Daily news roundups

Union up for Fair Play award, Rivera to replace Hanson as SoB prez, Army tops Navy, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union, along with LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, are one of the finalists for the league’s Fair Play Award, which the Union won last year. In case you’re wondering, the award is “based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed, cards received, and on subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.” In 2015, the Union “committed the fewest fouls in MLS with 374, well below the league average of 439. The Union also received the fourth fewest amount of yellow cards at 53.” Sebastien Le Toux won the individual Fair Play award in 2010 and 2011. Click here for a look at the finalists for all of the end-of-year awards.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on how Jim Curtin and Earnie Stewart might work together. Curtin, who says he would like to play “an attractive, attacking brand of soccer” but didn’t have the personnel to do so in 2015, says he believes he has a good relationship with Stewart. De George writes,

Curtin played his absorb-and-counter tactics last year because he had to, lacking the clout to instruct a more reticent ownership group which players were required to bolster his roster.

Now, he’s got a bigger gun (presumably) in his corner in Stewart with a multi-continental rolodex of connections and an international pedigree widely praised in MLS circles as an exemplary hire, something that rarely happens around these parts. A change in the composition of the ownership group, the mounting pressure of a fourth straight playoff exclusion and the ultra-rare competency in financial dealings offer the promise of more spending under the right circumstances.

The official start of the offseason cannot come soon enough.

Michael Lahoud talks to The Guardian about his work, along with Columbus Crew’s Kei Kamara, raising money to build schools in the country of his birth, Sierra Leone. Good read.

Brotherly Game has five players who might see time with Bethlehem Steel.

Sons of Penn has a season review.

Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben announced on Tuesday that Ami Rivera, former Tailgate Coordinator and current Vice President, will be its next president, replacing Kenny Hanson when he steps down at the end of the year. Replacing Rivera as vice president will be Jeffrey Mitchell, the group’s current Social Media Director. With the leadership of Rivera and Mitchell, the SoBs are in good hands. Congratulations to Rivera and Mitchell — and the Sons of Ben.

Local

Army defeated Navy 2-1 at PPL Park on Tuesday night in the Army-Navy Cup, Army senior Cody Guerry bagging the brace. Some 9,316 fans were on hand for the game, the third-largest attendance for a NCAA Division I men’s soccer match this season. It was their first-ever win in the Army-Navy Cup, which began in 2012, and first win over Navy since 2008. Recaps at Army and Navy.

In the latest USA Today/NSCAA high school boys soccer national rankings, CB East (20-0-0) moves up three spots to No. 12. Father Judge (19-0-0) moves up three spots to No, 21.

In the latest USA Today/NSCAA high school girls soccer national rankings, Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa., 21-0-0) remains at No. 7. CB East (19-0-1) remains at No. 20, and Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J., 14-4-0) remains at No. 25.

Joe Luxbacher, who played with Philadelphia Atoms in 1974, has retired as the head coach of University of Pittsburgh’s men’s soccer team.

MLS

At ESPN: What was learned from the first leg games of the Conference semifinals.

New York Red Bulls defender Damien Perrinelle is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he picked up in Sunday’s road win over DC in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Houston Dynamo paid a $7 million transfer fee for Erick “Cubo” Torres earlier year. Are they shopping him now?

Could Steven Gerrard return on loan to Liverpool? Maybe not? Perhaps he’ll return only to train? Will the repeated cycle of offseason loan rumors end if the league aligns its schedule with (most of) Europe? Do people who believe this live in parts of the country that have, you know, winter?

Montreal Impact say Didier Drogba will not go on loan to Bologna in the offseason.

Jermaine Jones, citing family concerns, wants a long-term contract wherever he ends up playing next year.

Orlando City have hired Armando Carneiro, former director of Benfica’s Academy, as its Chief Soccer Officer. The Union’s Earnie Stewart hire is still cooler. More at Orlando Sentinel.

Jason Kreis, fired by NYCFC as head coach after its first season ended without a playoff appearance, has tweeted his thanks to the fans, staff, and players. Goal.com says Kreis is not the only one to blame for the poor season. ASN says the firing shows the club lacks long-term vision.

Toronto president Bill Manning says the team will stick with Greg Vanney as head coach for 2016, although he admits he spoke with Kreis after the firing announcement. At SI, Grant Wahl says a Kreis return to Salt Lake is unlikely.

Embarrassment in Toronto over the club’s early exit from its first MLS postseason.

US

Fabian Johnson scored in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 1-1 draw with Juventus on Tuesday, his first-ever Champions League goal. The result sees his team unable to reach the Round of 16 but the team could still continue in the Europa League.

Elsewhere

PA Sport reports, “FIFA’s electoral committee will not carry out an integrity check on Michel Platini until after the disciplinary process surrounding a £1.3 million payment to him made to him by world football’s governing body is complete.” At SI, Grant Wahl writes “multiple sources in Europe and elsewhere tell me they think UEFA president Michel Platini will be punished by the FIFA ethics committee and won’t be allowed to stand in the FIFA election.” Wahl continues, “The most likely scenario now involves Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino working together, with Salman most likely becoming FIFA president and Infantino perhaps taking a new FIFA CEO position…Infantino may decide he’d be better off as the UEFA president.”

ESPN reports following the raid by German police and tax inspectors on the headquarters of the German FA on Tuesday, “Former DFB president Theo Zwanziger has welcomed the investigations against him, Wolfgang Niersbach and former DFB general secretary Horst R. Schmidt.” Zwanziger says, “I am delighted it happened. I don’t have any worries in that matter. I know that I tell the truth and that I don’t have to fear anything. It’s better this way than through a commission of inquiry or people who are dependent.”

From Reuters: “Former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin pleaded not guilty to bribery charges in a U.S. court after being extradited on Tuesday from Switzerland in the corruption case that shook world soccer’s governing body FIFA.” The AP reports, “A judge agreed to release the 83-year-old defendant on $15 million bond and allow him live with tight restrictions in a New York apartment valued at $3.5 million until his case is resolved.”

Speaking at the Securing Sport 2015 conference that opened on Tuesday in New York, FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale repeated his concerns about the “sponsors activism” demonstrated by FIFA sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Visa, and Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev when they issued statements calling for Sepp Blatter to step down. I have not seen reports on the rest of Sexwale’s comments at the conference but if this is his primary concern when it comes to reforming FIFA he has no business being president.

Also at the conference was François Carrard, the head of the FIFA reform committee. The New York Daily news reports, “Carrard apologized for telling a Swiss newspaper that soccer was ‘just an ethnic sport for girls in schools’ — a remark he said was misinterpreted.” Yes, that people took offense to the remark was their fault for wrongly interpreting it.

At MLSsoccer.com: “An illustrated history of soccer video games.”

19 Comments

  1. With all due respect to the Philadelphia Union and MLS…. please no more Fair Play Awards and Best Dressed Front Office Awards for us to feel good about. I don’t feel good about it. How about an award for greatest single season points turn around. Or how about an award for winning the last game of the Open Cup. Or Or Or…..
    .
    For the record I am “Nothing but Flowers” lately for the club but… Cynicism Corner on the Cliff of Union Despair is still a dive bar with Henry Chinaski and Wanda. Still open with its tilted blinking sign… Still not serving Victory on tap.
    .
    Maybe soon…. ehhh boys?

  2. Pretty amazing that we have the fewest fouls in MLS, given we only have the ball about 35-40% of the time. That’s a lot of free time to run around hacking opponents down.

  3. Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart!

  4. Stevie G – Just go already. MLS doesn’t need you.

    • The article makes the loans seem like a bad thing. If they don’t want to be here, then let them go, I personally don’t lose any sleep over it.
      Who would rather spend the winter in Liverpool over LA anyway?
      So I’m with you, just go already. I’ll take a Giovinco, or Barnetta, or Nogueira or Valeri over Gerrard 11 times out of 10.

  5. Steven Gerrard. 6 point 2 million dollars for 2 goals in 14 games.
    .
    Beginning. Middle. End of story.
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    Farce.
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    Waste of resources.
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    An utter joke…and a reason MLS should be drawn and quartered in the public square. ZERO chance a player like Steven Gerrard is worth 6.2 million dollars. Muy estupido.
    .
    Stop paying the retirees HUGE HUGE HUGE amounts of money and 3/4 of them will stop coming…which is good.
    .
    Giovinco. Dos Santos. Yes.
    .
    Pirlo. Gerrard. No.

    • (sarcasm) Yeah but RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS… smh 🙁

      • Yup and I understand that MLS is growing in europe from a viewership POV and likely that is related to legends of the game playing stateside and probably makes the 6.2 an even wash with the TV revenue and extra eyes and maybe a big chunk of that goes away if Beckham, Henry, Pirlo, Lampard, Gerrard and Drogba, aren’t here.
        .
        I get all that. I also get that Random RB on arbitrary MLS team should not be living with a roommate or two because they make $51,000 a year as a 22 year old college graduate playing a professional sport.
        .
        The balance is my problem.

    • Agreed. And don’t buy any more old over-the-hill English players who have never ever lived abroad.

    • I’m still not over Stevie G being named an All-Star before he played a minute in an MLS game.

      • Shameless ratings ploy. The stuff of America… like it or not.

      • That (and the same thing with Lampard) was, itself, enough for me to say that I am through with the MLS All-Star game, completely, until and unless they change the format and the method of selection.

      • +100 I haven’t watched it for a few years now but that was the final nail!! Pachy has it right… The pay disparities are glaring! Plenty of guys making under $100k that are more fun to watch!

  6. The girl in that picture is gorgeous.

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