Daily news roundups

Army-Navy Cup at PPL tonight, NYCFC fire Kreis, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

At the Union website, the 2015 season in quotes.

Brotherly Game has end of year awards and also looks at the Union’s top ten all-time leading goalscorers.

Local

The Army-Navy Cup, originally scheduled to be played on Oct. 2 but postponed because of bad weather, will be played tonight at PPL Park. Kickoff is at 7 pm. If you can’t make it to the game, a live feed will be available here.

With the conclusion of regular season play over the weekend, Temple has been seeded at No. 6 for the American Athletic Conference Championship. The team faces UConn on the road on Saturday.

Penn is on the road to face West Virginia today.

England national team player and former Philadelphia Independence attacking midfielder Lianne Sanderson was acquired by new NWSL side Orlando Pride in Monday’s expansion draft.

MLS

The rumors began before the end of the regular season and now it is official: NYCFC have fired head coach Jason Kreis. A statement from the club said in part,

Prior to the start of the season, it was agreed with the coaching team that the securing of a playoff place was an appropriate target for this year. A win rate of less than one in three games and a points tally which was the second lowest in the league is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed. 

While the challenges of building and integrating a new team are recognized, it was felt by the Board, following a comprehensive review, that there was not enough evidence of the dynamics required to improve the performance of the team for the next season and beyond.

Also fired along with Kreis are assistant coaches Miles Joseph and CJ Brown, both of whom worked with Kreis at Salt Lake.

At SI, Brian Straus suggests the firing shows NYCFC “true identity”: “It’s a European club whose direction and culture are determined mostly in Manchester. It just happens to play in The Bronx.” At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle says Kreis is “the fall guy for what went wrong in 2015.” The New York Post says NYCFC are channeling the Yankees. The New York Daily News says the firing announcement is “atypical in its callousness.” The New York Times notes Kreis’ work was complicated by the late arrivals of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. Hudson River Blue calls the firing “a massive, self-inflicted error.” Soccer America wonders if Kreis ever really had a chance to succeed. Armchair Analyst wonders why he wasn’t given more time. FC Yahoo says the firing is shortsighted.

The firing naturally leads to speculation: Who will replace Kreis at NYCFC, and where will Kreis land? You will recall recent reports linking Patrick Vieira to the NYCFC job and other reports also link Fabio Capello. Hudson River Blue adds Carlo Ancelotti and Sigi Schmid to the list of candidates.

Possible destinations for Kreis? You will recall talk of Kreis replacing Sigi Schmid at Seattle, whose general manager is Garth Lagerwey, Kreis’ former boss at Salt Lake. How about Chicago? Colorado? Toronto? (Surely the firing will have gained the attention of Earnie Stewart, although Jim Curtin’s job is secure for 2016.) With the offseason not officially starting until Dec. 7, there’s plenty of time for rumors big and small.

Steven Gerrard says 2016 could be his last season. Like many players who come to the league from Europe, it seems the rigors of travel, climate, and artificial playing surfaces have been more challenging than expected.

At ESPN, Adam Hurrey on why Wayne Rooney should finish his career in MLS.

A tweet including an image of Che Guevera posted by one of David Beckham’s partners in the Miami MLS franchise, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, from Havana has ticked off some of Miami’s political leaders of Cuban heritage. So sensitive is the issue that the Beckham United group issued a statement: “Marcelo is in Cuba for business reasons unrelated to Miami Beckham United and may be posting photos around the island during his trip. He arrived in Havana and captured an image of one of the City’s more prominent sites. We apologize on his behalf if anyone was offended by the image.”

The owners of new USL franchise FC Cincinnati say their aspirations to join MLS won’t be hindered by the need for a soccer specific stadium.

NASL side San Antonio Scorpions have fired head coach Alen Marcina. Noting the firing comes in the midst of “continued talks about the Alamo City pursuing a Major League Soccer franchise, ongoing negotiations over who will ultimately control the Scorpions’ home stadium, Toyota Field, and the possibility that the parent company of the Spurs could enter the sport,” San Antonio Business Journal reports Scorpions president and GM Howard Cornfield says the team is not about to fold: “We’re not going anywhere.”

US

In Q&A at the US Soccer website, Jurgen Klinsmann discusses a number of topics including hosting the Copa Centenario, preparations by the U-23 team ahead of its playoff matches against Colombia for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the challenges facing the senior team as it begins its 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

At Soccer Wire, Beau Dure on the confusion surrounding the move from school year based to calendar year based age groups in youth soccer.

Soccer Nation looks at the age group based changes in field and team sizes in youth soccer.

Elsewhere

German police and tax inspectors have raided the offices of the German football association (DFB), as well as the homes of association president Wolfgang Niersbach, former president Theo Zwanziger, and former general secretary Horst R. Schmidt. Frankfurt’s senior public prosecutor Nadja Niesen said, “Prosecutors in Frankfurt have started an investigation on suspicion of serious tax evasion connected to the awarding of the 2006 World Cup and the transfer of 6.7million euros from the DFB to FIFA.”

The DFB said in a statement, “The DFB has told investigators it will co-operate fully. The prosecutors have informed the DFB that the investigation is limited to a suspicion of tax offences having taken place. The DFB itself is not accused of involvement.” Reports from Deutsche WelleESPN, ReutersBBC, and Sky News.

In related news, ESPN reports, “Franz Beckenbauer is facing fresh questions over his role in securing the 2006 World Cup for Germany after the president of the Maltese FA raised concerns over a friendly match involving Bayern Munich.”

Bloomberg reports that, only a few days after similar news from banking firm Credit Suisse, “UBS Group AG said Tuesday that it received inquiries from authorities about its banking relationships with FIFA officials.”

Reuters reports, ‘A leading member of FIFA’s reform committee, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, says up to 40 percent of the reform proposals made by ethics and compliance chief Domenico Scala could be rejected, including plans for term limits for top executives.”

The Securing Sport 2015 Conference opens today in New York. FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale will give the keynote address, while FIFA Reform Committee chair François Carrard will take part in a live interview with today. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati will will be interviewed onstage by James Carville on Wednesday. The Conference is organized by the International Centre for Sport Security, which “receives 70% of its funding from the government of Qatar.” Hilarious.

Check out this week’s Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Champions League games.

32 Comments

  1. Kreis is looking for a job eh.
    That is too tempting to not look into.

  2. nycfc is like a combination of toronto and chivas usa

  3. What a mess for NYCFC.
    .
    A puppet sardine club playing inside a sardine can of stinky fish.
    .
    Union look like a rock by comparison and that’s not easy to say.

  4. NYCFC is just another example of an arrogant ownership group thinking that they know how to run a club better than anyone in North America. Now they’ll bring in some big name from Europe like Capello or Viera and continue to flounder.

    Chivas NYC.

    • If they bring in Viera to coach it would likely only be to groom him for big club someday I imagine.

    • The Chivas comparison is amazingly dead on, and it’s a shame because like Chivas there are quality people – players and managers alike – involved in the franchise that will suffer, not to mention the importance of success in the NY market. Hopefully, like Chivas, it won’t become a black eye for MLS and look bad.

      At this point in its existence MLS doesn’t need rich investors and powerful brands like Manchester City or the Yankees, they need teams with strong support locally who play in their own stadiums, supplement promising academy and draft products with quality veteran players in their prime, sprinkled with the occasional superstar they can market, and better tv ratings.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        In defense of Chivas US… hey had an idea and a plan and truly hoped to operate a Mexican American type squad…. there have been many arguments made for and against what Chivas US was trying to do.
        .
        Personally I applauded it and feel if they were able to hang on a little longer and were willing to move South of LA … more towards San Diego… the club may not have gone belly up. Once again… the club had in its midst one of the formost youth development programs around. Brian Kleiben is no joke. Now he plies his trade for LAG and LAFC wasn’t even smart enough to bring him in.

  5. That Miami fella Claure is an interesting cat. Check out this long form piece on him from The Howler: http://reprints.longform.org/howler-miami-marcelo-claure

  6. You just knew that City Group had to have someone’s head for finishing at the bottom of the table. I’m not sure why they thought the team would succeed with the oldest midfield in all of futbol. A legendary midfield, but still old and slow. I’m glad I’m not an NYCFC fan (and wonder how anyone could be a fan).

    • Not that I like NYCFC or support them, but they did finish above the Union (in their first year). So while people are saying their team is a mess I wouldn’t say the Union was doing much better until last week and the new hiring.

      • Agree. Only reason we’re feeling better is because the Union, too, got a housecleaning. The difference is that the Union’s disposed of the right person. I think we have good cause to see better days ahead. Not sure what NYCFC future is.

      • picking nits a bit, but they finished ahead only on goal differential. not the stuff of legends, especially given the payroll they added.

      • Agreed, but had it come down to being 37 points for the last playoff spot that goal differential puts us on the outside and them in. Neither team by far seems to have a handle on things. Hopefully the Union turned a corner, but there is not point acting like we were top of the east either. The season is over time we move on hopefully to better days. And as far as NYCFC being a mess let them be just one more team that the Union can try to overcome.

  7. NYCFC was the equivalent of a newly promoted club finishing outside the relegation zone, even if just barely. Seems like that is NOT the time to fire the coach.

    • And if you’re going to fire the coach, don’t do it in frickin’ passive voice. That weaselly text sounds like it could’ve come straight from Sak.

  8. Tokyo Sexwhale reference noted — A+
    —-
    Ancelotti? Capello? Does anyone really think those guys could succeed in an MLS structure with real limits on the ability to acquire impact players? I hope NYCFC hires one of those guys. It can only help the Union.

  9. Biggest problem with NYCFC wasn’t Kreis, or even the roster . . it was that God awful pitch size. They have a slow technical possession based midfield with a crafty striker who requires space to beat defenders playing on a half court pitch which wholly negates the positives of both. That club will be doomed until they move or until they build a team specifically for that stadium.

    • +1. Totally agree with this point. Embarrassing that a team in MLS 2.0 can’t find a full sized pitch…

      • It’s cause MLS allows it. They a are part of this problem. They let Man City dictate, and play on that shitty, small field. Some teams have to have a stadium. Others don’t. It’s crap. NYCFC is just a write off for Man City. What a joke. And as a Union fan since Day 1… it’s hard to call another team a joke.

      • yeah their pitch situation is awful and embarrassing.

        i’m going to keep putting this idea out there hoping that someone from their club sees it. they should attach two container ships together side by side and build their stadium on top of that. they can park it anywhere with a dock- they can even move it around if they want

  10. we should get Poku out of that mess……..

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