Valspar, “a global leader in the coatings industry,” is the new jersey sponsor for Chicago Fire, replacing Quaker Oats.

In an interview at Sport360, Don Garber discusses interest in Qatar in becoming involved in MLS. “The Qatar group has been looking at MLS, as they have been looking at America as a sports perspective for many years. But right now we are very focused on our relationship with Abu Dhabi and Man City.”

The St. Paul City Council, the St. Paul Port Authority and the Met Council have agreed to a joint power agreement to allow for lease negotiations between the parties for for the site in consideration for Minnesota United’s stadium, which is owned by the Met Council. Language calling for the details of the lease negotiations to be kept secret was removed from the agreement. Reports on the joint power agreement at Star TribunePioneer PressKARE, ABC 5,

Applications are now being accepted for a community advisory committee to provide input in the development of the proposed stadium site in St. Paul.

You will recall back in September that SI’s Brian Straus reported the plan to place a NASL expansion team in Hartford had fallen through. New England Soccer Today picks up on reports at Hartford Courant and HartfordBusiness.com that local governmental support for the redevelopment of the 80-year-old Dillon Stadium to NASL standards was removed following revelations about a prior felony conviction for embezzlement and other recent judgements for unpaid debts against the the businessman leading the redevelopment project. This after the previous developer sued the city of Hartford “alleging officials wrongfully terminated its ‘preferred developer’ status on the project.”

US

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta has post-match thoughts on Tuesday night’s loss to Costa Rica.

At Fox Soccer, Kyle McCarthy has five key issues the US must address before the start of November’s World Cup qualifiers.

Pro Soccer Talk wonders what Jurgen Klinsmann should be achieving with the USMNT.

Soccer America says Klinsmann has molded a team that resembles himself.

At ASN, Noah Davis on why Bobby Wood needs to be on the field.

A Fabian Johnson update from Borussia Monchengladbach.

FC Dallas, US Soccer, and local officials in Frisco unveiled plans for the new National Soccer Hall of Fame that will be housed at Toyota Stadium. While a permanent location for a NSHOF display, as well as the annual HOF inductee ceremony, is long overdue, and the stadium location is certainly interesting, the absence of any mention about the HOF’s collections might be stored and made available to researchers is disappointing from a historian’s perspective. More at Society for American Soccer History Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Frisco EnterpriseNBCDFWBig D Soccer, Soccer America, and the AP. Also, renderings of the Toyota Stadium renovations and a video.

The Guardian wonders if Bob Bradley will be the first American to become head coach at a major European league.

Also at The Guardian, would an Americas Champions League benefit soccer in the US?

Elsewhere

Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan, defeated by Sepp Blatter in the last FIFA presidential election, has confirmed he will run again for the presidency in February. He said,

Ten months ago, I was the only person who dared to challenge Mr Blatter for the Presidency of Fifa. I ran because I believe that Fifa needs change. And I had the courage to fight for change when others were afraid.

I conceded that election. Not because I was not the best candidate, but because others were using me to make room for themselves. They didn’t have the guts to run, but I did. Ever since President Blatter promised his resignation just a few days later, they have been scrambling to secure the job for themselves.

More from The Guardian, Reuters, and the AP.

The AP reports, “UEFA leaders were meeting Thursday to decide whether to continue backing Michel Platini, with some not yet satisfied by his explanation for a payment that led to his 90-day FIFA suspension.” Another AP report says, “A week after receiving the resounding backing of his UEFA colleagues, Michel Platini could discover that support for him has cooled after European soccer leaders discuss the suspended president’s ethics case on Thursday.”

ESPN reports, “FIFA Executive Committee member Constant Omari has rejected a suggestion from International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach that world football’s governing body needs an external presidential candidate.” Omari said,

We have no lessons to take from these people. Their reaction is very inappropriate. When they had the same problems, I don’t think a single FIFA executive told them to go and seek an external figure for their organisation. This demand amounts to an insult to the football family…It underestimates our ability to manage the crisis internally,” he said. “FIFA has people who are sufficiently equipped intellectually to find solutions… we have people who have ideas, are open to change and have an ability to innovate.

The AP reports Swiss authorities have granted a US request to extradite former Nicaraguan football federation president and FIFA development officer Julio Rocha in connection to the FIFA corruption investigation.

Citing a report from Handelszeitung, Reuters says, “A dozen officials at FIFA, the world soccer body shaken by corruption investigations in the United States and Switzerland, had accounts at Swiss private bank Julius Baer, the Handelszeitung newspaper reported on Wednesday.” A followup from Reuters says initial reports were based on an advance summary of the Handelszeitung report, which Julius Baer says contained incorrect information. “The advance summary of the report said a dozen FIFA officials had accounts at Baer, but the print version speaks of a number in the low single figures.”

Julius Baer is “one of several banks mentioned in the FIFA indictment through which allegedly incriminated transfers had been transacted.”

Reuters reports, “The Spanish government’s most senior sports official has urged Ángel María Villar, president of the country’s Football Association, to make clear whether he was aware of any wrongdoing at FIFA.”

Also from Reuters: “Italian prosecutors are investigating executives at the RTI Italian TV arm of broadcaster Mediaset and soccer rights firm Infront over alleged irregularities in the assignment of Serie A soccer rights last year, a search warrant showed.”

31 Comments

  1. Edu was obviously hobbled during the open cup final, I am not sure he should have been in the game. It seemed like a repeat of the previous open cup when Curtin left in an obviously hobbled Carlos Valdes.

  2. SpringCityPhil says:

    Edu is out for the rest of season with an injury oh no!!! how will this affect our playoff chances?….oh wait, never mind

  3. looks like their new jersey sponsor is probably a good deal for Chicago
    now if they could do something about that name…Fire is just, silly

    • but then they would have to change their famous fight song, the one where they just say the word ‘fire’ about eight hundred times in a row

      • At least they HAVE a unique fight song.
        Oh wait, “Four Leaf Clover”, I forgot…
        (Because thankfully, I can never hear it.)

      • i wouldn’t say its unique, it is just that generic chant cadence but instead of saying “Oh-Ohhh Oh-Ohhh” they say “Fi-re Fi-re”

  4. I find it interesting that when Curtain was asked about the on loan players, he only mentioned Cruz and Fernandez by name. I wonder if this is because Berry and MacMath aren’t in the picture. Or, rather due to the fact they probably have purchase clauses in their loan deals, Curtain has to wait till after their seasons to make a final decision.

    • I think it’s the former. Berry and MacMath are formally on the way out while Fernandes and Cruz will be in the mix as possible midfield depth. Cruz would have been useful at times this season, and Leo’s development sounds promising.

      Berry had to go halfway around the world to find a taker, and while I think well of Zach, it’s not a stretch to see the Union feeling comfortable with Sylvestre and/or McCarthy backing up Blake at a smaller cap hit.

      • Berry was gone the second he went to the media. Probably before that.
        .
        Macmath would probably slit his own wrists before he came back as Blakes substitute.

      • I completely agree Scott E. I was just playing devil’s advocate with the second option.

      • No. Cruz would not have been useful at any point. Stop it.

      • +1 No more cement feet

      • First half of the season when wing play was a complete black hole of productivity? Wenger was lost, Le Toux was stone cold…not suggesting Cruz is our savior, but as a bench player, yes, he would’ve been useful at times this season. Perhaps Ayuk (energy PLUS technical ability) eliminates the need for Cruz in the future, but there was a good chunk of the season where we had no good options on the flanks.

      • I agree we could have used depth on the wings. That’s obvious to any Union fan. I just don’t want that depth to be Cruz. He’s the worst with the ball at his feet. No skill. For as much as Wenger was maligned for putting the ball out of bounds, Cruz was ten times worse.

  5. WTF Drexel!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell is going on over there? They usually are one of the best in the city…….

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    The fundamental underlying issue remains the same as it has always been. The majority of members , the votes necessary to secure decisions, have soccer programs that make no money. The minority of members which make lots of money need to acquire the votes to secure decisions favorable to continuing to make money.
    .
    The fundamental structure described abov

  7. I thought when they loaned Zac out it would be a blessing in disguise, as he would go to Colorado, play well, Blake would look great here, then we could unload Zac for a decent return in the offseason. Now that he barely played, I wonder how his stock is? Teams know that we don’t need him, will they be willing to part with value to get him, or will he go the way of Re-Entry and net us nothing in return?

  8. Giovinvo might me the best example in MLS of what an impact a really world-class player can have for a team. He’s Robby Keane to the 5th power. He cut through the defense of the best team in the East (for whatever that’s worth) like they were nailed to the pitch. He is just fun to watch.

    I’m eager to see Fernandes next year… see if that goal scoring ability can translate to MLS.

    • Agreed. We could only hope for that caliber of a player here.

    • his impact goes way beyond Toronto – I’d say he’s had a huge impact on MLS – this is the kind of player that people who generally only watch European leagues have noticed

      • Agree. Players like him will help drive the quality of the league up, and, you’d hope, help improve US soccer in general.

    • I saw him live against NYCFC and he was a wraith.
      .
      My eyes were glued to him – he is a master of disappearing and reappearing an absolute menace for defenders – New York had no solution for him… Exquisite ball skills…
      .
      … he has what I’ve written about before… Futbol specific agility.
      .
      We have athletes in america yes… but they are not futbol specifically agile athletes…no swiveling the hips… no lowering center of gravity when on the ball. We are all knuckles and hammers… one or two American players that look completely comfortable…but few and far between.
      .
      Christian Pulisic comes to mind. Dempsey a bit. Effortless futbol agility.
      .
      Atypical here. The norm— the expectation everywhere else.
      .
      Sebastien Giovinco is the model.

      • WilkersonMcLaser says:

        The only time I have seen players with that sensibility are guys who played both soccer and basketball. I played with a guy in high school who was a district best goalscorer and played used exactly that kind of movement.

      • Now we are getting somewhere. For me there is a direct correlation between basketball and futbol… and more specifically if you are going to steer a kid to ‘another’ activity along with soccer as we americans play – basketball is an excellent choice. Another that comes to mind is tennis.
        .
        Basketball and Futsal… just about the exact same game.

      • Bam! You nailed it………..a lot of the same skill set. In the pre-academy days, kids that played both were usually…..the most agile out there, with a lot of the above mentioned. Many of the best guys I played with and coached…….gave up hoops to concentrate on footy….but would play whenever they got a free minute! There is definitely a correlation of skill sets required. I always tell people who don’t play footy…..the most similar sport is basketball! And El Pac, I recall an interview and bio on a certain Amobi Okugo that mentioned him being a really good basketball player growing up!

      • My beloved Amobi. Fuck.
        .
        Stuck in soccer limbo.
        .
        Like Cooper from Interstellar behind the bookshelf.

      • haha….+1

    • It took Toronto 9 years to get into the play-offs! With that goal (and many others) Giovinco got them finally into it last night (right after their City’s baseball team also progressed resulting in a huge party there last night!). The point is that if you spend wisely you can get a player who makes a huge difference. Unfortunately most teams do not spend wisely (or not all all).

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